This week in our journey around the blogosphere, we'll take a second look at Trove, see where ArcheAge messed up, and attempt to understand why PvP sandboxes will wither and die if they're not welcoming to carebears. What's wrong? What's right? That's up to them -- and you -- to decide!
Even though the devs aren't openly talking about a shift away from WildStar's subscription-only format, it's being discussed up and down the blogosphere, reddit, and forums. Some are fighting hard against it, but others, like Astalnar here, think that it could make a huge difference in whether or not people will play the game.
"This is my answer to what I wish out of WildStar business model," Astalnar writes. "An honest and fair free-to-play game that will be able to sustain and prosper on the account of more varied crowd, while it lets people to actually experience the game. I cannot talk for the higher levels, but if the questing experience is anything like the initial questing in Deradune it is well worth the time. And such game, I would support."
2. Tales of the Aggronaut: Sandboxes and sheep
As both a PvE player and a fan of sandboxes, Belghast expresses dismay over the mindset that sandboxes must be all about open PvP to create so-called living worlds: "Now, the fans of PVP will talk about how much it enriches their game play experience, how much they enjoy the constant sense of fear of getting attacked. For me I just view it as a waste of my time, and I don't cherish or enjoy it any more than any other waste of time."
Living worlds, he argues, can be so much more than wolves preying on sheep. He would love to see more MMOs encourage players to join forces to collaborate so that there is shared enjoyment and that no one's time is wasted. It's a great piece that articulates why not everyone is in love with free-for-all PvP ganking.
Even though I don't hear much about EverQuest II these days, I relish tales like these that show how rich and content-packed an MMO it is. Telwyn takes us on a quick tour through the seasonal Nights of the Dead quests and his newfound acquisitions.
"I then did the rather trippy follow-up quest by finding some ghosts to talk to across various zones," Telwyn writes. "It's a fun quest with lots of world travel -– something I'm always happy to do in EverQuest II, more than any other MMO I'm happy to be riding, flying, hoping or whatever across Norrath."
4. LOTRO Players: Thoughts about raiding
Raiding in Lord of the Rings Online was never a huge part of the game and has been seen as increasingly irrelevant by both players and developers. However, a guest writer for LOTRO Players makes a stirring case for how raids meant a lot to him and helped to bond him to both friends and the game.
"I dearly miss this aspect of the game," the author says. "Now, you might be saying '...but Blud, you can still raid in LotRO.' I would have to both agree and disagree. Yes, there are instances that you can do with 12 people and get rewards. The difference is that it really doesn't take the same level of skill and dedication to do it anymore, and this is where I always look back to the Rift and say 'Remember when...?'"
After being quickly dismissed early on by large segments of the MMO community, Trove's been building a solid reputation thanks to those folks I've seen test and report on it. Paeroka comes back with another round of impressions, and she's very upbeat about this colorful sandbox.
"In short: I love it! Simple as that. I find myself playing the game even though I'm tired from work. There's so many things I can do. They have added gardening, and a lot of people think it's dull to go into the adventuring world, find the peaceful biomes where the sunflowers grow, jump around on those sunflowers, and gather the lightbulbs you need in order to grow stuff in your own garden. I, on the other hand, really enjoy doing that," Paeroka testifies.
6. Endgame Viable: ArcheAge -- what's wrong with it
Critical examination of MMOs, even ones you are playing and love, requires an honest look at the downsides of the game. Believe it or not, ArcheAge does have more than a few drawbacks, at least according to this blogger.
"In many areas, ArcheAge doesn't seem to be finished," he writes. "There are so many places that you can visit that are essentially empty. There are no monsters, no NPCs, no houses, no ruins, no nothing. Just empty landscape. It might as well have a big sign on it that says, 'This part is still under construction. Come back later.'"
Awesome MMO blog opinions abound all over the internet -- and Justin "Syp" Olivetti reads them all (or skims really, really fast)! Global Chat seeks to round up the most interesting and zany posts from the MMORPG blogosphere. Who knows? You might discover a new favorite blog this week!