Global Chat: MMOs as grief therapy

We'll begin today's tour of community articles by touching on a rather somber (yet uplifting) note. Pixelkin wrote a great piece on how her mother used World of Warcraft as a way to cope with the death of her husband.

"When she talked about gaming, my uncle condescendingly said, 'You know that's not real, right?' She knew that all too well. But she also knew what was real. Connecting with her daughter was real. Reality hadn't done my mother any favors, but fantasy did -- it helped her celebrate small accomplishments, connect with sympathetic friends, and spend time with me. It helped her put aside the grief until its edges had dulled to something a little less traumatic."

We've got guides, impressions, progression servers, and more after the jump!

The Ancient Gaming Noob: Progression servers and post-cataclysm Norrath

Wilhelm struggles with the concept of EverQuest II progression servers by looking at both what EverQuest did and what EverQuest II looked like a decade ago. However, he finds any such effort somewhat defeating considering how greatly the title has evolved.

"Given all of the changes that have rolled back over the original game over the years, I am not sure that much of 2004 can be really recreated given the limitations that the EverQuest II team will face. They are not going to be allowed to roll a special client or a special version of the server software, which leaves us with what?" he asks.

Tales of the Aggronaut: SkySaga is pretty great

I love reading first impression pieces, particularly of titles that I'm too time-crunched or otherwise only fringe interested in playing. Belghast gets his mitts on the new sandvox SkySaga... and ends up sort of liking it, despite a few flaws.

"The game that is here however is extremely enjoyable and it makes me way to play more of it," he wrote. "I just feel like somehow I am missing something when it comes to how to get the resources I need to complete quests."

Null Signifier: Make way for the heavyweight champion of MMOs

Using a very interesting and evocative analogy to the Muhammad Ali/George Foreman match-up, Duke of O goes back though 2014 and sees how all of these upstart MMOs tried -- and failed -- to dislodge World of Warcraft from the throne without success.

"WoW simply doesn't care. It just steamrolls past bloggers, opinion pieces, and academics, swatting them aside like flies," Duke of O said. "I claim no prescience with regards to WoW's astonishing return to form. I am flabbergasted just like everyone else, and my initial reactions are best reflected by pieces which express their disbelief and astonishment at the number of returning subscribers."

In An Age: Defiance

"The biggest problem with Defiance is a more fundamental one: the game is only fun with a fun weapon."

Therein lies the frustration of Azuriel, who admits to liking Defiance quite a lot but is often stymied by weapons that are either under-leveled or simply not enjoyable to use. "In the meantime, I am at the mercy of RNG dropping a higher-level version of the guns I enjoy, or really any weapon that is serviceable," he bemoans.

Waiting for Rez: Crafting in ESO: Writ certification part 1

Let's end with a pair of helpful guides, shall we? If you're looking for a step-by-step walkthrough of The Elder Scrolls Online's crafting system, then Ironweakness has you covered. He begins his series of crafting posts by explaining how to get a start with writ certification.

"Crafting in ESO is very different from the system in World of Warcraft and similar games. Here you have several ways of tweaking an item before you create it," he notes.

Clean Casuals: FFXIV: Triple Traid tips for dummies (like me)

Having a tough time mastering Final Fantasy XIV's newest card craze, Triple Triad? Aywren's been muddling her way through it and has several useful suggestions how to win at the game.

One such tip: "I know the temptation is there to challenge the Gold Saucer NPCs over and over again, but once you earn the cards from the opponents you can beat, it's time to expand your collection by challenging NPCs outside of the Saucer."

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere -- and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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14 Comments on "Global Chat: MMOs as grief therapy"

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hults2
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hults2

Thinking on MMOs as grief therapy is just the shallow end of the pool; how many go into a place like the old republic, Paragon City, or Metropolis, in order to escape harsh reality, and gain mobility or communication thy are otherwise denied? the handicapped, the shut in, the disadvantaged...

and the flip side of the coin, how many of us have mourned the death of the communities? SWG, CoH, etc...

Aywren
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Aywren

Yay! <Global> is back! I missed welcoming the first reinstallment, so let me be late and welcome it back now. Thank you - as always, humbled to see a link to my article here. :)

BriarGrey
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BriarGrey

Online games, like any hobby, can be a great relief and respite from the pressures of everyday life and the tragedies we sometimes face.  That some people still feel the need to be condescending about a gaming ticks me off to no end.  Yes, we know it's not real.  Those people that don't are people that need help -- it's not the genre or the outlet that's the problem.  Anything can become that overwhelming crutch.  
What I love about this hobby over others, is that even when I don't participate in it much, the community is there.  It's different than when I started gaming, but then so am I, and what I need from it is different.  But it's there.  We do stick together in ways that are incomprehensible to people with other hobbies sometimes, I think.  And it's beautiful.

MesaSage
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MesaSage

That SkySaga article is three weeks old and his conclusions don't really match his title.

EBreezy
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EBreezy

It was a weird combo of Glitch, EQ2 and Farmville (yes, Farmville!) that got me through my postpartum depression and divorce. I guess I needed to occupy my mind with anything other than real-life problems.

NerdWABS
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NerdWABS

Grief, not in the sense of someone dying, but I started playing EQ2 in 2004 solely because I had ended a long term relationship, moved to another state, and was jobless -- all at once.  So yeah, I am sure that on some level EQ2 was a serious coping mechanism.  Thankfully it didn't become a permanent crutch.  (I still play it; only meaning that there can also be risk in dependency at such times in life, as with any coping mechanism.)

ausj3w3l
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ausj3w3l

thinking back, mmo's were a great and needed escape during some of the hardest times. A needed social outlet when all you feel like doing is lying in bed. The connection you make are marvelous too and the ways it gives you goals to work towards that keep your mind busy. It also has a lot of elements that empower you.

Modrain
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Modrain

Shadanwolf Sadly, for mainstream media it can only be bad, because, you know. Video games.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

Shadanwolf They didn't call it "EverCrack" for nothing.

Denice J Cook
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Denice J Cook

You know, years ago I ran into a retired woman on a gaming forum who was helpful and sweet to everyone.  She was like a junior volunteer mod.  One day I PM'd her because I had an extra copy of a just-launched MMO box, and I wanted to thank her for all she did for passers by.  I told her if she trusted me enough to send me her address, I'd mail her the box.  Well, she did, and I did.

Well, a few weeks later she sent me another PM:  She confided that her husband had just died a few months prior to my contacting her, and she had been contemplating suicide.  She said that little box "saved" her, because it gave her another world removed from all reality to focus on, and new "friends" she could talk to while she was trying to deal with her husband's passing.

So I can empathize with the WoW story, and also I would like to mention that you never know what going out of your way the tiniest bit for a stranger can really do.  :)

Ironweakness
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Ironweakness

My blog was mentioned in global chat! :O Did not see that coming. Now I definitely need to get going on the second part on crafting consumables!

Shadanwolf
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Shadanwolf

An MMO can be the equivalent of a drug.It can be a powerful escape from reality. This can be  good or bad.

Greaterdivinity
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Greaterdivinity

In An Age, man, hitting one of Defiance's biggest problems on the head. I had to use so many assault rifles I loathed to level up my assault rifle skill, and the one that I had initially kitted out as my "primary" gun before the weapon progression overhaul is now useless.
Seriously, just about everything outside of the actual gunplay in that game is a bloody disaster. Which is a shame, because they pretty much got the most difficult part of the game down (satisfying gunplay) and then ran their heads into a brick wall when it came to everything else.

Ness199X
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Ness199X

I first read In An Age after they were cited as a source for the whole "PS2 Implant P2W Fiasco" thing back on Massively-that-was. I really like that blog.

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