Are you ready to have you mind absolutely blown open? Because I have an astonishing truth to lay at your feet: While doing this job, I visit a lot of official game sites. A lot of them. Pretty much constantly.
Here’s an equally astonishing truth: Most of them are terrible. And I’m sure basically every person out there who has been forced to navigate through official MMO sites would probably agree with me. Like designers of many other websites, the designers seem to be absolutely certain that I want one thing when I go to the site when what I really want is something entirely different.
Let’s codify this, then. There are a lot of features that every game’s official site should have that very few of them actually do; today, let’s talk ten features that pretty much every official MMO site ought to have… which a depressing number of them lack, sometimes for really incomprehensible reasons.
Every MMO represents a journey, starting with an idea, progressing to a fledgling beta, launching as a production title, and growing thereafter. All of the games we know now aren’t exactly the same as they were one, two, or more years ago by virtue of change.
Thus, it’s often easy to remember that many MMOs launched without what we would consider fairly important features, particularly those specific to the game’s vision or name. I list these today not to make fun of the games (well, not just to make fun of them) but to illustrate how features are often sacrificed in the pursuit of getting a title out of the door — and how far these titles have come.
Two days ago, World of Warcraft launched the WoW Token service, which will kill the game forever. It thus joins the list of every expansion and change to the game since launch as a herald of certain doom.
Joking aside, it’s understandable that players would be a wee bit apprehensive, since this is a bold new direction for the game. Sure, people have always traded real money for in-game currency, but before it was usually under the table, shady, and generally the sort of thing that resulted in bans and accounts being stolen. Now it’s totally legitimate. Plop your credit card on the table and get some game money.
But while it’s new territory for World of Warcraft, it’s not new territory for MMOs. There are a lot of titles that have, in various ways, codified the idea that you can drop some real coin and pick up virtual coins. To the great surprise of no one, none of these games has erupted in flames as a result of it.
Are MMOs pointless time-wasters, the bread and circuses of the modern era, or do they make positive, meaningful contributions to the real world? Well, considering that writing about these games has paid for my golden SeaDoo (yachts are so 2014), I’d agree with the latter.
But if you’re looking for examples on a much larger scale, then boy howdy, do I have some for you! Ten of them, as a matter of fact, which is twice as many as most websites will give you but one fewer than some that are being cute by counting to 11. What were we talking about again? Oh yeah: How MMOs have changed the real world for the better. Proceed!
If there’s one thing that always, always goes with MMOs, it’s combat. I mean, we can’t be a hero without killing something, right? We can’t explore a virtual world of wonder without needing to murder a small chunk of it, no?
And as exciting and replayable and institutional as combat is, sometimes… sometimes I get a little tired of it. Being in games where everything revolves around supporting combat in some way or directly fighting can be mentally exhausting. So the Massively OP team and I sat around one afternoon trying to name MMOs where combat is not just rare but absent entirely.
We thought we could name only a small handful, but we quickly stormed our way past 10, and that’s not even counting sports MMOs, text-based MUSHes, and the iffy status of Puzzle Pirates. So if you’re looking for an online game that isn’t about stabbing, punching, or fireballing goblins to death, here are attempts by the industry to provide alternatives!
I wouldn’t say that The Secret World is a scary game. It’s a game that has scares in it, to be sure, but you’re also an immortal superpowered being with an arsenal at your beck and call and a community to team up with, so sometimes the bad stuff isn’t as terrifying as it would be if you were a weakling in a single-player setting.
Even so, there are certainly moments that have freaked me out, from cheap jump scares to deeply unnerving sights and sounds. Every long-term TSW player has his or her own list of the same, I’m sure. From a literal boogeyman to a house that’s out for revenge, here are my 10 creepiest moments and missions in the game.
[Warning: Spoilers and scares ahead!]
Most folks have certain class traits that appeal to them. Some love being that long-range archer sniper, while others get juiced on the feeling of being an invincible tank. There are those who prefer healing, those who love hybrid set-ups, those who like to conjure fire… and then there are those who love pets.
On our first Massively OP Podcast we fielded a question about MMO pet AI, which set me off on a long speech about just how much I love pets in games. Man, do I love ’em. I love how they make me feel as though I have constant companionship, I love how I feel “overpowered” when I’m fielding one, and I love how combat feels when I’m attacking a foe with one or more allies at my side.
Chances are, if your game has a pet class, that’ll be the one I’m playing. Here are my top 10 favorite pet classes in MMOs that I played for a serious length of time.