editorial

Oh, I see it.

Vague Patch Notes: The community is and is not the MMO

The community is not the MMO. That should be obvious. There is a game to League of Legends that exists without any of the...
Remember.

Vague Patch Notes: The occupant’s dilemma in MMORPGs

This is the story of Stanley. Stanley had a hobby, and that hobby was playing MMOs. Every day, he logged in to Final Fantasy XI,...
I'm doing this why, exactly?

Vague Patch Notes: Finding motivation within MMOs

Here's a fun question to ask yourself when you're doing basically anything in an MMO: Why am I doing this? It's usually at once...
The terror.

Vague Patch Notes: The philosophy of challenge in MMOs

Today, I want to start thing off by talking about Final Fantasy. This is not entirely surprising. What may be surprising is that I'm talking about Final...
Keeping your garden.

Vague Patch Notes: It’s not the MMO endgame – it’s the sudden stop at the end

When I first pitched the Vague Patch Notes that ran a couple weeks back, it prompted a big long discussion with MOP's editor...
A very short marathon.

Vague Patch Notes: Online games are a marathon, but they still need to start running

One of those phrases we like to use a fair amount here is the fact that running an MMO is a marathon, not a...
We're here! We're... that's it, actually.

Vague Patch Notes: On play conditioning and the lecture of experience in MMOs

Yes, it's another week in which we talk about abstract concepts that underpin the way we play video games, this time inspired by a...
Guns hurt more when you're shot in the back, I can only use this gun for that, sorry, don't make the rules.

The Soapbox: A pre-mortem for Star Wars The Old Republic, a game that never knew what it had

Would you believe that Star Wars: The Old Republic is shutting down? I'm going to bet that you could believe it, and I'm even going to...
Remember, he's bigger and stronger than you, but you're smaller and weaker!

Vague Patch Notes: Why the social penalty for open PvP in MMOs never works

One of the most important things to have when you're thinking about games and their design is reference material. It's one of the things...

Vague Patch Notes: How to recognize MMO lies from quite a long way away

One of the most consistently weird elements of covering MMOs is that there's a very simple and yet incredibly odd metric of knowing if...
What you consume is just that.

Vague Patch Notes: ‘Gamer’ is not an identity

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I'm 36 years old. I've been a professional writer for about a decade now, and...
The Quick and the Gay

Vague Patch Notes: Representation in games matters when you don’t see why it matters

This is a story about a boy named Michael. Follow along with me for a little bit, if you'd be so kind. Michael was born...
whoops

Vague Patch Notes: The fads and the curious (and why Overwatch’s star is fading)

So it's beginning to look a lot like the Overwatch fad has faded. It was a crazy couple of years there, but the fact...

Working As Intended: The MMOs we lost in 2018

While we lost several painful MMOs in 2016 and 2015, 2017 was noticeable chiefly because we lost a large number of small MMOs,...

Massively on the Go: Smash Bros Ultimate’s online scene, one month later

I love Smash Bros. I love the mascot battles, the random items, the hazards. And in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, I love the new Ultimate...

Massively OP’s complete 2018 awards debrief and annual recap

As we did in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 - it's becoming a real tradition here! - today I'm going to recap...
This went over great.

Vague Patch Notes: How to make your points and exit gracefully from online debates

It's 2019, people. Let's do this. And by do this I of course mean learn to actually debate things in a way that might wind up changing...
Oh, right, you.

Vague Patch Notes: The complexity of classic preservation for MMOs

Here's a fun question to kick things off. Should old black-and-white films be colorized? The key word there is "old," because there are a...
Fences!

Vague Patch Notes: Understanding systems before you talk about them

Here's a fun question to consider. What were Emblems of Valor and Emblems of Heroism designed to do in World of Warcraft? Yes, they...
We're just not going to discuss one vector for whining about this story element. We're not.

Vague Patch Notes: The taxonomy of corporate apologies in video games

Somehow, Bethesda managed to persevere after the Great Canvas Shortage of 2018 to replace the Fallout 76 CE bags that were essentially plastic...

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