The psychology of gaming


    What comes to mind is, what really tickles your fancy? What is it that draws you into a game and keeps you playing. These can be tough questions when it comes to an MMO because of the longevity of the game and the fact that the game never truly ends.

    So with knowing that, what is it in an MMO that has no end game cut scene that truly draws you into the game and keeps you playing it for years.

    Feel free to reference other games that kept your attention and focus on the details. This should be a great resource for dynamite to see what they need to focus on to keep attention.

    I'll start and say that my favorite memories of games of old was the need to find other players to accomplish almost impossible tasks. The feeling of spending days working on something to finally see it through was a rush that kept me motivated. That coupled with the myth of items that I may have seen a few times, achievements, areas that most people couldn't get to, keep me going. I love to step ahead of other people and do things most people say are impossible. I would gladly smash my head on something 1000 times if one of those times I learned one small thing and progressed.

    My psychology is a man of detail, and progression on even the smallest scale. Something a casual player would never notice. Those are the things that fuel my need to play.


    All games should ideally have some kind of replay value, MMOs especially as by design they can't be "completed". Most people implement some kind of socialization and/or RP into their MMOs, so a game that's compatible with this will see a significant activity boost.


    @fibs with re playability in MMOs do you see this in making new characters or so you see this in the family as a whole? With this game wanting you to be able to jump right in, do you think there will be a need to replay for any specific purpose? I think with MMOs the big thing in replayability is the need and desire to log in the next day and continue with the game. Since the game lives and breaths, it's like starting a new game Everytime you login. Is the login worth my time, is a question I constantly ask myself. Are the activities I could be doing in game fun and worth my time?

    Things like doing the same quest, word for word day by day is literally the most boring thing any game developer could implement. It just shows the lifelessness of the game, if what you do one day doesn't effect the next and you do it over and over again.

  • Wiki Editor

    In general, I think most people want to feel accomplished and/or welcome.

    I've known people who log in mostly to socialize and others who log on to accomplish very specific tasks. Logging in to do yet another daily quest gets boring fast.

    I think a mix of short-term and long-term accomplishments are key. Most people have a really hard time when something takes too long to accomplish, but when it's broken down into small, discrete steps it's OK, which is why I like what I've read of the knowledge system. You gain knowledge by doing which causes you to do more to gain knowledge - it's perpetual motion and feeds the constant need to accomplish.

    If cities are hubs of socialization, I see that feeding all the social butterflies. Merchants hawking their wares and haggling prices. Groups forming to go accomplish some task.

  • TF#3 - ENVOY

    For me it is generally two aspects, a good story and good progression gameplay. I love crafting and gathering as well. I don't really like dailies as much but I actually enjoy weekly type goals. The thing is not everyone can really log in daily. I work 12 and a half hour shifts so on those days I generally can't game much at all so games with daily content is very annoying unless that content can be done in under an hour.

  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    For me, the most important thing in an MMO is the community.
    For instance, was giving GW2 a go when it went free to play and there I was, complete noob, just out of the tutorial and there was a max level guy right there. Started talking to me and ran with me doing stuff gave me some goodies to get started and giving me some tips and tricks etc.
    It made me feel good and kept playing and noticed most of the community in the game is very friendly and racked up about 2000 hours in the game so far and still going strong.

    On the other side. I tried DOTA2 and when joining a game, I immediately let them know I was new to the game. I was cursed at, for being a noob and not knowing how to play etc. I tried 2 more games and exactly the same thing happened. So I logged off and uninstalled that game and never looked at it ever again.


    Besides, if the game has a competitive air, it could lead to e-sports. imagine how far it could go, I think the key is to meet the main needs of users and the continuous support of the game, I am of those who think that a simple game (without many effects and lights here and there) can be of the best as long as their balance and playability remain in the preference of the majority.


    For me its the community that keeps me hooked. The game I played the longest, Wartune, is a horrible browser MMO that is P2W of the worst kind. The game is grindy buggy, poorly optimized laggy as all get out, but early on I fell in with a great guild which was small but had very dedicated players. eventually we merged with another small guild. Our focus was topping the large casher guild on the server which eventually fell apart. I had an awesome team for running dailies. eventually logging in wasn't even about the game anymore, it was about seeing friends. eventually I had to quit b/c the devs added features which turned into a time sink hole where it was all but impossible to keep up without cashing. I had some great times playing with those folks and still miss them.

  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    An MMORPG should be populated. I really hate when I play a fresh MMO and there are only 5-10 people in every region. or just a bounch of 30 players in a city. SO The community is one of the most important things. Tasks and activiteis can be implemented by devs but also a guild can organize events weekly. The prob is if you don't have people around the world it going to be annoying fast. No people around = emptiness. As the same time I hope to see lots of Humanoid Npc populating every region. I like to immerse myself in a game and feel like I'm living a new life. This can be done only if the game is alive (people and npcs doing tasks around).

  • TF#3 - ENVOY

    I think, I keep playing on the same MMO because I have peoples to play with. And the second reason is I prefer play a game when I like my character.

    I go on a game the first time if I feel I will like the gameplay and maybe the story/ background.
    I still play if there are things to do on tne game, littles tasks or a big task to work on. (both is better).
    little rewards are a way to custom and have a better character, it helps loving our character and i think it's important.
    Thanks 😜


    For me the game has to have a pleasing aesthetic and an interesting background story. That will get me playing. Then to keep me it needs more sandbox elements than not, and absolutely must not devolve into a stupid endless grind for gear. Grind gear which is needed to go to the next area, where you guessed it, you need to grind for more gear. That get me to quit pretty quick. Finally, a solid community will keep me around.


    Its seem fun to me can't wait to start


    @kellewic thank you for your input kellewic. I forget that other people have different goals and I think having those long and short term goals for many different amounts of the game would help to bring in and retain many people.

    I will say that I don't do the same thing Everytime I play a game and sometimes you need a break without the dreaded sit in town staring at the sky attitude.


    @maethor so you like goals that you can contribute to on your short spare time? I like this as you can do this daily, not the same thing but have some contribute to a larger goal over time. Not just daily daily, but a daily goal for a weekly, monthly cause.

    I think they need to get away from weekly grind this kill this objectives. Something else like, help a friend complete an objective. Gain knowledge in your lowest skills etc


    @esoba I can agree with this as well. No one wants to just continuously play for the same purpose and this goes back to dailies and how that system is flawed to mundaneness. There has to be enough bredth to the game to allow the players to make a culture of adventure and play style.

    Eve I think is both a hit and miss. People are aware of how to play the game, but also they are aware of how not to play the game, by sitting in stations, docked, never to experience any game at all.


    @Mrchipps The most important thing for me is to be a part of an active community that love playing and hanging out in the game.

    Also, even in a more sandbox mmo, i really like when there is some sort of group activity that can focus on and have a great feeling of accomplishment.

    And finaly, the feeling of progression or that what you do in game really matter is also something that is really important to me and that can keep me hang on a game.


    @finland yeah i only know this feeling. No world feels alive when you see no one living in it. The world would feel empty too if you only ran into another player one every month. I hate this feeling and really like to be able to contribute and be with others on a community goal


    Long term progression
    hard core enviroment
    Ability to reach top goals even by yourself if you enought determined

    Also very important the ability to create your own game feature, for example in eve i was a politician/spy wich is not a game feature...


    To be able to play the game long term without getting bored (for me at least):

    1. one must have friends

    2. one must have enemies

    3. game should provide multiple PvP options (GvG, sieges, open world mini games and other types of solo and group PvP contests, etc.)

    4. PvP ranking systems for solo players and for guilds

    5. guild ownership over world objectives (bragging rights) which can change when challenged in PvP by other guilds

    6. skill should be more important than gear and SKILL CEILING should be placed extremely high (offers long term progression that is not limited by other game content)

    Take a special note on point 6. Many dev studios miss this one, and their game gets boring very soon. Make skill more important then gear and put skill ceiling very high (like original TSW did) and you will get a game that offers a long term progress to it's player base not dependent on content, but just on players spending time in game and playing, getting better.

    If you put skill ceiling low, you are just shooting your MMO in the head.


    @gothix said in The psychology of gaming:

    1. skill should be more important than gear and SKILL CEILING should be placed extremely high (offers long term progression that is not limited by other game content)

    How exactly does one intentionally place a skill ceiling?

    Most competitive game metas are founded upon things the developers didn't and can't foresee, and even though they have a "centralized" community, MMO admins are often completely careless and don't punish obvious cheaters (using disconnect exploits & memory editors) let alone users of questionable but wholly ingame exploits.

    Grand Chase for instance had this ridiculous system where lag was never in your favor unless you were performing a throw. Then it was. The meta essentially boiled down to knowing your lag between your opponent so you could know where each other's "ghosts" were and try to guess where their actual character was. It was practically a multiplayer time travel fighter.

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