Category Archives: MMO Rant

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


Why MMO Holidays Suck and How to Fix Them

Around this time of year, holiday events are springing up in MMORPGs like desperate last-minute shoppers at the local mall. Rare indeed is the game that doesn’t throw together an in-game event to coincide with the winter holidays.

A snowglobe in World of Warcraft's Winter Veil holiday event.

Of course, Christmas isn’t the only real world holiday MMOs like to jump on. Most will also throw something together for Halloween, and depending on the game, you might also see events for Valentine’s Day, Easter, or any number of noteworthy occasions.

Unfortunately, there’s one common thread that runs through nearly every holiday event in nearly every MMO: They’re pretty lame. What should be joyous times for the players to come… Continue reading


Legion Is off to a Strong Start, but I’m Still Worried

We’re now well into the second week of World of Warcraft: Legion, and while the “new expansion smell” is still in full effect, people are beginning to settle in. I’m very much the sort of person who likes to stop and smell the roses, so I’m not as progressed as some people, but I think I’m starting to get a feel for what sort of an expansion Legion is.

The Broken Shore scenario in World of Warcraft: Legion

So far, Legion is looking good. I’ve certainly been enjoying myself so far, and while there have been complaints here and there, the feedback from the community seems mostly positive so far. If nothing else I think we can say with certainty… Continue reading


5 Worst Things WoW Did for MMORPGs

5 worst things wow did mmorpgs

World of Warcraft is the beast that can’t be beaten. Well over a decade after launch, World of Warcraft has just released their sixth paid expansion pack. People like to point to declining numbers as the game’s demise, but populations naturally ebb and flow. The venerable MMORPG still boasts millions of monthly subscribers, a claim no other game can make. From all accounts, Legion will be the addictive experience people hoped for from Warlords of Draenor.

This massive success has been great for Blizzard but hasn’t been all rosy for the MMORPG landscape. Due to World of Warcraft’s success, certain design elements and player expectations have negatively impacted the genre as a whole… Continue reading


Why Reputation Grinds Suck and How to Fix Them

Reputation grinds are one of the most common types of MMORPG content — nearly all games have them in some form — and yet also one of the least beloved. They are, almost without exception, tedious chores with few if any fans. They’re something you do because you want the rewards at the end, never because the gameplay is compelling.

Completing the Klaxxi reputation grind in World of Warcraft

It doesn’t seem like it should be such a terrible thing. In theory, currying favor with NPC factions shouldn’t be any worse than any other type of content.

So why do reputation grinds suck so much, and what can be done to fix them?

Concept versus reality:

The… Continue reading


Horizontal Progression is Best Progression

More options, more choices. That’s what I want out of my MMORPGs. That’s what I expect. I don’t want a treadmill for my character but a wide open park to roam free. Horizontal progression is that park.

horizontal progression park

The vast majority of MMORPGs use vertical progression for character advancement. Vertical progression uses a limited number of ascending levels to define power. As players accrue experience, the character levels up. Each additional level explicitly enhances the character’s power. Higher levels come with the ability to wear better gear and use better skills. It’s widely used in single player RPGs as well, a place where I think it is better suited.

The advantage of vertical progression is… Continue reading