A History With Stars Wars It would be a slight understatement if I were to say that Stars Wars has meant a lot to me over the years. It pretty much represents my childhood wrapped up with a neat little bow. The earliest memory I have is of seeing Star Wars at the local drive-in theater sometime around age two. I became absolutely obsessed with it, and according to my parents walked around the house pretending to be “Darfa Bader”. If nothing else it was the toys that kept the fires lit for me from the moment I started watching through the end of the original trilogy. I played and replayed the scenes from Star Wars so many times with the action figures, and in many ways it was my first foray into storytelling. Sure I started by simply mimicking what I saw on screen, but quickly branched out into telling my own elaborate stories revolving around the cast of characters I knew and loved. I eventually moved on like all kids do to other … [Read more...] about The Force Awakens
How deal with anger
Author’s Note: MMOHuts is streaming again at the link in the bottom of this piece. Please click the follow button and turn on notifications. Lots of Smite, Paladins, and other stuff I’m sure! It’s that time again! Hirez dropped the Smite Patch notes yesterday (5.6 on PC), which includes some stuff that many are excited for (Hel skin! A new adventure! Instant death from giant hydra-fish!) and stuff that people are not so excited about (Ares buffs! Cerberus buffs!) but overall it’s a very solid patch, if you ask me. An absolute wealth of items were adjusted (many of these changes loved), and gods were nerfed and buffed with what seems like reckless abandon. I will say before I get started, I love, love, love the Sol nerfs. I’m rather tired of seeing her showing up as an ADC/Hunter and while I’m sure this will stop virtually no one, at least it won’t feel as insanely strong. But I did hear that the last adventure (Da Ji and her Foxes) … [Read more...] about Hirez Roundup #22: Makafushigi Adventure
As this year’s GDC coverage is winding down, I am finally coming to the topic I saved for last: community. MMOs are more than just multiplayer. We attract the “alone together” people more than the “FPS hero” crowd in our comments section for a reason; MMOs are virtual worlds. They’re a digital space inhabited by other people. We may not talk to them, but we watch and listen. Maybe we engage, maybe we group, maybe we guild. We do stuff in a shared environment because we think, or hope, we’re part of a larger system. And this is why we need to talk about cross-platform communities and the strength of in-game, embedded community tools. As social media rises and mobile crashes against our PC fortress, increased console cross-play should be a reminder that we’re all gamers, and (some) developers are finally getting that. Bringing people together The panel on bridging cross-platform communities, held by Eric Cleaver (NetEase Games), … [Read more...] about GDC 2018: Bridging and embedding cross-platform online communities
News of over 30 gaming companies taking a united stand against unfairness and toxicity in online game communities sprung out of GDC 2018 a few days ago, with some rather surprising company names making the list of those involved. The issue of toxic behaviour is a tough nut to crack, and these companies believe that the best way to tackle the issue is by pooling research and resources to share knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. It’s an interesting and complex idea that has got me thinking, so I just had to take up an issue of MMO Mechanics to discuss the potential implications for MMOs and near-MMOs. In this edition of MMO Mechanics, I’ll look at the mission of the Fair Play Alliance, discuss the ground they’ve covered so far, explore a case study of how toxicity affects one involved MMO developer, and then will give my thoughts on mechanical rollouts that could be employed to help smash toxicity. All about the Fair Play Alliance The Fair Play Alliance has … [Read more...] about MMO Mechanics: The Fair Play Alliance and mechanising fairness
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?