"A game no one could win, you said. Always another quest to run, always something more."

Playing a game
Creative Commons AttributionPlaying a game - Credit: RebeccaPollard on Flickr

As MMOs make their money through monthly subscriptions, the game companies have an interest in keeping people playing forever. As such, unlike almost all other games, the focus of an MMO is not to get to the end or to win. The most common goal for players is to be the best, which means collecting everything that can be collected, gaining more and more reputation or honour, being the best at player versus player combat, etc. These goals cannot simply be achieved by getting to the end of the game. This means that almost all MMOs are designed with no actual ‘end’ at all, as the game content will need to be repeated continually in order for the player to achieve his or her goals. Some games also introduce daily quests, which can be repeated each day. Finally, when it looks like players are getting too close to accomplishing everything they can possibly do in the game, the game will simply release an expansion, introducing higher levels to be reached, new instances and areas, and new items to be collected.