Yes, that up there is missing an ‘M’. I’m going to be talking about multiplayer online RPG’s in general, not specifically the ‘massive’ ones. I’m a loner, in real life. That’s just how I roll. I’ve got some friends, but I mostly just keep to myself. My ideal vacation is sitting in my room, lights off, being on my computer. Alone. In game I’m pretty much the same way – I just stick to myself, only joining random groups for missions that I absolutely can’t do by myself. In some games this is quite a bit of content; in others, it can be rare (or I just ignore it).
So why play these games that are specifically designed to get me together with other players. There’s even a chance someone could talk to me! I’ve said it before, but in my case it just happens that the kind of games I like to play are can be found in MORPG’s, even MMO’s. I really like RPG’s. They’re pretty much almost exclusively what I play. (I have a pretty wide and non-specific definition of RPG, in the which I would include games like the Far Cry series as RPG’s. But that’s a subject for another day.) I’ll even create a story for what’s going on in those few non-RPG games that I play, like Crusader Kings, or Cities: Skylines. I like stories. I like headcanon. I like real canon. All of that, I can find in online RPG’s.
I also tend to like action games. Games where you move your dude around, pressing buttons and moving the mouse/stick to make said dude do stuff, directly. I can stand turn-based RPG’s, but action games are where it’s at, for me. Don’t really like tactics games, which are unfortunately (for me) increasing in popularity. But, fortunately for me, online games generally don’t do turn-based very well, at least not in an exciting way for a lot of people at once; so, they tend to be more actiony. Even if it is tab-targeting, waiting for cooldowns, sort of action.
However, I’m not terribly good at action-action games. I don’t know if it’s my reflexes, or my Stupid Fingers, or what the deal is. Never was good at them. Things like Devil May Cry, Soulsbourne, or any of that, are way out of my league. Even things like FPS are out of my ken, unless I push the difficulty down. And I don’t like not winning, because the alternative is failure, instead of merely losing. But, action RPG’s tend to be pretty forgiving, for the most part. Online ones even moreso, as they (supposedly, and ideally) take things like lag, latency, and so on into account, from the base design stage. (And it’s why things like Soulsbourne games have funky online experiences, since they try to have the precision gameplay of the single-player experience, while having online issues that always crop up that mess up that experience.)
Also, Online RPG’s just tend to be longer – they have more story. Because they add more story over time. They have to, or players are going to move on. The gacha-based games add story with every new character. I joined ESO and FFXIV yesterday – I have years of story to catch up on. That’s appealing to me, even if it isn’t terribly dense, and even if the gameplay isn’t the most exciting.
That’s why I play these things, and why I keep coming back to them.