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Exclusive Editorials

Exclusive Editorials

The Indie Singularity

General

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. The promise hinted at by games like Ultima Online and EverQuest had been promptly followed by a decade and a half of industry-enforced entropy. Then, like the hammer-wielding heroine from Apple’s iconic Super Bowl XVIII commercial, Minecraft came sprinting out of nowhere to crack the face of established mediocrity.Posted Jul 3, 2014 by Red Thomas

Review in Progress #3

WildStar

Next week, we’ll finally slap a score on our WildStar review. I can already taste the disgruntled sentiment of some readers, the tears of joy from others, and the /shrugs of even more. I’m actually running out of things to talk about here, as between myself and our weekly WildStar columnist Gareth Harmer, I feel like we’ve gone over and over pretty much every aspect of the game. Posted Jun 27, 2014 by William Murphy

Thoughts on Inqusition and Mass Effect 4

Dragon Age: Inquisition

We were present at today's EA Press Conference for E3 2014, and thankfully were not disappointed in the RPG department. Both Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect 4 got some new info dumps. We also learned that BioWare is hard at work on a brand new IP, but nothing else about that was said. Read on for our impressions of the Inquisition gameplay and the ME4 news.Posted Jun 10, 2014 by William Murphy

Review In Progress - Part One

WildStar

It used to be, just a few years back, that if two high profile MMOs released in the same year, chances are they would mirror each other in tone and mechanics. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to ESO and WildStar. And for this I am thankful, because so far WildStar is a refreshingly upbeat and robust theme park MMO. Read on for the first part of our Review in Progress.Posted Jun 4, 2014 by William Murphy

Games and Story - The Third Paradigm

General

As game makers, we have a very powerful storytelling tool, completely unique to our medium, that we have barely exploited. Instead of exploring the strength of interactivity in games for story, we’ve been distracted for years trying to emulate the story-telling technique of books and movies.Posted May 19, 2014 by Mark Kern

The Future of Raiding? A Place for Everyone

World of Warcraft

It’s the fall of 1999 and my Paladin is sitting on a pyramid in the eastern commonlands of Norrath waiting on the start of a raid. Our raid leader is barking instructions, to the extent one can bark in a /shout channel. Fairly soon 30-odd player characters take a trip up to the Plane of Hate to fight the minions of a god. Posted May 15, 2014 by Ryahl Smith

In Support of Convenience

General

Recently, I was reading an old article by ex-Firefall CEO/developer Mark Kern wherein he expressed the concern that MMOs were becoming too easy. But is the issue that MMOs are becoming too easy, or is it just that they're becoming a lot less inconvenient than they used to be? Posted May 11, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

Gauging the Critical Reception

WildStar

Earlier this week, I and some other team members here at MMORPG were trying to guess just where the game would land in terms of critical acclaim. We were pretty evenly divided into two camps. One side believes that WildStar will sit in the 80s, and the other side of the argument thinks that Carbine’s freshman game will fall somewhere in the mid-70s due to backlash that other recent MMO releases have been receiving. Posted May 8, 2014 by William Murphy

MMO Exploits - What's the Harm?

General

Last week MMO websites lit up with news of The Elder Scrolls Online's economy-killing item dupe exploit. Naturally, this had devastating effects on the game's auction house, community, and possibly the longevity of the game. Still, there are players out there who think using exploits is OK, and that publishers shouldn't punish players for using them. Their argument boils down to, “What's the big deal? It's just a game.” Well I'd beg to differ. Posted May 4, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

MMOS - Selling Lifestyles, Not Just Games

World of Warcraft

Entertainers these days don't seem content to succeed at one thing. That's because making money in the entertainment business just isn't as straightforward as it used to be, so performers have learned to expand their brands beyond music or movies and into other markets. Similarly, game makers are realizing if they want to survive, let alone thrive, they too need to expand their commercial and cultural reach. Posted Apr 27, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

MMOs Discover Collaboration's the Key to Success

General

Time was, game developers created games in a vacuum, following no guidelines but the ones they invented. Many of them even had a kind of superiority complex they used to create games with obscure, maddening mechanics that made us bang our collective head on the wall. Fortunately, those dark days are over, and today's developers seem to have realized the antagonistic approach is no longer viable. Posted Apr 21, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

I’m Glad I Waited for the Expansion

Diablo 3

Having a ton of games to play is certainly a boon, but it usually means that I’m late to the party on the newest gaming hotness (unless that hotness is an Elder Scrolls game). In the case of Diablo 3, I’m actually kind of glad that I missed the boat on launch and waited until the Reaper of Souls release, because I skipped past the whole RMT Auction House and loot kerfuffle and am now enjoying a super polished and fun Blizzard game.Posted Apr 9, 2014 by Som Pourfarzaneh

Review in Progress Part 1

Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online is easily the most anticipated and biggest MMO launch since Star Wars: The Old Republic. Many people probably wrote ESO off as another SWTOR in terms of hype and let down, but so far... I believe those people are mistaken. There are a lot of wonderful design choices in ESO, and plenty of bugs to grind an axe on. But one thing’s prevailed: I’m having a lot of fun, and the rabbit hole keeps going deeper. Posted Apr 4, 2014 by William Murphy

MMO Wearables: You Are What you Wear

Albion Online

This week I've stolen my editorial title from Albion Online's new promo trailer, “You Are What You Wear.” Though in real life, that expression might be only superficially true, in an MMO it's quite literally the case. Fantasy MMO Albion Online hopes to spin that idea in a new direction making it possible for players to wear anything they want. Considering this could result in a game full of players dressed like thrift store refugees, is that such a good idea? Posted Mar 15, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

Too Much Hand-Holding?

WildStar

WildStar doesn’t hold your hand… it drags you by every body part in a million different directions and can leave you feeling absolutely torn on what it is you should be doing. My question for Carbine and you all is: does WildStar point the player in too many divergent directions or is more always better in an MMO trying to please so many playstyles?Posted Mar 10, 2014 by William Murphy

Can Funcom Blame Falling Numbers on F2P Competition?

General

This week, mega-publisher Funcom announced its profits were down considerably, and one of its explanations for the drop was heavy competition among free-to-play MMOs. While there's certainly a lot of noise out there these days, with new consoles, mobile games and a new MMO appearing every five minutes, can the company really say competition is the reason it's not doing better? Posted Mar 9, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

The Nesting Impulse: Why Do We Need Housing in MMOs?

General

All good heroes' journeys begin with a young man or woman settling down and living happily ever after. No wait—that's not how it goes. Generally speaking, few things are as unattractive to brave, danger-seeking types as domestic life. With that in mind, and since most of us play MMOs in order to feel heroic, why is it important to us to own an online home? Posted Mar 8, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

Patch 2.0.1 - A Whole New Way to Play

Diablo 3

Last week, Blizzard released the 2.0.1 patch for Diablo III. While it has been in development for a long while, the team behind the update has been relatively quiet leading up to its release. It might be a good guess that the developers of this patch wanted to virtually 'see' players' faces on seeing all that had changed.Posted Mar 5, 2014 by Suzie Ford

Lion's Arch is Under Attack! ...Everyone Go About Your Business

Guild Wars 2

Yesterday I wrote a piece loosely arguing the importance of narrative to an MMO experience. With that in mind, I thought today I'd talk about the successes (and failures) of Guild Wars 2's latest Living World episode, Escape From Lion's Arch. Posted Mar 2, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

Is There a Better Way to Enjoy an MMO?

Guild Wars 2

They say opposites attract, and that's definitely true of my husband and me, especially in regard to the way we play MMOs. He's the power-leveler; I'm the explorer. Our natural opposition has caused a lot of contention as we attempt to push our individual play styles onto one another. Try as we might, we continue to wrangle over the question: who's got the better approach to MMOs?Posted Mar 1, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

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