Best Feelings in an MMO

by Tyler Edwards, June 4, 2012

We all have different reasons for playing MMO games - certain moments and experiences that keep us coming back for more. Many of these are simple, everyday things: owning newbs in PvP, weekly raid nights, leveling. But then there are those special moments where everything falls into place. These are the moments that remind you why you started playing MMOs in the first place: moments of triumph and just plain old fun. For this list, we bring you some of the best feelings available in an MMO setting.

loot jackpot

5: Fortune smiles upon you:

Although some games are now implementing more intelligent loot systems, looting in an MMO is still generally a crapshoot. While raiding, you never know what will drop or when, and the randomness of it all can often make for an agonizing process.

As you see your friends gearing up while you are left behind, you may find yourself cursing whatever strange forces dictate the loot RNG. Sometimes, bad loot luck can harm an entire guild. There's nothing worse than killing a boss for the fifth time and seeing it drop something that no one in your group can even use.

But sometimes, fortune smiles upon you.

A new raid tier has been released, and on the first boss kill, an item that you need miraculously drops. It has the perfect stats for your build, and you bask in the glory of the moment as your group showers you with congratulations. You feel as if you've won the virtual lottery, and in many ways, you have.

Afterward, the loot grind will resume, and you will once again be subject to the whims of the cruel mistress that is RNG, but for that one moment, everything just seems to be going your way, and you revel in your good luck.

right class

4: Finding the right class:

Choosing a class is generally the most important decision in an MMO. It determines the role you play in the game and how you go about it. Often, it determines the look and feel of your character, as well.

Finding a class that you enjoy is relatively easy. No MMO worth its salt will have many boring classes, and it shouldn't take long to find one that's interesting enough to keep you playing.

But then there comes a time when you hit upon the perfect class for you. It's not just fun; it's addictive. The gameplay feels natural and intuitive, and its looks and lore fill you with geeky joy whenever you pull your avatar up on the character selection screen. You never get bored with it, and no matter how many alts you make, nothing else quite measures up. It becomes your signature, and all your friends know you as "Joe the Priest" or "Ann the Bounty Hunter."

Maybe it's an assassin class that inspires you, stalking through the shadows and delivering death unseen to all in your path. Maybe you take on the role of tank and delight in watching the greatest of enemies break upon your character like waves upon the shore. Perhaps you realize that nothing can compare to the raw power of a spell caster. Whatever the case, it just feels right, and you know it's the class you'll play until the game's servers shut down.

from jaws of defeat

3: From the jaws of defeat:

If you're playing an MMO, you must be ready to expect failure. Raids wipe. PvP battles are lost. Dungeon PUGs have trouble finding their own asses with both hands and a map. Sooner or later, even the best players are met with defeat.

If these defeats come in rapid succession - as the result of challenging content, a bad group, or simply poor luck - the game can devolve into a frustrating grind for everyone involved. You come to expect failure with each new attempt. Your guild mates are screaming obscenities over vent, or the chat log is filled with morose predictions of doom, and all seems lost.

But then something amazing happens. You defeat the boss mechanic that had wiped your raid every time previously, or your battleground group's score suddenly overtakes that of the opposing team. Against all odds, you overcome the challenge and claim your reward.

The joy is palpable. Your guildies are still screaming over vent, but now they're screaming in joy. Hastily typed accusations of newbishness have been replaced by exclamations of "GG" and "GJ!"

For some people, these moments where victory is snatched from the jaws of defeat are not worth the stress, but for others, they're like a drug. These people are the hardcore raiders and power gamers, and they live for the thrill of overcoming impossible odds. But whether you seek the experience or not, everyone can agree that there are few better feelings in an MMO than winning in the face of what had seemed like certain failure.

rollin with mah guildies

2: Rollin' with mah guildies:

Everything is better when you do it with your friends. This is a fact that applies to all aspects of life, and MMOs are no exception.

Slaying a dragon and saving the world is awesome, but slaying a dragon and saving the world while joking with your guild is even more awesome. Sort of like how eating a sundae is awesome, but eating a sundae off the back of a supermodel while flying in your private jet is even more awesome.

Okay, playing with your guild might not be quite that awesome. But it's still a sure recipe for a good time.

With a group of strangers, you never know what to expect. Even if the players are competent, they may be jerks or ninja-looters. But with your guild, you're among players that you know and trust. You know they'll do a good job and be pleasant company. It's a more relaxed environment, and they will be more forgiving if you make mistakes.

Not only is running with your guild more fun, it also greatly improves your chances of success in any endeavor. Everyone knows that raids, dungeons, and PvP are much more likely to end in success when your group possesses the organization that only months of working together as a guild can bring.

new mmo world

1: A new world:

You no doubt remember your first MMO fondly. Whether it's a game you still love and play or something you've outgrown, it's still going to have a special place in your heart. And there are probably few things about it that you remember more fondly than the first day you logged in.

There's nothing in the video game world that quite measures up to the experience of entering a massively multiplayer game for the first time. You find yourself in a vast virtual world populated by hundreds of like-minded players. There are dozens of dungeons and raids, thousands of quests, and countless hours of player versus player action awaiting you. It's a feeling truly worthy of the term "epic."

When you first log in to an MMO, everything is a blank slate. You are not worn down by leveling yet. You haven't realized that your class is horribly underpowered. You are not yet jaded by the gear grind. You've yet to discover that most of those hundreds of other players are industrial grade douche bags. You feel the bliss of innocence - or perhaps ignorance - and all you see is a world of limitless adventure and possibilities.

If there is a flaw to the MMO genre, it's that no game has ever truly lived up to the promise of unlimited potential we all feel when we play one for the first time. This isn't necessarily the fault of the developers; it's impossible to make a game to meet the wildest expectations of gamers. But still, there's always a feeling of disappointment after that initial rush of entering a new MMO.

Perhaps this is why the MMO world is always obsessed with the next big thing - why people are always looking for the "World of Warcraft killer." Everyone wants that rush of excitement that comes from logging in to an MMO for the first time and feeling the hours of adventure stretching out before you.

There are a lot of great experiences one can have in a massively multiplayer game, but nothing else can quite equal the feeling of awe that comes from entering the virtual world for the first time. It may all be downhill from there, but for that moment anything seems possible, and for that reason, it earns the top spot on our list.