September 30, 2014

Autumn Games

As noted elsewhere, I like to study in short bursts, and one of the things I like to include in the mix of stuff is a game. The requirements for this are things that can sit in the background and...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 4:14 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2014

Top MMOs by Revenue

There's a post on Polygon listing the top MMOs by Revenue. The top one, obviously, is World of Warcraft. However, the second is Lineage, and the fourth is SW:TOR, which I find very odd. This isn't a lifetime revenue measure,...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

January 9, 2014

Pathfinder Online

I've been following the development of Pathfinder Online with considerable interest, ever since the people making it said it'd be a sandbox game. One of the things I'm particularly pleased with as it goes along is the sheer quality of...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 3:53 PM | Comments (0)

January 7, 2012

Goblinworks & Pathfinder Online

There's another developer blog post at Goblinworks, by Ryan Dancey, about Pathfinder Online. It's about classes and levels, specifically. Now, I haven't written about Pathfinder Online before, because in many ways, it's too good to ever come true. Having seen...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 2:22 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2010


So, I was noting earlier that I'm very positive about Neverwinter. I was talking about this on Of Course I'll Play It, and I'd like to expand a bit on that, and in particular, why I'm happier that it's not...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:28 PM | Comments (0)

Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter

So Syp alerted me to the forthcoming Neverwinter. It's not quite an MMO, and not quite a single player CRPG - more of a co-op game. There's an interview on Gamespot, which is pretty informative. It's set in the Forgotten...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 3:56 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2009

Amber the MMO

There was a question on Van Hemlock and Jon Shute's podcast about what IP they'd like to see an MMO made from. They dodged the question, along with all the questions designed to make them slip up and reveal themselves...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:42 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2009

EQ2 and WoW

Syp asked people to write about things in EQ2 that are better than WoW. And then my esteemed guildmate, Stropp, wrote down all my answers. So while I agree with Stropp on all his points, I want to head off...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:12 PM | Comments (0)

November 9, 2009


So about a month ago, I saw this competition on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. I sent in an entry - I enter just about everything on that site - and thought nothing more of it. But today, this popped up in...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 4:23 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2009

State of the Games: MMOs

I've been ticking along on the MMO front for a while now, not getting heavily into anything. As autumn and winter approach, though, I'm reckoning on playing more. I want to record where I'm at now, and then I can...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

August 7, 2009

Tobold on Challenge, Me on EQII

Tobold, still newly returned to blogging after a short break, has a monstrously insightful post on the illusion of challenge in modern MMOs - and specifically, in WoW....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2009

Cities XL

I am not at all sure how this managed to escape my notice so far, but there's an upcoming game called Cities XL, which is basically SimCity with MMO elements. In other words, it's a PvP resource management game, and...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 2:15 PM | Comments (0)

April 7, 2009

The Secret World Appears

So, Funcom's next game, The Secret World is starting to be revealed. Massively have a very preliminary look at it. I wasn't all that impressed with the text description, but I really liked the teaser video clip at the end....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 4:37 PM | Comments (0)

April 3, 2009

Why is there not a Fantasy EVE?

This morning, I was listening to Van Hemlock and Jon work out the details necessary for a 'fantasy EVE' game. Yesterday, I was reading Syncaine's diatribe on WoW Tourists in Darkfall (and noting, as an aside, that they're a bit...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:59 PM | Comments (0)

January 2, 2009

Darkfall: A Fantasy EVE?

I've been watching the development of Darkfall with interest - and after Pirates of the Burning Sea, a little scepticism. However, it's due to release in Europe on the 22nd of this month, and the feature list is pretty impressive....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 2:25 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2008

Wizard 101

Wizard 101 is a new free-to-play MMO with an option to subscribe for extra content. It's aimed at the 10-13 age-group, but don't let that fool you - it's a well-executed, well-designed game, with its own distinct style and gameplay....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:55 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2008

SW:TOR NPCs - Love Interests and Enemies

Bioware have stated that they'll be adding a great deal of emphasis on story in their forthcoming Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic. It's essentially being billed as Knights of the Old Republic II through about XII, which was all...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2008

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Bioware's long-awaited MMO announcement has finally been made, and as expected, it's Star Wars: The Old Republic. It's Sith Empire vs. the Galactic Republic, set 300 years after Knights of the Old Republic. Hopefully, it'll work out better than Star...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:47 AM | Comments (0)

October 2, 2008

Tad Williams' Otherland as MMO

Apparently, there's to be an MMO made from Tad Williams' Otherland books. I find this absolutely mind-boggling, as the books are already set in not just an MMO, but a whole series of virtual worlds. I'm developing a healthy scepticism...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2008

Darkfall: Fantasy Sandbox?

The Warcry network is hosting a new developer journal concerning Darkfall. Darkfall has been in development for a long, long time, and many people think it's firmly in the realm of vapourware. More than anything else, Darkfall is selling full...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2008

Thoughts On Crafting In WoW and WAR

I've been thinking a lot about crafting lately, as Wormson chases down the last few non-bind-on-pickup tailoring recipes and has finally made his awesome frost-and-shadow robe. I'm also looking for jewelcrafting recipes for him, and seeing the number of items...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2008

Multiple Group Membership in MMOs

The World of Warcraft guild I'm in is part of a larger group of three guilds, the Hillsbrad Pact, in-character, and ARCORB, out of character. Between us, we can muster a decent raiding group, a good chat channel, and a...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2008

Honor Harrington MMO

Apparently - and despite my interest in both David Weber's Honor Harrington series, and MMOs, this managed to sneak past me until now - there's going to be an game called something like Honorverse: an Honor Harrington MMO....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:19 AM | Comments (1)

January 22, 2008

WAR Refinements

EA Mythic are releasing Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning later this year (hopefully). I've been looking at a few of the features they intend to have in - specifically, what kind of quest systems and what kind of endgame options...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

November 9, 2007

Morrowind MMO?

There's been a persistent rumour that there's going to be an Elder Scrolls MMO - the series that Daggerfall, Oblivion, and Morrowind were part of. And now, Destructoid has noticed that the domain has been bought by Zenimax, Bethesda's...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 2:01 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2007

Work as Game

The BBC's coverage of MMOs and virtual worlds has been getting more enthusiastic of late; either they've hired a gamer, or they've noticed that articles on games get huge amounts of traffic. Some of the reports are a bit on...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2007

End-game Musings

There's a fine post on Hardcore Casual about Endgame Types....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2007

Areae launch Metaplace

Raph Koster's company, Areae, have finally accounced what they're working on, a product called Metaplace. It appears to be - basically - a combination of interactive website and MMO, allowing users to build their own games. It's pretty open, and...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2007

Sword of the New World: Initial Impressions

Sword of the New World is another translated-from-Korean game, now released in the West. To summarise: the gameplay is very different, but interesting, and the game is astoundingly pretty.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

July 5, 2007

LotRO: Play A Chicken

So there's a "sneak peek" on the Lord of the Rings Online site concerning a form of play in which you can play a chicken....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:24 PM | Comments (1)

June 15, 2007

LotRO: First Impressions

Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a post like this about World of Warcraft, in which I wasn't all that impressed, and saying I was pretty damn sure I'd stick with Dark Age of Camelot. Two years of playing...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2007

MMO Crafting & Tradeskills Forum Sites

Anyone who's dealt with me in an MMO knows I'm usually more interested in the crafting and tradeskills end of things than anything else, barring RP - and the tradeskills are something you can solo a lot better. So I'd...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:03 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2007

The Ideal MMO

I've been thinking a lot lately, as my Forsaken Warlock nears level 70 in World of Warcraft, and people are starting to say that Lord of the Rings Online is a damn fine game, about the kind of MMO I...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2007

Blizzard Announcement May 19th

Blizzard recently said that they'd be announcing a new game at Blizzard Worldwide Invitational, an event taking place in Korea. There's a lot of speculation as to what this new game will be - an MMO of Diablo or Starcraft,...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 7:45 PM | Comments (0)

May 3, 2007

WAR Delayed until 2008

The highly anticipated Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR) has had its release pushed back to 2008, according to Eurogamer. while most of the work on the game's Dwarf and Greenskin zones is already complete, the team has decided to...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 8:51 AM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2007

MMO Superstitions & Behaviours

There's a new issue of the The Daedalus Project up, with articles about player superstitions and behaviour. As ever, well worth reading!...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:28 AM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2007

The Pig Slates Turbine

There's a great article by the Pig on about Turbine. His rather surprising calculation is that, despite being constantly labelled as a "major player in the MMO marketplace", they're no such thing, and that in fact, they currently hold...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

Stargate MMO In Production

Yet another MMORPG on the horizon; this time it's Stargate Worlds. Licenced properties are cropping up all over now, and I can't help thinking that some of them are just not going to take off - an MMO is a...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 8:37 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2007

Virtual Worlds hit $1bn

According to an article on the BBC website, virtual worlds - a term which includes MMOs, Second Life, Neopets, etc - are now worth a billion dollars every year. MMOs cover 87% of the total, and World of Warcraft more...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 3:14 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2007


Player created content in any game delights me, and seeing it in Lord of the Rings Online is making me much more optimistic about it. Acoustic Medley in LOTRO Dust In The Wind in LOTRO...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:50 PM | Comments (4)

March 16, 2007

World of Darkness MMO

Magnus Bergsson, the CMO at CCP, has confirmed in an interview with Slashdot that they are working on concepts for an MMO set in the World of Darkness, White Wolf's tabletop RPG setting....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

March 9, 2007

Warhammer 40K MMO Speculation

I'm not at all sure why the Warhammer 40k MMO has managed to grab my imagination, but it seems to have snuck in there. I've not played much of the 40k miniatures games - although like pretty nearly any gamer,...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:08 AM | Comments (3)

March 2, 2007

Warhammer 40K MMO

There's a fair flood of licensed properties being turned into MMOs at the moment, between Firefly, Lord of the Rings, and Warhammer Fantasy. They're going to be joined by a Warhammer 40,000 MMORPG, according to an article on Gamasutra. I'm...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2007

LOTRO Pre-Order Benefits

IGN have an article up detailing some of the benefits for pre-ordering Lord of the Rings Online. They include guaranteed access to the open beta, and a character rollover from the beta to the real thing. They're also offering a...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:42 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2007

World of Starcraft

There's some speculation up on IGN about a Starcraft MMO....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:23 PM | Comments (7)

December 16, 2006

Firefly MMO Interview

Over on Firefly MMO News, I've just put up an interview with Corey Bridges, one of the head honchos in Multiverse. There're a few interesting bits of information in there, and I'm very happy with the direction it's all taking...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:22 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2006

Firefly MMO: Hopes & Fears

So there's a Firefly MMO coming. It could be fantastic, or it could be terrible. The present state of affairs is that Multiverse have the licence, but that the development team has not yet been found....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2006

US Congress to Investigate RMT

Apparently, real money trading in MMOs has got to a stage where the US Congress are taking a look at it, according to the BBC: The Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the US Congress has announced it is investigating the...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 4:14 PM | Comments (0)

September 9, 2006

Archlord Beta: Orcs

I'm playing in the Archlord Beta, and the NDA has now been lifted. So I can actually publish my thoughts on it. In summary: it's very pretty, but still very rough around the edges....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 5:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 5, 2006

Where to Break The RMT Chain

I've been thinking a lot about the RMT situation in WoW. Part of the problem, as far as I can see, is that it's very difficult to point to any one part of the RMT chain and say "this is...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2006

More on RMT

Further to this morning's article on bots in WoW, Gama Sutra have published a feature article entitled IGE: Inside the MMO Trading Machine. It contains some direct quotes from the people who run IGE, including this interesting one: "Currency is...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:32 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2006

Romero working on MMO

According to the Guardian, John Romero is working on a MMO so secret he can't talk about it. After the vaunted flop that was Daikatana, I'm interested to see what he comes up with - and what this thing that...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 4:01 PM | Comments (1)

July 18, 2006

MMORPGs after WoW

There's speculation going on in a few forums that I read concerning what's next in MMOs after World of Warcraft. WoW has been running for more than a year and a half now, and while there are plenty of newcomers...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 3:44 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2006

Mythic Acquired by EA

According to Yahoo!, Mythic, the makers of Dark Age of Camelot, have been acquired by Electronic Arts. EA have a pretty bad reputation with regard to MMORPGs, and they're more noted for their repetitive sports titles than anything else. Comments...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 5:14 PM | Comments (1)

June 10, 2006

DDO Reprise

I decided to give Dungeons & Dragons Online another chance - after all, I reviewed it before based on the beta release. So I downloaded the free trial, ran up a cleric character, and started over. The character creation is...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:17 AM

June 7, 2006

A Tale In The Desert

It's always pleasing to find a new game that grabs you straight away. Especially when it's a free trial. A Tale In The Desert is one such, even though it's a very odd beast - an MMORPG with no combat...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 7:35 PM

May 31, 2006

PvP Addiction

You've gotta wonder. There's an article on about people who gain the highest Player versus Player ranks in World of Warcraft. 13-14 hours a day, apparently, for months....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:48 PM | Comments (1)

May 9, 2006

Free Online RPG Games

While it's plain to anyone that normal retail games like World of Warcraft and DDO are holding most of the market, there seems to be a growing segment in free MMORPGs. Second Life rates high among these, being free to...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 7:36 PM

April 23, 2006

DDO Free Trial

I see that DDO is offering a free seven-day trial. I'm not sure what to make of that; most of the successful MMOs do offer free trials, but they usually reserve them for when the buzz of the retail launch...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:40 PM

April 13, 2006

MMO News Roundup

There's a preview of Mythic's upcoming Warhammer Online at It sounds like it's going to be pretty impressive - and since the setting has a good following already in figure gaming and RPGs, I can guess that it'll take...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:18 AM

April 11, 2006

Roma Victor

According to an article in the Escapist on the upcoming MMO, Roma Victor, it's being designed with the economy in mind from the ground up. It sounds excellent, and it puts the kids who can play 14 hours a day...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 3:40 PM

April 3, 2006

MUD Player Categories

Looks to me like the categorisation of players in online games hasn't changed much since the days of MUDs....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 4:54 PM | Comments (1)

February 23, 2006

Time > Skill, Group > Solo

There's an interesting article on Gamasutra about World of Warcraft teaching the wrong lessons. I'm interested in particular in the Group > Solo dynamic, as I tend to play solo primarily - that is, I'll happily group when someone else...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:09 PM | Comments (2)

February 21, 2006

Vanguard Details

Bastun_ie was remarking that he didn't see much in Vanguard that was innovative. There're no major new systems or ideas, no. However, there are a few details that go further than previous games. A full 3D world that allows flying...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:52 PM | Comments (1)


Vanguard, which hasn't got a release date yet, is being touted as the successor to Everquest. I'll be interested to see how it rolls out - it certainly sounds ambitious, being a checklist of stuff I'd like in a game....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:11 AM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2006

Iron Realms

I've just run across a reference to the Iron Realms games - essentially large MUDs, with full support, events, and all the other stuff you expect in a graphical MMO. If anyone reading this is playing any of these games,...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:25 PM

February 8, 2006

Dungeons & Dragons Online

After all the filling in forms and downloading and getting stuff from Fileplanet, and all that jazz, I am not greatly impressed with Dungeons and Dragons Online.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:11 PM

January 16, 2006

RMT in Gaming

Something I see over and over again when I'm reading about MMOs is the notion that Real Money Trading is an unnatural and artificial occurence. The thing is that it's not - there is no such thing as an isolated economy. Or rather, there is, but it's the artificial one.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 3:08 PM

November 16, 2005

MMO Plot Running

It's starting to look like I may end up being the plot writer for a roleplaying guild (secondary to our main guilds on Argent Dawn) on the new European World of Warcraft server, Moonglade. I've been thinking a bit about the challenges this presents, and they're, to borrow a term from Marketing, unique.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 2:08 PM

August 8, 2005

MMO Musings

I suspect that an awful lot of MMO producers are still clutching their heads and moaning at the mention of World of Warcraft. While I've been playing it, I've been thinking about how it works, and why it works so well - and what can still be done with it.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 2:16 PM

July 7, 2005

MMORPG Sweatshops

Cutting across several topics I'm currently interested in, this article about sweatshop workers employed to farm gold in MMORPGs is making me boggle. There's something very cyberpunkish about people being paid buttons to sit by a machine and pretend not...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 8:06 AM

June 30, 2005

Women in MMO Games

The BBC has a short article about women in MMO games. Not a huge amount of news there, but some interesting information on the games women play, the success of The Sims, and a few other oddments....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:00 AM

June 29, 2005

Cornering the Market

Apparently, a couple of guys on World of Warcraft's Elune server managed to completely take over the economy there, back in April.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 10:37 AM

June 7, 2005

Rare Items in MMORPGs

I've been artifact hunting for the last few days in Dark Age of Camelot. This involves a lot of sitting around waiting for the mob to appear, killing it, and hopefully getting the item. But there's a problem - I want to spend my time playing a game, well, playing the damn game.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 8:50 AM

June 2, 2005

More on MMORPG Economics

My fascination with the economics of MMORPGs continues. I've recently reached the point in Dark Age of Camelot where it's time to start thinking about the "end-game", the stuff you do after you've "won" by hitting level 50. There's more economic motion in this part of the game, because there are more people in it - once you're at this stage, you stay there, unlike all the other levels.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:46 PM