Reasons why you quit a game...



  • I think half the battle is getting people to recognize that it is time to go. Alot of people hang on too long out of some mix of stubborn refusal to tap out, because they think they're having fun, or because they're staying for their friends (who are often also just staying for them right back).

    And for a lot of us, it takes time to hone our noses and sniffing out a situation before its gone over the edge. I'm not sure I've mastered it but I have gotten a lot better. So my reasons in no particular order.

    1. Bad/incompetent staff.
    2. Unprofessional staff. This isn't the same as bad/incompetent but it can be. And staff isn't really a 'job' but you are required as staff to sort of sign on to the idea that you'll hold certain things in confidence and not share it with other players, use channels for inappropriate subject matter, etc. You might run a great plot but if you're kind of a dumpster fire of a person ... no thanks.
    3. Close RP Collaborations Soured By Bad Behavior. I've left games and group concepts over a player's casual relationship with being honest, crappy and selfish behavior on an out of game level, and people hitting the self-destruct button and doing something mean or bizarrely hurtful with intention before they'll say 'I would like to do something else'.
    4. Games That Have No Direction
    5. Games That Are Moving At Warp Speed. I tried to play Arx for a small bit of time. I literally don't remember who played. I just had no hope of keeping up with the players who had employment or life situations that allowed them to be online all day. And this isn't salty shade - I just knew that I couldn't keep up, couldn't come to events at the pace that plot was moving at the time, and I'd be constantly playing catch up. It was a bad match in terms of the game pace and my availability so I ducked out.

  • Coder

    @gangofdolls said in Reasons why you quit a game...:

    I think half the battle is getting people to recognize that it is time to go. Alot of people hang on too long out of some mix of stubborn refusal to tap out, because they think they're having fun, or because they're staying for their friends (who are often also just staying for them right back).

    Isn't "I'm having fun" a decent reason to stay with a character? Or is there something else that you mean by saying that people think they're having fun?


  • Coder

    @gangofdolls said in Reasons why you quit a game...:

    I think half the battle is getting people to recognize that it is time to go. Alot of people hang on too long out of some mix of stubborn refusal to tap out, because they think they're having fun, or because they're staying for their friends (who are often also just staying for them right back).

    I dislike this attitude.

    Its dismissive: what if they aren't thinking they are having fun, but ARE having fun, despite drama (especially drama from staff: I've been on so many games where my driving goal was to just ignore staff and I had a lot of fun with that limitation). What if staying for their friends is IMPORTANT to them?

    Are they wrong? Don't they get to make the value-judgement of when to throw in the towel and when its still valid for them?

    Don't get me wrong, crazy staff are crazy. I'm not a fan. But if me and my friends are having fun, my position has been: I weigh my fun vs the stupid.

    Fun wins? I keep playing.

    There's no absolute of, hey. It's time to go.



  • @thenomain

    Yeah, it is. But I think there’s also a basic confusion for some people about what they think is actually fun. People will scale a lot of drama thinking they have to in order to get to the fun, not necessarily realizing that games shouldn’t be a stinky onion where of you just keep trying- the fun will show up. Or if they’re not having fun but most other people seem to be so maybe their standard is wrong. And it might be but it might not? It’s hard to get perspective when the game is a feedback loop that reinforces the wrong thing for the player in question.

    @ixokai

    It’s not meant to be dismissive. Of course there’s a certain amount of compromise and tolerance that almost anything that requires collaboration with other people. And of course there’s an individual threshold for what you consider drama beyond an acceptable limit. It’s not a matter of inflexibility; it’s not always knowing when this isn’t actually the good situation you’re hoping for. That’s the holistic point of my comment.

    As I was getting into above with Theno, there can be a lot of social pressure to stick around even when there’s flags that maybe you shouldn’t. There’s a fear of missing out on things and the concern that you’re letting down your friends by quitting or voicing negative feedback if they seem relatively fine. And given that there are more examples of bad game environments than good ones, it’s often the case that people will go from one game to another thankful that it’s not as bad as the last place so by that standard it’s a good situation.

    My POV is that for most people their time is limited and that even in non-game spaces people will put their limited time towards things that don’t actually serve them and learning what does or doesn’t is a process that develops over time. The individual is always the individual and free to decide what that is for them.


  • Pitcrew

    I know I posted earlier, but I realized that I could boil it down to a simple decision maker:

    If I feel, for any reason, that the game is unhealthy for me, I will leave.

    This includes if the game is making me unhappy, if the idea of logging in makes feel dread (but weirdly I log in anyway). Which to be clear, does not mean "my character suffering consequences".


  • Coder

    @gangofdolls said in Reasons why you quit a game...:

    @thenomain

    Yeah, it is. But I think there’s also a basic confusion for some people about what they think is actually fun. People will scale a lot of drama thinking they have to in order to get to the fun, not necessarily realizing that games shouldn’t be a stinky onion where of you just keep trying- the fun will show up. Or if they’re not having fun but most other people seem to be so maybe their standard is wrong. And it might be but it might not? It’s hard to get perspective when the game is a feedback loop that reinforces the wrong thing for the player in question.

    I don't mean to be correcting this or saying it's wrong, but it's a topic in this hobby that's near and dear to my heart:

    I think what you're saying is what is fun for the individual is not always fun for the game.

    I personally think that we should all be playing for the game. The more of a leadership role a character has should increase that player's awareness that what they do should net a positive toward the game's activity or other players' involvements or whatnot.

    But I also don't think hanging on to a character too long is the criteria I would put on someone having to give up that character. Someone sitting on a leadership position, not available for scenes, or using their character's God-Level Stats to absorb game-play from others is when I think they need to give it up. Otherwise it's the TS discussion: If your character neither adds to nor removes from the game, who cares what they do?

    That's Thenomain's Gaming Philosophy Minute for Wednesday November 22, 2017.


  • Pitcrew

    @three-eyed-crow said in Reasons why you quit a game...:

    @ixokai
    I volunteer IRL, too (and I've done organizational stuff for book clubs/poker games/etc), and I have wildly different feelings/expectations/personal fulfillment about that experience and the people I do it with than I do about my IRL job and co-workers. I am one of those people who it grates whenever the term 'professional' is equated with hobby work. I get that it's inferring certain types of behavior (responsibility, commitment, etc) that I do think MU staff should have, but I get the knee-jerk reaction because I also have it.

    This has been a tangent. Back to your regularly scheduled thread, and such.

    Yes to this. Upvoting was not enough. I do volunteer work as well and that work has me interacting with colleagues sometimes. My professional career is one with a very high level of emotional 'work' attached and it takes effort and dedication to 'turn it off' at any point in the day in order to achieve any kind of balance or play any of the other roles that I am expected to play in life. I like working on games and playing on games, but I won't ever give the amount of myself to a game/hobby that I do to work, it would be unhealthy as well as impossible. The unstated message some send that if you don't have X amount of time and energy playing or working on a MU* is not for you annoy me too. Its possible to enjoy MU* even as our life stages and responsibilities change so long as we find the right place and the right people. Fun fact: I play on Arx even though my logins are unreliable and even though it is super fast paced. I wanted to do it and found a way(s) to do it and its awesome!


  • Pitcrew

    Aside from "the game wraps," "the game death spirals," and "just not feeling it"...

    Staff dramaz is a big one. People who lord over their online rp domain and surround themselves with kissass sycophants is way more common than I would have thought in the realm of chat rooms where grown-ass people pretend to be samurai and vampires who have sex with each other. (The LordElf effect.)

    Player drama, about the same. I mean, there's the odd person I can't stand on an OOC level, but when the RP dries up because I'm subjected to a smear campaign because my PC ruffled someone's feathers? Can't be bothered.

    Excessive staff inactivity. I can entertain myself for a long time, but when nothing can be done that would contextualize endless coffee shop RP? It eventually gets old. (Still bitter over when the biggest player-driven effort I've seen, on any game, collapsed because the sub-sphere staffer went radio silent, and the general sphere staffer was declaring it not his problem. We didn't even need scenes run! Just someone to fill out the goddamn paperwork!)

    Complete unrestrained freedom. Maybe it's a weird complaint to have, but if the setting is a small town, and it contains nine nightclubs, thirteen of the richest people in the USA, and has had seven unrelated incursions by extradimensional horrors in the last month and a half, I just can't buy into it enough to give a shit.

    Activity cycles. This is on me, but my hours are awful. I work on swing shifts when I'm employed, and I didn't pick up my user tag out of a hat. Plenty of times I've given up on games just because the player base and I were on different enough hours that I couldn't find the RP there.

    Any of the above in doses that wouldn't have been dealbreakers to me, but were driving off friends or RP partners of mine to the point that I didn't have my partner base.



  • @thenomain said in Reasons why you quit a game...:

    @gangofdolls said in Reasons why you quit a game...:

    @thenomain

    I think what you're saying is what is fun for the individual is not always fun for the game.

    Yes.

    I personally think that we should all be playing for the game. The more of a leadership role a character has should increase that player's awareness that what they do should net a positive toward the game's activity or other players' involvements or whatnot.

    I'll be honest in that I'm not really following your line of logic here? I'm not sure what leadership roles in a game have to do with individual player awareness. At least in as much as anything I've brought up, so I'm assuming this is cross talk?

    My comment is really about people who get caught up in Sunk Cost blackholes and/or thinking that that whatever it is they think they're playing this game for will be along like a late train any minute now. In the meantime, they're scaling situations that are unpleasant, toxic, tedious, etc. in service to this idea that 'it'll get better if I just hang in there/try harder....'.

    Sometimes that is true. Sometimes that is definitely not true. Learning when to call it under these conditions is what I'm getting at here.


  • Pitcrew

    It's been a long time since I've really MU'd to the extent that I barely consider myself a part of the community I've adored for just about twenty years. Some of what I'm about to put down apply to the games I'd been on for years that I stopped playing over a year ago.

    Presented in no particular order.

    • Staff making unethical decisions. This can include staff lying to players.
    • Staff not doing their jobs, from not creating RP to flat out not running the game. This is one reason why I left Coral Springs.
    • Players being put in influential positions when they are not suited to it.
    • General game setting breakdown. To name an example, I joined MCM and found most of my fun there with the PvP narrative. When people started to turn against that, I had much less impetus to play there. This may also include concept bloat.
    • A certain amount of players who might not break rules but are just annoying. These are the sorts of people who dominate +pub channels with their day-to-day minutiae and never seem to actually RP.
    • Similar to the above, people who sit in the OOC lounge and/or peanut gallery without RPing.
    • Again, related. Whisper campaigns, directed at myself or others. A growing awareness of how common this was on MCM is a big reason why I left, particularly when one was apparently being run against me by a player who was otherwise polite and pleasant to me.
    • A character of mine loses a friend, ally, enemy, lover, etc who I enjoyed playing with. The headache of trying to finangle an IC reason to explain an OOC absence is not worth it and I'll frequently get bored and drop the character.
    • A lack of attention to spelling, grammar and general basic level of effort stuff among the playerbase. This is a textual medium and you should take pride in your words.
    • An inability to run scenes, plots or characters with consequence. I like coffee chat RP but only because it allows you explore those consequences.

    Really, it comes down to the fact that I'm joining a game to play a game. If I can no longer do that, I'll leave. I will put up with a lot if I can continue playing the game I joined to play. I will put up with a lot because I'm in the Australian timezone and that basically prevents you from engaging with most MUs at a convenient time.


  • Pitcrew

    Oh, and when there are too many goddamn otters.


  • Politics

    @gilette

    I'm an otter.

    Watch as people flock to my defense.


  • Pitcrew

    Generally when I leave a game it can be because of a multitude of reasons. The most common of which being "The game doesn't hold my interest" And for that, there's nothing to be done. I maybe just wasn't in the right mindset to embrace a new setting or could be any number of reasons, there's no solution to be had there.

    Toxic playerbase. If I feel like the people that I'm playing with are assholes, than why would I continue to play there? This is especially true when the games systems encourage exclusion and cliques, leaving newer players on the outside and unable to get a leg up on the other systems.

    Lack of social features: While this isn't for everybody, if the game doesn't have a healthy amount of OOC interaction, it's just not going to be the place for me. Sometimes I like to know the player behind the screen, to talk and enjoy each other's company in a way that lets us connect as people.

    Bad Staff: The most common reason really, is bad staff making unethical decisions, cheating or just basically treating the game like it's their own personal sandbox. And... that's pretty much it?


  • Pitcrew

    @gilette said in Reasons why you quit a game...:

    Oh, and when there are too many goddamn otters.

    Holy shit, that article is great. That's a really succinct way to put that issue. Oooooh interesting. Thank you for posting it!


  • Pitcrew

    @sunny

    No problem! It's a good article and the best way I've seen of explaining the issue that all online communities -- perhaps all communities -- inevitably face.


  • Pitcrew

    After reading the article about otters and possums, I am still trying to figure out the point.
    It basically points out that as a group grows it tends to have ideological drift? If so why do we need the whole otter possum thing, or pretending like this is news, it is seen literally everywhere.
    Hell you can see this just by looking at Punk music expanding in the early-mid 80 and the conflicts there about what truly counted as punk and that was before 90 percent of the population knew what the internet was. Or hell the change in Christianity as it moved from mystery cult to large religion which was well before the internet.
    Sorry for the off topic rant but it annoys me to no end when people take something that has happened since humanity and decides it is something new because it happened on-line.


  • Pitcrew

    Aside the times I've left games for personal reasons, like lack of time, playing on too many games and needing to cut back so I can give specific ones the fair shake they deserve, and so on, almost all of my leaves have been over unethical staff behavior.

    I'm right there with @Gilette giving Multiverse MUSH as an example of so many things being wrong in one place it's a wonder we don't have more of their former players here. Staff abuse of the suspect flag, staff targeting players for posting here, discrimination by staff and "elite" players of the lesser folks, loud minority players making the game unfun for everyone else, a staff member (Lord English) being caught having modified gripe logs to alter their context and outcome being protected by current and former headwizs, whisper campaigns being run by staff and high-ranked players alike, the promotion of unsuitable, provably malicious players to positions of power (Priscilla etc.), staff favoritism and the list goes on.

    I left Brave New World and Fallout: El Dorado over Elsa being Elsa. I think that's a sufficient reason.

    Sexual harassment being tolerated by staff is also something I'll leave a game over. United Heroes comes to mind as the latest instance but I feel every other WoD MUSH ends up going that path for some reason.

    On the subject of WoD games, I've been known to leave ones that start relatively small or constrained, i.e. Vampire or Werewolf, but then decide they want to introduce three or four more splats in one shot in an attempt to attract more players. Speaking more broadly that's a red flag for me. If your game has a "soul", a "feel", and you throw it away in a transparent attempt to appeal to larger masses, I won't stick around. I only ever join a new game when the core idea appeals to me. If you discard it, you've taken away the reason I joined, and I find it an almost universal fact the new core of the game won't be as thought out as the old one.


  • Pitcrew

    @salty-secrets

    I can't believe I forgot to mention the LE stuff as an example. While it's certainly within the umbrella of my first dot point, that kind of behavior will have me drop a game immediately. It's a big part of the reason why I can't ever seriously think of going back to MCM. The whole LE thing reads out like some kind of weird farce when you lay it out.

    I'd leave a game if I found out Elsa was on staff, too. But it's probably more accurate to say -- along with some of the other things I listed -- that I'd never join a game with those issues in the first place.

    @ThatGuyThere

    Then you betray a lack of understanding on the difference between real spaces and online spaces when it comes to that discussion. For better or worse, online spaces are not restricted by the typical elements -- things like geography or language or peer group association -- that do wonders to constrain ideological/cultural drift.

    To use your analogy, no one has ever walked into a punk club and, over time, attracted more of their friends and turned the punk club into a hiphop club by inches and degrees simply because the punk club is the most popular one around.

    Multiverse MUSH, to use an example as it has been discussed, is a distinct culture of 'possums' that fell prey to the exact issues described. To illustrate it, MCM was built around a neverending war between two Multiversal 'superfactions' set on and around a superplanet. You could app just about anything but you were expected to adjust for tone and the MCM 'world'.

    MCM grew popular whereupon people were joining it because it was something like #6 on MUDStats and promoted a wide scope of playable concepts. These players had little interest in actually engaging with the wider theme and would frequently argue against being required or even expected to do so. This is because they were looking for an active RP location more than they were looking for what MCM was specifically (the same reason why Shang attracts such a wide and varied crowd who seem to also hate the game as a whole*).

    While this tension had always been something of an issue (MLP theme), it eventually culminated in things like people making accusations of isolationist 'mini-MUs' among the playerbase and something of a coup from the headwiz. As best can be determined, the coup came down to the first Headwiz wanting the game to get back to its PvP factional roots and was willing to threaten to shut the whole thing down to do so. This resulted in some of the staff establishing a copy on the new, and current, server. This was all kept hush-hush until someone spilled the beans semi-recently, years after it happened.

    • -- funnily enough, Shang's big loss of players event (changing the minimum character age) is much closer to the sort of behavior you're saying -- ideological drift over a long period by an increasing number of people due to changing norms (basically gentrification, really) -- as opposed to what is mentioned by that author in particular, which is people joining a community despite not actually caring about what makes it a community beyond a social space.

  • Pitcrew

    @gilette said in Reasons why you quit a game...:

    To use your analogy, no one has ever walked into a punk club and, over time, attracted more of their friends and turned the punk club into a hiphop club by inches and degrees simply because the punk club is the most popular one around.

    Actually that has happened repeatedly in my personal experience, for example there was this bar in my college town called the Regency, it was a punk place but since it was mainly the home to live music it was also one of the few venues that would let in under 21 with the standard hand x, down the block there was a club that played dance music (never went there do not remember the name) and had a similar policy. Club down the block got into legal trouble due to serving minors and was shut down. Once that happened throngs of dance music people started coming to the regency and eventually pushed out the punk folks. In the real world this sorts of things happen all of the time. Hell gentrification is another example of the exact same thing, member of outside culture sees place it likes, moves in, then a few more to etc.
    The conflicts get resolved in different manners but at a base they are the same. OFr example in on line there would not be fist fights as was the case of the club switch nor rising cost of living forcing old resident out in the case of gentrification.


  • Pitcrew

    @thatguythere

    Ooof. You're actually mistaking it for gentrification. As I said, you betray your own lack of in-depth understanding.