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The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind: This is not the end

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

I hate goodbyes, so this one is going to be short. And really, it's not even going to be a goodbye goodbye. But wait, I've said too much!

Anyway, thanks. Thanks for reading and commenting. Thanks for playing MMORPGs and making them worlds worth escaping to (and, OK, sometimes from). Mostly, though, thanks for allowing me to do this job. Ahh never mind, here's a quote.

"I find myself more and more convinced that I had more fun doing news reporting than in any other enterprise."

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: Does aggravation make you fight better in MMOs?

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox

I've got to admit, after this week (and you know what kind of week it was) I was actually looking forward to a fight when I logged into H1Z1 for some post-apocalyptic adventure. I was anticipating duking it out with some ferocious zombies, not to mention more than willing to engage in some PvP. And if you know me, you know I am not usually thirsty for player blood. Of course I wasn't about to initiate a fight, but with my elevated aggravation levels I was hoping someone would start something so I could just lay into him with all my hatchet-wielding might.

Interestingly, I noticed that because my mindset switched from always-defensive mode to a little more offensive, my awareness, my reflexes, skills, and (dare I say) enjoyment of a battle was more pronounced. So tell me, Massively readers, do you fight better -- be it mobs or people -- when you are just a little bit miffed?

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: Why do you love your favorite game?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

I can also describe it in many sentences.
Yes, we know what's coming. But we don't want the next few days to be a cavalcade of sorrow because this is a site and a community built around our shared love of MMOs. So let's spread some cheer today. Why do you love your favorite game?

I make no secret about my affection for Final Fantasy XIV, obviously. It's a great game that fuses progress organically with stuff that you'd have fun doing anyway and gives you no shortage of freedom in what you want to do in the game. It's a great time.

But my favorite game might not be yours. So let's share. No bashing, no whining, no complaining; let's make this a positive time for everyone. Why do you love your favorite game, be it a critical darling or a title you feel doesn't get nearly enough love?

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 tributes to the lost?

MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Sunsets

I'm not sorry I met you.
There are games I will remember for the rest of my life, even though they're gone. I still have all of my screenshots from the vigil in Atlas Park when City of Heroes was on the chopping block. I have documents I wrote up for defunct guilds in games I no longer play. My wife and I wrote up stories about the ultimate fates of our characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic when we realized we were probably never going back.

Some goodbyes are more permanent than others, but for some people, goodbye is a chance to move on and never look back. For others, even though you say goodbye, you keep a piece of it with you. You make a tribute. So what about you, readers? Do you make tributes to the games, online friends, guilds, and even periods of time that are gone forever? Or are you the first to say out with the old, in with the new?

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 love about MMOs?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind

lotro
Being critical and even cynical is part of any "serious" fandom, although we must never lose sight of the passion and wonder that made us fall for this hobby. Today, I invite all of us to put aside our gripes and jeers, and instead focus on what drew us into online gaming.

So.

What do you love about 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 Daily Grind: What's the ideal guild size in an MMO?

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

Last week, a Massively commenter mentioned that he was in a 700-person guild in The Elder Scrolls Online. Yep, you read that number right! He inspired an impromptu discussion about the problems inherent in a guild of that size, such as the difficulties of managing it, the potential for dozens of smaller cliques, and the frequently negative impact a big mob of people can have on a server community and a game's development.

Personally, I found that a 50-person guild was a real challenge to lead well; I prefer a much smaller group, 20 members or so, just enough that I feel I know everyone well and there aren't competing cliques of people creating drama. Conveniently, that's the kind of guild I'm in, too. How about you? What's the ideal guild size in an MMO?

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 long-running bugs are you dying to see fixed?

Bugs, Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind

swtor
There are few things more aggravating than long-running bugs that impact you daily and have never been fixed by the team. That picture right up there? That's one of the very few screenshots that Star Wars: The Old Republic has allowed me to take due to an inconsistent glitch that goes practically back to the launch of the game. Since it's been around for so long, I have severe doubts that it will ever be addressed at this point.

I'm sure that this is not the only long-running bug out there that annoys players, so let's give free rein to our petty gripes today! Which ones would you love to see fixed?

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 there any MMO dailies that don't make you cringe?

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

GTA Online
You know what I don't think MMOs need more of? Dailies. I think most core MMO gamers are tired of a mechanic that exists, transparently and unashamedly, to keep us completing repetitive tasks on a daily basis and keep us logging in, and in some cases, paying our subs. Even a well-constructed daily achievement system and totally benign daily login rewards can be irritating.

But out on the fringes of the MMO space, gamers are just discovering the allure of the daily. VG247 pubbed an editorial last week arguing that GTA Online ought to copy -- wait for it -- Destiny's "intrinsic" dailies and rewards; without them, the writer opined, players are "reminded that the grind is most certainly real."

Call me jaded, but I say themepark dailies are usually just as grindy as whatever formless grind they're meant to replace, and I suspect the players who need something to do at the "end" of online co-op shooters would probably be happier with a sandboxier MMORPG to begin with. But surely there's some sort of dailies that we do like. Are there any MMO dailies that don't make you cringe? Which game can boast the best? (And can we tell GTA Online to copy those, please?)

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: Did you get anything out of PAX South?

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

PAX South came and went, and outside of the jumpgate and mobiglass UI reveals for Star Citizen, none of the news coming from the con really interested me. What about you, Massively readers? Did you get anything out of this year's PAX South?

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 MMO devs cause you to follow a project?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

Raph Koster's involvement with Crowfall has increased my interest in the game. I still doubt the title is for me, but given Koster's role at the forefront of my two favorite MMORPGs, I kinda have to pay attention.

What about you, Massively readers? Are there any MMO devs whose involvement causes you to follow a project?

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 favorite archer class?

Classes, Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

camelot unchained
I've never been one to gravitate toward bow-and-arrow classes in MMOs, although I've dabbled in them from time to time. I guess I fear that archers and their ilk are far too popular and feature mindless, straight-forward mechanics (shoot... one arrow at a time! Now two at a time! Now a whole bunch rapidly!).

But if I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be Dungeons and Dragon Online's Bard. I equipped her with a heavy repeating crossbow, and being able to man the medieval equivalent of an automatic rifle was strangely satisfying. Plus, crossbows do not get a lot of play in MMOs for some reason.

Do you have a favorite archer class, and if so, what was it?

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 exciting bit of MMO news you've heard lately?

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Star Citizen

Wednesday's blurb about Star Citizen's release schedule caught me a bit off guard. I guess I lost track of time because the thought of getting to see the game's persistent universe this year took me aback. It makes sense, though, since Star Citizen boasts a big dev team and an even bigger developmental warchest, and they've been going at it in some form or fashion since 2012!

So that's a bit of exciting and unexpected MMO news for 2015, at least in my book. What about you, Massively readers? What MMO news has tickled your fancy of late?

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 play Elder Scrolls Online once it's B2P?

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, The Elder Scrolls Online, Buy-to-Play

Yesterday's news that The Elder Scrolls Online is going buy-to-play in time for its console launch surprised... well, not many of Massively's readers. You pretty much saw it coming. Some folks around here said this move was a certainty even before launch and consequently refused to buy it, deciding that patience would pay off. (And it did!)

But what about now? I admit I'm much more tempted by a game that isn't charging an unwarranted fee and isn't abusing a cash shop. B2P is a great model for gamers, especially when they avoid lockbox crap (yay!). How about you? If you didn't play ESO when it launched last April, will you give it a try in March when it's down to just a box fee, a mild cash shop, and more traditional DLC?

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 worst-designed MMO city?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

One of my personal pet peeves in any roleplaying game is to have to navigate around an overly large city. I guess I'm just not a city guy at heart. But that annoyance is doubly so for any video game metropolis that suffers from poor design.

I can name several examples, although today World of Warcraft's Undercity springs to mind. While delightfully atmospheric, it was nevertheless a pain in the tuckus to traverse. There were too many elevators, vertical space, and long, long runs around the outer circle, all of which kept me away if I could help it.

What do you think is the worst-designed MMO city 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!

The Daily Grind: What constitutes a 'niche' MMO feature?

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

In the wake of WildStar's rocky first half year, some players have defended the game's self-destructive gameplay decisions by declaring traditional gameplay tropes "niche." It's meant to be a niche game for that tiny niche of hardcore raiders, defenders argue, and therefore criticism is unwarranted. And in the sense that apparently a very small proportion of MMORPG fans actually participate in raiding (unless forced?), they're right. But that hasn't stopped most themepark MMOs since EverQuest from brandishing raids as a mostly inadequate talisman to ward off playerbase churn. Even if we outright refuse to raid, most of the MMOs we play are designed around raiders and raiding. It's easy to not raid, but raiding is hard to ignore because it's not being treated as niche by so many of the biggest titles and studios.

The disconnect between development plans and playerbase desires is reflected in this same disconnect between what we think of as a niche MMO feature and what actually is niche by the numbers. How would you sort it out? If raids, one of the core and defining features of so many themeparks, are niche, then what isn't niche? What exactly constitutes a niche MMO feature?

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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