Global Chat: Do you crave human interaction in MMOs?

    
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I’ve long been an advocate of “playing alone together” in MMOs. While I enjoy grouping and teaming up to a degree, mostly I want to be off soloing while enjoying a world populated by colorful personalities and the other perks that come with a massively multiplayer title.

Bhagpuss has a downright poetic and soul-filled post in which he struggles with why he likes about — and what he’s lost from — playing alongside and with others in MMOs. “Did we love the games because of the friends we made in them or make the friends we did because we loved the games? Was life better before Trammel, before PoP, before the NGE, before dungeon finder, because the games were better then, the interactions closer, more meaningful, more real? Or was it just because we were younger, less worn-down with responsibility or failure or ennui or cynicism?”

When you’re done with that read, head onward, because the deep thoughts don’t stop there! In this edition of Global Chat, bloggers discuss the virtues of RP servers, the storytelling of Final Fantasy XIV, the grey market of Star Citizen, and more!

Mystic Worlds: Star Citizen’s¬†enduring grey market

I had no idea that the Star Citizen community had a bustling market for second-hand pretend spaceships that you can’t even use yet, but now that I think about it, I am not terribly surprised.

Saylah, who is tremendously excited about the coming of this space sim, identifies the cause of the current pre-launch grey market and says that, for the most part, the studio is fine with it: “Buying, trading or selling grey market is not against the game’s EULA. CIG has officially stated that they don’t have a problem with it. The one change they made to help protect users or limit scams, was to modify the gifting system so that an asset can only be gifted once. Other than that, they’re hands-off on the topic.”

Mama Needs Mana: Time — A grown-up MMO gamer’s worst enemy

I can commiserate with this post. It truly does stink sometimes to have a passionate interest in games, and yet with family and responsibilities, so little time to play them.

“Even though MMOs absolutely can be played on a casual basis, they are not ideal for time strapped gamers who still dream of being competitive,” Neri writes. “You end up getting so bogged down in all the MMO fluff that you never actually reach the good stuff, and it’s for that reason that I feel that MMOs are lagging behind in popularity when compared to the current free-to-play behemoths.”

GamingSF: WoW — Expansions, dungeons, and raids

Blogger Telwyn does some of the footwork of putting together a few interesting charts showing World of Warcraft’s decline in the amount of content that it’s been putting out over the course of several expansions. It’s not a pretty picture.

“The two patches since Draenor’s launch have only re-enforced my view on this: Blizzard [isn’t] following up on [its] promise of faster content releases, and those releases seem, to an outsider, to be rather thin offerings,” he concludes.

MMO Gypsy: Storytelling in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

“As much as I tried to care about the politics of Azeroth or Tyria in the past, no other MMO has managed to include me, make me care about NPCs and the greater course of events, the way FFXIV has done,” says blogger Syl.

This isn’t a game that’s managed to enthrall me with its narrative, but I’ve seen several writers gush about how the story keeps getting better and better the further you go in, so what do I know? Apparently not much according to Syl!

Aspect of the Hare: I play on an RP-PvP server and I like it!

Many of us know that RP servers are often attractive due to their reputation for nicer communities, but what happens when you mash together RP and PvP? You get a server type that Pike has called home for eight years.

“It’s difficult to explain what is special about RP-PvP servers. To be sure, the ganking is still there, but it feels different. It’s less pointless. Why? Because a lot of these people are, in fact, roleplaying,” Pike testifies. “As for me, I like it. Sure, I may be dead, but it’s immersive, damnit! It adds an extra layer of depth to roleplay and character backstory.”

Gaming Conversations: Is character personalization really that important?

In playing Marvel Heroes, Braxwolf has experienced a revelation that he doesn’t really mind the lack of visual customization he has with his characters because, in this game — unlike other MMOs — he’s there to take on the role of a specific hero.

“In short, in Marvel Heroes I want to play a Marvel hero,” he says. “In MMOs that embrace a character creation model, I want to play my own hero.”

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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