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"British Mark IV Tadpole tank". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:British_Mark_IV_Tadpole_tank.jpg#/media/File:British_Mark_IV_Tadpole_tank.jpg
British Mark IV Tadpole tank - Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Recently I read a couple articles about Gaming and Self-esteem (part 1, part 2) at Gamers Decrypted (go read it! It is a pretty good blog!). It made me think about my weird relationship with tank classes in MMOs. It is so weird that it really makes me think if I have some kind of masochist tendency.

But to explain it perhaps I should break into what I love about tanking and the things I hate about it. It might still not make any sense but it will probably be less rambly than if I just try to write into one big piece. Also, keep in mind this all related to group content. Solo and raid content is a completely different matter. In fact I don't even like raiding so I couldn't even make any commentary about that.

...continue reading "My love-hate relationship with tanks"

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Everybody who played games at some point spent some time thinking "If only this game had feature X from game A and feature Y from game B it would be the perfect game!". Obviously MMOs are not immune to that kind of thinking, in fact, Massively had a column called MMO Blender where the writers would describe their perfect MMOs if they could mix and match features from different existing games. This seemed like an interesting exercise in thought so I decided to create my own FrankenMMO too. I will be just sticking to the mechanical parts though because genre and setting are like ice cream, they are all good in their own ways. While mechanics it is much easier to discuss in an objective way and debate the merits and flaws of each one.

I will try to  give examples of games that has the features I am talking about but I am pretty sure I am missing tons of examples. So keep that in mind, please.

Oh, and if anyone needed proof that  I should not ever be put in charge of designing an MMO (or any game, actually) then this will be it. Unless someone wants to make the Titanic of MMOs, in that case I am your man! :p

...continue reading "My FrankenMMO"

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A journal of someone who had to deal with Qho

Recently Joseph Skyrim of JVT Workshop made an interesting post about the Halloween event in Age of Conan and the way they presented its story. Basically, he says that since the story is told mostly in instances and the events are a lot smaller in scale it feels like his actions mattered more than in the traditional tropes of MMO where you only feel as much of a hero as the next Joe who slayed the big villain of the week.

That made me think about my recent experiences in Everquest 2 and how what may be a shift for their way of storytelling made it feel like my actions mattered more in that game. So this post will be about that and my thoughts about the other ways that I've seem stories told in MMOs through my years playing them. Keep in mind I am not claiming any of these are factually superior or inferior to each other. It is more some thinking aloud and sharing my feelings on these methods. If anything it might be a starter for a good discussion.

Another thing to note is that usually MMOs nowadays employ a mix of all these methods with varying results. So there isn't any reason any of them should be mutually exclusive nor would I want that. To me they are all different tools with their effectiveness depending a lot more on how  the developers uses it than their particular nature.

...continue reading "Musings about storytelling in MMOs"

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Syl, of the Raging Monkeys blog, made a pretty interesting post about all the ways World of Warcraft changed her. I haven't played World of Warcraft nearly as much as her (it was just a brief stint during Vanilla then a few months later during Burning Crusade) but it made me think about all the ways MMORPGs over the years changed my tastes and expectations in terms of gaming. So, this is my list of those and the MMORPGs who influenced the most on that. Oh, for convenience, I will just copy the format of her post. :p

Syl, of the Raging Monkeys blog, made a pretty interesting post about all the ways World of Warcraft changed her. I haven't played World of Warcraft nearly as much as her (it was just a brief stint during Vanilla then a few months later during Burning Crusade) but it made me think about all the ways MMORPGs over the years changed my tastes and expectations in terms of gaming. So, this is my list of those and the MMORPGs who influenced the most on that.

Oh, for convenience, I will just copy the format of her post. :p

...continue reading "How MMORPGs twisted me"