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Exclusive Columns

Columnists - Bill Murphy's Bill Murphy gives us his thoughts and opinions on the happenings in and around the world of MMORPGs.

We Need a Hero

General -  Editorial

During the heady days of post-Azeroth consumer boom and investor interest, the MMORPG was booming. So many new games… and so many that didn’t meet expectations of consumers or investors. Now, 11 years after the launch of World of Warcraft, it’s clearer now than ever before: we need a hero to save us from extinction.Posted Nov 24, 2015 by William Murphy

Sword Art Online: Lost Song - Charming, but Archaic

General -  General

Sword Art Online is largely an unknown to me. I know it’s an anime, manga, and videogame series about a group of kids who play a virtual reality MMO known as Sword Art Online. I also know they the main characters were stuck in this world fighting to the death (as if you died you died in real life). It’s a pretty heady storyline, but Lost Song is my first real dive into the world of Sword Art Online.Posted Nov 23, 2015 by William Murphy

How the Warcraft Movie is finding the Soul of the Warcraft Universe

General -  Preview

Late Wednesday I got an email invite from Blizzard’s PR about a special press conference with the cast and crew of the Warcraft movie. Since the trailer premiered at the show, the cast and director were on hand, and it was as good a time as any to chat with the actors about their characters, their ties to Warcraft itself, and the process of making an effects heavy film.Posted Nov 7, 2015 by William Murphy

The Park - Funcom's Secret World Spin-Off is Worth Experiencing

General -  Preview

This review is going to be a bit different from our usual fare on MMORPG. For one reason, the Park isn’t so much a game as it is an interactive movie, and a short one at that. You’ll probably only need 1-2 hours to play through Lorraine’s nightmarish experience, but if you’re a fan of Funcom’s Horror MMORPG The Secret World, it’s more than worth the price of admission.Posted Oct 30, 2015 by William Murphy

The Park Adds Depth and Psychological Intrigue to The Secret World

General -  Interview

The Park, a new single player horror adventure from MMO developer Funcom is launching on October 27th. We recently toured a bit of the game with its Creative Director Joel Bylos, and came away quite impressed. Build upon the foundations of Dreamworld tech with the Unreal Engine on the front end, The Park will undoubtedly give The Secret World and horror gaming fans alike something to talk about this Halloween.Posted Oct 21, 2015 by William Murphy

What Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Can Teach MMOs

General -  Column

I’ve been working my through the final Kojima-made Metal Gear Solid over the last week. MGSV: The Phantom Pain is easily on my list of this year’s best games. Not only does it have what’s probably one of the greatest and weirdest first hours in gaming, but it quickly opens up into an excellent mix of mission-based storytelling and pure open world awesome.Posted Sep 8, 2015 by William Murphy

Can Crowfall Bring About a New Era?

Crowfall -  Editorial

As we watch a crowd of independent MMO developers make their dream games, watch them strive to make something unique, and watch them struggle to get the damn things out the door, I wonder. Will one of these strongminded studios bring about a new MMO golden age?Posted Aug 5, 2015 by William Murphy

First Impressions of ARK Early Access

ARK: Survival Evolved -  Editorial

Let me put this out there: loads of wild dinosaurs, riding them, pooping, eating it, farming with it, PVE and PVP servers, loads of crafting and progression. 70-100 players per server for now, with hundreds promised down the road to launch in 2016. Does this sound like a game you might want to try? If so, read on because ARK: Survival Evolved is quickly becoming my sleeper of 2015.Posted Jun 5, 2015 by William Murphy

When to Embrace Themepark MMOs

General -  Column

There are hundreds of MMOs out there, and many of us have played dozens or more of them. Along the way, we've picked up a few favorites, maybe even made a mostly permanent home. But there's always that nagging thought... maybe it's time to go back and try that other game again? Posted Apr 20, 2015 by William Murphy

Everything is Not Alright

General -  Column

We’re at a turning point, people. Or rather, we have been. The MMORPG boom is over, and we’re settling into a new era for these games. For many of you, that’s scary. Some even seem ready to state that the MMO is “dead”. I’m biased, but I’m not so bleak. In my eyes, everything that’s gone wrong in the industry for the past 5 years or more has done nothing but make us free to explore the potential of what I consider the greatest genre there has ever been or will be.Posted Feb 11, 2015 by William Murphy

Cleaning the Litterbox

General -  Column

By people who pay attention to my gaming habits, I'm accused of being a themepark-only sort of MMO player. And lately, they're right... but it's not for lack of desire to get lost in a more free-form MMO experience. No, the problem with sandboxes is a simple one, if you ask me: there hasn't been a really good one in over a decade.Posted Jan 22, 2015 by William Murphy

My Own 2015 Watch List

General -  Column

Rob recently penned his own “Looking Forward to 2015” article, and Shawn did his own take on what to watch in 2015, but since the year’s only just begun and we’re coming off a pretty underwhelming 2014 for new MMOs, we might as well take yet another peek at what the next year could bring us. Posted Jan 2, 2015 by William Murphy

Be Thankful for What We Have

General -  Column

Hey folks. This is going to be a quick column today. I know not all of our readers are from the US, but the majority of the staff is, so we’ll be busy stuffing ourselves full of spirits and merrymaking with families… and playing games before we go comatose on tryptophan. But before we do that, let’s take a moment to be thankful for you, and for the games we love.Posted Nov 27, 2014 by William Murphy

The Beginning and Present of

General -  Column

Earlier this week, Nilden had an awesome idea and one that we honestly should have been doing sooner. Basically, we’re going to start using my column space here as a “Letter to the Editor” sort of piece. For this week, we’re going back to 2001 and the beginning of Read on to learn some history of our site and some perspective on its future as well.Posted Nov 13, 2014 by William Murphy

You Got Your RPG in my Sports Game

General -  Column

This may or may not matter to some of you, as I do not know who here plays games like NHL, NBA2K or Madden outside of their MMO and RPG habits. But recently, after years away from sports games, I picked up both this year’s Madden and NBA 2K15. I have a history with both games, but what I found in this years’ versions hit me right in the nerdy bone. It’s like the funny bone, but instead of jokes it’s RPGs, Star Wars references, and comics that tickle this one. Posted Oct 13, 2014 by William Murphy

Blizzard’s Titan is Dead

General -  Column

Luckily, the MMO is not as dead as Blizzard’s Project Titan. It seems like it can’t be true, right? After seven years of development, reassessing, and waiting… Blizzard is officially canceling Project Titan. As they did with Warcraft Adventures and Starcraft: Ghost, it seems the legendary studio just didn’t see the merit in making Titan a reality… at least right now. Polygon broke the story today, and I think I can speak for many when I say it made me really sad. Posted Sep 23, 2014 by William Murphy

What's Destiny's Destiny?

Destiny -  Editorial

Launch day is here. You may even already be playing, or watching someone play, Bungie's new quasi-MMO shooter Destiny. Our own Bill Murphy was in all day yesterday, and has some launch-day thoughts on Bungie's big new IP. Read on.Posted Sep 9, 2014 by William Murphy

Fond Memories of World of Warcraft’s Early Days

World of Warcraft -  Column

For me, my 2004 game was World of Warcraft. I eagerly awaited both EQ2 and WoW, but after getting into the Closed Beta for the latter, my fate was sealed. Everything about those early Azerothian days seems great in hindsight… until I remember why I quit the first time (lack of level 60 content). But today, I thought I’d pull out one of my fondest Azerothian memories from the fall and winter of 2004, when we were all noobs slinging Chuck Norris jokes in General Chat.Posted Aug 12, 2014 by William Murphy

Questing to Monotony

General -  Column

I’m not a partisan MMO gamer. I’ll play a sandbox, a themepark, an Action MMORPG, or anything that offers me fun when I boot up the title. But if there’s something made clear by recent MMO offerings, it’s this: traditional questing as a means of progression is really getting tired. Posted Jul 30, 2014 by William Murphy

ArcheAge - Why You Questing, Bro?

ArcheAge -  Column

ArcheAge is going to be a divisive game… just not for the reasons you might think. We spent some time with the first of several closed beta events for Trion’s upcoming North American release of the game, and we’re suitably enamored. But there’s a sneaking suspicion we all have about ArcheAge: we’re afraid that its underlying complexity is going to be hidden by the upfront simplicity of its questing and PVE design.Posted Jul 23, 2014 by William Murphy

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