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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
February 14, 2014 at 9:00AM
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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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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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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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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...

2 years ago 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...

2 years ago 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 constru...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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What a difference a year makes, amirite? This time twelve months ago, I was licking the wounds brought on by Star Wars Galaxies' unceremonious and premature departure from the MMO scene. It was bad enough that a profitable title was sacrificed in order to clear a path for one of 2012's biggest disa...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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Today it occurred to me that The Secret World's faction choice is meaningless. You're probably aware that the game features three organizations, but if you're not a regular player, you may not know that picking one is largely an aesthetic exercise. Sure you get different lines of dialogue in the ga...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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There's this idea that old-school MMO players don't know what they want. I've an inkling that the folks espousing this idea have little experience with the old-school games they purport to be evolving beyond. This doesn't stop them from claiming that old-schoolers are in love with a time period ...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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Like a lot of you, I've been goofing around in Guild Wars 2 this past week. What does that have to do with Massively's sandbox column? Not much other than that I feel like ArenaNet's game has arrived at an interesting crossroads in the history of MMO development. In one direction, you have World...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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Hello folks, and welcome back to Some Assembly Required. I've been thinking about sandboxes quite a lot lately, and while this is nothing new, a couple of those I've been thinking about are flying pretty far under the radar. As much as I've been enjoying The Secret World in recent weeks, it can'...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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Now that we know ArcheAge is in fact heading West at some point, I no longer feel bad about discussing the game at every opportunity. Prior to E3, any mention of XL's sandbox and its ginormous feature list felt a little like twisting the knife, you know? Happily, though, that's no longer the cas...

2 years ago 0 Comments