I was inspired to write today by @DominusMMO‘s (follow them!) tweet asking people to name a deal breaker. Name one thing that has to be in a MMO for you to play.Â Can you do it?
The more I really think about this question, the more I realize how difficult it is to answer, and how far I will bend my standards over time.Â If you asked me that question ten years ago I might have had an answer.Â On second thought, ten years ago I may not have realized what it was about the games that made them special.Â I may have said something like, “character progression that requires true effort.”Â There was a time when I might have said I would never play a MMO without three faction pvp or territory control.Â I remember thinking I would never again play a game without an economy like SWG.
As much as I want to try and pin down an answer, I always come up with an excuse to marginalize my own response.Â Last year I swore off -ever- trying an MMO with a cash shop again, and here I am preparing to try Guild Wars 2 because I want to experience some of the features that GW2 might offer that I have never experienced. It’s just this once.Â This time will be different.Â Maybe the next game doesn’t have to have that feature.Â I think we all rationalize that way from time to time.
In this exact moment, perhaps I can best answer the question by saying that an MMO must have a persistent world without unrealistic restrictions on the number of players or their ability to interact with one another.Â A non-persistent world is a deal breaker for me.Â It ceases to be a MMO.Â Oddly enough, call it something else (like an action RPG) and I’m fine.
Are levels a must-have? Do you absolutely require character progression?Â PvP? PvE? Raiding? Itemization? What concessions will you make, what self-imposed regulations will you bend to try the next best thing?
Where do you draw the line — or do you?Â Feel free to comment here or tweet @DominusMMO.Â I would love to see the responses and maybe even strike up a discussion about some of them.