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Exclusive Editorials

Exclusive Editorials

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

Free-to-Play Fatigue Part II: Bad News for Game Design

General

Last week I discussed how the free-to-play model has altered both game industry business practice and the collective profile of the gaming public, neither necessarily for the better. This week, I'd like to talk about the negative effect free-to-play is having on the creative side of the game industry. Posted Feb 16, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

Free-to-Play Fatigue: Are Micro-transactions Losing Their Appeal?

World of Warcraft

This week, Blizzard announced that its subscription base for World of Warcraft rose by more than 100,000. Since all logic says that a near-decade-old MMO should be tailing off, that's something of a surprise—especially since game industry augurs have spent the last year or so predicting the death of subscription-based games. Is the turnaround just a fluke, or could it mean gamers aren't as gung-ho about free-to-play as business analysts say they are? Posted Feb 9, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

What the Mature Rating Means for ESO

Elder Scrolls Online

"Mature Rating" is the Entertainment Software Rating Board designation of M (age 17+), and the official rating given by the ESRB to The Elder Scrolls Online. The game was just over 60 days from launch when they were struck with this news. In a post by Zenimax, they said, “While we disagree with the ESRB’s determination, we do not plan to challenge the rating, and we are unwilling to change the game’s content to achieve a different rating.” Posted Feb 5, 2014 by Ryan Getchell

Thoughts on the Collector's Edition Controversy

Elder Scrolls Online

It’s crunch time at ZeniMax Online Studios. The developers can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is a mob of consumers, some with pitchforks and torches, waiting to finally play their game. Due out on 4-4-14 for the PC and Mac version the Elder Scrolls Online is one of the most highly anticipated MMOs to come out in years. But you all already know that.Posted Jan 30, 2014 by Robert Lashley

WoW Clone - You Say That Like It's a Bad Thing

World of Warcraft

It’s no secret that World of Warcraft inspires many people to great heights of passion, both because of their affection for or antipathy towards the game. In the nine years since WoW launched, every subsequent MMO has been compared to it in one way or another, usually by those who mean that comparison as an insult to the developers who made the game.Posted Jan 6, 2014 by Suzie Ford

My Own Kobayashi Maru

General

It was recently spread across the Internet that Mark Kern, CEO and Founder of Firefall developer Red 5 Studios, had left the company he started. Today, in a Christmas Day exclusive here at MMORPG.com, Mark's offering a statement towards that event, with perhaps a cryptic hint or two on what's next for him in videogame development.Posted Dec 25, 2013 by Mark Kern

Diving into A Realm Awoken

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

This week Square Enix finally added in the highly anticipated patch 2.1 known as A Realm Awoken. ARA is the first major content update for SEs reimagined Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Guild housing, player versus player combat, and a slew of new features made their way into the game with this update. Read on for our impressions of all the new content so far.Posted Dec 19, 2013 by Robert Lashley