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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 Landm...

February 14th 2014 at 9:00am 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 d...

January 17th 2014 at 10:00am 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...

December 20th 2013 at 2:30pm 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...

October 25th 2013 at 9:00am 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 r...

August 30th 2013 at 9:00am 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 mo...

August 2nd 2013 at 11:00am 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...

July 5th 2013 at 3:00pm 0 Comments
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At times over the last half decade, I've felt as if the MMORPG genre lost sight of itself. It seemed that all any gamemaker wanted to do was emulate a certain wildly successful outlier, and this in turn threw a wet blanket over the sandbox play, emergent design, and player-generated content that se...

June 7th 2013 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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Welcome to Massively's guide to MMO sandboxes in 2013 and beyond. I've collected the essential details on all the major sandbox titles releasing this year and in the near future in one easy-to-reference article. If you're wondering whether ArcheAge forces you to PvP, or if you can't tell The Repopu...

April 12th 2013 at 10:00am 0 Comments
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The other week I posted a Leaderboard inviting people to vote for their favorite Star Wars MMO. The comments featured a number of both predictable and surprising insights, but one line of thought in particular stood out to me. There are apparently some folks out there who think that Star Wars is no...

March 15th 2013 at 1:00pm 0 Comments
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Late last year I penned a piece that looked ahead to 2013's most promising sandbox titles. Recent developments have necessitated that I add to that list, which is simultaneously staggering and somewhat stressful. My new MMO home is lurking in one of these games, but I must choose, and choose wisely...

February 15th 2013 at 9:00am 0 Comments
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It's been raining for four days straight, and I've been cooped up in my house with nothing but a head cold and a bunch of time to think about my ideal sandbox MMORPG. For this week's Some Assembly Required, then, I'm shamelessly borrowing the format from Massively's MMO Blender column to construct...

January 18th 2013 at 11:00am 0 Comments