TESO Morrowind: What Makes an Expansion?

So The Elder Scrolls Online just announced its first expansion, and naturally it’s already found itself entangled at the center of the game community’s drama du jour. Now as much I love to get into the ol’ whining on the internet, in this case, I find the drama a lot less interesting than the potential questions it raises.

The Increasingly Troubling Monetization of The Elder Scrolls Online, Part 2

It’s time for another bout of Isarii vs Monetization, the epic, windmill-tilting saga of one man shouting into a gale force of increasingly common industry practices. Today we return to The Elder Scrolls Online, a game uniquely dear to my heart as the original starting point of this whole internet wordsmithing thing, which has continued its ever-trundling encroachment into a quagmire of whale-hunting cash shop fuckery.

Why MMO Cosmetics Matter

There’s a popular conception among the MMO cognoscenti that irrespective of circumstance, monetization involving cosmetics is never a problem. There isn’t a fundamental issue with that line of thinking – I would expect everyone could agree on a general tiering of monetization egregiousness with competitive pay-to-win as a capstone and a variety of other methodologies cascading into generally the same order with only a minor degree of variance – but the idea that this lesser evil can never be problematic isn’t one I can fully agree with.

What Makes an MMO Unappealing to you?

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of Isarii wrote a really long Reddit response and decided it would make a good blog post. Today’s post comes courtesy of the r/MMORPG subreddit where a user posed the titular question: what makes an MMO unappealing to you?

There are few things I enjoy more than complaining about MMOs, so I jumped right in.

Playing Alone Together and Pay-to-Win

Possibly the best defense of pay-to-win games I’ve come across, if you can even call it that, is simply that the player in question “doesn’t care”. No elaborate sophistry about the existential nature of a win state in an MMO, no invention of obfuscating terminology like “pay-for-convenience”, just the simple statement that they don’t care.…

MMO Monetization Gone Wild

Not this again! I know, I know – there’s nothing the MMO blogosphere likes to talk about more than MMO monetization, and while a lot has been said on the topic, I think there’s still value in adding to the cacophony of public opinion. MMO Monetization used to be so simple. At first we had subscription…

The Continuing Adventures of Pay-to-Win Apologists: Black Desert Edition

A few months ago I briefly touched on the troubling and frustrating trend of gaming consumers becoming increasingly accepting of pay-to-win systems in MMORPGs following my reading of a terrific op-ed on the subject at MassivelyOP. The most ubiquitous pay-to-win defenses trotted out by its apologists center on whittling away at the scope of its definition with the introduction of…