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By now, you will have heard that Massively is being shut down along with Joystiq and countless other blogs run by AOL. That unfortunately means this will be my final article for Massively and marks an end to the nearly seven-year run of the EVE Evolved column, which now holds over 350 articles on t...

2 months ago 0 Comments
February 1, 2015 at 6:00PM
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Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about how Vanguard's early stumbles foreshadowed the changing MMORPG industry. In January 2007, when Vanguard lurched its way to launch, the genre was barely a decade old; it was booming, and it had never suffered hardship on a massive scale. In the west, we'd see...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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I mulled being positive about the MMO industry as a new year's resolution. Then I remembered that new year's resolutions are silly because if it takes an arbitrary date and a contrived occasion to do something, that something is probably not worth doing! With that in mind, let's kick off the 201...

3 months ago 0 Comments
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On its Early Access page, Steam posts a manifesto of sorts praising this radical new type of development in which players get in on the alpha or pre-alpha stage, saying, "This is the way that games should be made." Is it? I'm not so sure. Early access -- and all of the other similar names for...

3 months ago 0 Comments
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Today marks the last entry in my better models for MMO endgame progression series, the follow-up to my series on why MMO studios should abandon raiding. And that means providing two more possible models along with something of a thesis statement. But it also means that at this point I'm far more wi...

3 months ago 0 Comments
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If you read yesterday's Soapbox, the first in my Better models for MMO endgame progression series, with a fair bit of awareness, you probably noticed that the models I presented were, well... safe. Normal. Not too far outside of the realm of what we already have in some games, in other words. Oh, s...

3 months ago 0 Comments
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Last month, my three-part Soapbox series on reasons studios should abandon raiding as the core mechanic of their MMOs produced no shortage of comments. One of the persistent refrains from the pro-raid side was, as expected, "if you're so smart, why aren't you proposing alternatives?!" The obviou...

3 months ago 0 Comments
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It's kinda silly, but I feel like giving up on ArcheAge. It's silly because the game launched in mid-September and we're currently in November. The fantasy sandpark does have more than it's share of problems, but logically I know that it's way, way too early to start piling dirt on its imaginary co...

4 months ago 0 Comments
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In parts one and two of this Soapbox miniseries, I tackled four of the reasons the MMO genre should abandon raiding as a central gameplay element, but one key argument has been left out until now: The social aspect of raiding. Whatever else is true of raiding, it is definitely social. Communitie...

4 months ago 0 Comments
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In yesterday's Soapbox, I had some things to say about why it's time to dump raiding. I'm writing this before I've seen the comment responses, but I'm willing to bet that a fair amount of angry shouting was involved in the comments because that's what I usually expect. But I wasn't done, as suggest...

4 months ago 0 Comments
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Raiding is no longer doing MMOs any favors. I've compared raiding to open PvP in the past, and the comparison still holds up. It's something that a lot of games developed in response to a specific genre-defining game have featured. But it's not doing those games any favors, and it might be time ...

4 months ago 0 Comments
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It's taken 12 times the normal XP rate, but Star Wars: The Old Republic is finally my main MMO (at least for another week or so). Well, OK, it's also taken a series of spectacularly ill-considered decisions by XLGAMES and Trion, but that's a rant for another day. I've been playing SWTOR quite a ...

4 months ago 0 Comments
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Monument Valley developer Ustwo learned a harsh lesson about App Store customers this week when the group released a sizable update to its highly regarded iOS title. A level expansion titled Forgotten Shores added a further eight chapters to the popular puzzle game for $1.99, and if you had read a...

5 months ago 0 Comments
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The MMO industry has lately focused on niche titles, niche communities, niche gameplay. It's not one particular niche, mind you. It's lots of different niches, all being catered to in different titles: PvPers, sadistic gankers, raiders, dungeoners, roleplayers, crafters, explorers, achievers, soloe...

5 months ago 0 Comments
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ArcheAge fandom is hard. It was initially hard because of the waiting. Consider that we've known of the game's existence since 2010 and that some of us have been playing it in various incarnations since 2011, which is a full three years -- and dozens of gameplay changes -- prior to its official Nor...

5 months ago 0 Comments
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Back in 2001, I desperately wanted out of EverQuest. I hated the gameplay. I hated the community. I loved my guildies, but I hated what our guild was becoming, consumed by a grindy rat race so different from our roots in Ultima Online. When Dark Age of Camelot offered a way out, I took it, dragging...

6 months ago 0 Comments
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Once upon a time, a subscription MMORPG sandbox had open-world housing, only there wasn't quite enough for everyone. Well, there was, but there wasn't enough of it in safe lands, so a lot of the people who wanted a place to live had to live in dangerous places they didn't like, places where they co...

7 months ago 0 Comments
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If you play MMORPGs, you've no doubt been told, hundreds of times, "Slow down! Don't rush! Stop to smell the flowers! It's the journey, not the destination!" Typically, you're being told to slow down in an MMO whose focus is the destination: the endgame. All the good stuff is at the end. The bes...

8 months ago 0 Comments