Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Can you play two MMORPGs?

LotROVault has the details on the US open beta for Lord of the Rings Online, which starts on March 30 for people who pre-ordered, and April 6 for everyone. In Europe I don't know about the open beta, but release date in April 24, and if you pre-order you can get in 10 days earlier. In both cases, if you subscribe to the Founders program, you can take your beta character into the release version, but apparently there is a level cap at 15. Unless they nerf farming until then, I can see lots of level 15 characters growing Sweet Galenas pipe weed until they absolutely swim in gold for the first day of release. LotRO gives a whole new meaning to the term "gold farming". :)

Anyway, I preordered Lord of the Rings Online. And from where I am standing now it looks as if I will be taking a lifetime membership for $199 (€149, £99). Not because I am already 100% certain that I will play LotRO for more than 20 months (Founder's club member could also get a reduced monthly subscription rate of $9.99). The main reason to get a lifetime membership for me would be that it saves me the hassle of thinking about whether to keep up my subscription later.

Monthly subscription fees are one factor that encourage a clean break between games. I quit game A, cancel my account, and subscribe to game B. But I'm wondering whether this time I could do it differently. Keep my subscription for World of Warcraft, and switch back and forth between playing WoW and LotRO. The interface is so identical I wouldn't have to relearn controls every time I switch. And while LotRO is stronger in exploration of a new world, casual content, and more enjoyable tradeskills, World of Warcraft is stronger in dungeons. I could imagine going on a raid in WoW one day, and peacefully farming in Hobbiton the next. I don't know much about the LotRO end-game yet, but I'm not really keen on rushing through the game to get there.

I just don't know whether that idea is viable. There is a risk that every evening I decide what to play just based on a gut feeling, and that every evening I end up deciding for the same game. Last time I tried a game with no monthly fee, Guild Wars, I ended up playing it not very much, because it didn't appeal to my explorer soul. But this time I could well imagine ending up playing LotRO all the time and forgetting all about WoW, until LotRO gets boring and WoW comes out with something new. Then switching between games wouldn't be on a day-by-day basis, but more on a month-by-month, or even quarter-by-quarter basis. Fact is that both WoW and LotRO are very good games, and the only reason to switch is that I've already seen too much of WoW.

So what do you think? Can you play two MMORPGs, and switch frequently between them? Or do you have to be monogameous?
What a wonderful world it would be if MMORPGs were designed to allow players to dip in and out in this way. Prior to dabbling in MMO's I used to play around 20 different games a year. Since getting the MMO bug that number has dropped to a handful. I miss the variety.
Yep! I miss the variety also, and I feel tempted to buy a lifetime account also.

But from LOTRO European website:
"Will a regular fee be required to play?
Yes, but the amount of the subscription fee has not yet been determined."

So the prices in € have not been decided yet. Are you sure they will do the right EUR-USD change? Thy might do the same bad thing CCP does for EVE: 1USD=1EUR
I'm sure of my numbers. It's the FAQ which isn't up to date. You need to go to the European LotRO Preorder page to see the €149 / £99 numbers I cited.
I do, I tend to draw the line at duogameous though :)
If you already have time to level 2 characters in WOW, then you have time to play another MMORG.
I currently have 3 WOW characters, although one I seldom play. If I was to play LOTR, I think I would have to stick to one WOW character only. Difficult choice.
I can't play two MMOs these days because I've become deeply involved in my guild and have recently become interested in organizing clever events & so forth.

Were I not doing those things, I'd have plenty of extra time to devote to another game - but in the past this has never actually happened. I've bounced back and forth between two games, but it usually amounted to playing one game exclusively for two or three weeks and then switching.

Lately WoW has become second nature to me in a lot of ways, and though I know and love both Eve and Guild Wars there's an odd barrier at the back of my mind, like I'll be crossing into alien territory. I know them, but I'll panic a little in a pinch. I'll need to look at the keyboard, I'll need to sort things in my head. The same was true of WoW when I returned to it from Guild Wars, and it happened with Guild Wars when I returned from Eve.

I wonder sometimes what exactly is happening here, and if others experience the switch similarly.
I'd say if you play enough of one (30hrs+ a week), that you'd have time to play 2 at the same time. I used to do this with WoW and Auto Assault back when free time was still abundant for me.

It was no problem sitting down at my desk, deciding which I'd like to play and going at it. The problem will come, Tobold, when you have to decide: "Do I want to go on this endgame dungeon with my WoW guild, or level my Hobbit Minstrel so I can make it safely to Rivendell?"

What I could see myself doing in your shoes, is playing LotRO almost exclusively because of this. The lure of a whole new world is much more enticing than the one I've been playing in for the past 2+ years.

So from a personal standpoint, I'll be leaving WoW for now, and focusing on LotRO for a good few months, checking back on WoW in the summer if the temptation arises.

I just don't have the time to put into 2 MMOs and get enough out of them, and also I know that for myself, Middle-Earth is a whole heckuva lot more interesting than Azeroth. It's just a place I've always wanted to visit in MMO form.

The decision, will really depend on the person, I guess.
I'm highly considering buying the life-time version of LotR. The only reason for this is freedom. I don't know how much the monthly subscription fee for LotR is, I'll guess 15, so if I play for a year, I've just about broken even.

This will make LotR very casual to me, there will be no pressure to advance because I'm not seeing the money come out of my account every month. I don't plan on qutting WoW, so i'd rather loose a large chunk of money then see $30 taken out of my account every month.

Although I havn't played LotR, from what I read about it, sounds fun, but I'm so advanced in WoW I don't think starting over will be easy for me. Even if I start an alt in wow I have tons of gold and items to send the the same point the best experience I ever had playing wow was starting the game. Tristfal glades was an interesting zone, and being the first MMO i've ever played, it really dug into me. Took me a whole month to get to level 12..... I hope LotR can bring back that feeling of sheer newbness.
My solution to this dilemma is to only play when I have rest XP. So, I can play one while my rest XP is building up on the other. My problem now is that I am considering playing 3 MMOs at the same time (EQ2, WoW and LotrO) while tyring to get time in on my Xbox 360 and Wii. I might just have to quit my job...
Big problem for me... I play with my fiance, and buying TWO lifetime memberships would be overwhelmingly expensive. So... no. :(
I have never and will never, successfully play more than one MMO at a time. I am too much of a completionist to be able to get my hobbit to level 10 and then stop to go raid, meanwhile my friends list is at leel 15. I prefer to be really good at one than medicre at two.

Hell, I have trouble playing two different charachters in one MMO...
I'm on your wavelength there Tobold, have it preordered. I believe my gaming conditions differ a little to you though. I am a very casual player & I feel LotR online will suit those casual moments for sure. My problem is will I be able to separate my casual play into WOW segment & LotR segment. Believe it or not but I think writing a blog will help us out both here because you will naturally want to write about something you enjoy & if you haven't enjoyed that something, be it WoW or LotR then you will head back to it...i hope :)
The wife and I play WoW right now, she is just learning about MMOs. She has no interest in switching to a new game yet, even though she loves LotR. I still am leaning towards buying 2 lifetime accounts and luring her over as we go along. Not having to think about the subscription does have a large appeal to me.
I wouldn't buy a lifetime membership unless I was sure that LOTRO had legs; especially considering the fact that Age of Conan and Warhammer Online are less than one year away. Not to mention Tabula Rasa, and Gods & Heroes. In fact, the price of a LOTRO lifetime membership would come close to paying for the four titles I just mentioned.
So I shouldn't buy a game I beta tested and liked because there are 4 other games coming out in maybe a year, maybe later, which I haven't played and which I *might* enjoy? I never understood that kind of logic.

As I said, I haven't played either of those 4 games, and from the previews / trailers / etc. I have seen the only one of them which I would consider as having a potential of being better than LotRO is Warhammer Online, which won't be out before 2008.
I've found it's possible to play two MMOs at the same time and not let one fall by the wayside. I've had three accounts active at one time, but usually that's too much, and I'm only really able to happily keep up with two.

The two MMOs I play are FFXI and WoW. The way I've found that works best for me is I set certain nights to work with groups in-game. For example:

Monday: FFXI - Leveling PLD with a set party
Tuesday: WoW - Horde night (my main's guild is Alliance)
Wednesday: Free night
Thursday: FFXI - CoP Mission set
Friday: Free night
Saturday: Free day
Sunday: Free day

Since the expansion is still fresh, most of those free days/nights go to WoW, but I also go and play other games as well. For example I just got Warhammer: Mark of Chaos and Command & Conquer: First Decade (mostly for C&C2 in prep for C&C3). So some of my free time will be playing those.

While I'm modestly interested in LotRO, I'm much more keen on seeing W.A.R. I have to admit if I really like W.A.R. it's going to be hard to figure out which of the two MMOs I'm playing right now to give up.
I don't expect to play all the MMOs I like to play, all the time. I just like to play and enjoy myself whenever I get the chance. It doesn't bother me if I'm progressing at a fast rate. The only real problem is money. So..

I could pay for 2 concurrent subs... have 1 that I payed in advance for like LOTRO, and play Guild Wars.. and I'd feel perfectly fine about it.
I feel its purely up to you, I find that playing 2 mmorpgs its almost impossible reason being:
I was playing swg and wow before expasiion came out , wanted to experience everything wow has to offer espeically raids but by the time i got enough gear the expansion came out and i never got a chance to see some the high level raid instances like naxxrams or aq40
I've done it -- I'm currently playing both EQ2 and WoW. The truth is though, that it tends to go in waves, so right now I'm not doing much at all in EQ2. I also pre-order LotR and plan to purchase the lifetime membership, so I can play as much or as little as I want without watching that monthly fee...
If you've tasted enough LOTRO to make that call - go for it. 200 bucks is 20 months, and if you think you'll play that long then it certainly makes sense, but remember that the only real message we can send to a publisher is though our credit card. It's unfortunately the only message they tend to care about anyway (anyone else remember kelly flock's comment about that).

Once you buy a lifetime membership, you've given up your most direct way of getting the publisher's attention - by cancelling your account.
I dunno. I really think it depends on the types of MMOGs you play. Hardcore raid stuff (WOW) probably consumes a lot of time. Grind stuff (L2, Vanguard) probably consumes a lot of time.

I really like shadowbane but i don't have the time to devote to it, so I don't play it.

However, I subscribe to several MMOGs and I haven't in about 9 years of playing MMOGs felt like an MMOG was placing any kind of exclusive demand on my time other than said SB situation.

My actual playing time in MMOGs (not including work time) is maybe about 10 hours a week and I still find time for a half a dozen games.

Here's last week:
Monday - Hopped in AC, found someone interested in doing 'Olthoi pincer runs' (kill certain bug-like monsters for their claws)with me, so we killed an hour knee deep in Olthoi

Tuesday - LOTRO! Hung out at the Prancing Pony and in Bree in general for about an hour chatting with people and seeing if anyone was playing any new tunes.

Wednesday - EVE Online : moving my ships to another area of space where we have an outpost. Preparing for some mining this weekend to help fill some ship orders.

Thursday - latenight, so it was UO time! Travelled the moongates for two hours for some fast and furious PvP and loot collection. After that, I was wide awake so I logged into Puzzle Pirates, bought a new sword and killed time playing poker and swordfighting while waiting for the new sword to be crafted.

Friday Night - A little bit of LOTRO to chat, some GW just to remind myself how much I suck at PvP there, and a bit of time in a few beta.

This past weekend belongs to Puzzle Pirates :D

I think it's the type of MMOG that some people play that relegates them to just one. Some MMOGs just place a big demand on time. Shadowbane was one, and if ever I become independently wealthy, it's the first game I'm going back to. :)
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