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MMOG

so many goblins, so little time

A couple of months ago I was asked by a  friend of a friend if I would like to edit a magazine. Without thinking too much about what I was letting myself in for, I said yes. The magazine is called MMOZine and from that you can probably get a good idea about what it concerns itself with. It’s not quite a magazine in the same sense that EON is, since it’s only available online and can be downloaded for free (yes, for free), but it’s a magazine in that it is planned, written and produced to the traditional conventions of a magazine. In other words it’s a pain in the ass to put together when compared to websites (in my experience at least): You have to gather everything by a deadline rather than publishing as-and-when, by which time you must also make sure you have all the page elements ready for proofing and design (body text, panels, captions, straps etc), rather than just running it through some content management template.

None of these issues are that big a deal since I’ve been doing this magazine shenanigans for a number of years, but what was a considerable shock to the system was just how time consuming persistent world games are to visit, even for a short while. Keeping up with EVE was difficult enough when it was mildly complicated by occasional forays into LOTRO, but when you suddenly find yourself having to re-acquaint yourself with World of Warcraft and Warhammer and get to grips with “lesser” games such as Runes of Magic at the same time, the spare time just vanishes in puff of subscription fees. I’ve seen more goblins and their derivatives in the past two months than I ever thought possible.

A large part of my reasoning for helping out with MMOZine was to get myself out among the general populace again and get some perspective on EVE and it’s place in the greater MMOG universe. That one aspect alone has been worth the journey: It’s quite an eye-opener to go back into New Eden when you’ve been on a whirlwind tour of every persistent world out there, seeing how they all handle character creation, how progression is managed and so on. Communication is something that in EVE really stands out after you’ve had to work though other worlds and their endless spam messages. Actually on that point I liked the way in FM Live that if you spam the mailing system you not only get a warning from the moderators – a public one, you lose in-game currency. Something the EVE mods should consider, perhaps?

With another EON deadline looming large on the horizon I’ve made my way back to the loving arms of EVE after finishing my first MMOZine as editor. It struck me though how almost impenetrable and confusing the official EVE site is. Seriously, if it wasn’t for the fact that location of certain areas have been branded into my subconscious mind over the course of many years, I would have been utterly lost. I do hope CCP are working on a thorough redesign because it must surely put a lot of newcomers off.

The ninth issue of MMOZine (my first as editor – feedback welcome) is out today. I should warn you that there is almost nothing about EVE it in, partly because I found other games were more worthy of the coverage. That may sound like a heretical thing to admit but MMOZine aims to offers a concentrated dose of general persistent world news and views, aimed very much at the rank-and-file of the online gaming fraternity. It would be a massive abuse to ram MMOZine full of EVE material just becuase it may be easy to come by. There are many more games than EVE in the online world (few better it must be said) and some are of far greater interest to some gamers than EVE will ever be. Maybe it has something to do with all those goblins. Be assured that I intend to discover why in the fullness of time.

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