Ready your timezone clocks, folks: MOP Black Desert columnist Carlo proposed this topic for the Daily Grind today. “I’m in Chicago right now, so I’m on CDT, usually PDT. Black Desert’s reset is at 5 p.m. PDT, 4 p.m. PST. But here in Chicago, it’s 7 p.m. CDT. I find it much more convenient because the MMO primetime out here is much later. So even though it’s 1 a.m. here, it’s 11 p.m. back home, meaning I’ve got more people doing stuff later. I just never realized how a two-hour difference in reset can change my day so much!” I’ve definitely played the timezone game before too, having lived in three timezones across the US and having several EU guildies to coordinate with. Usually I’d say the ideal reset – if there must be one at all – is whenever I’m asleep so I don’t have to think about it. But I’ve also found it convenient to have afternoon and evening resets so that I can time my dailies … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: When’s the ideal daily reset for an MMORPG?
The daily grind
MOP reader Nibbana has a great question for The Daily Grind today. “So I just picked up Shadow in order to run my favorite MMOs at max settings on my three-year-old Macbook Air (don’t judge). My question is this: What MMOs are almost a different game when played at max settings vs lowest settings?” Nibbana’s query couldn’t have come at a better time. MOP’s Justin and I were just discussing Lord of the Rings Online in the context of game age and new clients; his screenshots of the environments in the new patch, for example, are jaw-dropping, but videos of the low-poly critters… yikes, not so much. Likewise, I’ve been immersed in a Star Wars Galaxies emulator this summer, without without all the texture settings boosted to the max (plus a player-made texture pack mod), it would look much closer to the 2003 MMO that it actually is. Ultima Online is another contender in my mind; its most modern client and models actually bring it into this … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Which MMORPGs are nearly different games with max settings or upgraded clients?
Toxicity in online gaming just keeps popping up – specifically as it pertains to chat and commenting. MOP reader Tanek pointed us to a thread about Standing Stone Games, which is apparently blocking specific words in LOTRO’s chat, including supposedly “political” words, leading some players to demand the company publish the full list to prove to said players they’re not “biased” (not gonna happen). Reader Stephen then linked us to the amusing story of a Norwegian site that’s developed a WordPress plugin that requires people to take a quiz on an article’s contents before being allowed to comment. Finally, there’s Saga of Lucimia, which this week spent its Monday dev blog discussing the Fair Play Alliance and its own home-grown play nice policy – and the fact that it will take a zero-tolerance, insta-ban approach to dealing with racism (we’ll assume other bigotry too). All of these are approaches to handling … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Are blacklists, quizzes, and threats effective at reducing text toxicity in MMOs?
Forget group-kicks: If you’re a tool in Sea of Thieves, your own shipmates might just opt to stuff you in the brig – “a holding cell located on the bottom of the ship that disruptive players can be sent to after a democratic vote is held by their shipmates,” explains Polygon in a piece last week. The idea is to give toxic or obnoxious players a chance to apologize or shape up, even roleplay their way out of the situation they created. This kind of penalty isn’t entirely new to MMOs, whether we’re talking jail in Ultima Online or Age of Wushu, but it’s certainly creative, right? At least as long as the majority of your ship isn’t toxic and you’re the one being shoved into a cell. What’s the most creative in-game way you’ve seen an online game studio thwart toxicity? Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: What’s the most creative way MMOs thwart toxicity?
Earlier this month, Overwatch made headlines when a player posted up a behavioral therapy chart his wife – who happens to be a therapist – made him fill out after he complained about his game losses. The idea is that you write down your “negative thoughts” about the game experience, then reflect on that to see how your temporary emotion has distorted your opinions, then craft a positive frame instead. It’s funny – but also pretty useful, and even Overwatch Redditors were asking for a blank sheet so they could try it themselves. That brings us to today’s Daily Grind: How do you deal with your anger in an MMO? Do you complain to guildies, log out, bang your desk, go work out to burn off some steam? Are you handling it as well as the Overwatch Redditor and trying to learn from what went wrong? What do you do, exactly, when your teammates turn out to be “hot garbage”? My wife told me to fill out this form after I kept complaining about … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: How do you deal with your anger in MMORPGs?