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The RPG Files: New Year’s Resolutions for RPG Fans

By Christopher Coke on January 06, 2017 | Columns | Comments

New Year’s Resolutions for RPG Fans

One more year has come and gone and that means it’s time to start looking forward again. Following a season of Best Ofs, where lively debate, cheers, and jeers mark the year’s end, starting over can be like a breath of fresh air. We’re free to set our eyes on all that 2017 has to bring - and as our list of upcoming RPGs proves, there’s a whole lot to look forward to. Today, let’s make some New Year’s resolutions of our own and make the most of the year that’s to be.

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Try a Game You Otherwise Wouldn’t

Over 2016, I made a point to dig at games and trends that didn’t sit right with me. I criticized the inundation of Steam with RPG Maker titles, visual novels, and dime a dozen “retro” RPGs. I also jumped on ARK: Survival Evolved when they cash-grabbed their way to a paid expansion for their unfinished Early Access game. We all give side eye to things outside of our comfort zone. These things are still worthy of public scorn.

My confession? I didn’t actually play any of those games except ARK. Not one. Let’s not be a crowd that throws the baby out with the bathwater. Over 2016, I passed by numerous games that weren’t “my thing.” But at a certain point, RPGs weren’t any of our things. We had to try them. This year, let’s resolve to keep an open mind and try a game or two we would otherwise pass by. Reviews and refunds are both tools to save our hides if we choose wrong.

Play a Game in a New Way

In Elder Scrolls games, I always go in with a plan about how I’ll make my character. Without fail, I eventually fall into the same mold: some kind of warrior that’s good with a bow and a spell or two. In MMOs, I’m the same way: rogue or wizard every time, otherwise I’m cutting out early. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone. It’s familiar, but it’s also a box to lock yourself in.

I recently reinstalled Skyrim. I’m going full-on wizard. It feels awkward. I don’t know which school to invest my skill points in. But you know what? The entire game feels new in a way it hasn’t in years. Changing things up is difficult, but it’s a great way to keep things fresh, even in a game you’ve already spent dozens of hours in.


This is NOT what we meant by “new way!”

Commit to Trying a New Genre

Adventure games, ya’ll. No really. A few years ago, I found myself writing for a small site, reviewing whatever games they were willing to throw my way. They were usually small titles that wouldn’t get attention anywhere else, games like The Raven or A New Beginning. Up to that point, I had never played a single adventure game in my life. I fell in love. I began seeking out bigger fish like Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us. I discovered that these games get at one piece of what I really love about RPGs: story, story, and more story. Telltale titles in particular shift under your feet as your roleplay your way through interactions. Sure, they don’t have the other pieces, like stats, and upgrades, and strategic combat. But that’s okay.

I hate hearing someone say that they “only” play one genre. I’m an RPG guy. I’m an MMO guy. It’s like when the third graders in my day job tell me that they hate reading: that just means you haven’t found the book for you yet.

Picking up a good adventure game, or something from any genre that catches your eye, may only hit on one or two things, but it might just hit them well enough to have an excellent time with.

This year, I commit to trying a genre I haven’t given fair time to. You should too.

Survival games, here I come?

Add Something Positive to the Gaming Community

Finally, the most important resolution of all. Let’s all commit to adding something positive to the gaming space this year. You don’t have to be a content creator to make a difference. Make a point to just be a little more positive than you were last year. Whether it’s on MMORPG, Reddit, or any site try to focus on what you have in common with other gamers. Relate with people, discuss instead of argue, and step back if something gets your goat.

While we’re keeping our online hangouts nice places to be, let’s also try to find at least some good, even in games we don’t like. Let’s be real, it’s easy to be a negative nancy. As a writer, the easiest articles in the world are the angry, negative, tear-it-all-down-and-don’t-think-twice pieces that get everyone else lighting torches in the process. What’s a lot harder is to be level headed and find some good with the bad. The same thing is true anytime we’re talking about these things. But you know what? Those are conversations that are a lot more fun, meaningful, and might cause someone to actually listen.

Enjoy 2017, friends. It’s going to be a great year to be an RPG gamer.

Quick Hits

It’s Diablo’s 20th anniversary and Blizzard is in the mood to celebrate with its fans. First, check out this great retrospective where Blizzard developer’s look back at the game’s storied history. Next, check out the preview video of the recently released anniversary path, then go over and read the complete patch notes. It’s time to delve some old school dungeons!

Did Microsoft just leak the release dates of Mass Effect: Andromeda and South Park: The Fractured But Whole? Well, they tried to anyways. Xbox posted a release date of March 31st for Mass Effect, however that was proven untrue when Bioware confirmed it was actually March 21st as previous rumors suggested. Good try, Microsoft! Other release dates included in the “leak” are South Park on March 30th, For Honor on February 13th, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands on March 5th, and Injustice on March 28th. Take it all with a grain of salt, but it’s probably safe to say these at least approximate their actual release targets.

While we’re on Mass Effect: Andromeda, be sure to check out the new trailer that came out of CES. In it, we get to see some of the menu systems and even more combat. Players seem to be a little concerned, however, as snippets make it seem like resetting your skills may be a bit too easy. Without only seconds to go on, I think it’s a bit too early to say. That said, it seems more and more like this will be the most action-centric RPG Bioware has released.

Finally, Ariana Grande will be joining the cast of Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius. Because… oh who really cares?  Listen, if she doesn’t have a Tongue Lash ability and picked up in a doughnut shop this entire thing is a big waste. Wait! I was supposed to be positive. Resolutions. Darn it.

Lastly, I’d just like to thank Suzie Ford for doing such a good job of writing up our news every week. She’s the first to post most of the news you’re likely to find on MMO outlets. Without her, MMORPG wouldn’t be the place that it is. Big new year cheers to Suzie!

Sound off below!

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.