Breaking up with a great game

Occasionally I'll go back into a multiplayer game I've been enjoying and find that an experience that had been smooth, effortless and fun is now clunky and unsatisfying. When I get that feeling I know my time with the game is over. I may try to play it a few times in the future but I won't get back into it. In most cases I'm fine with this. I've had a great time and there are other games to move onto but sometimes things don't work out so smoothly.

Luckily, I've never had a games multiplayer servers shut down on me or had a game changed in a way that I could no longer play it but I have dropped out of playing a game early in it's life (Phantasy Star Online) and then, with the Dreamcast gone, had a crazy nostalgia for the game and a desire to go back in but no way to do it (I think it was on PC but I've always been on Macs.) I've also lost interest in a game that I absolutely loved for years and stopped playing, wondering later, if I'd just made a bit more effort, I could have carried on playing and having fun.

There are also those rare games that you leave behind for the good of your job/life. WoW fell into that category for me just because I lacked the will power to play it in moderation. Self control wise I'm all or nothing. With WoW it had to be nothing. Although, if I'm honest, I have occasionally popped back in on a ten day trial just to be in that world again for a while. I have no desire to play it full time. Thankfully.

What are your experiences?

City of Heroes.

The magic hasn't been there in a long time. I was paying every month to keep my characters active and earn more veteran/reward points. But the last time I really played the game hard, I would also fall asleep doing the command chains that made up combo attacks.

I really did doze off and continue tanking, even pressing 1 3 7 4 5 6 in my sleep. Nobody knew.

I'm getting my feet wet with live theater on both sides of the stage. I'm making friends in the Real World for the first time in ten years. I have no problem scheduling those interactions around a 40 hour work week and a family.

The thought of turning a video game into the same chore is horrifying. I don't want the fights that come with joining many role playing communities. Nor do I want to make online friends and let them down when real life gave me too many chores and the game just feels like another one. At least I'll look back to say "I made them laugh" instead of "they said they lol'd."

I've broken up with multiple MMOs, but that's usually because I found something else I'd rather play or plain grew bored with them. I did really get into Tabula Rasa shortly before it shut down; it really sucked that they shut it down completely instead of trying a different business model.

I've also broken up with TF2 for a variety of reasons. Their reaction to the idle program bugged me, but I could live with it. The in-game store and the crate/key thing bugged me a lot more. By that point I had put hundreds of (actual gameplay) hours into it and also had a huge pile of single-player games I'd been neglecting, so I uninstalled TF2 and worked on my pile.

Left4Dead is still fun, but versus has lost its appeal for me. I'd like an infected co-op mode, or maybe have the survivors in versus respawn in closets until they can get to the safe-room, and base the score on how many times they died. That would pose a whole different set of problems though, particularly if the survivors are outmatched and can't make any progress before getting wiped out.

DayZ and I are on a break until it does something about it's hacker problem.

Stengah wrote:

I've broken up with multiple MMOs, but that's usually because I found something else I'd rather play or plain grew bored with them. I did really get into Tabula Rasa shortly before it shut down; it really sucked that they shut it down completely instead of trying a different business model.

They shut down because they had no good content after level 25

As for breaking up with games... so many. Lot of them are because i found what i was looking for in a more up to date game with better graphics. Others because i grew to hate (looking at you Vanguard), and some kept getting kicked down and beat no matter how good i was to it (SWG).

When I leave a game I loved, I don't get sad because it's over. I smile because it happened.

ranalin wrote:
Stengah wrote:

I've broken up with multiple MMOs, but that's usually because I found something else I'd rather play or plain grew bored with them. I did really get into Tabula Rasa shortly before it shut down; it really sucked that they shut it down completely instead of trying a different business model.

They shut down because they had no good content after level 25 ;)

I was up to the mid 30's when they shut it down and was still having a lot of fun.

Budo wrote:

When I leave a game I loved, I don't get sad because it's over. I smile because it happened.

The thing I see in this thread is mostly about multiplayer or MMO games, where it's not so much about the story pulling you through the gameplay, and that gameplay may be fun repetition gameplay core. I suppose with MP/MMOs it would be about the other factors diminishing that core.

To provide a single-player example and drag the perpetual forum war into yet another thread, I'd say the (original) Mass Effect 3 ending caused me to break up with the whole series. I liked the games, played through them many times for a whole load of reasons, but that ending just shattered any motivation I had to do it again in future.

Two that come to mind:

L4D SERIES
I'll admit to being part of those that thought L4D2 came too soon, wearing out the novelty of the game. And in that quick time span, I must've played hundreds of hours, and quickly found my friends to be migrating to other games and activities. I regularly handle pubbies in TF2, but a game with pubs in L4D is a horrible experience. Trying to join a decent game is nigh-impossible. I've never played COD or Halo multiplayer so I've never experienced the cliché of 12yr olds calling everybody a Certis is awesome. L4D series finally brought me to that experience, and it is one I'll probably never return to. If a 3 releases, I'll think about it, but it isn't likely.

FINAL FANTASY SERIES
Single player, but applies. My first experience to this franchise was FF4, with Cecil, Kain, Rosa, Golbez, Rydia and everyone. IT blew me away. Then I played FF6, and found my calling. This game was, with all its flaws, simply perfect. It widened my horizon. It gave me new thrills, and helped me discover new things, like a love for classical musical. It was the first time I could actually relate to characters in a videogame, and feel for them. It's graphical simplicity forced my imagination to fill in blanks. Life experiences with emotions would translate into tone when I read text after text of story and character development. It was the pinnacle of the franchise, and the best in the series for me. FF7 came out, and while I loved every single minute of its convoluted story, excellent soundtrack, everything...I just knew this was to be the beginning of the end. Iteration after iteration just kept on piling up on the flaws, and it eventually became from a genre-specific-less RPG, to the pink hair, stupid clothes, androgynous 16 yr old, angsty, emo crossdressers fighting with car-sized weapons. White and Black became washed-bright and pitch-dark. Bad guys were only bad guys because being bad is cool. No motivations. No middle ground. No character development. No growth. Every canon numbered title that releases, feels like watching an ex-girlfriend making out with a disease ridden hobo. You don't love her anymore, but that doesn't mean you want to see her keep digging her cave that badly.

Definitely happened with WoW.

The first sign was guild hopping. After spending months, maybe even a full year in one particular guild during Burning Crusade, everything went to sh*t when the GM started hounding one of the members and even indulged in a bit of power abuse. Most of the other senior officers, myself included, left. I was invited to a spanish guild by one of the old officers, and I ran Karazhan with them for a while.

Then that guild split up, or I left, or something. I joined some other officers from the BC guild, and we hemorrhaged members throughout WotLK until there was only about 6 people and their alts. We divvied up the Guild Bank contents and disbanded. I was guildless again.

It was around this time that I got my gaming desktop, and discovered Steam's treasure trove of now-playable games. I found myself setting WoW aside more and more often. Then, months before Cataclysm, I cancelled my subscription.

I went back for two months after Cata launched. I bought the expansion and tried to make it work, but I didn't love WoW anymore.

Sometimes I'll hop onto my free2play account and mess around for a few hours, but I don't think I'll ever subscribe again. It was fun while it lasted.

World in Conflict. I loved the crap out of that game and played it from the Alpha all the way till release and beyond. It was a pretty amazing game and still is. But I eventually left it because it just got too repetitive and the team stacking really wrecked it towards the end. If they make a World in Conflict 2, I'm so there!

This is a great thread, I'd have chimed in sooner but I had to work all weekend. MMO's are what I immediately thought of when I saw the title. My first love was Ultima Online, and man I loved that game til the big split into Felucca/Trammel fractions, one dimension allowed pvp and the other was considered "carebear". Up til that point, folks who disliked pvp were obliged to make friends with pvp'ers for protection. In those days I was a pvp'er, but once the split happened, most of my friends went to the peaceful side and the game lost its luster for good.

WoW was my next big thing, and in the early days -before Battlegrounds even- we would get big groups of people on either faction and have giant battles in the fields of Azeroth. Battlegrounds squelched that fun, because most people wanted to get their honor points in regular doses. The first expansion Burning Crusade spread out the population too much, and it went downhill from there. I came back for Lich King and Cataclysm just to check things out, but by Cataclysm things had changed so much I had nothing to attach my old memories to anymore.

A game I'm thinking of breaking up with? SKYRIM.

Thing is, we just started dating last week-- I was late to the party, working on loads of other stuff this past year and I KNEW I wouldn't have time for a relationship.

Okay... enough with that whole dating conceit.

Seeing as I'm currently on summer vacation, I tracked down a used copy last week... spent the better part of 3 days this past week doing little BUT playing the game. Up to level 15 at this point, and I am seriously thinking about just destroying the disc for fear it will consume my soul. Not only is it a massive time-sink, but I'm finding myself feeling physically ILL after playing (blame it on the FPS motion sickness issue, I guess). I put over 200 or so hours into FALLOUT 3 and NEW VEGAS, but I'm starting to think I'm just getting... dare I say? Too OLD for this sh*t.

SommerMatt wrote:

I'm starting to think I'm just getting... dare I say? Too OLD for this sh*t.

I'm seriously considering breaking up with a great pile for the very same reasons.

Between raising the kids full time, returning to study for a career change, and trying to squeeze in a few hours of freelance to keep our heads above water, I can sometimes 'think' about starting a game at around 10.30 at night?!?!

Any playtime is then at the detriment of sleep. I loved Oblivion, but Skyrim would surely kill me. I also have some big JRPGs staring down the barrel at me. The majority of my gaming at present is async iOS with Goodjers.

SommerMatt wrote:

Not only is it a massive time-sink, but I'm finding myself feeling physically ILL after playing (blame it on the FPS motion sickness issue, I guess). I put over 200 or so hours into FALLOUT 3 and NEW VEGAS, but I'm starting to think I'm just getting... dare I say? Too OLD for this sh*t.

I don't think I'm too old for long games, I'm too old for games that take a long time going over the same old sh*t you find in other games like a routine. For a long game to hold my attention it has to be novel and fun. I don't care if it's got hundreds of hours of playtime if I'm going to be trudging through waiting for the fun to start.

SommerMatt wrote:

Not only is it a massive time-sink, but I'm finding myself feeling physically ILL after playing (blame it on the FPS motion sickness issue, I guess). I put over 200 or so hours into FALLOUT 3 and NEW VEGAS, but I'm starting to think I'm just getting... dare I say? Too OLD for this sh*t.

I'm finding, if I have a weekend off from a game like Battlefield 3, I have more energy that if I play the game a ton over those two days. I'm really noticing how much games take out of me. I just have to ration myself although it's hard not to think free time = game until you drop.

More and more I don't buy games unless I deem them a must play (I used to try to play everything that even slightly appealed to me and that had a decent review.)

I'm torn on Skyrim. I do want to play it but I know it would suck up a lot of spare time when I should be doing something more productive.

I'm not willing to admit that I'm over Left 4 Dead 2 even though we're not on speaking terms anymore. I keep thinking the magic of yesteryear will strike again sometime.