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: Counting the hits and misses of our 2015 predictions

Every year, we lodge our predictions for the next. Funny, strange, and deadly serious, these predictions are a glance back on the naïvetés of 2014 and a chance to reflect on the last 365 days before launching into a new round of predictions and awards. In this week’s Massively Overthinking, we’ll be doing just that: Scoring last year’s predictions for 2015, counting both the hits and the misses, cheering when we got it right and giggling like fools with perfect hindsight when we whiffed at bat.

Note, the predictions naturally include notes from two former writers, both of whom now work for game studios, but they’re fun and we love them, so we’re including them!
Read more

Massively Overthinking: Is IP-blocking in online games a necessary evil?

This past week, news about Black Desert’s IP blocking has reminded me once again how IP-blocking, region-locking, and the resulting isolated MMO communities are becoming far too normal and making it harder than ever to meet and team up with people around the world, which is part of the magic that brought so many of us to the genre in the first place.

It’s also brought some community ugliness to the fore.

Some people argue that IP blocking and the ensuing regionalization of MMORPGs is necessary because it ensures that groups can communicate in the same language and aren’t forced to suffer the side-effects of low pings from groupmates far away. And others… well, there’s no other way to put it: Some people are openly, proudly xenophobic in their desire to keep servers free of one specific nationality or other.

Are you as weary of IP blocking as I am, or do you think there are cases when it’s justified and more of a help to an MMO community than a hindrance? These are the questions I posed to the MOP writers in this week’s Massively Overthinking.

Read more

Massively Overthinking: What to do when your MMO grows stale

Earlier this year, Kotaku ran a piece on how to make your favorite games feel new again once they’ve gotten a bit stale. Since Kotaku cover lots of games, its suggestions included things that don’t necessarily apply to most MMOs, like running without a minimap or refusing to level up, but there are also some widely applicable ideas like challenging yourself to a permadeath character or streaming your gameplay in front of an audience.

What do you do in your favorite MMO when it starts to feel a bit stale? How do you recharge and refresh the game for yourself? These are the questions I posed to the Massively OP writers for this week’s Massively Overthinking.

Read more

Massively Overthinking: Let’s take the classic Bartle test

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: Online worlds researcher Dr. Richard Bartle didn’t actually write the Bartle test.

His original research explored, analyzed, and defined the four player archetypes — killer, socializer, achiever, and explorer — but the test based on that paper was created a few years later by Erwin Andreasen and Brandon Downey and named in his honor.

We’ve been talking a lot about Bartle’s ideas’ relevance to modern MMOs in the last month or two, so I thought it would be fun to ask the Massively OP staff and readers to take the test, share their results, and talk about what it all means in this week’s Massively Overthinking.

There are, of course, some caveats.

Read more

Massively Overthinking: WildStar, Guild Wars 2, and MMO raiding in 2015

Here we are in October, sandwiched between WildStar’s F2P conversion and Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns launch, and it seems as if we’re getting some very mixed messages from the MMO industry with these titles.

WildStar went F2P as a result of flagging sales and plummeting subscriptions, brought on — if you ask the commentariat — by the game’s insistent focus on hardcore, endgame raiding to the near-exclusion of other content. Today’s more well-rounded WildStar isn’t very much like what launched in 2014, presumably having learned that lesson.

Guild Wars 2, on the other hand, will introduce with its expansion tomorrow a brand-new raiding scene, and a particularly challenging one at that.

So what’s the deal here? Is ArenaNet out of touch or calculatedly gambling for a niche it doesn’t already have? Is raiding over or on the way back? Let’s talk about the state and importance of MMO raiding in 2015 for this week’s Massively Overthinking.

Read more

Massively Overthinking: PvP MMOs without the PvE

Back in April, we ran an Overthinking about a perceived lack of high-quality PvE-oriented MMO titles on the horizon, and that’s a conversation that keeps coming up whenever we talk about upcoming MMOs, particularly Camelot Unchained, as we did on the podcast last week. And that leads me to this week’s question:

Would you play an MMO without standard PvE combat? Are you planning on playing Crowfall, Camelot Unchained, or other MMOs that focus on PvP (and non-combat activities like crafting) to the exclusion of PvE combat, or do you need to be killing mobs for it to feel like a “real” MMORPG?

Read more

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.

Read more

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?

Read more

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?

Read more

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.

Read more

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?

Read more

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!

Read more

1 7 8 9 10 11