[Question of the Day] How do new single player games affect your MMO playing?

As everyone who isn’t living in a hole knows, Mass Effect 3 is due to be released next week. I have never had much success with getting into the ME games, but for those of you who are, I’m imagining other gaming will be on hold until it’s finished?

My personal pattern with single player games tends to be that if it’s one I really really want then I buy it at launch (full price) and play exclusively until I’m done. Otherwise if it’s just one I mildly might want then I wait a few months until it’s half price to try it out, and then if it grabs me it’ll take all my time up then. Clearly neither of these patterns leave much time for playing MMOs, so in the past I’ve tended to stick with pre-organised raid or guild nights but otherwise disappear for a bout of single player fun instead. Or in other words, the single player game takes up the time in which I would otherwise be noodling around in the MMO, chatting, running instances with guild and generally socialising in game and getting on with stuff. (Unlike Syp, I don’t generally play more than one MMO at a time.)

For me, this isn’t that common. Many of the single player games I buy are casual games anyway, the big budget AAA ones on my personal to-get list are quite few.

How about you? Do you disappear from your MMO of choice several times a year to catch up with new releases? How does your guild cope when a really popular game like ME3 is released? Or is your MMO guild mostly made up of people who don’t have much interest in single player games?

14 thoughts on “[Question of the Day] How do new single player games affect your MMO playing?

  1. I probably will disappear from SWTOR for ME3. Major Bioware releases seem to be the only singleplayer games that really pull me in and don’t let me go until they’re done. But as I have no interest in the multiplayer part of ME3, and don’t expect it to be longer than 20-30 hours of gameplay, my break shouldn’t be too long.

    I must admit, almost ashamed, that lately I have fallen just a little bit in love with casual time-management games over at Bigfish Games. They hit the spot between strategy games and more limiting Facebook games for me, and I can play them on the side along with MMOs, for like 30 minutes to an hour at a time. The AAA games don’t interest me as much as those little 6.99 games anymore. It still boggles my mind that this happened to my gaming style.

  2. I was thinking of the contrast between Blizzard and Bioware. Wasn’t it nearly six years from the launch of WoW until there was another Blizzard game, sure there is probably not much overlap between WoW and SC2 but there is plenty of Blizzard fans that play all their games. Same deal with Bioware, I wonder the proportion of their fans that play every single one of their games no matter the genre/setting. Diablo 3 is going to have a big impact on playing time for WoW, but that’s ok because it is currently in a lull until the next expansion. ME3 comes just a few months after the launch of SWTOR, hard to say what the impact will be, but I suspect it might be a longer lasting effect because SWTOR is just becoming established.

    • I imagine Bioware are planning to have a content update for SWTOR that should offer something for people to come back to after they’re done with ME3. (At least, that’s what I would do if I was them.)

  3. These days, it’s the other way around. I barely play MMOs now, mostly due to everything being same ol’ same ol’ (level up, gear up, grind 3 instances for more gear until level cap increase, repeat). Due to my job playing with a regular guild is impossible so I rely on randoms, which is unsatisfying too often in the traditional Trinity-based MMOs.

    I can have much more fun and there’s so much more variety of non-MMO games out there. Other than RPGs, which are pretty much always single-player, I tend to get games that have a strong co-op or multi-player aspect also, so I can jump into online games with friends or strangers and just have fun in a lower pressure environment.

    • I have a theory that a lot of players are now effectively playing MMOs as if they were a succession of single player games (with team aspects), dropping in for new content and then wandering off to play new content in other games, rather than taking the “this is my home! I will stay here through thick and thin” approach.

      (My excuse is that MMOs stiffed me first by not ever making my warrior be the best tank or dps, no matter how long I held out 😛 )

  4. When I was still raiding I found that new releases dramatically cut in on all the extra things I would do while playing WoW. It would stop me from maximizing my frost badges/valor points a week, from doing Wintergrasp or Tol Barad and largely from PvP in general. If I had raiding though I would still make it for those.

    For MMO’s that I am not raiding in it really becomes hit and miss. I stopped playing Rift when Skyrim came out. Coupled that with Swtor release and I haven’t really played Rift in 3 months even though I have an active subcription. Though at the same time I was playing Swtor and Skyrim I continued to play World of Tanks.

    I expect when I pick up ME3 I will continue with both League of Legends and WoT. The other game I keep coming back to even though it isn’t an MMO is the Sims 3. I don’t know why but I keep wanting to play out new stories or play around with the create a sim.

  5. If you only play for 20-30 hours in a game like ME3 then don’t even bother buying it at launch. These games are built for much longer than that. And while I never got that much into COD/BF/Halo the MP of ME is actually fun and since it ties into the single player game it offers a unique extra thing to do.

    In the past when I played MMO’s not only I but many in the guilds I belonged to would be missing for about a month or so. It was so predictable that raids and progression was modified to fit people playing the new game. A rush before release then maybe one night a week for the next month.

  6. I play a lot of games in a very scattered pattern. I’m in the middle of… let’s see… 5 MMOs, 1 DS RPG and 4 other console RPGs. That’s not even counting other games I pick up and tinker with, never quite finishing but hoping to someday play more. There’s probably two dozen of those at any given time. I just don’t play *any* game monogamously. That’s part of why the subscription model is such an atrocious fit for my schedule, and why I’m very happy with MMOs like STO, Puzzle Pirates and Wizard 101 where I can just jump in and play when I feel like it without a cover charge.

  7. I don’t really play any other video games than MMOs. The last one I bought was Dragon Age, which I got half-way through and abandoned. I bought KotOR years ago but it sits on a shelf still in its unbroken wrapper. Before that I don’t think I had bought one since NeverWinter Nights 1 and I never played the offline part of that at all, just made scenarios and played on a quasi-MMO world server for a few months.

    I did re-buy Broken Sword for my ipod touch about eighteen months ago and i think I may be about 20% through it!

    Since I first played Everquest I really haven’t been able to see the point of playing anything that doesn’t happen in a shared environment with at least a few hundred other people. I’m aware that nothing I’m doing matters in either case, but offline it seems to not matter to the point of not being worth bothering with at all.

    And having said all that, I still keep getting the urge to try both Skyrim and Kingdoms of Amalur, even though I am 99% certain that I would play either for no more than a few days and end up regretting the money I’d spent.

  8. All depends on whether I’m currently also invested in an MMO or not. =) I completely abandoned my console gaming passion during WoW. only when it stopped being much fun and I gradually played less and then stopped, I found back to single-player games on Xbox and PC. Right now, I will pick one up every other month maybe, I’ve generally gotten pickier.

    I wonder though, would the same happen again if a new, smashing MMORPG came along? I don’t know, somehow I think WoW was unique that way – maybe it’s simply because I am older now. we’ll see what happens after GW2 launched, hehe.

  9. Yes.

    If I’m not playing a game that I want to play because of some MMO committment, than that MMO has stopped being a game and started being a job. And this is terrible.

  10. I’m withBhagpuss on this. Since I started playing MMOs, I have stopped playing single-player games. I might be interested in some heavily story-driven games or certain – very specific – IPs, but I don’t see either on the horizon any time soon, so I’ll just stick with SW:TOR for now.

  11. I’ve mostly given up on console / pc gaming in favour of MMOs, though I generally have at least two on the go at once. My main game I’ll guild up and do group content, my backup game I play mostly solo. Regardless of the amount I group, single player RPGs seem lifeless to me, there’s no chance of random RP encounters in them.

  12. I don’t really play much single player games, neither on console nor on PC. I have The Longest Journey and Mass Effect (yes, the first one) that are ongoing, but time for those are just scattered around a bit, with long breaks between sessions. If there is single player game time, that is more typically shorter sessions on the phone.

    PC gaming is almost exclusively MMO-type games and has been for a very long time – never have been much of a gamer on the PC anyway.

    Console gaming tends to mostly be games where there are a few of us that can play together in some way.

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