Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Best Not-So-Massively Game of 2017

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best Not-So-Massively Game, which was awarded to Overwatch last year. As you might surmise, the games eligible for this category are online games that generally aren’t considered traditional MMORPGs – they’re MOBAs, online dungeon crawlers, ARPGs, online shooters, survival sandboxes, and other games that tread into MMO territory but aren’t full MMORPGs. Once again, we’ve opted to include pre-2016 titles, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Best Not-So-Massively Game of 2017 is…

WARFRAME

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I’m going with Overwatch. The Uprising event isn’t Blizzard’s best work, but it was a solid reminder that the company can actually balance lore and mechanics well enough when they actually try. You can enjoy the IP well enough from the non-game media and merchandise that feels everywhere these days, but the character quips mid-battle, attempts to incorporate a broader cast of characters, and some attempts at cultural sensitivity have been refreshing this year. The multiple platforms its available on and (what feels like) a stronger push for global localization has made this one of the titles I can bring up with lots of gamers. I also want to say Pokemon Go, but beyond a bit of a push for exercise and in-person multiplayer, lots of Nintendo mobile games can do similar things with less tech and more, well, gameness. That’s why I’ll go with Splatoon 2. It has a lot of the good parts of Splatoon 1 – objective based “PvP,” free updates, no micro-transactions, community events and an awesome fanart community– plus local multiplayer. I actually made a new friend in part to sharing my Switch with a Switchless person as I hit up the Salmon Run mode with some guys. It’s what I’d love about a mobile/PC hybrid, but sadly I’ve only found these experiences with Nintendo IPs.

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): Overwatch.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna): Warframe. Look, we’re in a genre where most games fail, most non-MMORPGs are toxic cesspits, and companies are pillaging the MMORPG genre. Warframe, however, has a great community, solid studio, good business model, and success in spades – and it’s leaning in to the MMORPG genre. What’s not to like? I would have been just as happy to see Path of Exile win this, however, though I consider it much closer to an MMORPG. SMITE and Overwatch also get played quite a bit in my household, so I can’t help but nod to them too.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre): Warframe. This is becoming less NSM as time goes by, isn’t it? And that’s why I’m giving it the nod. Because seriously, out of a collection of games that are not my jam, this one is becoming much closer to my jam.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster): Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds both took the gaming industry by storm this year, elevating the battle royale design to be scorchingly hot. I might not really see or get the appeal, but appeal it does have, and the millions upon millions of players that flocked to these online shooters testify to that effect.

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe): I’m torn on this one because this game also did some very terrible things this year, but SWBF2 did a lot of things right, too. The single-player campaign was very interesting and fun to play. The PvP — especially starfighter combat — has been a lot of fun. Too bad lootboxes are holding this game back for a lot of people.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie): It’s a tie for me between Warframe and SMITE. I almost feel like I can’t nominate Warframe here because it broadened its scope here so much more into the MMORPG realm with its Plains of Eidolon expansion. Here you have a game that was all about single missions move into the realm of open world adventures. It was quite the bold move, and one that paid off tremendously. Tons of people started trying and playing the game thanks to that one move. Warframe shattered its concurrency record again, and that was even before the expansion hit the consoles! I saw this play out personally as a number of friends jumped into the game and got hooked. SMITE also earns love for its introduction of the adventures. Talk about branching out in fun ways to bring more people to a game they may not have done otherwise! Heck, I’ve logged more SMITE hours than I ever would have imagined. And I keep going back for each new adventure. The different adventures are something new to play every six weeks, from racing to dungeons to arenas. In addition, I am learning and getting comfortable with more gods, something I can take with me into other parts of the game in between adventures. I’d nominate Path of Exile too for doubling the the game’s story (Acts V through X) and consistently adding cool expansions and content like clockwork.

Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): Splatoon 2 wins this by a long stretch in my home! I’m not into this sort of game myself, but I spend hours watching my husband play and adore the frantic pace of the action and helping him create the freshest character possible. The singleplayer campaign is very cute and is a direct expansion of the last story: I loved that the last Splatfest of the original game affected the campaign as well.

Warframe won our award for Best Not-So-Massively Game of 2017. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best Not-So-Massively game of 2017?

  • Warframe (49%, 394 Votes)
  • Overwatch (6%, 51 Votes)
  • SMITE (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Splatoon 2 (1%, 12 Votes)
  • Path of Exile (11%, 87 Votes)
  • Pokemon Go (1%, 9 Votes)
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (4%, 33 Votes)
  • Fortnite (2%, 15 Votes)
  • Star Wars Battlefront 2 (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Destiny 2 (4%, 34 Votes)
  • Gigantic (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Paladins (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Paragon (0%, 2 Votes)
  • League of Legends (1%, 6 Votes)
  • GTA Online (1%, 6 Votes)
  • ARK: Survival Evolved (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Conan Exiles (3%, 23 Votes)
  • The Division (2%, 14 Votes)
  • Atlas Reactor (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Diablo III (2%, 18 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Legends (1%, 8 Votes)
  • HEX (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Hearthstone (2%, 13 Votes)
  • Dota 2 (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Nothing (3%, 27 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments) (2%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 806

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Poll options include all games nominated plus other games we thought would be worthy.

MOP’S 2017 AWARDS (SO FAR)
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40 Comments on "Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Best Not-So-Massively Game of 2017"

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butterpanda888
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butterpanda888

Since I can’t vote for two, I’ll just comment instead. Warframe and Path of Exile both get my vote.

Reader
Zen Dadaist

Well, even I’m surprised at how many votes Warframe got :o

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Kayweg

Since “Diablo 3” and “PoE” made it onto the list (deservedly so), i’ll make use of the “something else” option on thisone.
“Grim Dawn”, very much an underappreciated ARPG imo, which continues to be well supported by it’s developer (Crate), recently saw a major expansion (2 new classes, a new act, free in-game cosmetics system and much more) at 18$ a pop and is utterly void of an online store.
A true little gem that keeps getting polished.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i thought grim dawn was sp tho? Oo

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Kayweg

Nope, it has a multiplayer “lobby” as well.
Difference to PoE for example is, you won’t see other players in town.
Other than that it’s just as much a MP game as PoE or Diablo 3 are.
So, technically i’d say it would have qualified.
Of course, technically hundreds of other games would have qualified too, i’m not criticizing the selection:)

Reader
MeltWithYou

Orcs Must Die 2 – released on console this year…me and my cousins have spent hours and hours figuring out proper pathing…lootbox progression sucks but the OMD1 and 2 have been a lot of fun over the years

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

no ghost recon wildlands on the list?

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

anyways i voted for gtao. it was a solid year of solid updates to the game that were generally far more affordable to get into than the stupid VIP yacht dlc last year. although their decision to start removing money from innnocents targeted by money modders is ill adviced, i’ve increasinly seen people on reddit promoting buying hacked money from modders so…

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Armsbend

I would have added Heroes of the Storm. It’s a healthy third (or tied with SMITE) most popular MOBA with a decent amount of support and fans.

Reader
life_isnt_just_dank_memes

that’s really cool. i’d have to give it to PUBG merely because they are shaping a new genre. it’s doing the thing LoL did with moba’s right now with shooters.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Pandalulz

Destiny by order of elimination. I have played literally nothing else on the list this year. I am very much not a multi-player. I couch co-oped some Guacamelee with my daughter the other night, but that is very much not a 2017 game.

Reader
rafael12104

It is Warframe. I’m just no being introduced to it and already it is evident that what is offered as a f2p game is superior to what other b2p, sometimes know as scam to play, games are offering in this category.

However, I do have to admit to loving Splatoon 2. Actually, every multiplayer game on the Switch if a hec of a lot of fun!

Reader
Alex Malone

Only ones I’ve played off the list are Diablo 3 and GTAO, but I don’t like either of them.

So, voted Splatoon 2, just cause I have the first one on Wii U and heard 2 is basically the same game. The first was a lot of fun!

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

Did Brendan vote in a one word answer in a huff because he couldn’t choose EVE Online? It’s ok Brendan :)

Brendan Drain
Staff
Brendan Drain

Best Not So Massively game 2017: The EVE Online subreddit :D

I guess I do feel like I have to justify myself a bit more if I pick EVE for something, and I didn’t have very strong opinions on this one. The Not So Massively category used to be my baby at old Massively as I did the Not So Massively column for years and kept up on all of the popular multiplayer games, but this year nothing new really gripped me.

The only games in this category I’ve been playing this year are Diablo III, Overwatch, a little No Man’s Sky, and a tiny bit of Elite: Dangerous. Elite: Dangerous has had some solid updates and No Man’s Sky did great things with Atlas Rises that pulled me back in for a bit, but ultimately the only two I’m still playing regularly are Diablo III and Overwatch.

Diablo III has done some good rebalancing recently but the seasonal gameplay and builds have become very stale and the necromancer just didn’t seem worth the money. Overwatch has seen an increase in competitive mode toxicity and has kind of missed the e-sports boat a little, but it still had some great seasonal events like Uprising and managed to regularly pull me and my friends back to the game. It won out by a narrow margin for me on the vote, but I didn’t argue heavily for it to win.

Reader
Brother Maynard

Perhaps he can still edit it to OvEVErwatch…?

Reader
A Dad Supreme

I’d have to say The Division.

The game as it is now has probably twice to three times as much content as Destiny or Destiny 2 combined.

The last changes with patch 1.8 has made it an even bigger game with far more content than any other shooter out on the market now.

https://division.zone/items/gear-sets/

It’s also the closest thing to a traditional MMO as there are now clear differences in classes.. a pure tank (DFNC set), a pure healer (Reclaimer set) and tons of DPS classes that now really can specialize in: rifles, pistols, light machine guns, shotguns, explosives and anything else.

Gear Sets
AlphaBridge
Banshee´s Shadow
D3-FNC
DeadEye
Final Measure
FireCrest
LoneStar
Hunter´s Faith
Path of the Nomad
Predator´s Mark
Reclaimer
Sentry´s Call
Striker´s Battlegear
Tactician´s Authority

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nesh

Agreed, at least it should have a second place (still can’t forget 1.6/7).

Reader
connor_jones

You are getting me interested in trying this one, though I heard that there isn’t much player customization so you have lots of people running around who look exactly the same…..true?

Reader
A Dad Supreme

It’s a realistic world pseudo-MMO based on New York City, so you’ll have a lot of humans and no elves.

Aside from that, there are many ways to make your character look as different from any other human IRL, except you won’t see huge Rabbit heads, slippers, or people running around in bathrobes or bikinis. They have many different kinds of masks or no masks, coats to wear or not, uniforms of types as well.

Basically, the customization is about the gear clothing/weapon skins look than about physical features.

You can’t make a fat person, tall/short person or make someone with one-eye or large ears of that kind if you’re talking about that of customization but in that world, it really doesn’t matter and is actually better due to scaling with real world objects like cars and such.

It would look quite odd and jarring to have a 7′ 5″ guy crouching behind a car next to a 4’5″ person shooting at a 500 lb girl with a mohawk.

I think the game is really cheap right now so it might be worth a look. You don’t know how many people I run into all the time that say “I heard so much bad about this game that I stayed away… wish I hadn’t” all the time.

Reader
Castagere Shaikura

I only tried two games on that list. I didn’t last in either of them past a few days. So i voted nothing because i really don’t like any of them.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Rees Racer

Although I usually post most frequently for WRUP and One Shots, I’ve found myself typing into the comments section more often recently…most of it for my support and obsession with:

Warframe

I even tried it briefly (didn’t make it through the tutorial) at the beginning of the year, and thought that was the end of it. After playing Destiny 2 for about 60 hours after launch, my gaming community pried me away, and I’ve not since played D2 for a single minute. In fact, my game-time logged into my proper MMORPG’s has declined significantly, as I’ve put more than 200 hours in Warframe in a bit more than a month. I’m certain balance in my games will get sorted back to normal in 2018. ;)

Reader
Loopy

Overwatch is still my daily game, so i can’t help but vote for it. That being said, Warframe is doing all the right things from the looks of it, so the staff pick is well deserved.

Brendan Drain
Staff
Brendan Drain

Basically same here, I voted Overwatch because that’s the game that’s managed to keep me playing but I didn’t argue with Warframe winning. Totally deserved!

Reader
halfsleeper

I’ll go with Battlerite on this one. Love how the game cuts the fat and just railroads you into the most fun aspect of MOBAs. Warframe and PoE continue to be sick. All in all, good year for MP games!

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

A tie between Grim Dawn and Battlerite

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

No other game has (pleasantly) surprised me as much in recent years as Warframe. Fully agree with the pick.

miol
Reader
miol

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

Oscar W. Arframe.jpg
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Loyal Patron
Armsbend

Are you getting nervous about your award yet? Can you tell us what you are going to wear or would you rather keep it a surprise?

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Schlag Sweetleaf

:)

Reader
Sray

Gotta be Mario Kart 8 for me. Soooo much fun. Even less massive than most of these other choices.

Reader
Fervor Bliss

Going for nice walks and some Pokemon :)

Reader
Bryan Correll

Path of Exile because…..well, really it’s the only thing I’m playing much lately.

Edit: And it got an absolutely gi-normous update going from 4 acts to 10 acts in 3.0. And a pretty big update to the atlas in 3.1.

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Loyal Patron
BalsBigBrother

Well just for a change I will vote for Path of Exile, though I would give a nod to Warframe and Overwatch both of which I also had a lot of fun in this past year.

Reader
Zora

Hmmm foortnite, the pve thing that has been executed before even getting complete, really looked promising. Co-op, building, exploring, pleasant aesthetics…much work to do but could have been a blast.

I’m warming up to dungeon defenders 2 which is riddled with the cash shop extravaganza you’re now expected-to-expect from any game but… yeah

Do I -have- to play not-so-massively games too, is it mandatory? <_<

Reader
Utakata

I picked Splatoon due the Squid Girl crossovers I’ve seen on the internets. /de geso

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

My vote would be split between Path of Exile and Splatoon 2.

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