Meta Category

The category collects all of our more meta features and posts, like The Daily Grind, letters to the editor, and posts about the state-of-the-site. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

Massively Overthinking: Building your dream MMORPG

Massively OP Kickstarter donor xenaphex wants to hear about our dream MMOs. What really makes you tick? What would you build with a million-bajillion buckaroos?

“If you were to design an MMOG, what would be your dream game? Please be specific on the setting, major features, style, etc. You can use existing games as an example as long as you mention the game and the specifics about it that you like.”

I posed xenaphex’s question to the staff for this week’s edition of Massively Overthinking.

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Perfect Ten: The 10 MMO memories we all have

I have been playing MMOs with varying degrees of intensity for the past 12 years. That is really weird to me. It also means that I’ve had time to develop a robust set of memories, and not everyone has the exact same memories. But I’ve also found that we all have the same general categories of memories despite that, even if you weren’t first playing Final Fantasy XI when I was.

So let’s be a little bit universal. Not everyone has the memories I do of running through Qufim or dealing with goblins in every leveling spot ever, but whatever your first game was, I’m pretty sure you have these same memories. The details just change.

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The Daily Grind: Why don’t more PvP sandboxes have consequences?

Eco’s recent stretch goal reveal tickled my fancy, mainly because I’ve been ranting about the lack of meaningful criminal justice systems in PvP sandboxes for years. If you missed the announcement, Eco’s proposed system has teeth in that possible consequences for criminal behavior include not only permadeath/character deletion but a ban that prevents the account from creating another character on a particular server!

As I did that Citizen Kane clap and mouthed the word “finally” while reading the announcement, I got to thinking about why all these other PvP sandbox devs lack the stones to do something similar. Is it too hard? Is it too impractical? Is it because they don’t care about building an actual sandbox and would rather build another meaningless me-too MMO that’s a combat simulator instead of a virtual world? What do you think, MOP readers? Why don’t more PvP sandboxes have harsh consequences for criminal gameplay?

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Ask Mo: The state of Massively Overpowered

Ask Mo is back, and today Mo and I are answering a few meta questions about Massively OP itself. Our first question is from long-time supporter Pierre:

Hello guys! I’ve been worrying for a long time now about something. I think I know the answer to my question, but I wanted to be sure because MOP is such a great website and I feel you’re in your element with the freedom you get from running the site yourself, and I don’t want to see the site disappear in the near future. So my question basically is: How does it go financially? Can the site live on with all the incomes from the Patreon (not much but normal for Patreon) and from advertising? Do you need another Kickstarter or crowdfunding campaign?

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The Daily Grind: What’s the best MMO testing experience you’ve ever had?

I know I’m not alone in feeling beta-fatigue. I hear the same things I feel from you folks in our comments and from our writers too. We’re tired of being asked to pay to perform QA duties for game studios. We’re tired of games rushing to “open beta” soft launches so they can make a quick buck. And maybe above all else, we’re tired of having so much of the game experience spoiled before the “real game” begins.

I didn’t always feel that way, though. When MMORPGs were few and far between, I gobbled up testing experiences, which meant that while I alpha’d classic Anarchy Online (yes, it was that bad) and love to tell the “monsters-that-way sign” story from Horizons, I also got in on the ground-floor with insanely fun betas like Asheron’s Call’s and Star Wars Galaxies’. I even got to test a very early version of World of Warcraft thanks to a dear friend, and I pretty much had to be dragged back out of it because I had such a great time.

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The Daily Grind: How much money have you spent on MMO player housing?

I’ve got player housing on the brain this week, as decorating my Nar Shaddaa sky palace has accounted for most of MMO playing time here lately. It’s so expensive, though, that I might not be able to finish it!

For starters, you have to pay huge amounts of either in-game credits or cash shop funny money to unlock all nine rooms in the house. Then there are 475 item slots to fill, and depending on your tastes, you’ll be spending a pretty penny on those, too. MassivelyOP’s Larry once told me that he spent $30 million in-game credits decorating a SWTOR stronghold!

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MMO Week in Review: Guild Wars 2 reimagined (August 30, 2015)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

It’s been a giant week for Guild Wars 2 as we count down to the now-50-odd days until Heart of Thorns launches, though it’s not been without its bumpy roads. ArenaNet announced the Thief elite spec and next beta date, handed out its third anniversary gifts, committed to an October 23rd expansion release, and revealed a new raiding endgame and free base-game business model, though the last pair bobbed in the wake of a badly timed leak. Plus, Massively OP’s GW2 columnist, Tina Lauro, debated the merits of datamining.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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Guild Chat: Finding MMO fun without your guildmates

Good news, everyone: I’m back with an unexpected edition of Guild Chat for you! Observant Massively Overpowered readers might have noticed that I rotate this column with MMO Mechanics and it should, in fact, be the latter’s turn this time. However, I had a great reader submission fly its way into my inbox very shortly after publishing the last Guild Chat and just couldn’t leave it waiting around gathering e-dust for a month. Get comfortable and pop your reading glasses on, dearies: This time around, we’re discussing the loss of great guildmates to IRL commitments and how to recapture the spark of the guild that once was great.

To summarise, reader Rekoor has written in about how he misses the spark of enjoying an MMO with a group of people he truly “clicks” with. Real life and the usual drop-off and break taking we see in MMO communities has left Rekoor short on the quality in-game friends front, but his gaming time has become even more precious as his time is at a premium due to full time work and a young growing family. He now needs a way to capitalise on his gaming time without hurting his friends when they do get to pop on, which also means perhaps putting the final nail in his old guild’s coffin.

Keep on reading for Rekoor’s full submission and my advice to him below, and be sure to pop your two cents into the comments!

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WRUP: Eorzean power couples edition

Usually, my introduction to our weekly What Are You Playing feature is a testament to the things I find funny. It’s not meant to make a great deal of sense, and in fact in those cases I usually try to back off if it feels like I’m piecing together too much of a narrative or something. Other times, I just have a really nice picture of my character and her wife in Limsa Lominsa and I decide that I just want to use that as the header without any larger joke.

It’s a good picture, that’s all. I think they look like they’re posing for a movie poster.

Anyhow, you probably know what I’m playing (because it’s always the same things) but you don’t know what the rest of the Massively Overpowered staff is playing. You can find that out down below. You can tell us what you’re playing in the comments, too! We find that stuff genuinely interesting.

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Leaderboard: Which MMO devs would you like to see in an epic rap battle?

Sometimes the MMO industry is so absurd that all we can do is laugh at it. OK, not sometimes, most of the time, and especially when the names Chris Roberts and Derek Smart appear in the same news article. Fortunately, MassivelyOP commenters have a good sense of humor, and today’s Leaderboard is shamelessly inspired by Ghostmourn, who recently suggested that Roberts and Smart settle their differences in an epic rap battle of history.

Frankly I’d pay a lot of money to see that, but are there any other dueling dev duos who should pick up a pair of mics and throw down? Vote after the cut!

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The Daily Grind: How can MMOs create personal progression in a post-levels world?

Massively OP Kickstarter donor Craywulf wants us all to sit back in our armchair designer, er, armchairs and tackle a design problem some gamers are convinced is impossible:

How would you provide personal progression without leveling?

The easy answer is “skill systems,” of course, but let’s be honest: Skills are levels by other names, even if they work to different ends. So let’s skip past the easy answers!

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Massively Overthinking: Making MMOs more social from the inside out

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic from an anonymous Kickstarter donor asks us to set aside our criticisms of the social environment of MMOs and figure out what we, as players, can do about it.

“We criticize MMO devs for making our MMO experience less social, but are they the only ones to blame? I think our (the players’) behaviour to others and within the games themselves has also changed. I’d like to know if you can think of ways we players could improve that situation – from behaviour, less game or guild hopping, ways to grow our friends lists – to make our MMO experience more social again.”

Is he right? Have we changed, too? And how do we solve the problem from the bottom up in an MMO genre that increasingly thinks social media shares are all the social we want and need?

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Massively Opinionated: Which in-game system is most beneficial to an MMO?

Most of us probably suspect that some of our most anticipated MMOs have concentrated on precisely the wrong systems and mechanics. So to find out which games systems are the most important to an MMORPG, our host Larry Everett invited the guys from to battle it out. Larry welcomes Andrew Desmond, Troy Blackburn, and Chuck Dunmire to the ring.

The rules are simple: Each panelist was given four questions before the show, each debates his argument, and then our host awards a point per question for the best argument. The panelist with the most points at the end wins the game and love of every MMO gamer everywhere.

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