How Players Are Affected By Solo Activities

world_of_warcraft_1.jpgPreviously, I discussed some of the reasons why I prefer to solo through most MMO content. This got me to thinking about something I’ve noticed since switching back from World of Warcraft to Guild Wars. Players in World of Warcraft, despite the ease with which the game can be soloed, seem to be far more likely to form pick-up groups than players in Guild Wars. I began to think about why this might be. I’ve come to the conclusion that this, like so many other things in life, is determined by a number of factors adding up to an individual’s experience within a game. Continue reading How Players Are Affected By Solo Activities

Why I Play Multiplayer Games By Myself

gw001.jpgAkela Talamasca at Massively posted today about why he enjoys soloing through his favorite MMOs. This is something that I find myself enjoying as well and I’d like to share a few more reasons why it can be fun.

Akela lists his reasons as such:

Feeling of being a hero, not a nameless part of a team.
Inability to trust other players.
Time management.

For my situation, the first two certainly apply. I enjoy being the star of the show and I detest when other players lower my enjoyment of a game. Time management isn’t a big concern for me, as I tend to be the one scheduling the guild events and trying to get everyone together.

Continue reading Why I Play Multiplayer Games By Myself

MMOs as casual games

Bejeweled 2There’s a lot of push lately in the casual game market. Initiatives such as Xbox Live Arcade are pushing casual gaming, commonly defined as games that are accessible by a wide audience and require little time to get in, have fun, and get out. In the last few years, we’ve even seen many MMOs trying to add a casual experience to their game.

A few months ago, I wrote about how addicted I was to World of Warcraft. As is often the case with me, my addiction has faded and been replaced by other games and interests. I do still have the desire to play with my friends there and so I still maintain my subscription and load up from time to time. This has caused me to look more closely at the aspects of the game intended for casual gamers.

Continue reading MMOs as casual games


One feature I have always enjoyed about online games ever since my first MMO, Earth & Beyond, are the live holiday events. Back on E&B, the Halloween event consisted of receiving special pumpkin-launching cannons for your ship, resulting in the areas around space stations becoming large messes of splattered pumpkin bits. These days I play WoW, and it looks like Blizzard is getting better at its holiday events.

WoW has seen two back-to-back holidays in recent weeks. First up was the all-new event, Brewfest. Themed to match the real-world equivalent, Beerfest, Brewfest included some hilarious moments. In the Brewfest main event areas outside Ironforge and Orgrimmar, tents and vendors were all set up, offering quests and, of course, alcoholic beverages to keep your character wasted. Music in this area consisted of an upbeat fanfare overlaid with either Dwarves or Goblins, depending on where you were, getting drunk and joking around like madmen. One of the funniest moments I found was on the Horde side, where the Goblins were making a mockery of the Dwarven version of the event by wearing horribly cheesy Dwarf masks and calling themselves by Dwarven names.

Continue reading Holidays

Still here.. still hopelessly addicted..

I’ve been silent lately.  It’s been partially due to personal concerns and partially due to my inability to turn off this WoW thing that keeps running on my computer.  I’d like to pose a question to the community in the meantime while I try to work up a decent posting:  Blizzard has mentioned an interest in upgrading the World of Warcraft engine.  Assuming this would be part of the update for Wrath of the Lich King, how do you believe this would affect the game’s community both from a technical standpoint and a general one?

My thoughts coming soon.

Social Gamers? No way!

This article: 

seems to point out what a lot of us at Kill Ten Rats have known for years, but it’s an interesting read. It would seem psychologists are finally realizing that these MMO games are social activities and, in some cases, can cause a person to become better at social interactions.  This is not to say that it holds true for every gamer.  Certainly there are plenty of MMO players who it seems will never learn how to behave around others. What I find most interesting are the romantic facts.   The study found that 1 in 10 MMO players develop physical relationships with those they have met in the game world.  I’d be interested in seeing how that compares to the success rate on matchmaking websites.

Is Diablo an MMO?

I’d like to take a look at the past for a moment here. There are a lot of rumors of a Diablo 3 being announced soon, benefitting from the new and improved features coming to with StarCraft 2. Details on those features have yet to surface, so all we have is conjecture. But what about the classic title, Diablo 2? Is it an MMO? Continue reading Is Diablo an MMO?

World of WarCraft: The MMOFPS

Unfortunately, I didn’t work on the post I had planned for this weekend.  Instead, I was playing WoW all weekend.  Here’s an idea for discussion, however:  One of the things that bugs me about MMORPG’s in general is how apparent the turns are.  We interact in real-time, but there’s still a turn-based game going on underneath.  Imagine, if you will, a more interactive WoW.  What would it be like?  How would combat be handled?  How would PvP balance out?