At the moment I’m feeling most drawn to MMORPGs with a familiar setting, that is to say an imagined world with which I have some history or familiarity. It didn’t take much to recently drag me back into SWTOR and the galaxy far, far away – I’ve always been a fan of the movies.Shadowrun Chronicles has its hooks in me as well it seems; the game neatly fills an opening for a duo game that’s opened up in my gaming schedule. It’s also very different to the MMORPGs that I mainly play so for now I’m happily playing a Troll Shaman in the Boston Lockdown campaign. The friend and I played the Shadowrun RPG together years ago so the game’s setting and tone are familiar to us both. Setting isn’t always the main reason I play a game though; I played Neverwinter extensively last year but it was more for the fast-paced combat and the strong group-play content than for the D&D/Forgotten Realms setting in this Perfect World MMO. Setting cannot always keep me playing a game either – Lord of the Rings Online hasn’t managed to drag me back in since early 2014 for any length of time and that is despite Turbine’s very rich, story-filled world-building efforts. Something about the game’s combat and mechanics never really sat that well with me and I’ve reached the point where the excellence of the setting isn’t enough to overcome that barrier.
So having a familiar setting isn’t absolutely necessary to me but I do think it helps to maintain my interest in a game. How much does the setting of your chosen MMORPG(s) matter to you – does it figure in your choice of game(s)?