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Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Problem with MMO Game Reviews: Why Reviewing MMORPGs Kinda Sucks

Let me introduce myself – I am a professional writer. I have to put in the word professional in there so people know that writing is work and not a hobby for me. I get paid to do it. A large part of my work nowadays is writing about MMO games. Isn’t that great?

I thought about writing this post to let my readers know a little bit about how MMO games are written about. Notice I used the more general term “written about” rather than reviewed. We will get to that later.

The Problem with MMO Game Reviews

game reviewers

The writing process looks like this

Problem 1: No one has the time to properly review the whole game.

With MMOs I have to download huge clients. This can take a very long time. Then I need to register an account, create a character and then play for a very long time. How long? At least a few hours, more likely several days.

The problem boils down to this: MMO are endless. All the content takes either forever or at the very least several hundred hours to finish. A person cannot fairly review a game after playing it a little bit but what can you do? Obviously no one has enough time to play the low-level, mid-level and endgame of every MMO they need to write about. That’s why I feel MMO reviews are all less fair than other types of reviews.

Book reviewers can read the entire book before they write about it. Movie critics finish the movie before they review it. Restaurant reviewers can sit down and eat an entire meal but can a MMO reviewer really play most of the game unless they devote a year to it?

Problem 2: How do you compare apples and oranges?

I try to be fair and review a game as it is. Comparisons are always made but only similar games should be compared, otherwise it just doesn’t make sense.

But did you know players are always looking for similar games?

It’s true! They always say “I want games like Runescape but better,” “is there any sandbox game like old SWG,” “any games similar to Maplestory,” “I need a game to replace WoW,” “no download games like Club Penguin,” etc. Almost no one ever says “I want a game totally unlike any other.”

Then do you know what happens when you do tell them about some “games like Runescape/Maplestory/WoW/whatever”? They get mad because “that isn’t like Runescape at all they don’t have any crafting!” or “that game sucks its not like WoW at all the PvP is too different.”

To these people: get a grip! There is no game exactly like RS/MS/WoW/SWG. There never will be. Okay? All the games that reviewers/writers will point out for you will be similar to it in one way or another but it can never really be the same.

Problem 3: MMOs change all the time.

This is one genre of games that is always changing. It’s not like video games where developers can sell the whole game. MMOs are constantly updated and things get moved, changed, nerfed, broken, fixed, etc. all the time. So yeah maybe that review you read says something that isn’t true anymore because it got changed.

One day you write glowingly about how players never really need to buy anything off the cash shop then the next day PvP gets broken for free players because a bunch of new items were added to the shop. That’s how it is with MMOGs.

The Problem with MMO Game Reviews: Conclusion

I’m not going to complain too much though. Writing is a great job. Playing MMO games is fun. Combining the two is awesome. It’s just not as easy or as fun as you would expect.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Game Blogs

 

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Web Games – Get Free Endless Entertainment

You just have to love Club Penguin. It has it all: colorful graphics, quirky and fun games, lots of players, no download needed (you can play it on your browser) and, best of all, it’s free to play. Free to play games like Club Penguin are incredibly popular and entertaining. Best of all, I can play it with the kids in the family and spend some time together having fun in a less passive way than watching cartoons on TV.

games like club penguin

Games Like Club Penguin

Actually, I think I’ve talked about this before in an earlier blog post but today I was feeling a bit down because I read a book with a tragic ending. The cure for the emotional slump? You guessed it: colorful and free online games. It never fails, you know?

There you go, a nice video. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Browser MMORPG

 

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MMORPGs: Do they stress you out?

Sometimes playing MMO games can feel like work. You log in, complete tasks (quests), get your rewards and keep on doing that again and again. It’s called the daily grind and it is getting me down.

Ideally, role-playing in a game should be more like this:

Just as being away on a trip to a far-off island can refresh one’s perspective on daily life, one can achieve the same effect and benefits by immersing oneself in the fantastic worlds of free MMORPG. There are whole worlds to choose from and many stories to pursue, and certainly many characters to be. (Source)

But most of the time, it isn’t. Most of the time it’s just grinding, farming, trying to level up your character so it doesn’t suck.

Club Penguin

Club Penguin - for the times when you are bored with your Dark Elf

So what do I do when MMOs make me depressed and bored? Don’t laugh but I actually play games like Club Penguin. You know, casual, colorful games that make me smile. I love those colorful Penguins. :)

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2011 in Game Blogs

 

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SOE – still okay after the hacking incident?

So I have a Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) account which I almost never use. I would have forgotten about it entirely but several months ago I got bad news in my email. It seems accounts were hacked. Again.

Clearly any rational person would move on from this and forget all about SOE. However, now SOE announced that players can now download and play its popular massively multiplayer online (MMO) action game DC Universe Online (DCUO) for free. What’s a girl to do?

Meh, I might stick to games like Club Penguin instead, I mean at least those are safer.

You see my problem, actually I would love to play SOE games but the hacking thing has made me worried about my account safety. What if I want to buy some items? Are my personal information and credit card details safe?

You can play the game for free but the content is restricted. Free and new players now have access to the base game content in DC Universe Online, including Gotham City, Metropolis, and all current raids and alerts outside of DLC packs. Free Access provides players with the ability to create two characters, join a League and many other benefits. Free level players can also purchase DLC packs, additional character slots, and more in-game.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in F2P MMORPGs

 

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Bored of MMORPGs!

So I downloaded the WoW trial for free players quite some time ago and I have been playing it. The problem is, I know this is supposed to be one of the best, possibly even the best MMO out there but it just can’t seem to hold my attention at all.

What’s up with gameplay? I don’t understand why there are so many quests and all you ever do is kill things to complete them and get rewards. So everything is just running around killing ten rats… forever?
wow blood elfI do like the graphics and the sound effects. The backstory behind the blood elves is also very interesting and at first I was really into that but now it seems when I log in all I ever do is quests. On the plus side, I do love the combat system but I’m bored and I haven’t even gotten to level 20 yet.

With the open world questing, the mobs are far apart most of the time so I also don’t get how we are supposed to work in groups. I mean, okay you can kill two mobs together then you have to keep on moving. I always seem to lose my group members after than. IMO, if you can no longer see them in your screen, you have lost them. What’s the point of playing with friends if you can’t stay together in the game screen? You might as well not play together if you just independently kill things.

There also doesn’t seem to be a robust skill or profession system as far as I can tell. I haven’t had to craft anything at all.

*sigh*

In other news, here is a new article What is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game? and I am taking a long look at an upcoming game Blade and Soul.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Game Blogs

 

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