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You can say a lot of things about a game you don't like. You can say that it sucks or that it's poorly balanced. You can say that the art direction is all wrong, or you can say that it's lacking in any number of features a good game should have. But sometimes a game takes flak for committing the mo...

June 18th 2008 at 2:30pm 0 Comments
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From the first time I stepped into Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach, I was amazed by how well it managed to capture the dungeon crawling feel of the franchise that I knew, loved, and grew up with. With its fast-paced, pulse-pounding, and thoroughly satisfying combat, clever use of...

June 16th 2008 at 3:30pm 0 Comments
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Massively Speaking Episode 8 runs down news and features from Massively.com for the week of May 26th - June 1st. It's a two-topic podcast, as Michael Zenke and Shawn Schuster are joined by guest hosts Cameron Sorden and WoW Insider notable Mike Schramm. We chat quite a bit about DDO Module 7, and th...

June 5th 2008 at 6:30pm 0 Comments
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Most of us have spent a lot of time playing our favorite games. Chances are good that unless you're totally new to the MMOG world, you've got at least one character at some ridiculously high level, armed to the teeth, sitting on a big pile of gold amongst the trophies of your slaughtered foes. You...

June 4th 2008 at 5:30pm 0 Comments
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The conventional wisdom in any service-driven industry is that it's far, far cheaper to retain an existing customer than to recruit a new one. This is especially true in the MMOG industry, where your business model is largely dependent on maintaining a long-term subscriber base. The concept also a...

June 2nd 2008 at 5:30pm 0 Comments
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Everyone plays MMOGs at different speeds. Some people spend just a few hours a week playing, and some of us spend altogether far too much time on these games. I submit, for evidence, that 4-hour raids three nights per week is considered a "light raiding schedule" by most raiding standards. That's...

May 28th 2008 at 1:30pm 0 Comments
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I was reading through my usual round-up of blogs and news items this morning when I found an interesting post by Van Hemlock on the topic of levels in MMORPGs. More specifically, it was about how levels in games keep players from playing with each other. He discusses how ever since he started gami...

May 24th 2008 at 1:00pm 0 Comments
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I have a confession to make: While I was waiting for the Age of Conan launch, I decided to dip my toes back into Vanguard for a bit. It wasn't as crazy of a proposition as you might think. I've always liked Vanguard. It was never the design that was flawed -- it was the execution. Vanguard failed n...

May 22nd 2008 at 3:00pm 0 Comments
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Have you ever noticed how the combat formula for mainstream MMOGs has managed to remain surprisingly stable over the years? There may have been a few small advances: more skills to use (World of Warcraft), counters (Vanguard), twitchier gameplay (Age of Conan), and destructible environments (City...

May 21st 2008 at 3:30pm 0 Comments
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Chances are good that if you read Massively, you either currently play or have played multiple MMOGs in your life. Whatever your reasons are, you're one of those players for whom "MMO" is a genre instead of a game. Not all players are like this. A lot of players get their start somewhere and then...

May 16th 2008 at 4:30pm 0 Comments
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Ask any MMOG player about EverQuest, and you'll get one of three responses: either they loved it, they hated it, or they didn't play it (and don't want to). Nobody thinks that it was just a mediocre game, and a lot of people look back fondly on their time there, warts and all. There were a lot of...

May 15th 2008 at 5:30pm 0 Comments
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When I was playing EverQuest in the Kunark-era days there was one item that stood head and shoulders above all the others for me: the Fungus Covered Scale Tunic (affectionately called "The Fungi"). It was the ultimate twink item, allowing you to regain your health at a rate unheard of in the days...

May 14th 2008 at 4:30pm 0 Comments