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Posts tagged working-as-intended

Working As Intended: Niche MMOs vs. the everything box

The MMO industry has lately focused on niche titles, niche communities, niche gameplay. It's not one particular niche, mind you. It's lots of different niches, all being catered to in different titles: PvPers, sadistic gankers, raiders, dungeoners, roleplayers, crafters, explorers, achievers, soloe...

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Working As Intended: But I already have that game

Back in 2001, I desperately wanted out of EverQuest. I hated the gameplay. I hated the community. I loved my guildies, but I hated what our guild was becoming, consumed by a grindy rat race so different from our roots in Ultima Online. When Dark Age of Camelot offered a way out, I took it, dragging...

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Working As Intended: Lessons from the history of MMO housing

Once upon a time, a subscription MMORPG sandbox had open-world housing, only there wasn't quite enough for everyone. Well, there was, but there wasn't enough of it in safe lands, so a lot of the people who wanted a place to live had to live in dangerous places they didn't like, places where they co...

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Working As Intended: The unfortunate conflation of sandboxes and PvP

A certain perplexing belief about sandboxes pervades the blog comments, forums, and general chats of MMOs: All MMO sandboxes are free-for-all PvP games. If it doesn't have free-for-all PvP, it's by definition not a sandbox because sandboxes let the players make all the rules and decisions. Free-...

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Working As Intended: It's not the journey or the destination

If you play MMORPGs, you've no doubt been told, hundreds of times, "Slow down! Don't rush! Stop to smell the flowers! It's the journey, not the destination!" Typically, you're being told to slow down in an MMO whose focus is the destination: the endgame. All the good stuff is at the end. The bes...

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Working As Intended: The forgotten fields of Green Acres

My first trip to Ultima Online's Green Acres was in 1998. The first guild I'd ever joined had just split up into a bunch of... let's call them "philosophically incompatible" groups, and I was still hanging out with some of the shadier types because I was a clueless teenager in my first MMO and want...

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Working As Intended: Dabbling in indie sandbox Villagers and Heroes

Villagers and Heroes is not the sort of sandbox that gets a lot of coverage in the gaming press. You can't gank in the game. No one will murder you for your ore or your logs. There are no petty internet crime lords generating scandals or developers being ousted for cheating. Clichéd zombies ...

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Working As Intended: What Guild Wars 2 got wrong

Back in March, I spent an entire Working As Intended column discussing the game mechanics that Guild Wars 2 got right. But that's just one side of the story. In order to be completely fair to the game and to myself, I want to grump about the things it got wrong. Don't take this as utter condemnatio...

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Working As Intended: Change for change's sake in World of Warcraft

MMORPGs struggle to meet two contradictory goals: They want to provide stability, permanence, a world you feel you can always come home to, and they want to provide dynamism, change, a world that always has something fresh and new. Lean too hard to one side -- change too much or too little -- and t...

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Working As Intended: There's nothing wrong with soloing in MMORPGs

A Massively community member recently wrote into the podcast to tell us that he prefers to solo, to craft for himself, to avoid group quests, and to skip guilds. Still, he told us, he loves MMOs and doesn't want to leave them to play single-player RPGs. "What the hell is wrong with me?" he asked. ...

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