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Ask Massively: No idea what's coming edition

Eliot Lefebvre

I don't know what's going to happen next in the MMO industry. I have my guesses, sure, but unless I'm fairly certain, I just don't feel right putting them up here. I certainly would not have ever imagined a world where APB: Reloaded was successful, or one where Lineage II goes free-to-play, and until it was announced, I wouldn't dare dream of WildStar. Heck, half the time I'm not sure I understand what's going on at any given moment, much less several months down the line.

This week's Ask Massively received several questions that require me to be more confident about my predictions than I actually am, but it does contain a question about the future of Aion and a question on the past, present, and future of cheating. If you've got a question you'd like to see answered in a future installment of the column, leave it in the comments below or send it along to Questions may be edited slightly for clarity and/or brevity.

scfs123 asked: Why do people keep cheating in MMOs?

The same reason people cheat in every game.

Contrary to popular belief, cheaters aren't people who are bad at a game. Cheaters are almost always people who are pretty good within a given tier of the game. If you're cheating at a game of Magic: The Gathering, odds are good you're pretty good in your respective tier of play. If you're fudging rolls and "forgetting" to mark down damage in Dungeons & Dragons, you know a fair bit about how the game works. And if you're exploiting a bug or trying to break the system in Star Wars: The Old Republic, you probably have a fairly solid grasp on MMO gameplay.

The problem is that you want to be sure you're the best, be sure that you'll win, or be sure that you'll make more money, or something like that. So you make sure. You give yourself that little push so that you're absolutely better than the next best person, even if you have to use some slightly underhanded means to get there.

Why do people cheat? Because they're worried that they can't cut it otherwise.

Or they're just jerks. Take your pick.
J45neoboy asked: Will Aion go F2P in North America like it did in Europe?
I'm going to go ahead and say that the odds are good if not absolute. Aion is currently the only NCsoft title in the US that doesn't have a hybrid model (or the Guild Wars model, which is another ball of wax). So while it's not certain, don't be surprised if you hear of a model shift before the year is out.
Brannon asked: What's with the cranberry juice versus blueberry juice? Having urinary tract problems?
I like including questions for a bit of humor. It makes things so much more personable. As for why cranberry juice, well, I like cranberry juice.
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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