design

Order from disorder.

Vague Patch Notes: Why do MMOs have randomness?

If there's one concept that is nearly universally reviled among MMO players, it's randomness. Yes, pretty much everywhere. You could make a little fairy...
Why do we do this

Vague Patch Notes: A look behind the magic at Massively Overpowered

Here we are on another Thanksgiving holiday, and as with every year, one of the big things I'm thankful for is that I've now...
Be better.

Vague Patch Notes: Sub-optimal play vs. just plain bad play in MMORPGs

Something we need to start reckoning with when it comes to MMOs is the fact that it really is a problem when you're playing...

Vague Patch Notes: MMO grind is good (except when it isn’t)

Some of my fondest memories of World of Warcraft involve Adam Sandler and the Badlands. My wife and I had a pretty steady tradition made...
Oh my.

Vague Patch Notes: Ethics, PR stunts, and the BlizzCon apology

Are you all really tired of talking about ethics and Blizzard in the same sentence? I am too, but a large part of that...
Back in time.

Vague Patch Notes: Does BlizzCon have a future in its current form?

BlizzCon 2018 was a pretty unnecessary disaster for Blizzard. It managed to demolish any hopes people had about Battle for Azeroth rounding the bend and...
Sometimes it's... pretty clear.

Vague Patch Notes: Scammers, grifters, and amateurs in the MMORPG market

There are two apparent truisms about scams in the MMO marketplace. The first is that players are quick to call anything that vaguely stinks...
hooooooboy

Vague Patch Notes: Copies, blatant copies, and plagiarism in MMOs

So... this was honestly not the story that I had expected to have wound up coming out of Eternal Magic. I'd been expecting...
We don't mean anything bad!

Vague Patch Notes: Crime and punishment and intent in MMOs

Last week, we saw Blizzard explain its philosophy behind why some World of Warcraft bugs in which players got to get more...
Bart, stop creating a diversion!

Vague Patch Notes: Do video games really need trade shows anymore?

The past few years have seen some really big seismic shifts in the game industry. In the time that I've been working here alone,...
We're going to be here for a very long while, princess.

Vague Patch Notes: Timesinks, sunk time, and MMOs

Here's a fun question I asked myself a lot back in the day: Why, exactly, did leveling take so long in Final Fantasy XI? The obvious...
You won't believe the things I didn't bother telling you!

Vague Patch Notes: How MMO studio communication and player confidence really work

Here's the funny thing about communication from MMO studios: It's vital to the continued feeling of a healthy game, and yet at the same...
Doom approaches.

Vague Patch Notes: How time distorted what ‘hardcore’ means for WoW Classic

There's a contingent of players looking forward to the launch of World of Warcraft: Classic next week that is vocally thrilled about one...
SELF-DESTRUCT

Vague Patch Notes: Lazy MMO developers don’t exist (at least not the way you’re thinking)

The other night, I was reading the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit and came across that gem of all gems for people who love...
lol so randum

Vague Patch Notes: Random thoughts on randomness in MMOs

Here's a fun little trivia fact that you probably already know: Computers can't really do randomness. A random number is usually generated by pulling...
My God, it's full of nonsense.

Vague Patch Notes: Just stop pre-ordering video games

Look, you've probably heard this before, but it bears repeating now: Don't pre-order that game. Pre-ordering games is a bad idea. And this week,...
Go pew.

Vague Patch Notes: Keeping it simple, oversimplification, and MMO design

People who have read my work for a while know that I really like tabletop roleplaying, and I have copies of two of my...
On all the consoles ever forever.

Vague Patch Notes: Datamining, leaks, unforced errors, and messaging

So now that Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers has been released, basically everyone playing the game has completely forgotten that the expansion actually prompted...
Bored, huh?

Vague Patch Notes: Why live MMOs struggle to onboard new players

There are, at the time I write this, two basic approaches for getting new players up to speed in existing MMOs. Both of them...
Success?

Vague Patch Notes: The curious case of the esports bubble

I've been thinking a lot about esports lately. This is not actually something I like to think about, mind you; my general attitude toward esports...

ADVERTISEMENT

THE LATEST POSTS

adspacer

TOP CONTENT

NOW STREAMING LIVE ON TWITCH
OFFLINE - SEE YOU NEXT STREAM!