Perfect Tenception: Our ten perfectest Perfect Tens (since last year) – 2023 edition


In the Beforetimes, I tried to start a tradition of rounding up my favorite Perfect Ten articles of the past year every year on the Fourth of July, and then 2020 happened and I sort of just didn’t. But I think it’s time to revive it because Perfect Ten is one of the longest-running and most amusing pieces on MMORPGs that we do every single week. Justin and Eliot trade off managing to take the concept of a top 10 listicle and making it meaningful or funny. Occasionally Chris wanders by with something weird, and I love those too!

So here are my 10 favorite Perfect Tens from the last 365 days, perfectly primed to give you something to read on this holiest of high holy day here in the US.

Perfect Ten: 10 dead MMOs that should be revived for a second chance

I have always felt that it's such an enormous waste of everything when a live MMORPG is sunsetted and access to it is gone for good. Not only do players lose those virtual worlds, account progress, and homes for social groups, but developers see their life's work go poof with the flick of a switch. And it always seems weird to me that some studios will spend so much money and time trying to develop… Continue Reading

Perfect Ten: 10 ways World of Warcraft feels like a dead mall

There was a time that I lived next to a very small mall that's tucked kind of out-of-the-way in a part of my state. It was already kind of a low-rent location even when I went there in middle school, but as time went by it only got more dead over time. By the time I went back a little after college it looked like a graveyard, full of empty shops and somehow still a… Continue Reading

Perfect Ten: Why it’s better than ever to be an MMO fan in 2023

Welcome to 2023! You probably didn't need that heads-up, but you're getting it even still. I'm quite excited about the year to come in MMO gaming, and I hope you are as well (if not, why are you reading this site? It's not my languid prose!). In the spirit of endless possibilities stretching before us, I thought I'd look on the bright side and share why it's better than ever to be an MMO fan… Continue Reading

Perfect Ten: 10 things I really dislike about Final Fantasy XIV

Sometimes, when I have a series of columns planned, I start off by saying, "Hey, here's a series of columns I plan." And sometimes I let it just be unstated and see how many people expect the followup because if it's not obvious by now that I enjoy having at least a bit of cheeky surprise in the things I do... well, there. Now it's been said outright. Welcome to here; hope you have fun.… Continue Reading

Perfect Ten: Weirdly specific tropes found in every fantasy MMORPG

If you take some weird, outlandish, or out-of-the-ordinary item and then saturate your life with it, sooner or later the bizarre becomes the accepted norm. So much so, in fact, that you'd cease to even think about it. I mean, do we ever question those magic boxes known as "microwaves" that mysteriously heat up our foods? Likewise, fantasy MMORPGs have established trope after trope that we no longer question -- or even notice. Actually, the… Continue Reading

Perfect Ten: 10 MMORPGs that let you talk to cats

Let's not mince words here: I am a cat person. I absolutely love cats. They are small furry idiots who make stupid yelling noises, destroy things for no reason, have little regard for the rules you set down, and are also some of the most loving animals on the planet. (To anyone who tells me that cats don't love you, I invite them to witness my tabby when I'm away for even an hour.) I… Continue Reading

Perfect Ten: 10 strategies to avoid getting fleeced in F2P MMOs

"Nothing is ever truly free," my grizzled Uncle Trigger once told me. "So you got to pay for that there air! Pony up, boy!" While Uncle Trigger was overlooking a few aspects of this philosophy, the sentiment is an important one to grasp, especially when it comes to free-to-play MMOs. Even though the first word is "free," it should be followed up with several paragraphs of tiny lawyer disclaimers that basically say, "Nevertheless, the studio… Continue Reading

Perfect Ten: MMOs that have fallen to the dark side of cryptocurrency

Here's an interesting point that's worth considering: For all the talk about cryptocurrencies, NFTs, the metaverse, and other Web3 buzzwords being the future of video games, it's important to note that none of the entries on this list are games that are, were, or are expected to be wildly successful. The MMOs we're going to talk about are sunseted games that got resurrected, floundering games hitching their boats to something that seemed successful, or games… Continue Reading

Perfect Ten: 10 reasons New World deserves a second look

If you were one of the many, many players who skipped off New World after giving it an initial try, well, we don't blame you. The launch was a bit of a mess, the subsequent months were a morass of unsteady development, the population plummeted, and an aura of uncertainty seemed to hover over Amazon's MMO. Yet as someone who's been repeatedly visiting and enjoying New World, I'm here to testify that this game genuinely… Continue Reading

Perfect Ten: MMORPGs as Jell-O flavors

During last year's April Fools' Day, I wrote about the important topic of MMO NPCs as muffins. At the time, I felt my work complete, but then a conversation in the MOP Slack brought to harsh light that I had not considered an even more pressing question: What Jell-O flavors would MMORPGs be? After weeks of madly scrabbling in my notebook, hissing at people who tried to ask what I was doing buried under a… Continue Reading

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