Eleven years ago this week, the New Game Enhancements patch descended on Star Wars Galaxies, forever changing the trajectory of the game, SOE, and maybe even sandbox MMORPGs in general by completely uprooting the character development process of the MMO and gutting beloved professions, not to mention breaking essential pieces of the game’s crafting economy. The ensuing fallout caused a mass-exodus from the game, tarnished gamer trust in SOE, and guaranteed that we’d still be talking about it more than a decade later. And though I’ve long argued that the game that sunsetted in 2011 was as far removed from the NGE as the NGE was from the game that launched in 2003, I’m first in line to declare that the NGE implemented in 2005 was an unmitigated disaster. For this edition of Massively Overthinking, I don’t want to talk about Star Wars Galaxies’ NGE. I want to talk about all the other NGEs in MMORPG history — all those other massive … [Read more...] about Massively Overthinking: The many ‘NGE’ moments across MMORPG history
Which rolls royce has stars
If you’ve listened to Massively’s staff and readers talk about Star Wars Galaxies a little bit, you might come away with the impression that the now-sunsetted, pre-WoW Star Wars sandbox was perfection in every way — that classic SWG was all fun, all the time, with no bugs and no problems, and that all MMORPGs should aspire to be it in its entirety. Not so. The thing about superfans is that no one knows the games better than we do… and no one knows their problems as we do, and in fact we could all probably fill volumes with gripes about our very favorite games. But is there a point to going on at length about design and development errors made in an old dead game? I say there is. Better learn from old mistakes than repeat them, right? That’s what I’d like to do in this edition of Working As Intended. Star Wars Galaxies is, in my estimation, the best MMORPG ever made, at least so far, but it had some serious problems I’d like … [Read more...] about Working As Intended: What Star Wars Galaxies got wrong
As we near the end of the year, it’s time for us to start figuring out which characters to include in next year’s cast lineup. Obviously, this year we had a wonderful lineup, aside from Too-Much-Drinking Franklin, but we can only include a few of our cast members in next year’s arrangement. So please, peruse this list of characters from the past year: John “The Dwayne” Rockson, former amateur wrestler and current wrestler of people who are not exactly amateurs but still need more experience, you know? Noisy Pete, sometimes called “the guy what makes the shrill sound whenever he touches water and wants to live inside a shower for some reason.” Quiet Patricia, who actually makes the same sound but only does so when she thinks about clams. Burmble Bilbo Baggins, the bravest little hobbit of them all, who is not at all related to the character owned by the Tolkien estate but by complete coincidence had identical adventures. Too-Much-Drinking … [Read more...] about WRUP: Our 2018 character poll edition
MOP reader and Patron Brett has a burning question about the lessons we’re learning (and not learning) from playing MMORPGs. “In his book Theory of Fun, Raph Koster suggests that games are really just systems of learning things in a way that we enjoy with fewer consequences. In his words, ‘That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.’ If that’s true, then modern MMORPGs and their narratives would seem to be a pretty mixed bag of lessons – individual power can be accumulated like wealth; evil can be conquered through solo and group acts of courage; violence is a feasible solution to almost every problem; your race, nation or profession defines a lot about who you are; and accessorizing with the most expensive bag is possibly the most crucial decision to make before leaving home. “So with so much opportunity at the moment for our real-world societies and communities to be better, I’d like to … [Read more...] about Massively Overthinking: What important lessons are MMORPGs failing to impart?
With 2017 drawing to a close and 2018 rushing up to meet us, the Massively OP team has regrouped for another round of bold and goofy predictions for the year ahead. We’re feeling pretty good after our fairly successful predictions from last year! What’s in store for the MMO genre next year? Here’s what we think. Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): OK, this year, for sure, Star Citizen will finally come out, but again, it can’t live up to the hype. It may be serviceable at best. Chronicles of Elyria may get its MUD online, but I can’t imagine much more than more demos of the MMO proper. Daybreak will retire Planetside 2 because it exists but isn’t making bank. H1Z1 (both versions) won’t make any major comebacks as the survival genre’s time is passing. Yes, the arena play style for PlayerUnknown’s Battleground is up, but Daybreak’s baby’s probably too old already and losing its following. Warner Bros (which sadly owns Turbine) … [Read more...] about Massively Overthinking: Our MMO predictions for 2018