MMO Regrets [#Blaugust 11]

MMO regrets, I have them. Maybe you have some too. Over a decade of dragon slaying and getting to know people from all over the world by doing so, has been mostly a mad and fun ride, yet looking back there’s also a few things I would do differently. Or maybe not. In any case, here are three of them in no particular order:

  • Not getting a lifetime sub for LOTRO; players have paid between 200 – 299$ for their lifetime subs at some point, depending whom you ask. LOTRO wasn’t in such a great place back then and it still isn’t, unfortunately I came to it way later and so that was never an option. Given that LOTRO is my favorite MMO that I’m not playing, I wish I could log into ME sometime without re-subscription hassles. If you have a lifetime sub for LOTRO that you’re not even using, don’t tell me!
  • Returning to WoW for Cataclysm; I had said my goodbyes to WoW and my long-standing community there at the end of WotLK and it was a perfect finale to a mighty fine run of six years. The goodbye thread in our guild forums was epic kleenex time. But then I came back after Cataclysm launched, yeah I was that person. I came back for entirely the wrong reasons and against my better judgement. It ended in some personal disenchantment for me where few people were concerned, experiences that I really could’ve done without. So not long after, I logged out once again and told hardly anyone about it.

“And so I did. In Elwynn, my lovely, where the journey began. In Elwynn, where my personal anniversary event quest for Adrenaline was stationed. In Elwynn, where the Crazy Cat Lady will go on taking in strays and the murlocs will gurgle forever at the riverbank of Eastvale Logging Camp, long after I have left. In Elwynn, with Goldshire at its heart where all paths lead to greater adventure. A good place to rest.” (“Where do you go to die?”)

  • Losing some of the faithful; I’ve written at some length about how the changes to WoW’s raiding scene over the years basically turned people into assholes. Okay, let me rephrase that: they increasingly put competitive raidguilds into the position of having to choose between raiders and good friends, loyal guildmates. I am talking about myself here – I wish we, the leading team, had had the good sense to drop the allures and just be a little more casual. I know it’s never as simple as that because you also feel obligated to your ‘top players’ but much of that wouldn’t have happened had Blizzard not decided to cut raidsizes from 40 to 25 and 10 and emphasize individual performance over collective achievement.  In any case, it’s why I won’t ever go back to WoW and its raidmeters and over-analyzers who have no room for diversity. Good is good enough, MMOs are not a job!

“This is not a message for those who are still in WoW striving for glory irrespective of cost; by all means, knock yourself out. You have your own path to follow and maybe it will lead you to a similar place, maybe not. But I am not that person anymore, I am glad that I’m not. Friendships are precious and fragile – many people are worth knowing and caring for outside our immediate realm of ambition. So long WoW, you have nothing left to teach me. (“Why I’m not playing WoW anymore.“)

I guess it’s fitting that my greatest MMO regrets come from the game I invested most of my time and heart in. What saddens or bugs you looking back on your time in virtual worlds and communities?


  1. Lifetime sub for LOTRO was maybe one of my best moves ever. I have gotten way more out of that than any other MMO purchase. That is offset by the fact that I went for a Star Trek Online lifetime sub… on the strength of how well LOTRO worked out… only to find the game tepid and awkward.

    Getting really worked up and excited about Cataclysm, I regret that. Returning to the content a couple years later I found it to be pretty well done, even if it did herald the end of any 5 person dungeon challenge unless you went heroic.

    1. Draenor was okay for me but the state of the WoW community today is just awful. Not guilds but pickup groups, eugh.

  2. I still have… Premium points in LOTRO that I never got around to spending? Dunno. No regrets on the LOTRO front, I liked the concept of dropping to Premium and unlocking content. Especially only the soloable zones since I had no use for group quest heavy zones. The main problem was the content was so grindy, I never quite made it through, and literally only spent what I consumed and nothing much more.

    Looking back, I have very little regrets overall. Even the times of obsession in MUDs were a learning phase I had to go through, in order to appreciate being more slack now.

    I burned out early and cheerfully skipped the same vertical progression lessons in EQ, WoW and EQ2. Still no regrets not playing them, saved a vast quantity of time. Enjoyed myself thoroughly in City of Heroes when it was good, and dropped off without too much separation pain (that one MUD taught me everything really, including how to leave) as it got less good.

    Even in the “failed” games Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, Aion that I bought the CEs for, I was happy with the time I spent and the memories I built and the things I learned about myself (mostly that a PvP endgame doesn’t hold me.)

    My only real regret is f–king FLAGSHIP’s Hellgate London. Bought CE sight unseen for 80 bucks, got ridiculously jipped with region locks, delayed patches and a really lousy game to begin with. That one was a really painful lesson.

    1. I don’t think I have spending regrets myself but I never invested in CEs. Subs for AoC were okay, even if it wasn’t a great game I was funding hardworking devs, sooo.

    1. One of the MMOs I never played! I almost did once but then I realized I’d probably not get over the graphics. Am a snob when it comes to that.

  3. I think my only MMO regret is just how fixated I was on WoW even when I became dissatisfied with it and for how long I was completely dismissive of other games because of that.

    1. Hah….yeah I think during WoW primetime many of us were. To be fair, it was the best game around for a time but player attitudes were pretty bad. Still are in some cases.

    2. I think that’s one of the biggest flaws of the WoW community as it is. Die-hard WoW fans are extremely dismissive of other games and actually feel threatened and insulted if people enjoy other games. It’s still happening, and it made watching reactions to the recent expansion announcement very awkward to me.

  4. Im beginning to regret i bought Guild Wars2. Good money wasted as Elder Scrolls Online is so much more fun :S

    and GW2 feels so old… i guess im a snob when it comes to graphic quality too >.>
    Tho I will try to play it now and then. But everytime i log in i want to log off asap :S

  5. I think my biggest MMO regret is getting excited about betas. After reading the GW2 manifest, I was so ready to be swept away by something fresh and new, but pretty much hated every single moment in the beta. I dislike the aesthetics, I am incredibly bored with the gameplay, and the only bone that is tickled is exploring zones. This happens with every beta. I must give up on betas.

    I also regret not sticking it out a bit longer with Wildstar until max-level at least, and to have gone back to WoW for WoD which was an incredible disappointment for me. When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I simply stopped logging in, and often feel I betrayed my guild that way. I miss the people, but I can’t stand the game anymore.

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