In the comments of a recent Daily Grind, MOP commenter Sally reminded me that a certain MOP writer who shall remain nameless (Larry!) had an absurd number of Star Wars Galaxies accounts, and one might argue that while one sub to such a game isn’t pay-to-win, a whole ton of them might be, particularly in an economy-centric game like SWG. The interesting thing about SWG was that the diminishing returns on all those accounts: The human’s time was the limiting reagent. Yes, having another 10-20 lots per account for harvesters would bring in AFK money, but it might not be worth the human’s time to actually go deal with the harvies (or factories or storage houses) past a certain level of wealth; you could make more money in the same amount of time doing other, far less boring things. But there was definitely a sweet spot in the 2-5 account range, where you could run one of every crafter and create enough busywork to fill an entire day. I found four accounts overwhelming but … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Should running multiple MMO accounts be considered pay-to-win?
Last week, in the comments under the Bless optional subscription brouhaha article, I made an offhand comment that apparently got MOP commenter Sally’s gears grinding. I was trying to sort through why Bless fans are mad, and I wrote, “Neowiz has been promising no P2W for months, but it’s really hard to have an optional sub that isn’t pay-to-win.” Sally didn’t disagree but said it was a “shock” to see it spelled out on Massively OP of all places: “In the current free-to-play climate, I see [the MOP] community as one of the last bastions for subscriptions. So a shot at subs from here struck me as ‘et tu, Brute?'” And Sally’s right! A lot of MMORPG vets enjoy F2P and B2P games but also hate double-dipping, and the subscription, or at least a mandatory sub without the usual gamblebox and pay-to-win trappings, is one way to guarantee healthy game design for the players. On the other hand, if I’m honest, I … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Is it possible for an MMORPG to offer an optional sub that isn’t pay-to-win?
Because I’m always playing the World of Warcraft auction house, I spend a lot of time hanging out in the Stormwind branch as a result. Other than cursing the Horde jerks that think it’s funny to run in and slaughter the auctioneers, I’ve observed that once an hour, one of the auctioneer’s sons comes in to bring his mother some food. It’s just a small script that exists solely to be one of thousands of small details that make up this particular game world, and while it’s just “flavor,” I find it an essential part to making places like Azeroth feel alive and fleshed-out. I love little details like that, such as tiny scripted events, little art details, or environmental storytelling in MMORPGs. What small details in your games have you noticed and appreciated? 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 … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: What small details in MMOs have you noticed?
Earlier this month, Pantheon’s community team tweeted out a question that keeps coming back to me: “What motivates you to play an MMORPG for long periods of time, as in months, sometimes, years?” My first reaction was a pretty common one I bed and was true for me for a long time: friends and guildies! I certainly played some games far longer than I would have otherwise because I wanted to hang out with friends (EverQuest in particular is coming to mind). But in recent years, when I already “see” my friends and guildies every day in external chats, I’d found games need some other draw too. Housing is probably the biggest one. I don’t usually get sucked in for dailies or anything like that, but give me a house that I love and want to keep up – that I’ll not only log in for but pay for, as my continuing Ultima Online fees prove. What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time? Every morning, the Massively Overpowered … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?
So you want to attract a whole lot of ghosts to your house for some reason. Well, far be it from us to stop you! Here are some important tips to consider for this goal. Make sure you live in a reality where ghosts are real. This one probably isn’t one, based on lots of evidence, but if you’re really gung-ho about it don’t let that stop you. Location is important. If your house is located on an ancient burial ground, so much the better. If your house is located on an ancient burial ground which was itself located on a burial ground, great. If not, just go dig up some burial grounds and dump them in your front yard, that should anger up the spirits just fine. Provide a welcoming atmosphere. A bright, airy, well-lit living space is great for human beings, but it’s like living in a tin room full of dog farts for ghosts. Make sure the place is dank, full of mildew, and covered in cobwebs. Offer all the accoutrements of home. Considerate haunted homeowners make sure … [Read more...] about WRUP: What to do if you want to attract a lot of ghosts to your house for some reason edition