Have I been conditioned to not finish games?

I’ve just been reading a random find about a depressing view on the future of gaming at inanage.com.

I should preface my response with the admission that I’ve concentrated almost 100% on MMORPGs for the last 4 years. Half of that time I was only playing World of Warcraft for the vast majority of my limited gaming time. However I have tried some single player or console RPGs within that time – Oblivion, Dragon Age Origins (1), Mass Effect (1), D&D Tactics (PSP), Silverfall (PSP).

The rather shocking realisation is that I’ve finished none of these games! Now in the past I always did play games to the end, usually serially rather than my current trend of mixing-it up between multiple MMOs.

There are two main factors to this:

1) All of the above games had serious flaws that I just got frustrated with. Either they had limited freedom of movement (DA:O, Silverfall, Mass Effect) or an almost complete absence of meaningful plot (D&D:T and Silverfall). Oblivion had the mindless concept of all monsters scaling to your level which just took any meaning out of the games challenge curve.

2) Having started down the MMORPG path, I’m used to the excitement of new content release and the idea that the game simply doesn’t “end”. So in effect Blizzard and other companies have spoilt single player CRPGs for me probably for good. Why pay £30-odd to play a game for just 10-30 hours (linked article states we’re likely to get ever shorter campaigns btw) when an MMO can last for hundreds? With Free-to-Play games now becoming common I can even avoid the up-front box cost before deciding whether to play the game long-term.

I discussed this recently with friends. As someone who loves to watch his characters grow and develop within a persistent world, I just don’t see the attraction of offline gaming anymore…

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2 Responses to Have I been conditioned to not finish games?

  1. Azuriel says:

    WoW did scratch an itch I did not realize I had (technically boundless character progression), but I ended up coming to the opposite conclusion after 322 days /played: I don’t see the attraction of daily quests and daily dungeons anymore. If I still had a solid social core of in-game friends, it might be different, but it would be out of a desire to do things with them, not because I enjoy the activity itself.

    So imagine my horror when I read that CNN article and realized that my favorite types of games had seemingly gone extinct while I was in my MMO fever haze. Games like Fallout 3 and such give me hope (and I actually really enjoyed my 85 hours in Dragon Age), but it is getting pretty bleak out there.

    • Telwyn says:

      I guess I’m hooked on the multiplayer experience – things to do with friends. The difference in my background perhaps is that I’d already started moving down this route before even getting to MMOs. Most of the Bioware / Interplay games (Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, NWN etc) I always played with my partner as a duo-team. So for us support for a decent multiplayer option over local network was a *key* requirement for us to play any game.

      I agree that the whole daily quest / dungeon is a failed mechanism, I find it boring very quickly. Perhaps gamers should view MMOs more like these single player / LAN games of old? An MMO isn’t meant to be played for years unless you’re a hardcore grinder. Rather you play through the story and world and simply look for another game when it gets boring or you run out of things to do…

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