Activision-Blizzard had a rough week of its own making, as it announced record-high revenue for the year and in the same moment began laying off around 800 employees. Outrage across the gaming industry was fierce enough to provoke the anger of not just the video game unionization group but the AFL-CIO too, the former of which demanded Bobby Kotick’s resignation and the latter of which urged game developers to unionize. Piggybacking on the bad news, or maybe hiding in its shadow, was Daybreak, which delayed the launch of PlanetSide Arena again, this time into summer 2019, and it topped that off by refunding everyone who’d preordered the game. At least somebody’s having a good week. That somebody is EA, thanks almost entirely to Apex Legends, though Anthem’s been no slouch either. In more meta news, we introduced another new column in time for our birthday. Read on to catch up with the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions today as every Sunday … [Read more...] about MMO Week in Review: The week when EA looked like the good guy
What bugs look like cockroaches
I haven't done one of these in a little while. Pantheon's Twitter account asked whether we like more, to play solo or play as a group. I feel inclined to point out that this does not mean one exists without the other, merely a personal inclination toward one. You could even say you prefer a 70-30 or 51-49 split. They aren't mutually exclusive. My personal tastes lean heavily toward grouping. Probably 90% grouping prefered. I loved how people naturally drifted toward grouping in EverQuest. I like how UO/Darkfall/Sandboxy games encouraged communities of players to come together for survival. Most recently, my time in WoW (which has now gone on for over 6 months) has had its highs and lows -- the best times are spent playing with friends in dungeons, and the lows are having no one else log in and I'm forced to quest solo or find a group of people I don't know. A game doesn't have to force one or the other, either. Sufficiently rewarding both activities works for me. I'm coming … [Read more...] about What do you like more, to play solo or to play as part of a group?
I saw someone asking the other day what the “point” was to the Doman Reconstruction effort in Final Fantasy XIV. What’s the big reward? So here’s your answer, friend: your reward is Doman reconstruction. That’s the reward. Sure, you get a little extra gil (nice), you get some cosmetics (fun), but the real reward is rebuilding Doma. The subtle hints of that include the name of the content, and… actually, that’s enough! And it’s not subtle! It’s overt! This is why you’re doing this! But snark aside, it does actually make sense to me why a lot of people are wondering what the “point” is, and I think it ties into something that a lot of people have vaguely felt for the game’s five years of operation (1.0 doesn’t really count here) that has led to some odd posts and complaints hither and yon. I understand why people are wondering what the reward is for rebuilding an area we are unlikely to use as a central … [Read more...] about Wisdom of Nym: Rewards in Final Fantasy XIV and what they’re worth
So here’s a new one for us: It’s a game called Project Oasis World, and that name seems apt because while it’s technically an MMO, it’s more a roleplaying world than a combat grinder, and it’s currently running a small Kickstarter. In fact, it kinda looks like GTAO, down to the font styling, with most of the ramming-pedestrians-with-cars stripped out and replaced with dancing, chilling at bars, fishing, growing weed, monitoring your bladder bar, and leveling up your corn-husking skills. I started that sentence teasing, but as I’m finishing it out, it kinda sounds fun. “Project Oasis World is a new MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game) that aims to create a living, breathing online world. Our unique player run economies are what make Project Oasis stand out in the MMORPG world. Imagine hundreds of players interacting with each other in a free open world sandbox environment. You choose who you are, what you wear, how you get … [Read more...] about Project Oasis World looks like GTAO with all the murder and mayhem stripped out
Back in April, Valve announced new supposedly privacy-oriented changes for Steam that had what everyone assumed to be an unintended (and unannounced) side-effect: It would hide everyone’s owned games by default, effectively neutering extremely useful and popular tools like Steam Spy. Steam Spy’s Sergey Galyonkin, the Epic Games employee who ran Steam Spy on the side, hasn’t seemed particularly perturbed over the last several months since the announcement; in fact, last week, he said he was “excited” at the idea that Valve was working on its own version of the tracking tool. “The reason I opened Steam Spy to everyone was to let smaller developers make informed decisions based on data and to remove some of the information asymmetry that is so pervasive in our industry,” he tweeted last week. “Naturally, I am excited by Valve’s decision to offer a better version of Steam Spy.” But that doesn’t seem to be what’s … [Read more...] about It’s starting to look like Valve is trying to murder SteamSpy on purpose