massively overthinking

Massively Overthinking is a weekly feature in which the Massively Overpowered writers take turns weighing in on a particular MMO-related topic before turning the discussion over to the readership. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]

Massively Overthinking: Graceful MMO free-to-play transitions

In honor of WildStar’s free-to-play transition this week, Massively Overthinking is about to overthink the very best F2P transitions ever. Even if you don’t like F2P, you probably can still name one that was pulled off well, one that was done particularly gracefully. I’m pretty sure you can think of some terrible ones too!

Intriguingly, after I posed this question to our team, Justin reminded me that technically, the last major subscription MMO to go F2P was RIFT in 2013. Everything else is either B2P or a minor game — or F2P or hybrid F2P from the start. Puts the question into perspective, doesn’t it?

Follow along to hear some of our writers’ thoughts and propose your own most graceful MMO F2P transition.

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Massively Overthinking: MMO server merge horror stories

Whether you call them server transitions, evolutions, consolidations, megaservers, or connected realms, server merges are a thing that affects most MMORPGs at some point in their lives — if they are lucky. The really unlucky ones sunset or fade away before a merge can save them.

So if you’ve been playing MMOs a while, you’ve probably gone through at least one merge. We’re guessing you have some war stories to tell. So that’s the question I posed to our staff for this week’s Massively Overthinking: What’s the worst server merge situation you’ve ever seen or lived through in an MMO?

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Massively Overthinking: NCsoft’s western autumn

This week’s Massively Overthinking is brought to you by a guildie of mine named Onyx, who donated to our Kickstarter campaign in this tier and then nominated me to pick a topic for him. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

I’d like to expand on a listener question addressed in a recent Massively OP podcast. Korean powerhouse NCsoft has been talking up its western push all summer, and this fall, it appears to be delivering: We’ll have WildStar’s F2P relaunch, Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns release, and Blade & Soul’s first western beta all coming out in the span of a single month, competing directly with each other, not just against other studios’ MMOs. So which game do you think is going to be NCsoft’s biggest winner in its move to carve out a better foothold in the west? And what do you think about NCsoft’s goals on this side of the pond?

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Massively Overthinking: Building your dream MMORPG

Massively OP Kickstarter donor xenaphex wants to hear about our dream MMOs. What really makes you tick? What would you build with a million-bajillion buckaroos?

“If you were to design an MMOG, what would be your dream game? Please be specific on the setting, major features, style, etc. You can use existing games as an example as long as you mention the game and the specifics about it that you like.”

I posed xenaphex’s question to the staff for this week’s edition of Massively Overthinking.

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Massively Overthinking: Making MMOs more social from the inside out

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic from an anonymous Kickstarter donor asks us to set aside our criticisms of the social environment of MMOs and figure out what we, as players, can do about it.

“We criticize MMO devs for making our MMO experience less social, but are they the only ones to blame? I think our (the players’) behaviour to others and within the games themselves has also changed. I’d like to know if you can think of ways we players could improve that situation – from behaviour, less game or guild hopping, ways to grow our friends lists – to make our MMO experience more social again.”

Is he right? Have we changed, too? And how do we solve the problem from the bottom up in an MMO genre that increasingly thinks social media shares are all the social we want and need?

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Massively Overthinking: MMOs that need VR

Man, our Kickstarter backers are fixated on virtual reality. It’s almost as if you guys are really tech-savvy and into gaming immersion or something!

Today’s Massively Overthinking question is indeed VR-related and comes to us from donor Dividion:

“Which released, first-person-playable MMO do you feel would benefit the most from implementing VR technology?”

So which MMO really, truly could benefit from VR, right now? Let’s do this!

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Massively Overthinking: How seriously do you take MMO lore?

Kickstarter donor Alien Legion has proposed an intriguing question about lore in MMORPGs.

“Back in my World of Warcraft days, I mentioned to a friend that I would love a Worgen Monk. My friend, being a WoW fanatic, rambled on about how Worgen Monks were not in the game because Pandaria was discovered after the Worgen intro story takes place, so there are no Monk trainers in Gilneas. I made the offhand remark that if Gilneas was behind the Greymane Wall for years, maybe a Pandaren explorer landed there long ago and was just hidden from the rest of the races and Worgen have had access to Monk trainers all along. It was fiction, and the devs can decide anything they want to fill the narrative. This touched off a geek-rage rebuttal from my self-avowed WoW historian friend that still hovers over Lake Michigan to this day. And I see this same thing in forums all the time: people who take a games lore so seriously that they will defend it to the end. I like getting into the story of a game, especially an MMO, but some take it really, really, REALLY seriously. So how much does a game’s lore matter to you?”

How seriously do you take MMORPG lore? I posed Alien Legion’s question to the Massively OP writers for this edition of Massively Overthinking.

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Massively Overthinking: The first VR MMO

In this edition of Massively Overthinking, Kickstarter backer Yinta wants to talk about virtual reality.

“When will we see the first VR MMO?”

So let’s tackle those upcoming VR MMOs (and borderline MMOs), whether VR MMOs are something you want to see, and whether VR is going to flop in MMO vs. the broader market. I posed Yinta’s topic to our writers; read on to see what they said.

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Massively Overthinking: Whither went the classic PvE MMORPG?

Today’s Massively Overthinking question was sent via e-pigeon from Kickstarter donor Apollymi. No e-pigeons were hurt in the writing of this article.

“Have you heard of any MMOs that will not be PvP-oriented — by that I mean, have completely consensual PvP — that may be coming out in the near future?”

Let’s draw out Apollymi’s question a bit and talk about the PvE/PvP divide in our genre. What PvE/consensual-PvP/classic PvE games do we love, which future ones do we have our eyes on, and why is the industry so focused lately on PvP MMOs? The MOP writers are discussing all that and more in today’s entry.
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Massively Overthinking: On the popularity of the MMORPG genre

This week’s Massively Overthinking comes from Kickstarter donor Syllable, who wonders,

“Why do you think MMOs are not as popular as they were few years back?”

Is it true? Under what definitions and caveats? If it’s true, then why? And if not, why do people believe it to be? I posed these questions to our writers — and now I pose them to you.

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Massively Overthinking: The MMO innovation we long for (or do we?)

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic comes from Kickstarter donor BigMikeyOcho, who wants to talk innovation:

“Sometimes when I play MMOs, I get the feeling that I’m just performing the same tasks as other MMOs, just with a new covering. What innovations would you like to see to prevent that ‘same as all the others’ feeling?”

I posed BigMikeyOcho’s question to the Massively writers and our July guest!

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