daily grind

See: The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind: Which MMO does dinosaurs the best?

Dinosaurs are one of those wells that seem to show up in a lot of MMOs. World of Warcraft? Yes, there are whole zones dedicated to dino-antics. Neverwinter? Plenty of dinosaurs in the latest stories. Final Fantasy XIV? Lots of dinos in places where you wouldn’t expect them. Star Trek Online? Yes, we got dinosaurs on spaceships in that game. It’s dinosaurs everywhere, and for some reason none of them have feathers.

That’s a bit of a sore point because dinosaurs had feathers, but then, most dinosaurs also didn’t fight people in spaceships. That we know of.

Asking which game should add dinosaurs becomes a rather silly question, then, because there are a minority of ones that don’t, and the ones that do not could probably benefit from them but are unlikely to add them. (That being said, if Ever, Jane adds dinosaurs, it’d be cool.) But which of the many MMOs with dinosaurs handles them best? Which one has the best variety of terrible lizards to interact with and the most satisfying cast of dinos?

Read more

The Daily Grind: What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?

Earlier this month, Pantheon’s community team tweeted out a question that keeps coming back to me: “What motivates you to play an MMORPG for long periods of time, as in months, sometimes, years?” My first reaction was a pretty common one I bed and was true for me for a long time: friends and guildies! I certainly played some games far longer than I would have otherwise because I wanted to hang out with friends (EverQuest in particular is coming to mind).

But in recent years, when I already “see” my friends and guildies every day in external chats, I’d found games need some other draw too. Housing is probably the biggest one. I don’t usually get sucked in for dailies or anything like that, but give me a house that I love and want to keep up – that I’ll not only log in for but pay for, as my continuing Ultima Online fees prove.

What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?

Read more

The Daily Grind: What could MMO taverns do to get you to stick around?

I have vague memories of ArenaNet talking about Guild Wars 2 taverns prior to its launch and how these spaces would be more than window dressing. Maybe that was a dream or something, but I’ve always respected the effort to make one of the most iconic of RPG locations — the tavern meeting place — more useful and engaging. Warhammer Online, too, was touting tavern brawls that would take place as public events.

We’re so conditioned to run in and out of such places that unless we are roleplaying for some reason, chances are we never stay for more than a few seconds. And that’s kind of a shame, because I like the idea of players spending some time in bars unwinding. I heard a myth of a dead MMO that used to put such an emphasis on this, but it was probably all bunk.

What could MMO taverns do to get you to stick around? Would you hang out for minigames, gambling, special events, or special buffs?

Read more

The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the dumbest armor?

Back in February, PC Gamer put out a piece on the absolute dumbest character armor in gaming history. There’s more than one MMORPG in the list, including World of Warcraft (Arthas’ Lich King armor) and Lineage 2 (Dark Elf string armor). Bizarrely, City of Heroes made the roster too for that one dude from The Lost faction with a TV helmet. The best part is the commentary from an actual real-life armorer (they’re basically all the equivalent of “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid”).

I thought it would be fun to dig further into MMOs for even more dumb armor. Me, I’ll vote for anything where the shoulders would poke me in the eye, anything I would legit wear clubbing, and anything that proves definitively that the designer has no idea how actual boobs work.

Which MMO has the dumbest armor? Post pics if you have them!

Read more

The Daily Grind: What’s the biggest scandal the MMORPG genre has ever seen?

Over the weekend in the Guild Wars 2 spyware article comments, a commenter remarked that Blizzard’s Warden spyware was “the biggest scandal in MMOs” over the last 10 years. I was pretty surprised to see that claim; I was aware of Warden, but it probably wouldn’t even make my top 10 list of scandals across the industry. The first one that pops to mind is Blizzard’s RealID, probably followed by Monoclegate, the Funcom insider trading case, the EVE jumpgate scandal, the Sigil Games parking lot firing fiasco, and the NCsoft/Bluehole lawsuit.

I’m positive I’m forgetting some juicy ones. What’s the biggest scandal – scandal, mind you, not just drama – the MMORPG genre has ever seen? Lay ’em on me!

Read more

The Daily Grind: How diligent are you about making money in an MMO?

No one believes me when I say that I’m bad about making money in my main games. It’s true, though; compared to the people who put a whole lot of effort into doing so, my moneymaking skills are sub-par. Yes, I own a mansion in Final Fantasy XIV, but that’s a result of frugality and building up resources over time. Yes, I’ve got an extensive heirloom collection in World of Warcraft, but I’m not playing the markets (or at least, not playing them well).

Of course, I also might be comparing myself to the wrong people, considering I know other people who would fall over themselves for the moneymaking engines I already have running. So what about you, dear readers? How diligent are you about making money in an MMO? Do you enjoy playing the economic games and live for the big windfalls, or do you mostly treat money as something to slowly accumulate rather than a thing to chase after?

Read more

The Daily Grind: Who is the best MMO villain?

Setting up and establishing a memorable villain is tricky business, especially in online games where players barrel through them like dominoes. We’ve fought so many bad guys and gals over the years that the rogue’s gallery would stretch to the horizon.

Yet some of these dastardly bosses rise above the rest in their machinations. Maybe it’s a truly captivating backstory, wickedly funny one-liners, or shocking actions that cement them in our minds as villains for the ages.

Looking back at all of the villains you’ve faced in MMOs in your career, who would you say is the best, the baddest, and the most memorable of them all?

Read more

The Daily Grind: Do you have a ‘guilty pleasure’ MMO?

As comments and tweets and nastygrams in my inbox have repeatedly demonstrated over the years, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve put in years of play in brutal gankboxes and done more than your fair share of time in endgame raiding and PvP: An hour in a guilty pleasure MMO renders you irreversibly contaminated in the eyes of a certain segment of the gaming population. You’re a filthy casual (or worse!). I don’t actually buy that idea for a second, but I can’t help but find it colors my ability to enjoy and willingness to gush over cutesy games, silly MMOs, and retro titles.

Case in point? Trove. I’m consistently surprised by the depth I’ve found in Trove (in fact, the overall gameplay loop reminds me more of City of Heroes than Minecraft or Cube World), but the fact that people see neon voxel graphics and smirk it away as a kiddie game both irritates and squelches me. And yet it’s the MMORPG that’s got me logging in every day the last month or so, something I haven’t felt like doing anywhere else for quite a while.

Do you have a “guilty pleasure” MMO? Do you keep a secret any of the MMOs you play? Don’t worry; we won’t tell!

Read more

The Daily Grind: How long is too long for early access?

Let’s be real here, there’s no question in anyone’s mind that DayZ has been in early access far longer than it should be. By the same token, I don’t think anyone would begrudge Radical Heights for still being in early access. But somewhere between those two extremes lie a large number of games, some of whom have been in ostensible early access for months, some of which have been there for years, and so forth.

In many ways, early access is like the new version of the game in perpetual open beta; there were many free-to-play games that never technically launched, just stayed in open beta forever until they finally shut down. And yet those games were selling things normally, making the distinction between launch and open beta into a very blurry and nebulous thing. Early access is already blurry, since it asks for money for a game that is decidedly early in its development cycle.

So what do you think, dear readers? How long is too long for early access? Is there a clear limit beyond which games should just bite the bullet and launch, or is it entirely down to the specific game?

Read more

The Daily Grind: How could death be more meaningful in MMOs without being annoying?

Personally, I don’t think MMO developers should ever become complacent about game systems and copying them from other titles because that’s the way they’ve always been done. It’s healthy to reexamine why games do what they do and to be looking for better ways to do them.

So in that spirit, death systems. In most MMOs these days, the standard death penalty is a mild corpse run, a repair fee, or both. It’s not even something that I think about unless it sets me back in my advancement through a tricky area.

But is there a better and more meaningful way that character death could be handled in MMOs without being annoying? One interesting idea I had a while ago was that of a daily permadeath system: Every game day, each of your characters could only die once, and you’d have to wait until the next day to access them again. Yet players could continue in that game session by accessing other alts, encouraging a more diverse play between characters.

If you had to brainstorm up more meaningful death systems, what would you create?

Read more

The Daily Grind: Should MMOs offer open-world challenge modes?

This question is not about World of Warcraft’s upcoming PvP mode switch. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a cool option; you either explore the world safely, or you open up the possibility of danger. That’s a cool trick. But that got me thinking about what other tricks you could use to create a similar environment.

For example, imagine if you had a mode in which you didn’t actually receive loot or other rewards until you successfully returned to a certain point on the map. Sure, you might get more rewards, but if you died on your way back somewhere that would be it. Or imagine if you had a higher chance of gathering rare resources but less chance of successfully gathering in a game like Final Fantasy XIV.

Of course, some people would argue that these start stretching the definition of “challenge modes” and mostly would provide the possibility of intense frustration. What do you think, readers? Should MMOs offer open-world challenge modes? And if so, what should they consist of?

Read more

The Daily Grind: Are there MMO mobs you feel bad about killing?

Call me a softy, but I always cringe when I am sent in to slaughter the small, the fluffy, and the cute in MMOs. Sure, I’ll do it, because the quest log rules my life and removes all free will from my system, but I don’t have to feel good about it.

In RIFT, there’s a special pet you can get if you kill a wide variety of helpless, defenseless critters and loot their corpses for certain artifacts. I have gotten this pet before, but I didn’t feel particularly good about doing it. And don’t even get me started on World of Warcraft’s critter cannon…

Anyway, our discussion topic today is concerned with mobs that you feel bad about killing. Are there any? Has an MMO’s artists and animators done a particularly good job in pinging your conscience and making you regret unleashing your skills on something you’d rather be your best friend on a cross-country road trip?

Read more

1 2 3 84