vague patch notes

Vague Patch Notes is a meta design column by Eliot Lefebvre. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]

My God, it's full of nonsense.

Vague Patch Notes: Just stop pre-ordering video games

Look, you've probably heard this before, but it bears repeating now: Don't pre-order that game. Pre-ordering games is a bad idea. And this week,...
Go pew.

Vague Patch Notes: Keeping it simple, oversimplification, and MMO design

People who have read my work for a while know that I really like tabletop roleplaying, and I have copies of two of my...
On all the consoles ever forever.

Vague Patch Notes: Datamining, leaks, unforced errors, and messaging

So now that Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers has been released, basically everyone playing the game has completely forgotten that the expansion actually prompted...
Bored, huh?

Vague Patch Notes: Why live MMOs struggle to onboard new players

There are, at the time I write this, two basic approaches for getting new players up to speed in existing MMOs. Both of them...

Vague Patch Notes: The curious case of the esports bubble

I've been thinking a lot about esports lately. This is not actually something I like to think about, mind you; my general attitude toward esports...
Oh bang.

Vague Patch Notes: Don’t take it personal, it just ain’t your (MMO) story

Here's an interesting fact of trivia for you for today: I am pretty much clocked out when it comes to news about H1Z1. The...
Even if our words seem meaningless.

Vague Patch Notes: On fans and fanboys in MMORPGs

When you play Final Fantasy XIV, you are going to be stuck playing one of an assortment of jobs, with no actual customization to...
So, bye.

Vague Patch Notes: MMOs are not the same as your single-player games with servers

Recently, I've been trying to get into Bloodborne. This isn't a result of my disliking the Souls franchise as a whole, just that it's never...
Please, just... potter less.

Vague Patch Notes: It’s all right for MMO studios to stop trying

Let me tell you about last year's NaNoWriMo project. If you've never taken part in National Novel Writing Month, it's a great reason to...
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...

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...

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...
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...