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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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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...

4 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...

4 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...

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...

5 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...

5 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 ...

5 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 ...

5 months ago 0 Comments
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Welcome back to the Soapbox, folks. Actually, let's call this a mini-Soapbox, since it's just a wee thing compared to some of the walls-of-text we've previously published in this space. Anyhow, let's talk about reviews, bias, and subjectivity. Whether it be film criticism, concert recaps, book revi...

10 months ago 0 Comments
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Over the past several years, Blizzard has been very attentive when it comes to making it easier for players to raid. Raid sizes have gone down, then they've moved over to a flex structure. The raid finder was added to the game. Mechanics were toned down, while getting drops has been made even easie...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Can I share how nervous I am about the fact that ArcheAge is finally heading West? Thanks because I really need someone to talk to about this stuff. I'm going to skip over the F2P hand-wringing, both because I covered it nine months ago and because there's nothing anyone can do about it. And the...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Every now and then here at Massively, we receive an email that isn't super nice. I know this may come as a shock to many of you -- the internet is, after all, a place of tolerance and constructive debate -- but sometimes the Massively inbox is no place any sane person would want to be. One reader r...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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The archetypal themepark MMO model, as popularised by World of Warcraft, is a race to the level cap in order to unlock the best content on offer. New content is tacked onto the endgame regularly, accompanied by improved gear and perhaps a higher level cap. It's a system that's designed to keep peop...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Action combat. Interactive conversations. Public quests. Voxel worlds. There are many game mechanics that developers of massively multiplayer online games crow about when promoting their games because these are the things that make their games stand out from the pack. Even if they're not the first ...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Here's the Merriam-Webster online dictionary definition of the word nostalgia. nos·tal·gia noun \nä-ˈstal-jə, nə- also nȯ-, nō-; nə-ˈstäl-\ : pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again 1 :...

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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The dam has burst, restraint has been cast off, and caution has been thrown to the wind. Seemingly overnight, game studios all over the place have thrown the doors open to the general public to get in on alpha testing, usually as a reward for loyalty and financing. Steam has an entire Early Acce...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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The massively multiplayer online game industry is constantly changing, but one thing about it never will so long as capitalism stands: MMOs have ongoing costs, and those costs are passed on to the end user. Exactly how they're passed on is one of the things that has been changing, but new methods d...

1 year ago 0 Comments