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A reader discussion in a past Guild Wars 2 update article made me realize, once again, how much I loathe special event currencies. You know the type: It's patch day, and here's an event, and if you want the rewards, you have to grind a shiny new currency to get them! Never mind that you already hav...

6 months ago 0 Comments
November 21, 2014 at 8:00AM
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No, not the novels posted in our comments. Actual novels. Literary and pulp fiction! Gamasutra recently ran an article chronicling an author's attempt to publish and market a book aimed squarely at gamers. The writer ran into difficulties, however, because of the publishing industry's insistence...

6 months ago 0 Comments
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Last week, WildStar dev J-Tal outright apologized for the game's poor solo progression, stating that Carbine is "well aware that solo progression in WildStar is pretty much non-existent" and is working on the problem. But as I was researching that quote, what caught my eye is the post right after J...

6 months ago 0 Comments
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As big as the MMO genre is, I bet every single person reading this knows a gamer who doesn't yet play an MMO, and that person, my friends, is a convert waiting to happen! But how should you proceed? Do you start your coworker on an easily digestible MMO like World of Warcraft? Torture her with a...

6 months ago 0 Comments
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Every time I go off on a tear about how Star Wars Galaxies' and Ultima Online's houses were so amazing for merchants and traders because of player vendors, one of you always snaps me back to reality: "That's great, Bree, but most MMOs don't have vendors. Most MMOs don't give houses a point at all."...

6 months ago 0 Comments
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A Reddit thread posted by curious swag-mongers working for indie MMO hopeful Das Tal inspired today's question: What's your favorite piece of MMO swag? Me, I have a few pieces that I've kept. Some cloth maps and cards from Ultima Online. All the paper maps from City of Heroes. A couple of World ...

7 months ago 0 Comments
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No, not those bars. The fun kind of bars. Massively reader Serrenity recently posted a provocative comment lamenting the loss of gathering places in MMORPGs: "Why aren't there many bars in games anymore? There's virtually no communal space. In capital cities everything has a numbers-related func...

7 months ago 0 Comments
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A recent Gamasutra piece chronicled a monetization design consultant's journey into what he calls a "social elder game." Author Ethan Levy participated in multiple high-end, time-limited guild-vs.-guild events in an unnamed online game to see just how much guild members would need to pay out to kee...

7 months ago 0 Comments
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I'm hard on MMOs with endgames, especially endgames that focus on a single repetitive activity. The problem isn't so much what that activity is but that MMOs spend so much time making you do something else before you can get to that activity -- instead of just letting you just do that presumably id...

7 months ago 0 Comments
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An off-hand joke in the Massively team email last week prompted a neat conversation about items in MMOs -- specifically, crafted items that have maker's marks attached to them so that players know which characters made them, even as they're traded from player to player through the years. Sadly, MMO...

7 months ago 0 Comments
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Even after they're officially launched, many MMOs still maintain public test servers where volunteers can help the devs test out upcoming content (or at least sneak a peek at it). I am not usually one of those players, but long ago I spent a lot of time on Ultima Online's test center. UO made it su...

7 months ago 0 Comments
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I was tinkering in Ultima Online last week when I spied something I had forgotten about: quest givers with yellow exclamation points over their heads! In Ultima Online! The much-maligned mechanic has even retroactively invaded ancient sandboxes. But I started to wonder what MMO players would acc...

7 months ago 0 Comments
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One of my favorite things about classic MMOs is that they refused to give up on the "RPG" part of MMORPG. As in a tabletop game, in classic MMOs you were often given an opportunity to write a biography for your character, then import it into the game and attach it to your profile in some way so tha...

7 months ago 0 Comments
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An interesting Kill Ten Rats article a few weeks ago pondered the idea that gamers purchase games because those games are "by the makers of" some other game -- to their doom. Much ado, for example, was made over WildStar's dev team because of its members' work on World of Warcraft, and names like J...

8 months ago 0 Comments
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Massively commenters recently reminded me that one of the things that bug me about retro themeparks is the loot that drops in dungeons and raids -- or to be more specific, the lack thereof. You want me to pile how many people into a multi-hour raid and reward only one or two of them with a boss dro...

8 months ago 0 Comments
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Last month, Delaware became the first US state to pass a broad law to ensure that families can access their deceased relatives' digital assets. In most states, though, your spouse can't even log into your Facebook account to delete it if you kick the bucket. And that makes me wonder about MMOs. It ...

8 months ago 0 Comments
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I realize that asking "what's your favorite gold sink" is a bit like asking "what's your favorite way to eat poop," but I'm confronting an MMO reality here: MMO economies generally spiral out of control when the currency poured into the game isn't drained out at the other end somehow, whether it's ...

8 months ago 0 Comments