SAR: The Hits and Misses of Final Fantasy XIV


Alright, internet, I get it. You’re not very happy with Square Enix. Those big poo-poo heads went and released a game “in shambles” that’s “unfinished” and “doomed to fail.” Holy hyperbole, Batman! Once we get past all of the bitterness and get to the core of your discontent, you might be surprised to hear that, […]

SAR: The War on the Subscription


Two years ago: we’re all happily playing WoW or LotRO, set with our surcharges and pre-paid time cards. Cash shops will destroy the industry! we cried. I don’t want to be gimped because I can’t pay as much as Joe Schlub! Blogs were afire as players rallied against the first stirrings of the F2P movement. […]

SAR: A Case of Skill


My column on PvP wasn’t very well received. I guess that’s the risk you take speaking out against the main play style of your whole audience. Unlike a lot of people conjectured, though, I hadn’t recently died in PvP. I’m not much of a raider either, actually. So, as someone who walks that middle ground […]

SAR: Solo or Die (and Other Lessons I Learned in WoW)


I like to think that everything in life is a learning experience; the good, the bad, and the ugly all go into shaping how we see the world – or virtual world, as the case may be. When I sat down to write this article, I asked myself: what have games taught me? Leadership? Nah, […]

SAR: PvP is a Loser’s Game

PvP in a nutshell

Here’s the deal: over the past couple years, we’ve seen a clamoring of hopeful ex-Counter Strike-turned-WoW players clamoring for “the next great PvP game.” These voices are bad for MMOs. There. I said it. PvP doesn’t work, shouldn’t be tried, and creates more problems than it solves. Battlegrounds, arenas, and Wintergrasp should all be removed […]

SAR: The Rumors and Facts of FFXIV


FFXIV went into open beta this week and I was lucky enough to get a spot. It wasn’t without its challenges though, as you might have guessed. When the beta went live, Square Enix servers promptly fell to their knees and gave up the ghost. Within just a few hours, they had suspended the giveaway […]

SAR: The Top X Things to Know About FFXIV

Your FFXIV character panel (translated)

Raise your hand if you realized we have a blockbuster, AAA MMORPG releasing in the next month. Don’t be shy, I’d bet a lot of people didn’t raise their hand, but it’s true. On September 22nd, pre-order customers will be knee-deep in Square Enix’s (SE) latest MMO offering: Final Fantasy XIV. The game hasn’t received […]

SAR: On Hype and Satisfaction


If there’s one common thread that ties American MMOs together, it’s their unfailing ability to hype their product beyond all reasonable expectations. MMOs are saviors and inasmuch as games like Guild Wars 2 try to “challenge the conventions” they proclaim their MMO-messiahship with twisting tongues. The irony of focusing on day one box sales in […]

SAR: Appreciating the Industry


I have a confession to make. Sometimes, I’m a little snarky. I can be quick to judge. And, you know what happens? A developer comes along and decides to comment on my blog. The first time, it was Paul Barnett. This time, it was Scott Hartsman. Both good guys and open to the community. I […]

SAR: From the Theme-Park and Into the Sandbox

Ready for war

Over the last couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to pop back and forth between a lot of games. I’ll admit, most of these are theme park games, so I’m just trading in my ticket for a different set of rides. Every so often, however, there’s a good sandbox that begs to be played […]