Opinion Category

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]

The Game Archaeologist: Ten facts of EverQuest life circa 1999

MMOs change. We know that, but we also tend to forget it as well. The games that we play today can often be light-years distant from how they used to be when they launched, especially if they’ve been around for well over a decade.

I was never part of the EverQuest scene back in the day (or even now), but I’ve always been fascinated with random tales and tidbits of how the game used to be versus how it is now. With that in mind, I put out a call to player vets who were there back in ’99 to share some of the facts of EQ life. The deluge of stories that I got in return was staggering, and I’m excited to share them with you.

How was the game different? What mechanics and obstacles did players have to deal with that are unheard of today? Check out what those who were on the scene in 1999 had to say!

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The Daily Grind: Do you get MMO event fatigue?

Based on how many awards it won last year and how many Massively OP writers and guildies have been sucked into it, I know I am not alone in my apparent crush on Marvel Heroes and its MMO-ish loot piñata “one more mission” ways. A good MMOARPG is the video game equivalent of comfort food. It’s cheap and delicious. (Plus, I get more of a City of Heroes vibe from it than any other [launched] superhero MMO I’ve tried.)

But the events, guys. There is literally an event every single weekend. It’s overwhelming. Right now, there’s not just one bonus weekend going on but two. Buffs. Loot drops. Experience gain. It’s pretty crazy. It must be working for them, but I admit I get fatigued by the avalanche of events. It actually makes me feel less pressure to log in and play because I know if I miss an event this weekend, next weekend will bring another one. Maybe two!

How about you? Do you get MMO “event fatigue”?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Lost Continent: Is it worth returning to ArcheAge?

Last time out I said some pretty mean things about ArcheAge. And let’s face it: The game earned every one of them. It’s inarguably pay-to-win, the comically intrusive cash shop is the bane of both immersion and economy-based sandbox play, and Trion made a lot of anti-consumer decisions in 2014 (hello “normalization,” Auroria launch, and so on and so forth).

Regardless, I’m back in ArcheAge because the rest of the MMO space sucks worse if you crave non-linear virtual worlds.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the most successful MMO do-over?

Yesterday’s revelation that Final Fantasy XIV is up to four million registered accounts globally (not counting trials, Square insists!) is impressive to me not because it’s proof that subs are a brilliant idea in 2015 but because this game was a total dud at launch. Half the reason we’re all cheering for its comeback is that it’s clawed its way out of a dark and muddy hellhole. To rise again with the A Realm Reborn relaunch is actually amazing and admirable. Very few games ever get that chance at all, let alone nail it so well.

Marvel Heroes had a pretty striking turnaround last year with its do-over, too, such that pretty much everyone I know is now playing it. I’m thinking Star Wars Galaxies‘ NGE, however, will not make the cut. But surely there are other successes that deserve to be on the list. What’s the most successful MMO do-over, other than FFXIV?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Massively Overthinking: Impressions of Crowfall

We’ve got crows on the brain this week since Crowfall launched its Kickstarter. As of this afternoon, the game is just about 100k shy of its goal, a goal it will surely reach with 27 days to go, and confident of that, ArtCraft is already releasing stretch goals. The first promises an FX upgrade and female centaurs, while the second is a push for mounts and caravans.

For today’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve polled our writers to ask them what they think about the PvP-centric title. Did they back it? Will they play it? Or are they running for the hills?

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EverQuesting: Is EverQuest Next in trouble?

You know me: I’ve been quite the supporter of EverQuest Next and Landmark for a good long while. Even before writing about EQN these past few years, I was following its development, and I got to be one of the first ever to find out about and actually get my hands on Landmark. I’ve been at the SOE Live reveals, I’ve talked with the devs on numerous occasions, and I’ve seen their great passion and dedication to the games — and I’ve been relaying all that info to you. It’s no secret that I believe in this franchise. So when I say that all these recent developments give me pause, you can understand the gravity of my feelings. I certainly don’t make this statement lightly.

Is EverQuest Next in trouble? I think it is. At the same time, cries of doom and gloom are unwarranted.

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The Daily Grind: What canceled MMO do you wish had been made?

MMO players are forever bemoaning the overabundance of fantasy titles in our genre. But truthfully, we have lots of sci-fi and zombies games nowadays too. Superheroes too. Vampires? Westerns? Steampunk? Not so much.

And what about Imperial Rome? I remember really looking forward to Imperator, a Mythic MMO that rose in 2002 and fell in 2005 before it ever launched, canceled ostensibly because of Mythic’s acquisition of the Warhammer IP for Warhammer Online (here’s Justin’s writeup from a few years ago). It was a nifty sci-fi spin on a classical setting, and I was bummed when it was nuked and I never got to wear a space toga.

What canceled MMO do you wish had made it to the finish line?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Global Chat: Business model first, game construction second

Welcome back to Global Chat, the column where we reach out and give props to interesting and well-written articles from the MMO blogosphere. Today we’re going to kick off with a positive piece about Crowfall, as Kill Ten Rats’ Ravious is particularly pleased with the decision to announce its business model up front.

“One of my favorite devs, Jeff Strain, wrote way back in 2007 some of the most important words for MMO creators,” Ravious posted. “He said, ‘Decide on your business model first, and then build your game around it.’ So simple.”

Was this a good move for Crowfall? Read the rest of this week’s entries and then debate it in the comments!

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Leaderboard: Camelot Unchained vs. Crowfall

It’s a good time to be a fan of MMO sandbox PvP, as Camelot Unchained and Crowfall are both poised to bring AAA production values and a wealth of industry experience to bear on that particular playstyle.

I’m interested to see how they both turn out, but in terms of which one I’ll be playing, it’s probably Camelot Unchained (not a fan of Crowfall’s resetting world mechanic, sadly).

What about you, Massively readers? Assuming you’re interested in fantasy MMO PvP, which game do you plan on playing, Camelot Unchained or Crowfall? Vote after the cut!

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best sound design?

We pay a lot of attention to what we’re seeing in MMOs, but have you ever stopped to really process what you’re hearing? Sound design is a crucial but often overlooked aspect of games, and I thought it was high time to give proper respect to those MMOs that do it well.

Two of my favorite titles, Lord of the Rings Online and The Secret World, both nail great sound design, in my opinion. LOTRO’s non-musical sound effects in the Shire were a huge part of what drew me into that game world, and I can’t tell you how many times that TSW has freaked me out by inserting weird noises into my eardrums.

What do you think? Which MMO has the best sound design?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Wisdom of Nym: Continuing new in Final Fantasy XIV

All right. The end of last week’s column did not, in fact, finish starting new in Final Fantasy XIV. It brought you up to the point where you could no longer really be considered starting, but there’s so much more to do. So while I could leave it there, I think we should at least learn how to unlock Jobs before the expansion.

So let’s keep rolling on, assuming that you’ve been progressing along in the main story to unlock the other two “intro” dungeons. These three dungeons are all a bit on the tedious and tutorial side, but they at least unlock your low-level roulette (immensely valuable) and start you down the road to understanding the game’s dungeon mechanics. It’s a game of easy enemies and hard bosses, and the next leg of the journey demonstrates exactly how much emphasis is placed upon the boss battles.

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The Daily Grind: Are you still on board with EverQuest Next?

The Daybreak buy-out. Mass layoffs. No more Storybricks. And it might not even be free-to-play!

There are plenty of reasons to go all Chicken Little about EverQuest Next, but strangely enough, I feel practically sanguine about it. I’ve seen all too often how we the community overreact to news without knowing all of the details or how the future will bear out (despite claiming to predict otherwise), and I think that there’s still some strong hope that EQN will not only be released but be an interesting game worthy of the EverQuest moniker.

But that’s just me. What about you? Is your faith shaken in EverQuest Next or are you still on board with it?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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