Culture & Community Category

The softer, gentler side of MMORPG life. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

Global Chat: Business model first, game construction second

Welcome back to Global Chat, the column where we reach out and give props to interesting and well-written articles from the MMO blogosphere. Today we’re going to kick off with a positive piece about Crowfall, as Kill Ten Rats’ Ravious is particularly pleased with the decision to announce its business model up front.

“One of my favorite devs, Jeff Strain, wrote way back in 2007 some of the most important words for MMO creators,” Ravious posted. “He said, ‘Decide on your business model first, and then build your game around it.’ So simple.”

Was this a good move for Crowfall? Read the rest of this week’s entries and then debate it in the comments!

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Leaderboard: Camelot Unchained vs. Crowfall

It’s a good time to be a fan of MMO sandbox PvP, as Camelot Unchained and Crowfall are both poised to bring AAA production values and a wealth of industry experience to bear on that particular playstyle.

I’m interested to see how they both turn out, but in terms of which one I’ll be playing, it’s probably Camelot Unchained (not a fan of Crowfall’s resetting world mechanic, sadly).

What about you, Massively readers? Assuming you’re interested in fantasy MMO PvP, which game do you plan on playing, Camelot Unchained or Crowfall? Vote after the cut!

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best sound design?

We pay a lot of attention to what we’re seeing in MMOs, but have you ever stopped to really process what you’re hearing? Sound design is a crucial but often overlooked aspect of games, and I thought it was high time to give proper respect to those MMOs that do it well.

Two of my favorite titles, Lord of the Rings Online and The Secret World, both nail great sound design, in my opinion. LOTRO’s non-musical sound effects in the Shire were a huge part of what drew me into that game world, and I can’t tell you how many times that TSW has freaked me out by inserting weird noises into my eardrums.

What do you think? Which MMO has the best sound design?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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The Daily Grind: Are you still on board with EverQuest Next?

The Daybreak buy-out. Mass layoffs. No more Storybricks. And it might not even be free-to-play!

There are plenty of reasons to go all Chicken Little about EverQuest Next, but strangely enough, I feel practically sanguine about it. I’ve seen all too often how we the community overreact to news without knowing all of the details or how the future will bear out (despite claiming to predict otherwise), and I think that there’s still some strong hope that EQN will not only be released but be an interesting game worthy of the EverQuest moniker.

But that’s just me. What about you? Is your faith shaken in EverQuest Next or are you still on board with it?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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You’ve only got 77 candidates to choose from in EVE’s CSM election

Are you voting in this week’s EVE Online Council of Stellar Management election? If so, you’d better do some research, because there are 77 candidates vying for your affections. Alternatively you could just use Vote-Match for a quick and dirty look at how your interests align with the hoard of potential politicians.

CCP says that an even 100 players applied for CSM X candidacy, with 23 of them being rejected for either failing to verify their identity or passing a security check. The election begins Wednesday, February 25th.

[Source: CCP blog]

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WoW Factor: The Iron Docks and the bare level cap

I really didn’t want Massively Overpowered’s inaugural column about World of Warcraft to focus on the negatives. But I can’t in good conscience ignore the fact that patch 6.1 for Warlords of Draenor is not getting the Iron Docks that many players were expecting. It’s not that I think it’s a grand betrayal of player trust; it’s not. Things get shifted around in development. Stuff gets held back for the next patch. It happens. This feature was never promised for Tuesday, and it isn’t coming out then. Seems fair.

No, the problem here comes down to one of perception, presentation, and the simple fact that there’s plenty to do at level cap in Warlords of Draenor… but also absolutely nothing to do.

It seems ironic that an expansion that led to an enormous subscriber surge is also seemingly tone-deaf on a number of points, but it also seemed ironic when Cataclysm followed Wrath of the Lich King by undoing a good portion of what made the prior expansion so popular. So why is there so much negativity, even from people who do like the game? How can a game be replete in things to do while at the same time have nothing to do?

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One Shots: Dragons can be heroes, too

I’ve given dragons a lot of flack over the years for being overused, underwhelming stock MMO bosses when bears deserve top billing. But what about player dragon heroes? Where do they stand in my estimation?

I guess I’ll give them the scaly benefit of the doubt that they can do actual good in the world and be self-sacrificing for those in need, although it wouldn’t surprise me if most of them turned out to be raid villains in the making.

Our first One Shot for the day is from dragon-loving Jake: “This is Kahdesh’Hadhi, an Argonian Dragon Knight from Elder Scrolls Online. I think this game is beautiful, and I’ve taken more screenshots here in the past week than I have in any other game. It helps that the UI is so minimal that I’m much more immersed in the environment and aware of my surroundings on a regular basis.”

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO boasts the best bard?

A player on Reddit recently asked one of the most pressing questions in the MMO genre today: “Where can I find a fun Bard-like class?” Though often posts on the MMORPG Reddit aren’t heavily populated, this one elicited dozens of responses and ideas. I’m telling you: Bards are awesome, and everyone knows it.

Naturally, the thread quickly devolved into bragging about just who could twist the most songs as a Bard in classic EverQuest.

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The Daily Grind: Are you with or behind the player curve?

There’s one unfortunate fallout to taking an extended leave from an MMO: You quickly fall behind the curve. As patches and expansions and changes roll in, players in the game adapt and conquer while you’ll be playing catch-up if or when you come back.

I’m experiencing this right now in Star Wars: The Old Republic. When I left, my Operative was doing Makeb with the rest of the crowd, but now that I’ve returned, I’m one of approximately six people on this planet while everyone else is Rishi this and Rishi that. I don’t even know what a Rishi is, although I suspect it’s some type of midichlorian pasta maker.

In your MMO, are you with or behind the player curve?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Chaos Theory: Player-run parade pairs Secret World cabals with recruits

It’s been said that The Secret World is more like a single-player game. And it’s true: You can definitely enjoy many aspects of the game solo or with just a friend or two. But there may also come a time when you want to be a part of a larger group, especially when trying to run nightmare-mode dungeons or crawl through the lairs. In that case, a cabal becomes pretty desirable. Just like guilds in other games, TSW’s cabals are a conglomeration of fans who usually have a common thread that ties them together, be it play times, playstyles, or whatever else. (It wouldn’t surprise me to see a cabal of just fashionistas!) The trick is actually finding folks who have those commonalities.

That’s where the player-run Cabal Pride event on February 21st comes in. Starting at 2:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, this event is all about matching unguilded players with potential cabals.
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The Daily Grind: How do you rate Guild Wars 2’s season 2?

As I write this, I’m almost finished with the second season of Guild Wars 2’s vaunted living story. Without any specific spoilers, I have to say that the season was a step up from the first, with a tighter delivery of narrative and the ability to replay episodes at one’s leisure. However, I never felt truly drawn into what felt like a drawn-out prologue to a boss fight that has yet to come, and none of the characters save Taimi had any interesting character development happen.

So now that the season is over, let’s hear some reviews from those who have played it through. What do you think of season two? What could the devs do better in the third season, assuming that it will come after the expansion pack?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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EVE’s CSM elections are coming next week

CCP’s latest dev blog talks up the fast-approaching elections for EVE Online’s 10th Council of Stellar Management. The voting opens on February 25th, and active accounts with a minimum account age of 30 days are eligible to cast a ballot.

Why should you vote? Hell if I know, democracy or some such. Outside of that, CCP is also gifting 10 “collectible trinkets” to each participating account. And even if you don’t vote, you’ll get a Pacifier-class CONCORD frigate provided that you have an active account on the 25th.

More details on the voting process and the CSM itself are viewable on EVE’s official website.

[Source: Dev blog]

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