One of the largest and most enduring arguments of the MMO genre is the purpose, legality, and profitability of so-called lockboxes in games. We've certainly railed against them pretty hard here on the site.
MMO Bro takes an interesting position this week by saying that, yes, lockboxes are annoying, but we need to move on from grousing about them: "If I may play devil’s advocate here for a moment, I think the time may have come for us to take a step back and examine whether all the furor over lockboxes is really productive. It’s clear that lockboxes are here to stay, so perhaps it’s time for us to learn how to live with them."
Agree? Disagree? That's why we have the comments section. Now that you're fully awake, why not check out the rest of our roundup from the MMO blogosphere, including essays on early access stumbles, costumes, multiplayer mounts, and -- everyone's favorite -- geography!
One of the biggest changes to Lord of the Rings Online's
housing system in years is arriving on Monday, giving Hobbit interior decorators something new to do.
Update 19.3 will allow players to adjust housing decor on all dimensions inside of its hook box, allowing for items to be moved around on all axis and grouped together to look more natural instead of being artificially spaced out. Players will also be able to buy premium houses via writs, which do double duty in securing home ownership if a player transfers servers or gives up the house.
Other changes with the update include three new global chat channels, four additional user-defined chat channels, a fix for the /say bug, and a 9,999 gold cap for currency. It should also be noted that starting on Monday, VIP players can get a free mount and warsteed cosmetics by logging into the game.
With Elder Scrolls Online's new housing system coming early next month and LOTRO testing out some much-needed housing improvements, homemaking seems to be a subject on the mind of many players these days.
Contains Moderate Peril says that MMO housing has yet to live up to potential: "What you can do with housing is a far more interesting talking point. At present housing mainly offers in the MMO genre additional storage, an opportunity for aesthetic customisation, and convenient support services [...] What housing across most MMOs fails to do is offer any additional social facilities or unique group content."
Meanwhile, Dimension Gallery featured one house designer that came up with some impressive dimensions (my favorite is the Spongebob Squarepants!).
Housing not your thing? After the break we have blog essays on Final Fantasy XIV, welfare epics, and the true endgame activity of MMORPGs!
As I peruse a hundred or so community blog posts every day, it's fascinating to me to see what games the MMO blogosphere as a whole is playing and discussing. We sometimes end up flocking to certain titles based on recent announcements or because others are talking them up pretty heavily.
One game that's been getting a lot of mentions on blogs lately is Elder Scrolls Online, with players generally enthusiastic about how it's shaped up into a pretty decent MMO. "It's a really solid game that’s much better than the game that launched," writes Occasional Hero. "Visually, I would probably rank it second behind Black Desert Online for the best-looking MMORPG out there," touts Endgame Variable.
Elder Scrolls Online not your thing? No worries; we have articles covering The Secret World, LOTRO, RIFT, and more in today's community blog roundup!
Obviously, the reverberations of the news of Landmark's closure continue to be seen across the MMO community, including in our own comments sections. The MMO blogosphere was alight with discussion and opinions about this event, with many using this as an opportunity to get in a last word about the lamentable EverQuest Next.
In today's special edition of Global Chat, we'll take a survey of gaming blogs to see what they have to say about the Landmark sunset and what it means for Daybreak, MMOs, and the community it affects.
Following the announcement of LOTRO and DDO's new studio and the subsequent cancellation of the Asheron's Call games, you can better believe that the MMO blogosphere was alight with conversations and opinions on the subject.
Aywren said that the move is a "win-win" for the two MMOs, while Contains Moderate Peril thought that it "raises a lot of questions." GamingSF is "optimistic," Endgame Viable thinks that updates will slow down going forward, The Ancient Gaming Noob considers it "momentous news," and Ravalation doesn't see the point in "doom-and-glooming."
Battle Priestess has some advice for Standing Stone: "Stay true to the Lord of the Rings source and lore and write amazing storylines and engaging quests. Keep developing beautiful landscapes. For the love of all that is holy, please update the character models and hairstyles. Be more transparent with your players and listen to the community."
Is the infamous "chainmail bikini" slowly disappearing from western RPGs and MMOs? Pete at Dragonchasers thinks that it is... and he kind of laments the change.
"I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who likes them but I’m not going to out anyone," he writes. "Instead I’m wondering if there’s a way to save sexy outfits without continuing to offend the folks who are not fans. I want everyone to be happy gaming and if that means more conservative clothing, so be it. But maybe we can find a way for everyone to be happy."
We've got a special year-end edition of MMO blog posts for you to enjoy today, including an examination of facial wrinkles in SWTOR, the top five problems of EVE Online, and socialism in MMOs!
With the arrival of SWTOR: Knights of the Eternal Throne
, the MMO blogosphere lit up in lively discussion about the expansion, its story, and its design. As expected, opinions were all over the place.
Xam Xam was glowing in praise for what it called a "wonderfully paced, intense, heartbreaking masterpiece." Superior Realities was a bit more mixed but ultimately positive about the expansion: "Despite pursuing several plot threads at once, KotET is a very tight, very focused experience, and for the most part it’s an epic thrill-ride from beginning to end."
As for the controversial galactic command system, Galactic Antics didn't know what to think: "I don't think I've come across a system such as this which has a direct negative counter to virtually every positive aspect about it before [...] SWTOR has gone from a game which benefits both casuals and hardcore players to being a game which largely only benefits those who are willing and able to just grind."
From RIFT to Elder Scrolls Online to disliked archetypes, we've got an interesting assortment of articles for you to peruse after the jump!
This week in our tour through MMO blog posts, we're going to witness a lot of evaluations of recent update and expansion launches that have been gracing our corner of the world.
So let's begin with a look at RIFT: Starfall Prophecy, shall we? "This expansion is gorgeous," ECTmmo.com gushes. "I have to say logging in and heading to the new outpost in Starfall Prophecy was enchanting. The sky is full of stars, the whole place had that mysterious and cool vibe I have only seen in Guild War 2's Rata Sum, which is one of my all time favorite MMO cities in any game. Starting off it gave a sense of wonder and excitement of what is yet to come."
Tales of the Aggronaut has a lot of complimentary things to share as well: "I have to say this expansion is charming as hell so far, namely because of the two companions that follow you around at times… but also because it is a great example of environmental storytelling."
I suspect that much of the willingness of players to pour money into MMO Kickstarters is out of a strong desire to see games emerge that recapture the spirit of the games that originally caused us to fall in love. But can that be done?
Former EverQuest II designer Ryan Shwayder said that while the desire may be simple, the execution is hellishly complex: "So, there’s quite a bit you can do to reproduce elements of the magic of old school MMOs. But, the truth is, there is that nostalgia element there still that is impossible to reproduce for people who have played other massively multiplayer games. After they’ve played one, they are no longer an MMO virgin, and you’ll never make an MMO the same as their first love. What you can do is make your MMO their great love; the one they will marry."
Join us as we take a tour of some of the most interesting MMO blog posts from the past two weeks, including an analysis of BlizzCon, trying Star Citizen for the first time, how to utilize life skills in Black Desert, and more!
Debate and discussion continue in the MMO blogosphere over SWTOR's Knights of the Eternal Throne
expansion, with many writers criticizing the expansion's format and suggesting improvements.
SWTOR Commando presents detailed thoughts on the new Galactic Command system: "What I'm reading is this: No more choice to work towards a specific goal. No more progressing through content. No more helping someone gear up by boosting them through an operation and giving all the loot to them. Everyone and everything will be at the mercy of that damned random number generator."
"So is it possbile that this may be BioWare's NGE, in redefining what an MMO should be?" The Balance Force asks. "I would hope not." XamXam suggests a compromise: "Ultimately, my ideal solution is to take the gearing component out of Galactic Command entirely and just leave it as a tool to queue and get bonuses. Keep it as a subscriber only feature."
Join us as we look at other hot topics in the MMO blogosphere, including why we love ranged combat, the many nerfs of Guild Wars 2, and faction pride in MMORPGs.
The announcement of Final Fantasy XIV's second expansion, Stormblood, is sure to inject more life and excitement into this beloved MMORPG. A couple of community bloggers took time recently to analyse the event and expansion reveal.
"Overall, it was a fun time, though. I was happy to have the chance to be there for the expansion announcement. I’m looking forward to the new deep dungeon levels and more info on the Red Mage (DPS, please!)," Aywren wrote.
"One of the most cheered announcements was the drop of support for the PS3 version of the game," Sagacyte noted. "For the longest time people have speculated that some limitations of the game come from having to support the fading console, and letting it go could open the doors to new visual and technical things. One such thing was mentioned in a new lightning model."
This week in Global Chat, MMO bloggers talk about One Tamriel, hopes for Amazon's New World, and an "antisocial epidemic" sweeping through our genre.
The Force is strong with Star Wars: The Old Republic's new expansion, at least by all of the buzz that it's created thanks to Knights of the Eternal Throne's new Blur trailer and revealed details. MMO bloggers are dissecting every bit of this new information and finding much about it to ponder.
"We'll actually be able to choose difficulty modes for story chapters now," Calphaya noted. "I doubt that this will do anything more than increase health and damage values of mobs and bosses (although I'd love to be surprised!) but certainly this should be interesting to see in-practice. Certainly I know a lot of people have complained that Fallen Empire is too easy, so hopefully they'll be sated."
Ravalation thinks that all of this points to a bright future for the MMO: "Knights of the Eternal Throne promises a story as compelling as KOTFE, and then some. Although I know it's unlikely to be the focus of things, I'm personally mostly looking forward to finding out what happens to Senya and Arcann."
Star Wars not your jam? We've got bloggers weighing in on Star Citizen, The Secret World, Atlas Reactor and more after the break!