Global Chat: Are fellowship maneuvers due for a comeback?

    
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Lord of the Rings Online hasn’t been en vogue in MMO circles recently, but that doesn’t mean that the game and its systems are all dried up. Kill Ten Rats argues that one of the title’s 2007 innovations, the fellowship maneuver, should be copied and improved by the current generation of online games.

“It is a great mechanic that raises the skill ceiling and rewards group play without punishing soloers,” Zubon posts. “This is a great way to support group play. It takes nothing away from solo players, but it provides a bonus to being in a group, and the bonus scales up with the group size.”

While you’re chewing on that thought, here are some more blog posts for your literary appetite. This week we’ll see how Villagers and Heroes is an undiscovered gem, tackle video game addiction (again), see more World of Warcraft flying drama, and even return to the pixelated world of Anarchy Online!

Occasional Hero: Marvel Heroes: Master marketers

ChaosConstant might not mark Marvel Heroes as his all-time favorite MMO, but he’s downright impressed with Gazillion’s attitude and marketing saavy. I’ve been saying for a while now that other studios really need to take a page from what Gaz is doing with this game because it works for both the consumer and the company.

“The game basically rides on the goodwill of its players, and Gazillion knows it,” he writes. “They give away mountains of free stuff, not just through in-game drops, but daily login rewards and coupon codes through email blasts as well […] They do anything it takes to keep the player coming back. And the crazy thing is that it works.”

How to Murder Time: Going back to Anarchy Online

Did the recent announcement that the new graphics engine might be landing soon in Anarchy Online prompt you to reinstall it on your hard drive? It did for me at least, and I’m glad to see other gamers going back to this underappreciated title.

The team at How to Murder Time recorded the following 45-minute video that does a great job at both covering the changes that Funcom’s implemented as well as being downright entertaining. Enjoy!

A Goon’s Day Off: Blizzard didn’t cave on flying because of “forum whining”

The fallout and Monday morning quarterbacking of the reversal on World of Warcraft’s flying decision will probably go on for some time, if posts like this one are any indication. Tridus argues that the studio’s reaction to the furor was sparked more from cancellation surveys than all of the forum rage posts.

“You don’t turn around on something you made such a big deal out of just because the forums are complaining. You do when it’s suddenly tanking your quarterly numbers and the CEO is asking questions about what the hell you’re doing to pull millions off the bottom line,” he reasons.

Gamers Decrypted: Addiction

Video games as an addictive hobby is an eternally touchy subject in the community, compounded by kneejerk reactions and a lack of informed studies. Pyxis doesn’t attack MMOs but takes the stance that being aware of how these games function and can prey on addictive personalities is important to know.

“In many ways a MMO is better at stimulating us than IRL, where you don’t get rewarded for every little step, which is not a completely controlled environment where you know what to do and where you stand, where you don’t always get second chances, where time invested doesn’t always pay of, and where there are not necessarily people around at five in the morning to hang out with,” Pyxis says.

Inventory Full: Villagers and Heroes part 1 and part 2

This is one of the reasons why I absolutely love MMO blogs. They both keep me in touch with games that I’m not playing and even woo me to play ones that they love. Bhagpuss has fallen head-over-heels for Villagers and Heroes, and I admit that his passion has prompted me to give it a try. (In an ironic twist, he blames Massively OP for bringing it to his attention.)

“In the end I spent about five hours in V&H yesterday, following the plot, training up my woodcrafting and my bug hunting, backtracking to complete and hand in some of the plethora of quests I seem to have acquired (and inevitably acquiring more in the process). It was a relaxing, involving and thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a Sunday,” he gushes.

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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Wolf_Mother67
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Wolf_Mother67

Ket_Viliano I’ll take the “lesser” evil ( not that it’s evil at all to begin with). 

Shoot people are addicted to their own perspectives. So long as it doesn’t cause harm or neglect it’s no problem imo.

ApathyCurve
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ApathyCurve

Kodimus I did see it in EQ2 as I posted down below, but wasn’t aware of the FFXI connection  I must claim apathy (yeah…), as I find the Final Fantasy franchise about as interesting as three-day old left over green beans.

tobascodagama
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tobascodagama

mosselyn Telos_ One nice thing about GW2’s combo fields is that they’re not at all disruptive for players who don’t know about them. A newbie Elementalist might not know that they should be dropping Fire fields instead of Lightning fields in a given situation, but the Lightning field will still give out *some* benefit to neighbouring players, even if it’s not the optimal benefit. And the Ele isn’t having their own fun interrupted in the heat of the moment. Worst case scenario, another Ele sends them a tell later to explain “Hey, you’re disrupting my Fire fields that our teammates were blasting for Might.”

Compare this to LOTRO’s FMs, which pop a giant UI in front of you with weird flashing stuff on you and your teammates and some mob somewhere. And so you lock something in that completely screws up the sequence, and now the PDFW cleanse your raid leader was counting on doesn’t go through and the party wipes or whatever.

ApathyCurve
Guest
ApathyCurve

Akami 
Yes, LOTRO copied mechanic from EQ2.  I assume the author has never played EQ2.  Or perhaps it’s not in EQ2 any more?  It certainly was at launch.  Dunno, as I haven’t played the game in many years.

Zo5o
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Zo5o

nameistake12 :-)

wild_abyss
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wild_abyss

ogged451 Ha, you’re better than me at least. I always think it’s Gods and Heroes which… disappeared?

mosselyn
Guest
mosselyn

Telos_ In GW2, it’s not just that it is a little tag line in the tooltip. There’s nothing in the game that even tells you what the tooltip means.So, someone sees “light field” in the tooltip and it’s like “…and I care because?” You really have to go to an outside source like the wiki to get a clue. Cool, slightly complicated system, entirely unexplained and unexplored in the game. Such a waste.
(Which is not unlike the Lotro’s FM, come to that).

mosselyn
Guest
mosselyn

ogged451 Click the red one. The RED one! Quick! …Yeah, FM’s in a PUG, even in just a duo, are hopeless and disruptive. They’re very cool when they work, though.

Styopa
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Styopa

Werewolf Finds Dragon It’s pretty simple.
Any behavior that’s pleasurable can be addictive; it’s about endorphins.
You can be ‘addicted’ to MMOs, running, sex, knitting, fishing, painting miniatures, porn, or whatever.
Addiction merely means a preference-seeking behavior that is causing a person to make choices with known negative outcomes, seeking the pleasure-activity instead.
Of course, here are so many variables of both scale and scope in that statement that it’s practically valueless as a definition.

People asserting that “MMOs and video games are not addictive” are as misguided and ridiculous as people who assert that “MMOs and video games are bad because they’re addictive”.  You might as well blame spoons for obesity.

A Dad Supreme
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A Dad Supreme

Ket_Viliano If sex can be an addiction that is medically verified, why can’t video games?