Posted in Lord of the Rings Online

When you’re not playing the new expansion that your MMO just launched

I always assumed, like probably most people, that if you’ve been playing an MMORPG for a good length of time and it pops out an expansion, then you’re going to pick that up right away. It’s almost unthinkable not to, I felt. Otherwise, how can you bear the psychological torment of logging in to see all of your friends and guildies enjoying the new pack — and you’re stuck in older areas, unable to advance?

The FOMO might kill you on the spot.

That’s not how I feel any more, though. Haven’t really felt like that for some time now. Oh, I love me a really good expansion launch. It’s just that I have to be in the right place to want to and be able to play it, and that’s not always the case — even if that MMO is my current main game. I may be a couple of expansions behind, and there’s no sense dropping money now for something I won’t be able to access for a few months yet. I may have doubts I’ll still BE in the game when the expansion releases (Syp quietly dusts all of those “can’t wait to buy ffxiv endwalker later this year” posts underneath the bed).

Maybe I don’t have the money or still have so much OTHER content to do that it feels irresponsible to buy the latest thing until all of the older stuff is done first. I haven’t gotten ESO’s Blackwood yet because I’m not yet done with everything else. Until I finish up all of the zones I own, I’m not going to be paying for more.

There may even be other scenarios at play. In LOTRO, for example, Fate of Gundabad came out last week, but it’s a high-level expansion and right now I’m puttering about as a lowbie in the content-locked Treebeard server. There isn’t much FOMO to be had, because everyone on my server can’t play it anyway (other than rolling up a Brawler). I’m happy for those who are getting the expansion and having a good time, but I’m not there yet.

And I’ve also come to realize that for the player who is behind in content and willing to wait to buy, often deals and even free expansions lurk in the future. I know some people holding off from buying FFXIV’s Shadowlands because they could get that for free when they bought Endwalker instead. Two for the price of one kind of thing.

Content is content, and as long as your MMO stays operational, that content will be waiting for you when you decide that it’s the right time to engage with it.

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