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Exclusive Columns

Columnists - Tales from the Neighborhood

In this weekly column, Jessica Cook pokes around the MMO blogosphere to get at the pulse of the greater community and recounts what she finds.

When Our Games Disappoint Us

General - Columns

What happens when an MMO you enjoy makes decisions that go against your preferred playstyle? Do you rant and rave, or accept the new direction for what it is? We look at how one disappointed blogger processed news about raiding in Guild Wars 2.Posted Sep 15, 2015 by Jessica Cook

The Second Act of MMOs

General - Columns

WildStar seemed to quickly fall out of favour after its launch last year, but suddenly the game is once again a hot topic for MMO bloggers. Are there second acts in the lifecycle of an MMO?Posted Aug 25, 2015 by Jessica Cook

Blaugust, Gamescom, and WoW: Legion

General - Columns

There are some weeks when I sit down to write this column and it takes me a while to find four or five really great links to share with you all. I have a number of considerations when selecting blogs to highlight, including making sure I don’t repeat the same sites too often and finding posts about “current” issues for MMO and RPG fans. Occasionally finding the perfect links can take longer than actually writing the column!Posted Aug 11, 2015 by Jessica Cook

Supporting John Smedley

General - Columns

John Smedley, outspoken former CEO of Daybreak Games, stepped down this week. Although Smedley hasn’t officially stated the reason behind the change, the popular theory is that it has something to do with his on-going conflict with hacker group Lizard Squad. Lizard Squad is thought to be responsible for not only DDoS attacks on Daybreak’s servers, but also calling in a bomb threat last year on a plane that Smedley was about to board.Posted Jul 28, 2015 by Jessica Cook

Waiting for WoW’s Next Expansion

General - Columns

How long is too long to wait for an expansion? That’s the question many WoW players are asking themselves after learning that content patch 6.2 will likely be the final one for Warlords of Draenor. This week we look at the hopeful but skeptical response from the blogosphere.Posted Jul 8, 2015 by Jessica Cook

The Blogosphere Reacts to E3

General - Columns

E3 is an exciting week for avid gamers for a variety of reasons. But aside from the announcements, reviews, and special events, E3 is exciting for another reason that’s closer to home: it’s a week where the feeling of community between gamers is at its strongest.Posted Jun 23, 2015 by Jessica Cook

The Influence of Players on Game Design

General - Columns

The recent debate over flying in Warlords of Draenor has the blogosphere considering an important question: how much of an MMO belongs to the players, and how much should be left in the hands of the developers?Posted Jun 16, 2015 by Jessica Cook

Passing on Pre-Orders

General - Columns

On Wednesday, June 3, RPG fans were treated to their first official look at Fallout 4. There’s no feature list, in-game footage, or release date, but pre-orders are already open. Is pre-ordering now really a good idea?Posted Jun 9, 2015 by Jessica Cook

The Debate Over Pay to Win

General - Columns

The way we pay for games is the hot topic yet again in the blogosphere. Is “pay to win” a bad thing for MMOs, or should we just accept it as the future of the industry?Posted Jun 3, 2015 by Jessica Cook

What Made You a Gamer?

General - Columns

The Newbie Blogger Initiative has been continuing through the month of May. One of the weekly NBI events is called the “Talkback Challenge” and the question for this week is an interesting one: “What made you a gamer?”Posted May 20, 2015 by Jessica Cook

The Meaning of Community

General - Columns

One word that comes up over and over again in relation to MMOs is community. But does “community” mean much anymore to modern MMO players and developers?Posted May 13, 2015 by Jessica Cook

Gamers, Be Good Sports

General - Columns

May just started and it’s already shaping up to be an exciting month for game bloggers! This week we’re looking at posts about the aftermath of Valve’s mod-selling decisions, television executives who make jokes about eSports, and the start of the Newbie Blogger Initiative.Posted May 6, 2015 by Jessica Cook

Mad About Mods

General - Columns

What’s the hot story this week? We’re highlighting posts from the blogosphere about SWTOR operations tuning, Blizzard’s eSports triumphs and WoW token adjustments, and, yes, Steam’s Mod Marketplace.Posted Apr 29, 2015 by Jessica Cook

A Disappointing Week

General - Columns

As any fan knows, part of loving video games is also being disappointed in them every now and then. This week on Tales from the Neighborhood we’re looking at four disappointed blog posts about Neverwinter, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy Record Keeper, and MMO communities in general, along with a couple of very positive posts about RIFT’s new wardrobe system.Posted Apr 22, 2015 by Jessica Cook

Subreddits, Twitch Channels, and Multi-Game Guilds

General - Columns

Is FFXIV more fun than Warlords of Draenor? Are subreddits a good replacement for official forums? Is there anything for MMO players to watch on Twitch right now? We’ll learn what the blogosphere has to say on the topic of these questions and more!Posted Apr 15, 2015 by Jessica Cook

Developer Appreciation Week

General - Columns

Do players mistreat developers? Are we too negative about the games we don’t like? It’s Developer Appreciation Week in the blogosphere and Tales from the Neighborhood is looking at a few great posts in support those folks who work tirelessly to keep us entertained.Posted Apr 8, 2015 by Jessica Cook

New Games and Old Tricks

General - Columns

This week on Tales from the Neighborhood we’re looking at reviews and overviews for Pillars of Eternity and Crowfall, singing the praises of the current RPG market, and highlighting stories from the LOTRO and WildStar communities that you may have missed.Posted Apr 1, 2015 by Jessica Cook

Enter the Blogosphere

General - Columns

Tales from the Neighborhood brings you highlights from the MMO and RPG blogosphere, and this week we’re taking a general survey of what has people writing and talking. Hot topics include Star Citizen fans’ denials that their game is pay-to-win, an insider’s view on what it’s like to win the EVE Online CSM election, and speculation on how long ArenaNet has been preparing for Heart of Thorns.Posted Mar 25, 2015 by Jessica Cook