I have said before when discussing City of Heroes that it was not a game that really supported alts terribly well. There are a lot of other games (such as World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic) that do a better job of ensuring that your alts get benefits from your main character. But CoH did give you lots of space for alts, and perhaps most importantly, it made sure you absolutely always had something to do with your alts. This was a wonderful and dangerous thing. The reality is that if I can conceivably have alts in a game, I will have alts. And if I can’t conceivably have alts (such as in Final Fantasy XIV) I will still have alts. My character slots are usually full to bursting. I don’t care whether or not they’re necessary, you can make me get through a grindingly slow storyline multiple times and I will still do it. I need my alts. But there are people who have two or three characters at most, and others who I’m told have just one character and … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: How many alts do you usually have in an MMO?
Hell hath no sarcasm like MMO gamers who find a particular NPC to be a little too annoying, repetitive, or otherwise goofy. Then the memes crop up, ire is unleashed, and no one from that point onward can take that character seriously. Some of the more notable MMO NPCs that I’ve loved to mock include Guild Wars’ boneheaded Prince Rurik (and his nutcracker mouth), the oh-so-very-very-slow Sara Oakheart in Lord of the Rings Online, and as of late, the “there’s much to be done” Khadgar in World of Warcraft. Let fly your quips and quibbles today by ripping on one or more NPCs from MMORPGs that are completely mock-worthy. Why do they annoy you and what have you and your friends said about them? Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Which MMO NPC do you love to mock?
Toxicity in online gaming just keeps popping up – specifically as it pertains to chat and commenting. MOP reader Tanek pointed us to a thread about Standing Stone Games, which is apparently blocking specific words in LOTRO’s chat, including supposedly “political” words, leading some players to demand the company publish the full list to prove to said players they’re not “biased” (not gonna happen). Reader Stephen then linked us to the amusing story of a Norwegian site that’s developed a WordPress plugin that requires people to take a quiz on an article’s contents before being allowed to comment. Finally, there’s Saga of Lucimia, which this week spent its Monday dev blog discussing the Fair Play Alliance and its own home-grown play nice policy – and the fact that it will take a zero-tolerance, insta-ban approach to dealing with racism (we’ll assume other bigotry too). All of these are approaches to handling … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Are blacklists, quizzes, and threats effective at reducing text toxicity in MMOs?
Forget group-kicks: If you’re a tool in Sea of Thieves, your own shipmates might just opt to stuff you in the brig – “a holding cell located on the bottom of the ship that disruptive players can be sent to after a democratic vote is held by their shipmates,” explains Polygon in a piece last week. The idea is to give toxic or obnoxious players a chance to apologize or shape up, even roleplay their way out of the situation they created. This kind of penalty isn’t entirely new to MMOs, whether we’re talking jail in Ultima Online or Age of Wushu, but it’s certainly creative, right? At least as long as the majority of your ship isn’t toxic and you’re the one being shoved into a cell. What’s the most creative in-game way you’ve seen an online game studio thwart toxicity? Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: What’s the most creative way MMOs thwart toxicity?
Earlier this month, Overwatch made headlines when a player posted up a behavioral therapy chart his wife – who happens to be a therapist – made him fill out after he complained about his game losses. The idea is that you write down your “negative thoughts” about the game experience, then reflect on that to see how your temporary emotion has distorted your opinions, then craft a positive frame instead. It’s funny – but also pretty useful, and even Overwatch Redditors were asking for a blank sheet so they could try it themselves. That brings us to today’s Daily Grind: How do you deal with your anger in an MMO? Do you complain to guildies, log out, bang your desk, go work out to burn off some steam? Are you handling it as well as the Overwatch Redditor and trying to learn from what went wrong? What do you do, exactly, when your teammates turn out to be “hot garbage”? My wife told me to fill out this form after I kept complaining about … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: How do you deal with your anger in MMORPGs?