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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.
Listen to the show right now:
I promised you at the end of last week’s rundown of Guild Wars 2
‘s fourth Living World season’s launch episode that I’d return this week with a first look at the new raid Hall of Chains and I never want to disappoint! While I haven’t stood toe to toe with each of the raid bosses yet, I’ve been glued to boss kill videos and have been gaining a feel for the fights I’m due to face
. I’m delighted to explain my take on the new endgame content and I’m hoping that some of you are joining me in trying it out!
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…
Last year, MOP reader Agemyth suggested we debate the best new MMORPG zone added in 2016, so it seemed only fitting to bring the topic back for another go now that another year is mostly behind us. And it’s even harder to answer this year than then, thanks to the plethora of expansions the MMO genre saw this year.
My vote would be torn. I was inclined to grant it to Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind – Vivec, specifically – but then I remembered all the jaw-dropping moments my husband and I had wandering around the Crystal Desert in Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire. “Spectacular” doesn’t even begin to describe it, and that’s before you’ve even left Amnoon.
I’m sure you can think of others. What would you argue was the best new zone or area added to an MMORPG in 2017?
One of the common tropes held by MMORPG players is that PvP, particularly free-for-all environments prone to ganks, generates the worst type of behavior. But while it may be more common for PvP, I have also witnessed absolutely wretched behavior from all types of players, including psychological abuse from roleplayers, to say nothing of plane-jumping, ninja-looting, and greed from PvE gamers. The problem in my mind isn’t PvP as much as it is conflict and competition, which is something most game types engender. I bet you’ve seen the same.
Making that point is a story from PCGamesN this morning, which reports on a World of Warcraft player who’s apparently been DDOSing teammates to ensure himself a raid spot in the well-known raiding guild Limit. Limit has since booted the player.
It’s hard to say whether 2017 was a good year for Final Fantasy XIV
Sure, on one level it seems obvious. The game launched its second expansion, it continues to drive sales, every financial report shows it doing well, players are happy, content is delivered on a swift and regular schedule, everything seems to be going fine. Yes, the game had a good 2017, it has a pretty good year on each outing. What more needs to be said?
Well, a few things. Because this year also brought out some pretty nasty bits of underlying issues that the game has long had bubbling under the surface, problems that we’ve all known were there but sort of ignored for a long time for various reasons. We’ve got another patch coming around, but the year has shown that as solid and impressive as the title may be (and it is), there’s still room to improve.
Welcome one and all to Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards series.
Every year, we poll our writers about the best and worst MMOs, stories, studios, and trends and assign awards to the winners (or losers, as the case may be). For the last three years, we’ve been splitting our awards into smaller categories, a format we mean to stick with in 2017 as well. We’ll also continue providing a sampling of our writers’ nominations and rationales from award to award, although this year we debated more to try to reach a consensus before locking in winners, a task at which I think we were pretty successful. And we’ll always include a just-for-fun reader’s poll at the end to see whether you agree with our picks!
Today’s award is for the Most Underrated MMO, which was awarded to Final Fantasy XIV last year. Once again, we’ve opted to include pre-2017 MMOs for many of these awards, including this one, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year.
The Massively OP staff pick for the Most Underrated MMO of 2017 is…
Writing about Star Wars Galaxies’ emulator last week awoke in me a dormant desire to get back in there and make some pretend money. I freaking loved SWG for how hard it was to not not make money. Having multiple accounts helped a ton, no doubt, as did having old toons with a good stockpile of resources, but the real value in SWG was knowledge and time — and not even necessarily logged-in time. In the end, I made the most money for my effort not with my main crafter, who was one of the best on the server in her skills, but in resource trading and component supply through my vendors — in other words, all stuff that took a little know-how but not actually much in-game skill, as it was mostly accomplished with factories and harvesters while I was offline. By the end, it was those characters supplying me with most of my income, which allowed me to dabble in just about everything and even start up with nothing on other servers as a sort of challenge to myself.
I cannot believe how much I miss that – being a pure trader at that level is just not a thing you can do in the vast majority of MMORPGs.
What’s your favorite way to make money in an MMORPG? What do you play if you need to scratch the economy itch?
When Andie “CCP Seagull” Nordgren
walked onto the stage at EVE Fanfest 2013 and delivered her long-term vision for the future of EVE Online
, the excitement in the room was palpable. EVE
was riding its highest peak concurrent player numbers in the game’s history following the overhauls of the Crucible
, and Retribution
expansions, and players were ready for a new blockbuster feature to fire their imaginations. CCP delivered its ambitious five year vision to hand the reins of EVE
‘s living universe over to its players, with player-built stargates and deep space exploration in completely uncharted star systems.
We’re now about four months away from the five-year mark on that vision, and many parts of it have now been completed, but no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy. We’ve seen some big feature drops such as the release of citadels, the industry overhaul, and the recent moon mining overhaul, but that deep space colonisation gameplay still seems far off. Some players feel as if EVE is currently in a holding pattern, with everyone waiting for the next big feature or overhauls to their favourite part of the game before deciding what to do next. So what does come next?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down the progress toward Nordgren’s 5 year vision so far and talk about the possible next steps I think CCP could take to make it a reality.
Achievements in MMOs are a nice way of marking off things that you’ve done, but there are no achievements for personal goals. You do not, for example, get an achievement for finally finishing your glamour in Final Fantasy XIV. There’s no achievement for finally getting a piece of gear you wanted for transmog in World of Warcraft or for getting a mount drop you’ve been farming for ages. There’s no achievement for beating the dungeon that you struggle with in Secret World Legends or managing to get a guild started in EverQuest II.
No, these are all personal achievements, and today, we want to hear about them. What’s your latest MMO achievement? Not necessarily an in-game achievement, just the most recent goal that you’ve been working on and finally finished. Acquiring cosmetic gear? Beating content? Finishing part of a long-term project? Let us know about it!