Global Chat: Is MapleStory 2 too cute for its own britches? (Yes.)

On a unicorn.

Maybe it’s the weird gaming lull that’s going on right now, but MapleStory 2 has picked up a good amount of press and player eyeballs (ew) as the newest MMORPG on the block. The verdict? It’s mixed, although Nexon’s adorable anime is generating more discussion than it otherwise would have in a more active market.

“It is worth checking out if cuteness isn’t a dealbreaker,” said The MMOist. Fellow blog Unidentifiable Signal Source agrees, but cautions: “I have some friends that will never play this based on aesthetic alone. They simply don’t tolerate the cute chibi type of thing.”

[AL:MS2]Endgame Variable said that he failed to find the title engaging for adults: “It appears to be a game for children. I don’t ever remember acting like a child even when I was a child, so to find that mindset of frivolity to enjoy this game is completely beyond me.”

Contains Moderate Peril: LOTRO — The state of the game

“After ten years Standing Stone Games realisation of Middle-earth still captures the essential essence of Tolkien’s work. The game engine is some what old now and the graphic are very much of the era that created the game, but the world reflects the source text and the stories regularly tap into the lore in both obvious and subtle ways.”

Malvatar: Double double toil and trouble

EverQuest II has no shortage of holiday events. I haven’t done the math, but saying there’s more days a year with an event active than days without one can’t be far from the truth. Most of them are great, too. Some of my favourites are Tinkerfest (not based on a real holiday) and of course Frostfell, which is themed around Christmas and the winter solstice. The one I’ve always been looking forward to the most is Nights of the Dead, the Halloween event.”

GamingSF: Catch-up mechanisms

“I imagine it is a real problem for MMORPG devs that players may try to come back and hit such a wall of missed progression that they simply give up and walk away again; I know I have in the past a few times in different games. So having this new catch-up mechanism in Neverwinter is very welcome indeed.”

MMO Bro: Exploration is the ultimate MMO design challenge

“At the end of the day, what the explorer seeks is new experiences. But that’s harder to achieve than you’d think. Once you’ve seen a dungeon, or done a quest, or taken screenshots from atop a beautiful vista, it’s not new anymore. Then it’s time to move on and find something else wondrous to discover. For this reason, a game that wants to provide satisfying exploration needs to have a lot of content. There needs to always be something new on the horizon.”

Occasional Hero: WoW really needs to work on its first impressions

“I don’t see a way in which this isn’t simply poor low-level class design. This is Blizzard for goodness sake! I thought they invented polish and accessibility in MMOs […] I can’t fathom, with all of the class revisions they’ve done over the years–after all is the post-Cataclysm revised leveling experience–that they haven’t made this better. Are they just trying to discourage alting by making the early game experience so bad you only want to do it once? I can’t imagine why a game would do this; alting makes for better players who stick around longer.”

Aywren Sojourner: FFXIV — Bard music performance in Eorzea

“Not all that long ago, FFXIV introduced a very rudimentary music system for Bards. Though the devs have expanded on this system, it remains quite limited (more on this later). However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And the community keeps coming up with ways to take the tools their given to make awesome things from it.”

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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