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 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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WoW Factor: The Iron Docks and the bare level cap

I really didn’t want Massively Overpowered’s inaugural column about World of Warcraft to focus on the negatives. But I can’t in good conscience ignore the fact that patch 6.1 for Warlords of Draenor is not getting the Iron Docks that many players were expecting. It’s not that I think it’s a grand betrayal of player trust; it’s not. Things get shifted around in development. Stuff gets held back for the next patch. It happens. This feature was never promised for Tuesday, and it isn’t coming out then. Seems fair.

No, the problem here comes down to one of perception, presentation, and the simple fact that there’s plenty to do at level cap in Warlords of Draenor… but also absolutely nothing to do.

It seems ironic that an expansion that led to an enormous subscriber surge is also seemingly tone-deaf on a number of points, but it also seemed ironic when Cataclysm followed Wrath of the Lich King by undoing a good portion of what made the prior expansion so popular. So why is there so much negativity, even from people who do like the game? How can a game be replete in things to do while at the same time have nothing to do?

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The Daily Grind: What’s the best game-within-a-game in the MMO space?

Jef and I were talking this past weekend about something Star Wars Galaxies got really, really right: the Jump to Lightspeed expansion, which brought joystick-driven free-form space exploration and combat to the sandbox. More importantly, it brought multi-person ships to a genre that simply had nothing like it. Imagine bringing your ground-based party to a totally different place where the holy trinity was pilot, gunner, and mechanic and the endboss was a star destroyer. It was awesome.

Jef told me that after JTL launched, he spent almost all his time in space. And that got us debating games-within-games — not timewastey /gems or card games, mind you, but the kind of large-scale game systems that are so rich and entertaining in their own right that they create entire subcultures dedicated to them and attract players who do little else in the game but that one thing.

We’re trying to think of others in today’s TDG. What’s the best game-within-a-game in the MMO space?

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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EVE Evolved: Exploring EVE’s ‘new opportunities’

This week saw the first concrete reveal of EVE Online‘s potentially revolutionary new Opportunities system, which promises to replace the current tutorial with a more sandbox-oriented alternative. Rather than leading players by the hand through a series of steps, the new system will give players looser goals to complete and let them explore the game at their own pace. It doesn’t sound like a huge change, but the opportunities system will completely change the way new players interact with the game. If it works as intended, this feature has the potential to solve EVE‘s notorious learning curve problem once and for all.

At the same time, I find myself excited for new opportunities outside the game as Massively relaunches as an independent site. Just a few weeks after we were informed that Massively was being shut down and we were all being let go, everyone on the team has pulled together and volunteered his or her time for free to create Massively Overpowered. It’s really good to be back, and I hope I can continue delivering your regular dose of EVE Online for years to come! Ultimately, though, the long-term viability of this column and all the other coverage at MassivelyOP depends on the success of our Kickstarter campaign and future funding through Patreon and advertising.

In this first edition of the reborn EVE Evolved, I discuss EVE‘s upcoming Opportunities feature and the effect it might have on the new player experience.

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