It has happened to me twice now. In Final Fantasy XI it took a year
and a half. In World of Warcraft it took six months. I guess that
it's just my boiling point, but MMORPGs just lose me at about 75% in.
In Final Fantasy XI, I played a Galka Warrior. I reached level 58 out
of 75 before losing interest. FFXI was my very first MMO and I got
really caught up in it. I had a wonderful Linkshell and many other
good gaming friends. The social aspect of the game was wonderful, but
somewhere around the 75% mark the game began to derail for me.
I had obtained all of my Warrior AF armor, though I didn't get around
to equipping it all at level 60. I had defeated the Shadow Lord and
had begun working on both the Zilart and Promathia Missions. I had
lots of new things ahead of me during the last quarter of the game,
but I just couldn't bring myself to continue. Why would I stop after
spending all that time questing for my beloved armor? Why would I
stop after investing night after night completing missions and gaining
levels? I couldn't answer it. I wasn't bored with MMOs. I wasn't
pressed by real life issues. I couldn't figure it out, but I just
stopped playing FFXI.
I picked up World of Warcraft shortly after quitting Final Fantasy XI.
I enjoyed this bright new world and began investing many hours into
it. I heard many cries from former FFXI players of the salvation that
WoW was now offering them. Was I like them? Did I harbor some
subconscious hatred toward FFXI? Sure I had some bad times while
playing the game, but I didn't feel like that was the sole reason I
quit. Still, I couldn't quite put my finger on exactly why I had
I decided to just put all questions out of my mind and set some new
goals for WoW. I was going to take my Human Warlock all the way to
60. After all, it sure didn't seem to be nearly as difficult to do as
in FFXI. I had a wonderful time in WoW, completing instances,
collecting new equipment and exploring new places. But before I knew
it, I was at level 47 and I was losing interest. I didn't realize
that I was around the 75% mark at the time. It wasn't even until
after I had stopped playing that I even noticed the 75% mark, but the
feeling was the same as in FFXI, that much I knew.
I ended up quitting WoW the same as I had FFXI. No real reason other
than losing interest. Why? Was there nothing left to do? No, there
was almost more to do at later levels. Finally, I came to see where
my drive had been during the first 75% of the game. My driving force
was character development.
Now the exponential growth of an MMO character works really well for
someone in the first part of a game. The jump from the ugly level 21
robe to a nice, new robe at level 25 is not a very far jump. However
the jump from a level 47 head piece to a level 55 one seems like a
lifetime for a causal gamer. Character development just seems to flat
line at the 75% mark.
It seems like the focus of MMO developers focuses heavily on the end
game content with so many people waiting there. However, I think that
the developers should seriously look at saturating the 75-100% content
instead of focusing mainly on the 100% end game mark. It might just
help people like me stay in for the long haul and might make the trip
more enjoyable for those going through it again.