design

Balance.

Vague Patch Notes: Checking your bias when it comes to MMOs

18
What are your biases when it comes to MMOs? It's all right, you can be honest about them here. Maybe you're biased against games...
Keeping your garden.

Final Fantasy XIV takes a look at character concept artist Hiroyuki Nagamine’s work

1
What do the Four Lords, the Koropokkur, and the Fat Cat minion in Final Fantasy XIV all have in common? Well, all of them were...
Sad arbiter, not in snow

Vague Patch Notes: The win state of MMOs

12
So how do you win an MMO? The general consensus is that you don't. The whole point of an MMO that this is an...
Dance Dance San d'Orialution

Vague Patch Notes: What we mean when we talk about MMO maintenance mode

9
I've mentioned before that this column's title was inspired by the vague patch notes of Final Fantasy XI, and here we are diving into that...
This seems pretty Sharlayan to me.

Vague Patch Notes: Playing MMOs as an introvert

21
I've heard people say that the idea of "extroverts" and "introverts" isn't really all that accurate to the way that human beings actually behave,...
We still care.

Vague Patch Notes: The myth of the days before MMO datamining

1
For those of you who don't know, this column was named after Final Fantasy XI. Specifically, it was named after the practice that particular game...

Vague Patch Notes: Template

7
The other day, I was in the middle of a humanizing anecdote when something happened that was tangentially related to MMOs. This prompted me...
Burnsauce.

Vague Patch Notes: The fine art of shutting yourself up (so you can enjoy MMOs again)

29
This week, an unusual thing happened to me: I didn't really want to write this column. This may not sound all that unusual to you,...
Point.

Vague Patch Notes: The sneering elitism of the MMO term ‘welfare epics’

185
A few weeks ago, I saw an MMO player unironically complaining about "welfare epics" here in 2021. This is basically the equivalent of saying,...
Elegy.

Vague Patch Notes: MMO sunsets and the myth of meritocracy

41
A few weeks back, I talked about why a given MMO might have failed even when it possessed good qualities. It was a response...
So close, and yet...

The Daily Grind: Are there MMOs you love to look at but hate to play?

33
For those of you who have forgotten my experiences with DC Universe Online, I found it one of the most obnoxious and unpleasant games to...
In a world of human wreckage

Vague Patch Notes: Considering the soloer’s experience in MMOs

22
I sized him up from where he sat across from me. He was intelligent, that much I could tell just at a glance -...
Bored now.

Vague Patch Notes: The challenge of the average MMO player

17
Pick an MMO, any MMO you know pretty well. Pick an MMO where you have a good sense of how much content there is...
Bad people.

Vague Patch Notes: Emergent gameplay in MMOs isn’t a defense of awful behavior

24
To the surprise (or at least disappointment) of many, it turns out that some players in Elite: Dangerous found an exciting and fresh way to...
So here's the deal.

Vague Patch Notes: If this MMO was so good, why didn’t it succeed?

49
Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to participate in an experiment. I want you to write up a nice long...
Yes, you kind of need to.

Vague Patch Notes: The difficult value of MMOs

5
If given the option, I would probably get a lifetime subscription to Final Fantasy XIV. But the key word there is probably, and this is a...
Not riding a dinosaur.

Vague Patch Notes: What makes MMO leveling feel good?

13
A shine of light, a sound effect, a screen graphic. Sometimes you get more fanfare than elsewhere. In Final Fantasy XIV, the game's victory fanfare...
Give me hope that help is coming when I need it most.

Vague Patch Notes: In defense of easy fun, in MMOs and elsewhere

25
I don't play video games to be challenged. I play them to have fun. This isn't to say that these are inherently separate propositions. People...
I see.

Vague Patch Notes: Yes, Virginia, that counts as an MMO

44
There is a particular comment we get on a semi-regular basis, and it is always wrong. It shows up on a wide variety of...
Plue Brotocol.

Vague Patch Notes: Don’t be the MMO beta defense squad

21
Every week, I have to think about betas. I have to think a lot about betas, in fact. More than I ever wanted to...

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