Massively OP Podcast Episode 43: End-of-the-year roundtable

As 2015 comes to a close, the Massively Overpowered team crams into the recording booth to share their own thoughts on the year and our annual awards. It's a rollicking good time with 450% of your RDA dose of outspoken personalities!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Show notes:

  • What was the best gaming experience we had this year?
  • Best MMO of the Year
  • Underrated MMO of the Year
  • Expansion of the Year
  • Story of the Year
  • "Negative" awards
  • Most improved MMO
  • What are we excited about or want to do in the new year?

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14 Comments on "Massively OP Podcast Episode 43: End-of-the-year roundtable"

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Zulika_Mi_Nam
Guest
Zulika_Mi_Nam

Syppi Zulika_Mi_Nam That is an impressive display then - good teams shine.
Me, I will be on regular weekly conference/video call in the morning with 30+ "IT Pros".

-at least one person will not mute their phone while they are performing some embarrassing task. 
-another will take another call putting their current line on hold and have that cheezy handclap hold music blarring. 
-and there is an 75% chance that the old man who refuses to retire because he hates spending time with his wife, will fall asleep and start snoring on camera....once again.
I want to edit them all.

Enikuo
Guest
Enikuo

I really enjoyed the podcast. It was fun to hear all the writers talking through their reasons for voting one way or another. It's interesting how the perspectives changed between games, going with personal preference for one vote, while considering another vote in the context of how it impacted the industry. It didn't seem consistent across the team or maybe even across votes for any single writer, but that's fine. I enjoy the messy conversations about games and not having everything so strictly defined that you miss out on interesting observations. 
For me, the theme for 2015 was one of appreciation and I feel like that's what is going to carry over into the new year. I never commented much on Massively-that-was, and then we almost lost it. So, I've tried to be more active in the comments. I was taking some MMOs for granted. But, the financial issues that happened throughout the industry made me re-think that. I've been spending more time in MMOs that I've neglected, I've loosened up the purse strings for games I enjoy, and I'm giving old games second chances. So, even if nothing that launches in 2016 works for me, I feel like I have stuff to appreciate and look forward to in the new year. 
On the topic of graphical fidelity, I like stylized graphics. I enjoy the cutesy graphics of games like Trove, which is just my preference. But, more objectively, I think stylized games just age better. MMOs are so long-lived (hopefully) that it's nice when the graphics still look good 10 years later, or when they can at least be updated without making the game look completely different. 
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday :)

Syppi
Guest
Syppi

Zulika_Mi_Nam Actually, no editing whatsoever -- we just kept things a-movin'!

Vexia
Guest
Vexia

Omedon Usually I don't go in for too much negativity, and I tend to cheer games on instead. However, I think they were able to justify their aims with the 2015 awards encompassing both the good and the bad. Maybe the term "award" is not quite correct in all cases; it's definitely more of a retrospective where the writers and commenters are invited to reflect on both the highs and the lows. It probably didn't help that some of the neutral awards like biggest story of the year went to the Daybreak drama, for instance.

Vexia
Guest
Vexia

Excellent retrospective! 2015 has been quite an interesting year for the industry; I think rolling out new expansions can be nothing but good. On the other hand, for me personally I feel like either I've lost sight of what I want from an MMO or they've lost sight of me. I think I echo MJ's sentiment that I'd like to find a game where I feel like I can "put down roots" and stay for a long while. If 2016 really is when we'll start seeing the results of indie crowdfunding then that definitely gives me something to hope for. I've got my eye on more than a few small or indie projects. 
One thing I think I've begun to work on over the past year is playing an MMO just because I want to try it out, not necessarily because I have long-term plans to stick with it. How can I know whether or not I want to stick with a game until I've given it a fair try, after all? I've also been at least mildly successful with my resolve to play more games (MMOs or not) rather than spending all my time reading up on them and speculating.

Zulika_Mi_Nam
Guest
Zulika_Mi_Nam

breetoplay Zulika_Mi_Nam 52:15 for those that are short on time.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

Zulika_Mi_Nam That was kind of them! I hadn't heard that.. now I'll have to go hunt it down. :D

Bullwraith
Guest
Bullwraith

A very enjoyable podcast to listen to. It was nice to hear the thoughts and opinions of other staff members. Not that I don't enjoy Justin & Brees' take on things, but perhaps every fourth or fifth podcast you could cycle in a  "guest" staffer to help diversify things.
Sorry Bree but I'm a shallow guy and graphic quality does matter. I do not mean art style, rather the effort put into how it is rendered. Blocky 8 bit graphics turn me off. Perhaps that comes from never owning a console and developing a taste for them. For some reason the original Wizardry on an Apple ][+ is more attractive than Trove. Maybe it is the gameplay after all.
I, for one, appreciate your willingness to go against the general media flow and criticize the games and aspects of our genre that deserve it. It takes resolve and backbone and you can be proud of the work you do on our behalf. Thank you.
I think my gaming wish for 2016 is that Bree's husband hires a nanny so that she can get more play time and be able to editorialize from a more informed perspective than life currently allows.

Zulika_Mi_Nam
Guest
Zulika_Mi_Nam

Great roundtable!  I am unsure if that required a lot of editing or not, but the result makes it appear that everything just flowed well.
I can't wait to hear the reunion roundtable with:  Rubi (we will not talk about GW2) - Zenke (we will not talk about Bungie) & Shawn (we will not talk about E.coli) !

I have a softspot for FFXIV because I played it from the time Yoshi P took the reigns and watched it change from an ugly duckling to a swan.

It was a long drive home.  Soooooo...... after my weekly MOPcast, I went on to the podcast from that other big site that covers MMOs, but has a very irregular podcast schedule.  The only reason I mention it is that they labeled the Massively team's release from AOL as one of their downpoints for the year and that they are glad to see their return.

KenFromChicago
Guest
KenFromChicago

My best mmo gaming experience this year was finishing Star Trek Online's "Midnight", the finale of their 5-year Iconian war arc. It was a great combo of game, IP, the most "Trek" missions. Bonus: The moral decisions confronted reminded me of City of Heroes morality missions. I had to pause for several minutes to consider what the best decision to make.

Omedon
Guest
Omedon

KenFromChicago See, I generally don't watch the news, because it's depressing.

Perhaps my time here has passed.

KenFromChicago
Guest
KenFromChicago

Massively OP is not the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Grammys, Golden Globes, or any other awards program that celebrate the "best in the industry".
Massively OP is a *news* site. Part of the news is to report on both the good and the bad, especially the really notably good, so you don't miss it, and the really notably bad, so you warned away from it.
If you only want uncritical comments about games, the game publishers have plenty of ads, press releases & trailers for you. There are plenty of fan sites that see, hear & speak no evil about games.
However if you want news, including news analysis, from news reporters who don't take themselves seriously but do take the craft of mmo game creation and mmo game reporting and audiences they serve seriously, then Massively OP is great place to be.
That said, you have the right to disagree. YMMV.

Omedon
Guest
Omedon

As potentially the most consistently vocal critic of the negative slant to not only the awards but some columns as well, I do want to say that while I appreciate your explanation of essentially validating your positives through also providing negatives, again I have to disagree and  fall back to the movie award example: The Oscars don't do that, and the oscars are for movie lovers, and taken very seriously by movie lovers.  There are awards that get handed out for crappy movies, but they're not done, that I can recall, by anyone taken as seriously as the oscars.

We don't have to go looking for negativity about video games, so it would be nice if the awards, at least, could be more of a celebration. The oscars don't need critical awards to have their celebration of film taken seriously, and neither do you for your end of the year celebration of MMOs.

Eliot's recent FFXIV piece is a perfect example of criticism that can happen while still maintaining an integral positive slant about the game.  It's all about tone.  We can help raise the morale around the genre (and boy does it need the help sometimes) without sounding like Mr Rogers or Tony Robbins.  The commenters will bring their own salt shakers, hell they'll bring industrial strength snow-clearing rock salt, do you guys really need to start it in the articles themselves?  (spoiler: no)

Finally, I smiled when I heard Eliot, who I might be seen as picking on, is as anticipating Legion as I am.  I needed the reminder that the guy is stilla fan, and  Legion is going to be interesting to watch, because there's a lot of subtext here saying that they get where their weaknesses are... will they act on it?  I used to say that there were two great things to look forward to when new ideas came into the MMOniverse: the new idea itself, and what Blizzard did to steal and improve on it.  I think Legion is a response to GW2, and other games pushing the open world and attacking the "crap, it's another player" impulse.  I think we might be seeing the latter (the stealing and improving phase), and I want to see if I'm right.  If I'm not, I know how to enjoy WoW as is, and will stick around while I can do that, but I'll stick around longer if they can get this and other things right!

Grifter
Guest
Grifter

Larry there is a Hotline you can call for support

1-MM0-NoTease

Operators are Standing By :)

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