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By now, we're all used to a familiar cycle in the world of MMOs. Developers announce a new game, sell it like it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and eager players jump on the bandwagon and hype it up even further. By the time launch day rolls around, it's been presented as the greatest game in history and the end to all human misery. And inevitably, it disappoints. Everyone - developers and players alike - is forever waiting for the perfect MMO that will shatter sales records, earn its creators mountains of cash, and unite players everywhere in joy.
... (See There is no One True MMO)
It's pretty common for any new MMO to bring with it an excess of hype, but the fevered excitement surrounding Guild Wars 2 before its launch was on a whole other level. This was the game that was going to redefine dynamic content, put an end to the holy trinity of group roles, cure cancer, and deliver a puppy to every player.
... (See Revisiting Guild Wars 2)
If there's one thing our media seems to love lately, it's adaptation. Seems like half our movies are based on comics or novels, and many MMOs are adaptations of films, TV shows, or previous game franchises. But for some reason, books are not as commonly used as source material for MMOs. Age of Conan and Lord of the Rings Online are just about the only exceptions, and one suspects those would not have existed if both franchises hadn't been popularized by blockbuster movies. So let's put on our thinking caps and imagine what games could arise if developers started drawing inspiration from the world of literature.
... (See 5 Books to Adapt to MMOs)
Gear. In most MMOs, it is the center of the virtual universe. It is the be all and end all of progression, the proverbial carrot on the stick. It is the gate on accessing content, and the reward for those who complete content. But despite the MMO genre's tunnel vision on gear, it is far from the only potential form of progression. There are many other methods games can use to show the progress a character has made and reward players for their accomplishments. Some of these, like gear, are vertical, giving characters direct increases in power, while others are horizontal methods of progression, allowing players to grow out instead of up.
... (See 5 Types of Gearless Progression)
Recently, I took a look at DC Universe Online and found it surprisingly enjoyable despite the fact that I've always preferred the Marvel mythos. So it seems only fair that I should also spend some time with Marvel's MMO, Marvel Heroes, to see how it ranks up.
... (See Marvel Heroes Thoughts)
While researching our recent article on crowdfunded MMOs, I became rather intrigued by the concept of City of Titans, and it occurred to me that I had never played a superhero MMO.
... (See A Marvel Fan Plays DCUO)
Most would agree that 2013 wasn't a banner year for MMOs. Compared to the previous year, there weren't that many big name releases, and many MMO fans ended the year with a certain sense of disappointment. 2014 is shaping up to be a different story.
... (See Upcoming MMOs for 2014)
Crowdfunding has made a big splash in the world of MMOs lately. Game publishers, quite understandably, tend to be a cautious lot. They won't fund a game if they don't believe it will bring a strong return on investment. This makes good business sense, but playing it safe can stifle creativity. By going straight to the fans for funding, MMO developers can skip this hurdle, allowing them go beyond what's "safe" to create unusual and intriguing games. Of course, crowdfunding is still a new process, and we should be cautious about getting too excited about such projects before they pan out, but there are definitely some intriguing projects out there that are worth keeping an eye on.
... (See 6 Crowdfunded MMOs to Watch For)
Classes in MMOs are a bit stale by now. You've got your plate wearing tank, your sparkly healer, your shifty rogue, and some guy in a dress who throws fire from his fingers, plus a few other miscellaneous archetypes. After a while, it gets pretty boring playing the same characters in every game. But at the same time, those archetypes do serve a purpose. People like to be able to jump into a new game and have a reasonable idea of what each class is going to offer. Perhaps the solution, then, is to just be a little more creative with the traditional archetypes. Maybe it could be as simple as blending some of classes to create something new, yet familiar.
... (See Combining MMO Classes)
An MMO player will likely spend hundreds of hours playing their character - or characters - so it's important that everything about their avatar be just right. Part of the feeling of "rightness" comes from game mechanics, like class choice, but a lot of it is down to how a character looks. With character and gear customization options growing ever more advanced, players are putting more effort than ever into creating their ideal virtual avatar. But while everyone wants to be unique, most characters end up falling into a few common archetypes. The details might very, but the overall impression remains the same across every player using that "look."
... (See Top 6 Player Looks)
MMOs are starting to expand beyond the world of video games. After years spent in development Hell, the World of Warcraft movie is finally getting underway, and Defiance has drawn attention by being both an MMO and a TV series simultaneously. This got our team at WhatMMO wondering: What are other ways MMOs could be more than games? TV seems to be the best medium for them to expand into, given the persistent nature of MMO worlds. A TV series can evolve alongside its game, whereas a movie has to try to encapsulate the whole vastness of an MMO setting in just an hour or two. But what MMOs would make the best TV shows? These are our picks.
... (See 6 MMOs That Should Become TV Shows)
Part of the fantasy of an MMORPG is being given the freedom to explore a new world, to delve into forgotten ruins and strike out across unexplored frontiers in search of treasure and adventure. But for all that, not that many MMOs put much effort into exploration as a gameplay style. Their worlds are more like guided tours, with little options for venturing off the beaten path and fewer reasons for doing so. But a few MMOs have remembered the joy of exploring the unknown. These offer players good reason to not get tunnel vision on quest objectives, and a few even make exploration a core part of gameplay.
... (See 6 Best MMOs for Exploration)
In all the wide world of MMOs, there are countless interpretations on the standard class archetypes. A priest in one game might play very differently from a priest in another game. But yet, there are always common threads. There are certain abilities that seem to crop up in virtually every MMO on the market. They might have slightly different names or ways of operating, but they're all basically the same concept. These are iconic, class defining abilities that we're never going to be without.
... (See Most Iconic MMO Abilities)
The official forums for MMOs are almost a minigame unto themselves. They're the last refuge for those who have run out of new content to play, who use the forums either to vent their frustration or as an alternate source of entertainment. Forums are a way for the community to organize for events, and a place for players to provide feedback to the developers. Forum debates put the most epic PvP battles to shame, and some people even spend more time on forums than in games. But mostly, forums are a hotbed of nerd rage, trolling, and general ass-hattery akin to Road Warrior with fewer shoulder pads and more pimples.
... (See 7 Types of MMO Forum Posts)
Over the past weeks, I've become something of a fan of the new post-apocalyptic sci-fi TV series Defiance, but the season has now ended, leaving me without my weekly Defiance fix.
... (See Defiance Thoughts)
Recently, I took a look at Rift to see how it had evolved after going free to play. Today, I'm doing the same for another MMO I tried in the past: Star Wars: The Old Republic.
... (See SW:TOR F2P Impressions)
People play MMOs for a lot of different reasons. Developers have worked hard to make their games attractive to many different play styles, as MMOs are arguably the game genre most dependent on having broad appeal. Every MMO has many different hooks to engage players, and different individuals will be grabbed by different features. For this list, we'll be doing a rundown of the most common motivators for people who play MMOs - the goals that keep them coming back for more month after month.
... (See Top 6 MMO Motivations)
Recently, the Korean MMO known as The Exiled Realm of Arborea, or TERA as it is mercifully abbreviated, held a promotion where one character per account could be instantly boosted to just below level cap.
... (See TERA: Straight to the Top)
There comes a time when even the most exciting MMO ceases to be so thrilling. You've played through all the content that interests you, and the next update is still weeks or months away. At such times, logging in can start to feel like a chore, but it doesn't have to. By venturing off the beaten path or using a little creativity, you can find a bevy of new activities to stave off burnout. We here at WhatMMO have put together a list of some of the best ways to fight boredom in an MMO.
... (See 8 MMO Boredom Cures)
MMO fans have been abuzz with the recent news that Blizzard Entertainment has trademarked the name, "The Dark Below." With the titles of the next expansions for StarCraft II and Diablo III already known and Project: Titan delayed, it seems likely this could be the next World of Warcraft expansion. I’ve decided to put together a list of my predictions for what storylines and content TBD might bring. Many of these predictions will likely prove wrong, but if nothing else, it will be fun to look back in a few months and laugh at how far off I was.
... (See Predictions for WoW The Dark Below)
There are certain aspects of MMOs that are ubiquitous, but rarely provide any entertainment value. It's hard to find a game without them, but it's harder to find a game that makes them fun. They're untapped potential at best, and tedious chores at worst. But that doesn't mean these mechanics are fundamentally flawed. Many are just victims of a lack of creativity. With a little work and a little original thinking, they could be made much more exciting.
... (See 5 Boring MMO Concepts (That Could Be Fun))
Some months back, we took a look at some of the more underutilized class archetypes in the MMO genre. But classes aren't the only area where there are concepts that have yet to be given the proper level of attention. The worlds of sci-fi and fantasy offer many iconic and interesting racial archetypes that have been neglected by the MMO genre.
... (See Underused Race Archetypes)
If there's one thing you can expect to find in every MMO, it's repetition. Some games lean on grinding more than others, but you can pretty much guarantee you'll end up repeating the same bosses, quests, and encounters sooner or later. Eventually, even the most epic experiences lose their thrill. But once in a while, players are treated to something special, to epic events that will only ever be seen once. Some are planned by developers, and others are happy accidents, but all are tales that will forever live in the memories of those players lucky enough to experience them firsthand.
... (See 6 Most Epic One Time Events)
The last few years have seen a seismic shift in the way MMOs operate. For a long time, it was just assumed that a game required a subscription to play. The exceptions were low quality imports with greedy monetization schemes designed to rob players blind.
... (See Psychological Advantages of F2P)
I remember trying Rift shortly after its release. It struck me as a technically competent if slightly overcomplicated game, but I also found it lacking in originality or personality, and I ultimately moved on to other games.
... (See F2P Rift Opinion)
A few months back, we talked about the untapped concepts that exist within the MMO genre - settings and ideas that have yet to be explored in any real way by the world of MMOs. Since then, a few of the ideas in that article have come closer to reality. Age of Wushu is an Eastern themed MMO, though it focuses more on martial arts than a pan-Asian fantasy. There are some bigger name steampunk MMOs coming, such as City of Steam and Black Gold Online. But there are still many other potential concepts for MMOs that have yet to be properly explored; strong ideas that have been passed over by a genre obsessed with high fantasy.
... (See 5 More Untapped MMO Concepts)
No MMO is complete without hordes of foul beasts waiting to be vanquished by the mighty blades, spells, arrows, and bullets of players. Combat is a crucial part of the genre, and there's no combat without enemies. But for all the many different worlds and settings of MMOs, there are few types of foes that just seem to come up over and over again. No matter the game, you can pretty much guarantee you're going to end up mopping the guts of these critters off your boots sooner or later. These are the top enemies of the MMO genre.
... (See Top 6 MMO Enemies)
As a genre, MMOs are not very good at providing compelling stories compared to single player RPGs. The massive scale of MMOs tends to lead to a "quantity over quality" design philosophy that often leads to dull, shallow stories. But there are exceptions. There are diamonds in the rough who have managed to tell an interesting story despite the limitations of the genre, and there are even a few MMOs who have made a good story a priority for the game. This list will cover some of the MMOs with the most epic, deep, amusing, or emotional storylines.
... (See 6 Best MMOs for Story)
The first thing any player does when logging into a new MMO is design their character, and many players will agonize over every aspect of their character's appearance. Considering the countless hours a player will spend looking at their MMO character, it's crucial to get them looking exactly how you want. In some games, you have to settle for a character that's merely "good enough," but some truly let your imagination soar, allowing you to design any look for any character you could possibly want. For this article, we'll list off some of the MMOs with the deepest, most versatile, and most unique options for creating your perfect avatar.
... (See 6 Best MMOs for Character Customization)
There's been much recent publicity over World of Warcraft losing 1.3 million subscribers in three months. It's now down to two thirds of its peak population, and there's no end to the losses in sight. A lot more will need to be lost before the game is in serious trouble, but Blizzard will have to do something dramatic if they want to stop the bleeding. Just for fun, we here at WhatMMO have dreamed up some of the most spectacular, intriguing, or outright crazy things they could do to bring players back to the land of Azeroth.
... (See 6 Crazy Ideas to Bring Back WoW Subscribers)
Spend any time in the MMO community - especially online forums - and you'll notice a lot of complaints, worries, and rants. There's a general perception among some circles that MMOs are in a downward spiral, that the entire genre is slowly destroying itself by repeating certain mistakes. We here at WhatMMO thought we'd collect some of the more mentioned issues, and we now present you with the top things that are destroying the MMO genre… according to its community.
... (See 6 Things That Are Destroying MMOs)
Massively multiplayer games are a social medium, and their high end content almost always requires cooperation between players. Even so, there are a surprisingly large number of MMO players who play mostly or entirely alone. Whether these players are a good thing or a bad thing for the genre is a discussion for another time, but they're definitely here to stay. If you've been tempted to try MMOs but are intimidated by the social aspect, or if you ever wondered why someone would play an MMO alone, this article will provide some of the reasons to play an MMO that have nothing to do with other people.
... (See Reasons to Play an MMO (Alone))
Neverwinter, the new Dungeons and Dragons action MMO from Cryptic Studios, has opened its doors to players with an open beta. I've spent the last few days spelunking through the sewers beneath Protector's Enclave, smacking kobolds around, and seeing all there is to see in Neverwinter, and now I'm ready to bring you my thoughts on the game. Is it worth your time? Read on to find out.
... (See Neverwinter Beta Impressions)
If you've been active in the MMO community for any length of time, you've probably heard the name Project: Titan spoken of in reverential tones. Titan is the codename for the next MMO being produced by Blizzard Entertainment, the same people who brought us World of Warcraft.
... (See What is Project: Titan?)
To keep the focus on players, MMOs generally don't put a lot of effort into their NPCs. They exist to provide quests or be killed for loot, not to be deep and memorable characters. But despite this bias of the genre, some MMO characters have risen to greatness. Whether they're especially well written, have special historical importance, or have just been given a lot of marketing, they're icons of the MMO industry, and even people who've never played the games in which they appear probably recognize them.
... (See 6 Most Iconic MMO Characters)
World of Warcraft is a strange cultural phenomenon with a language, a set of customs, and a history all its own. Due to its extreme popularity, WoW has almost become a distinct society unto itself. But it's not an ordinary society; it's an online society, and that means one thing: memes. Lots and lots of memes. The following are just some of the more popular memes to have arisen from the world of Azeroth.
... (See Top 8 World of Warcraft Memes)
Despite the best efforts of developers, players will inevitably get bored with their favorite MMOs. Even if there's a steady stream of new content, you can only raid and PvP so much before you start to get a little bored. This is where minigames come in. Minigames allow players to take a break from their favorite MMO without ever leaving it. In stark contrast to the advancement driven content that usually makes up MMOs, minigames are self-contained and generally serve no purpose but fun. This list will cover some of the most entertaining and addictive minigames to have appeared in the world of MMOs.
... (See Top 6 MMO Minigames)
Scarlet Blade, which has been available overseas under the title Queens Blade, is a mature MMORPG that has seen a lot of success. With its recent launch in the US, WhatMMORPG got to sit down and chat with the lead producer of Scarlet Blade to discuss what the North American version of the game would be like.
... (See Scarlet Blade Interview)
Player housing is an odd topic in MMOs. For a relatively simple feature, it tends to spark a lot of passion from both its fans and its detractors. For some players, it's a meaningless fluff feature that serves no purpose but to waste developer resources. For others, player housing is a criminally underrated feature, adding an incredible level of depth to a game. For these players, in game homes can make or break a game, and when done well, player housing can win their eternal loyalty. If you're one of these people and are looking for a new game to try, this list will provide a sampling of the MMOs with the best player housing systems around.
... (See Top 6 MMOs for Housing)
A few months ago, we imagined what would have happened if some of the greatest figures in history had been MMO players. But there are many more noteworthy individuals from the pages of history, and MMOs are a big genre. It's time once again to let our imaginations run wild and try to picture what kind of players our historical heroes would be if they were alive today. Who would be fail, and who would be leet? Who would you want in your guild, and who would be on your /ignore list?
... (See More Great MMO Players of History)
The sex appeal is certainly there and will bring some people to Scarlet Blade, but does it look like there's enough content to keep them around? What MMORPG takes an early look.
... (See Scarlet Blade Sneak Peek)
Sometimes, it can be fun to imagine that your comrades in an MMO are more than just average players. Perhaps they're developers incognito, gathering information on the mood of their players. Maybe they're celebrities gaming in secret so they're not swarmed by fans while they try to relax. Not so long ago, we imagined what it would be like if historical figures, the celebrities of the past, played MMOs. Today, we'll take a similar tack, and try to picture what it would be like if some of the most famous fictional characters were playing alongside us.
... (See Great MMO Players of Fiction)
Players aren't the only ones populating massively multiplayer worlds. MMOs also offer armies of NPCs. In fact, there are so many NPCs in each game that it eventually becomes impossible to make them all interesting and memorable. They all inevitably start to feel the same, blending into certain archetypes that pop up in every game. From Azeroth to Atreia, from Tyria to Telara, you will eventually find the NPCs all falling into these standard patterns.
... (See The NPCs of MMOs)
The MMO community tends to be a bit too quick to declare things dead, but if anything could be said to be on its last legs, it's the subscription only business model for MMOs. You could count on one hand the number of big name MMOs still clinging to their subs and have fingers left over. Many free to play or buy to play games are shameless cash grabs, making life miserable for players who don't shell out cash, but a few are much more gamer friendly. No game is truly free, but these games offer great gaming experiences even if you don't want to pay much, and lack any truly absurd cash grabs.
... (See Top 5 F2P/B2P Business Models)
2012 was a roller coaster year for the world of MMOs, with a number of big name games releasing. Some met players' expectations, and others... didn't, but the MMO landscape has changed greatly from what it was a year ago. MMO fans are ever looking to the future and the next big thing, and a new year is upon us.
... (See Upcoming MMOs 2013)
Nothing in life is truly free. For the most part, MMO players accept this. We recognize that developers are businesses and that we're going to have to pay to keep playing our games, even so called "free to play" titles. We might grumble about the cost, but we'll accept it. Most of the time. Sometimes, a developer's greed overwhelms common sense to the point where no one would fork over the cash for their outrageous moneymaking schemes. These absurd cash grabs insult our intelligence, and can ruin the reputations of games, or even entire genres.
... (See 6 Most Outrageous Cash Grabs)
People often say that MMOs are a genre that lack in creativity, and there's a lot of truth to this. In fairness, many elements that are overused are overused for a reason: they work well. But then there are those other design concepts, ones with no justification for their popularity. Most of these were never good ideas in the first place, but they keep popping up simply because they've become habits. These are concepts that should simply be banned so that developers are forced to think of some fresh ideas.
... (See 6 MMO Concepts That Should Be Banned)
Odds are that your MMO character is not some ordinary Joe Shmuck. If you're like the vast majority of MMO players out there, you're probably playing as some daring hero. They possess fantastic physical strength, incredible magic, superhuman agility, or some combination of the above. With thousands of amazing heroes running around, many games seek to explain how this came to be, providing epic backstories for why their worlds are crawling with such powerful fighters. This list will cover some of the more clever and compelling backstories MMOs give their players.
... (See Top 6 Character Origins)
MMO bosses are many things: epic, exciting, terrifying, lucrative. One thing they don't tend to be, though, is smart. After all, they all inevitably end up getting killed by us. Even the most all powerful, mind numbingly difficult boss eventually finds itself falling before the might of the players. They must be doing something wrong to always fail in this manner. When you think about it, there are a number of incredibly obvious mistakes that every single boss seems to make.
... (See 6 Biggest Boss Mistakes)
Classes in MMOs tend to fall into a few standard archetypes, generally inspired by those found in Dungeons and Dragons and other old school tabletop RPGs. You've got your fighter, your ranger, your mage, and your cleric. But there are other class archetypes out there, filling in gaps left by the more mainstream classes. MMOs, always wary of alienating players by being too different, are especially guilty of ignoring more unusual archetypes.
... (See 8 Underused Class Archetypes)
MMOs are big games, and even though they haven't traditionally been the most story driven genre, they still contain massive amounts of dialogue, from boss quotes to quest text to background NPC chatter. We here at WhatMMORPG have decided to pay tribute to some of the most powerful, exciting, and amusing quotes from the world of MMOs. It's far too big a field for this to be considered a definitive list, but these are a few of the more memorable MMO lines and speeches - from the epic, to the touching, to the humorous.
... (See 9 Great MMO Quotes)
City of Steam is a brand new browser based MMORPG that's entering closed beta late this week. Its combination of being browser based and high quality graphics make it an enticing title, and we're excited that WhatMMORPG got to take a sneak peek at it. City of Steam is based in an industrial fantasy world, making this game very appealing to steam punk lovers. With so many interesting facets to the game, it should appeal to a large variety of gamers. We at WhatMMORPG got the chance to chat with Gabriel Laforge from the game's developer, Mechanist.
... (See City of Steam Interview)
We've spent a lot of time comparing reality and the world of MMOs. Recently, we talked about how living in an MMO world probably wouldn't be as fun as you'd expect. But that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of aspects of MMOs that would make real life a whole lot easier and much more fun. Developers have put a lot of work into making MMOs compelling realities, and a few of their features could only make the real world a far more awesome place.
... (See Top 6 MMO Features That Would Enrich Reality)
Sometimes, MMOs aren't all fun and games. Amidst all the pretty graphics and epic combat, we sometimes forget that our fellow players are also real people with real lives, with all the joy and tragedy that entails. But sometimes, we are reminded. Sometimes, a memorable player leaves this world too soon, and their loss is felt by all within the MMO community. In these cases, developers may choose to immortalize these departed individuals with in game memorials. This list will chronicle some of the more touching memorials within the world of MMOs.
... (See 5 In Game Memorials)
Be honest: At some point, you've fantasized about what it would be like to become your MMO character and live in the virtual world full time. No need to be ashamed; we've all done it. You have a bad day, and you think how much better it would to roam the fields as Pwnster the warrior, beholden to no one. But would it really be all that great? When you think about it, there are a lot of ways living in a game world wouldn't be all that fun. In fact, it would downright suck.
... (See 6 Ways Living in an MMO Would Suck)
Resurrection is something you see plenty of in MMOs. Whether you're respawning at graveyard or being brought back by a friendly player, death is rarely permanent in these games. However, for the MMOs themselves, death is much more permanent, and resurrection much more difficult to achieve. Many technical and financial hurdles face any MMO that has been shut down, making their return extremely unlikely. But one can dream, and so for this list, we will cover some of the sadly departed MMOs most worthy of being given a second chance at life.
... (See 6 MMOs Deserving Resurrection)
MMOs are a genre filled with hype. The massive nature of the games leads people to view any game that isn't an immediate smash hit as an utter failure. Thus, whenever a developer prepares to release a new game, they do everything in their power to convince people it will be the Best Thing Ever. Whatever the case, we thought it might be fun to imagine what their previews would have looked like if they'd been just a bit more honest.
... (See Honest MMO Previews)
Few MMOs in history have received the same level of pre-launch hype as Guild Wars 2. Its fans treated it like the coming of the Messiah. To ArenaNet's credit, they did a remarkably good job of living up to that hype, but now, concerns have started to filter through the fevered cheers of fans. One of the most common is that, according to some, the game doesn't feel like an MMO.
... (See Guild Wars 2; The "Single Player" Effect)
There are a lot of sites out there offering guides on what to do to be a good MMO player. This article is the opposite of that. This is the guide for what not to do if you want to be a good player. These are the seven habits of highly ineffective players.
... (See 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Players)
Every MMO has features they sell themselves on. When you think of Rift, you think of dynamic events and a unique class system. Every developer thinks they do one thing better than everyone else, and they make sure you know it. But what about the unique features of games that don't get so much publicity? These hidden talents are sometimes what make a game shine more than anything else.
... (See Top 6 MMO Hidden Talents)
Released in North America in 2009, Alliance of Valiant Arms - commonly referred to as AVA - has been keeping first person shooter fans entertained for nearly 3 years. What makes AVA special is its ability to balance the FPS and MMO experience. Players have a persistent character, like in an MMORPG, which they can customize as they acquire new skills and gain levels. This character enters instances, in which they engage in FPS combat, allowing for the First Person Shooter action gamers crave. Aeria's Scott Hartz took the time to chat with WhatMMORPG about Alliance of Valiant Arms (and gives us details about a giveaway they are doing through our website!)
... (See AVA Interview)
A common stereotype of gamers in general and MMO players in particular is that they take their hobby much too seriously. They treat raiding like a job, and they become more attached to imaginary avatars than real people. They lose the ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. In most cases, this stereotype is completely untrue, and most MMO players are, in fact, perfectly ordinary people. Most, but not all. There will always be a small minority of living stereotypes who embody the worst of the way the public perceives MMO players.
... (See 5 Ways People Take MMOs Too Seriously)
One of the great strengths of the MMO genre is immersion - the ability to lose yourself in a complete virtual world. People might buy a game for its major features and innovations, but they'll stick with it for the little details that make the game world come alive. Often, the simplest of things can make the difference between a bland, generic gaming experience and a rich, vibrant online world.
... (See Top 6 Little Touches)
As much as MMO players may pine for more dynamic games, the truth is that they are, by and large, a group that doesn't like the unexpected. These are some of the unexpected things that can fill MMO players with horror, anger, and utter incomprehension.
... (See 6 Surprises Players Can't Handle)
MMOs are a big genre. There are a lot of unique and interesting games out there that aren't getting the credit they deserve. These games might not be perfect - they wouldn't be underrated if they were - but they all bring something good to the table, and they might just be worth a second look.
... (See Top 5 Underrated MMOs)
If you're new to MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games), they can seem overwhelming. MMOs are, well, massive; there are so many things to do in each game, and so many games to choose from. WhatMMORPG can help you pick a game, but what if you don't even know what to look for?
... (See New to MMOs: Where to Begin)
It's an exciting time for massively multiplayer games. For a long time, the industry has been marked by a lack of creativity. In this article, we'll highlight some of the major trends currently shaking up the world of MMOs, as well as offer some completely biased opinions on why these trends have risen to prominence.
... (See Top 3 MMO Trends)
Imagine what kind of folks you might have run into if MMOs had existed decades or even centuries ago. What would it be like to run into the most memorable figures of history in game? What kind of players would they be, and most importantly, would you want to group with them?
... (See 8 Great MMO Players of History)
A lot of people like to make comparisons between massively multiplayer games and drugs. Some do so to point what they view as serious video game addiction, while others are just being tongue in cheek. Even the players often joke about the withdrawals they feel if they don't get enough time to play. But what if MMOs really were drugs - or, perhaps, if drugs were MMOs?
... (See Drugs as MMOs)
MMOs are like worlds unto themselves, and there are many parallels between them and the real life. You can't deny that you have at some point wondered which reality was ultimately better - it's something we all do eventually. With this article, we hope to settle the question of real versus virtual once and for all, one category at a time.
... (See Real Life vs MMOs)
It's been a little over a year since I last wrote about some of the unsung oratorical heroes in the gaming community. I read a ton of gaming blogs, and obviously I have found more than a handful of hidden gems since the last time I posted, but here are some of my current favorite reads. Some of these blogs are already pretty popular and others are up and coming, but all of them deserve to be read since they are covering great material.
... (See Gaming Blogs You Didn't Know Existed: Part IV)
For this list, we will chronicle some of the most interesting playable races in the MMO genre. Some are original, some have great backstories, some just have that indefinable cool factor, and the best combine all of these factors, but they're all exciting for one reason or another.
... (See 6 Most Exciting Races)
Cinematics are a crucial part of any video game, MMOs included. Within the game, they tell the most important and dramatic parts of the story, and as trailers, they are crucial to attracting attention and bringing players to a game. The following list contains some of the most powerful, gripping, and intriguing cinematics to come out of the MMO genre.
... (See Top 9 MMO Cinematics)
MMOs are social games, and as such, you can expect to experience the full range of social interactions as you play. For this list, we'll cover some of the most awkward, uncomfortable moments possible in MMOs - perhaps prior warning will help you avoid them.
... (See 6 Awkward MMO Moments)
Massively multiplayer games offer a huge variety of unique experiences, and everyone plays them differently. This list covers some of the most common rites of passage for MMO players.
... (See 6 Rites of Passage)
In some circles, using the phrase free to play is akin to a four letter word. In some ways, this is because the whole free to play genre has gotten a bad reputation in some ways from the many lackluster games that inundate the market each year, particularly from Asian regions. And while a grim opinion on the genre as a whole is not fully unwarranted, it would be foolish to assume that all free to play games have the same blandness as those that are pushed by these Asian corporations.
... (See Free to Play MMO Outlook)
Massively multiplayer communities tend to get a bad rap, and with good cause. Some games have better communities than others, but even the best are usually still ripe with trolls, griefers, noobs, elitists, jerks, and asshats. With the anonymity provided by the online setting, people feel free to let the nastiest parts of their personality take the reigns and abuse other players as much as they please.
... (See MMO Communities: Personal Responsibility)
For all their popularity, MMOs are a genre with a surprising lack of originality. Not only do most MMOs copy the basic mechanics of the most successful games, mainly EverQuest and World of Warcraft, they also tend to emulate their settings, resulting in an endless array of high fantasy games. The following list contains just a few of the many concepts that could make for fantastic MMOs.
... (See Six Untapped MMO Concepts)
We all have different reasons for playing MMO games - certain moments and experiences that keep us coming back for more. Many of these are simple, everyday things: owning newbs in PvP, weekly raid nights, leveling. But then there are those special moments where everything falls into place. These are the moments that remind you why you started playing MMOs in the first place: moments of triumph and just plain old fun. For this list, we bring you some of the best feelings available in an MMO setting.
... (See Best Feelings in an MMO)
Each year a plethora of MMORPGs storm the market, each one hoping to take its share of the available market and make a name for itself. Invariably, many of these games tout that it offers something that no game before it ever has and that it will mark a new trend for the future of gaming. These self-proclaimed "World of Warcraft killers" always make lofty claims, yet none has truly managed to succeed in what it has promised its players.
... (See Guild Wars 2 Beta Superiority)
As the name would imply, World of Warcraft is a world unto itself. By far the most popular MMO of all time, it has become a unique culture and society. It has its own etiquette, slang, memes, subcultures, and even celebrities. Some players have risen to fame (or infamy) among their fellow gamers due to their spectacular achievements (or failures) within the virtual world of Azeroth. We here at WhatMMO now provide our list of the greatest and most well known WoW players.
... (See Most Famous WoW Players)
If you're a big MMO player, you probably remember the first time you logged into your first MMO, and the feeling of awe you felt as you entered a massive virtual world. One of the great appeals of the genre is the ability to enter an imaginary world and truly immerse yourself in it. For this list, I'll be going through some of the best virtual worlds ever created for MMOs.
... (See Best MMO Settings)
Massively multiplayer games have a reputation for possessing very weak plots and lore compared to story driven single player games. When listing the video games with the greatest stories, you'd expect to see names like Mass Effect and Deus Ex, but you probably won't see names like Aion or World of Warcraft. There does seem to be something about MMORPGs that inhibits good storytelling. But does this really mean that story is irrelevant in MMOs, or that we are doomed to never see a massively multiplayer plot that equals its single player counterparts?
... (See Story in MMOs: A Paradox)
The majority of group experiences are fun and productive, allowing you to progress your character in the company of friends new and old. But then there are those other groups, the ones destined to end in bitter disappointment or furious nerd rage. In such cases, your best choice may be simply to bail and find a new group. These are some of the top signs that you should do just that. .
... (See Signs Your Dungeon Group is Doomed)
Perhaps you're feeling a bit burnt out with your current MMO of choice. What's the solution? A player hosted in-game event. For those with a little creativity, there's no need to wait on a developer for something to do.
... (See Six Ideas for Your Next Player Hosted Event)
In March of 2012, Aeria Games announced that they were growing their brand to include a mobile division. At Aeria mobile's launch, there were three games available with more titles on the horizon. WhatMMORPG.com got the opportunity to chat with the mobile team about their exciting new division at Aeria Games.
... (See Aeria Mobile Interview)
If you heard that someone invested a whopping 2.5 million dollars into a video game, more than likely you'd suspect that they invested in buying either the rights to a small indie game or control over an indie game development studio. More often than not, this would actually be a safe bet - but in this case you'd be dead wrong.
... (See Investing in 1s and 0s)
Guild Wars 2, The Exiled Realm of Arborea (better known as TERA), and The Secret World are three of the most hotly anticipated new MMOs coming down the pipe right now, each with legions of feverishly excited fans clamoring for their releases. But how do they rank against each other?
... (See GW2, TERA, and The Secret World: Who Comes Out on Top?)
So you love World of Warcraft, but you're a bit hard up for cash and that monthly subscription is starting to hurt. There's no shame in that. We've compiled a list of some of the best and most popular free to play massively multiplayer games that closely resemble WoW.
... (See Top Free to Play WoW Clones)
Guild Wars 2 is one of the most hotly anticipated MMOs in history. In an industry where new titles are routinely given messianic levels of hype and lauded as "game-changers" and "Warcraft-killers," GW2 seems to have achieved an even greater level of hype. Why?
... (See GW2 Risk)
There are some extreme stories of addiction and obsession, but MMO players are as diverse as any other group of people; for every horror story, there's a story of friendship, love, or maybe even heroism to come out of our virtual worlds.
... (See Lighter Side)
There's an old saying that goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." And for the most part, it's good advice. But MMO developers seem to live by this idea a little too heavily. The genre has evolved very little since it first started to gain popularity over a decade ago.
... (See MMO Mechanics)
While most people can play MMOs for years with no ill effects, there are a select few who have lost their sanity, their dignity, or even their lives to their hopeless video game addictions. Here is a list of some of the most shocking stories to come out of the world of MMOs.
... (See MMO Incidents)
Square-Enix offered an official apology for the state of FF14 shortly after release. Now they feel that the game is worthy of charging a recurring subscription. What does that mean?
... (See FF14 Transition)
The downside of more race choices in MMO games is that some developers will go too far and cross the line from “unique” to “ridiculous.” Of course, what constitutes a lame race is all in the eye of the beholder, so we can't call this a definitive list, but with apologies to their fans, we now present the races that we just can't see ourselves playing.
... (See Lame Races)
Part of what made the 'Knights of the Old Republic' games as successful as they were was how deeply-involved they were. The games could easily draw the player into the worlds they presented and create one of the deepest single-player RPG experiences out there, but how does such an experience translate into an online game?
... (See SWTOR Social)
World of Warcraft is the undisputed king of the MMO world. It has millions of subscribers –far more than any other MMO – and rakes in the almost unimaginable profits. But success breeds jealousy. Developers, gaming journalists, and consumers have spent years searching for the mythical WoW-killer, the game that will end World of Warcraft's reign and become the new juggernaut of the industry. Many games have been given the crown of WoW-killer before their release, but yet Warcraft still reigns supreme. Some WoW-killers crashed and burned spectacularly, while others went on to their own modest successes, but none have toppled the king from his throne.
... (See WoW Killers)
There are many MMOs in our world, each with their own colorful history, but they all have a common source: development teams slavishly working behind the scenes to create epic and inspiring virtual worlds. Developers are the foundation of the MMO industry. Nothing would get done without them, and so we have taken it upon ourselves to cover some of the more noteworthy developers of the MMO. Some are massive juggernauts, some are more modestly sized, some are ambitious newcomers, and others are veteran companies with years of success behind them, but all have left their mark on the gaming world in some way.
... (See Top Developers)
Video games are a complex medium. If you were to gather together all the ways a developer could go wrong with one, it would fill a book. Many of these apply to all genres of game equally, but there are also some that are special to massively multiplayer games, unique ways to mess up an online game that are guaranteed to have the game's players foaming at the mouth with rage.
... (See Worst Decisions)
You've made your way past the low level zones of your favorite MMO. Your character has evolved into a mighty hero ready to defend the land from evil. It is now time to confront the mightiest of MMO opponents, the bosses. No MMO would be complete without mighty and terrible bosses for adventurers to pit their skills against. Some are hard, some are easy, some are fun, and some could only appeal to the masochistic. We decided to put together a run down of the ones that most stood out in our minds.
... (See Legendary Bosses)
The MMO fan base consists of millions of players of all walks of life from around the world. They are as varied as humanity itself, consisting of all races, genders, religions, and cultures. But yet, despite that, they'll all start to fade into a blur if you play these games enough.
... (See MMO Players)
The holidays are a time of joy and celebration for all, in which people from all walks of life take time to visit with loved ones, give and receive gifts, and eat unhealthy quantities of food. But such celebrations are not limited to the real world.
... (See MMO Holidays)
Anyone that says that Final Fantasy XIV has had a great history would be totally lying. A little over a year later the game is shifting from it's free to play model due to a poor release back to the intended pay to play schedule. Are they doing enough to justify the switch?
... (See FF14 P2P)
World of Warcraft is a game with a reputation for having a terrible community associated with it. And while there are plenty of decent people in among the mouth-breathers and griefers, there is, unfortunately, a lot of truth to this reputation. So much so, in fact, that each of the game's ten classes has developed their own stereotype encapsulating the kind of dimwits and trolls they attract.
... (See WoW Classes)
Grow in power, become a mighty hero, and defeat terrifying enemies with your awesome powers – this is the promise made by all MMOs. Any online game will see your character equipped with feats of magic and might to astound and amaze. But then there are those other abilities. The ones that make you wonder what the developers were thinking, that sit in your spellbook until that uncertain future date when you find out what the heck they're actually good for.
... (See Pointless Abilities)
Most games in the MMORPG genre contain content that makes it essentially impossible to complete without forming some sort of party. While the composition of these parties is equally important as how many people make them up, today's article will take a look at party sizes and the various arguments about appropriate numbers.
... (See MMORPG Parties)
Let's say right off the bat that, as a general rule, MMO developers are honest, up-standing businessmen just trying to put out the best products for players to enjoy - and fork over large sums of money for. But nobody's perfect. Sometimes, they fall short and wind up unable to deliver on their promises. Sometimes, they oversell things or bend the truth in advertising their products. And, okay, sometimes they're just lying bastards.
... (See MMO Lies)
Crafting is an interesting beast. Crafting and upgrading gear is often an important aspect of games centered on adventuring or even player-vs-player combat, yet the degree to which this importance is carried out varies greatly from game to game.
... (See MMORPG Crafting)