Juggling MMOs

Juggalo MMOs is a topic for another day

MMO Gamer Chick laments that she has extreme difficulty in juggling more than one online RPG — to the point where she simply has to make a decision which game she’s going to play that month.

I feel her pain.  I do.  Some people seem to have the ability, time and money to float between dozens of MMORPGs while others of us have just our One Game that we cling to tighter than a shipwreck survivor to a piece of jetsam.  I’m kind of in the middle here: I don’t really have a lot of spare time or money to be engaged in more than one title, and yet I’m too curious of a gamer to stay just in one MMO world all the time.  I like to experience the full variety of flavors, and it helps me to avoid burnout by sinking all of my gaming time into just one title.

So.  Time.  Money.  Variety.  All factors that swirl about when you want to play more than you can.  It’s certainly nice to have the convenience to play an hour of WoW here and an hour of STO there, or to have a “Fallen Earth Night” and just spend the whole evening questing and crafting.  But three subscriptions adds up — that’s $45 a month, my friends.  I have a hard time justifying that to my wallet, when I could be playing just one game for the same amount of hours for $15, while just losing access to the other two titles.

One solution is to expand  your MMO diet to include free-to-play and freemium MMOs that don’t charge by the month.  Guild Wars, Allods and DDO all sit on my desktop, happy to receive my attention when they get it, but perfectly fine — and not charging me a dime — whether or not I play.  That solves the “money” problem.

What about the “time” issue?  When I’m dealing with multiple MMOs, there’s always a danger that I’ll get sucked so much into one that I’ll neglect the others entirely.  I guess at that point you could always unsubscribe to the others, but my interest grows and wanes like the tides, and I would hate to let the other ones slip.  So a solution to that would be to create a schedule of sorts — to divvy up your evenings into hour blocks, for example, and play three different MMOs for one hour apiece.  Or to extend that to evenings: I’ve thought of doing a Monday/Wednesday WoW night, Tuesday/Saturday Fallen Earth, Wednesday/Friday STO and make Sunday a free-for-all evening.  Some people extend this even further and just switch their MMOs on a monthly basis, based on what they’re in the mood for.

The biggest problem of juggling games, in my opinion, is that for every additional game you heap on the pile, you’re reducing time spent with friends and guildies of Game X.  Right now, I belong to three different guilds in three different games, and I have friends in each.  If I go too long without popping my head in, I become a stranger and miss out on opportunities to hang out with and enjoy the company of these people.

I’d love to hear from those of you who do juggle more than one MMO — how do you handle it and what approach do you take?

19 thoughts on “Juggling MMOs

  1. We Fly Spitfires February 10, 2010 / 9:04 am

    I try to juggle MMOs and there have been times when I’ve had 3 open subscriptions to different games but the problem is that I always end up preferring one over the others. I just can’t give my attention to more than 1 game at a time, unfortunately 😦

  2. Aillas February 10, 2010 / 9:58 am

    I limit myself to 2 paid subscriptions, and try to divide that between one fantasy and one sci-fi MMO (but that hasn’t always held true). Right now the fantasy MMO I play is WoW, and I recently unsubbed EVE and took up Fallen Earth in its place. However, I am able to squeeze in a few more titles because there is no monthly charge: Guild Wars, LoTRO (I have a lifetime sub!).

  3. David February 10, 2010 / 10:10 am

    I’m the same. I tried the EQ2/LotRO nights etc but get so enthusiastic about EQ2 that I really want to keep going and skip LotRO for a while.

    Then I get excited for Dragon Age or a replay of Fallout or Oblivion and the schedule really goes to seed.

    So now I just have a couple I enjoy playing and keep the subs up on both, even when I am enthused for one over the other or playing the latest single player game.

    So I’m kind of like a serial monogamist.

  4. Ethic February 10, 2010 / 10:14 am

    Last night I played Champions Online followed by Age of Conan and then Lord of the Rings Online and finally a little Fallen Earth.

    I’m dabbling in all of them looking for some sort of hook pulling me into just one of them.

  5. theerivs February 10, 2010 / 10:27 am

    I limit myself to 2 as well. WoW, and STO currently. Since I’m just leveling up in STO, I take an hour or so to play, then check in with WoW for about an hour.

  6. Fuzzy February 10, 2010 / 10:52 am

    I try to limit myself to one paid subscription (currently, LOTRO), though I still have a one-year subscription to Wizard 101 sitting around.

    However, I have no problem flirting with any MMO beta that happens to come along. *hopes he gets a LEGO invite*

    Just like relationships in real life, right? 😉

  7. moxie February 10, 2010 / 11:00 am

    I have a similar problem, except that I play only one game but have 2 different servers and am considering adding a third! Same problems apply though as far as wanting to spend time with all my friends and not miss out on anything. Right now I’m using the seasonal events to my advantage, log on one place, do dailies/event stuff, log on to different server, do the same, etc.

    It’s fine for now but I think it may cause problems when Cataclysm comes out.

  8. Genda February 10, 2010 / 11:07 am

    I used to sub to multiple MMO’s, but I enjoy the regular fellowship with my guildies and don’t like being “mmo-promiscuous” So I tend to be more like the human norm and resort to serial monogamy.

    Right now it’s WoW, although I’ll try new things when they come out (CO, FE) it’s going to take something grabbing me to get me to stay.

    I am getting more difficult to trick though (after 10 years, go me) so I’m not falling for Cryptic, SOE, or other games from other publishers because I know in the end they are going to break my heart if I let them.

    I’m hoping that something over the next couple of years yanks me away from WoW to stay but to date I haven’t seen anything that I would want to make my new “virtual home.”

  9. Rog February 10, 2010 / 11:21 am

    I don’t like juggling multiple games of the same genre, although sub-genres can help.

    If I’m playing more than one RPG, I’m constantly thinking about which one to drop.

  10. JoBildo February 10, 2010 / 12:26 pm

    I’m not a violent person, but I have an unfathomable desire to emphatically destroy all the people in that picture.

  11. spinks February 10, 2010 / 12:35 pm

    I am really struggling with this at the moment. I have WoW which is more of a team sport than a game (cos I have weekly raids with my friends and guildies), then LOTRO which I play sometimes with my sister and am really liking the Mirkwood quests and skirmishes, and STO — which I like more than I had expected.

    And I don’t want to drop any of them, but I don’t spend much time playing the latter two. I think I’ll just convince myself that it’s still cheap entertainment compared to some of the crazy stuff my beloved buys for his band and try to stop worrying about it for now.

  12. Alcasm February 10, 2010 / 2:02 pm

    I’ve juggled multiple MMOs quite frequently in the past (rarely more than 2 at a time though) but since getting into LotRO in a big way last year I have been reticent to get into anything else. However, I recently purchased a lifetime subscription to LotRO (because my 4 month “free ride” had come to an end) and despite it being such a large chunk of change it has made me more open to the idea of exploring other MMOs alongside LotRO.

    Of course, I’m a big single player gamer too so I’ll always have that to distract me but I still want to explore other MMOs all the same. I thought perhaps that STO would be my new distraction but that hasn’t panned out (just finished formatting my computer and am in the middle of installing and updating things, don’t even think I’ll reinstall STO and play out the rest of the month honestly). It has, however, made me entertain the notion of resubbing to EVE Online as I have many fond memories of that game (slightly rose-coloured memories I’m sure). Or perhaps I’ll give Fallen Earth a go, you’ve certainly made a powerful case for that one, Syp. 😉

  13. sente February 10, 2010 / 3:04 pm

    I have played multiple MMOs for years now. There is probably always someone that gets more attention and time than the others, but which one that is varies over time and can go back and forth.

    This also means though that I tend to favor games that I do not have to spend 2-3+ hours in a session to have anything done.

    Some of the people I play with I have contact with outside of the game itself and some also shift between the same games.

    The money part is not a big issue, but I do revise my spending from time to time and cancel subscriptions for subscription-based games that have not been played for a while.

  14. Blue Kae February 10, 2010 / 3:16 pm

    For most of 2008 and 2009, I was juggling two MMOs: LotRO and EVE. Having one game in the fantasy/themepark and one in the scifi/sandbox genre, I never consciously tried to schedule my playing time, I just logged into whatever I felt like playing when I sat down at my computer.

    Now though, I have four games: LotRO, EVE, Champions, Star Trek. This seems to be one game too many, and I thin EVE is going to get dropped. The other three are all different genres so I’m going to stick with my play-by-mood approach, with the exception that I’m finally in a good kinship on LotRO so there’s some new social pressures there that I’ve not dealt with in a long time (since I played DAoC).

  15. Anjin February 10, 2010 / 4:08 pm

    I’m a one-at-a-time MMO gamer. I flit from game to game as the mood strikes me. And since I don’t make friends, there are no strings attaching me to a particular game. Anti-social FTW!

  16. mmogamerchick February 10, 2010 / 5:22 pm

    You know, I’m usually a great multi-tasker in real life, but that skill doesn’t transfer to my MMO playing, apparently 😛

    The most I’ve ever managed to juggle is three MMOs at once, and I was terrible at all three. To get the most of a game, I really have to single one out to give it my undivided attention.

    Anyway, thanks for reading, glad to see I’m not the only one feeling the pains of juggling 🙂

  17. Dblade February 10, 2010 / 8:07 pm

    I play two, but i think the key is not to be in organized raiding. Play when you want, and leave when you want. It’s much easier to have time to play then.

  18. Xapur February 11, 2010 / 8:53 am

    I used to play two games at the same time but now I play LOTRO, being a member of a guild, and from time to time I like to play DDO, which I find perfect for a casual player – and free now !- without a guild (solo or PUG). That prevents me from burnout…
    I hardly managed not to begin to play Aion as two subscriptions seemed too much for me, and Angmar is waiting for me !
    Like you, I was beginning to think about a schedule for my evenings, as I have a long list of DVD or TV series to watch. Each time I look at it, I say to myself “let’s play tonight and watch a movie tomorrow”… Doesn’t work so well^^

  19. Drew February 11, 2010 / 9:43 am

    I think I’m a lot like Spinks in that I have my “team sport” game – WoW – where guild raids are basically all I do there.

    Then I have Fallen Earth which is my “me” game. I don’t have any guild ties, I just wander around doing what I want and have a good time with it.

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