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I've always considered EVE Online to be the model sandbox MMO and a template that could theoretically be applied to other titles. Whether you believe it's by careful design or a happy accident, EVE has stumbled on a formula that clearly works and has helped the game stay popular for over a decade. ...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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It's funny, but this whole sandbox renaissance feeling has got me a little worried. I'm of course ecstatic at the number of sandbox MMOs currently in development, and I'm even happier that one triple-A outfit has finally acknowledged that MMOs are supposed to be sandboxes. EverQuest Next and Lan...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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A few weeks ago I ranted at indie sandbox devs who continue pumping out poorly conceived FFA PvP games. I didn't have any wordcount left at the end of that novella to propose any solutions, so I'm going to do that today. And hey, it's pretty simple, at least conceptually. All a dev team needs to...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Just over two years ago there was a great disturbance, as if millions (or so) of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Yes, something terrible had happened: a beloved virtual world was destroyed. And that left a number of sandbox refugees looking for a new place to call ho...

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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I hate to admit it, but I'm getting over ArcheAge. This sucks because XLGAMES' fantasy sandpark is undoubtedly the most feature-rich MMO since Star Wars Galaxies. But Massively first covered ArcheAge in 2010. I first played it in 2011. And we're rapidly approaching 2014 with absolutely no sign of a...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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After a long drought in the industry, the tide of the sandbox gaming is finally coming in. This year can definitely be called the year of the sandbox. While not all of them are out yet, many more games promising those features we love are in development now than ever before. In fact, there are so m...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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A few weeks ago I poked fun at ArenaNet and its "living story" nonsense. As you might imagine, plenty of comments ensued, and I'd like to highlight one of them as a point of further discussion this week. Skoryy wrote (in part): "Since when did enjoying content, especially story content, actively...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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I'm going to criticize Guild Wars 2 this week, or more accurately, ArenaNet. I know, I know. I might as well change the name of this column to How to Alienate Friends, Co-workers, and Commenters. As a qualifier, I don't play Guild Wars 2. I have in the past, briefly, but my criticisms today are ...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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I've been reading a book called Scorecasting lately. It's basically an academic exercise in statistics and human behavioral analysis as it relates to the decisions made in both individual and team sports. One of the chapters touches on a theory called loss aversion, which is a psychological phenome...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Over the course of Some Assembly Required, we've covered a few player-run events out there that haven't been highlighted in their respective game columns. After all, we're all about PGC here, and you can't really get content more player-generated than that! But with all the the possible events acro...

2 years ago 0 Comments