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Sometimes, people go away from the keyboard for normal reasons. Saying that I had to go AFK from World of Warcraft for a phone call wasn't all that abnormal, even if it was a call I had never expected to get from the woman who would eventually marry me. But then there are the more unusual times, li...

August 17th 2013 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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When I started my career at Massively, I wasn't hired to be the City of Heroes guy. I wasn't hired to be the anything guy, although I quickly earned a reputation. It was a few months after I got hired that I got the opportunity to start doing a pair of weekly columns, one on City of Heroes and on...

September 19th 2012 at 10:30am 0 Comments
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I do not claim to have any sort of superhuman intellect. If I understand how people are likely to make mistakes in roleplaying and how to fix those mistakes, it's a product of having made a lot of mistakes of my own. Sometimes it's a result of failing to fix them and realizing what would have wor...

June 15th 2012 at 7:00pm 0 Comments
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Questing is an essential part of MMOs. You can say that players should be the ones crafting stories in games, not the developers, but quests provide you with structure and guidance. Even if you can create all sorts of stories on your own, it helps to know what the world is supposed to be like and...

February 15th 2012 at 9:00pm 0 Comments
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Every few months a group of ravenous, garrulous gamers descends upon La Pentola restaurant in Pretoria, South Africa. If you're their savvy waiter, you realize just how receptive this audience can be to quests -- or requests -- coming from a stranger. That's why you pass them a note (seen above...

December 3rd 2011 at 6:16pm 0 Comments
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The October issue of Game Developer's magazine features a postmortem on foul-mouthed shooter Bulletstorm, which includes one of the greatest anecdotes on cross-cultural development ever. If you've ever had a foreign friend just learning how to swear in your native tongue, you can totally see...

October 7th 2011 at 12:03pm 0 Comments
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Maybe you have a sword and shield, maybe you have a really high Dodge rating, maybe you have durable force fields. Whatever your qualifications for the role, you take up the mantle of the tank to keep the rest of your party safe against your enemies, whether they're gang members in DC Universe On...

August 2nd 2011 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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City of Heroes has the best pseudo-seasonal event anywhere: the double XP weekend. Forget holidays that you're usually sick to death of in which you can get some arbitrary gimmick powers, it's cold hard character boosting that really gets everyone excited. And if those of us that play the game were...

March 10th 2010 at 12:30pm 0 Comments
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Characters die. It's not usually a permanent thing, but MMOs are kind of built on the premise that your character is going to die at some point, since something hitting you until you hit zero hit points and then wandering off out of boredom removes the flavor of the game. More often than not, when y...

October 25th 2009 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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Apple Games has posted an article about one of my favorite game developers, the great Sid Meier, designer of Pirates! and probably the best game ever made, Civilization (although in my humble opinion, Alpha Centauri is the best Civ, but I digress). There are quite a few good anecdotes in there, abo...

May 20th 2008 at 7:00am 0 Comments