Ask Massively: Trailers, emulators, and 'skill caps'

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Ask Massively: Trailers, emulators, and 'skill caps'
Dragon Sword
It's time for a grab bag edition of Ask Massively! A reader named Nicholas is up first:
I was wondering if you could help me remember a game studio that was developing a new Korean action- MMORPG game engine (and it wasn't Bless, Blade and Soul, or ArcheAge). In the tech demo, no environment was being shown; it focused on the combat aspect of the engine. All the combat took place against a white background, and it was combo-based and reactive to hits. I remember a slow motion scene with an NPC being punched in the face and the face distorting. At the time, there were no announced games using the engine; the video was just showing what tech the game studio had developed. If it helps any, I remember the comments saying that the engine was just going to be vaporware.
I think we might! Massively's Lis pegged it as NetEase's Dragon Sword trailer. +1 to Lis.

This oddly specific question is from Pedro:
Question for Jef Reahard: Are you still playing Age of Wushu?
Nope, he's not. In fact, this week, he's on vacation and playing a super-sekrit game for fun rather than work.

Here's one from Christopher:
Hi guys! On Massively you have a list of games that are available and a list of games in beta (or nearly so), but there are many games that are in development that you have articles on but are not listed. There may be too many to list, but I am following three (Pathfinder Online, Camelot Unchained, Shroud of the Avatar) and I have to search everytime. Any chance of getting a list of "In Development" games alongside the ones in beta?
We actually updated our games list a month or two ago to include all three of those games and then some (in fact, it about tripled in size). It's not technically an "in development" list, but it does list the major developing games alongside their published and beta brethren. I think a separate list would probably be either too small (just the big ones) or way too long (all the small ones) to be worth paying someone to maintain. At the very least, I hope the new games page will make it easier for folks to find articles on the more major games we cover.

I may change my mind and you'll see Kickstarterwatch next month. Probably not, though, since that name sucks.

Ultima Online
Reader [redacted] wanted us to review his private emulator:
I invite you to try our Ultima Online shard. We've been running since 2002. We have fully translated the server to English because we want to accept all players around the world. Would you like to try it, please? I would like to see a review about us podcasted by you.
Emulators frustrate the heck out of us. I've seen emulator operators go to extreme lengths to try to justify the legality of what they do, but they ultimately fail on DMCA grounds when they do not outright violate specific EULAs, and so we're simply not allowed to cover or endorse illegal emulators. Regardless of whether the original company tacitly allows emus, regardless of whether the game sunsetted and our consciences are clear, regardless of how much amazing player effort went into the shards, and regardless of whether our staff members play them personally, we cannot review them on Massively. That's also why we nuke comments about specific emulators. You have no idea how sad it makes us. The scope of modding sub-culture on MMO emulators is staggering, and no one's allowed to talk about it. Everyone loses.

Finally, Monte had a message for Massively streamteamer Richie:
Richie, I just watched your video called Guild Wars 2 Gear vs. Skill. I am missing my right hand (not looking for pity; I get along just fine). I velcro the mouse to my right arm and use a Belkin game pad. I noticed the "Skill Cap" in Guild Wars 2 right away. But while playing, my son and I laughed for what seemed like hours. It did not matter that we were dying; the important thing is that we were having fun doing it. But if anyone has any suggestions on how to raise my "Skill Cap," mainly mobility, I'm all ears. I have seen the devastation that cruel words and a superior attitude can cause in the gaming community. If this video is the standard, and if if the rest of the people at Massively are like you, then they must be some great people to work with.
They are, except for that Eliot guy. Just kidding. Seriously, thank you for the lovely note, Monte. Massively writer Beau Hindman, a longtime supporter of AbleGamers who's got eye and wrist problems himself, has been following gaming issues for the differently abled in his many columns over the years and has kindly shared with me some specific games and tricks you might find useful since not all games make an effort to be inclusive. MUDs like Gemstone IV are great for folks who can type but not use a mouse and even for the blind (using text-to-speech and voice recognition programs). Many browser-based RTS games (Die2Nite, Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, Grepolis, Lord of Ultima, Warmage Battlegrounds) allow for short bursts of strategic gameplay with no "twitch" combat that requires both hands. And a lot of "kid's games" (Wizard101, Pirate101) have very simple two-button controls, turn-based movement schemes, and clicky chat that removes most of the need to type. (Thanks Beau!)

What should you play? Where is the MMO industry headed? How does Massively operate? Has Lord British lost his marbles? Why is the edit button on a timer? Should "monoclegate" be hyphenated? Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce submits to your interrogations right here in Ask Massively every Thursday. Drop your questions in the comments below or ping us at Just ask!
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