global chat

The MMO blogosphere is bigger than Massively Overpowered. Join Justin Olivetti on his epic quest to find and elevate the best MMO blog posts of the week. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]

Global Chat: Deaf gamers and MMO captioning

What is it like to play MMORPGs if you’re deaf? Just ask Stars of the Spiral’s Kelsey, who talks of her condition and why captioning is so important for the hard-of-hearing community.

“Twitch is the best example,” she writes. “It is such a popular program that is used by hundreds, possibly thousands of streamers. I love the way it includes players and make gaming fun except it’s not automatically captioned. Deaf people miss out on so much with this particular program. Same goes for Youtube Gaming. Anything that streams live cannot be captioned. The technology is not yet there for that.”

In addition to this interesting perspective, join us for a tour through other captivating posts from the MMO blogosphere, including a tour through an EverQuest II guild hall, a guide to relaxing at endgame, problems with World of Warcraft’s transmog, and more!

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Global Chat: When MMORPG raiding becomes a job

When does a game go from fun to obligation? Xenophics wrote a gut-wrenching confession about how raiding in World of Warcraft became his “office,” just another job for which he wasn’t being paid.

“That’s how it goes: little by little the fun progress you had turns into farm that is uninteresting at first (who doesn’t want to kill Hellfire Assault for 52 times?!) and in the end you feel like you’d rather be doing something else than playing World of Warcraft. At this point the people who stay and raid either find the fun from playing with the awesome online friends they have, or they just suck it up and start going to the office.”

We have plenty of thought-provoking blog posts for you after the break, including the importance of community, adoration of SWTOR’s Vette, and how Guild Wars 2 eases the transition into endgame.

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Global Chat: Pokemon GO mania sweeps the world

What became an overnight global phenomenon certainly prompted the MMO blogosphere to talk about their experiences and opinions with Pokémon GO!

To Game for Life calls it a “juggernaut,” In An Age says it’s a “perfect storm in motion,” while The Ancient Gaming Noob deems it “a moment of change for Nintendo.” Bloggers recalled their adventures, such as traipsing across Nature Island, ending up on marathon walks through hot weather, investigating unknown parks, prowling around after dark, and getting unnerved by proximity to strangers.

For the six of you out there who are Pikachu-free and happy to keep it that way, we’ve got a lovely assortment of non-Pokémon GO MMO articles and discussions for you after the break!

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Global Chat: Why SWTOR’s dark vs. light side event fails

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s new Dark vs. Light event has everyone talking, including MMO bloggers. The consensus seems to be wavering between bewilderment and anger over the structure of BioWare’s summer initiative.

Xam Xam labeled it a “content rehash extravaganza,” saying, “This event punishes long term players who have completed the majority (if not all) of the content required for this event with their existing characters. Making the event consist of doing old content, adding rewards to it, then forcing players to make new characters to do it all again, is absurd.”

Ravalation agrees that this event fails in several ways. “It does not introduce any new gameplay into the game,” she writes. “Instead it focuses on getting players to replay old content, keeping them satisfied with digital treats. […] The event’s way of wrapping up old content as new content is just a little too obvious.”

Read on for more thought-provoking articles from the MMO blogosphere, including a look at The Secret World’s player museum, hate for online cities, and more!

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Global Chat: The verdict on Landmark

Landmark’s launch hasn’t gone unnoticed by the MMO blogging community. Several players have decided to use the game’s official release as an opportunity to check it out again (or for the first time) and render a verdict of thumbs up… or thumbs down.

So what do they think? MMOBro says that Landmark is not too shabby, commenting, “What I found was not the empty afterthought I expected, but a surprisingly charming and enjoyable little game.” Superior Realities thinks that his visit might be a short-lived one: “I don’t think it’s a game that’s going to keep me engaged for a super long time, but I am going to try to keep my claim up and running for as long as I can.” And The Ancient Gaming Noob noted that Landmark’s launch seemed to fizzle out quickly on the charts.

We’ve got plenty more thought-provoking articles on deck for you here today, including plenty of talk about Elder Scrolls Online’s new approach, the features for a perfect MMO, and more!

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Global Chat: Which mobs do you love killing in MMOs?

Everyone has mobs that they particularly enjoy offing in MMORPGs — sometimes so much so that we go out of our way to get in that extra kill. Maybe the mob offends us in some way, we love the death animation (sadists!), or we imagine our character has a personal vendetta against those creatures.

Blogger Murf lists the top five MMO mobs that he never tires of killing, and you might not expect his top choice: skeletons. “EverQuest took Ultima Online’s skeletons and raised the stakes,” he wrote. “In particular, their skeletons were remembered for their distinct laugh and ‘bone breaking’ death noise. Often the laugh would be a precursor to a huge newbie aggro chain where your choices were die there or run and die somewhere else.”

Read on for this week’s tour of thought-provoking blog posts, including articles on the Warcraft movie, the satisfaction of being a healer, Guild Wars 2’s content drought, and more!

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Global Chat: Is casual raiding important for MMOs?

When it comes to the subject of raiding, one might get the impression that there are only two factions involved: those who are hardcore raiders and those who couldn’t care less about raiding. Yet that would overlook those who have latched on to casual raiding for fun and profit.

Neri at Mama Needs Mana is one such player, and in a recent article she makes a case for why casual raiding is important in MMORPGs: “Casual raids can provide guilds a great opportunity to introduce new blood into the group without throwing off the synergy of the progression group if they’re a bad egg. They can serve as the perfect training for players completely new to raiding, while also providing veteran players an opportunity to gain both experience and gear on an alternative character.”

We’ve got more great articles from the MMO blogging community to highlight this week, including a look at Landmark pre-launch, the joys of Lord of the Rings Online, playing against one’s nature, and more!

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Global Chat: Snap judgments of Overwatch

The talk of the blogger town has definitely been abuzz with impressions, thoughts, and snap judgments of Overwatch as it heads to release. Is Blizzard’s shooter merely shallow eye-candy or is it polished perfection? And does it even matter what we think, considering that the studio will sell a billion copies anyway?

Bloggers are divided on the subject after getting some hands-on time with the game. “If you’re looking for quick bursts of kinda frustrating, often amusing FPS action, Overwatch is pretty damn good,” In An Age said. Imperial Intelligence remarked of a recent video that, “[This] is a microcosm of the Overwatch experience: flashy, well-made, and ultimately devoid of any substance.”

Engame Viable has a suggestion: “The game became 100% better as soon as I turned off the character voices.” Healing the Masses was impressed: “Somehow they’ve made it feel far more approachable than the standard shooter.” And MMO Gypsy said that she had fun in it and “would recommend it to anyone who’s just a wee bit interested in team-based PvP and FPS which offer more variety than traditional offensive/defensive roles.”

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Global Chat: Which MMOs have the best quests?

For some players, quests are either those things that serve to annoy with reading (in a game!) or merely provide gussied-up reward packages. But there are those of us who genuinely love the questing experience, including its narrative and interactivity. So here’s the question of the hour: Which MMOs have the best quests?

MMO Bro thinks he knows, and he’s ranked the top eight MMORPGs in the questing department. Number one? The Secret World. “Every main mission in The Secret World offers a strong and compelling story, provided through fully voice-acted cutscenes and readable items found along the way. Nearly all of TSW’s missions tie-in to the main story in some way, and even those that don’t feature emotional or exciting stories in their own right.”

Join us for another fascinating tour of the MMO blogosphere, with stops at LOTRO, vanilla World of Warcraft servers, and the eternal question of the purpose of vendor trash.

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Global Chat: What can MMORPG devs do to foster community?

One of the neat aspects of the MMO blogosphere is how writers will often interact and collaborate with each other. Recently, four bloggers ganged up on a shared topic to give their own essays on it. The issue dealt with what developers can do to foster community in MMORPGs.

“What games can do better or worse is set the stage for interaction,” posits Syl. “The games don’t carry themselves; they need to be accompanied by out-of-game resources and interactions,” Mersault noted. “I think that when we discuss ‘community’ in MMOs, what we’re yearning for is that missing ‘organic’ feel,” Aywren said. Wolfy thinks it boils down to two approaches: “Either make content that demands survival or strength in numbers, or foster places where social interaction is grown and encouraged.”

After you digest their thoughts and perhaps add your own in the comments, check out these other interesting articles from the MMO blogging community!

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Global Chat: An MMO to call home

Home. It’s what many MMO gamers are looking for in a title: to plant down roots and find a place that exudes belonging. What makes one game feel more like home than another? And how do we go about finding and settling down in the MMO that’s right for us?

Blogger Tyler from Superior Realities penned an essay as to why The Secret World ended up feeling more like home to him, even though he wasn’t expecting it initially: “TSW is a game that gives me tremendous pleasure simply to inhabit […] Somewhere along the line TSW became more than a game to me. Sometime between pursuing Loki into the depths of the earth, trekking through the surreal industrial nightmare of the hell dimensions, and delving into the darkest pits of the Dreaming Prison, TSW came to embody a sense of infinite mystery and possibility.”

We’ll be visiting many MMOs that various players call “home” today, from World of Warcraft to Black Desert Online. Join us for a trip through notable blog posts from the past few weeks!

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Global Chat: Why bloggers aren’t worried about the future of MMOs

The future of MMOs weighs heavily on some minds in the community, but contrary to some Chicken Littles out there, the sky is not falling and all is not lost. In a two-part piece, bloggers Weakness and Mersault look at the future of the genre… and find it strangely inviting.

“I can see over the next decade a renewed interest in the genre due to the success of console ports that draw on tropes familiar to that marketplace colliding with the experimental playground of indie development and producing an entirely new generation of massively multiplayer games,” Weakness wrote. “We’ll continue to get new MMORPGs, and if the current crop doesn’t meet your preferences, chances are the next wave will, because for once, after 10 years, we’ll be getting games that do something new or concentrate on a particular part that made MMORPGs great in the first place,” Mersault concurs.

We’ve got a great round-up of blogosphere articles for you today, including suggestions on how to fix EverQuest II, Black Desert starter tips, and a countdown of the best player races in World of Warcraft.

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Global Chat: ARK invents new types of griefing

Just when you thought you’ve seen every type of online griefing known to man, here comes another. In An Age grouses about how ARK: Survival Evolved recently added handcuffs to the game, allowing players to keep others chained up indefinitely while force-feeding them so that they couldn’t starve to death. He said that this moved raised the bar for “sociopath simulators.”

“There’s fun, and then there’s fun. I’m more in the mood for the latter,” he said, concluding that he was going to leave the game not just for this move but also because of its low frame rate.

This is but the start of our exploration of the MMO blogosphere this week. Read on to see bloggers bite back against cash shops, defend licensed IPs, and explore the concept of the “single-player MMO experience.”

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