global chat

The MMO blogosphere is bigger than Massively Overpowered. Join Justin Olivetti on his epic quest to find and elevate the best MMO blog posts of the week. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]

Global Chat: Which mobs do you love killing in MMOs?

Everyone has mobs that they particularly enjoy offing in MMORPGs — sometimes so much so that we go out of our way to get in that extra kill. Maybe the mob offends us in some way, we love the death animation (sadists!), or we imagine our character has a personal vendetta against those creatures.

Blogger Murf lists the top five MMO mobs that he never tires of killing, and you might not expect his top choice: skeletons. “EverQuest took Ultima Online’s skeletons and raised the stakes,” he wrote. “In particular, their skeletons were remembered for their distinct laugh and ‘bone breaking’ death noise. Often the laugh would be a precursor to a huge newbie aggro chain where your choices were die there or run and die somewhere else.”

Read on for this week’s tour of thought-provoking blog posts, including articles on the Warcraft movie, the satisfaction of being a healer, Guild Wars 2’s content drought, and more!

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Global Chat: Is casual raiding important for MMOs?

When it comes to the subject of raiding, one might get the impression that there are only two factions involved: those who are hardcore raiders and those who couldn’t care less about raiding. Yet that would overlook those who have latched on to casual raiding for fun and profit.

Neri at Mama Needs Mana is one such player, and in a recent article she makes a case for why casual raiding is important in MMORPGs: “Casual raids can provide guilds a great opportunity to introduce new blood into the group without throwing off the synergy of the progression group if they’re a bad egg. They can serve as the perfect training for players completely new to raiding, while also providing veteran players an opportunity to gain both experience and gear on an alternative character.”

We’ve got more great articles from the MMO blogging community to highlight this week, including a look at Landmark pre-launch, the joys of Lord of the Rings Online, playing against one’s nature, and more!

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Global Chat: Snap judgments of Overwatch

The talk of the blogger town has definitely been abuzz with impressions, thoughts, and snap judgments of Overwatch as it heads to release. Is Blizzard’s shooter merely shallow eye-candy or is it polished perfection? And does it even matter what we think, considering that the studio will sell a billion copies anyway?

Bloggers are divided on the subject after getting some hands-on time with the game. “If you’re looking for quick bursts of kinda frustrating, often amusing FPS action, Overwatch is pretty damn good,” In An Age said. Imperial Intelligence remarked of a recent video that, “[This] is a microcosm of the Overwatch experience: flashy, well-made, and ultimately devoid of any substance.”

Engame Viable has a suggestion: “The game became 100% better as soon as I turned off the character voices.” Healing the Masses was impressed: “Somehow they’ve made it feel far more approachable than the standard shooter.” And MMO Gypsy said that she had fun in it and “would recommend it to anyone who’s just a wee bit interested in team-based PvP and FPS which offer more variety than traditional offensive/defensive roles.”

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Global Chat: Which MMOs have the best quests?

For some players, quests are either those things that serve to annoy with reading (in a game!) or merely provide gussied-up reward packages. But there are those of us who genuinely love the questing experience, including its narrative and interactivity. So here’s the question of the hour: Which MMOs have the best quests?

MMO Bro thinks he knows, and he’s ranked the top eight MMORPGs in the questing department. Number one? The Secret World. “Every main mission in The Secret World offers a strong and compelling story, provided through fully voice-acted cutscenes and readable items found along the way. Nearly all of TSW’s missions tie-in to the main story in some way, and even those that don’t feature emotional or exciting stories in their own right.”

Join us for another fascinating tour of the MMO blogosphere, with stops at LOTRO, vanilla World of Warcraft servers, and the eternal question of the purpose of vendor trash.

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Global Chat: What can MMORPG devs do to foster community?

One of the neat aspects of the MMO blogosphere is how writers will often interact and collaborate with each other. Recently, four bloggers ganged up on a shared topic to give their own essays on it. The issue dealt with what developers can do to foster community in MMORPGs.

“What games can do better or worse is set the stage for interaction,” posits Syl. “The games don’t carry themselves; they need to be accompanied by out-of-game resources and interactions,” Mersault noted. “I think that when we discuss ‘community’ in MMOs, what we’re yearning for is that missing ‘organic’ feel,” Aywren said. Wolfy thinks it boils down to two approaches: “Either make content that demands survival or strength in numbers, or foster places where social interaction is grown and encouraged.”

After you digest their thoughts and perhaps add your own in the comments, check out these other interesting articles from the MMO blogging community!

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Global Chat: An MMO to call home

Home. It’s what many MMO gamers are looking for in a title: to plant down roots and find a place that exudes belonging. What makes one game feel more like home than another? And how do we go about finding and settling down in the MMO that’s right for us?

Blogger Tyler from Superior Realities penned an essay as to why The Secret World ended up feeling more like home to him, even though he wasn’t expecting it initially: “TSW is a game that gives me tremendous pleasure simply to inhabit […] Somewhere along the line TSW became more than a game to me. Sometime between pursuing Loki into the depths of the earth, trekking through the surreal industrial nightmare of the hell dimensions, and delving into the darkest pits of the Dreaming Prison, TSW came to embody a sense of infinite mystery and possibility.”

We’ll be visiting many MMOs that various players call “home” today, from World of Warcraft to Black Desert Online. Join us for a trip through notable blog posts from the past few weeks!

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Global Chat: Why bloggers aren’t worried about the future of MMOs

The future of MMOs weighs heavily on some minds in the community, but contrary to some Chicken Littles out there, the sky is not falling and all is not lost. In a two-part piece, bloggers Weakness and Mersault look at the future of the genre… and find it strangely inviting.

“I can see over the next decade a renewed interest in the genre due to the success of console ports that draw on tropes familiar to that marketplace colliding with the experimental playground of indie development and producing an entirely new generation of massively multiplayer games,” Weakness wrote. “We’ll continue to get new MMORPGs, and if the current crop doesn’t meet your preferences, chances are the next wave will, because for once, after 10 years, we’ll be getting games that do something new or concentrate on a particular part that made MMORPGs great in the first place,” Mersault concurs.

We’ve got a great round-up of blogosphere articles for you today, including suggestions on how to fix EverQuest II, Black Desert starter tips, and a countdown of the best player races in World of Warcraft.

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Global Chat: ARK invents new types of griefing

Just when you thought you’ve seen every type of online griefing known to man, here comes another. In An Age grouses about how ARK: Survival Evolved recently added handcuffs to the game, allowing players to keep others chained up indefinitely while force-feeding them so that they couldn’t starve to death. He said that this moved raised the bar for “sociopath simulators.”

“There’s fun, and then there’s fun. I’m more in the mood for the latter,” he said, concluding that he was going to leave the game not just for this move but also because of its low frame rate.

This is but the start of our exploration of the MMO blogosphere this week. Read on to see bloggers bite back against cash shops, defend licensed IPs, and explore the concept of the “single-player MMO experience.”

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Global Chat: The death of EverQuest Next

There are some MMO industry events that, when they occur, spark a wildfire of blog posts across the community. This past week’s announcement by Daybreak that the EverQuest Next project was to be canned and that Landmark to be quietly pushed out the door this spring was one such event. It seems that just about everyone has an opinion or a perspective on what this means, not just for Daybreak, but for MMO gamers and the future of the genre’s development.

We’ve rounded up 17 articles and quotes on the subject to pass along as these writers have come together for an impromptu roundtable of all things EQN. For those dealing with grief, frustration, or bewilderment over the announcement, it might help to hear what they have to say.

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Global Chat: What is Daybreak thinking with H1Z1?

Daybreak’s announcement earlier this month that it will be splitting H1Z1 into two games triggered a flood of responses from the MMO blogging community, some pronouncing doom while others offering insight into what might be going on behind closed doors.

Healing the Masses considers the move part of an ongoing scam with the game and “abnormally idiotic.” The Ancient Gaming Noob predicts that Daybreak will further change at least one of these games’ names to avoid confusion. Inventory Full notes that splitting MMOs up into two or more games or parts is hardly new. Tyrannodorkus said that the different game modes probably warrant separate development but selling them as two titles is a “scummy move.” And Me vs. Myself and I finds himself confused, bewildered, and losing faith in Daybreak.

We’ve got more captivating discussion from the MMO blogosphere after the break, including a look at World of Warcraft’s impermanence, an exploration of Otherland, arguments over the holy trinity, and more!

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Global Chat: Saying farewell to City of Steam

No doubt by now you have heard that the indie steampunk City of Steam has been shuttered. And while its demise won’t change the lives of most of the people you know, it has made at least one blogger sad, as he attempted to squeeze out the remainder of the game story in those last couple of weeks.

Bhagpuss writes that he found City of Steam surprisingly populated for a title under a death warrant: “For an MMO that’s about to close for good in a week’s time it seems in unusually robust health. A deal of content’s been added since my last visit including airship missions and holiday gifts. Arkadia’s central plaza still buzzes with activity. Endless messages ping across the screen exhorting players to join in this activity or that. The chat box ticks with reports of purple and orange purchases and discoveries. For a game about to die it feels oddly alive.”

We pour out a pint of 5w30 in its memory. Read on for more takes from the MMO blogosphere, including the heartbreak of ArcheAge, level-syncing in RIFT, learning when to quit a game, and more!

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Global Chat: Oculus Rift, GW2’s philosophy shift, and emulator exploration

The high cost of Oculus Rift brought a lot of discussion to the MMO blogosphere recently, with writers taking sides for and against the price, the platform, and the possible future of virtual reality gaming.

“I guess for me virtual reality has been this failed promise for so long that I have doubted that it would actually really arrive,” Tales of the Aggronaut wrote. “It gets even more risky when you start thinking back to horror stories of peripherals touting new and interesting ways to play games that didn’t make it,” Overly Positive cautioned. “VR is a part of the future, not the future,” In An Age noted.

When the dust settles, will people buy? Nobody can seem to agree on this. “I am more concerned with it being the price of ‘scare away adoption’,” Sagacyte said. “The Oculus Rift goal to make VR more of a mainstream thing seems to contradict its pricing,” The Tankquisition stated. “That price, for all the loud complaints it has yielded, doesn’t seem to be hurting the popularity of the pre-orders,” The Ancient Gaming Noob observed.

Beyond virtual reality, our round-up of MMO blog posts today includes an exploration of emulators, a criticism of Guild Wars 2’s philosophy shift, and more!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 48: Blade & Soul runner

The big news this week is Blade & Soul’s long-awaited western release, and you can bet that Bree and Justin are going to be talking about jiggle physics, wuxia movement, and awesome character creators on today’s show. Does this mark the beginning of a promising 2016?

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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