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The Digital Continuum

The Digital Continuum: SWTOR's content conundrums

New Titles, Opinion, The Digital Continuum, Star Wars: The Old Republic

As excited as I am for Star Wars: The Old Republic, I keep wondering whether or not BioWare can pull off three or four games' worth of content. It's no secret that developing an MMO takes considerable time and effort, but adding in all this extra story content has got to require a massive fleet of creative people doing what creative people do best: work on little sleep and lots of caffeine.

Every MMO that's launched, has launched without all the content its designers wanted it to have. In reality, this is true of every videogame, but for MMOs the desire to "perfect" is significantly stronger because they're an ongoing development project. So, for this game, I find myself wondering what exactly it's going to have missing for launch day. As it turns out, there's a lot of potentials.

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The Digital Continuum: Find that fresh feeling

Fallen Earth, Opinion, Star Trek Online, The Digital Continuum

For a long time now I've found myself feeling those MMO doldrums. You know the ones I'm talking about. That mood where you want to play something -- anything -- that's even slightly interesting to you, but cannot for the life of you muster the interest to actually stick with it for very long, even if the game is quite good.

Well, usually for me that involves not playing anything MMO for some time. As you can imagine, that makes my writing here at Massively slightly more challenging. Sure, I play all sorts of other games, but this isn't the venue for discussion about them. It wasn't until my recent beta experience with Star Trek Online that I came across something that gave me more vigor for playing than Beetlejuice has for haunting: new experiences.

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The Digital Continuum: Revitalized

MMO Industry, Opinion, The Digital Continuum

Nowadays it seems like a newly released MMO has an estimated lifespan the length of a bag of chips left open overnight. That doesn't leave much hope for older MMOs, right? It appears that way, but games like EverQuest and EVE Online are doing well enough and they've been around for years. Sure, they may not be massive subscription behemoths, but they play home to thriving communities -- which is a lot more than I can say for the sunset titles of yesteryear.

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The Digital Continuum: Applying Foxbat liberally to Champions Online

Super-hero, Opinion, The Digital Continuum, Champions Online

I thought about writing about a lot of different subjects this week. I knew that I wanted to discuss Champions Online, but I couldn't decide on a topic until I played a lowbie character and re-experienced the amazing Foxbat mission in the teen levels. Then it occurred to me, that what this game sorely needs, is an event of epic proportions centered around the maniacal -- yet lovable -- super villain.

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The Digital Continuum: SWTOR's 'inquistoring' Consular conundrum

New Titles, Opinion, The Digital Continuum, Star Wars: The Old Republic

The revealing of Star Wars: The Old Republic's final two classes has incited much discussion amongst the community and inside my own brain. On one hand, lots of people are happy to have more Sith and Jedi classes to choose from. However, on the other hand, some people are disappointed in the lack of creative and unexpected class options.

In all reality, BioWare probably made the right choice, but let's look at the view of both sides for the sake of argument and to have a little fun.

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The Digital Continuum: Federation stands for 'fighting' part 2

Sci-Fi, Opinion, Star Trek Online, The Digital Continuum

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The Digital Continuum: Federation stands for 'fighting'

Sci-Fi, Opinion, Star Trek Online, The Digital Continuum

A new fragrance is out, and it smells exactly like the old one. It's the gentle waft of something I'm quite familiar with: Star Trek fandom. Let me preface this by saying I've been a fan of Star Trek ever since I saw an episode of The Next Generation back when my parents used to tape it every week so we could watch it as a family. So when I declare that people griping about Star Trek Online's emphasis on combat aren't true Trek fans, I know the amount of weight that statement carries.

And you know what? They really aren't true fans.

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The Digital Continuum: LotRO's feature future

Lord of the Rings Online, Expansions, Opinion, The Digital Continuum

There are many wonderful features within Lord of the Rings Online, especially with Siege of Mirkwood edging upon the horizon like a merchant's ship carrying treasure chests full of shiny new features. However, for many a person, the game just doesn't click into place. Whether it's because of a missing feature or the pace of combat, some people find themselves unable to acclimate a groove.

So let's talk about features and changes that would help attract fresh blood while keeping the old guard happy -- because changing the core of an MMO is never truly a good idea, but bring in fresh blood doesn't hurt.

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The Digital Continuum: LotRO's feature future, part 2

Lord of the Rings Online, Expansions, Opinion, The Digital Continuum

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The Digital Continuum: Five exciting MMOs in 2010

Sci-Fi, Opinion, The Digital Continuum

Space, car chases and heroic fantasies lie in wait, plotting the demise of our nights and weekends. 2010 will soon be upon us and with it a whole new set of MMO releases, which means it's time to look at some of the most exciting ones. Some are obvious, while others are surprises even to me. Overall, however, this next year is going to be pretty crazy for fans of the genre.

These are my five most exciting titles that the coming year has to offer, whether it wants to or not.

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The Digital Continuum: Five exciting MMOs in 2010, part 2

Sci-Fi, Opinion, The Digital Continuum

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The Digital Continuum: Torchlight my fire

Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Digital Continuum

For the past week I've been delving deep into the dungeons of Runic Games' Torchlight and found the experience to be nothing short of joyous. Granted, like many other people I also wish some kind of co-op shipped with the game (even over LAN) but thankfully the developer's next project will be an MMO built upon the foundation laid down by last week's release.

My joy for this game most definitely bleeds into its MMO incarnation, which has led to far too much thinking on additions I'd like to see made. So this week, I'm going to get them all off my chest in the hopes that I'll stop obsessing over them. Of course, there's never a guarantee with these things.

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The Digital Continuum: Torchlight my fire, page 2

Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Digital Continuum

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The Digital Continuum: 'Comfort' grind

MMO Industry, Opinion, The Digital Continuum

Often times grind is lambasted as the worst part of this genre, something to be minimized and removed to any and all extent. I understand all too well why; hundreds of hours of brain melting repetitiveness. Only here's the rub: the very nature of MMOs -- persistence -- creates a grind. Unless you keep it under a reasonable number of hours played, it'll turn into a festival of grind.

I used to think this was a colossal problem, yet lately I'm beginning to rethink my stance.

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The Digital Continuum: A week with Aion

Fantasy, Aion, Opinion, The Digital Continuum


After spending a week playing Aion over every other game in my library -- a feat considering I've got Brutal Legend and Uncharted 2 -- I'm feeling ready to discuss the game in a meaningful fashion.

It's hard to gauge what kind of game you're dealing with when an MMO launches, largely because the reality is that, often times, much of what an MMO is designed to be will change over the course of its first half year or so of development. With Aion, we're dealing with a deliberately designed concept that's been mostly well executed on -- more on that later.

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