Outside The Box

by Garrett Fuller,MMORPG.COM

Editor's Note: This is the first of a new weekly column from our News Editor Garrett Fuller. Each week, Fuller will highlight new innovations in MMO gaming as well as smaller games that you may not be so familiar with.

Welcome to our new column here at called Outside the Box. Being that this is the first week we'll be running things I wanted to take the chance to talk a little about what the column will offer and how the readers can get involved. The goal of this column is to try to bring information about games that are not necessarily in the public eye. Also, more than anything else we want to look at games, whether they are major releases or smaller independent games, which will be bringing something new to the MMO table. I hope this column will help developers and players find information and share ideas about how to take the standard MMO game play into new and unique areas for all of us to enjoy.

This week I have to give credit to one of our readers on the site for pointing something out. Derek Czerkaski and I hosted a debate about traditional fantasy races and why they are used in every single fantasy MMO. Well a reader named Lunar_Knight pointed out a game called Atriarch. It was a good post and identified a game that rarely gets news on the site, so I decided to check it out. Once there I saw that the races are totally different from the typical fantasy races we are used to seeing. They are totally original compared to the dwarves, elves, and orcs we all know and?are sick of. I want to use this example as a pre-cursor to what I believe Outside the Box should be. A place where games that are trying something different will have that difference highlighted. Hopefully, in the coming weeks we will take a look at the Atriarch races and why the choice was made to make them completely unique.

Another example of this is the diplomacy system in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Now I understand that Vanguard is considered a major release, but the diplomacy system gives a fresh element to the standard hack and slash MMO style. Players have the ability to solve in game problems without combat. OMG! No combat, wait a second! Seriously, this feature may not be an entirely new concept, but it is certainly being added to Vanguard to change up the conventional rules of MMO game play. I for one am curious as to how players view and develop their own diplomacy in the world of Telon.

So there you have it, two small examples of what I believe this column should be all about. I apologize for the short write-up this week. Really I wanted this to be an introduction of the column, in the coming weeks we will start to look at more specific games and mechanics. Ok, how can you as readers, whether you are a developer or player, get involved in these discussions? Simple, post your thoughts on the forum. I plan to review the feedback each week and look for new ideas or games that will give us more to talk about. If you play or develop an independent game that is trying something new, please tell us about it on the forum. Also, if there is a game that you are playing in which the mechanics bring out a new form of game play we have yet to discover, we want to know about it. With all the standards and common themes that have become a part of video games now-a-days it might just be refreshing to try something new, and think Outside the Box.

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