design

That was a real laugh!

Vague Patch Notes: Ambition is not delivery in MMOs

So Chronicles of Elyria is dead in the water. Or... wait, that's not actually accurate; let me start again. Chronicles of Elyria...
Big ideas.

Vague Patch Notes: Complaining about MMOs you don’t play

All right, folks, it's time to talk. And we're going to start by talking about Guild Wars 2, a game I used to play...
Style.

Final Fantasy XIV posts the third of its documentaries on the creation of Shadowbringers

The video documentaries about the making of Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers roll on, and this particular installment is all about character art and...
Fair fights.

Vague Patch Notes: Why PvP is a cheap way to fill out a game’s content compared to PvE

It feels like about four years ago when I laid down the first in a semi-regular series of columns I see as "useful notes"...
Whenever you're ready.

Vague Patch Notes: Contemplating MMORPG exit barriers

In episode 13 of season 9 of The Simpsons, after having spent far more time than she wants in the Movementarian cult, Marge...
Phun phor the phamily.

Vague Patch Notes: Phantasy Star Online 2 might be in a better place than you think

A couple years back (this being the definition where "a couple" means "I can't remember precisely how many"), I was talking with a friend...
Marketing!

Vague Patch Notes: How to read games industry investor reports as a player

The old adage goes that diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock. By extension, marketing is the...
Things you don't want.

Vague Patch Notes: If people aren’t raiding in an MMO, it’s not because it’s too hard

The start of the year, at least from my perspective, was dominated by Blizzard doing lots of dumb things. So it's kind of nice,...
You're already a corpse.

Vague Patch Notes: Chronicle of a Daybreak death foretold

On Tuesday, Daybreak Games announced what amounts to a form of slow death. Technically, sure, what it announced was that the company is...
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.

Vague Patch Notes: Guild Wars 2 might be the MMO that defined the last decade

It's been about a week or so since we did our Overthinking on the best MMO of the decade, and I ultimately rattled...
Bunny.

Vague Patch Notes: No, MMO lore does not excuse design decisions

There are a lot of problems with how people tend to use lore when it comes to MMOs. I've talked about one side...
Oh, COME ON, what did that accomplish?

Vague Patch Notes: How to make your corner of the MMO space more pleasant

It's 2020, people - let's do this. What do I mean by this? Unscrew our MMO living space. That one's a lot more fun...
We are all alone.

Vague Patch Notes: My wrecked treasure in No Man’s Sky

She was dubbed the Tender Claw C27, and I found her upside-down and half-buried in the ground beside the final beacon of the tutorial...
All right, let's ignore that this game is functionally abandoned.

Vague Patch Notes: Why don’t we have more MMO psionics?

Seized by what I can only describe as an incomprehensible fit of pique, I've spent a decent chunk of my free time over the...
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...
UNDEAD UNDEAD UN

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...

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