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Field Journal: A strong CoHmmunity

Last week a package arrived for me, sent by the incomparable Beau Hindman. He had been clearing out some of his old gaming paraphernalia, and when he happened on his old City of Heroes disks, something spurred him to offer them freely to anyone in the team who wanted them. I gratefully accepted....

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Field Journal: Picking up the pieces of Fallen Earth

I was introduced to Fallen Earth way back in the mists of time, around when I first started reading Massively. It was one of the earliest Choose My Adventures, and I was so impressed that I made my own account and joined in on the fun part of the way through. My character even made a few cameos in...

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Field Journal: Tortage and the problem of starting areas

It's been quite a while since I've played Age of Conan. Rather than try to figure out where I had left off and what I should be doing with my existing character (and possibly ending up with nothing much to write about), I decided to start anew. The starting experience in and around the...

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Starting out in The Elder Scrolls Online: Coldharbour and Stros M'Kai

When we were planning assignments for The Elder Scrolls Online's embargo lift, I volunteered to go through and document each of the factional starting zones. This was a great plan, except for technical difficulties. I was able to play fine for the first few hours at high settings, but coming back...

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Field Journal: Across the DC Universe

Funny story: DC Universe Online was the first superhero MMO I played to any meaningful extent. I briefly dabbled with Champions Online when it went free-to-play, but it didn't grab me enough to make me continue past the introductory area. A couple of months later I gave the...

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The Soapbox: Novel content trumps novel mechanics

Action combat. Interactive conversations. Public quests. Voxel worlds. There are many game mechanics that developers of massively multiplayer online games crow about when promoting their games because these are the things that make their games stand out from the pack. Even if they're not the first...

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Field Journal: Making peace with Vanguard

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is a weird game. It seems almost purposefully to have been designed to turn away players before they can get a chance to see any of the good in it. Although I've tried it before, I've only recently been able to find some of that good, much to my even more recent dismay. ...

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Field Journal: Neverwinter gonna let you down

My original plan to talk about some of the better quests in Neverwinter's Foundry has been replaced with the burning need to rant about some of the common pitfalls in the less stellar entries. I'm not going to mention anything by name because I'm not here to shame anyone. I just need to explore...

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The Soapbox: Launching with a subscription is still a good idea

The massively multiplayer online game industry is constantly changing, but one thing about it never will so long as capitalism stands: MMOs have ongoing costs, and those costs are passed on to the end user. Exactly how they're passed on is one of the things that has been changing, but new methods...

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Field Journal: Seeking instant gratification in RIFT

I've always been pretty open about my feelings on RIFT: I have an immense admiration for the mechanical ideas and the sheer effort Trion makes, but the world-building and aesthetic choices put me to sleep. The game firmly belongs in the category of those games I wish I liked but don't. While I...

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