Rags to riches
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Rags to riches

MMORPGs have a rags-to-riches problem. It’s one found in the roots of the pen-and-paper games that inspired the MUDs before them. Life for characters in these games is a progression ladder. They start as young, skilless, penniless adventurers, over and over. They’re told to climb that ladder to improve their skills and fortunes and fame. […]

The myth of the spoiled gamer
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The myth of the spoiled gamer

Occasionally, my realities collide, and I find gaming inspiration in strange places. My daughter, Coraline, was born earlier this summer (which should partly explain why I’ve been quiet here lately), and consequently I’ve been consumed by the joy of consulting parenting blogs when I’m awake at 4 in the morning. This is how I bumped […]

Designed downtime
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Designed downtime

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is going to be a terrible game, and I hope it gets made. I’ve heard this same phrase echoed around the Massively virtual offices a lot over the past week. I’ve uttered it myself, even though I’ve also taken to calling the game’s lead Brad “Designed Downtime” McQuaid because he’s […]

Deeps and mezzers
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Deeps and mezzers

Here’s how to tell whether you’re an old-school MMORPG player: Tell me what character archetypes make up the holy trinity, that fabled core combination of classes that makes or breaks a dungeon group. If you said tank, healer, and damage, you’re adorable and I love having you as a fellow player and you’re half right, […]

Seen any elves?
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Seen any elves?

If, like many MMO fans, you’re planning on embarking on a Tamrielic journey in The Elder Scrolls Online next spring, you might be wondering whether single-player Elder Scrolls titles are worth a playthrough in the interim, especially if you’ve never dipped into them before. I’m a huge fan of the series, having started with Daggerfall […]

The guilded age
1

The guilded age

Karen Bryan, Massively’s wonderfully level-headed guild and family columnist, recently wrote about the problem of absent guild leaders in modern MMOs. I certainly have no plans to quibble with her conclusion; she is absolutely correct when she says that modern MMOs have created complicated systems of ranks and privileges and achievements for guilds without also […]

Ignots 4 sell
5

Ignots 4 sell

Last Sunday, I partied with colleagues Eliot and Matt in Allods Online, which refused to cooperate with our simple desire to group. We were complaining over Skype about petty annoyances like not being able to team up on the newbie island and having to roll off for dropped quest items when in Allods’ defense I […]