Oceanic Soap Box: MMO Winter Roll Call

oceanic-soap-boxIt’s that time of year locally where we move into winter and the likelihood of increased gaming time increases without all that damn nice weather to lure you outdoors. For some it may mean more time on the game they love, for others the opportunity to explore something new. I know I’m going through a re-discovery of SWTOR and looking forward to Marvel Heroes launching. I’m also damn tempted to check out Neverwinter after Wayne’s great overview of what it has to offer.

So jump in an tell us: will you be trying anything different over the winter months and if so what?


Oceanic Soapbox: Local Servers


Nothing gets a community of gamers more passionate than an argument over game servers and where they are located. Using Star Wars: The Old Republic as an example, there was huge lobbying for local servers, which were finally delivered just under a year ago. Since then, those servers have struggled population-wise, and even with the move to F2P there are still issues and BioWare have the local servers under active review as to ways to deal with the issue.

Based on that, I thought it’d be interesting to have a debate on whether local servers are a deal-breaker or not for you with an MMO or other online game? For me, I’ve not found it a huge issue across my WoW, SC2, GW2 and SWTOR experiences, although I still get more lag than I’d like with The Secret World.

What about you? Also, what games do you play that are in need of local servers if that’s a big thing for you?

Oceanic Soap Box: Maintenance Leisure Time

This week I thought we’d get on our debating socks to talk about a subject that’s near but not very dear to most of our hearts: MMO server maintenance. This week saw a rather long maintenance of 12 hours over at Star Wars: The Old Republic – you only have to read the comments to see how maintenance can be a little annoying, particularly if it runs longer than scheduled.

So here’s the question: what do you do to while away the time a server is down? Do you play other games? Do you have a backup MMO you jump right into? Post a comment and share – we’re keen to know!

Oceanic Soap Box: Expansionary Thoughts

There’s always something happening in MMO land but I have to say that this week’s been one of the busier ones. What, with Mists of Pandaria landing, The Secret World releasing its Issue #3 update and SWTOR putting Patch 1.4 live, there’s a hell of a lot on offer.

So let’s open up the discussion across those three games: what are your thoughts on what’s been offered this week for your favourite game? Are you in a renewed honeymoon period with the game, still really disappointed or somewhere in between?

Let us know!

Oceanic Soap Box: First Hour in WoW

It’s T-Minus 5 days until Mists of Pandaria drops, and whether you’re a WoW player or not, there’s no doubt this release will shape the MMO industry just like previous ones have. Beyond that though, there’s some great fun over the coming week for those who do play.

Hence the topic of this week’s soap box: what will you do for your first hour in WoW after the servers go live – and you can successfully log in? (Click here for all the details of local launch times)

Will you be jumping straight to Pandaria or will you be going for a realm-first in some other area? As I’ve bored my fellow WoW players to death with, I’m attempted a realm first in… fishing.

Jump in: what’s in store for you those first 60 minutes?

Oceanic Soap Box: Weekend Game Time

Ahhh, weekends. Most of us love them, and aside from some very unlucky souls who may have to work every weekend, t’s usually a time we can allocate a slot of time for gaming.

Which leads to our soapbox topic of the week: do you get more playtime on weekends and if so how do you schedule it? I’m looking at you mothers and fathers out there as well: how do you get some game-related fun time in amongst everything else?


Oceanic Soap Box: Remembering The Fallen

I thought that this week, we’d get a little sentimental. It never hurts to take some time to remember lost comrades – and it applies in the MMO sphere as well. What prompted me was the announcement over the past week that City of Heroes will be closing.

It’s an MMO that’s been around since 2004 and like any game of that longevity, it has a devoted following. All too soon it’ll become one of those games that we remember we ‘used to play’.

So on that note, let’s talk about games that have closed / become no longer playable. For me a standout is Raid on Bungeling Bay on the Commodore 64. I got to play at once for around 20 minutes at my parent’s friend’s house and spent the weeks (and months) afterwards obsessing about it. I’d still love to give it a try although I’m pretty sure I’d find it disappointing now.

Which games do you miss most? It doesn’t matter whether it’s PC/Mac/Console/Handheld/Online – let us know what used to float your boat!

Oceanic Soap Box: Gander At The Pandas?

It’s an embarrassment of riches at the moment with MMOs. Guild Wars is only a few days old, SWTOR is close to going Free to Play, and World of Warcraft just had Patch 5.04 drop, the last one before the Mists of Pandaria expansion hits in late September.

So let’s focus on Pandas for a few minutes. For ex-players of WoW, is the latest expansion enough to draw you back? For people who’ve never played: is the game too old to consider? For current players like me: what are you liking or hating from your first 24 hours with 5.04?

Let the debate begin!

Oceanic Soap Box: A Month Of Launches

Anyone remotely following the MMO market at the moment knows that the coming month is a huge one. With Guild Wars 2 launching, the pre-Mists of Pandaria patch hitting World of Warcraft and both SWTOR and The Secret World getting content updates, there’s more on offer than hours in the day for most of us.

This is where you come in: are you getting involved in GW2? Are you pumped for new WoW content? Knee deep in the new SWTOR world event? Or are you playing something totally different that you want to tell people about?

Jump on the soapbox and let us know!

Oceanic Soap Box: Balancing MMOs

Welcome to the very first edition of Oceanic Soapbox, replacing our regular Friday SWTOR Suggestion Box. We’ll be putting forward topics that apply to any MMO gamer, so we hope you enjoy the new format.

This week I thought we’d start with the evergreen topic of playing more than one MMO. Do you do it, and if so which MMOs so you play in combination and how do you pull it off? Is it possible to be a hardcore player in more than one MMO?

Looking forward to hearing your comments!