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.

The Pale Tree: How to achieve things and be an achiever

Whether you’re completely new to Guild Wars 2’s achievement system or are looking for a few helpful tips, this guide is a solid overview on why you should care about achievements and how to best go about getting them.

One thing I never knew? “The current system gives you rewards for logging in, and then you can complete different daily achievements that are on a rotation — three are required to get your AP. What you get varies based on the highest character level on your account.”

Kill Ten Rats: SkySaga first alpha impressions

Curious about the voxel sandbox SkySaga? So am I, which is why I’m keeping tabs on posts like this one. Ravious got into the alpha on a recommendation and wrote back that it’s “awfully polished” but that it fails┬áto explain key concepts to newbies.

“When I was done with each island adventure, I was heavily loaded down with new materials. This was the heart of the game, I felt: resource collection by raiding shared instance-islands filled with combat, exploration, and destructible things,” he said.

Harbinger Zero: A few random thoughts on the return to SWTOR

Coming back to a game after a long absence can gift you with a fresh perspective to appreciate details that you had either taken for granted or completely forgotten. I enjoy reading posts like this one, in which Harbinger makes a list of what a re-entry to an old MMO feels like.

“It’s the little things that I appreciate in the game. That big knife sticking in the torso of the defeated barbarian master belongs to me. Most games that animation would disappear on death, but not here,” he notes before continuing: “It’s also the little things that are frustrating. My Agent has a blaster pistol in every cutscene (and uses it in more than one), but I can’t equip or use one at all in the game.”

Occasional Hero: Bear-ly playing LOTRO again

ChaosConstant has taken Lord of the Rings Online up once more, and God help us all, he’s found a passion for bear puns by playing the new Beorning class.

Oh, and he really likes the class beyond bad jokes, in case you were wondering: “I feel like the Beorning class is a big deal. It’s an interesting idea; you can basically fulfill all three roles of the trinity: DPSing, healing in man form, and tanking in bear form… It’s probably the closest thing to World of Warcraft’s Druid I’ve seen in any game I’ve played. I say that bear form is the tanking form, but either they’ve made the first few zones easier or the Beorning is a truck; even in man form I BEARly take any damage and can kill pretty fast.”

Out of Beta: Data mining and the death of surprise

Jellyclock tries to see both the good and bad in players’ efforts to data mine games, but ultimately the verdict is that it’s not healthy for us or the studio.

“[Data mining isn’t] all bad, but it eliminates some of the mystery, and in cases like special events it removes any sense of an unveiling,” Jellyclock writes. “It can also create problems for players that don’t want to know everything beforehand, as the community will expect that you know everything new going into each new patch. The knowledge can also be a problem for developers, who will suddenly find themselves on the receiving end of inquiries about changes that were experimental.”

Inventory Full: Your favorite MMOs — now in tablet form!

Would you love to be playing your MMOs on a tablet as well as a PC? Personally, I would love to see this happen, although I am dismayed that there has been so little effort to do MMOs big and right on these mobile devices.

Bhagpuss was encouraged by Final Fantasy XI’s mobile adaptation to experiment with loading a couple of MMOs on his Windows tablet: “Given that I carry my tablet with me everywhere, though, it does open up a whole new set of possibilities that weren’t there before. As windows-based tablets are improving in quality and affordability all the time, the future for MMOs on the go is looking a lot brighter.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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