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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 c...

November 4th 2014 at 8:00am 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."...

October 31st 2014 at 8:00am 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 of...

October 26th 2014 at 8:00am 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 functi...

October 24th 2014 at 8:00am 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...

October 21st 2014 at 8:00am 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...

October 17th 2014 at 8:00am 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...

October 14th 2014 at 8:00am 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...

October 7th 2014 at 8:00am 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 accep...

October 3rd 2014 at 8:00am 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...

September 30th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments