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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: Your Dream MMO in One Picture

Posted by MikeB Monday May 27 2013 at 5:18AM
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We're going to do things a little different this week. For this week's Community Spotlight, we're focusing on the thread, "Describe your dream-MMO with one picture" by timtrack.

Don't try to explain features or whatever. Just post one picture that resembles the mood/feeling you're looking for.





Me? I'm sharing mine with mindw0rk:

How about you? Link to your photo in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: Favorite MMO NPC

Posted by MikeB Sunday May 19 2013 at 9:36PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Your favorite NPC in MMO?" by Emrendil.

My favorite NPC currently is Fionasinna the Vivid, a dye vendor in Rift. Love here outfit. Almost always when I log in to Rift I go visit here. Too bad she doesn't talk much :)

Anyway, is there any NPC out there that you particularly like?

Read below for some highlights from the thread!

ZombieKenn picks "Budd" from WoW: Cataclysm:

WoW Cata: Budd

I'm saaaailing!
Out on a boat... way far away from the dock...
Into the wind with the sky and everything...
Oooh... shiny!

*Budd jumps overboard*

free2play picked Momodi from FF14:

Momodi FF14

She was sassy. She had help though because there was Lalafell at the first camp, you had to turn in crafting quests to and I always wanted to punt her out on to a cactus. It didn't matter what grade you got on your craft, 0 to 300, "I suppose it will have to do". She irked me.

Sevenstar61 enjoyed SWTOR's Lord Mechedas for his entertaining VO:

SWTOR has plenty of really cool NPCs. For some reason for me the most memorable was Lord Medechas from Belsavis. I am always excited when I go to see this guy in my countless alts LOL. His voiceover  is the best in SWTOR

My favorite NPC is City of Villains' Westin Phipps. While CoV was a fun game, you didn't really feel like a cold-hearted villain until you undertook the missions offered by Phipps later in the game. Poisoning food, destroying books meant for schoolchildren, and even kidnapping a teacher and turning her over to Arachnos knowing you've sealed her to a fate of torture and who knows what else. Phipps is a real bastard and anyone who played City of Villains to level cap will likely remember him for the deplorable tasks he sets you on.

What are your favorite MMO NPCs? Share 'em with us in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: Squandered Potential

Posted by MikeB Sunday May 12 2013 at 11:41PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "What MMO do you believe had the best potential but failed in execution?" by Esorono.

This is the thread of the MMOs that could have been. Some MMOs out on the market had great potentials, they promised great mechanics, fluid combat, great graphics, ect. But then you log in and just notice the game fell flat on their face and never recover years later because the developers just don't seem to care. The games that make you say "This game could have been a lot of fun if the developers decided to save it." What MMO do you believe had the most potential but failed in execution?

Read on below for a couple of highlights from the thread!

Martinmas notes the failure of MXO:

I will say the Matrix Online just because of the IP alone. Talk about a  setting that just seems like a no-brainer for the perfect MMOG.

Tholdornas brings up the short-lived The Chronicles of Spellborn:

I´d say Chronicles of Spellborn. I only played it shortly due to the 2-week-trial when it launched, but lost interest ... I don´t even know why, exactly. I always thought the skill system was brilliant and PVP was fun as hell (coming from a non-PVP player). On the other hand, combat looked quite unspectacular and most of the endgame was politics and stuff, controlling different parts of the world. My lucky guess is that it wasn´t the right time back then (2006, if i remember right) to introduce a sandboxy themepark that TCoS was. Such a shame, had a stunning graphical style, too (second best imho, only beaten by Shin Megami Tensei:Imagine).

Gorwe echoes many others in the thread with his WAR pick:

WAR-I didn't even expect RvR(or even knew what it was back in the day), but it felt good. Art was awesome as were some of stories there and ToK and RvR. It also introduced me to Warhammer fantasy(prior to playing WAR I thought that WHFB sucked donkey ass and after playing it, I fel in love with WHFB). Anyhow, this game fails on so many levels that it is ridiculous. It could've been DAoC 2 in Warhammer. It could have been WoW in Warhammer. It wasn't either. It was some strange mix with only marketing(banner ads) directed towards Hardcore PvP player, instead of all of us Warhammer fans. Not to mention bugs, weird working atmosphere in Mythic, blatant lies from mr.Barnett and so forth. You can say whatever you want about Tor/Vanguard/GW 2/AoC-but all of those games are rather playable and FUN right now. WAR never left its hellhole.

I could probably be here all night going through our Game List and picking MMOs that would be a great fit for this topic, but I am going to go ahead and limit myself to one:

The Matrix Online: Echoing what Martinmas essentially said, The Matrix IP fit the MMO genre like a glove. After all, what is the Matrix itself if not the ultimate MMO? Sure, it wasn't voluntary, but it was basically an example of the best virtual reality one could ever dream of. The MMO was a huge favorite of mine for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, due to the game's undercooked state and the fact the studio didn't capitalize on getting this game out before the Wachowskis' ruined the series with the sequels, the game just fell flat with most of the MMO populace.

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

Community Spotlight: Your First Feeling

Posted by MikeB Sunday May 5 2013 at 7:55PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "How was your very first feeling when you logged in for the first time in a MMORPG?" by Torgrim.

For me It was quite odd, I used to play Quake and other MP games but when I first logged into Ultima Online I felt I didn't belong there.

The chat was going and I the noob was there for the first time in a new world of gaming, I had no qlue what to do and I was scared to even write in chat to ask questions because for me this was a new experience for me, not like Quake.

Still I felt for the first time in my life that this was global, I played with Americans, Kiwis, Germans, French, Canadians in the same world in the same game.

This was really my best experience of MMO gaming, the virgin fruits.

How was your ride for the first time?

DrunkWolf describes his first feelings in the world of Asheron's Call:

It was pretty crazy at first, i got dropped off into Dereth ( asherons call ) with some bread a knife apples and no clue wtf to do. before i knew it i had bodys all over the place, running for my life from wasps and drudges and finally i made my way to a town where i met up with some people and they showed me the ropes.

it was a pretty wild experience to sit back and think that i was playing a character in another world. I could go anywhere and do anything i wanted. hell just traveling to other towns to meet new people was cool, in that game you didnt advance to new areas depending on levels. people actually called the towns home and hung out in them.

Briansho migrated from games like Quake to Ultima Online:

I migrated from Quake TF back in the day to Ultima Online! It was wild logging in for the first time and seeing people run by me! At first everyone was trying to raise fighting skills on dummies throughout town. There were also really long lines and waiting to get reagents for spells. The NPC merchants/server couldn't keep up with the demand.

Stepping outside I quickly learned I needed to get my hiding skill. Reputation was a big thing and people knew who they could trust and who to stay away from. Guilds formed and communities grew stronger. There were very few Grandmasters of any skill on the server. You could remodel your character by letting skills decay and increasing others. No 2 characters were exactly the same. Even bard were a playable class. I GMed musicianship, peacemaking, and provocation. People would try to attack me but couldn't stand a chance against a provoked wisp.

Eventually whiners infiltrated the UO stratics forums and started making demands to the developers to change the game to fit their playstyles. The developers got spooked and started making changes to try to make them happy and people started leaving.

VastoHorde didn't even know what an MMO truly was when he first logged into Lineage II:

Lineage 2 was my first mmo I logged into and I did not even know what a mmo really was. I thought it was an online game like Diablo or Baldurs Gate. Never did I know it was thousands of players in the same world as me. All I did everday was run outside of town and kill mobs till I got killed and logged off. Did that for the whole trial month and of course I did not sub. It was not till I tried private servers about a year later did I find out what a mmo really was. Did private servers for about a year before I went back to retail and have been there ever since.

Gosh, I remember my first time logging into Star Wars Galaxies. I forget what the actual starting town on Tatooine was, it may have been Mos Eisley. In any case, there were tons of people everywhere and an incredibly confusing interface set in front of me. Anyone who played SWG knows that the controls and interface were something you definitely needed to get used to. But what stuck out most of all was all the gibberish in chat. The different species spoke different languages and I remember people standing around willing to teach other players the languages so that they could all understand each other.

Believe it or not, this notion wasn't actually alien to me (pun intended!). I used to play Star Wars MUDs that also had learnable languages, but I was sure surprised to see this in an MMO. SOE eventually abandoned the concept and I believe all players knew all the languages by default by some point, but it definitely added to the confusion of starting out in a game like that.

What was your first MMO experience like? Share your tales with us in the comments below!