Shelf-Life of an MMORPG

561 wc

“Remember when we used to talk about Three-Monthers? Ah, those were the days!” -Bhagpuss

That quote from Inventory Full made me chuckle, because I had recently been thinking that it took me precisely three weeks to play through the Stormblood expansion story. And that was going slow, recording everything, talking to everyone around the quest givers, and reading all of the unvoiced text out loud for the video. I could not possibly have done it any slower.

As I’m writing this post, it is Monday, the fourth weekiversary after I started the Stormblood Main Scenario Quest, and I feel like I’m rather close to being “done” with the expansion until the next patch. I have but to log in and run daily roulettes to slowly build up my gear levels, or else turn to leveling alternative jobs (which I have already started).

I’ve done all the available level 70 dungeons (there are only three right now, but I assume over the next two years, if past performance is any indicator, that number will grow closer to fifteen or twenty). I’ve bought all the ilevel 310 gear with Tomestones of Verity. I hit the 450 weekly cap of Tomestones of Creation in like two days, so I’ll be filling in my accessories with 330 gear over the coming weeks. Thanks to the FC, I’ve been through the Omega raids V1.0-V4.0 and got some drops for 320 gear. (The raids are so familiar to the general player population now, two weeks later, that the first time I did it on Saturday, we only had 4 FC members and 4 random PUG members, and we got through all four of them on the first try, no wipes.)

The only things I haven’t completed yet are the two Extreme trials and Omega Savage. (That I know of, at least.) I would enjoy doing those eventually, but I don’t feel any compelling need to do them. (I was in an FC group that attempted Lakshmi Extreme but we didn’t finish it. It’s just a matter of time though. I’ll probably do that this coming weekend.) I’m not the kind of player who has an overwhelming compulsion to get all of the best-in-slot gear. I just want good enough gear that I can see everything in the game that I want to see (it’s a bonus if the gear kind of matches and looks cool), and I’m pretty close to that. (My Bard item level is 306 right now, and I think the maximum gear is 330.)

So it seems like the target amount of new content produced in any MMORPG release is roughly one month of new experiences for casual players, followed by infinite months of repeated daily content grind. And if you’re a dedicated overachiever, far less than that. I remember seeing people in the FC capping out after a week or two, and that was after early release launch issues put everybody behind a couple of days.

The days of getting three solid months out of a new MMORPG release seems like a lifetime ago. As Bhagpuss documented, it’s a good thing there are so many MMORPGs now that we can bounce from one to the next to keep ourselves entertained year-round. (Unfortunately most aren’t up to the quality of a AAA game, which means you can measure their shelf-life in days, not weeks.)

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