community discussion

The Daily Grind: What’s your biggest pet peeve about early access MMOs?

Early access is kind of a garbage system for the vast majority of gamers. Yes, yes, I know, some games and game types just wouldn’t be made without it, and this is probably better than having no options at all. But the whole system is saddled with bullcrap, from unpaid testing and exploits and wipes to scope creep and content cuts and delays and outright abandonment. And, ahem, charging for expansions and housing plots and cosmetics while supposedly still in a test phase. It feels like perpetual amateur hour and I’m sick of it.

And yet for all that, there are a couple of things that really bug me more than anything else, and one of them is putting paid demos out there without female characters, with extra frowny-faces for making female avs a stretch goal. Even if a team says the male character is just a placeholder and that it’s working on the ladies, it still bugs me, as if we’re afterthoughts. Sure, non-transparent, non-early-access games do this (or related sins), but somehow it seems more obnoxious when gals are left out (and men are treated as generic/default) in tandem with the studio asking us for cash upfront.

That’s just one frustration among many, however, and obviously those of you who don’t play primarily women aren’t going to care quite as much as those of us who do. So what’s your biggest pet peeve about early access MMOs?

Read more

The Daily Grind: How do you feel your first MMO influences your current playstyle?

I can tell you what my observations have been about how people act based on their first MMO, but I can only guess at the ways having Final Fantasy XI as my first game have influenced my subsequent play choices. I know that after that game I’m far more leery of any game requiring me to group up with others just to level up, often times eschewing the “fastest” methods of grouping and grinding just out of a deep-seated distaste for that. I’m also eager to dive into lore and world details, sometimes to the point of seeing depths in hints and suggestion that turn out to not be there on closer inspection.

So today, we turn the question over to you. How do you feel your first MMO influences your current playstyle? Part of it depends on what your first MMO is, of course, but the analysis from there is all you. Does having World of Warcraft as your first MMO make you gravitate toward raiding or specifically avoid it? Does listing Anarchy Online as your first MMO lead you to be more social or less social? Share your self-analysis with us! We’re curious.

Read more

The Daily Grind: What’s the appeal of tanking in MMOs?

Do you live the tank life? Do you suit up in your oversized, overpowered, overprotective armor and strut out onto the front lines of combat every day in game? Do you lead your dungeon group with vision and confidence? Do you feel like you’re babysitting a group of eccentric toddlers who can barely keep from wetting their own pants, nevermind pull it together to take down the next boss?

Then we want to hear from you today!

For the tankers out there, what’s the appeal of this role in MMORPGs? Why do you assume the mantle of one of the more difficult and less flashy positions in a group? Is it for the leadership? The power trip? The fact that you’re always in demand? Let’s hear from you burly bashers today!

Read more

The Daily Grind: What’s your ideal ‘retirement’ MMORPG?

Wednesday, my husband and I were chatting about the big stories of the day, including the Star Citizen piece that racked up a bajillion comments, not counting all the deleted ones. I was explaining that some people have put thousands of dollars into this hope of a game, which skews how setbacks are perceived, when he remarked, “Oh, it’s their retirement.”

He didn’t mean people were investing their retirement savings into CIG, of course, although I’m sure somebody is doing just that. He meant they’re investing their retirement dreams in virtual spaceships. Those future players don’t really care that the game isn’t finished now and probably isn’t going to be feature complete for many more years. They’re thinking long-term: This is the game they want to “retire” to in a more vague and distant future, and it’ll be ready for them when they’re ready for it. Star Citizen is their cabin by the lake, their shack by the sea, their tent on Tatooine.

I’m most of a lifetime away from retirement, so I’ve never really thought about what I might want to play if I ever get to be a kid again only with money, outside of joking about wanting VR in the old folks’ home. But I have my weak spots: If someone promised me SWG 2 would be ready in a couple decades, I’d start planning my character now.

Have you got a “retirement MMO” picked out? What’s your ideal retirement MMORPG?

Read more

The Daily Grind: What simple tasks does your favorite MMO make unnecessarily difficult?

For the longest time, logging out of Final Fantasy XI was something of a nightmare. First, you had to get to a mog room, or else you had to wait for an extended period of time to log off (unlike other games such as World of Warcraft, you can’t just force an immediate logoff while your character stays in place longer). Then, you had to exit out of the PlayOnline Viewer, a program with the sole purpose of making you angry that you were playing the game. It was just a matter of logging on and logging off, but imagine adding two extra minutes or so to every single time you want to get offline.

Of course, I figure every game has some issues along those lines. It was always such a pain to just get your fellow players onto the bridge of your ship in Star Trek Online, and I found map waypoints in Lord of the Rings Online to be irritating to see. None of these things are complex for the player, but their simplicity makes it almost more annoying when these things are inconvenient or difficult. So what would you say? What simple tasks does your favorite MMO make unnecessarily difficult?

Read more

The Daily Grind: How death-prone are you in MMOs?

Do you find yourself faceplanting a lot in MMOs? Do you measure your lifespan during a boss fight in mere seconds? Or are you so invincible that the game made up a new achievement just for you to recognize your longevity?

I die over all sorts of stupid things, including (and not limited to) falling off of cliffs, miscalculating jumps, overpulling mob packs, saying “I wonder what will happen if I touch this,” looking at PvP players with side-eyes, trying to train dragons, eating hot sauce packets in The Secret World (true story), and on a few occasions, merely by logging into a game.

How death-prone are you in MMOs? For a bonus question, what’s the most memorable way you’ve ever died?

Read more

The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG is the worst for duos?

As I’ve been playing Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind the past week or two, my husband has been watching me from the depths of his Overwatch games, toying with picking up a Morrowind copy for himself to join me. The thing is, we both know that the game experience in ESO is sometimes hindered by the addition of more people, as the throngs of people plunging past me into my sneaky missions demonstrate on the daily.

It reminded me of something blogger Syncaine wrote earlier this year about ESO: “It’s very obvious a huge chunk of the game is aimed to be played solo, and not only do you not benefit from bringing someone else, in many cases you are punished or annoyed.”

I can think of a lot of MMOs that are great for duoing, but I don’t think I’ve ever thought about the absolute worst MMO for bringing a friend along for basic leveling and questing, and for all its petty annoyances, I suspect ESO isn’t that far down the list. Which MMORPG would you argue is the worst for duos?

Read more

The Daily Grind: Which MMO IP should Disney themeparkify next?

Following Disney’s announcement of the Star Wars Hotel in the Galaxy’s Edge Disney subpark this weekend, my MMO guildies were joking about using the location for a guild meet-up in a few years. (Well, they were joking; I was serious! Teenage Bree would literally be shrieking incoherently over this thing. I practically still am.) The new bit is basically a Star Wars LARP hotel where you walk around in costume (and presumably in-character).

“It’s unlike anything that exists today. From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story! You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100 percent immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”

So basically, it’s an MMORPG that skips right past VR and into real life. Will it be awesome? It’s going to cost a fortune, so probably — although if Westworld is any guide, people will still pay fortunes to show up and be idiots. My guildies will probably just spend all their time playing sabacc in the cantina, so we may as well just stay home and save the dough.

But Star Wars is my particular obsession; I’m sure you folks can think of other IPs, specifically MMO IPs, that would work even better for a bajillion-dollar vanity LARP. Which MMO IP should Disney themeparkify next? (Points to whoever says Revival first!)

Read more

The Daily Grind: Have you ever fallen for an MMO after giving it a second chance?

It’s no secret that there are a lot of games out there I fell for on my first try (Final Fantasy XI, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, Star Trek Online), but you know what game I couldn’t stand when I first played it? City of Heroes. I played, thought it totally missed what would have made a superhero MMO fun, and left it behind with a sense of bitter disappointment. It was several months before I gave it another shot; when I did, it was lover at second sight.

This is not entirely foreign to me; my first impression of The Elder Scrolls Online was definitely negative, but going back to it produced much warmer feelings. Then again, there are games which I don’t care for much on my first try that later do nothing to change my mind. What about you, dear readers? Have you ever fallen for an MMO after giving it a second chance? And if so, have you found it has more to do with changes to the game or with yourself?

Read more

The Daily Grind: What’s the most interesting MMO city to explore?

There’s a line drawn between MMO cities that mostly exist as empty set pieces and ones that live and thrive with NPCs, details, and touches of personality. I usually am more critical of urban areas in video games because, for the most part, they aren’t that exciting to explore and merely function as a maze to confound me.

But that isn’t every MMO and it isn’t every city. World of Warcraft’s Dalaran might be small, but it is brimming with cool little nooks and fascinating sights. LOTRO’s Minas Tirith is an absolutely amazing multi-tiered metropolis with lots of buildings to enter. And I would be remiss by not mentioning Divinity’s Reach in Guild Wars 2, which straddles both of the former examples in its offerings.

What’s the most interesting MMO city to explore for you? What makes you recommend it as a tourist destination?

Read more

The Daily Grind: What’s the worst minigame in an MMORPG?

Sure, Gems is up there for obnoxious MMO minigames, but for me? It’s Polymock.

I had almost forgotten Polymock existed until a WoodenPotatoes video put it back in my field of vision. It was a minigame in Guild Wars 1 that somehow managed to be excruciatingly frustrating and unnecessarily latency-based as well as tied into the game’s valuable faction system. I remember playing it before everyone had figured out the optimal way to win, and by the time the strats were common knowledge, I just wanted to throw all my virtual Polymock pieces across the room and get back to playing the great MMO I’d actually signed up for.

What do you say is the worst minigame in an MMORPG?

Read more

The Daily Grind: How much of your gaming budget is spent on MMOs?

There was a time in my life when my budget consisted of two basic line items – things I needed for survival and video games. Everything else was superfluous. At that point, video games made up a good chunk of my budget. My overall spending on games has gone down over the past several years, but my spending on MMOs as a percentage of the whole has gone up; I didn’t buy anything in the Steam sale this summer, but I keep up my subscriptions to games, I often buy cash shop fluff, and so forth.

Of course, we all have different amounts of money to spend on gaming every month. But for some people, $100 on MMOs is barely any part of their monthly gaming budget, and for others $5 on Star Wars: The Old Republic is pretty much it for the month. So today we ask you, dear readers – how much of your gaming budget is spent on MMOs? Do you buy a lot of games and spend comparatively little on MMOs, or do you spend most of your money on MMOs regardless of an actual dollar amount?

Read more

The Daily Grind: What MMORPG would do better with a different business model?

When it comes to ArcheAge, it’s generally accepted that this is a pretty great fantasy sandbox that was absolutely sunk by a terrible business model (and a few other regrettable studio choices). The topic keeps popping up among that community over whether or not a subscription-only server would do a lot better today.

Switching business models is something many MMOs experiment with from time to time. We’ve certainly seen many subscription games go free-to-play, and Secret World Legends recently restarted with a F2P model instead of B2P.

Looking at the vast array of MMOs out there, which game do you think would do better if it had a different business model? You could even argue here to modify the extent of the current business model to something, say, less pay-to-win or restrictive.

Read more

1 2 3 65