Gaming Hardware for MMORPG Players

Gaming hardware has gotten better and better over the years. Practically everyone uses fancy gaming mechanical keyboards these days and while I don’t have too much preference for keyboards (I use the Das Keyboard Pro), I do have strong opinions on gaming mice. The ideal mouse to use depends on what kind of games you’re primarily playing. The best MMO gaming mouse isn’t the same as the best FPS or best general purpose gaming mouse.

I actually own two mice and they’re both plugged in at all times and I alternate depending on what I’m doing. I own a Razer Naga and I absolutely love it when I play MMORPGs like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV. The extra side buttons make it much easier when you’re constantly using over a dozen spells. While I prefer using keyboard controls for my most used spells in MMORPGs, I’m only ever really comfortable hitting the 1-6 keys since that’s as far as my left hand can comfortably hit on the fly, which only gives me 6 easily accessible hotkeys on my keyboard. I also use keys like Q/E/F, but that only gives me 9-10 hotkeys I can easily access. I don’t like using ctrl+1 or alt+1 to expand my hotkey selection as for some reason I can’t hit these keys as quickly as others and it degrades my performance. For this reason, the Razer Naga or any MMO specific mouse becomes extremely handy. I have no problem hitting the extra side buttons during raids and my overall performance (DPS) increases.

Outside of MMORPGs, I play a lot of MOBAs like League of Legends and Battlerite and for these games the extra side buttons don’t really serve any useful purpose. The standard two side buttons are more than enough for these games and I actually prefer using my Razer Deathadder for these kinds of games. I also find the Deathadder to be comfortable for general purpose computer work or any kind of productive work.

Besides mice, I strongly recommend anyone who spends more than a few hours each day gaming to consider buying a gaming monitor. Having a higher refresh rate makes playing games much more enjoyable and smoother. A big misconception here is that gaming monitors are great for FPS games and that’s about it, but from my experience they work well for general purpose gaming as well as MMORPGs because of the more vibrant colors. A good gaming monitor for MMORPGs is a must buy if you have the budget.

So that’s my setup. A Razer Naga for MMORPGs and a Deathadder for everything else. What’s your setup?

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Buy to Play MMORPGs Are Making a Comeback

Buy to play MMORPGs are making a comeback on Steam. And not in the way you’re probably thinking. There’s been an odd trend lately for previously shut down MMOs to relaunch on Steam and slap a price tag on themselves. The most recent example I can think of is a game called Warlords Awakening which launched in late 2018 as a buy to play MMORPG. While the game claims its release date is 2018 on its Steam page, in reality, it’s the same exact game as ELOA which shut down multiple times in the past and is several years old. Nowhere on the game’s Steam page is this evident though. It’s almost as if the game’s developers are trying to hide the fact that Warlords Awakening is just a relaunch of a previously failed game. And not just a failed game, a game that’s failed multiple times already both in its home market of South Korea and in the U.S.

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Mobile MMORPG Spinoffs

The trend of PC MMORPGs making mobile spinoffs seems to be continuing. Just this week Netmarble revealed their first ever trailed for a mobile version of Tera (the action MMORPG from En Masse / Blue Hole) called Tera M. Oddly enough though, Blue Hole isn’t self developing mobile Tera. Instead they licensed the game to Netmarble, which specializes in mobile games. One of the most successful mobile games in the world right now is Lineage 2: Revolution which is a mobile version of Lineage 2 developed by Netmarble. You’d think NCSoft would self-develop a game from one of their flagship franchises, but apparently there’s more money to be made via licensing. This ends up being more profitable because NCSoft can license Lineage 2 to Netmarble and ALSO develop their own mobile game as well, so they essentially have 2 shots at success instead of just 1. Continue reading

Nintendo Is Finally Embraces Mobile Gaming

2016 was the year Nintendo finally started to take mobile gaming seriously. They started the year strong with the launch of Pokemon GO and ended the year with Fire Emblem Heroes, the first mobile installment to the long running franchise. Despite being the first mobile Fire Emblem game, I suspect it will out-earn practically every other game in the genre, which is a testament to the power of the platform more so than Nintendo’s game development prowess. Nintendo has been unusually generous with Fire Emblem Heroes as well. As unlike many hero collectors, Nintendo has made it pretty easy to earn orbs (the game’s premium currency) without spending a dime. MMOs.com wrote a nice Guide on how to get free Orbs in Fire Emblem Heroes for those interested. This is noteworthy because some of the most profitable mobile hero collector games give free to play users very little. Just look at Fate Grand Order. It makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year, but getting new heroes without paying is extremely difficult. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius also makes it hard to get new summons in-game without paying. They do have the occasional event to help free to play users out, but my point is that Nintendo has been unusually generous with giving away premium currency to players regularly, and I’m curious to see if it ends up working for them. Continue reading

How to Play Foreign MMORPGs

Having spent most of my gaming career playing games available in the U.S. I always felt like I was missing out on the games that never made it here. Not just that though, even if I knew a game was going to release in the West, I never got a chance to try it before it’s Western release. I mainly play MMOs, so I’ll use some MMO examples. A lot of people got a chance to play Blade and Soul well before NCSoft released it in the U.S. / EU in 2016. Same thing goes for Black Desert Online (but with Kakao Games obviously, not NCSoft). Given that a lot of people don’t know how to play these games from the U.S. I decided to compile a short little guide here: Continue reading

Twin Saga MMORPG Review

Twin Saga is the latest in X-Legend Entertainment’s portfolio to make it to Western shores. In it, you discover that you have a goddess inhabiting you and you must help her save the world from her evil sister, who is trying to throw the world into chaos. Gameplay is largely familiar, featuring tab-targeting combat and a quest-driven story. It offers a few unique features over its predecessors, but are those features enough to set it apart from them?

X-Legend is the same studio that developed Aura Kingdom, Eden Eternal, Grand Fantasia, Dragomon Hunter, and various other Anime MMORPGs.

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Awful Free to Play Games Launching on Steam

What on Earth compels game developers to release obviously awful games? At a certain point in the development cycle, you’d think someone would step in and be like, “Wait a minute. THIS is our game? This blows – let’s cut our losses”. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should, as the free to play section of Steam was recently blessed with a turd of an MMORPG this last week called Destiny of Ancient Kingdoms. I’m normally pretty easy on free to play games, after all – they’re free and it didn’t cost me a dime to play, but Destiny of Ancient Kingdoms is a unique game in that I find it offensive. First of all, it launched in 2016, but looks like it came out in 2006 or 2007. Hell. It looks a lot like Last Chaos, Shaiya, or any other old Korean MMORPG. The odd thing though is that it isn’t even Korean. It’s developed by an indie South African company and boasts that it’s the first South African MMO and even includes the South African flag on its trailer. If I lived in South Africa, I’d be embarrassed to see my symbol of national pride displayed on such an awful looking game. Continue reading