Global Chat: The MMO expansion lifecycle

    
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With the ever-developing, ever-growing nature of MMORPGs, the expansion truly has a life of its own. By now we are well acquainted with the cycle that runs from gestation to obsolescence and can usually point to where any particular expansion is on this chart.

The Lazy Goldmaker outlined the typical progression of MMO expansion packs with a six-step cycle that focuses heavily on the economy and raiding: “After the final raid of the expansion we will enter the last content drought. This is typically the longest period with nothing exciting added to the game. We are in the middle of this phase of Legion currently. Most of the markets from the live expansion will still be viable, but profit margins will be decreasing, as will prices on all goods.”

Read on for more MMO blog essays, including ones that cover EVE Online, Wizard101, SWTOR, and LOTRO!

Inventory Full: Pony pony, run run, Wizard101

W101 will be ten years old this September. It’s notoriously difficult these days to estimate the health of an MMORPG because of all the tricks developers employ to hide any deficiency in population or popularity, but as far as can be told, things seem to be holding up pretty well for a game nearly a decade old.”

The Ancient Gaming Noob: The never-ending story of New Eden

“The game does not lack for lore. It provides a backdrop of dates and events and names in which you can immerse yourself. But that lore is like the props and backdrops of a play. They can set tone, give you a feel for what is going on, even be part of the narrative. But the important bit is what the actors themselves do. And in New Eden the players are the actors.”

Superior Realities: SWTOR — Thus always to traitors

“But I will grant the writers’ choices aren’t entirely without merit. I went into the flashpoint full of fire and fury, but this turned out to be one of the only times in my entire history with the game I’ve genuinely regretted a dark side choice. I think that shows that the story had some real emotional weight to it.”

ECTmmo.com: Eleven years of LOTRO eye candy

LOTRO is still a very beautiful game as it ages. Sharing some shots I’ve collected over the past month. I could get lost in this world and have no problem with that, there are so many interesting and beautiful places to explore. It simply makes me happy to wander around in this game questing and taking in the sights.”

Blessing of Kings: RIFT Prime

RIFT is a game which really needs a lot of people. When invasions pop and there are many groups running around, it’s a lot of fun. But as you level, the number of people drop off, and higher level zones are a lot less interesting and lack the same energy that the lower zones have. RIFT tries to encourage people to go back to old zones, and there is some level scaling, but it feels less and less effective as you level.”

MMO Bro: Six design choices MMOs should retire

“Factions need to go. MMOs are, obviously, a social medium, so creating artificial divides between players is one of the most counter-productive things you can do. You’re giving people smaller pools of potential group members, less opportunity to make new friends, and more limited options altogether.”

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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