Category Archives: MMO Opinions

Is Trion Worlds Really Pay to Win?

Trion Worlds has acquired a bit of a reputation as a pay to win company. For every game they launch, I see questions on forums and social media asking if the game is pay to win. Some don’t even get that far. Angry gamers scream, “it’s Trion, not gonna play that p2w trash!” Are these feelings justified? Surely some of it must be. Where there’s smoke there’s fire, after all. But are people just falling in line with the hive mind? Could anonymous gamers, known primarily for their thoughtful and rational analysis, be overreacting?

Welcome to the internet, where anything is possible.

I’m going to break down the most commonly faulted cash shopss in each of Trion Worlds free to play games. I’ll judge just how pay to… Continue reading


Why Themepark MMOs Work

These days, themepark MMOs — games focused on structured, developer-created content — dominate the genre. They are both the most common and the most successful games around. But what is it that makes the themepark MMO such a successful model? Why have these games enjoyed such success?

The Vault of the Wardens dungeon in the themepark MMORPG World of Warcraft

I’m a pretty diehard themepark fan myself. I may play sandboxes here or there, but in the end my heart still lies with the carefully constructed worlds that only themeparks can provide. Therefore I think I can speak to what it is that has given the genre such enduring popularity, or at least why I keep coming back to them… Continue reading


Building a Social MMO for the Solo Player

Confession time: I’m one of those awful solo players you always hear are ruining the genre. I used to be more of a social MMO player, with a small but tight-knit World of Warcraft guild that I called home, but after they broke up, I’ve found myself becoming ever more of a virtual loner. I generally don’t join guilds, and if I group at all it will be in a PUG.

A solo player in World of Warcraft

But despite that, I still admire the potential of MMOs as a social medium, at least in theory, and I generally support the idea of finding ways to make MMORPGs more social.

The trouble is that most of the solutions… Continue reading


Lockboxes Are Annoying, But We Should Move On

Few issues in the MMO community stir up strong feelings the way lockboxes do. These virtual gambling devices stir up a level of hatred and vitriol unmatched by any other issue in the MMO world. And yet, they continue to propagate unchecked through our virtual worlds, despite the best efforts of the community.

A advertisement for a lockbox in Guild Wars 2

If I may play Devil’s advocate here for a moment, I think the time may have come for us to take a step back and examine whether all the furor over lockboxes is really productive. It’s clear that lockboxes are here to stay, so perhaps it’s time for us to learn how to live with them.

But First…


I Hate Training Gear

In Elder Scrolls Online, player gear can be customized in a number of ways. One such way is through traits, which can add effects like more damage, penetration, healing, etc. Training is one of those traits, and I hate it. You wouldn’t think so given its effect of increasing EXP gained from ALL sources. I must be crazy, right? Who doesn’t like leveling up faster?! Yet never have EXP bonuses felt so tainted as they do with training gear.

Training gear has a massive impact on leveling speed. Depending on the quality of the individual pieces, a full training set can increase EXP gains by over 80%. It’s really hard to pass that up in a genre that is first and foremost about advancing one’s character. And it’s nice… Continue reading


Comparing ESO and TSW’s Build Systems

Elder Scrolls Online and The Secret World are games with a lot in common. They’re both highly story-driven and solo-friendly. And they both have highly flexible build systems that give you great freedom in how to construct your character.

But which system is superior? Let’s break it down.

Combat in Elder Scrolls Online

How they work:

The Secret World has a pretty unusual take on character progression. There are no classes at all, and every character has access to all 500+ abilities in the game, organized in a complex menu called the ability wheel.

The ability wheel is divided into sections based on the game’s nine weapon types, as well as three small miscellaneous skill lines roughly… Continue reading