I received my copy of Massive Magazine about a month back and have been meaning to write about it ever since. If you have not seen it, it is a new magazine dedicated to the coverage of the MMO world.
Since I would like to get my comments out before I get issue #2, I will break my review into two quick parts.
News: For me this is a low. It is a reminder of why I do not subscribe to monthly magazines that are news oriented. I was reading the news clip in the magazine announcing the Ryzom Ring on the same day I read about Nevrax going into receivership. Of course, I may not be the target audience here, being somebody who picks up MMO news via RSS every day.
MMOGRAPHICS: Some statistics thrown into the news section. No source or methodology is provided with them, so they might as well be made up by my standards, and 87% of MMO players surveyed concur with my opinion.
Tradeskills of the Future: A humor piece scattered about the front section of the magazine. It fell completely flat for me. Besides, if they think that “prostitute” or “beggar” are trade skills of the future, they haven’t spent enough time playing World of Warcraft.
Ask Dr. M.M. O’rly: Did not care for it and, given that this is issue #1, it seemed pretty faked up to have letters available to answer.
Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising Beta Key: It is a key to get on a list to maybe get an invite to be in the beta.
The Same Five Questions We Always Ask: This is their last page piece. They need to ditch their first question, “When was the last time you pulled an all nighter working on a game, and why?” If you have somebody interesting there, I do not care about the last time they pulled an all nighter. Find a better question.
The magazine itself is well put together and well laid out.
The Ads: The big, colorful double page spreads for the different games in the magazine are very nice. They made me want to play games I knew I had no business playing.
Features: There were several very good articles about different aspects and history of online gaming. “Anatomy of a Crash,” the story of a huge EverQuest II outage, was good because I remember that episode well. “Mods of War” was decent, though with the World or Warcraft 2.0.1 update, a lot of the information is now out of date. There were also interesting articles on hacking online games and gold farmers. I could have done without “Say What,” a piece on in game chat language,mostly because I think that topic has been beaten to death.
Columns: There are pieces from Raph Koster, Richard Bartle, Richard Garriot, Brad McQuaid, and Nick Yee. A pretty heavy hitting set for a first issue.
The Same Five Questions We Always Ask: Again, their last page piece. Rob Pardo of Blizzard was the person being asked this month, and the other four questions were good and generated interesting answers.
If I had a friend who was not into MMOs but who wanted a quick look into the world thereof, I would hand him or her a copy of this magazine. It is bright, colorful, and has lots of pictures of different games, so it has a toy catalog air about it that works well.
They also sponsor the Massively Online Gamer podcast, which is a pretty cool thing to do.
I am looking forward to the next issue.