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Culture

The Daily Grind: Why do you love your favorite game?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

I can also describe it in many sentences.
Yes, we know what's coming. But we don't want the next few days to be a cavalcade of sorrow because this is a site and a community built around our shared love of MMOs. So let's spread some cheer today. Why do you love your favorite game?

I make no secret about my affection for Final Fantasy XIV, obviously. It's a great game that fuses progress organically with stuff that you'd have fun doing anyway and gives you no shortage of freedom in what you want to do in the game. It's a great time.

But my favorite game might not be yours. So let's share. No bashing, no whining, no complaining; let's make this a positive time for everyone. Why do you love your favorite game, be it a critical darling or a title you feel doesn't get nearly enough love?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

EVE's CSM X candidacy opens today

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

EVE Online developer CCP is accepting applications for its Council of Stellar Management beginning today. The CSM is a democratically elected group of 14 EVE players chosen annually by their peers and tasked with maintaining "close and constant contact with EVE development."

Candidates must not have "any records of serious breach of the EULA and/or TOS," CCP says in its announcement post.

The Daily Grind: What do you love about MMOs?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind

lotro
Being critical and even cynical is part of any "serious" fandom, although we must never lose sight of the passion and wonder that made us fall for this hobby. Today, I invite all of us to put aside our gripes and jeers, and instead focus on what drew us into online gaming.

So.

What do you love about MMOs?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Think Tank: Repairing the 'social' in MMORPGs

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Roleplaying, Community Q&A, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

Our writeup of the Why aren't MMOs more social? panel from PAX South last weekend racked up almost 500 comments, and for good reason: Interaction is at the heart of making MMOs more sticky. But is it going away, and if so, why, and how do we get it back? That's the subject of this week's Think Tank.

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One Shots: Shroud of the Santa

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, Shroud of the Avatar

sota
Well, this pleases me like punch: One Shots' very first Shroud of the Avatar screenshot submission! I recall thinking that this indie MMO looked so much better than I previously thought when I got my hands on it last August, so I'm glad to see Massively readers going on a photo safari in it.

Reader JohnD is responsible for this unusual sight: "Here is a shot of Johanis Lolar, who is busy adventuring. I'm not sure his Santa cap helps him blend, but he's doing his best."

I always like to assume that Santa spends his off-season lurking in weeds and ambushing stray travelers with presents, so this picture plays into that fantasy. What? I'm normal; my parents had me tested.

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Global Chat: Can MMO stories rise above mediocrity?

Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Allods Online, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, The Elder Scrolls Online

tsw
Players have long debated the importance, relevance, and quality of stories in MMOs. Some have called for an abolishment of dev-driven narrative entirely, some enjoy what's there, and some have pressed for better writing and storytelling techniques. This week we'll hear from one blogger who is struggling with "mediocre" stories in MMOs and what might be done with them.

But wait, that's not all! We'll also hear from writers about MMO inventory systems, aging games, and how pretty much nobody in the world was shocked when Elder Scrolls Online ditched its sub.

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The Daily Grind: What long-running bugs are you dying to see fixed?

Bugs, Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind

swtor
There are few things more aggravating than long-running bugs that impact you daily and have never been fixed by the team. That picture right up there? That's one of the very few screenshots that Star Wars: The Old Republic has allowed me to take due to an inconsistent glitch that goes practically back to the launch of the game. Since it's been around for so long, I have severe doubts that it will ever be addressed at this point.

I'm sure that this is not the only long-running bug out there that annoys players, so let's give free rein to our petty gripes today! Which ones would you love to see fixed?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

World of Warcraft adds selfie support

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Patches, News Items, Humor, Subscription

Still no meaningful solo progression so im chillin #yolo #warlords #lol
Were you afraid that with the addition of Twitter support in the next World of Warcraft patch you would be deprived of the joy that is taking selfies in-game? Worry no longer. The addition of the S.E.L.F.I.E. camera in patch 6.1 ensures that you can indeed log in, find a nice view, and then duckface at the camera before shooting off a character picture for all of your devoted followers. It's the best thing in the expansion so far.

Grabbing the item requires nothing more than a rare follower mission with no significant bells or whistles, with another upgrade mission available to pick up a set of various filters for the camera. Our sister site has a guide to making use of the new device, along with the requisite speculation that it will tie more directly into the Twitter integration. That feature isn't currently enabled, but it can't be coincidence that the new camera arrived at the same time, can it?

PAX South 2015: Why aren't MMOs more social?

World of Warcraft, Culture, Economy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Endgame, Star Wars Galaxies, Virtual Worlds, Events (Massively's Coverage), Crafting, MMORPG

PAX Panel
On Friday, Alex Albrecht from ZergID and formerly of the Totally Rad Show headed up a PAX South panel about the social side of MMOs, inviting Patrick Mulhern from Lorehound, Jenesee Grey from Camelot Unchained, and me to join to discuss community in MMOs and why it's seemed so absent in recent years. Meg Campbell from YouTube moderated the panel discussion, calling us the PAX MMO guild.

I admit that I considered naming this piece, "How Star Wars Galaxies did everything right and World of Warcraft did everything wrong" because I am obviously biased. But I really was completely surprised at how much SWG came up during the panel. Many former Galaxies players will tell you that there was a lot about that game that was pure crap, but when you talk about the social implementations of SWG, there just aren't many games that compare.

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One Shots: Haiku edition

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, Elite: Dangerous

ff14
Believe it or not, I have been listening to you guys in the comments, and I know that there's been an ongoing desire for One Shots to provide the full-size pictures that are otherwise shrunk by our size limitations. So I'm happy to announce that starting this week, I'm including a gallery at the end of the column that will allow you to pull up larger screenshots if so desired.

A few weeks ago I issued a screenshot challenge for folks to send in a haiku poem in addition to their picture. A select few of you did, starting with this striking pose from Final Fantasy XIV by reader Wolfyseyes:

Facing this challenge
One thought repeats in my mind:
Please, please, please don't suck

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO devs cause you to follow a project?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

Raph Koster's involvement with Crowfall has increased my interest in the game. I still doubt the title is for me, but given Koster's role at the forefront of my two favorite MMORPGs, I kinda have to pay attention.

What about you, Massively readers? Are there any MMO devs whose involvement causes you to follow a project?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

PAX South 2015: The Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns experience

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, PvE, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Charr v Dragon
As MMO players surely know by now, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is the first expansion ever for the ArenaNet MMORPG. In fact, most everyone suspected the announcement thanks to the leaked trademark information. But that didn't stop fans from being excited about it, nor did that bit of information satisfy their hunger.

The emcee for the reveal event was none other than voice actor Jennifer Hale, whose voice players might recognize as Queen Jennah's. President and CEO of ArenaNet Mike O'Brien and game director Colin Johanson teased the PAX South crowd of over 1,500 fans waiting in the main theater. But the anticipation for the new expansion started well before anyone even came to the stage.

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PAX South 2015: Notes from a Star Citizen town hall

Sci-Fi, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen
Star Citizen is such a big fancy deal that instead of having a panel or booth at PAX South 2015, Cloud Imperium booked a theater down the street and hosted 10 straight hours of forums and chit-chats with backers. That's right: There wasn't enough room in the PAX convention hall to accommodate all the Star Citizening Star Citizens needed to Star Citizen, so they had their own one-day mini-convention dedicated just to their game of choice.

One has to respect a development team willing to spend the entire day with its community (for a nominal fee, of course). I'm sure Star Citizens were absolutely amped to pay the same amount of money as a PAX day pass to hang out with CI all day. Unfortunately, I attended only the evening town hall with Chris Roberts, which I would describe as impenetrable to anyone without a license to pilot one of Star Citizen's $350 ships.

I did take some notes. I will try to parse them here.

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite archer class?

Classes, Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

camelot unchained
I've never been one to gravitate toward bow-and-arrow classes in MMOs, although I've dabbled in them from time to time. I guess I fear that archers and their ilk are far too popular and feature mindless, straight-forward mechanics (shoot... one arrow at a time! Now two at a time! Now a whole bunch rapidly!).

But if I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be Dungeons and Dragon Online's Bard. I equipped her with a heavy repeating crossbow, and being able to man the medieval equivalent of an automatic rifle was strangely satisfying. Plus, crossbows do not get a lot of play in MMOs for some reason.

Do you have a favorite archer class, and if so, what was it?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

New ArcheAge producer promises communication, game improvements

Fantasy, Culture, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Subscription

No word yet on whether or not there will be a chicken in every pot, although it seems likely.
There's someone new at the head of ArcheAge, producer Marv Lee Kwai. Kwai posted a lengthy letter to the players on the forums recently outlining the major standing issues that the team still sees in the game along with several of the changes and additions set for the game over the next year. He stresses that the developers are well aware of unusual market fluctuations, sieges being too costly and difficult, and the balance of top-end rewards; moving forward, the team means to see them all tweaked and improved.

The letter goes on to mention that the team is planning to add a global trade channel to reduce faction chat spam. Also en route is The Diamond Shores, a new area in southern Auroria that accompanies a bump in the level cap to level 55. It's a little past the start of the new year, but Kwai's tone is hopeful that the game can rise above its somewhat buggy and controversial launch.

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