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Ask Massively: Why so serious edition

Shawn Schuster

It's that time again! Ask Massively has returned this week with answers to a handful of new questions. Since we didn't get too many this week, I went back and grabbed a few unanswered questions from our first week. Topics include Guild Wars population numbers, APB impressions and our new code of conduct.

Click right past the jump below for this week's answers. If you'd like to see your question answered next week, add it to the comments below or send it to ask AT massively DOT com. We'd love to hear from you!

Blah asks: Question: How many active players would you say are currently in Guild Wars this year?

This whole player sub (or boxes sold) numbers game is so hit-or-miss; there's really no way to tell for sure. Even with subscription-based games, you can take the number of people actively subscribed at any given time, but do you count the ones in Asia who prefer to pay with time cards? Do you count trials? Do you count gold farmers? Multiple accounts on the same credit card? It's really quite confusing.

So then we look at Guild Wars. The only real way to measure players there is to go by boxes sold. The last time I heard, that number was around 6 or 7 million. Still, even if 10% of those people still play today, that's 600k - 700k players. I have no idea if 10% actually do play, but that's just for perspective.

You really have to take in so many factors here, since the game is hub-based and heavily instanced. Sure, there may be two or three districts of 40-80 people in each city, but who knows how many are out exploring the gigantic maps of any of the three chapters?

So to answer your question: I have no idea.

noamraz05 asks: Sandbox or theme park? Why?
If you're asking me how I like to spend my weekends, I say neither. If you're asking what type of MMO I prefer, I would definitely say sandbox. I love the idea of just jumping in and having the freedom to do what I want. Fallen Earth is very much like that, which is one of the reasons I love it. I also imagine you'd get a completely different answer from each member of the staff.

Hector asks: What's with the new code of conduct? Was it because of all the trolls in the comments popping up lately?
If by "lately" you mean "since Al Gore invented the internet," then yes. It's not that we're trying to stifle opinion or become the Third Reich here, we just don't want our site to be a troll cave. There are plenty of other websites and forums out there for screaming at each other about why your opinion is wrong, but we'd like Massively to stay away from that. Yes, the comments have gotten worse in the last year or so, but that's what happens with any public outlet that grows as quickly as we have.

This doesn't mean it will always be shiny-happy fun time, but there really is no reason to personally attack anyone on an MMO news site. We write about games, people. They're supposed to be fun, remember?

Anonymous asks: When can you tell us about APB? I've played it in beta and its crap.
Well! That's not nice. But I can't say anything about the game until the NDA lifts. It sounds like that day should be coming soon, though. Don't worry, you can bet we'll be talking about this game a lot. Not only was it voted as our most-anticipated of 2010, but it's a game that many MMO fans have been asking about. In the meantime, you can read my impressions from PAX East's demo. And that's one to grow on.

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