mmo design

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...
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...

MMO designer Raph Koster runs down the key mechanics that drive retention in online games

If last week's "games as a service" conversation piqued your interest, hop on over to Raph Koster's blog. The veteran MMORPG designer...

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...
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...
Oh, is this one my time? It keeps changing back and forth.

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...
I don't like this, but hey, someone did.

Vague Patch Notes: MMO emulation as a paean for the dead vs. a mockery of the living

If you ever need to know why we'll happily cover Star Wars Galaxies emulators and not Ultima Online emulators here on Massively Overpowered, the...
luls

Vague Patch Notes: Having fun in an MMO doesn’t actually mean it’s any good

It appears that Fallout 76 has become the latest in a long line of games that launched too early with ill-defined goals, trying to...
Tell me lies

Vague Patch Notes: Accessibility vs. relevance in MMORPGs

You know that old chestnut about how the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist? The greatest trick...
You might as well look into the pinwheel with your third eye.

Vague Patch Notes: When World of Warcraft breaks off your friendship

I spent a bunch of time post-BlizzCon thinking about why World of Warcraft personally bothered me. Not why its design pitfalls bothered me;...
Such meaning.

Vague Patch Notes: The meaning of ‘meaningful’ in MMORPGs

Ironically, the term "meaningful" has a long history of not meaning much of anything with MMOs. Back in 2015 I did a Perfect Ten...
Well... it's a box, and one of the people in it is probably a skinner?

Vague Patch Notes: There’s more to Skinner boxes in MMOs than mere repetition

As I started watching the latest World of Warcraft video to whip people into a furor, I very nearly turned the thing off...
Strap in, buckos.

Vague Patch Notes: How do you play MMOs when you know humans suffered to make them?

The original Star Wars film was a passion project for a then-young George Lucas, and it was a project that nearly killed Lucas from...

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