How much patience with content you don’t like in an MMORPG? I’ve a bit of a history of ignoring quests that I dislike. There’s a quest in Dungeons & Dragons Online that I only ever completed once because it was rather unheroic and went against the (RP self-imposed) religious beliefs of my Paladin main character. Likewise I’m more than happy to never do another ‘poop’ quest in any MMO ever again.
But what if the content here isn’t just the odd quest? Some zones are pretty dreary to play through, Lord of the Rings Online has issues with some zones that some players actively avoid. I’ve more a of a problem with Mordor personally but I can sympathise with the view that a zone can lessen your enjoyment of a particular game at least in the short-term. Having options to skip such content are great, but if your progress on any main story questline(s) is blocked by a specific quest or an entire zone (Mordor, looking at you) it’s not great.
This issue isn’t always about progress though. What about the overall story themes or arc of say an expansion? Battle for Azeroth, the latest World of Warcraft expansion, is so far faction-war focused content-wise. Although I haven’t been playing it continuously since last August, I was bored some time ago of the Alliance vs Horde main story. There are very tempting little hints here and there about darker threats and much deeper problems, but for now we’re stuck with “red vs blue”.
Hopefully we’ll be able to move past the faction war somewhat in the next major patch, even the PVE content such as island expeditions with the bunny-hopping AI controlled enemy party or the incursion mechanics where my Night Elf boomkin has to endlessly slaughter Horde troops feels like PVP whether it plays like it or not. I just don’t find this theme of content at all exciting or interesting. I can almost feel my poor horde characters cringe every time Nathanos or Sylvanas talks to them – the current Horde leaders are that objectionable to me.
Of course another MMORPG that I’m currently playing, Star Wars the Old Republic, is also returning to a faction-war focus in the most recent content. So far I haven’t found this irks me so much. Yes, it’s thematically PVPesque, perhaps I just find the stories in this game to be more palatable. Even if the Sith leaders (or the odd Republic leader) to be insufferable or plain nasty, at least my character gets to object to that in almost every cut-scene in some way. That I think helps to make quite a difference if I’m less than comfortable with the story arc itself.
Looping back to the question in the title of this post, I guess my preference of playing a variety of MMORPGs means I can always take a break if the story isn’t to my tastes. Content can block my characters’ progress in a game, but at least I can switch games to play something else more to better suit my tastes or current mood…