The last MMOs I've played were fun...while they lasted.
End game for me is, the end. I don't really like raiding in the classical sense.
However if there was a world that I loved to remain in, while being entertained in other ways, I'd keep playing forever.
I think MMOs need to focus less on "end game" and create either more horizontal content or just more content in general.
PvP, and Raids just aren't sufficient for longevity anymore.
Final Fantasy's strength is it's story and world and I'd argue it's novelty. It needs to keep me in that world, without repetitive content.
I'm just one person and I don't know why people leave MMOs in general, but one thing WoW did right was ask on a questionnaire when you left stating, "Why did you leave; what things could we improve on." In addition to other things WoW did, I think this was a genius move.
As I've posted in another thread (and I don't want to bring up F2P) but I think the buisiness strategy for current MMOs is, if it doesn't work out, there's always the cash shop. And as I've stated, that's a horrible business model.
Developers and gaming companies need to realize what keeps players rather than creating a revolving door; that will create a loyal player base, longevity and stop MMOs from dying.
Look, a lot of Final Fantasy fans are still playing FFVII and it's spin offs 15 years later and the main game was about 12.5 days of playtime (give or take a few days). SE needs to tap into that and developers in general need to tap into what makes games special, rather than making the next big thing.
GW2 and Rift were those fun games, but they didn't have that special feeling. Mechanically they were innovative and fun, but there was no thought into the future. I'd argue that WoW and FFXI didn't think too much about the future, but WoW did a better job at listening to their player base and having the previous experience of creating an online game to do something about those complaints. SE, IMO got by, by name alone and by not overextending themselves in development; remaining a niche game.
So in the end, like the success thread, MMO developers need to focus on their strengths and know their player base in addition to creating interesting and involving content. The irony is Indie developers do this naturally; they do it for the love and things fall into place.
Sure, if you want to make lots of money, then sell your game in China/Korea but that doesn't mean a niche MMO in America can't be successful/profitable as well.