Is Paladins Too Derivative to Compete?

Hi-Rez Studios, creators of the third person MOBA Smite and the high-speed FPS Tribes Ascend, are back with their latest entry into the free to play MMO market. Paladins takes many of the best elements from the most popular MMOs and simplifies them, creating a game that plays very well but doesn’t bring much new to the table. Considering that many game companies have risen to fame by borrowing ideas from other successful titles (e.g. Blizzard), that wouldn’t normally be a bad thing, but I wonder whether Paladins will be able to find its place in a genre so jam-packed with killers.

Is Griefing Healthy for MMOs?

Picture this: You’re walking through your favorite MMORPG’s hub city looking for quests to pick up. You stop by the mailbox to grab the gold you made from a recent auction house venture and you turn around to see a giant dragon staring you in the face. Some high-level beastmaster must have snuck the beast past the city guards and let it loose on the unsuspecting populace. Before you have time to respond, the dragon opens its mouth and breathes fire over you and every other unlucky soul that decided to AFK in the middle of town, leaving behind only ashes and frustration. Welcome to the world of old-school MMO design, here’s your complimentary tissue box.

6 Game Mechanics that Popular MMOs Should Borrow

Sometimes leaving a good impression can mean more than the overall quality of a game, which is coincidentally something I tell myself to reconcile the fact that I played World of Warcraft by myself for 7 months during the Burning Crusade. The reality is that games don’t survive on good impressions alone, which has caused many great idea to be buried alongside the games that housed them. It’s common practice for game developers to borrow ideas from other games, but for one reason or another the following mechanics and design philosophies have yet to be rediscovered by the mainstream gaming industry. All I can hope for now is that a popular game like World of Warcraft or DOTA 2 will step up and perform game design necromancy on some of my favorite MMOs.