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: Being thankful in MMOs

Last month’s Thanksgiving holiday in the US prompted several MMO bloggers to share their thanks for gaming and other geeky goodness. Stars of the Spiral had an entire list of thanksgiving, including a shoutout to CMs: “I give thanks to the community managers of Pirate101 and Wizard101 as well as #JuliaFromKI. Without them, the KingsIsle community would not be the same.”

Braxwolf is thankful for the discovery of personal creation: “Writing blog posts, producing podcasts, dabbling in video, designing wordpress pages, even organizing communities…these are all things that have tapped into a deep-seeded desire that I didn’t even realize was there. I prefer creating content to actually playing the games!”

Belghast shared a desire to be more thankful on a regular basis: “I should have more childlike joy about the things I am doing, rather talking about how this or that is a portent of a big coming failure.  I am tired of seeing the bad in my hobby, and I am tired of feeling like everything is going to s**t… and quickly.”

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Global Chat: Sifting the good raiders from the bad

Game designer and blogger Psychochild posited an interesting question recently: How can you tell the difference between a good raider and a bad one?

He acknowledged that rating raid performance can lead to exclusion and bragging but can also help a group improve as a whole. In his post on the subject, Psychochild notes that raid performance can be measured as DPS, tanking, healing, hybrids, within disciplines, and the group entire.

“The right answer is probably some balance,” he concludes. “A carefully designed equation that balances all the measurements of the different roles and overall performance.”

This is just the start of our exploration through the MMO blogosphere. Join us today as we look at goofy fashion, first impressions, and — yes — more chatter about raiding.

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Global Chat: Gearing up in WildStar

If you’re anything like me, when you get to the max level in a game, there’s a general flailing of hands and a feeling of inner stupidity that go along with the thought of “what do I do now?”

That’s why I’m deeply and profoundly grateful for Asmiroth, who put together two incredibly helpful guides to WildStar’s endgame PvE gearing and rune system. Seriously, he’s doing all of the heavy ‘splaining that the game should’ve done in the first place. It’s quite straight-forward and useful, which are two qualities that I find attractive in a blog post.

If WildStar isn’t your jam, don’t worry. Today’s blog tour includes stops at Asheron’s Call 2, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars 2, among others!

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Global Chat: The frustrations and joys of Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns

The player debate and analysis over the virtues and vices of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns has — unsurprisingly — evoked strong opinions on both sides of the aisle.

Blogger Bhagpuss at Inventory Full said that he’s a satisfied customer: “For once I’m getting what I want. It feels these maps have been made with my playstyle squarely in mind. Instead of achiever maps with a nominal nod to exploring these are real, explorable maps with a few lifebelts scattered around for drowning achievers to cling to.”

Alternatively, Creeping had an epic-sized rant about how the expansion felt like a bait-and-switch from the beta. “I really, really, don’t understand why they had to add the hero point grind, on top of the masteries grind on top of a story arc grind,” she wrote.

Agree? Disagree? We’re only getting started with a look at the opinions across the MMO blogosphere today!

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Global Chat: Why your MMO pushed me away

Hey MMO developers, have you ever wondered why players are driven away from your games? Two bloggers took a stab at a list of features repulse them personally when they encounter them in-game.

“Oh man, the pain… the cringe that shoots through my body whenever MMO devs talk about adding more jumping puzzles to their game as if that was somehow a great thing,” MMO Gypsy posted. “Jumping puzzles will make me swear off a title quicker than tankinis — if I want to jump around like an obsessed monkey I am gonna play platformers, thank you!”

“Asian MMOs like TERA and Aion like you to hear your characters use their abilities,” Gaming SF added. “Such games make group gameplay somewhat annoying over time. How many times do I need to hear ‘YAAAARRRRGGGH!’ in one dungeon?”

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Global Chat: Why is Blizzard so sluggish?

World of Warcraft: Legion and Blizzard’s recent decisions were at the forefront of a couple of recent MMO blog posts as of late, their authors noting how the studio cannot easily react to community objections or bad development choices.

Alternative Chat used the issue of Rogues protesting the lack of Ravenholdt as their class base to show that the studio can’t adjust on the fly: “What’s abundantly apparent however is that Blizzard isn’t for turning. This is not up for discussion. The problem here is that this makes [the] objection seem completely redundant, and that’s just wrong.”

Gamer By Design followed that post up by talking about why Blizzard lacks the ability to turn quickly: “Having a deep pipeline means less downtime due to waiting on others; you’re almost always busy, which is good from a financial and throughput perspective. But having a deep pipeline also means you’re very much not agile.”

Marching on with today’s round-up of community blog posts, we have a loving retrospective of Lord of the Rings Online, a debate about factions, a look at in-game holidays, and more!

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Global Chat: The death of hope for Pathfinder Online

Pathfinder Online might not be completely dead, but hope for it has certainly gone down the drain following the announcement of the studio’s mass layoffs and the game’s financial straits.

Blogger Lord Tridus argues that the project never really stood a chance the way that it was made: “The core problem here? This is not Pathfinder. This is an open world PvP sandbox MMO that happens to have the Pathfinder name. It’s not going to attract many people interested in Pathfinder, because the game is so far afield of what Pathfinder is about. It also won’t attract many other people based on the name, because Pathfinder as a brand doesn’t have tons of appeal outside of its playerbase.”

We’re getting our downer discussion out of the way early for this week’s roundup of interesting blogosphere posts, so stay tuned as we look more at Asheron’s Call, favorite MMO memories, and another look at Dragon’s Nest!

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Global Chat: Money prison

What kind of prison charges you money to stay there? An MMO prison, obviously!

The Ancient Gaming Noob has a few insightful words to say about EverQuest II’s Drunder server and how it’s being used to house the game’s malcontents and rulebreakers while charging them a subscription fee.

“In the end though, I don’t know how this will play out,” he muses. “What sort of relationship does this lead to. Is it going to be some sort of Escape from New York dystopia, players raging against other players, griefing and annoying all who come within range? Will the players unite and defy the company and form their own community? Will Drunder even be noticeably different from the current servers? Will people just quit?”

That’s only scratching the surface of oddity in today’s roundup of MMO bloggers. We’ve even got an EverQuest hat trick today with posts on all three games, including the one you just read!

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Star Citizen starts testing social module

Getting chummy with your fellow Star Citizen space pilots has taken one step closer to becoming an in-game reality today, as RSI announced that it has commenced testing of the upcoming social module.

The social module allows players to interact with each other via global chat and emotions in the ArcCorp station. The module will be rolled out in several phases, so while all of the current characters use the default FPS looks, eventually players will be able to choose their own clothes.

“The social milestones are more about laying groundwork and testing base functionality — network functionality and performance, in particular,” Director Tony Zurovec said in a community Q&A. It was revealed that there will be a few more large updates to the social module as the year goes on, including more customization options, maps, and larger instance capacity.

The studio has an NDA of sorts in place right now, as it’s asked players not to share videos and pictures from the module yet. So if you’re curious, you can instead check out the social module demo video from Gamescom after the break!

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Global Chat: Returning to WildStar for F2P

Many WildStar fans, past and present, are digging into the sumptuous buffet of the free-to-play patch on the test server for a better idea of what to expect when the transition hits this fall. Light Falls Gracefully’s Mercury has a lengthy writeup of her observations and experiences approaching the game from the perspective of a new player.

Her conclusion? It’s looking promising so far: “Based on the first 10 levels of the free-to-play PTR beta, I like what I’m seeing in terms of the way new players are being treated. Keep it up and we’ll still be playing WildStar years from now.”

In this week’s tour around the MMO blogosphere, we’ll return to the days of Asheron’s Call PvP, talk about the problems with ArcheAge, evaluate World of Warcraft’s expansion announcement, and more!

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Global Chat: Guild Wars 2 needs to get its act together

Hunter’s Insight is a long-time fan and player of Guild Wars 2, but recently he had some pretty harsh words to say regarding the development team’s approach to the game, which he called “consistently inconsistent.”

ArenaNet is consistent in its inconsistency,” he wrote. “That is to say that they repeatedly and frustratingly introduce things and then never touch them again, never adjust them, never support them, never standardize how to acquire an item or worst of all they only briefly make them available and they’re never seen again. They set the groundwork for something, make a show of it, and then don’t follow through. It’s a combination of neglect and lack of foresight.”

His essay on the state of the game is only the tip of the iceberg of great MMO community blog posts this week. Keep on reading for Elder Scrolls Online first impressions, how MMO silliness is hurting the industry, and the great hotbar shrinkage of 2015.

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Global Chat: Do you crave human interaction in MMOs?

I’ve long been an advocate of “playing alone together” in MMOs. While I enjoy grouping and teaming up to a degree, mostly I want to be off soloing while enjoying a world populated by colorful personalities and the other perks that come with a massively multiplayer title.

Bhagpuss has a downright poetic and soul-filled post in which he struggles with why he likes about — and what he’s lost from — playing alongside and with others in MMOs. “Did we love the games because of the friends we made in them or make the friends we did because we loved the games? Was life better before Trammel, before PoP, before the NGE, before dungeon finder, because the games were better then, the interactions closer, more meaningful, more real? Or was it just because we were younger, less worn-down with responsibility or failure or ennui or cynicism?”

When you’re done with that read, head onward, because the deep thoughts don’t stop there! In this edition of Global Chat, bloggers discuss the virtues of RP servers, the storytelling of Final Fantasy XIV, the grey market of Star Citizen, and more!

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Global Chat: How Marvel Heroes made a dad a hero

I love a good customer service story, because it reminds me that a lot goes right behind-the-scenes at MMOs that’s hardly ever reported. Braxwolf recently related a heart-warming account of how his son accidentally deleted a pet in Marvel Heroes and Braxwolf’s subsequent encounter with the game’s CS team.

I’ll let you read the entire saga for yourself, but here’s a spoiler as to how it ends: “What I received was reinforcement that Gazillion values us, knows that we are people who sometimes make mistakes, and goes out of their way to help us out when we’re stuck. They also enabled me to look like a hero in my son’s eyes for a few minutes, which was worth even more.”

In this week’s roundup of notable MMO posts from the blogosphere, we have a critical case of Final Fantasy XIV stoic nodding, helpful Trove tips, and a love-hate relationship with dungeon tanking.

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