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: Old MMORPGs, disco, and pop culture phenomena

A reader named Rob provides this week’s Massively Overthinking topic. It’s a really good one!

“Why isn’t playing an old MMO from a previous decade seen the same as, say disco dancing in 1986? Seems MMOs have a longer shelf life than other pop culture phenomena.”

Is he right? If so, why? I posed Rob’s question to the Massively OP staff and Patrons.

Read more

Massively Overthinking: The cynicism of modern MMO Kickstarters

This week we’ve been abuzz about Smed’s Hero’s Song Kickstarter cancellation – the KS more than the game, mostly because the game is happening regardless, but the Kickstarter might be more a window into the genre and the wider gaming industry than the game itself.

Our audience has seemed particularly prickly lately about so-called “rockstar devs” taking “AAA games” to Kickstarter for “no-strings” money and promotion instead of to investors or publishers, which might be leading to the corporatization of Kickstarter and squeezing out of smaller studios. We talked about that last month too when we asked our readers whether they planned to Kickstart anything in the new year.

So let’s talk about the present and future of crowdfunding. Are you over it? Is it dead? Is it being killed off by so-called “rockstar” devs, or is that sour grapes? If you’ve backed games, how many have delivered? What are your criteria for backing games in 2016? These are the questions I posed to the team for this week’s Massively Overthinking.

Read more

Massively Overthinking: The MMO dev brains we’d like to pick

This week’s Overthinking question comes to us from longtime Patron Roger.

“If you guys could magically open a connection to any dev team, which team would it be? I’ll assume this power includes their answering you as well.”

Sometimes we have this power already! More often than not, however, the devs are piloted by well-intentioned PR machines, and if there’s a question they don’t want to answer, they pretty much don’t have to, which is why so many MMO interviews are a waste of air and time and pixels.

I posed Roger’s question to our staff. Let’s say you have carte blanche to interrogate anyone or any team in the industry. Whom would you want to talk to, and what would you ask if you knew you could get a true and straight answer?
Read more

Massively Overthinking: Just how massive is massively multiplayer?

Recent tweaks to the taxonomy structure of Massively OP and coverage of what we formerly called “Not-So-Massive” games prompted a resurgence of internal discussion about the types of games we cover and just what the genres mean. MOBAs are easy to separate out, but the line between “multiplayer” and “massively multiplayer” is just as hard to define now as it was five or 10 years ago when we were first struggling with blurring lines. Are Marvel Heroes, Trove, and Devilian, for example, massive “enough” to make them more like EverQuest and World of Warcraft than they are like Diablo III and World of Tanks? Do we care whether a developer has adopted or shunned the word “MMO” when covering a game as one? What precisely makes a game massive — what’s the magic quantity or quality?

I posed these questions to the Massively OP writers for this week’s Massively Overthinking.

Read more

Massively Overthinking: Let’s play with the Gamer Motivation Model

Over the winter holidays, we wrote about game analytics consulting firm Quantic Foundry, which has published what it calls its “Gamer Motivation Model” — essentially, it’s an updated Bartle test for modern gamers that groups gamer types into three “clusters of motivations.” More recently, co-founder Dr. Nick Yee — yes, that Nick Yee — has discussed how gamer motivations align with personality traits.

In light of the fun we had taking the Bartle test a few months ago and the news that Bartle himself is publishing new books offering insight into our genre, we thought we’d take the Gamer Motivation test ourselves, share our results and our thoughts on the test, and provoke you to do the same.

Read more

Massively Overthinking: The MMO with the brightest future

Imagine you have a friend who wants to play an MMO but doesn’t want to get involved in a game that’s in decline or might not be around in five years. Where do you steer that friend? Which current or forthcoming MMO has the brightest future?

I posed this question to the Massively OP writers for this week’s Overthinking in honor of the New Year ahead.

Read more

Massively Overthinking: One MMO wish for 2016

We gave out a lot of awards this month for things games did in 2015, and we talked about what we think will happen in 2016. But what about what we wish would happen next year? Do you have hopes and dreams about our genre’s upcoming year? If you could make one single wish about the coming year of MMOs, what would it be?

I posed these questions to the Massively OP team for this week’s Massively Overthinking, and we’d love for you to join in.
Read more

Massively Overthinking: The next big Star Wars MMORPG

In honor of Star Wars week (and rumors that EA is working on another Star Wars game), let’s talk Star Wars MMOs.

Star Wars Galaxies is much beloved around these parts, and I think most of us would agree that Star Wars: The Old Republic has matured into a worthy and popular MMORPG as well. Let’s take a moment to salute the passing of Clone Wars Adventures while we’re at it.

But the last Star Wars MMO launched in 2011. Is it time for a new MMO that is Star Warsy and iconic? What time period would you pick? What would the ground rules be? Tell me all about the third (well, fourth) Star Wars MMO of your dreams for this edition of Massively Overthinking.

Read more

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

1 7 8 9 10 11 12