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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Reason for Playing

Posted by MikeB Sunday February 24 2013 at 10:27PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Whats your main reason for playing a MMO game? " by Rhinotones.

In these forums many people talk about things they enjoy in a MMO that they are playing so I thought it would be interesting to see what results we would see in a poll. 



Rhinotones also offered a poll with a number of options to pick from, so let's see what the community has to say!

Amaranthar says:

I voted "alternate reality" because that most closely entails all that I want. But many of the other options are part of that.

Basically, I want the fantasy of a world that's "magical", and I want depth in a worldly sense. "Living" in a fantasy world, but not just living, I want excitement, lore, and that feeling of ancient danger and mystery.

Robokapp selects community interaction:

at it's core, because "I have a lot of time and MMOs take a lot of time". But relating to your questions, community interaction.

being a small dot among many other small dots and making big things together ... or breaking/killing big things together has a great appeal. Teamwork when going well is amazing regardless of which world it takes place in.

Rossboss is all about character progression:

I'm personally the guy who likes to figure out everything about classes. It's fun learning about how things work in video games in general. I play for character progression, I spare no class and leave no skill unturned. I also love to make a persona for my characters whether or not others know that I am doing so.

I got my start playing text based MUDs and the allure there was escaping to an entirely new world and role-playing the part of whatever I was playing. I didn't get into actual MMOs until Star Wars Galaxies, in part due to the fact I didn't feel the visual fidelity was there yet. It's kind of like comparing a book to a movie. When reading, your only limitation is your imagination, so text-based MUDs were great. But stepping into a game like say, EverQuest, I felt the graphics weren't quite there yet and so I wouldn't feel able to immerse myself into the game world.

Star Wars Galaxies, however, was visually impressive for its time and also a Star Wars game, an IP dear to my heart, and so I finally made the plunge. SWG also gave me the opportunity to really play in a Star Wars 'world' as opposed to a 'game' and that's really what I look for in MMOs. Unfortunately, most contemporary MMOs (including my current go-to, SWTOR) have essentially abandoned this pursuit, so I've had to find other reasons for playing, such as large scale, meaningful PvP (or RvR, if you like).

Why do you play MMOs? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: What Keeps You Coming Back?

Posted by MikeB Sunday February 17 2013 at 9:37PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "What keeps you coming back to an MMO?" by ForTheCity.

I was wondering what kept people going back to the MMOs they play. Is it the gameplay? story? or even the friends you play with. 

I keep jumping to multiple games and while my friends like to stick with one. why is that?

What keeps you guys coming back? Read on for some highlights!

Aerowyn offers a couple of reasons:

I like MMOs with a lot of variety in classes and are very alt friendly.. As in I could level multiple characters and not repeat content.. When I'm very restricted in terms of class/ build I tend to loose interest fast... That and fun PvP keeps me aroind

buegur requires a meaningful endgame (outside of gear grinds) to hold his attention:

For a MMO to hold my attention it must have more than high end gear obtained from doing raids/dungeons.  SWG had player towns for a sense of belonging, non-combat skills like entertainer which led to fun interactions, and crafting that required constant searching for the best resources and made things that mattered in the game.  DAoC had the sense of community in the realm/guild you belomged to and the RvR actually made PvP mean something.  I would say give us something to exist for at the high end other than just grabing gear.

For Vorch, it's all about his time investment:

My time investment and attachment to my characters.

And truly, it's not related to stats. It's all in the looks. When I get that perfect look for a character I've made in GW2 or Vindictus, I've created something that is MINE.

It's no longer a female human warrior with a greatsword. It's Fin Deasph.

As for me? I honestly don't know anymore. I've only had two MMOs hold me for years at a time and they were Star Wars Galaxies and City of Heroes. I got into both of these games at the very beginning of my foray into MMOs and I'm sure that played a factor, but I think it was the promise of meaningful updates to the game that really kept me around. Star Wars Galaxies was a game about systems more than content and while City of Heroes added tons of content, it was also expanding its systems frequently as well. I think it was that feeling that the game was growing and changing that kept my interest or had me returning to check out new things.

These days? MMO game updates are frankly a bit formulaic. Developers are often adding features to their games that merely catch them up to other games in the genre or focus completely on adding new content to the gear grind treadmill. Sadly, this is even true when it comes to expansions. When's the last time you heard of an MMO expansion along the lines of Jump to Lightspeed for Star Wars Galaxies? This is the sort of thing I want to see again and it's what would keep me interested long term. Instead, expansions usually consists of a couple of new zones and tons of new content, maybe a new class or two, and some peripheral feature addition. Bleh.

What keeps you coming back? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: Most Beautiful World

Posted by MikeB Sunday February 10 2013 at 9:35PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we're focusing on the thread, "The most beautiful world", by PWN_FACE.

PWN_FACE says:

I like having a game where I don't have to kill all the time. I have Chivalry when I want my pvp  and I want it bloody. I have a lot of games for pvp. But I really want something where I can just relax, do some fishing, gathering, taking in the sites, hunting when I feeling like farming or grinding something. 

WoW was fun for a couple of years. I leveled really slowly and enjoyed doing all the stuff you could do in Azeroth. But I'm done there now. I think Rift's Telara is an attactive world, as well, and I like that they have fishing.  

What is the most beautiful mmorpg world you can actually go out and enjoy without having to fight all the time? Is there fishing, etc?


What are your favorite MMO worlds? Read on for some of the thread highlights!

csthao picks Ultima Online:

Ultima Online

Not a 3D world, but its still very beautiful game. Run around the world, see how people design their homes, or just wander the forests, and you'll most likely find a dungeon. Fishing you say? Get a boat go fishing and you'll end up snagging a sea creature. Caught a prized fish? Mount it! Like collecting fishes? Keep em in your awuarium.

Ultima Online give you the type of freedom you'd expect from any game and more! It's ROLE PLAYING at its best.

Scalpless is a fan of Guild Wars 2's Tyria:

GW2 is my personal favorite because of how diverse and detailed its locations are. Most of its locations have relatively low mob density, so you can run around and explore without fighting endless waves of mobs. It also has very organic mob placements, so you'll rarely run into a bunch of bandits walking on a grass patch with some bears and tigers between them. In fact, mobs fight each other properly, so you'll often see tigers hunting smaller animals, bandits fighting centaurs, etc. No fishing, but lots of underwater exploration and combat.

The engine used in TSW and AoC is better technically, but AoC isn't detailed enough for me. TSW is beautiful in its own way, but it's not as good in motion and has too many mobs. It definitely gets my "best light shafts ever" reward.

WoW is pretty good, too, but you know what it looks like.

sanshi44 is a fan of classic Norrath:

This may sound strange to you guys but the most beautiful world ive played in is Norrath (Everquest one) although it may not have the highest end graphic and textures than other games but that it not where the beauty of that world exsists. The beauty of norrath is the feeling of the zones/areas as you explore. Not a single zone/area looks or feels the same as another one in the world there all had there own set of feeling and uniqueness this is what made this world so Beautiful you can explore one area and know you will never come across another place like it no matter where you went. All the cities had there own different feeling to them for example

Qeynos the human capaital on the west coast of Antonica was a bussling city that felt happy

Freeport on the other hand on the east coast of Antonica when hiking through the dessert you reach the coastling and gaze at the empowering might of the city you feels its power however once u delve into the city and unturn a few stones you get a feeling of sadness in the city being filled with corruption however there still hope that the palidins hold the northern part of they city still which is free of corruption.

Rivervale located in the center of Qeynos and Freeport is home to the hafling, It has a peaceful yet somewhat mysterious feel to it, It was like the peace surrounded by the dark, I think maybe that was because it was somewhat difficult to travel to and from at lower levels its kinda got the feeling of being that one peaceful happy place that welcomes you after a long hard dangerous journmey to it.

Halas north of Qeynos is a city covered in snow and ice, the home of the barbarian the freezing wind and icy snow fall on this city though out the whole year yet it felt like home to those after traveling through the snowy plains and icy paths you come across this white gem of antonica despite being covererd in snow and ice it had a somewhat warm feel to the city.

I can go one about how every zone felt in norrath however i would be creating quite a wall of text haha so i think ill stop here lol its gives you quite a understanding to what im trying to get at im hoping. The true beauty of a world for me comes from the feeling and the unique looks of areas and zones and in norrath every zone had its unique feeling or looks and to me that what made it the most beautiful world ove played in.

As for me, gosh it's so hard to just pick one...

I'm not the biggest Lord of the Rings fan, but LOTRO's world is truly gorgeous. The Shire, in particular, is as vibrant and beautiful as it looked in the films.

Age of Conan features large sweeping vistas, tall mountains, harsh terrain, lush jungle and more. The Eiglophian Mountains area in AOC is one of my favorite MMO zones ever; it's simply gorgeous.

Star Wars Galaxies' planets were really gorgeous as well, especially if you cranked up the graphics and could see all the flora for long distances at a time. Honestly, now that I think about it, I can't believe how beautiful that game was for something released in 2003. If you could go back today, I think many would still find the environments impressive. The points-of-interest scattered throughout the game were great easter eggs for those who saw the films and especially for those who have read tons of the Expanded Universe material.

If I had to pick one out of all the games mentioned above, it would have to be Star Wars Galaxies.

What are your picks? Share 'em with us in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: Worst Ever Purchases

Posted by MikeB Sunday February 3 2013 at 3:15PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Worst ever purchases?" by tixylix. Tixylix says:

For me it has to be.

SWTOR - The Collectors Edition.

I knew the game was crap, I played it in beta and hated it and yet for some reason I still got caught up in the hype as it had been so long since I played another MMO.

Guild Wars 2.

Everyone kept saying it was the most innovative MMO in years and it was completely different to everything else. I played it and I found it to be the exact same experience as before only with no world PVP which sucks even more. Instead there was the keep PVP from WAR but no mounts so it was constant long pointless runs.

I could also list, WAR, LOTRO, AoC, Dark and Light.... Remember that one? lol.

I keep getting caught up because there hasn't been an MMO I've liked since SWG was ruined on Nov 15th 2005. I dunno why I keep doing it to myself, I just want that experience of being in a world and yet none of these games feel like worlds, all just feel like games.

What are you guys saying are your worst ever purchases? Read on for highlights!

tawess offers up the Tabula Rasa CE:

Tabula Rasa CE (it had really cool real world items... But i can not say i got any real use out of the game.)

Other then that i can not really think of anything i have bought that i regret (gaming wise that is) and truth be told i have been fairly lucky when it comes to CE's and other expensive stuff as i have managed to pic, up both a Wings of Liberty CE and the SW:ToR CE for 30-40$ each and i got all three of the Guild Wars stand-alone boxes for that price.

So even if i am not fully statisfied with a game i rarley feel that i did not get my money worth,

I still love my WAR CE... It have the mass of small aircraft carrier and look so nice.

Slapshot1188's worst was Mortal Online:

Mortal Online

Cost $75 for the standard box version of the game.  They never sent out functioning release discs to everyone that bought it.  2.5 years after release people (and these are their "fans")  argue that it's too early to market the game because it's "not ready" yet.

BartDaCat almost went for FFXIV, but ended up picking Diablo 3 instead:

I WOULD say Final Fantasy XIV, but I'm actually looking forward to A Realm Reborn, so the big "Craaaaaap-tastic" prize would have to go to Diablo III.

It was apparent all too soon why they only let you complete the first part of Act 1 during Beta.

At least the talented folks that split Blizzard to make Torchlight and TL 2 made up for it-- AND for a fraction of the price.

For me, it was World of Warcraft. After being badgered to try the game for many, many years by my friends. I finally plunked down some cash and picked the game up. I found myself bored to tears and never made it past level 20. Blech.

What were your worst ever purchases? Share 'em with us in the comments below!