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]

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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Global Chat: Are fellowship maneuvers due for a comeback?

Lord of the Rings Online hasn’t been en vogue in MMO circles recently, but that doesn’t mean that the game and its systems are all dried up. Kill Ten Rats argues that one of the title’s 2007 innovations, the fellowship maneuver, should be copied and improved by the current generation of online games.

“It is a great mechanic that raises the skill ceiling and rewards group play without punishing soloers,” Zubon posts. “This is a great way to support group play. It takes nothing away from solo players, but it provides a bonus to being in a group, and the bonus scales up with the group size.”

While you’re chewing on that thought, here are some more blog posts for your literary appetite. This week we’ll see how Villagers and Heroes is an undiscovered gem, tackle video game addiction (again), see more World of Warcraft flying drama, and even return to the pixelated world of Anarchy Online!

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Global Chat: Does the 12X leveling speed hurt or help SWTOR?

I love seeing interaction and cooperative projects between MMO bloggers because what fun is there in being an island? Especially when we talk about massively multiplayer games! Anyway, two writers have been conducting a weekly series called Dual Wielding in which they give their takes on the same topic.

The topic that caught my eye was the value and effect of the 12x leveling boost that’s currently running in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Party Business thinks that it’s too fast: “I prefer 2x — it gives a faster levelling experience without rendering everything outside of class missions ‘useless.'” Waiting for Rez concurs with this assessment, saying, “I think it’s a fix applied to an outdated system; the system itself should be better.”

We’ve got a doozy of a group of community blog posts for you to peruse in Global Chat today. Dragon Nest Oracle? LEGO Worlds? Board games? Hell levels? They’re all here, my friend.

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Global Chat: Blizzard’s war on flying

How is the MMO blogging community reacting to Blizzard’s proclamation that flying mounts are grounded — perhaps permanently — in World of Warcraft? In two words, not well.

In An Age gave 10 reasons flying was a great part of the game, Aspect of the Hare says that it felt like “a punch in the gut,” Murloc Parliament thinks that the game must move forward instead of backward, Tish Tosh Tesh considers the decision a strike against returning to the game, Cogitationes Astalnaris says that this is another example of how the studio has lost its mojo, Alternative Chat blames the studio for poor communication on the issue, and Heals n Heals speculates that it’s part of a larger probem. On the flip side of the issue, The Rykter Scale says that he won’t miss it and Tales of the Aggronaut agrees with the devs that flight is a “double-edged sword.”

With that out of the way, let’s look at some other excellent community posts from the past few weeks, including first steps in EverQuest’s progression server, a screenshot safari to City of Heroes, 10 reasons to play Trove, and a huge testimonial about the awesomeness of Marvel Heroes.

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Global Chat: What do you remember about Guild Wars?

Late last month, the classic Guild Wars transcended its 10th birthday and prompted a flood of nostalgic posts and shared stories. A few MMO bloggers tore their attention away from the current crop of games to talk about what they loved about their initial foray into Tyria.

“Not only did GW1 revitalize MMOs in general for me, but it gave me a mission and story-based online game that I could play with [my friend],” said Aywren. “I remembered the music, I remembered the world, the Jade Sea. The colours! Oh, how I had loved the look of the world,” Paeroka gushed.

Tasha had perhaps one of the best testimonials: “Getting involved in something like Guild Wars to the extent I did seeps into every part of your life. Over the years I’ve treated the game as an excuse to learn new skills and open doors into new experiences I might not have had.”

Buckle up for an exciting Global Chat, as we hear a rant on double-jumping, a return to Champions Online, a player vouching for World of Warcraft’s virtues, and more!

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Global Chat: What happens to original MMOs when they get sequels?

Telwyn at GamingSF asks a question that I’ve contemplated from time to time: When an MMO gets a sequel, what happens to the original game? After all, MMOs aren’t quite like the rest of the video game industry.

“It’s easier for gaming companies to control the playerbase,” he writes. “The bluntest instrument would be to shut down the old game forcing players to move to the new, although risking they’d abandon the franchise entirely.”

While you debate whether a quick death or a prolonged demise is preferrable, take a gander at some other notable articles from the gaming blogosphere. In this edition, writers question Guild Wars 2’s (second) trait revamp, celebrate internet dragons, and critique Neverwinter’s slot machine problem.

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Global Chat: Are WoW Tokens worth it?

The debut of World of Warcraft Tokens into the game’s economy has caused quite a stir, particularly after the prices plunged during the first few days. Alt:ernative Chat discussed the economics 101 aspect of the event but ultimately posed a few soul-searching questions for buyers.

“Was it worth it?” she asks. “All that time it took to ‘make’ that money in game, is this a fair exchange for the real world money you’ve currently freed up? What if Blizzard turned around tomorrow and vastly restricted your ability to make gold in the future? Most importantly of all, do you now feel a greater obligation to play the game because you had to work for it in a different fashion than simply stumping up US/AU Dollars?”

To that all I can say is: Time is money, friends! In this week’s blogosphere safari, we look at the backstory of SWTOR’s Revan, ponder the merits of joining a multi-game guild, and read an analysis of Guild Wars 2’s elite skills.

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Global Chat: Are MMO players too mean to game developers?

Is it too easy to forget that MMOs, like all video games, are made by people just like you and I? Belghast over at Tales of the Aggronaut thinks so; he says that our inability to see devs as real folks breeds hostility and makes it “hip to be mean.”

“I have a hard time viewing these companies as the evil empires they are made out to be,” Belghast writes. “No one sets out wanting to make a horrible product, and no one deserves to feel like they are hated by the people that are supposed to be their fans.”

The blogging community has plenty of kind, helpful, and critical words to say this week, including a return to Star Wars: The Old Republic, a guide to Guild Wars 2 achievements, and why data mining messes up the fun for all of us.

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Global Chat: Tripping over colors in MMO play

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to play an MMO while affected by colorblindness? A guest writer over at Epic Slant penned an interesting piece about what it’s like to attempt to play games that don’t make allowances for those who can’t discern between sometimes-crucial colors and shades.

Fortunately, he says that studios are making progress: “Another example of a similar solution on the PC can be found in both League of Legends and World of Warcraft. Both of these titles have had graphical filters for years and, in the latest update, even more progress has been made in WoW to really help out players who need it. In fact, WoW took the idea of graphical filters and added text to help players further.”

Continue on to see what MMO bloggers have to say about Skyforge, The Secret World, and more!

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