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Under The Hood: Factional Warfare

As sort of an addendum to the last Under The Hood on player choices and consequences, I present to you this article. I didn't have room to add my thoughts on factional warfare, unfortunately, and it's a system that really deserves an article all its own. Why is this such a major factor in most...

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Under The Hood: Choices and Consequences

Despite the persistence of most MMOs, there's one thing that the majority of them lack. I am, of course, speaking about consequences for your actions. Sure, you can kill some NPCs for experience and you yourself level up, but what about the world? The NPC just respawns and continues on his merry...

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Make your own MMO with MMORPG Tycoon

The TIGSource Procedural Generation Competition is nearing it's finish, and one of the more polished entries takes a fascinating look at MMOs. Titled MMORPG Tycoon, it gives you an MMORPG and demands that you fix it to please the player base. And that's easier said than done. You have the ability...

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Under The Hood: Colored Segregation

There are a lot of different game mechanics, ranging from the downright simple to the ethereal and hard-to-explain. I've talked a lot about the more subjective stuff, such as lore and paradigms and this and that, but only a few times have I hit the nitty gritty. So this week, I'm taking things to...

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The Goons are building an Age of Conan city

In a show of devotion to either Age of Conan or Something Awful (we are unsure which), the SA Goons and their guild, the Hordes of Goonheim, have begun construction on the first user city on a PvP server. It's also possibly the first user city in the game. In a post on NeoGAF, a Goon going by...

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Cryptic reveals more about Champions Online costumes

Cryptic has been dropping details on their newest outing in the superhero genre, and the future is looking brighter all the time. In yet another Ask Cryptic segment, three of the fine designers for Champions Online (Arkayne, BraiNEateR, and Continuum) have revealed some more information about their...

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Under The Hood: New Beginnings

Part of any MMO is starting from scratch. Whether you just started a new MMO, or a new character, the first few hours playing can determine whether or not you want to keep playing that game or character. So why is it that most MMOs have a lack of early game content? Countless times I have heard...

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Under The Hood: Stories and Lore

Part of any game is how the lore of the world interacts with the players although a lot of times the players don't realize it thanks to boring quest descriptions. World of Warcraft has the rich Warcraft universe behind it, Lord of the Rings Online has its own lorebook, and City of Heroes and...

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Under The Hood: Puzzling Developments

There's an interesting counterpoint to the increasing amount of games following the traditional MMO mechanics layout. No, I'm not talking about space MMOs and the mechanics they follow. We covered those last week! I'm talking about the gradual seepage of puzzlers into the genre. It's a budding...

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Under The Hood: The Depths of Space

Riding on the coattails of my last article, I realized that it would be a good idea to explore that new frontier. No, not cowboys and Indians. Outer space in MMOs is rapidly becoming the new "generic fantasy continent(s)" that almost every other MMO takes part in. It's also pushing the envelope, in...

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