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The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind: Do you have an ArcheAge guild yet?

Fantasy, Guilds, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

ArcheAge has a launch date. And a founder's launch date. And an open beta date. I'm ready to go, but for the fact that I'm going it alone. I don't have an AA guild, and I've been purposefully steering clear of my alpha and beta access over the last few months so as not to spoil more of the game and instead savor the experience when it counts.

So I've missed the usual pre-launch guild recruitment opportunities, basically.

What about you, ArcheAge fans? Do you have a guild yet, or are you just going to play it by ear?

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 Daily Grind: Who is your favorite in-game companion?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

swtor
While not every MMO features companions, there are enough out there that I wager you've played a title or two with a strapping NPC at your side. One of my absolute favorite features of Star Wars: The Old Republic is its companion system. The day that I finally earned my HK-51 was one of the most glorious moments of my life, just narrowly edging out the birth of my children and the return of Arrested Development.

Who is your favorite in-game companion? Did you choose that companion based on personality, looks, or general combat assistance? What is one of your favorite stories involving that character?

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 Daily Grind: What's the longest you've gone without playing an MMO?

Culture, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind

I'm in the midst of an MMO sabbatical. I won't call it full burnout because I'm still logging into Elder Scrolls Online and Marvel Heroes to hang with friends a couple of nights per week, but other than that I've basically taken a couple of weeks off from the genre while I wait for an ArcheAge launch announcement.

What about you, Massively readers? Do you periodically step away due to burnout or other reasons? What's the longest you've gone without playing an MMO?

[Image credit: Vintage Customs LA]

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 Daily Grind: What would you want in a World of Warcraft 2?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

wow
Your guess is as good as mine as to how serious Blizzard was being the other week when it floated the possibility of a sequel to World of Warcraft during an interview. After all, words are cheap, but development is crazy expensive.

But let's have a little fun with this concept today, whether or not a WoW 2 is in the making. Assuming that there was one being brewed up, what would you want to see done with it? Would it embrace more sandbox features? Would it simply remake the current game or jet off on its own timeline? Would you even prefer a platform switch, such as a mobile WoW or a virtual reality-based one?

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 Daily Grind: Which ArcheAge Firran do you prefer?

Betas, Fantasy, Culture, The Daily Grind, Races, ArcheAge, Sandbox

I've been poking about in ArcheAge recently, but it's nothing too serious until Trion announces a launch date (or at the very least, a no-wipe date). I'm still trying to figure out a main, and all four races have something to recommend them. The Elves are probably my least favorite, followed by the humans. The Firran are slick, but to be frank I preferred them before they were westernized or whatever you call it.

What about you, Massively readers. Do you prefer ArcheAge's earlier feline folk or the new models?

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 Daily Grind: Which IP(s) would you not want made into an MMO?

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

I'm not sure what to make of this Seldon Crisis thing. It's inspired by Asimov, according to the announcement press release, but I'm having a hard time seeing how something like Foundation will translate, however loosely, to MMO gameplay.

Maybe it will and maybe it won't, or maybe the Asimov connection is tenuous and a marketing ploy for what's really the same old PvP game. We'll find out, I guess. It got me to thinking about other potential MMO IPs, though. We've asked before what IPs you'd like to see made into an MMO, so today let's turn that around. Which IPs would you not want to see made into an MMO? And 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!

The Daily Grind: What's the most challenging MMO you've played?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

tsw
I've played my fair share of challenging MMOs over the years. From obtuse interfaces to steep learning curves to tough-as-nails combat, the myth of MMOs being nonstop faceroll games has been disproven time and again. However, if I had to pick the single most challenging title, it would be The Secret World, hands-down.

Nothing about The Secret World comes easy. The combat has you struggling sometimes against standard mobs, the game's many systems are complex and non-intuitive, the story isn't spelled out for you, and some of the quests tax my brain far more than my reflexes. Don't get me wrong; I love TSW to its core, but it's stupid hard at times, so much so that it's kept me from seriously pursuing an alt.

What would you say is the most challenging MMO that you've ever played?

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 Daily Grind: Are MMO mods and emulators on their way out?

Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Legal, Miscellaneous

E&B
We don't talk about emulators on Massively often because we're forbidden to encourage illegal activities or link or name specific emulators save those rare few publicly sanctioned by studios (so please don't). In fact, we've written before that emulators are a frustrating topic for many of our writers since gamers pour boatloads of creativity and technical skill into both legal and illegal emulators for games dead and alive, creativity that we can't write about even when we'd like to.

I can't be the only one who's wondered whether legit modders and underworld emulator coders are abandoning their craft in favor of more legal ventures, however. There might be more sunsetted MMOs, moddable UIs, and calls for "classic" game versions than ever, but the rise of low-risk crowdfunding, easy Steam greenlighting, and modular multiplayer titles that encourage customization makes me suspect that people who once modded shady MMO emulators or built interfaces for the masses are being lured away to work on something more legitimate or profitable or resume-worthy.

What do you think? Are emulators and modding going out of fashion? (Please don't link to anything illegal!)

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 Daily Grind: Do you comment on headlines before you read articles?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

I'm not a Twitter fan. I never use it outside of work, and the time I spend manning the Massively Twitter feed is one of the least enjoyable portions of my workday. This is due mostly to the large numbers of people who read our headlines via Twitter and then proceed to comment or tweet back without reading the article. I know; it's a game of trolls and the winner gets to feel like a special snarkanaut for cramming his invaluable insight into 140 characters or less and hopefully provoking some sort of reaction. But like all casual games, it gets tiresome rather quickly.

Ultimately, we, like most writers on the internet, design headlines specifically to entice reading, not to sum up a post in 10 words. How about you, Massively readers? 'Fess up: Do you comment on headlines before you read articles, either on Twitter or elsewhere?

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 Daily Grind: What do you buy in MMOs?

Culture, Economy, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

neverwinter
Every so often I like to be nosy and pry into your personal finances. Wow, you blow through a lot of Candy Crush microtransactions, don't you? And your Pez eBay purchases have gotten out of control.

But let's just pretend that I don't have unparalleled access to your checking account and ask you to share what you buy in MMOs with real money. Looking back, probably my biggest purchases from the past six months were a subscription to WildStar, various cosmetic outfits and minipets in Guild Wars 2, the new mission packs in The Secret World, and a ghost companion in Neverwinter.

What do you buy?

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 Daily Grind: Do you make use of mule characters?

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

If you go to any bank in World of Warcraft, you're going to see two different kinds of characters: actual players bedecked in fine combat gear... and level 1 bank mules with cute names and even cuter guild tags. These characters are often seen as worse than alts; they're not merely alternatives to someone's main character but characters who exist solely to hold extra gear or sell items on an auction hall, usually circumventing the intended inventory limits system. In short, they're real characters' pack mules.

In some games, especially early sandboxes, such mules were loaded down with tradeskills to allow a single player to craft items for his real character, allowing him to circumvent intended character interdependency too and seriously impacting player-driven economies.

Do you make use of mules or bank alts in your MMO of choice? Or has your MMO found a clever way to make muling unnecessary?

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 Daily Grind: What was your favorite Gamescom reveal?

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Star Citizen

Gamescom 2014 came and went, but not before a handful of interesting MMO-related news blurbs made their way from Cologne, Germany to your monitor. My personal favorite was Star Citizen's quartet of new videos, not to mention a fifth that showed off a multiplayer-crewed Constellation fighting for its life.

What about you, Massively readers? What was your favorite Gamescom reveal? Or did nothing much catch your eye this year?

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 Daily Grind: Will you be playing Landmark once combat goes live?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Landmark

So, Landmark's getting combat in a couple of weeks. Pretty interesting combat, at that. We'll keep today's Daily Grind short and sweet. Did the recent SOE Live reveal pique your interest? Assuming you're not already playing Landmark, will be doing so once combat makes it live?

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 Daily Grind: How many MMOs have you played this year?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

eso
We aren't even nearing the end of 2014, although we've certainly put a good chunk of this year under our belt by now. To me, it feels as though it's been a long run of many gameplay experiences. In 2014 alone, I've played Landmark, The Secret World, Lord of the Rings Online, Guild Wars 2, WildStar, Marvel Heroes, Diablo III, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Neverwinter, RIFT, and Trove. I think that's everything, but I can't be 100% sure.

So what about you? How many MMOs have you played this year so far? It's not an epeen contest or anything, I'm just curious. Have you primarily given your attention to one or two titles, or have you been hopping around like a mad video game bunny?

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 Daily Grind: What makes an MMO a 'WoW clone'?

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

Star Wars
Eminent MMO designer Raph Koster inspired today's Daily Grind with his recent article titled When is a Clone, in which he discusses the difference between clones, reskins, variants, families, genres, and other words that gamers often use interchangeably when debating the merits of their favorite games. Specifically, he lays out a "recipe" for inventing a new game as opposed to just cloning one; for example, he suggests that developers might model a new scenario mathematically or alter the physical dimensions or major goals of an existing ruleset.

But the truth is that gamers, especially MMO players, will probably never stop using the word clone when we mean iteration. We wield the word as a curse, knowing that a game isn't a literal clone but choosing to employ hyperbole to make a point about the sameyness of so many MMOs that slap a fresh coat of paint on World of Warcraft and expect praise.

Today, we're asking you: What, exactly, makes an MMO a WoW clone?

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!

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