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You would think that growth and expansion is nothing but a good thing for MMOs -- after all, those are the hallmarks of the genre. But as these games get bigger, issues emerge as the developers add new zones, features, and systems. In short, maturing MMOs gravitate toward complexity, and this can...

May 19th 2012 at 2:00pm 0 Comments
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So a while back I was at an art fair with some friends when I commented on how much I liked a strange piece and one of the guys with me said, "Justin, you know what? You're kind of esoteric, ain't ya?" I agreed wholeheartedly and then rushed home to look up "esoteric" in the dictionary. And yeah...

July 15th 2011 at 5:30pm 0 Comments
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In J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, characters would use magical orbs known as palantírs to see and communicate with far away places. While Massively's own palantír is at the shop, we had access to the next best thing -- a one-on-two chat about Lord of the Rings Online's future w...

April 21st 2011 at 12:30pm 0 Comments
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Last night before I drifted off to sleep, I was idly wondering what it would be like to actually live in Middle-earth. Apart from the extremely high mortality rate due to wandering wolves, bold bandits, and orchestrating orcs, it might be a pretty excellent place to dwell, as long as one didn't m...

March 18th 2011 at 10:00am 0 Comments
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Ask any Lord of the Rings Online player about Evendim and you'll get back one of two responses: "Evendim? More like EVERswim!" and "Nice place but too spread out for my tastes." LotRO's lakefront-themed zone was identified as one of the sticking spots in the leveling track, which is why the dev t...

March 16th 2011 at 1:30pm 0 Comments
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Right now, Lord of the Rings Online is in a brief respite between the insanity of PAX East and the upcoming March 21st release date for its next big update, Echoes of the Dead. To say that there's a lot coming with this update is a vast understatement, so it was great to get a sneak peek at the f...

March 15th 2011 at 10:00am 0 Comments
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Lately I've been playing world traveler with my level 43 Lore-master as he's bouncing all over Middle-earth in what used to be the high-level zones of the game: Trollshaws, Angmar, Forochel, Misty Mountains, and Eregion. Once again, I'm struck by just how cohesive this place feels -- it's not a c...

February 25th 2011 at 5:30pm 0 Comments
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This past week on January 3rd, J.R.R. Tolkien celebrated his 118th birthday -- or rather, we celebrated it for him. Tolkien was born in South Africa in 1892 and lived a rich and full life, from fighting in the first World War to working on the Oxford English Dictionary to taking a position at sever...

January 7th 2011 at 4:30pm 0 Comments
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Few things get me more excited than the promise of a big steak dinner and a big, beefy patch. Both get the mouth watering, the senses tingling, and the anticipation racing. However, the former comes and goes within minutes, while the latter is here to stay. I love devouring a good set of patch note...

October 29th 2010 at 1:30pm 0 Comments
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Two weeks! Two weeks, people! Why are you just sitting there, all calm-before-the-storm-like, instead of following my lead and running around like a chicken with its head... well, you know. Two weeks until Volume III Book 2 launches (and a little earlier for current subscribers), and I am psyched....

August 27th 2010 at 3:00pm 0 Comments
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Call me weird, but I am an absolute sucker for winter zones in MMORPGs. For me, the season of winter always evokes a lot of powerful feelings as the landscape is transformed, homes are a sanctuaries for warmth, and hardiness becomes a desirable trait. A zone filled with ice and snow screams to me d...

July 16th 2010 at 1:00pm 0 Comments
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(Screenshot courtesy of Lord of the Rhymes) Over the past couple weeks Lord of the Rings Online players' eyes have turned to the future, and this column with it. After all, with the beta for LotRO F2P edition in full swing and the recent news from E3 about this fall's offerings, it's kind of hard...

June 25th 2010 at 1:00pm 0 Comments