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Miscellaneous

The Daily Grind: Would you play on a WoW progression server?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

wow
Recently I resubscribed to World of Warcraft, spent about two hours back in the game, and then uninstalled it once again. Call it $15 spent on a nostalgia trip of curiosity. The overwhelming feeling that I got coming back after being mostly gone for four years is that everything had moved on and I wasn't there to move on with it. Sure, I could catch up in time, but I lacked the will to do so.

But you know what would get me back and in a big way? If WoW took a page from EverQuest and instituted a progression server. Maybe the devs can't recreate the game as it once was, but I'd play a WoW that started out only with the core content and then slowly unlocked the expansions over a series of months so that the server's playerbase could go through it together.

It's a pipe dream, I know. But would you play on a WoW progression server?

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!

Betawatch: December 6 - 12, 2014

Betas, Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Glitch - Eleven
Glitch might be gone, but thanks to the generosity of the dev team and the hard work of players, the game lives on in at least two incarnations, one of which, Eleven, entered alpha this week. What else is new in the realm of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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How to break into the games industry according to Hi-Rez

Video, Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Miscellaneous

SMITE
If for some reason you find yourself possessed of an urge to seek a career in the video games industry, convinced that it's a stable meritocracy that will help you build skills and provide financial support for your family, then don't watch the videos in the post; instead, flee, flee for your lives!

Just kidding. Mostly.

Hi-Rez Studios -- of SMITE, Tribes: Ascend, and Global Agenda fame -- has released a series of videos this week all about breaking into the games industry. Unless you already have a giant pile of money to fund your own studio, the videos actually provide some useful advice, focusing on cultivating a specific skill in demand at game studios. There are five videos in all: two on the basics and one apiece on design, programming, and that most glamorous of jobs, QA. Check 'em out below.

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Ask Massively: Scoring last year's MMO predictions

Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous

GW2
One of my favorite things to do every year is go back to the previous year's staff predictions. What did we think 2014 was going to look like in the MMO world back at the end of 2013? How wrong were we, and where did we hit eerily close to the mark? I won't include everything, just some of the more prophetic and ridiculous ideas our current staff offered a year ago. Feel free to share your own fulfilled prophecies down in the comments.

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Biggest MMO disappointment of the year

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Biggest Disappointment of the year -- not exactly one of the more coveted awards, admittedly. For this category, we focused on single games rather than concepts, and every MMO that launched in 2014 was eligible. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Biggest Disappointment of 2014 is...

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The Daily Grind: Are DPS meters bad for MMOs?

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons

DPS Meters - WoW Interface
In the comments of Eliot's Soapboxes about MMO raiding, one Massively reader declared his own most-hated element of the raiding scene: DPS meters. In MMOs that allow mods, players invariably find a way to slice and dice the combat logs with a plugin that parses who did what and how much of it, spitting those data out into a tidy list that shows who's king of DPS and who's just being "carried."

I don't think most MMO players want to see math and numbers driven from the genre in favor of rock-paper-scissors simplicity -- I sure don't, anyway; I like my crafting spreadsheets. But the vast majority of MMO combat really truly doesn't require the rotational precision of the top raiding guilds in the world, so why do we see DPS meters being trotted out for every basic dungeon? Repeatedly seeing people as numbers isn't exactly generating warmer MMO communities, and sometimes I wonder whether our obsession with judging everyone around us "by the numbers" is a crutch to help us avoid unpleasant conversations. Did we really need a DPS meter to clue us into the fact that Bob is half AFK tapping his 1 key over and over instead of paying attention to the fight? I think we knew that without the mod.

What do you guys think? Are DPS meters bad for 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: What was the best MMO launch of all time?

Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

Atlantis - Thomas Fawls
After any year of bad MMO launches -- so, you know, pretty much every year -- we pause for a moment of reflection and comparison. Was this launch really the worst ever? Or is it just the freshest?

We're going to turn that question on its head for today's Think Tank. I didn't ask our writers about the worst MMO launch ever; I asked them to name the best. Plus, everyone knows Anarchy Online was the worst. Everyone!

So which high-profile MMO launch was so great that future MMOs should be aspiring to match and exceed it?

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The Crew accidentally erases player stats

Bugs, Launches, Miscellaneous, Buy-to-Play

the crew
Whoops: It seems as though The Crew's launch wasn't without a few speed bumps after all.

Ubisoft admitted that the game's servers had been erasing or showing incomplete player statistics due to a minor issue. Before you get frightened that the game has erased your identity and progress entirely, know that the good news is that "major data" weren't affected at all and that a patch is coming to fix the problem.

The Crew launched on Tuesday, December 2nd. Ubisoft refused to provide the media with review copies of the game.

Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Best MMO Studio

Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Best MMO Studio of the year. Every studio that runs an MMO in 2014 was eligible, even those who didn't launch anything this year, but whatever the studio did to impress us should have occurred this year. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Best MMO Studio of 2014 is...

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Most Improved MMO

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Most Improved MMO of the year. Pretty much all MMOs were eligible for this particular award, even if they didn't launch in 2014, as long as they improved significantly in 2014. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Most Improved MMO of 2014 is...

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Eleven (the Glitch resurrection project) is moving into alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous

Glitch
It's been two years since Glitch shut down, and there are two possible responses to that. The first is to be sad that the MMO landscape lost an attractive, quirky, interesting little game. The second is to be quite happy because Eleven, the project that seeks to restore the original functionality of Glitch with a new team as a labor of love, is entering its alpha test phase. How awesome is that?

The first phase of testing is not a particularly large one: The amount of functional stuff in the game is tiny, and only 13 people are getting let in for test purposes. But it does mean that the project is moving along, and those lucky 13 people are going to get to play a game whose fans have been mourning ever since its shutdown. It's also a project done with Tiny Speck's blessing, ensuring that a successful alpha test now is the first step toward opening the doors of this world once more.

Eliotropes land in Dofus and Wakfu

Fantasy, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Dofus, Classes, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous

I don't see anything.  Where am I supposed to be looking?  I'm not seeing it.
The Eliotropes are coming! Wait, sorry, that's not quite right; the Eliotropes are here if you're playing Wakfu. They're also here if you're playing Dofus. Yes, both of the games based on the same lore are getting the same class on the same day. The class also promises to be a tricky one, as it's centered around making use of martial arts attacks projected over long distances through a series of portals.

Eliotropes can serve as healers and positioners in the game's combat system, launching powerful assaults through portals and slipping through those same portals to evade damage. But enemies can also use these portals for transport, making the class a bit more tricky to play well. Check out the videos on the new class just past the break because this new option is already here. And there. Lots of places, really.

[Source: Ankama press release]

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The Daily Grind: Could a non-combat MMO be compelling?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

brain
As much as I like being the action hero in MMOs, even I must admit that the ratio of combat to non-combat activities is lopsided to the extreme. Some days I feel like I'm playing an endless kill simulator that doesn't allow me to live in these virtual worlds so much as attempt to murder most of what is in them.

So sometimes I think about MMOs where combat isn't just marginalized but non-existent. Could it work? Sure, we have seen titles like A Tale in the Desert and Myst Online replace combat with community crafting, but such games are so few in number and under-populated.

What do you think? Could a non-combat MMO be compelling? Would you play a game that was heavy on sandbox elements but had no fighting?

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!

Massively Speaking Episode 324: The server is down

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

tsw
On this week's show, the podcasters will need to lower their voice or else risk attracting the attention of undesirable demons, server outages, and console delays. If you play this episode backwards, you will hear hidden messages that will unravel your mind and show you the truth of what lies beyond the black. Also a plug for Chia pets.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
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Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Biggest Story of the Year

Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Biggest MMO Story of the year. We're not talking about a single article or a game's plot here; we're looking for dominant, ongoing news arcs in the MMO space that had a big impact on the genre. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Biggest MMO Story of 2014 is...

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