Assuming the archives are correct, the first Daily Grind ever was penned by Krystalle Voecks on November 3rd, 2007, a day after Old Massively was founded – or I suppose to be more accurate, a day after it was rechristened from a Second Life blog into a multi-MMO website under AOL. In other words, a Daily Grind has been written almost every single day for the last 11 years. That’s like over 4000 Daily Grinds. That is a legacy, people. We’ve been kicking off the day with a community discussion topic for a very, very long time. So today, in honor of that legacy, I’m gonna pick out my top favorite Daily Grinds from 2018 – one from each month! This TDG provoked interesting discussion but no consensus other than “it depends.” While some folks are against it no matter what, others are willing to consider it if the mechanics make sense and it doesn’t become a grind. Again, the comments were mixed. Folks seem to agree on two points: PvP content is … [Read more...] about The best Massively OP community Daily Grinds of 2018
Daily grind website
There’s this particular template for covering MMORPGs on mainstream gaming websites that I cannot stand: the old “haha, MMOs are weird and old, let’s poke at them for our ironic amusement” article. Polygon ran a piece earlier this month that could’ve run the risk of falling into that trope but actually managed to raise good points instead of just taking a snobby dump on the whole genre – probably because the author actually likes MMOs in the first place. Taylor Cooke ponders why he didn’t feel the urge to return to World of Warcraft for Battle for Azeroth, in spite of still enjoying and even craving some content – like raiding – that just can’t compare in more instant-gratification titles like Warframe and Diablo III. In fact, he wonders whether it’s the genre that’s changed too much – or him. Is it that he’s getting old, aging out of MMOs? Or are MMOs simply failing to keep up with the rest of the … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Do you think you’ve aged out of MMOs?
Are you into stopping and smelling the flowers, literally or figuratively? I started thinking a bit about this thanks to a tweet ZeniMax sent out about Elder Scrolls Online last weekend; the studio was promoting the work of @JXRaiv, who put together a website that allows players to explore all the wayshrines in the game. You don’t even need to log in to enjoy the view. And in fact, I bet most people wouldn’t either. Games seldom reward us for exploration, and when they don’t, we often don’t bother. Even when they do – I’m thinking about Guild Wars 2’s mapping – gamers often just skip past the cutscene to get on to the next one. Long ago, I decided to go on a tour, by foot, of all the shrines in a different MMORPG; it was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had in an MMORPG. And none of it counted for anything except for my own joy and my own recollection all these years later. When was the last time you went sightseeing … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: When was the last time you went sightseeing in an MMORPG?
Earlier this week, I happened to see a mainstream website refer to ArtCraft as an indie studio, and it jolted me. ArtCraft, as anybody reading MOP knows, is working on Crowfall, which at least in my estimation is a high-quality, graphics-intensive MMORPG from hardcore MMORPG veterans who’ve been in the business as long as anyone alive. The game has raised at least $12M or maybe $15M, at least counting up what we know about. When I think of indie studios, I think of the tiny outfits working on games like Project Gorgon, Ever, Jane, and Ascent the Space Game. But of course Crowfall is also an indie, right? It’s not running a $500M budget; it’s not ensconced under a cozy AAA publisher umbrella. It crowdfunds. Then again, aside from the budget/wealth, its profile looks like a bit like Epic Games’ – it even has an engine to vend now. So is it really just about money? Is Star Citizen, with its multiple studios and AAA budget, an indie because of … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: What exactly defines an ‘indie’ MMORPG studio?
A blog post on The Psychology of Video Games blog a few weeks ago seems relevant to our interests: It explores the “pleasure paradox,” which basically suggests that humans crave certainty, but once we get it, we’re bored. Experiments showed that subjects “said they would prefer to be less uncertain, but the results show that their happiness would have been diminished” if they actually were. We like a good mystery! Consequently, author Jamie Madigan argues, games should take advantage of this human quirk – say, by rewarding us based on some hidden modifier but not telling us what we did to earn it. In a weird way, that’s something ancient MMORPGs did by accident: Information was so obfuscated that playing was as much trial and error as anything, and game mechanics were an unintentional mystery. And something like, oh, websites publishing every single mage spell combo in Asheron’s Call? It killed the magic. So does every elitist in … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: How much MMO game info should be hidden from the players?