Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Why Do You Quit Playing an RPG?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 29, 2011

So why do you quit playing an RPG without completing it?

For me, I’ll generally keep playing as long as I am still enjoying two out of three of the following:

  • I’m still finding interesting things to do
  • I’m still finding interesting and significant ways to improve my character(s)
  • I’m seeing progress in an interesting story

What else is there that I’m leaving out?

Looking back at Oblivion and the recent Fallout games, I often lost interest in the main storyline (though some of the subquests had pretty interesting self-contained stories on their own), but the worlds were littered with interesting things to do and places to explore, which held my interest until it was clear my character was pretty well maxed out – after which I went back and finished the main quest line without much enthusiasm.

The Ultima games were typically not so regular with the character and equipment upgrades, but you were generally inundated with things to do (having an open world full of dungeons to explore, people to talk to, and mysteries to investigate didn’t hurt), and while the story and characters weren’t always stellar (especially in earlier titles), there was enough interesting storyline embedded in the world design that it kept my interest up. I never finished Ultima VI, though, as there is always a point where the story gets bogged down in tedium, and having plenty of world to explore and leads to follow up on just hasn’t (so far) been enough to sustain my interest.

Baldur’s Gate II:  Shadows of Amn – that game really managed to keep all three factors (story progression, character progression, stuff to do)  really rocking almost all of the time for me personally, and it may be the first one to have done so. It’s prequel – not so much.

With the Aveyond series, story and frequent character progress really kept me playing.  Din’s Curse – there really isn’t much of a storyline, but character progression is as rapid and fun as most Diablo-style games, plus there is always more to do than you have time to complete…

But assuming I’m getting 2 out of 3, why do I quit playing an RPG?

Insufficient time investment: The longer I play a game, the more likely I’ll be to see it to the end.  A bump in the road that would kill my interest in hour 3 might be insignificant in hour 30.

Major Bug: Corrupt my save file or do something else that makes me feel like I have to backtrack heavily, and I’ll often quit.

I Get Stuck / Lost: This was the #1 game-stopper for me back in the days before the Internet made almost no puzzle unsolvable. There have still been some frustratingly difficult battles that, after multiple failures, caused me to call it quits early.

Something Newer and Shinier Comes Along: I think this may be why I never got too far into Wizardry VII.

Egregious Design Issues: I think I’m more forgiving than most of my friends with this kind of problem (or I just don’t play the right – or rather, wrong – games), but it happens when some flaw is so annoyingly frustrating that – even if everything else is really cool – players quit just to stop the pain.  I have done this with other types of games (horrible save point design in console games being a prime example), but not RPGs that I can recollect.

So what’s caused you to prematurely curtail your adventures with an RPG? Anything different? Maybe the story took a twist that you hated? Maybe the game didn’t survive a hardware upgrade?

Bonus question: Have you ever gone back and finished an RPG that you’d abandoned long ago? Why? What made you come back?

Filed Under: General - Comments: 29 Comments to Read

  • Menigal said,

    Probably the single biggest reason I stop playing a game is that it’s simply not fun. It may have a decent story, ok characters, and lots more to do, but if the actual minute-to-minute gameplay doesn’t interest me, forget it.

    Risen in particular comes to mind in this category. I liked the general concept, thought the plot was relatively interesting, and it held my interest for a good while. Then I just got sick and tired of the tedium of the lackluster combat. Finally, one day I just couldn’t bear the thought of loading up the game anymore.

    There’s countless others in this category, but most have didn’t have as much going for them.

    Plainly awful game design comes in next place, with any kind of saving limitation being the prime culprit. If I’m ever forced to play through the same 10 minutes more than once because of this, then there’s a good chance I’ll feel too soured on the game to come back to it. Also in this group are overused, irritating mechanics (like BG2’s machine-gun beholders and level draining baddies) and luck-based gameplay (anything where a single attack can kill, or effectively, kill you).

    Close behind is sudden changes in gameplay (I have to drive this horse/chariot/starship for no real reason now? Wait, what’s this forced stealth section doing here?). Too many game developers seem to think we’re too stupid to keep playing the same game for more than a few minutes at a time.

    And of course there’s the super-subjective, hard to qualify “I just don’t like it” category.

  • McTeddy said,

    Hmmm… The biggest reason that I quit a game is that I hit a wall. Whether I am lost and cannot find the next objective, or I am forced to grind for a level; my progress is halted. Now that I’m older I don’t have time to waste on games.

    The second is probably just simple boredom… that is a bit harder to explain. I tend to get bored when I deal with long sections of filler material that does nothing for the main plot. I know I’m often the odd duck in this regard… but I’d rather an amazing 5 hour experience to a mediocre 20 hour one.

    Bonus Answer:
    More than once.

    Usually, it’s that I’ve run out of new shiny things to play with. Once I’ve cleansed my palette of the game… It’s far easier for me to pick it up and continue grinding.

  • LateWhiteRabbit said,

    Okay, let me put on my thinking cap.

    I generally stop playing an RPG if the story has become dull and I don’t foresee it becoming better in the near future. Sometimes this can be overcome by interesting environments (though my enjoyment of those are usually tied to the story) or by really fun gameplay.

    I also tend to stop playing an RPG if I’ve lost “agency” in the story. My character is just reacting to everyone else’s actions and I haven’t gotten to make a significant decision in a while.

    I tend to be a “tourist” style of gamer – I’m in it for new sights and new experiences, so when I feel like I’ve seen everything and the enemies have just become palette swaps and I’m traversing dungeons made up of the same tilesets over and over, I generally quit unless the story has hooked me.

    “Getting stuck/lost” used to be a big one for me too, again, like you said, before the internet made us all information gods. I still quit games that make me go to the internet too much, however. If I get stuck once or twice and have to look up how to progress, I figure it might be my fault, but when it happens over and over again I quickly decide the designer is an idiot and doesn’t know good game design and I quit.

    “something newer and shinier comes along” is a big problem for me as an adult. I used to have very limited funds as a child/teen, so if I bought a game, that sucker had to be played until I could save up another few months worth of allowance or mow enough lawns to afford a new one. Now, if several titles I am interested in come out at the same time, it is almost like I am looking for an excuse to finish one so I can start another. Mole hills are manufactured into mountains so I can justify putting the game away to rush out and buy that new release. I try not to do it (just being aware of the tendency helps) but I’m not always successful.

    The time investment thing really doesn’t apply to me. Even if I am dozens of hours into a game, if it takes a serious turn south I’ll dump it. I figure there is no sense in wasting more time with it.

    Final Fantasy XIII was this way for me. I played twenty-something hours worth and got stuck on one of those stupid gimmicky boss fights with whatever they are calling the summon monsters these days. I wasn’t enjoying the storyline, the game was linear as hell (no agency), and it was the third time I had to go online to figure out how to beat a summon monster. And this time I was stuck in a frustrating fight. If it was any other Final Fantasy, I could have left and level grinded some and come back, but not in 13. I was stuck, and I doubt more levels would have helped anyway with the whole fight being a gimmick a 12-year-old sadist DM might dream up. So I quit. I hear if I had stuck it out for another 5-6 hours I would have finished the tutorial.

    I don’t know why I was surprised. I quit FF12 twenty or so hours in too. Hell, the last FF game where I enjoyed the story was 8. Probably because with each new FF game the writers at Square-Enix make the writers of LOST look like plain-spoken straight-shooters.

    Oh, I also have a bad habit of playing RPGs right up until the final battle, then going off and exploring the world, doing side-quests, getting ultimate weapons, and basically getting tired of the game before I ever go back to beat the final boss. It has happened a disturbing number of times.

    It happened to me on FF7, so I did go back to it eventually one day, loaded up an ANCIENT save, and beat the final boss, just to say I had. I didn’t remember much of the preceding plot points, and I had a hell of a time since I had forgotten what skills I had or what some of the stats meant, but I finally finished the sucker.

    I guess I’m kind of weird, but it occurs to me that I have a better track record with finishing games if they give me either total freedom to ignore the main storyline, or if they rail-road me down it at a pretty quick pace with no chance to wander off (provided the story is good of course). A mix of the two almost inevitable leads me to wander off at some story break and never return, since once I’ve scratched that “tourist” itch I’m done.

    Dragon Quest 8 is a strange exception for me. I literally played it more than I have played any other RPG ever. My save file had 200+ hours on it – for a single play through. Now, I’ve probably put it that much time in cumulative games of Oblivion or Fallout, but never for one character. DQ8 had a stupid amount of side things to do, an interesting world, but also a storyline that kept me gripped the whole way through, despite being simplistic enough that it could have been a children’s fairy tale.

    Perhaps that is why I stuck with it. The story was engaging and fun, but simultaneously it was so simplistic that no matter how far afield and long I abandoned it to do other things, I could also remember exactly where in the story I was and how I got there. Even 200 hours in.

    Contrast that to FF13, where I couldn’t keep up with the story only 20 hours in, since it had already had so many twists I felt like I was manufacturing screws.

  • Adamantyr said,

    Dragon’s Age: Origins only held my interest for about six hours of game play… I’ve played other Bioware CRPG’s, and have generally found them to be pretty good. This one, though…

    Maybe it’s because I’m just not that big of a fan of the Song and Ice and Fire (too long and depressing, unfinished), but I found the storyline too dark and gritty for my tastes. The copious amounts of blood was really disturbing too, I turned that feature off right fast. Howard wrote about his heroes being drenched in blood, it’s another thing entirely to SEE it.

    Also, the raw and visible methods to “increase” your reputation with certain party members was annoying. I much preferred Mass Effect’s system, where they were either friendly or loyal, and you completed a mission for them to get their loyalty. Having straight numbers was very illusion-breaking.

    Finally, the combat. UGH… I don’t mind complex tactical combat, but if you’re going to do that, make it TURN-BASED. Real-time requires simple mechanics… The AI of your party members seems hardly better than what Ultima VII offered twenty years ago. After one or two fights of watching my party get completely skragged, I gave up in disgust.

  • jzoeller said,

    It seems that over the last decade every major studio has figured out that they should put all of their efforts into the first part of the game, the “first impression”. It seems a lot of them then tapper off halfway through the game, sometimes sooner. A lot of recent AAA RPG’s come to mind, where I was about halfway through and felt like “whats the point” other than to just finish the story.

    Oblivion is a beautiful game, and fun for that reason, but it feels like they shortcuted a bunch of work as far as content and keeping the players interest. Monster levels growing with the player, being able to easily get some of the best equipment well before the halfway point of the story. It is very clear that more efforts were spent on graphics than more unique content.

    Dozens of RPG’s recently have been this way. I can’t blame them. The market in this generation is full of consumers expecting a high level of graphics. That seems like the first thing I hear anywhere now-a-days when a game comes out. If you have a budget for a game and know you need to meet that level in graphics, guess what other areas need cut.

    Things have changed a lot though since the days of SSI/TSR gold boxes, they captured something very important that is hard to find anymore in games… one’s imagination!

  • Menigal said,

    Back to the bonus question now that I’ve thought about it a bit.

    Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines: Attack of the Crystal Skull: the Redeadening is one game that I came back to and was quite glad when I did. I quit the first time because the game was taking longer to longer to load each area as I progressed, until it was taking 5 minutes a go.

    Now I can’t stand vampires/vampire fiction, but I found the game to be fairly deep and well written, with quite a few options despite its overall linearity, so a part of me always wanted to go back and see how it ended. After an upgrade, I finally forced myself to. Naturally, just after the point I’d stopped the game reached its “no more story, just slap in lots of combat and call it finished” stage, but I was still quite glad I’d seen it through.

    Conversely, Baldur’s Gate 2 is a game recently retried and eventually abandoned just like the first time. Back then I didn’t like the story, found the NPCs to be insuffereably annoying, felt railroaded the entire time, and thought the gameplay, combat in particular, was terrible.

    I decided to give it another try just to see if I’d somehow misjudged a game that is fairly consistently considered one of the best games of all time. This time, I found it slightly better, but still quite bad overall, and gave up only slightly later than I did years ago. It’s still a mystery to me why so many people love it.

    In response to jzoeller’s point about graphics, I find it quite amusing how many game journalism sites decry the reliance on graphics in new games, then blast any game with less than top-tier visuals when it comes time to review it.

  • WhineAboutGames said,

    So what’s caused you to prematurely curtail your adventures with an RPG?

    Lionheart: The same reason everyone else who played the game quit – because the game writers basically did too. 🙂 In that particular case, I’m not sure it counts as ‘premature’…

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    In response to jzoeller’s point about graphics, I find it quite amusing how many game journalism sites decry the reliance on graphics in new games, then blast any game with less than top-tier visuals when it comes time to review it.

    That’s caused me no end of amusement (and frustration) for years now. It’s right up there with the sites and magazines that lament the dearth of innovation and originality in games, but then proceed to slam any game that dares attempt to break free of category traditions.

  • Tom Wilson said,

    If I quit an RPG, it’s usually not a conscious decision, but something else grabs my interest and I just never get back to it. For me games are competing with everything else in my life for my time and attention. I guess that’s another way of saying the game just wasn’t interesting enough.

    A game I came back to was Eschalon: Book 1. It didn’t grab me the first time, but I picked up again recently, mainly to see how they handled some of the game mechanics, and got hooked. LOVED it the second time through. A matter of timing, I guess.

  • Andy_Panthro said,

    Grinding is one of the things I can’t stand, and sometimes it does get ridiculous.

    I remember playing FFIV on the DS (having only ever played the SNES version), and it took me less than five hours of gameplay for me to realise why the only Final Fantasy game I ever finished was FF7. Back in the day, I would happily have sunk plenty of hours into a game like that, but these days I get bored with it and just want to get on with the story. The point at which I quit was a point where I got to a boss fight, found it far too hard and realised how long it would take me to level up by fighting the puny enemies available.

    I am criminally bad at completing games though. Even some of the games I love I’ve never completed. I do try and get back to them at a later date though, but I don’t have as much free time these days…

    cRPGs I returned to later to complete: Fallout 1+2, Ultima 7 (both parts), Ultima Underworld 1+2.

  • Andy said,

    Thinking over it, the number one for me is level grinding. When I feel like the game is progressing smoothly and I’m hitting the major encounters at just the right point in my characters’ development, everything is awesome but the more it becomes clear that to progress I’m going to have to wander aimlessly and look for monsters to pick on for experience and/or gold, my interest starts to drop and the longer it takes, the more likely I am to just quit and find something to play that will be fun.

  • Mark said,

    If my progress becomes too slow, I’ll quit, regardless of whether it is before, at, or after reaching the nominal “end” of the game (this is important to point out because some of my favorite RPGs have more to do after the final boss than before it). I like seeing new content and new tactical situations, or achieving milestones along the way to the above.

    A game has friction. If its velocity isn’t sufficient to overcome it, then it will come to a rest.

  • Brian 'Psychochild' Green said,

    I quit when I hit that “boredom” stage people talked about above. For me, that means when I run out of the fun thing to do. When I was playing Might & Magic I lately, I stopped once I had nothing else to map out. The last few dungeons are more of a chore to map than the previous ones, and so I wasn’t interested in going to the bitter end here. I did eventually finish the game, but that’s mostly because of a hex editor to give myself a few levels and looking up a walkthrough to get through the end quickly.

    I don’t think this means it’s a bad game, but rather I got my contentment out of the game. Given than M&M1 wasn’t very story-driven, seeing the ending wasn’t quite as necessary as a more modern game.

    I also get frustrated when things are closed off to me. I stopped playing Baldur’s Gate 2 when the romantic options didn’t seem availabe to me, and when I got to the Underdark part and it seemed I couldn’t go back. I wasn’t quite done exploring the previous stuff, so it irked me not to be able to go back. This is likely a game I’ll install sometime and play again, though.

    I was also playing the GBA version of Final Fantasy IV and stopped when I couldn’t get a specific drop I needed in one area I wouldn’t be able to return to in order to complete the special “compendium” of items. I kept grinding for a while, but eventually I gave up rather than leave that thing unsolved.

  • Jeff said,

    For me, it’s any or all of these things:
    – Excessive grind: Hard to precisely describe (as in minutes per level) but more of a “feel”–some games just have a combination of slow/boring battles and level advancement that feel tedious.
    – Phoning in the second half: I do mostly Japanese fare (which is notorious for this), but western stuff also suffers from this to a lesser extent. The writing/plot/pacing just runs out of gas. An obligatory “twist” rears its head, undercooked dungeons, idiot balls being passed around. It feels like the 1st half is just usually much stronger than the 2nd, as if they realized, “Oh crap, we ran out of time! Slap together an ending!”
    – Excessive Guide Dang It. More a console thing and even more a JRPG thing. Unfortunately, I’m in the camp that reveres the “perfect save”. So any game that has a lot of missables, randomness or just mean-spirited hoops to jump through has a good chance to be put on hold indefinitely.

  • Xian said,

    Last month I went back and picked up Gothic III again. I had got it when it first came out when it was pretty buggy and unbalanced. With the latest community patch 1.74 it is very stable, not a single crash in 50+ hours of play so far, and a lot better balanced as long as you enable alternative balancing with the patch.

    When I quit a game it is usually due to a couple things:
    * It just isn’t fun anymore which can encompass a variety of reasons – grinding and repetitive gameplay probably at the top.
    * A brick wall. A puzzle or problem I couldn’t solve, though less so these days with the Internet available, or a monster or boss I couldn’t get past. A couple games I have got all the way to the end and just couldn’t beat the final boss no matter how many times I made the attempt.

    Neverwinter Nights was one that gave me a lot of problems at the part where you had to fight two dragons at once right before the inner sanctum. I must have attempted that 25 times trying variations such as different weapons, spells, barkskin and stoneskin, etc. My main character was a melee character too, so that made it even more difficult having to get up close and personal. I eventually turned on god mode to get past them. With that turned on it took well over 50 hits to kill them, where they would kill me in just a few hits without god mode.

  • jzoeller said,

    Something that is pretty common above is people hate to level grind, while some love it. In DarkLight Dungeon – Eternity I made this part of the difficulty levels, to help please both camps of play.

  • Xenovore said,

    Reasons I’ll quit a RPG (or any other game for that matter) include:
    * Crappy graphics/art design. The visuals don’t have to be cutting edge but they do have to be good art.
    * Annoying/unintuitive UI. If the UI gets in the way of playing the game, forget it; doesn’t matter how cool it is otherwise.
    * Boring game-play. Repetitive content, grindage, inane plots, dull travel, linear railroading, etc.
    * No character customization, and/or I don’t like the pre-gen’ed characters.
    * Bogus/inconsistent/stupid world setting.
    * Something better comes along.

  • ngthagg said,

    One that I didn’t see mentioned yet is choice paralysis. I like to complete everything as I go through a game, and some games prevent that. Disgaea 2 is a great example of that.

    But generally, it’s some kind of a wall that keeps me from finishing a game. But I’ll put in the effort if the other aspects of a game are good enough. I never defeated the final boss in Torchlight because I was bored with the other aspects of the game. I kept playing FFX because the sphere grid was fun. I gave up on FFXII because the license board was boring. (This was despite the fact that I was enjoying the story of XII and hated the story of X.)

    Other games drop off my radar slowly when they lose their spark. Grandia was fun to play early on, but later in the game the dungeons were quite repetitive and the characters had strayed from the storylines I enjoyed.

    The final reason I quit games is because I need my life back. WoW is the only one so far to fit in this category.

  • Corwin said,

    All of the above, plus I HATE arcade crap being included. If I wanted jumping puzzles, I’d play a platform game, same with space battles, racing mini-games etc. As soon as I hit one of those, I quit. Level caps are another red light. Once I hit one, why bother to play on unless the story is VERY absorbing. Vanilla FO3 leaps to mind. I won’t mention the BORING, TEDIOUS, Deep Roads of DA:O!!

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I kinda took the opposite tack with MMOs – I quit because I’d gotten my life back, and realized I no longer was putting enough hours into the game to justify the subscription cost.

    As to grinding – you know, I’m a mild-to-moderate grinder, I think. There’s something a little zen-like about taking control of the game and just hunting for trouble for fifteen minutes or so to get the last few XP needed for level, or the last few gold pieces necessary to buy that suit of armor from the shop before taking on the level boss.

    But I like it when it’s optional and I can do it for just a few minutes. I hate feeling like I *HAVE* to grind to keep up.

  • Ed Zuk said,

    I’ve quit BG II twice for different reasons:

    (1) Feeling overwhelmed. In chapter 2, I remember wanting to walk around the various city regions and gaining a dozen or so quests – it was so bad that I had no idea even where to start. I tried doing a couple, ended up getting even more quests to do (while only finishing one), and then quit because the game seemed endless. I know I could have turned the quests down, but I have a hard time saying “no” to needy people in video games.

    (2) I got through over half the game the second time and then found out that I’d missed an entire optional chapter because I didn’t trust a thief who’d double-crossed me. I’m a completionist, and having borked the game that badly made me quit in frustration.

    Who knows? Maybe the third time will be the charm.

  • BenD said,

    I got stuck in Final Fantasy IV (then “II” in the US) on the SNES. I was wandering around this… pink area. I was sure it was near the end of the game. I couldn’t find any way to go anywhere I hadn’t gone – so I kept fighting dragons of some kind (the location’s random monster) up to level 99… and then I gave up. Or rather, I went off to school and left the SNES behind.

    After graduating college I started it up on a lark and realized that the black “shadows” under the balconies I’d been looking at and dismissing were actually doors.

    Thus began a life of bumping into video-game walls and creeping into shadowy areas lest I miss something.

  • Aaron said,

    Hmm. Obvious game-interest-enders are stupidly difficult encounters (with no difficulty setting to get past), major bugs, or ‘gosh you missed this special item 10 hours ago, you get the sucky ending’.

    But most games don’t actually have those. With free form, weak-story games like Oblivion or Morrowind, I tend to make my own goals and want to build a character and story in my head. Once I accomplish them, … interest wanes.

    Other times the game feels mis-distributed. All the growth and interesting choices come in the first half/quarter/whatever, the rest is just doing the same, only… again. I like some aspect of character number growth throughout the game.

    I think in general, most of the time I stop a game because I’ve seen all it has to offer. It provided it’s fun, and now getting further just feels like a chore. There’s nothing to look forward to. This is why I finished the wizardry 6/7/8 (constant character growth, even in late game), and every bioware game since baldur’s gate (story and character hooks. I actually care to find out what’s next, and the game doesn’t try to get in my way with annoying difficulty).

  • Max said,

    In addition to point listed I would probably state “excessive munchkin-ism” .That is a property of me as a player to min/max everything. Particularly out of RPG.

    For example I played NwN about 3 or 5 times till mid game – every time re-rolling “better and more perfect template”. And my last perfect template I was just burned out , it was also so OP that I did not have any challenges whatsoever

    I tend to do that to all games and it was pretty close to kill Fallout2 and BG2 for me (but never quite did – though it made for a few long breaks ).

    Another aspect is min/maxing the game itself -aka modding. I spend so much time customizing oblivion with 3d party mods and my own (I even modified mod manager as one written by community was not good enough for me) that I never actually played game. Probably 400h+ spent playing the game “mod oblivion”.

    Slow gameplay is another aspect. Ironically I could never quite get back into old school cRPG because of badly paced turn based combat -its just too slow. There was excellent game Darksun, which I never finished, tried get into it now and couldnt grasp how the hell I got out of Tyr last time since combat is turn based with awful pacing!

  • Iphigenie said,

    “I Get Stuck / Lost: This was the #1 game-stopper for me back in the days before the Internet made almost no puzzle unsolvable.”

    To me that is still a big problem – if I have to research on the internet too much -whether to pass a particular boss or fight, or just to understand the choices (char choices, stats, gear) and their impact (if, as is more and more often the case, they dont bother to make this clarify itself in the game and/or manual) then it is no longer a game, it is work.

    I dont need a game that is work.

    It’s a fine line that is hard to pin point though, because I do want a game that isnt instantly figured out or mastered, but it has to be something that happens during the game process, not something that needs reading websites and whipping spreadsheets out…

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    It really IS a fine line. I’m not too biased against checking out a walkthrough online, as it’s preferable (to me) to being led around by the nose on all quests. I figure an occasional visit to a walkthrough is permissible – but if I’m looking up every challenge online, either the game is broken or I am.

  • BenD said,

    Just bump into all the walls and shadows. 😉

  • Fumarole said,

    I didn’t play finish Fallout until perhaps my third try, with a gap of five years or so between first play and completion. I can’t recall why I didn’t finish the first few times but if I had to guess I’d say it was most likely due to getting stuck by not knowing where to go next.

  • Maenad said,

    I’ve never met anyone else with my particular reason, so it may be rare enough to safely exclude from any demographic concerns.

    I don’t finish RPGs because I don’t want them to end. I stop playing because I’m getting too close to the end, I temporarily burn out, or I want to try something new.

    I find it harder to go back and replay most games when I have beaten them, and I always want to be able to play and enjoy any RPG I like. I will advance the main plot along, but when I see the end getting close I’ll stall, finding anything and everything else to do. And when I feel like I’m running out of ways to stall or starting to burn out, I’ll just switch over to a different game.

    I always go back eventually. I don’t play a game to finish the story. I play it because I want to be playing it, and I don’t want that to stop. I enjoy the journey, not the destination. I will always continue to buy new RPGs, despite the fact that I never “end” any of them.

    Bethesda games are different, since they allow further play after the “end”. I still don’t tend to finish the main quest (don’t even start it on some characters!) but I will sometimes; it’s more of a character-specific decision. I run TONS of characters, and yes, in this case that does mean I RP in single player games.

    If the industry moves entirely toward short main quest RPGs, I hope there is greater adoption of Bethesda-style post-quest play, and of a wide variety of things to do for people who want to live there, not just catch a show.