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The 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!

The Daily Grind: Do you want round number level caps?

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

Archlord 2 is bumping its level cap to 46. For some reason this bothers me. I don't play Archlord 2, but still. Why 46? Why not 45 or 50? OK, so probably not 45 because the cap was already 45, but why not structure the content in such a way as to invite a nice round number like 50 for the next increase?

What about you, Massively readers? Am I alone here or does silly stuff like that give you an eye twitch? Do you want round number level caps?

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 your desired update pace?

Culture, Patches, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

gw2
This year as a whole might be light on the total number of MMO releases, but it feels as though it's been an absolute bonanza for updates. I've experienced more than a couple Tuesdays where several of my MMOs are patching in new content simultaneously, leaving me with a delicious conundrum of what to play first.

What I'm curious about today is how much and how often you think that MMOs should update. Would you have very frequent content drops, such as Guild Wars 2's living world episodes, even if they're not huge? Do you prefer a once-a-month patch that contains a lot to chew on? Or would you rather see MMOs package a huge chunk of content for a once- or twice-a-year expansion?

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: Has Firefall grabbed you for the long haul?

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind, Firefall

I played a little Firefall over the weekend, and while Red 5's colorful shooter has definitely improved, the ultimate verdict was the same as it was when I test drove it a couple of years ago: fun in spurts but probably not something that I'll play consistently.

What about you, Massively readers? If you've come back to Firefall now that it's launched -- or even if you're completely new to the game -- has it caught your attention for the long haul? 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!

The Daily Grind: Do you adjust your in-game routine for events?

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Star Wars: The Old Republic

I coughed my way through a couple hours of Star Wars: The Old Republic gameplay this weekend. When I say gameplay, what I mean is standing at the AH and playing the market while waiting for my companions to finish crafting. And since BioWare's rakghoul plague event is currently a thing, I contracted the exploding green goo glowy eyes disease multiple times courtesy of the people who love to pass it around on Fleet.

Eventually I wised up and acquired a stack of those anti-infectants, but not before I thought "hey, I can probably turn this into a Daily Grind!"

So, here you go. Do you stop your normal themepark routine to participate in in-game events? Which ones are your favorite?

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 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 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!

The Daily Grind: What's the best MMO housing system of all time?

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

SWG
WildStar's floating palaces, Star Wars: The Old Republic's strongholds, World of Warcraft's garrisons, and Landmark's... well, everything... are getting a lot of press lately, maybe because the MMO industry has been starved for such content for so long. Few games implement housing after launch, and fewer still launch with housing ready to go; those that do seldom aspire to the heights reached by RIFT's dimensions, let alone the amazing customizable homes of older games like Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies.

So let's resurrect a Daily Grind topic we haven't tackled since 2010. Which MMO features or featured the best housing of all time?

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 (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!

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