Here’s a good question, posted this week on Keen and Graev’s blog: Why do you play MMORPGs?
I enjoy the persistent worlds. I like being able to step into a persistent world where people are bustling about 24 hours a day. Your character is right where you left them but the world may change at any time.
I like quests, some more than others. The more variety in types of quests that are available, the happier I am. I enjoy quest chains as long as a solo quest chain does not suddenly become a group only accomplishment at the end of the chain.
Dungeons are a hoot, and they help me learn my class and skills in a hurry, and it is easy to see what the other classes are capable of. I feel that they also let me compare my playing skills with those of other players, and with the exception of a few classes (rogue, shaman, ack) I play them uniformly well within these groups and I feel accomplished. Despite the fact that my characters are always female, I get called “bro” which lets me know I’m playing well enough that I am assumed to be a guy. And thus worthy of dungeon play.
I love crafting, and playing with others means I get to make things that will be useful to other people. I play every craft with my WOW characters and in my guild, I can fill in and make available high quality and cool stuff maybe others aren’t interested in gaining the skills to make. I’m highly motivated to find recipes and materials for things that I can pass on to make play for others more fun.
Guild chat is nice, especially in our small family guild. My sister pops in and asks me questions or fills me in on things, forget texting, just bring up your questing character and chat away while having fun.
World chat is sort of like a generalized guild chat in games or servers where I haven’t any guild mates. I sometimes watch it to see what people think of ongoing or upcoming game changes. I’m happy anytime I can answer a question for someone, especially when some of the goofs in general chat say “look on the web”.
You can usually have small goals or larger ones so you can pop in and play a long or short time and you’ve accomplished something.
I love exploration so having large virtual worlds full of adventure available with new content added periodically is wonderful.
Gathering resources and recipes as I’m out adventuring is a real treat and treasure hunt.
The story doesn’t come to an end with a gap of several years waiting for a potential sequel in the same world.