As with anything on Daedalus, one of their most recent articles was a fascinating exploration into the deeper psychology of playing an MMO. The article of fascination
this time deals with the player life cycle in an MMO like WoW, and indeed he primarily uses examples and quotations from WoW players to build his argument.
Daedalus believes that nearly every player will fit this cycle in one way or another, and each step in the cycle has some variables within it that seem to include the majority of the player populace
. For instance, when we first start playing the game, we begin for one of two reasons; either we are interested in exploring a new world on our own, or a friend introduced us to the game. Personally, I fall into the second category, as it was a dear friend that introduced me to the game. The general progression of the player life cycle and he sees it is this: entry, practice, mastery, burnout, recovery.
While I can admit that nearly every player will go through the first three steps, I wonder about the last two. Does every player burn out at some point during their play of the game? The article mentions burnout in various cases, grinding, social obligations, rerolling, so I suppose the answer is yes. I have myself gotten so tired of playing the same zones over and over that I run my new Blood Elves to Brill
just for a change of scenery. The trick I suppose is finding that hook that brings you back into the game, and usually that hook is friendship. For those tired of raiding, tired of responsibilities, just being able to spend time with those you have connected with in-game can be the true motivation to keep playing.
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves