I don’t think it can be overstated enough that the introductory experience of an MMO is absolutely crucial to pulling in and retaining a player. In these first few minutes or hours, opinions are quickly formed from design features and pacing that can produce excitement, frustration, confusion, joy, or apathy in the beginner. What does an MMO need to do right at the start to grab you? I’ve wrestled with that question a lot, and while I have no firm answer, I know that it’s a hellishly complex feat to pull off. There has to be enough instruction — especially of strange or unique features — while still allowing players time and freedom to approach the game by their terms. It’s always a good idea to use story as a hook, but too much story can result in a limiting experience on rails. Whatever the recipe to a successful start is, it should result in a fun and thrilling time for the newcomer. Personally, if I log off and can’t wait to play again, … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: What does an MMO need to do right at the start to keep you playing?
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If you didn’t know, Bethesda recently invited an exclusive list of media and content creators to West Virginia’s Greenbrier Resort, a location that is also featured in the virtual world of Fallout 76, for a special event to showcase the gameplay of their upcoming “survival light” multiplayer Fallout game. Guests were flown in and given a variety of exclusive shwag, including ‘Vault-Tec’ hotel toiletries. More importantly, they were given a chance to play and record three hours each of footage from inside the game. Each member was given an Xbox 1 console to play on, as well as a hard drive full of the 4K footage that they recorded. The footage was under an embargo until 10am EST on October 8th. About 2 seconds after that the internet was flooded with something people have been begging for since E3: gameplay footage. Simply typing “Fallout 76” in Google right now will get you more info than you’ll know what to do with. Lucky for you, … [Read more...] about All I Need to Know About Fallout 76 I Learned From The Greenbrier Resort
Let’s start with something simple and straightforward: When you hit level 110 in World of Warcraft: Legion, you aren’t done. At all. Even if you have no interest in raiding whatsoever, you have a ton of further stuff to do, plenty of content awaiting you, and a lot more going on than just sitting and waiting for dungeon queues. You’re arguably not even done leveling. All of that is good information. But once you hit the level cap… what are you supposed to do? You’re suddenly barraged by several quests, all of which seem to have equal priority and none of which screams “do me first to advance storylines and be helpful!” You wind up just sort of staring blankly, aware that you’ve got a bunch of further stuff to do but unclear on how to prioritize it. I don’t think I have the absolute answer for what to do, but I’ve done this before, and I have a pretty good idea. So why not take a metaphorical walk with me as we examine what you … [Read more...] about What to do in World of Warcraft when you’re level 110
There’s some interesting stuff to be unpacked in a recent analysis of Conan Exiles that characterizes it as replete with griefing, racism, sexism, and general unmoderated player garbage. Equally interesting is the official response from Funcom, which is essentially “this isn’t an MMO so we’re under no obligations to moderate this stuff.” You can read that as any mixture of “we don’t want to hire moderation staff” and “we want money more than we want players to be happy” as you desire. It’s true that Conan Exiles isn’t a full MMORPG. It’s also true that there are official servers with Funcom’s name on them, which means that there’s a legitimacy there. And it raises the interesting question of what obligations studios have to the players in this particular environment. What qualifies as “griefing” can have a wide scope and cover a lot of things, and some of that is part of the … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: What obligations do studios have to provide a griefing-free MMO environment?
If you are a regular reader of ShoutMeLoud, you know that I offer many services related to blogging. Two of the most prominent are WordPress SEO and teaching blogging & SEO. I recommend the latter to all of my clients because learning SEO will be helpful to all bloggers in the long run. However, some clients have plenty of money but no time, and they prefer to take the former, which is certainly sensible for them. If you are a blogger or a person who wishes to create a future in Internet marketing, I highly recommend that you learn SEO yourself instead of hiring people to do it for you. Once you have learned the basics of SEO yourself, you can hire the right people to perform specifically related tasks for you. For example: Were you to understand SEO, you would know where you should get backlinks, how you should optimize your content, and what is missing from your blog. With this knowledge in mind, you can hire the right people to do whatever tasks you wish to delegate. There is … [Read more...] about What SEO Softwares I use For Teaching SEO