Author Archives: Sandra

Design Analysis: Noblegarden

It can be difficult to discuss MMO design in the complete abstract — there are just too many variables — so today I am going to deconstruct and analyze a specific design in an existing game. My target: Noblegarden, a … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 7 Comments

You Really Should

It’s quite common in the MMO industry to run into people who want to tell you: what kind of game you should build, what audience you should target, what business model you should use, how you should interact with your … Continue reading

Posted in Production | 3 Comments

MMO Games and Character Blogging

I’ve recently gotten into game blogging in a big way. And I’m not talking about game design blogs like this one; no, most of my time has been spent in the WoW blogosphere, reveling in the hundreds of personal blogs … Continue reading

Posted in Community | 10 Comments

The Secret Life of a Dev Team

This isn’t an MMO news site — we try to focus on practical advice, not ongoing drama — but recently Blizzard made a particularly interesting decision that I want to use to illuminate what goes on inside a dev team. … Continue reading

Posted in Production | 5 Comments

Solo != Anti-social

I’m not anti-social; I spend most of my time interacting with others. (Even soloing, I’m chatting and roleplaying.) Ethic at Kill Ten Rats recently wrote a post called Where Did the Social Go? that laments the increasing focus on solo … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 17 Comments

Subscriptions vs. Microtransactions

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about how subscription MMO games are on their way out, soon to be replaced entirely by free-to-play MMO games with upsell or micropayment features. I was also reading a post by Seth Godin … Continue reading

Posted in Business | 13 Comments

‘Tis the Season: Tips for Holiday Content

World of Warcraft just launched their winter holiday content, aka the Feast of Winter Veil, and that got me thinking about how enjoyable seasonal content can be to develop. But as usual, there are also some caveats. So here, in … Continue reading

Posted in Production | Comments Off

WoW Donut Has The Wrong Jelly

Cameron Sorden on Random Battle asked a very good question recently in his post How Raiding Hurts WoW More Than It Helps: So why does Blizzard make a community with a majority of non-raiding players raid, given all the problems … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 13 Comments

Getting the Most Out of a Test Server

Zubon from Kill Ten Rats recently posted about why he doesn’t use the test server. His points, valid or not, are pretty common-place: I’ve heard similar complaints from other players over a broad swath of games. And that’s unfortunate, because … Continue reading

Posted in Production | 5 Comments

Zen of Design: Misusing Bartle

Damion Schubert, an old-timer in the MMO development world, posted an excellent discussion of some common ways that designers misuse Richard Bartle’s taxonomy of MUD players over at his blog Zen of Design. Now I’ve expressed my opinion of the … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 1 Comment