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I've written before about how developers use clever mechanics to lower the barrier to entry in order to encourage more people to play MMOs, but how do they keep players interested after they have rolled a new character? More often than not, MMOs greatly benefit from hanging onto players for as long...

1 year ago 0 Comments
January 29, 2014 at 2:00PM
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MMOs have absolutely exploded in popularity over the past decade, with online gaming growing from a niche hobby to a global market worth billions of dollars each year. Once dominated by subscription games like EverQuest and World of Warcraft, recent years have seen free-to-play games take centre st...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Epic Games has formed a two-year partnership with Staffordshire University resulting in the Epic Games Centre, a "fully equipped" space for use by students in Staffordshire's game design courses. The agreement provides students "hardware, teaching time and access to software and key personnel" from...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Most players won't need an economics degree to play an MMO, but strong mechanical forces under the bonnet still guide our actions in our favourite titles. Virtually every financial exchange can be broken down into an effort equals economic gain equation: We put in our hours, and the game economy ch...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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I don't typically limit myself to ranting about only one game at a time, but I decided to make an exception this week and speak out against World of Warcraft's Raid Finder mechanic. I was running a small and modestly successful raiding guild when this system was introduced, and my team definitely f...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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They say death must come to us all, and that inevitability extends to our characters in MMOs. The death of our characters may be inconvenient when we want to plough through content, but penalising failure is an essential part of any MMO and further incentivises success by making you learn from your...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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In the increasingly competitive MMO genre, games have to do all they can to keep you as a customer. MMOs have traditionally been quite difficult games to really get into since they typically require a considerable time and money investment and we tend to play them for stretches of several months to...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Quests are increasingly an MMO enthusiast's bread and butter, often becoming the staple component of a game's typical serving of progressive content. Over the years, developers have tried to serve up this familiar progression mechanic in many different ways: The modern themepark MMO makes us fetch,...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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When I'm not playing or writing about EVE Online, I can usually be found huddled over my computer typing lines of code into a compiler and chipping away at bugs that make varying degrees of sense. Designing my own hardcore space game is a really fun challenge and very fulfilling work, but I have a ...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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I mentioned last week that players throw their precious characters into the MMO meat grinder in the pursuit of higher levels, new achievements, or shinier gear. We gladly jump on the seemingly endless PvE treadmill, cranking up the speed with each new patch in an attempt to catch the dangling carro...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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I dabbled in yet another alpha-state indie sandbox game this week. As you'd expect, the title is rough around the edges. Also as you'd expect, it boasts FFA PvP and the correspondingly godawful community for whom the game's "do whatever you want" mechanics immediately translate to "kill everything ...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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It may feel as if MMOs have always existed as a core part of our gaming repertoire, but the genre made its indelible mark on the industry just over a decade ago. MMO titans like World of Warcraft, EVE Online, and City of Heroes shaped the mechanics we now use as markers and basic standards for the ...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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How many of you MMOs players have ever maxed out a character's combat level then stood around wondering, "What do I do now?" I would venture to guess that a vast majority of you at one time or another have done that, and I'd also guess that it's been recently. That's because developers have built y...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Neverwinter's next expansion, Shadowmantle, will bring an all-new class to to game in the form of the Hunter Ranger. The Hunter Ranger will enable players to switch between melee and ranged combat on the fly, and possesses skills designed for mobility and destruction. Cryptic has posted a detail...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Veteran developer Raph Koster has authored a blog post that's worth a read if you're a game designer. Heck, it's worth a read if you're a game blogger, game player, or anyone else with aspirations on creative output. The topic is criticism, and more specifically, making the most of it. Koster, b...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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If you play MMOs, odds are good that you're familiar with the classic "kill ten rats" quest trope. Kill quests are one of the most fundamental elements of traditional MMORPG design, and a great deal of modern and classic MMOs would have little to no content without them. Whether it's ten rats, ten ...

1 year ago 0 Comments