This is a tough question, but it’s one I’m faced with at the moment. I commented on a Bio Break post on juggling multiple MMOs. I answered that I have three categories of games at present:
1) ‘Guild game’ – the one I’m most invested in and spend a lot of time playing (SWTOR)
2) ‘Static game’ – one that I play exclusively with friends from real life, we only play the characters in this game as a group when we can schedule it (DDO or Vanguard)
3) ‘Solo game’ – my solo game that I enjoy playing as a break from #1 above or just because I want to try something new (LoTRO mainly atm)
A key issue with both 1 and 2 is that I mainly play those games to group with friends and guildies. So they have to provide good fun and varied group content, too much solo-orientation is bad, so WoW lost #1 and #2 slot when leveling became so easy as to make grouping detrimental to the experience.
But I can only include games in #3 if I can effectively solo since I like a game I can play for myself. I still chose to play MMOs instead of console RPGs as I like the crafting/auction house interactions and to see players randomly around the landscape.
It seems impossible at present to find one game that fits all these categories perfectly. SWTOR could have been it but my RL friends didn’t like the game enough to stick to it. I thought Vanguard might at least fill #2 and #3 but solo play is painful on all but one class it seems and I’m just feeling that group play is so much more fun than solo that it simply can’t be ‘that’ game (my static group friend feels the same, it just is missing something and he feels no motivation to solo in it either).
It’s hard to imagine that for 2.5+ years WoW was the only game I played, it fulfilled all these roles amicably. Perhaps it is partly my own ‘wanderlust’ that makes me want to see different game-worlds rather than settle in one full-time. I think the grindy nature of all MMOs also encourages me to mix-it-up a bit by playing different games in parallel.
There was a time when I thought Guild Wars 2 would be the game to replace all the others in my affections, but now I’m not so sure. It’ll probably be my #2 game, but I doubt the majority of my SWTOR guild mates will defect in which case I may well stay subscribed to be able to play with them. Perhaps it will be a good game to solo as well, at least if the crafting is good enough.