advice

Smart Social Gaming: Why people play social games and other topics non-gamers don’t get

While those of us who write for MassivelyOP do try give you all the scientific resources we can to help you fight back against your family, friends, and co-workers who may still not get your hobby or why you may let your child participate in gaming culture, it’s not our primary function – that’d be covering and analyzing the MMO genre.

Enter SmartSocialGamers.org, an “online resource that provides guidance, tips and expert advice for everyone to have a positive social games experience.” While I’d normally smirk and wonder who really thinks he or she has the clout to do something like that, in digging through it I found that Dr. Rachel Kowert, of The Video Game Debate fame, penned several of the top tips, including one that starts off using Quantic Foundry’s Gamer Motivation Model. That’s some clout. Let’s take a look!

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Guild Chat: Coming back to an MMORPG guild after a long hiatus

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which readers in need can source some solid advice to help them solve their guild-related issues. This time, an anonymous reader is wondering how to approach returning to a guild after being offline for some time. The submission asks for our tips on rejoining a once-friendly guild that was the reader’s in-game home before she took a long break from her MMO of choice. While she enjoyed the vast majority of her time spent with her guild, it was in part because of some tension in the guild that she fell out of love with the MMO for a while. Now that she’s back, our anonymous reader is wondering whether or not to accept the guild invite that winged its way to her when she logged back in, and if so, how to reintegrate with her old guildmates.

Read below for the full submission and my thoughts on coming back to a guild after a long hiatus.

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Guild Chat: Dealing with the ‘it’s me or the MMO guild!’ ultimatum

Welcome along to another edition of Guild Chat, the column through which the Massively Overpowered readership can band together to help a gamer-in-need with his or her guild-related dilemma. This time, an anonymous reader dubbed ‘R’ has written in with a matter of the heart that threatens his or her MMO enjoyment: While R is very much enjoying the MMO and guild he or she is part of, the demands of the guild are fairly steep and R’s girlfriend is feeling second-best. R is in a predicament where the guild leader doesn’t want to give R any sort of preferential treatment and expects him or her to show up just like everyone else does, but R’s girlfriend is getting more and more upset with how much time the guild demands of her partner. The situation between the couple has become so heated that the girlfriend has given R an ultimatum and wants to see her partner quit the game entirely.

There are more details to R’s tale, so check out the full submission below and my thoughts on the matter before you weigh in with your advice in the comments.

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Guild Chat: Enacting change in an MMORPG guild

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the online spot for all things guild-related where we band together to tackle a submission sent in by a needy Massively Overpowered reader. This time, reader Will has asked for my ideas on making his current guild change its content emphasis to match the newest trends in his MMO of choice. Will explained that the content that his guild currently focuses on has suffered from a sustained lack of support on the development front and would far rather devote the bulk of his gaming time to engaging with the content that is well supported, but he is meeting resistance from his guild. Firstly, his guildmates seem to still enjoy the old content, and secondly, they believe abandoning the aspects of the game they enjoy but are currently being neglected developmentally will only back up the developer’s argument for placing it on the back burner in the first place.

Read Will’s full submission and my advice to him below, and of course don’t forget to add your thoughts on the matter in the comments section.

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Guild Chat: What to do if drug use impacts your MMO guild

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which we all band together to help someone get on top of his or her guild-related issue: While I give my two cents here in the article, plenty of useful advice and different perspectives on the matter at hand emerge in the comments section. This time, reader Michael has a rather challenging issue to deal with that hinges on his guildmates’ drug use. Michael’s guild centres around an online friendship group that began in MOBAs and has recently been adversely impacted by the behaviour of several members of the group who live close to one another. These members have, for as long as Michael has known them, taken recreational drugs while gaming, but recently Michael has noted some personality changes and volatility that is uncharacteristic of his friends. He wants to know how best to deal with the issue and bring back positive relations in his guild.

You’ll find my two cents in the comments, but this is a massive topic that needs a measured approach. The submission does not include specifics of what drugs the friends are consuming and whether or not those substances are controlled or otherwise legally restricted in their country. I am in no way qualified to give professional advice about drug consumption and all advice given is in support of seeing a medical professional who specialises in drug dependence and addiction. Add your own thoughts in the comments, of course, and see Michael’s full submission below.

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Guild Chat: Damage control after MMO guildmate poaching

Welcome along to another edition of Guild Chat, the column through which I gather the Massively Overpowered readers together to help me tackle a guild-related issue. This time, reader King wants to know how to stem the steady flow of his guild ranks into another guild’s after some recent hype in-game started the poaching off. King mentions that he feels that the guild was running fairly well until another guild leader joined his usual runs as a PUG and people started becoming interested in his tales of great success on Discord. Feeling that the grass was most definitely greener on the other side, what started off as the reciprocal filling of gaps for one another’s guilds has become a spot of member poaching.

You’ll find King’s full submission below alongside my response as to how to deal with this poaching problem once and for all. As ever, King and I would both greatly appreciate your advice and would love to see it in the comments section.

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Guild Chat: What to do when your MMO guild is close to imploding

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which the Massively commenters can join forces to help solve the guild dilemmas of fellow readers. This time, I have a sad submission from Louise, a guild officer who is at present in the middle of the worst kind of guild wars. She explains that a personal bust-up has been festering within her guild’s ranks between the guild leader and another officer, caused by an inconsequential fallout that she doesn’t know the full details of. The dispute has spilt out to the wider roster as the pair snipe at each other and manoeuvre behind the scenes to undermine the other, which is making members leave the guild, mute chat, and take sides in the row. Now Louise faces a dilemma: How can she resolve this fallout and come away with a still-functioning, harmonious guild at the other end? Read on for Louise’s full submission and my response, and don’t forget to share your advice in the comments below.  Read more

How to find the right MMORPG as a couple

People seemed to quite like my piece last week about how my wife and I wound up married in no small part due to World of Warcraft. Of course, I also alluded in the column to the fact that World of Warcraft was hardly our final destination, and we’re currently playing Final Fantasy XIV quite happily together. We’ve also gone into Final Fantasy XI, City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Fallen Earth, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic… a lot of different games, in other words. And I’m just counting the ones we’ve tried together.

I don’t think that there’s any one surefire way to always find the right game for a couple to enjoy, but I have had a fair amount of experience with it now, and it’s helped that we’ve both spent a lot of time working on finding what works and what doesn’t in this field. So here’s some (hopefully) helpful tips about finding a game that you and your romantic partner of choice can enjoy together.

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Guild Chat: The fairest way to govern guilds

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which I get together with the Massively Overpowered readership to help one reader in need solve his or her guild-related issue. In this edition, reader Paul wants to know the best way to govern his guild now that he has chosen to open up his once friends-only guild to the larger game community. Before the switch, Paul didn’t have any need for a solid guild structure and set way to run things because he was in a group of friends who worked well as a unit. Now, however, Paul is starting to recruit new members to fill the friendship group’s ranks to facilitate quicker and easier grouping without forcing friends to commit.

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Guild Chat: Moving up the ranks in MMORPG guilds

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which the Massively Overpowered community gathers together to help one reader in need with his or her guild-related dilemma. This time, reader Jake wishes to gather opinions on the best way to fully integrate into a new guild and move out of the initiate rank and into the upper echelons as quickly as possible. Jake is new to MMORPGs, this is his first guild, and he has joined without the benefit of real-life friends already being established in the MMO world. He is part of a levelling guild with a rather large roster of over 100 characters and is having fun but is wondering how he advances the ranks and becomes a more permanent fixture in his virtual home. Read on for Jake’s full submission alongside my ideas for impressing his new guildmates. and don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Guild Chat: Keeping romantic relationships from affecting MMORPG guilds

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which the Massively Overpowered readership can band together to solve the guild-related queries and problems of readers in need.  In this edition, reader Roxxus is worried about forming a romantic attachment with an in-guild love interest in case it affects the guild’s group dynamics and ruins the fun that the pair is currently having as platonic guildmates. Roxxus seems to be concerned about how to handle an online relationship without opening up that blossoming romance to the external influences already present in his or her guild, and the pair is perhaps considering getting together without telling anyone else in the guild. Read on for Roxxus’ full submission as well as my ideas, and don’t forget to leave your own thoughts on the matter in the comments.
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Guild Chat: How do you deal with chronically inactive MMO guildies?

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which I band together with the Massively Overpowered readership to solve the guild-related issues of readers in need. This submission comes in from reader Question, who has recently been having trouble with prospective guild members hogging attention and spots for extended periods of time without actually desiring to become a productive member of the guild. The problem for Question doesn’t lie in the fact that these people delay membership or never join at all, but is more to do with the guild resources that are wasted in training these members for spots they never take up, so he wishes to find a solution to more quickly identify these cases to prevent this waste.

Read on for Question’s full submission and my take on the matter, and don’t forget to leave your thoughts on the eternal-promise types in the comments.

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Guild Chat: Planning a long break from your MMORPG guild

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which the Massively Overpowered community can discuss and solve a whole plethora of guild-related issues other readers are facing. In this edition, reader-in-need Gwen is seeking our help with finding sensible ways to take an extended break from the guild she leads. She recently has received the happy news that she is pregnant and wishes to plan ahead for the time leading up to her baby’s arrival and that crucial bonding period thereafter, and she is thinking of taking maternity leave of sorts from her MMO of choice to welcome her new bundle of joy.The trouble is that she does wish to go back to her gaming as soon as she feels ready and doesn’t wish to retire her guild, so Gwen is looking for advice on how to conduct some sort of handover so her guild doesn’t die a slow death in her absence.

Read below for Gwen’s full submission and my response, and don’t forget to leave your helpful advice in the comments too.

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