Happy Anniversary, Massively OP! It's been a busy year for us, and a great year to launch a website centering around MMOs. Through reader support, we were able to kick things off with a bang. And one of the items that we promised in our Kickstarter campaign was a year of the comic strip based around the MOP mascot, Mo.
We thought it would be fun to bring the strip back for the anniversary of the site. The strip has always been a tongue-in-cheek take at MMO tropes, so where better to comment about some of the silly anniversary gifts you get in MMORPGs.
Welcome Mo back in this week's special edition comic...
Well, it is the end of the year, and we have been doing this comic for 37 weeks. It has been an amazing ride. Before we close things out for now, I'd like to take some time to recognize some key players in making this comic possible. Personally, I'd like to thank Jef for doing this with me and giving me the support and writing chops the comic needed. And Bree certainly deserves thanks for letting us do this hair-brained idea in the first place. But in reality, this comic would not exist if it weren't for you, the Kickstarter supporters and the readers. Thank you so very much.
For now, on to this week's comic...
Sometimes I question the artistic prowess of some MMO designers, especially in games where the original artists have moved on to other projects. Many times, I've jumped back in to a game after a year or so after its launch, and I'll question whether the current team did anything other than just reuse old assets for new content. I don't think any MMO is immune to bad post-launch design.
It looks like the artist's intern might need to find a new career in Mo's MMO...
You know those people who are so in love with their one specific MMO class that they only roll that class, over and over? Or how about the guy that can never change his look for any of his characters? You might be one of these people, so understand that I think it's adorable and not just funny. Heck, I have even done it myself to an extent. In my Star Wars: The Old Republic guild, we have one person who has literally created three Sith Marauders. For a while, they were all the same discipline.
This week's comic is dedicated to him...
Have you ever noticed little shiny, out-of-place lines on the ground in video games? These lines are actually seams between textures, and they're one of my biggest pet peeves in an MMO. And though you usually can't fall through these parts of the world, sometimes the collision maps coincide perfectly with these textures, so your character will hit the texture edge just wrong and fall right on through.
These past couple of weeks, Sword and Bored has used that game world construction foible as a springboard to comment on customer service in MMOs and self-help features that somehow don't always seem to help. This week, Mo finally escapes his free-fall, but that doesn't mean all is well. Take a look at this week's comic...
How universal are customer service issues? I don't mean issues that the customer service department has with customers but rather issues customers have with customer service. A few years back Jef did a series of articles that tested the quality of different aspects of a game's community, and one of the things he tested was customer service. During that series, I don't remember any one company receiving a truly terrible customer service review in that series, but I do remember some horror stories from friends.
Where we last left Mo, he needed some help. And the falling cow was going to do no good. Let's see what he does in this week's comic...
This comic doesn't need a long introduction: We've all experienced the annoyance of clipping in one form or another, but certain MMOs are infamous for making clipping and falling through the seams of a world a fate worse than death, with mechanics that actually work against the player trying to fix his buggy situation.
At any rate, I know that nearly everyone who is reading this comic has been where Mo finds himself. What's your worst experience with this video game phenomenon?
Raiding is my favorite activity in MMORPGs. Large-group PvE content is my favorite. So far Mo hasn't really seen any raids, until today, when Mo steps into his first raid. That sounds like fun, right?
Let's see what happens in this week's comic...
Can you imagine if your character in World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, or whichever fantasy MMO were in the real world? What would his or her armor actually look like? The shoulder pads alone would make it impossible for him or her to just walk around. I usually like to dress my characters in something that is sort of realistic.
In Mo's MMO, a cosmetic outfitting system was just introduced, so style maven Amilya is going to help him pick the outfit that is just right for him in this week's comic...
This story arc was so much fun to draw. I thought it was my favorite, but then I look back at the one where the underwear ninjas were introduced and the giant crab and the vendor recycler. Yeah, it's like trying to decide which kid is your favorite.
In case you haven't been following along with our comic, let me set it up: Mo accidentally stabbed a vendor and started running like mad from NPCs and other players. He popped around a town, then his friend Amilya found him and "saved" him from the underwear ninja gankers, KaptainKuddles and DrL0v3.
Now, on to this week's comic...
In the Star Wars Galaxies temporary-enemy-flag system, I remember how fun it was to shoot at Stormtroopers and do a guerrilla-like invasion of Theed. But sometimes when I would run away, I'd lose the group that I was with, and I'd have to sneak around town hoping that no players nor NPCs would see me. I imagine that's about how Mo felt when he was TEFed after he accidentally stabbed the junk vendor last week.
In this week's comic, we pick up right where we left off...
This one took me a while to draw. I think it has a lot to do with the junk pile that's in the background. I have also been attempting to add more depth to the characters themselves. At first, I thought that maybe the joke was the most important, so I would spend less time on the characters, giving them just enough life to get the point across. And the joke is important -- maybe the most important -- but the other elements of the comic are important as well.
Much to the chagrin of my drawing hand, I have been spending a lot more time on the drawing part of the comic. And I think it's shown in the last couple. I know I'm asking for it, but let me know what you think in the comments.
And here is Mo's adventure this week...
When I saw the script for this comic strip, I knew exactly what Jef had been doing for the last few weeks: strongholds in Star Wars: The Old Republic. There is clearly a love-hate relationship between Jef and SWTOR housing. I completely feel his frustrations because I fight them myself.
Mo has his personal frustration with player housing in the comic below...