Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Ever-Shrinking Gap Between MMOs and Other Genres

Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of concern in the MMORPG community about MMOs becoming less multiplayer. The worry is that an increased emphasis on solo-friendly content, smaller scale or more optional grouping, and other systems that aren’t as reliant on other players is stripping the genre of its identity.

A legendary skin drop from Overwatch's suspiciously MMO-like loot crates

But have you stopped to consider that this may well be a two-way street? Just as MMOs are becoming more like non-MMOs over time, so are other genres becoming closer to MMOs.

Spreading the MMO love

MMOs are famously addictive. Their penchant for repeatability, scale, and (nearly) endless progression makes for a perfect cycle of… Continue reading

Best MMORPG By Year: Part 2 (2006 – 2015)

Ten years down, ten to go. If you haven’t read it yet, check out our Best MMORPG By Year: Part 1 (1996 – 2005).

MMORPGs have grown more numerous in their yearly releases at this point. But have they actually gotten better? Some would argue no as many simply tried to tweak World of Warcraft. Whatever you may think, at least these winners have proven themselves the best MMORPG by year for their respective time periods.

Best MMORPG of 2006 – Dungeons & Dragons Online

Runner-up: Wurm Online

dungeons and dragons 2006 best mmorpg

I probably played more of 2005’s Silkroad Online in 2006, but Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) was the better overall game even back… Continue reading

Best MMORPG By Year: Part 1 (1996 – 2005)

Want only the past ten years? Skip to Part 2 (2006 – 2015).

MMORPGs have grown to such heights now that they warrant their own category for year end video game awards. However, MMOs evolve to a much greater extent than games from other genres. An MMORPG’s full potential might not be realized until years after launch. It is with this thought in mind, and the fact that hindsight is 20/20, that we’ll be taking a retroactive look at the best MMORPG by year for the past twenty years. We’ll start in 1996, the first time that multiple graphical MMORPGs would release in the same year.

Best MMORPG of 1996 – The Realm (Online)

Runner-up: Furcadia

Landmark Is Surprisingly Good

Landmark is a game with a strange and somewhat sad history. It was originally a spin-off of EverQuest: Next, but when Next’s development was cancelled, Landmark was all that was left.

A player-made castle in the building MMO Landmark

But now it’s finally been officially launched. After all the drama surrounding EQ:N and Landmark’s seemingly endless journey through early access, my expectations for Landmarks were set pretty low, but I maintained a vague curiosity, so I decided to give it a shot.

What I found was not the empty afterthought I expected, but a surprisingly charming and enjoyable little game.

Getting your bearings:

The first thing you’ll notice upon joining Landmark is that the… Continue reading

Six Areas You’ll Find in Every MMORPG

If you play a lot of online games, you can reach the point where it feels like if you’ve seen one MMORPG, you’ve seen them all. That can apply to a lot of aspects of design: combat, classes, endgame, and even environments.

Eventually a lot of places in MMOs are going to start looking the same. The same themes just keep showing up over and over. There are certain types of zones that every MMO seems to have.

These are a few of the more common ones.

Low level spider-cave:

Spiders. Why'd it have to be spiders?

It is at this point an immutable law. If you are a low level MMO player, you will end… Continue reading

Witcher 3 Shows DLC Isn’t a Three-Letter Word

A cursory search on Google shows that a lot of people think a lot of DLC sucks for a lot of games. Who can blame them? Companies are getting greedy and releasing day 1 DLC and even cutting out content altogether from the base game to sell as DLC. Bioware/EA did this with “From Ashes” for Mass Effect 3 and Capcom with basically the entire final chapter for Asura’s Wrath. Some companies get so crazy with DLC they create 300+ of them for $10+ each. Destiny even locked away old content for those that didn’t purchase The Taken King DLC. At best these practices lead to hesitation in the gaming community when hearing ‘DLC’, and at worst leads to outright hate for the term. It’s a… Continue reading