Exactly when did you get hooked?

Starting a new game is exciting, especially if it's one you know nothing about. When I look at the long, long list of MMOs available on the right-hand side of Massively's page, inwardly I give a little squeak of joy -- so many new experiences! I manage to forget how many of those experiences will reveal themselves as minor variations on a theme -- hack, slash, heal, quest, level up.

Yet there's something that keeps me signing up for more, in search of that elusive something that means a given title is worth investing some time in. But what, exactly, is that crucial element? What aspect of gameplay is the eye-opener? Is it the way a quest's story unfolds? Is it a particular gameplay mechanic? Is it the character customization system? Is it, for heaven's sake, the ding? Hit me with what makes you keep an account, when other games lose you.
This article was originally published on Massively.