For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to do something most of them hate: brag! We’ve tried to isolate our favorite personal work from the year and talk about why we think it matters, then identify our favorite work from somebody else on the site this year and do the same. I always tell them it’s easy, but it never is!
Opinion pieces are by definition neither neutral nor subjective. Massively Overpowered’s writers’ editorials reflect their own opinions, not necessarily the opinions of the site or company. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]
So the question, for me, was always whether or not the game could justify its reboot and still be fun in and of itself.
The answer to the former question, I’m sorry to say, is an unambiguous “no.” There’s a lot of reasons thrown around for why the game absolutely needed a reboot, but none of them actually succeeds at justifying a whole drop-and-rebuild. Partly because, well, the game didn’t rebuild anything. It patched in a few new systems and called it a day, and it did absolutely nothing to address the core problems that kept people from being turned off from the game in the first place.
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best MMO Business Model, which was awarded to Guild Wars 2 last year, the first time we’d given out this reader-proposed honor. This award is intended to recognize a live MMORPG of any age that has demonstrated an exemplary business model specifically in 2017, regardless of its past performance. 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 MMO Business Model of 2017 is…
There are a lot of missing features that I can deal with in Final Fantasy XI because the game was designed for a controller interface and rather awkwardly ported to PC, and besides that the game is more accessible now than it has been in ages. It’s all fine. But you know what actually bothers me? It has no dressing room. You can’t try on someone else’s gear! And yes, this was the time when it could actually look rather different on a Hume lady compared to an Elvaan man, so it’s relevant information.
Why isn’t that in the game? Well, because it’s a minor quality-of-life feature that wasn’t common at the time the game was developed and there are probably good technical reasons why it’s hard to implement now. But it’s still a missing quality-of-life feature, like not being able to make custom chat channels or sorting character lists or any number of things. So tell us, dear readers: What quality-of-life features matter most to you in an MMORPG? Not things like group finders or the like that make the game more accessible, but small bits of polish that you miss if they aren’t present?
The Battle Bards are always up for a musical bargain, and on today’s episode, they’ll deliver two MMORPGs for the price of one (sitting)! It’s a look at two rather obscure eastern MMOs, Cabal Online and Cabal 2, both of which have some surprisingly good music tucked away. So expand your video game musical horizons with this show!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Let’s pull apart the accomplishments of ESO this year into my standard for grading MMORPGs: The Bartle Taxonomy. MMORPGs are wonderful because of the breadth of different activities that players can participate in. They draw together many different kinds of players, and Bartle’s Taxonomy breaks these players into four different categories: Socializers, Achievers, Killers, and Explorers.
Most people will be a blend of two or more of these categories. I’m going to measure the merits of the game based each category individually using a scale you’ll often find in American schools: A, B, C, D, and F.
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Most Improved MMO, which was awarded to The Elder Scrolls Online last year. All live MMOs, regardless of release date, were eligible for this award, provided they made improvements this 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 Most Improved MMO of 2017 is…
Is it just me, or does Star Wars: The Old Republic seem to be in a serious funk this year? I mean, the game has had updates and all, but there has been little to really stir up a lot of excitement among the existing community or to draw fans back to the MMO. Server merges, no expansion, fears over a stealth shutdown, and the same cruddy business model seem to be the order of the day.
Even our own Larry has called for SWTOR to put an end to the current storyline and move on.
Whether or not you feel that SWTOR is in a funk, what do you think BioWare should do to improve the game’s quality, content, and prospects in 2018? What could it be doing to really fan the flames of player passion and get this title noticed once more?
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree sort out the pile of expansions and updates that developers are scrambling to get out of the door before the holiday break. From vampires to kobolds, there’s something for everyone this month, and it only looks to get nuttier with the new year!
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.
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In this week’s Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll discuss each of the new raid bosses briefly and will outline the premise of the encounter mechanics. I won’t spend long outlining very detailed tips and tactics at this stage since I haven’t been hands-on with everything myself yet, though I will furnish you with some tactics guides as I get more experience post-holidays if there’s demand for them. Note that there will be spoilers for those who haven’t tried the content themselves yet, so bear that in mind before reading on. I’ll avoid totally spoilerific images and will hide big lore points behind tags.
I won’t lie: The Monster Hunter World beta on console last weekend isn’t going to give you the best sense of the full monster hunting experience. It won’t let you explore the world like Link in Breath of the Wild. And it won’t scratch the full MMO-experience itch.
That being said, as someone who’s played multiple iterations of the series and deeply exploring the gaming genre as a whole, I found that MHW still surprised me with its freshness.
Old dog, new tricks
When I first heard about Dauntless, MH’s closest cognate, I was impressed. Simplifying certain parts of the MH experience for a broader audience sounded like a great idea. The game’s execution experienced at E3 and on my own made me feel like it has a potential audience. However, post-E3 MHW leaks had me geeking out hard. While Dauntless has its own weapon combos, art style, and direction, a lot of the more palatable and streamlined design is going into MHW instead – and it’s launching sooner.
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Biggest MMO Story, which was awarded to the death of EverQuest Next last year. This isn’t an award based on popularity as measured by hits or comments, and it’s not for a single article; it’s an award for an ongoing narrative or event of deep importance and significance for the genre in 2017. 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 Biggest MMO Story of 2017 is…