Let me tell you about last year’s NaNoWriMo project. If you’ve never taken part in National Novel Writing Month, it’s a great reason to push yourself as a writer, and it’s something that I’ve done (and completed) for the last three years. This past year, I was working from a story idea that I’d had since college, a set of ideas that I’d been playing with and adjusting for a decade. I had so many great ideas about what to write. Then I started writing. The first intro was a mess, so I had to redo it. The second one was less of a mess, but it still ran into major issues. I quickly realized that all of the characters I liked writing about were secondary characters at best. The people I wanted to follow weren’t part of the plot, but remaking the plot to be about them would mean reworking the plot entirely. It was an absolute mess and not worth the ideas I had for the ending. So I finished the objectives for NaNoWriMo and then I put it … [Read more...] about Vague Patch Notes: It’s all right for MMO studios to stop trying
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Two days in, and everyone’s still talking about Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends. A game that most people didn’t even know about a week ago has been dominating headlines since its surprise launch on Monday, bringing in generally good praise from players and media alike. It even got a mention as one of the few bright spots in Electronic Arts’ quarterly investors’ call, where CEO Andrew Wilson called it “EA’s biggest reveal ever by peak concurrent viewers, and it quickly became the #1 game on Twitch.”It’s still in that spot as of this writing, drawing in more viewers than the #2 (League of Legends) and #3 (Fortnite: Battle Royale) games combined. Other numbers you might have heard already: Apex Legends had over a million players in its first eight hours and 2.5 million in its first 24 hours (“trending fast towards 3 million,” Wilson said), with a peak concurrency of 600,000. Another number I like to research when … [Read more...] about Apex Legends’ Numbers Are Impressive, But So It Respawn’s Smart Approach To Development And Marketing
Those who’ve been long-time followers of Massively OP’s long-running EverQuesting column might have noticed a distinct lack of new year hopes and predictions articles for the EverQuest franchise along with their end-of year accounting pieces. That’s because there haven’t been any for a couple of years. The last year I did them — 2016 — was the year we lost EverQuest Next and got hit with the announcement for Landmark’s death. Daybreak also failed in communication and community interaction front. The optimism I had when 2016 started was pretty battered by the year’s end, and then 2017 and 2018 just beat the tar out of it. Who really wants to delve into negatives at the start of a year? But who knows when I will have the chance again. Despite the loyal fanbases of EverQuest and EverQuest II and even the recent offering of lifetime All-Access memberships, I feel no assurance that the studio won’t implode this year. How could I? There … [Read more...] about EverQuesting: Can Daybreak make it through 2019?
This is a story about a boy named Michael. Follow along with me for a little bit, if you’d be so kind. Michael was born in 1983, and he didn’t have a very happy childhood. He was smart, but he didn’t really seem to fit in to basically any social group. He was always a quiet boy, introspective, and he heard the word “gay” applied a lot as a pejorative. Often to Michael himself, and often by Michael himself, because he only had the vaguest idea what the word meant aside from “this is a bad thing.” As Michael hit puberty, he understood what the term meant. But he knew that it didn’t apply to him. He was definitely attracted to girls. From what little he knew, that meant that he was safe from being gay because gay men followed a very specific set of traits that he did not have. He wasn’t all of the things that he thought signified “gay man,” and that meant that he was straight. And all of the heroes he liked and … [Read more...] about Vague Patch Notes: Representation in games matters when you don’t see why it matters
Even as E3 rages on, the recent Lavecon has closed its doors for another year. The player-led gaming and geek convention continues to feature Elite: Dangerous and the rest of the Elite franchise as its tentpole, which means that we got a lot of new information about the MMOPRG out of it. Panels on the game discussed features and upcoming changes involving mining, exploration, and art. Pilots will be getting new tools to crack open those asteroids for their sweet payout, not to mention new sensor probes to take a look at bodies in space long before a ship gets there. The community also got an opportunity to ask a bunch of pressing questions to the developers. One big revelation was the addition of an in-game commander journal coming with Update 2.2 and a rebalance of the Engineer content to make it less “harsh.” Other possibilities on the line include a Beluga Liner, ship naming, updates to the HTC Vive, guild tags, and Thargoid alliance infiltration. Take a look at … [Read more...] about Elite: Dangerous gives a glimpse at its future at Lavecon