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One facet of video games that's been around almost since the very beginning is the difficulty level. This has allowed the player to choose how hard or easy a game would be from the onset, influencing factors such as the number of enemies, hardiness of bad guys, fragility of the player character, an...

August 30th 2014 at 4:00pm 0 Comments
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WildStar's floating palaces, Star Wars: The Old Republic's strongholds, World of Warcraft's garrisons, and Landmark's... well, everything... are getting a lot of press lately, maybe because the MMO industry has been starved for such content for so long. Few games implement housing after launch, and...

August 8th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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I can't remember when I first heard the term grind, but I imagine it might have been Ultima Online, when you could grind your way to Glorious Lady status killing a mongbat a minute (or was it five?). Then there was grinding mobs for levels in EverQuest, grinding missions for skill and money in Star...

July 29th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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Massively is saddened by the news that veteran MMO designer Ben Hanson has passed away, according to a recent tweet by friend and fellow designer Raph Koster. Koster and Hanson worked together on Star Wars Galaxies's Jump to Lightspeed expansion, on which Hanson was the lead content designer. In a...

July 11th 2014 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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Today marks the 11th anniversary of the launch of Star Wars Galaxies, an MMO whose untimely sunset at the end of 2011 continues to make sandbox fans sigh mournfully. This week, in honor of the anniversary, I asked the Massively writers whether they think we'll ever see another new Star Wars MMORPG...

June 26th 2014 at 4:00pm 0 Comments
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Raph Koster's thrown up a fairly fascinating blog post detailing one of his Origin projects that never saw the light of day. It was originally codenamed Star Settlers and it featured procedurally generated planets, exploration, resource management, and more. Koster's executive bosses "blew up a hu...

June 20th 2014 at 9:00am 0 Comments
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Ugh, every time I see a great Champions Online screenshot I lament to the universe how such a good-looking game flopped so hard. Shouldn't have been that way. Or maybe it's not; maybe it's the best-kept secret in MMOs and I don't know it. Reader Sean sent in this picture of his team, the Agents...

June 8th 2014 at 10:00am 0 Comments
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The Far Reaches is a new one-man MMO project hitting Kickstarter for an extra long 60-day campaign. While Kickstarted sandbox MMOs are nothing new, The Far Reaches features some interesting Star Wars Galaxies-like mechanics that caught our eye. Touted as an open-ended sci-fi MMO, TFR aims to be di...

May 14th 2014 at 1:00pm 0 Comments
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Two recent topics have collided to create this week's Think Tank topic: Massively's Justin wrote about pacifist characters in MMOs, and Camelot Unchained reminded me that while there's no PvE, it'll be possible to play as a pure crafter to contribute to PvP. These shouldn't strike us as novel conce...

May 8th 2014 at 8:00pm 0 Comments
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A commenter conversation a while back got me thinking about how server rulesets can make or break the PvP in a game, and not in the way you might expect. I've found that when a game offers separate PvE and PvP servers (be those PvP servers factional or open), the middle-ground players are left with...

May 1st 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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Massively's commenters got me thinking on MMO group size after an article a few weeks ago about socially soloing in games. Even though I like and support the option to solo in MMOs, my favorite games have actually had very large group sizes, far larger than the now-standard World of Warcraft five....

April 22nd 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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I'm an incurable trader and merchant, maybe even more than I'm a crafter, so I'm forever droning on about the good ol' days in long-gone sandboxes where players, not raid bosses, delivered all the objects used in the world. Making stuff is great, and lots of MMOs, even themeparks, have that, but I...

April 18th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments