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Opinion

The Mog Log Extra: Hands-on with Final Fantasy XIV's new Ninja

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Guides, Subscription

Don't be a ninny!
This week's patch 2.4 for Final Fantasy XIV added in a new class and job: the Rogue and Ninja. It's the first addition to the game since 2.0's Arcanist, Summoner, and Scholar, and as was true with those classes those, this week you could not take two steps outside of Limsa Lominsa without seeing a flurry of Rogues everywhere, thus rather obviating the "stealthy" part of the whole stealthy assassin gimmick they have going.

Of course, only a few Rogues reach maturity from their Limsan spawning grounds.

But maybe you're in it for the long haul. You want this to be your new main, you want to understand how to play this class in the endgame, and you want to be one of the best darn dagger-wielding maniacs the game has ever seen. I cannot tell you how to be one of the best, but I can at least give you the benefits of my insights from having relentlessly pushed at the class and learned what makes it tick.

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The Daily Grind: Do you actually use your MMO house?

Game Mechanics, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Housing, Player-Generated Content

SWG
Every time I go off on a tear about how Star Wars Galaxies' and Ultima Online's houses were so amazing for merchants and traders because of player vendors, one of you always snaps me back to reality: "That's great, Bree, but most MMOs don't have vendors. Most MMOs don't give houses a point at all."

Some of them have tried -- WildStar's homes can provide buffs, Lord of the Rings Online's provide teleports and cheap materials, and lots of games offer safe resource harvesting of one form or another in your home or plot or instance. But most MMO housing boils down to mini-sandboxes where you can build and decorate, so I can understand why MMO gamers might just go play Minecraft or The Sims or another offline game where they can build and decorate in peace and without the interference of grinds and cash shops.

Still, I always decorate my houses and do my best to make use of them when I get them; I like the sense of ownership I feel over that tiny piece of pixelated land. What about you -- do you actually use your MMO houses?

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: Fixing the Landmark-EQ Next perception problem

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, The Think Tank, Landmark

Not a Landmark post on Massively goes by without at least one commenter essentially telling SOE to talk about EverQuest Next or shut up. Massively's MJ Guthrie, who writes our EverQuest franchise column, has herself explained until she's blue in the face that Landmark is EQ Next's foundation, and SOE has talked plenty about EQ Next independently too, but for some reason, the explanations aren't sticking with the MMO populace, so the same complaints are voiced in every thread.

So what gives? Has SOE been too confusing with the Landmark/EQ Next co-branding? How can SOE dig itself out of this persistent perception problem? That's what I asked Massively's writers in today's Think Tank.

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The Daily Grind: Do you defend your favorite MMO?

Fantasy, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Elder Scrolls Online

I think I'm getting old, because there was a time when I'd wade into a forum discussion about my favorite MMO and defend it to the death against all comers. I still catch myself doing that on occasion, but said occasions are getting rarer. The passion hasn't gone anywhere, but I'd rather just go play it than argue about it, you know?

What about you, Massively readers? Do you defend your favorite 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!

Leaderboard: Is TERA's expansion tempting you to play?

Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, TERA

I haven't played TERA in a long while. I always to meant to give it more of a shot, but for whatever reason it's never worked out. On the heels of En Masse's first expansion announcement, I'm thinking about it again, though it's going to take some doing to pry me away from ArcheAge.

What about you, Massively readers? Is TERA's Fate of Arun expansion tempting you to play? Vote after the cut!

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Global Chat: Wrongs and rights

EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Trove

trove
So often, bloggers are struggling to succinctly answer the same question in a variety of formats: What is right with this game and what is wrong with it? It gets complicated fast when biases, comparisons, and general drama enters into it, although I wouldn't have it any other way. MMOs should be filtered through our various viewpoints to gain broader understanding and (hopefully) provide better feedback.

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!

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The Daily Grind: What's the creepiest MMO locale?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

tsw
Sorry, Halloween's heavy on the mind this week, and as I await the Great Pumpkin's return, I have been seeking out the scariest and most unsettling places in MMOs. Naturally, I found most of them in The Secret World.

Probably one of the most creepy places in TSW is the kindergarten in Savage Coast. You can't go into it and there's no explanation given about it, but when you're near it you hear garbled children's voices and off-key kid music playing. Plus, there are dead zombies draped all over its front yard. Nothing good could have happened there. And I don't want to know what did.

In the spirit of the season, what do you think is the most creepy MMO locale and why?

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!

Flameseeker Chronicles: Gem store scares and lore treats in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Economy, Events (In-Game), Lore, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

I heard a lot of speculation about this guy last year, but I'm pretty sure he's just a spider and not a Margonite.
It's Halloween! Well, almost. Close enough. It's always fun to celebrate holidays as an MMO fan because you can party as long as the event runs without ever leaving your house! Oh, I just made myself sad. Let's start over.

Guild Wars 2 is celebrating its third Halloween, and it doesn't seem as though evil ghosts are any more likely to let the destruction of Lion's Arch get in the way of the festivities than the rest of us are. Even though the celebration is a repeat of last year's, there's still quite a bit of news to discuss, so hop past the cut and let's see what ArenaNet dropped in our trick-or-treat bags.

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The Mog Log: Dark Knight is a tank in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Classes, Expansions, Lore, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

Yes, even if you cry, that headline is still true.
I can't really stop talking about Final Fantasy XIV when it's been weeks of news feasts for the game, can I? Hot on the heels of the last fanfest, the one-day London fanfest happened, and the development team compensated for the shortened overall time by filling the keynote with revelations. The Vanu Vanu are a thing which I currently want to cuddle, we will get personal airships, and we're getting Dark Knight -- a job that starts at level 1 with no base class, breaking all the established rules of the game.

Oh, and it's a tank.

There were basically two sets of reactions to this news. The first group was busy releasing its collective gasp of joy that it had been holding on to since Dark Knight was practically revealed in Las Vegas. The second group was screaming to the heavens about the fact that this job was going to be a tank instead of a DPS. So it merits some discussion, as do the other things we know about it because boy, Tank #3 is going to be a weird one.

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The Daily Grind: Do you like beefcake avatars?

Super-hero, Classes, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Marvel Heroes

Marvel Heroes' new Juggernaut character sounded intriguing. Then I got a look at him and he went from probable purchase to lol-no-way!

Despite the intriguing momentum mechanic and the appeal of smashing everything in sight, I really can't stand beefcake character models. It's not just an MMO thing either. I find Gears of War unintentionally funny due to how absurd its cast looks, and Batvillain Bane is one of the silliest comic book baddies I've ever seen.

What about you, Massively readers? Do you like beefcake avatars, or do you laugh and steer clear like I do?

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 Evolved: Could permadeath work in EVE?

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
Permadeath has been one of the most contentuous features in online gaming since as far back as I can remember. The feeling of permanently losing a character you've spent months training up and playing with because of a single mistake or lag spike would be horrifying to most people, yet the idea continues to intrigue both players and developers. Diablo II's Hardcore mode is probably the most successful permadeath mechanic in an online game to date, separating the hardcore players onto a different server so that they develop their own game economy and leaderboard. Several MMOs have experimented with permadeath servers or mechanics over the years, but they're almost always reverted as failures.

In a recent presentation at EVE Vegas 2014, EVE Online developer CCP Rise discussed the idea of permadeath characters as something he's wanted to add to the game for the past few years. This is particularly problematic for EVE as the game uses passive time-based skill training and the whole game takes place on one massive shard. The hardcore players would need to have enough incentive to risk their characters' lives on a daily basis, their abilities would have to be balanced with non-hardcore players, and abuse of the system to suicide gank players would need to be handled. But if those problems are tackled, is it possible that there's a place for permadeath in EVE?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at how permadeath could be added to EVE Online without disrupting the rest of the game.

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite piece of MMO swag?

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

WoW
A Reddit thread posted by curious swag-mongers working for indie MMO hopeful Das Tal inspired today's question: What's your favorite piece of MMO swag?

Me, I have a few pieces that I've kept. Some cloth maps and cards from Ultima Online. All the paper maps from City of Heroes. A couple of World of Warcraft stuffies, though admittedly I've let the kids maul them. I'm not super sentimental with my stuff, but even I have a few trinkets I decided to hang onto over the years.

What about you folks? What's your favorite piece of MMO swag?

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!

Perfect Ten: My World of Warcraft launch memories

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Perfect Ten, Subscription

wow
I'm really not a big fan of those constant reminders from the media as to how much time has gone by using pop culture as reference points. I'm really not. So I kind of hate myself for saying this, but friends, next month will be World of Warcraft's 10th anniversary! Ten years! How old are we now!

Back in November of 2004, I was a wide-eyed 28-year-old bachelor who had just met his future wife and was generally leery about MMOs to date. Now I'm a grizzled 38-year-old journalist, father of three, and veteran of more MMOs than I can count (because I cannot count past 22). A decade can contain so much history, especially when looked back all at once.

I played World of Warcraft for many years, and while most of the memories have faded and merged together in a technicolor morass, there are a few vivid recollections of the launch period that stir emotions in me even today. Ten years, 10 launch memories. I think that's appropriate.

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The Daily Grind: What are you doing for MMO Halloween?

Culture, Events (In-Game), Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

Ah... don't you just love this time of year: Pumpkin spice pepper spray, eternally uneaten Charlston Chews, and decaying tree dandruff everywhere. And in many of our MMOs, spooky festivities and events have arisen to mark the passage of Halloween.

So what are you doing for Halloween in-game this year? There's a lot going on, but I'm most excited to be jumping back into my favorite haunted berth, The Secret World, and exploring a brand-new seasonal questline with friends. Of course, every day in TSW is Halloween, but this time of year it's more so than ever!

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!

Lost Continent: Living a fisherman's life in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Guides, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting, Lost Continent

Fifteen years ago, I was floundering around southern Florida in a rudderless post-graduation haze. I rented this dinky apartment across US1 from the University of Miami, and my summers were equally divided between a series of forgettable jobs and a series of lengthy fishing excursions around the Keys and out into the Atlantic.

The fishing was basically something to do; I didn't dislike it, but neither did I wake up thinking wow, I can't wait to get that gooey chum all over my shorts and bake in the sun for 10 hours.

Now, in an odd but enjoyable art-imitating-life moment, I'm revisiting the experience in ArcheAge.

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