| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Culture

Stick and Rudder: Should you be scared off by Star Citizen's community?

Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Massively's Justin Olivetti and I were talking MMO communities recently. Star Citizen came up, and my esteemed colleague mentioned that the constant hubbub surrounding the crowdsourced space sim sandbox has made him a bit wary of getting invested in the title for the time being.

From the inside looking out, I can see how the game's community sometimes seems like a roiling mass of internet rage and entitlement, but I think it's worth mentioning that -- like the game itself -- it's also what you make of it.

Continue Reading

One Shots: There's no bear in panda

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, WildStar

wow
As much fun as it is to be corrected by know-it-alls who like to huff things like, "You can't call them panda bears; they're not bears, you know!" it's even more fun to say, "Yuh-huh they're bears! And your face also has a ursine visage, especially around the snout."

I don't even know why I brought that up. It certainly has nothing to do with our opening screenshot from reader JohnD, who writes, "While starting off with my new Pandaren Monk in World of Warcraft, I came across these delightful Pandaren children, who seemed more than happy to just chat with me and occasionally wave. After a few minutes they quickly ran off -- but not before making my adventures a little more fun!"

But they're not bears. Or are they? Yes. No. I don't know.

Continue Reading

The Daily Grind: What tabletop RPG mechanics should MMOs adopt?

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

Neverwinter
Massively reader Couillon recently wrote in to the Massively Speaking podcast to ask us about tabletop games and their influence on the MMO genre. He proposed that MMORPGs could benefit from a tabletop-inspired "roleplay bonus" for actually -- gasp -- roleplaying a character. "I realize this might require more thought during character creation than most players are willing to spend," Couillon wrote dryly, but I think it's a topic worth considering as MMOs are looking for ways to redefine themselves in a post-WoW era.

Justin and I discussed several P&P RPG systems that we'd love to see more widely implemented in our favorite MMOs, like advantage/disadvantage mechanics and non-combat skills like persuasion and knowledge. What do you folks think? What classic or creative features from tabletop games should MMOs adopt?

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 Game Archaeologist: Six more MMOs that never made it to launch

Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

valve
It's always possible to be surprised with reveals of older MMOs, even after years of writing this column. For example, I had never heard that Valve was initially working on an MMO called Prospero in the late '90s before we posted on it a couple of weeks ago. It's crazy to me that parts of what could have been a groundbreaking online title were then repurposed for Half-Life and Portal. It's not necessarily bad how things turned out, mind you, but I do get lost wondering what might have been.

From time to time here on The Game Archaeologist, I like to turn our attention to MMOs-that-never-were: titles that died before launch thanks to funding shortfalls, studio collapses, or corporate bungling. We've covered titles like Wish, Ultima X, and Middle-earth Online, but today I want to catch up on several titles that have been haunting my list for a while now. So strap in as you get a six-pack of MMOs that were never released!

Continue Reading

The Daily Grind: Has Star Citizen made enough money yet?

Sci-Fi, Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Star Citizen

These are the rules of Star Citizen club. The first rule is that you do not talk about Star Citizen, unless it's in the comments, in which case you can go nuts. The second rule is that you must somewhere mention money. The third rule is that you may not question the brilliance and perfection of Chris Roberts. The fourth rule is that all VHS cassettes must be rewound before returning them to the space library.

So with almost $50 million raised from a half-million backers, one has to occasionally wonder: Has Star Citizen made enough money yet to fully fund the dream? Are players continually donating more money for diminishing returns at this point? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure this will be the best game of all time, full stop. But when one of the recent stretch goals is for a plant, I have to wonder when enough is enough.

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!

Final Fantasy XIV gearing up for its first anniversary

Fantasy, Culture, Events (In-Game), News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Anniversaries, Subscription

Who let Thancred get drunk.  You know how he gets.  He's an idiot.
In one sense, Final Fantasy XIV is approaching its fourth anniversary, since its original incarnation launched in September of 2010. But in another, more immediate sense, the relaunch was just about one year ago. That's what the development team is celebrating now and through most of August, with plenty of in-game events including the Moonfire Festival and several new contests for players to show off their creativity and affection for the game. The anniversary page is now live, and while it's not displaying everything just yet, there's plenty to be excited about.

Aside from another round of the Moonfire Festival, players can look forward to the return of all three major cross-promotional events as well as a special event called The Rising. There will also be a special 14-hour livestream event starting on August 22nd, a one-year anniversary login campaign, and real-life events at PAX Prime, Gamescom, and the Tokyo Game Show. Check the official anniversary site for more details, and get ready to celebrate a full year of a reborn Eorzea!

Working As Intended: The unfortunate conflation of sandboxes and PvP

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Working As Intended

A certain perplexing belief about sandboxes pervades the blog comments, forums, and general chats of MMOs:

All MMO sandboxes are free-for-all PvP games. If it doesn't have free-for-all PvP, it's by definition not a sandbox because sandboxes let the players make all the rules and decisions. Free-for-all PvP adds the necessary spice to keep you on your toes and keep a game fresh. Without it, you may as well be playing The Sims.

All of these statements are wrong.

Continue Reading

TV producer looking for couples who met in MMOs

Culture, MMO Industry, News Items

Back2Back Productions is looking for lovers who met in MMOs, according to a blurb at MCVUK. Founder David Notman-Watt told the website that a documentary featuring couples who met online and married in meatspace is currently filming and will air on a "major TV network."

Notman-Watt says his firm is also searching out couples who've yet to connect offline. "It's fascinating to meet people whose relationships have blossomed as the line between roleplay and real life has become increasingly blurred."

The Daily Grind: Do you (still) pre-order MMOs?

Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

As we reported yesterday, Activision says that pre-orders are declining across the game industry. Here in MMOland, pre-orders are still kind of a thing, but they're also being supplemented/supplanted by early access sales.

What about you, personally, though? Do you (still) pre-order MMOs, whether for the in-game goodies or just out of general excitement? Why or why not?

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!

Activision sees industry-wide pre-order decline

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

Activision publishing boss Eric Hirshberg says his company's pre-orders are declining. He made the remarks to investors and media on a conference call yesterday, and he also said that the downturn is an industry-wide trend.

Hirshberg cited digital consumption upticks as well as wide launch-day availability as factors in the declining popularity of pre-orders. He also said that pre-orders are "just one data point that we look at when determining the momentum of a franchise," and that awareness and "purchase intent" on Activision's Destiny is "at an all-time high and climbing when compared to any other new game intellectual property this distance from launch."

The Daily Grind: What do you think about MMO sequels?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

maplestory 2
While sequels to MMOs aren't as prevelant as they are elsewhere in the entertainment industry, we've certainly seen more than a few pop up in this genre's short lifespan. There are pros and cons to making sequels, of course, and while players always seem to clamor to have their favorite older MMOs return with a Roman numeral affixed to the name, I have to wonder if that might be a curse in disguise.

Considering all of the money that it takes to make MMOs, do you think it's a good idea for studios to milk a franchise or to start fresh? And if you are all for sequels being made, which MMO do you think deserves one? Which sequel that's currently in development has your attention?

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!

Global Chat: A blast from the past

World of Warcraft, Asheron's Call, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Vanguard, Guild Wars 2, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

As many of you know, Massively doesn't really believe in reviews of MMOs, as they are ever-changing and shifting targets. Instead, we've provided impressions and continuing coverage of these games during their lifespans (and even after), which is something that many bloggers also favor.

In this edition of Global Chat, we have several hands-on impressions of MMOs both new and old from the blogosphere. What is it like to head back to Asheron's Call after a long time away? Is Guild Wars 2's and Lord of the Rings Online's new content hitting the mark? And what will we miss most of all now that Vanguard has departed? It's all there and more, right after the break!

Continue Reading

Meet PlanetSide 2's new producer, Directive achievements

Sci-Fi, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

A solid base for future operations, you know.
It's important to know the development team of your game of choice, isn't it? SOE's David Carey recently took on the role of producer for PlanetSide 2, and he hopped on the forums to introduce himself, explaining to fans who he is, what he hopes to accomplish in the game, and what he hopes to receive from the community.

Carey reveals that he has spent a long time working with Matt Higby and has plenty of experience working on other titles. His primary goal is to have an informed playerbase with a clear picture of why changes are being made, even in the event that the players and devs disagree. He also stresses the importance of constructive criticism over personal attacks and the team's need for open communication with the fans. If you're a regular PlanetSide 2 player, you owe it to yourself to check out the full letter.

In other PS2 news, SOE has implemented a new achievement system called Directives. You can view the full press release after the break.

Continue Reading

EVE Evolved: Capital ships ruined nullsec

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Guilds, Lore, PvP, Endgame, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

EVE Evolved title image
All throughout EVE Online's lifetime, compelling stories of incredible events, daring heists, and colossal battles with thousands of players have periodically surfaced and spread across the gaming media like wildfire. Most of the recent stories have been about record-breaking battles between huge alliances of players in the lawless depths of null-security space, and each one has been met with an influx of new players who want to participate. The surprising truth behind nullsec warfare, however, is that many of those on the front lines are simply fed up with the political state of the game.

In EVE's early years, the map was split between hundreds of small alliances, each of which slowly expanded its influence by conquering the star systems bordering its space. Skirmishes and pirate incursions were brief and commonplace, while border wars over territory were long and protracted affairs. Today's nullsec is a different animal entirely, with nearly the entire map carved up between two colossal mega-coalitions of alliances (N3/PL and CFC), each one internally held in a state of perpetually monotonous peace. No alliance in a coalition can break away and stand on its own for fear of being demolished by the others, and so all of nullsec is at peace with its neighbours and bored to tears by it.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I examine how nullsec got to the state it's in now and why it's badly in need of an overhaul.

Continue Reading

WoW Archivist: One night of payback in 2006

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, PvP, Roleplaying, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, WoW Archivist

Theramore
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on August 1st and is included here by permission.

An interesting aspect of the ongoing Ashran faction hub debate is the fear people express that their hubs will be raided by enemy players, since the new hubs are adjacent to a PvP zone. Blizzard pointed out that the hubs will be better defended by NPCs than the Shrines are now, and the Shrines currently see few serious attacks on live realms, despite their close proximity.

On most realms today, little large-scale world PvP occurs, and even fewer faction raids. Faction raids were once a huge part of the game, even on PvE realms. You couldn't kill opposing players on PvE realms if they didn't want to be killed, but you could deny them their questgivers, flightmasters, and other crucial NPCs. And we did that, on both sides, throughout classic WoW.

Easy targets like the Crossroads, Astranaar, Grom'gol, and Refuge Pointe were raided almost daily. If your faction was heavily outnumbered, like mine was on Khadgar-US back then, it could be infuriating. We had our small victories at times, as I covered in my first Archivist column. But many days, all we could do was stand by and watch as the Alliance occupied our towns for hours at a time and took away our ability to level effectively.

On our first anniversary in 2006, my guild set out for some payback. Today I'd like to share that tale of classic world PvP from the era when faction raids were serious business.

Continue Reading


Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW