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I have sad news for the Massively staff and community today, news most of you already knew was coming. This week, we learned our AOL overlords have decided that they no longer wish to be in the enthusiast blog business and are shutting all of them down. This mass-sunset includes decade-old gamin...

2 months ago 0 Comments
January 30, 2015 at 2:10PM
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Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about how Vanguard's early stumbles foreshadowed the changing MMORPG industry. In January 2007, when Vanguard lurched its way to launch, the genre was barely a decade old; it was booming, and it had never suffered hardship on a massive scale. In the west, we'd see...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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The MMO industry has lately focused on niche titles, niche communities, niche gameplay. It's not one particular niche, mind you. It's lots of different niches, all being catered to in different titles: PvPers, sadistic gankers, raiders, dungeoners, roleplayers, crafters, explorers, achievers, soloe...

5 months ago 0 Comments
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Back in 2001, I desperately wanted out of EverQuest. I hated the gameplay. I hated the community. I loved my guildies, but I hated what our guild was becoming, consumed by a grindy rat race so different from our roots in Ultima Online. When Dark Age of Camelot offered a way out, I took it, dragging...

6 months ago 0 Comments
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Once upon a time, a subscription MMORPG sandbox had open-world housing, only there wasn't quite enough for everyone. Well, there was, but there wasn't enough of it in safe lands, so a lot of the people who wanted a place to live had to live in dangerous places they didn't like, places where they co...

7 months ago 0 Comments
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If you play MMORPGs, you've no doubt been told, hundreds of times, "Slow down! Don't rush! Stop to smell the flowers! It's the journey, not the destination!" Typically, you're being told to slow down in an MMO whose focus is the destination: the endgame. All the good stuff is at the end. The bes...

8 months ago 0 Comments
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My first trip to Ultima Online's Green Acres was in 1998. The first guild I'd ever joined had just split up into a bunch of... let's call them "philosophically incompatible" groups, and I was still hanging out with some of the shadier types because I was a clueless teenager in my first MMO and want...

10 months ago 0 Comments
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Back in March, I spent an entire Working As Intended column discussing the game mechanics that Guild Wars 2 got right. But that's just one side of the story. In order to be completely fair to the game and to myself, I want to grump about the things it got wrong. Don't take this as utter condemnatio...

11 months ago 0 Comments
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MMORPGs struggle to meet two contradictory goals: They want to provide stability, permanence, a world you feel you can always come home to, and they want to provide dynamism, change, a world that always has something fresh and new. Lean too hard to one side -- change too much or too little -- and t...

12 months ago 0 Comments
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A Massively community member recently wrote into the podcast to tell us that he prefers to solo, to craft for himself, to avoid group quests, and to skip guilds. Still, he told us, he loves MMOs and doesn't want to leave them to play single-player RPGs. "What the hell is wrong with me?" he asked. ...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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I returned to Guild Wars 2 recently after months away and was pleasantly surprised with what I found. No, there was nothing earth-shatteringly new, and no, I'm not going to praise the latest installment of the plot, but I realized that I'd forgotten just how much Guild Wars 2 managed to get right. ...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Last December we told you about Dawntide's impending beta server closure and temporary hiatus. Working as Intended was getting ready to go to work on a large-scale world revamp for the fantasy sandbox, and the firm said the open beta server would be down for a couple of months. According to an...

3 years ago 0 Comments
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Recently, Ilum took center stage in an argument about exploits, and I honestly cannot say which side of the fence I'm on. When do the intentions of the designers take precedent over the players taking advantage of poor design? Well before Star Wars: The Old Republic even crossed the mind of BioWa...

3 years ago 0 Comments
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Dawntide's beta server is officially closed for business. As we told you earlier this month, indie studio Working as Intended has decided to suspend the fantasy sandbox's open beta phase in order to focus on a large-scale gameworld revamp. WAI says that the servers will be offline "for a perio...

3 years ago 0 Comments
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The curious saga of Dawntide continues, and the next chapter includes a wipe, a world revamp, and two weeks of sheer unadulterated mayhem. The fantasy sandbox has had a rough go of it in 2011, first with funding issues and then with all of the trials and gameplay tribulations that come with br...

3 years ago 0 Comments
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Hey folks, and welcome back to Some Assembly Required. The column's been around for a little bit now, and we've done everything from developer interviews to opinionated rants to sandbox and player-generated content feature spotlights. One thing we haven't done is an impressions piece on new sandbox...

3 years ago 0 Comments