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Ask Massively: Stir-crazy edition

Eliot Lefebvre

With no power, no real Internet access, no running water, and no access to just about anything, I was getting a little bit stir-crazy. Fortunately, I've made use of my training as a Boy Scout and assembled a crude pastiche of elements to bring some of my favorite electronic online games into the offline space. Success has been mixed. Sitting in dowtown and periodically shouting that a level 34 Dragoon was looking for a party produced exactly the right reaction to simulate logging in to Final Fantasy XI, but my attempt at "logging in" to City of Heroes resulted in a lengthy discussion with police regarding the appropriateness of waving a Nerf sword at teenagers.

My makeshift attempts at answering this week's lineup for Ask Massively, however, have proved pretty fruitful all around. Skip on past the break for discussions about some very meta considerations, not the least of which being a potential subdivision of the site. As always, leaving a question in the comments or mailing it to will quite possibly get it included in a future edition of the column. Sometimes even if the question is ridiculous.

Fakeassname asked: Any thoughts about splitting Massively into two sites? One for traditional MMOs and one for F2P/browser/DOTA coverage?

Nope. And not just because it would be further reducing our niche but because it would ultimately require so many judgment calls and close cases that it wouldn't often be possible to figure out where one category ended and the other began.

Consider Lord of the Rings Online, for example. The game is free-to-play now, but it was designed and originally run as a more traditional game. Where would it go? Is Guild Wars commensurate with the sometimes nigh-identical free-to-play games one finds farmed out from Chinese development? Does it have more in common with MOBAs or with traditional MMOs? What even constitutes a traditional game, when the only defining characteristic is that they have subscription fees?

What qualifies as an MMO is something that's forever changing, so unfortunately there's no good way to split the genre up. Besides, we writers kinda like it the way it is.
Jejeune asked: How does Massively decide the proper way to capitalize or punctuate game titles?
It's very simple: We look at the way that the official press releases and websites refer to each game title. That's why we consistently write RIFT instead of letting off the caps lock, why City of Heroes Freedom has no colon, and why Star Wars: The Old Republic always has one.
SpaceCobra quipped: ...I like the unplanned synchronicity you have [there], Eliot. In your first question, you answered a question about WildStar and in the second question about Jumpgate: Evolution, your link about "eating crow" leads us to an article whose second question asks about if we will hear more details about "that secret MMO Carbine Studios is making."
And you thought that was unplanned? You wound me, sir.
Looking for some advice on which class is best for soloing in Aion? Not sure who this Raph Koster fellow is? Curious about the release date of NCsoft's newest MMO? You've come to the right place! No one knows MMOs like we do. If there's anything you'd like to know about the MMO genre or the site itself, Ask Massively is here to help every Thursday afternoon. Just ask!

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