On today's edition of Global Chat, one blogger and developer has a gaming heresy to share, another has a few harsh words to say about crowdfunding, and a third thinks that the future of the genre is all in getting smaller, not bigger. Check out these great posts from the past couple of weeks!
In his "modest proposal for perpetuating joy in online games," MMO industry vet Scott Jennings has a heresy to share: Studios should be OK with letting go of players once the players have exhausted the fun of a game.
"At this point, this is where we tend to fail our customers," Jennings muses. "We don't have a GAME OVER screen, because why would we? We like money! We don't have an exit strategy for when people are simply done playing. We don't know how to let people go. "
2. Murf Versus: World of Warcraft: The massive cycle of disappointment
Murf's cry struck a chord with me, as I imagine it would with many former players of WoW: "Despite my sound reasoning telling me it is impossible, I yearn so deeply on an emotional level to return to a World of Warcraft that is familiar, comforting, and yet new again."
As the saying goes, everyone always comes back to this game. But can it be both familiar and new? That seems to be to be a very subjective evaluation that would be different for everyone and nearly impossible for the devs to design.
MMOs need to break out of the habit of trying to be huge, this blogger argues, and instead should embrace the virtues of being smaller, more niche, and more revolutionary. It's not just a pipe dream; it's something that we see happening in this industry right now.
"I think it's possible we could be moving to a more encouraging, albeit smaller scale, model for making MMOs," Sean writes. "Games which are designed to appeal to a small playerbase but offer something truly different, or at least different from what is on offer now."
4. I Hate MMORPGs: So you funded Star Citizen...
This foul-mouthed rant about the plague of crowdfunding had me laughing, although his conclusions (that devs would be so fixated on getting more money that they'll be tempted never to release a game) are questionable.
Still, Miguelito makes astute observations during his diatribe: "Once the game is funded, particularly brazen developers continue taking money in order to reach arbitrary 'stretch goals.' For those of you who are unfamiliar, a 'stretch goal' is an improvement the developer will add to the game if you pay the ransom."
EverQuest II players have discovered that the studio make a significant stealth change to the world: The moon of Luclin is now healed and whole. It isn't just the change to one of the most notable landmarks in the game that delights Bhagpuss but the way that the developers handled it.
"If anyone wants an example of how MMOs can change and grow without making a song and dance about it, this is it. This is how it's done. No big PR push. No cinematics. No hype on social media. No warning at all. Just log in one day and there it is -- the moon on a stick," he glows.
6. Mystic Worlds: ArcheAge: Under the sea treasure hunting
Saylah shares a fascinating account of one of the unique activities that you can engage in ArcheAge: undersea treasure hunting. While she notes the dangers all around, the thrill and rewards turned out to be well worth the risk.
"The combination of my helmet, fins and diving tanks from Borken's ship, we were able to stay underwater a good amount of time," Saylah recalls. "Once we weren't being chased, it wasn't long before we found our first treasure chest. After you find one you have to use the interaction available to release it to the surface. Too cute! The chest floats to the surface using balloons and then you open it hoping for lots of goodies."
Awesome MMO blog opinions abound all over the internet -- and Justin "Syp" Olivetti reads them all (or skims really, really fast)! Global Chat seeks to round up the most interesting and zany posts from the MMORPG blogosphere. Who knows? You might discover a new favorite blog this week!