Dev Discussion #8 - MMO "Stickiness"


Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!

Dev Discussion #8 - MMO "Stickiness"
What makes an MMO "sticky" for you? What keeps you coming back time after time?

Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding making new friends in an MMO!


  • lethalitylethality Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited August 2019
    For me, personally... I am driven to log in by the chance to make meaningful progress on some of my goals. Even if that means I have to transport 20 caravans of wood today so that I can build my Freehold tomorrow.

    What I don't do is chase little bits of "checklist" items, wether thats "login rewards" or even "visit every zone this week to get a reward" - that kind of stuff is not sticky content, it's repulsive ;)

  • SoulsOnFireSoulsOnFire Member, Settler
    edited August 2019
    The grind for that new, better looking skills. When you know that sad level 3 fireball is going to evolve into that nice looking level 4 fireball. After that, the joy of playing with the new shiny skill and before you know it... on the way to level 5 fireball!

    As Lethality said, the checklist items can get boring quick. Growth in skills, freehold, crafting, leveling, raiding,.. anything that can keep you in the game, is better than the daily login grind.
  • An engaging and active, friendly, and competitive community. I’ve always wondered what made any game fun and “sticky”, not just MMORPGs. For me, it wasn’t always about how the game looked or the combat, classes, quest or storyline, it was the community that always brought me back.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited August 2019
    Fun gameplay/rpg elements and in-game politics.

    Currently, the main reason i return to MMOs is because i like playing my characters in the game. A combination of liking how the game plays as well as the class/races in the game.

    For games where players could influence the world. I loved to watch as power shifted and different groups of players war with each other and take control of different areas. I love how dynamic it made the game feel as well as the power I felt as a player. It felt like if i put my mind to it, i could also make waves in the world.
  • A good story that I can truly immerse in always gets me. Tell it well and I'm yours.
    Exploration. A sense of discovery and beautiful landscapes to explore... attach lore to it and omg...
    Active, rewarding, and engaging PvP.
    Active and involved dev teams.
    Regular community events and activities.
  • HeartbeatHeartbeat Member, Founder
    edited August 2019
    Dev Discussion #8 - MMO "Stickiness"
    What makes an MMO "sticky" for you? What keeps you coming back time after time?

    Actually feeling like you have a place in the game and what you do matters, too many games just shove the player into the world and everyone is the same, being able to standout and be good at what you want your character to specialize in is big for most people I would think.

    Also GM/Dev transparency and involvement, hearing from and seeing GMs in-game or on the forums more than just whenever patch notes are posted is big and shows they actually care about their game and the players.
  • What keeps me coming to an MMORPG?
    There could be a lot of things but if I have to reduce them to one single part of the game I have to go with THE LORE everything has to do with it and it is the essence that keeps the wheel spinning, everything in the game, from a deep character to the spells, the items, the villains, the crafting, everything comes from the lore and then gives shape to the world and my adventures, as long the lore keeps going and makes a good interesting story I will keep coming back, specially if it goes far beyond an archetype of a story, take Dune or Game of Thrones or Darksouls or Bloodborne for example, I think that's the new kind of narrative that the people is expecting from the game, a history where nothing is good or bad, there's no a clear and cut line between black or white, the game that can achieve that type of narrative are the ones that catch you and make you feel there, because that's exactly how the people are and how we would deal with powers beyond us or we can get them, sure, someone could become a hero, but at what cost? Does the villain has always been bad? Maybe there are reasons for it and even the chance of redemption after all the death and chaos and destruction he/she has done...
    Maybe at the end the true essence of dark and light, even if they're condemned to fight each other for eternity, also happens to not be able to exist one without the other, otherwise they will bring the nothingness and that's the real enemy...
    Hehehehe sorry if it's a very long answer but this type of questions I really like to put a lot of effort on them, see you soon :#
  • I think that mainly the sense of involvement kept me sticking to mmo's through the past 11 or so years (wow 11 and BDO 2y)
    But what WOW failed at was to bring something new to the table, since it was always the same old, same old.
    BDO kept me hooked 24/7 simple because of involvement, the extreme combat mechanics and naturally my own love for the Maehwa.

    So i think it is about finding your perfect fit asap and sticking with just what you like.
    Currently, for example, the number of classes in AOC, i just hope i can my new maehwa.
  • NightNight Member, Founder
    edited August 2019
    There are multiple reasons why I would keep coming back to an MMO. They include: Player Impact, FUN content, MORE content, a beautiful world, deep lore, a good combat system, fairness and stability involving "classes" (basically making sure every class is playable and viable in PvE and PvP), complex dungeons to compliment the multitude of classes), very fun, complex and diverse PvE end-game content, among other things. Player Impact and Fun combat coupled with fun content and a beautiful world is the most important for me in terms of MMORPGs.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I won't play this game if it doesn't have all of this. There is no game out there (that I know of) that has every single one of the things I just listed. These are the things I look at when thinking about revisiting a game and spending HOURS upon HOURS of my precious time in.
  • bloodymacebloodymace Member
    edited August 2019
    Tbh, coming back to level up to get strong in your fights and get mechanically better at the game is alluring. Buttttt I think (think) that now I've grown out of that I want to be useful to my clan/guild/community. I want that being there matters. Not really into it for the grind for sure, don't have time for that (or will not have time when the game comes out). That is why I think I'll have myself a healer this time around. Something useful for everyone and maybe I'll focus on a specific profession which I can become a master of. Think those are my goals.

    So ye, great gameplay keeps you coming back
  • Nope, I eventually saw through all the stickiness factors like Neo seeing the code in the Matrix, and those attempts at stickiness became the bane of my MMO gameplay. One time-waster after another to keep asses in seats grinding.

    A non-MMO that has kept me for years now is Warframe. Same corridors I've blasted through hundreds of times, I've mastered all the weapons, but they constantly add new content and run events, along with daily missions with useful rewards, and an RNG-based system where one modifier on an item can be randomized with useful and unique stats.

    But that won't work the same way for a MEOW. The thing that will keep me glued to a MEOW is "can I safely end my session here?" combined with "where will I be relative to the friends I've been playing with?" more than trying to pursue one last skill advancement or get in one last crafting minigame. If neither of these logistical issues matter, what will keep me coming back is that the game is genuinely fun and interesting, and that I can just log in and start playing without many barriers like needing a group or enough potions to survive. This works well since I'm planning to be a solo traveler in every MEOW I play.

  • burnthefernburnthefern Member, Settler
    Really fun combat and a sense of community are probably my two biggest sticky reasons. Having an active community where reputations are built up and really matter leads to a lot of friendships being built, as well as enemies being made. This type of community allows for all kinds of friendships, alliances, betrayals, and in-game politics that really make me want to keep on returning. It's these aspects that really get me socially and emotionally invested in the game, and it's that investment that makes me return day after day.
    Also, as a side note of what I don't want to see, please don't give me daily quests that require me to do them in order to stay competitive. Nothing breeds contempt for a game within me more than feeling like I'm being forced to log on. I find that I log on more and strive to better myself when it feels like it's entirely my choice. Having dailies to progress myself makes me feel like I'm being told to do something that I was already going to do. Maybe it's the stubbornness in me, but it really rubs me the wrong way.
  • NarysNarys Member, Leader of Men
    Having some element to come back to that keeps you gripped - For me this was trading and breeding within ArcheAge, both were quite time based which meant you had to wait a certain amount of time for things to grow and so you could progress. I also believe that having variety helps to avoid that repetitive feeling.

    Secondly, the ability to develop and progress your character, particularly when it comes to improving your gear, healing ability etc via equipment, knowledge that is earned over time.

    Finally, the ability to tackle content as a group and play together. People really make an MMO and being part of a guild overcoming various challenges that get thrown at you is a real thrill.
  • sivannasivanna Member, Pioneer
    I Know this is weird, but I stick with games that have Photomode. It’s the only reason I still log in to BDO, No Man’s Sky, and I love gpose in final fantasy!

    I enjoy documenting and sharing all my adventures.
  • Repeatable (and fun) end-game content. Nothing makes me quit a game faster than a lack of end-game content to do. I want long-term goals that I can complete and work towards. Example being long-term achievements that unlock a unique cosmetic. If I have nothing to work towards then why should I keep playing, and subsequently why should I resub?
  • Cyndi Lauper makes me come back time after time
  • DecimusDecimus Member, Braver of Worlds
    It's usually having meaningful goals to work towards at all times (not just when I have 3+ friends online to do dungeons/raids with) what keeps me engaged.

    If I have no goal to work towards & I notice all my friends are offline, I usually just log off as well.
  • WololoWololo Member, Leader of Men
    Combat system; and if it is fun in PvP. There are many systems that make a MMO enjoyable, but for me it is PvP combat that keeps me coming back to any game. So thats why the hybrid combat system will decide if i stick with Ashes after a while or not.
    I have to say economy takes a good 2nd place tho :#
  • for me its would be interacting with guilds and friends engaging in fun endgame dungeons and pve and rewarding world exploration to find that rare thing to craft said item then going back to dungeons to hunt more shit but this time u have ur new gear that has effects and makes it funner maybe that rare item u found assists in pve content by crafting more pve type gear or u pawn it off or craft it into pvp gear for yourself or others
    in short though its mostly pve for me
  • Potential for new and diverse character/builds
    An engaging and meaningful sense of progress outside of gear and skill tree
    Immersive and vibrant world
    An active community
    A fun combat with satisfying feedback

    While I do enjoy the sense of progress, I think there must always be some place, where all of it can be put to a good use, rather than grind for the sake of grind.
  • Let's say that, you will deliver us what you have promise us until now into the game... We didnt hear nothing about the story and story telling in game! I have a big group of friends who are kind of afraid that the game will be good for sure, but they want a good storyline, like in GW2, WoW, ESO and etc. If you guys manage to do a good story telling in the game and a good story and lore about the game, this will be the game that one player will playing many years for sure and will invest time and money to enjoy it ! THANKS if you manage to read, and undearstand that!
  • HighopeHighope Member
    edited August 2019
    - I dont want 3 skill bars of 8 that i need to control in combat . Prefere wow type
    - Not complicated the skill system like bless online which is so hard and just too complex.
    - things to do quest and progression or things i can do in game to make money like farming, collecting etc .
    - que up in random dungeons so i can catch up on gear and whatnot with fun encounters.
    - It's not punishing going on vacation for 1 month and coming back to falling behind so hard and the only way to catch up is gold and auction house which u dont have enough gold anyway due to jacked up prices.
    - unique skill system that makes me viable that no one else can master if they have mastered something else.
    - quests lots of quests and gold rewards =)
    - DOES NOT have BDO item leveling that is sooo abusive! item breaking etc
  • CrossBornCrossBorn Member, Founder
    .For me it’s larger that life bosses!!
    I love the feeling of battling something huge and crazy looking.

    .Story alway makes or breaks a game for me. I want to be the nobody how becomes a hero.
    .last but not least. I have a obsession with being able to cut down trees in video games.
    That’s all I did in RuneScape 😅...idk why

  • T ElfT Elf Member, Braver of Worlds
    A beautiful world where I can enjoy views.
    A sense of progression in whatever directions I want to take like adventuring, exploring, crafting, social organizations.
    The ability to have unconventional groups that are viable; unconventional characters.
    One big attraction to Ashes was the promise that our actions have meaning and affects what happens in the world. I want to find a niche, and perhaps build a reputation for "whatever". The ability to be unique.
    A world where if I miss a week or so, I haven't lost what I had like, house, garden, etc. You don't lose progression or possessions with short absences.
    You have control over chats with blocking, ability to make private chats, selecting chat types, and a /reporting system.
    Formerly T-Elf

  • GuildhartGuildhart Member
    edited August 2019
    Guild Mates
    Sense of progression
    Addictive combat
  • zainreddingzainredding Member
    edited August 2019
    What makes an MMO "sticky" for you? What keeps you coming back time after time?

    1)Different Biomes to explore.
    2)Substantial rewards for exploring. Going places off the beaten trail. Lots of places off the beaten trail.
    3)Grinding for Pot Mats every raid killed WOW for me.
    4)Being able to make multiple characters and learn different crafting skills on each and then, most importantly, be able to trade between characters.

  • The biggest for me is community interaction. Every time I have been in a awesome guild I kept playing that particular MMO for years because of the fun I had with those people.

    Secondly, having goals that cannot be met instantaneously. Now days MMOs practically hand you everything so a week after a new patch I am usually ready to quit.

    Lastly, immersion into that world. FFXI (pre-abyssea) did an amazing job with this. This is part of the problem I have with BDO and their cosmetics...
  • PachaPacha Member, Leader of Men
    For me it's the community and the continuous content & fixing. If the studio keeps adding more and more stuff (every 4-6 months) and fixes bugs and annoying thing, while the community is encouraged to play together and help each other, it really keeps (to me anyway) a game alive and healthy for years to come.

    Another thing that I think is important but almost no studio does (maybe because it's technically not doable) is keep making the "engine" better and better, polish the graphics, add things you couldn't have before (like ESO please start adding cloaks to your game, I'm sure your team is capable of doing it by now without breaking the world).
  • Alpha SoulAlpha Soul Member, Phoenix Initiative, Hero of the People
    For me it's really about 3 things.

    #1 - Freedom, Lack of Chores

    I know it's going to sound simple, but its all about having the freedom to do what I would like to do.. without it feeling like a "chore"
    The balance is difficult, and its hard to come up with things and keep them light without it having to be "done" but I believe it can be done.

    #2 - Community

    Seeing the same people, enemies, friends and essentially communities keeps me coming back.

    #3 - Fun

    Now this bleeds into many things, but at the end of the day the simple question "Am I having fun" is asked. If I am, I come back..if not? I don't.
  • TheRealDextaTheRealDexta Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited August 2019
    If I ragequit because I spent too much on a RNG box for a bear mount for example, I may never log back again... 😉

    Any accumulation of feelings of wasting my time may result on not wanting to log on, knowing that I have more chance of wasting it than accomplish anything.

    I don't mind risk vs reward. I just don't want risk vs nothing. I don't want to have to farm 100s of Balaur hearts and miss the Fenris pants proc. I don't want to attempt a regrade of Celestial piece of gear to Divine and break it.

    I want to log back in for the same reasons that I didn't want to log out the previous night. I don't want to run in circles in the middle of the town for hours at prime server time hoping someone will answer my LFG or WTB/WTS message in chat.

    Love ya Intrepid! ❤️🤘

    Edit: TLDR
    Bring me
    -No P2W & RNG sh*t
    And I'll keep playing
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