Tag Archives: Black Desert Online

What is a ‘Pay To Win’ Cash Shop in MMOs?

This article was originally posted March 19, 2016. It has been recently updated.

Like a lot of MMO players, I’ve been sinking a lot of my free time into Black Desert Online. I’ve been sinking in my not-so-free time too, but I suppose that’s the curse of a good game. One of my two biggest concerns with Black Desert was the possibility of a pay to win cash shop. Korean MMORPGs are especially known for cash shops where paying real money is the only path to the top. In a lot of these MMORPGs, money advantages provide a completely insurmountable level of power.

Black Desert has launched with what most do not consider a pay to win model. However, one item in particular has raised some serious concerns… Continue reading


Comparing Top Eastern vs. Western MMORPGs

The MMORPG gaming culture differs slightly between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, and game design varies accordingly. While there are no hard and fast rules, Eastern games tend to put more emphasis on quality graphics and on grind-based gameplay.

Neither model is better or worse than the other; it’s all just down to personal preference. But since most of us do tend to prefer one style or the other, it can be helpful to look at how Western and Eastern games in common genres compare. Maybe you like the ideas behind Neverwinter but would prefer a game with a more Eastern flavour, or enjoy the deep mechanics of Black Desert but want something with a more Western style.

To that end, we’ve compiled a breakdown of similar Eastern… Continue reading


Which Countries Make the Best MMOs?

I’m on a kick lately of segmenting out MMOs by uncommonly explored attributes and analyzing numbers. In June, I ranked the best MMORPG by year for the past twenty years (including honorable mentions for each year). In July,  I estimated the most played free MMORPGs, sorted by peak player counts. This month, I’m looking at which countries produce the best MMOs.

First, this requires a ranking of the best MMOs. As opposed to June’s best MMORPG blog post, I decided to use an impartial judge to assess the cream of the MMO crop. I selected mmorpg.com’s user ratings as my source due to their ratings’ age and breadth. From there, I chose the top 50 MMOs as a cutoff. This provided a strong sample set without… Continue reading


In Defense of Grinding

I don’t like grinding. I never have liked it. I wrote a blog post just last week deriding grinding. Yet the vast majority of MMORPGs insist on building the majority of their content around grinding in some form. Grinding takes the escapism and wonder that compels us to venture into a new MMO world and distills that experience down to a treadmill of numbers. But today I am going to defend it. Call it playing devil’s advocate, looking on the other side of the fence, indulging curiosity, whatever. By the end of this post you are going to see not only the merits of grinding in MMORPGs, but its prominence outside of the genre.

Grinding takes many forms and I want to be clear about my definition. In… Continue reading


More Instanced Channels, Less Servers

Stargrace from MMOQuests posted last week about the issue that multiple servers creates in MMOs. It’s something that really resonated with me because it’s indeed a very frustrating experience. If I know or meet somebody outside of a game who happens to play that same game, I do have a general expectation I that should be able to play with that person. However, the way most MMORPGs works is that players must choose a server when they create their character. That character is then tied to that server for remainder of their artificially born life. Since a big part of MMOs is spending time building up your character, taking hours/days/weeks, it’s unlikely that players will want to start a new character on a new server.


Can We Kill MMORPGs’ Holy Trinity Yet?

The MMORPG holy trinity has been around for ages. For those unaware, the holy trinity is a paradigm of balancing combat around three roles: tank, healer, and damage. Its roots can largely be attributed to Dungeons & Dragons where a front-liner, healer, mage, and thief were necessary to succeed. Recent editions of D&D have somewhat moved away from that, and good dungeon masters can balance adventures to conform to all but the most bizarre parties. Yet, the MMORPG holy trinity has persisted well into 2016.

blade and soul combat

To be fair, it’s not a particularly bad foundation. Damage dealers make up the bulk of groups and just try to kill things as fast as possible. The tanks, with… Continue reading