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Author Topic: Help Deg get his degree! - Quick MMO questionnaire  (Read 1542 times)
Degolas
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« on: November 06, 2006, 09:13:28 AM »

I realise this should probably be in the MMORPG's forum, but I thought it would get a bit more attention here, and attention is what I need!

For part of my degree, I have to write some kind of newspaper/magazine article. I decided I'd write it on escapism, focusing heavily on fantasy films/literature, and online gaming, especially MMO's. The idea basically is to show how such games are getting increasingly popular, with games in general now making more money than movies, and to see if there are any links with this growing popularity and the current state of world affairs.

My intended audience is the kind of people who currently know little to nothing about the games, which will allow me to do some explaining, and be a little patronising.

So if anyone who plays MMO's could take a little time to do the following questionnaire, I'd be really grateful. Answer as many or few questions as you want. It's simple stuff, and they might seem a little patronising, but I have to think of the audience!

Name (if you don’t mind providing it):
Online/Screen Name:
Age:
Location:
Profession:

1. What MMORPG’s do you play?

2. When did you first start playing MMO’s?

3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s?

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s?

5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change?

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay?

7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy?

8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life?

---------------------------

Also, I need some information about particular MMO's, namely WoW, FFXI and Everquest, such as how many registered users there are, and where in the world has the most players. If anyone could point in the direction of somewhere that holds such info, I'd really appreciate it.

Thank you!
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2006, 09:59:15 AM »

Name: Erik Tengblad.
Online/Screen Name: Cauton.
Age: 24.
Location: Sweden.
Profession: Unemployed, soon to be student.

1. What MMORPG’s do you play?
World of Warcraft and Everquest 2.

2. When did you first start playing MMO’s?
Uhm, let's see. My first ever MMO was Dark Age of Camelot, which I began playing in open European beta. That must've been sometime around 2001/2002.

3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s?
God, too many. I have at least 40-50 days /played in World of Warcraft across all the characters I've had. Before that I played Dark Age of Camelot more or less daily for several hours during a two year period. And then there are the odd hours I've invested in City of Heroes and Guild Wars. I'd say I've spent at least 2500 hours in total on MMOs. Fuck, that's a lot.

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s?
Not so much now as I used to. I still probably spend around 10-20 hours each week though, depending on what else I've got going on.

5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change?
Tough question to answer. In a way it's been positive - I've met a lot of fantastic people that I never would've met otherwise. But on the other hand I've also spent a lot of time that I probably could've used for something better playing MMOs. In the end it's a question that's nigh impossible to answer - I don't know how my life would've looked had I not gotten into MMOs. Sure, it could've been better, but it just as well could've been a lot worse.

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay?
I have no problems with that. Hell, I've sold a few accounts myself (never sold gold or items or stuff like that, though). In the end people should be allowed to do whatever they want with their money - if they want to spend insane loads of money being a kited out level 60 character (if we're speaking WoW) then hey, they're more than welcome to.

7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy?
Not any more unhealthy than, say, watching TV or playing console games for the same amount of time. In a way, MMOs are probably healthier because when you're playing them you're going to be forced to interact with other people. For people who have trouble interacting with people in real life, MMOs might actually work therapeutically - it's a place where everyone can interact on equal terms, without having to worry about things like looks, education, income etc etc etc.

8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life?
Not really. Well, occasionally perhaps, but these days I play mainly because I really like hanging around the people I play with. So, uh, it's not much more escapist than hanging out with your friends in a bar or whatever.

As for info about MMOs Wikipedia and The Daedalus Project should have most of the info you want.
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Nutbar
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2006, 10:36:58 AM »

anything for you deggy ;).


Name: Daniel Gray
Online/Screen Name: Nutbar
Age: 19
Location: England
Profession: Student, with Holiday employment

1. What MMORPG’s do you play?
Final Fantasy XI

2. When did you first start playing MMO’s?
2004; Ragnarok Online for a 10 day trial...then I took a 2 year break before playing XI

3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s?
My game time in FFXI is at 19 days, and I played ragnarok for about 60 hours in the trial. So that comes in at just over 500 hours.

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s?
I've been playing XI for around 8 months now, which works out at about 14 hours a week.

5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change?
kind of positive and negative. I play with several real life friends, and when we meet up XI tends to be the main topic of conversation, which is nice because it acts a starting point and its fun to talk about something we all enjoy. On the otherhand, if other friends are out with us at the same time, they usually come to be neglected within the conversation, which ain't such a good thing. Its never a problem if i'm the only FF player around though.

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay?
I think it's stupid; people work hard within a game to feel like they have achieved something. When real money trading and character selling lets someone buy their way into a position that could otherwise take weeks or even months to achieve its not fair to all those players who try to reach those goals in the conventional way.


7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy?
Yeah. I have one friend who broke a date just to play XI once...thats not cool. The recent South Park episode about WoW makes a valid point as well; if you sit on your arse in front of a computer screen all day it will have consequences on your body.


8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life?
Nope, MMO's are a good way for me to keep in touch and have fun with some of friends from sixth form. I don't need or crave the game to escape from reality, its just a way to have fun if I have nothing to do.
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John
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2006, 12:59:25 PM »

Name (if you don’t mind providing it): John McCarroll
Online/Screen Name: Aerim
Age: 22
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Profession: Student

1. What MMORPG’s do you play? World of Warcraft, EverQuest II

2. When did you first start playing MMO’s?  If you count text-based MUDs, 1997.  Otherwise, 2001

3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s?  At least Three Thousand.

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s?  15-20

5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change?  Well, it's something I've grown up doing, so I don't see it as a change per se, but like anything else, it has both positive and negative reprecussions.

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay?  If someone's willing to buy them, that's fine.  I'd rather see it be limited to specific servers sponsored by the company, like EQ2.

7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy?  Absolutely; playing every free hour of every day is absolutely harmful.

8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life?  Not at all.  In fact, I've met very good friends through MMORPGs; friends that I now don't play MMOs with, but see on a regular basis.  There is absolutely a segment out there that does, however.
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2006, 02:43:40 PM »

Name (if you don’t mind providing it):  Wes
Online/Screen Name:  Akanbe / AIM name is in profile
Age: 22
Location:  Pennsylvania
Profession:  student.

1. What MMORPG’s do you play?  World of Warcraft

2. When did you first start playing MMO’s? 2004.

3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s?   500-700 total

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s?  10-15

5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change?  The only negative thing that happened was that I spent less time studying.  My grades may have taken a small hit, but not a big one.  My social life didn't change all that much because when I first realized I picked to play an online game over real life friends, I removed myself from that [game] situation.

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay?  It'll always be there.  Someone can always profit off a lazy person.  I don't think it's an ethical way to play, but it's their money. (kinda reminds me of micro transactions)

7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy?  Yes.  Not only is it unhealthy physically but socially as well (socially, it depends on the person imo).  Communicating via a PC is very different than real life communication.  I also remember on a specific WoW realm forum post about a college guy trying to get to Grand Marshal PvP rank.  He made a .jpeg file which showed two things: his character (finally in his GM gear) and an email reply from his professor which told him the chances of him passing the class is zero because his grade average was so low.  Also one of my real life friend's friend had to drop out of his university because of WoW.  Now because of WoW he's at a community college instead of the rather good university he was at.

8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life?  When I was first introduced to WoW, yes.  I had some relationship troubles and WoW helped me forget about that.  As for escapism, I don't think any other offline game could ever do that to me.  After I got through the relationship troubles, I just played for fun or to relax from a long days schooling - not escapism.
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2006, 04:17:50 PM »

Name: Jesse Jones
Online/Screen Name: Marshmallow
Age: 19
Location: Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA
Profession: Waiter/ Student

1. What MMORPG’s do you play?
Previously: World of Warcraft, Ragnarok Online
Currently: Phantasy Star Universe (I'm going out on a limb and considering it an MMO)
2. When did you first start playing MMO’s?
October, 2005
3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s? 100, maybe a bit less (as a relatively new player)

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s?
Probably around 6-8 currently.
5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change? It allows less time for schoolwork. Positively, I get to play with my girlfriend, so in a positive sense we get to spend more time together.

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay? I would never buy something like that, but if I could make cash off of it, I would be a seller.

7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy? Yes. God yes. Exercise and hygiene for the win. (Note that this is only for those who actively decide to put MMOs above necessary things such as health and (at least I believe) cleanliness.

8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life? No. Not in the least. The reason I started playing WoW and PSU was to be able to not only play with people I see on a daily basis anyway, but also to play with people who I don't see very often.
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Ryos
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2006, 07:51:00 PM »

Name: David Grosche
Online/Screen Name: Lots...the main one I've used is Ryos
Age: 25
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Profession: Unemployed bum/student (last semester, hopefully :p)

1. What MMORPG’s do you play?

World of Warcraft

2. When did you first start playing MMO’s?

2003.  Not sure which month exactly, but Ragnarok Online had their beta, so slightly before June maybe?

3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s?

Way too GD many.  I've spent around 3000 hours in WoW (I haven't tallied it recently, may be closer to 3500 now).  I spent I'd say a 1000 hours on RO.  I spent maybe 100 hours in Rising Force Online.

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s?

Depends on if I'm playing some other games or busy with schoolwork (seeing as how I'm working on a ~35 page paper right now and I'm only about a third through it, obviously that's taking up a bit of time), but for a while there I was averaging 60 hours a week in WoW...

5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change?

Negatively for sure.  RO wasn't so bad, but WoW pretty much killed anything resembling a social life and academic goals I might have otherwise accomplished.  For instance, I should have had my master's degree like a year ago but kept dropping classes partially because I screwed around too long in WoW.  Though to be honest I'm such a dork that the social life probably wouldn't have been that compromised, WoW or not. :P

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay?

Completely retarded.  It defeats the purpose of the game.  While you're paying money to access the virtual content in the first place, paying money for virtual currency/someone else's progress is pretty dumb to me.

7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy?

Absolutely.  I've already told you my personal story, but there are even more extreme ramifications I've heard from others.  One of the kids my dad knew ended up flunking out of his university because of WoW.

8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life?

Occasionally yes, but mostly it's just because I find them fun.  Probably too fun.  Keep in mind that if I weren't playing MMOs, I'd probably be wasting my time on some other recreational activity anyway. :p
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2006, 06:54:47 AM »

Name (if you don’t mind providing it):Mr Snugglewuvums
Online/Screen Name:Savras
Age:26
Location:New Hampshire
Profession:Retail Manager

1. What MMORPG’s do you play?World of Warcraft and Everquest 2

2. When did you first start playing MMO’s?Like John if you count MUDs then I started in about 1997. If you don't then my first taste of real MMO came in Late 99 when I first gave Everquest 1 a try. I didn't really start playing them until DAoC came out.

3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s? More than is healthy and more than I would like to admit. I am guessing around 5,000 in total between all my games, but that is just a rough estimate and I wouldn't be surprised if it were more.

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s? 10-20 at this point.

5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change? I honestly don't think it has altered my real life at all. I mean, sometimes when I see people I want to charge them and open them up with a heroic strike...but..that's normal right? =P

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay?
If some jackass is willing to pay for it, then that is their business. I just hate when the in game economy gets so fucked up because of the gold sellers so that you are left with no recourse but to go without the good items or buy gold.

7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy? I think playing for the amount of hours that I now do isn't unhealthy. I think that when people play for 8-10 hours per day, everyday can get to be a bit unsafe.

8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life? Nope. I play MMO's with my wife, so there is no escaping the troubles of my real life...I hope she doesn't read this and kill me..oh damn.
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2006, 12:40:14 PM »

Name (if you don’t mind providing it): Richard Weeks
Online/Screen Name: Losfer
Age: 24
Location: Manchester, England
Profession: Debt Collection Executive

1. What MMORPG’s do you play?

Diablo II.  If that counts.  Played FFXI for a bit.  Looking very forward to PSU.

2. When did you first start playing MMO’s?

2002.

3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s?

Four hours a day for about six weeks straight with Diablo.

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s?

Not too many lately, but about 28 hours a week back in the day.

5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change?

No, sir.  I spend lots of time at home anyway, whether it's playing games, listening to music, or writing music.

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay?

I don't like that sort of behavior at all.  To me, playing the game and raising your own character to be incredibly powerful is part of the charm.  Plunking down cash for a high level item or character is almost like cheating to me.  Just like anything else, the best things come from hard work.

7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy?

No.  I don't see how playing a game for ten hours straight is unhealthy yet drinking hard liquor for the same amount of time is not.

8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life?

Not at all.

Hope that helps, Deg.  I'll try to convince Louise to log in and do this as well.  :P
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2006, 12:03:19 AM »

Dunno if this helps, I'm not playing any MMOs at the moment, but I have done in the past!


Name (if you don’t mind providing it): Tom Davies
Online/Screen Name: Usually either Evil Gately or WingDagger, but my main character in WoW was called Janus
Age: 26
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Profession: Retail supervisor

1. What MMORPG’s do you play? Played WoW until early this year and PSO (DC then XB versions) until late 2004

2. When did you first start playing MMO’s? When PSO was released in Europe on the Dreamcast, so about 2000?

3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s? In total? Over the 6 years it's gotta be getting close to 1000, I guess!

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s? Obviously, right now, 0, but in the past it was as many as 50 ( if I wasn't at work). Average, about 20.

5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change? It was starting to. I was neglecting my 'real life' friends. I considered this to be quite a negative change, hence the reason I stopped playing WoW.

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay? It's all good as far as I can tell. It's something that people have put hours into, and they've found a way to make money out of it. Good for them!

7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy? Extremely.

8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life? I did, another reason why I stopped!


Hope that's useful to you, Degs!
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2006, 12:38:06 AM »

Quote
Also, I need some information about particular MMO's, namely WoW, FFXI and Everquest, such as how many registered users there are, and where in the world has the most players. If anyone could point in the direction of somewhere that holds such info, I'd really appreciate it.


WoW has topped 7 million registered users.
FFXI had over 500,000 back in January.
RO is said to have 17M registered users. Although IIRC the game was (is?) free at some point?
Not sure about EQ, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was 1 to 5M.

Generally speaking the countries with the most MMORPG players are the US and South Korea, although I don't have a source for that. I don't know about the number of people playing each game where, but my impression was that WOW was relatively not widely played in Asia.
You can surely find out geographic stats for each game with a bit of searching.
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Degolas
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2006, 02:24:36 PM »

Thanks everyone for your replies. Now I have to see how I can butcher all your quotes to fit my argument :P I am pretending to be a journalist after all!

Seriously though, all this is a great great help.
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2006, 02:38:18 PM »

I don't know if you have seen MMOG Chart (and you probably have), but if you haven't I'd think it'd be pretty damn useful for your research.

Name (if you don’t mind providing it): Zachary Pintchik
Online/Screen Name: Superflat
Age: 16
Location: New York City
Profession: Student

1. What MMORPG’s do you play?
World of Warcraft is the only one I play steadily, but I have played a whole bunch of free garbage. I played EverQuest for a day when I was like 10 but I had no patience for the game and canceled my subscription the same day. I also played Guild Wars for a solid 50 hours before I started WoW.

2. When did you first start playing MMO’s?
I played my very first when I was 10 (see above), played lots of free ones  from 13 to 15, and then moved to WoW a year ago.

3. How many hours would you estimate that you’ve spent playing on MMO’s?
Something like 250. My parents have a no games during the week rule, so  that limits my play to weekends (during school). I also like to play singleplayer games, and those take up a good deal of my play time.

4. On average, how many hours per week do you spend playing MMO’s?
I haven't been playing any MMOs since school started because of the workload, but over the summer I played something like 2 hours a day, and during school before that I played 6-ish hours a weekend.

5. Do you think playing MMO’s has altered your ‘real’ life, be it a positive or negative change?
They probably have altered my life a bit. As with almost any other game I own I stay indoors a bit more than usual while playing, but I do play with friends so the social impact is about 50/50.

6. What are your views on real money changing hands for items inside the games, for example, someone selling their high-levelled character on eBay?
I don't really like the idea, because it gives an unfair advantage to people who have the money to buy the stuff. That's my opinion in a nutshell.

7. Do you think that playing for as many hours as some people do is unhealthy?
In the really bad cases, such as people who play MMOs to the exclusion of a job or school, then yes, I think it's unhealthy, but if people just play to have fun for a few hours a day it's not bad.

8. Finally, would you say you play MMO’s to escape the troubles of real life?
On some occasions, yes, but for the most part I just consider MMOs to be games (meaning no, I don't play them to escape real life).
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