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The Daily Grind: What promised yet undelivered feature sticks in your craw?

There are few things more annoying than a developer promoting an upcoming feature or change and then never delivering on it. Four expansions later, World of Warcraft fans still grump about the failed promise of a dance studio that was somehow too difficult for Blizzard to figure out.

For me, I’ve been irked for years over the fact that Turbine has repeatedly promised to overhaul Lord of the Rings Online’s ancient housing system without ever getting around to fixing it. Not too long ago, the studio finally announced that it was giving up on the idea, prompting me to throw my hands up in exasperation and take a long walk outside.

So what promised yet undelivered feature sticks in your craw? And what is craw, exactly?

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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Betawatch: April 10th, 2015

Would you like to talk about Black Desert? Stuff’s happening with the game. You can learn how to hunt whales, white or otherwise, and you can learn about the game’s next class. Or you can read a fandom rant about the issues that have cropped up with the game during its testing phases, although as always you might want to take that rant with a grain of salt or two. It’s a good habit to get into.

Elsewhere in the MMO space, meanwhile:

You want more? Ah, all right, jump on past the break and check out our full list as always.

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The Daily Grind: Are MMOs becoming outpaced by tech?

Whenever I talk about Ultima Online to someone who wasn’t there when it was a big thing, I admit to feeling as if I have to justify its existence because of its graphics, which were shallow in 1997, never mind 2015. The game is still amazing, feature for feature, but it’s been eclipsed by the advance of technology.

That’s the topic an anonymous Massively Kickstarter donor wished to bring up for today’s Daily Grind. “Will MMOs keep pace with advancing technology,” he asks, “or wither?”

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Massively Overthinking: The death of the MMO guild

This week’s Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter donor JakeDunnegan, who is worried about the future of MMORPG guilds.

When EverQuest came along, I was introduced to the concept of guilds, which was a bit different from league play in Tribes. Voice chat in EQ wasn’t really a thing unlike the need for Roger Wilco in Tribes. And guilds added so much to playing. Since grouping was so critical in EQ, being in a guild was a must for effective play for anyone but Necros and Druids, who were the only effective solo players at the time.

Requirements for getting in some guilds were extremely stringent, yet the real-world rewards were unlike much we see today. It wasn’t uncommon at all for people to be in the same physical area to get together or folks travelling to stop in and have dinner with fellow guildies. I did this on many occassions, even planning a small weekend stop-over at a guild leader’s house about a half a day’s drive away.

All this and I played EQ for only about two years. We eventually started our own guild, and it would ebb and flow as new MMOs came out, but the game that really, effectively, killed off the concept of guilding — for me, anyway — was the ironically named Guild Wars 2.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite MMO fantasy setting?

I’ve been fooling about in Elder Scrolls Online this week, and in some ways it’s like coming home. I wrote Massively’s ESO column for a few months in 2014, and I played the heck out of the game at launch and over the summer.

Apart from that, though, I’ve always loved the world presented in the Elder Scrolls series, and ZeniMax did a great job importing that lore, ambiance, and an unquantifiable atmosphere that I thoroughly enjoy even as I struggle to describe it.

What about you, MOP readers? What’s your favorite MMO fantasy setting?

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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Leaderboard: Which of the big four MOBAs is your favorite?

OK, MassivelyOP MOBA fans, it’s time to vote for your favorite game. We’re going to keep it simple for today’s Leaderboard, though. There are dozens of MOBAs, but there are basically four that get all the press (and presumably all the players).

Assuming you’re a MOBA fan, which of the big four is your favorite? League of Legends? SMITE? Dota 2? Heroes of the Storm? Vote after the cut!

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The Daily Grind: Where do you stand on MMO emulators?

Emulators. They’re a touchy, murky, grey-area subject for many people and one that we don’t touch on a lot here on the site due to their often quasi-legal status. But we can’t ignore the fact that they exist, and so I want to devote today’s topic to asking where you stand on the issue of emulators.

Keep in mind that there are three categories in play here, more or less. There are emulators of currently operating MMOs, there are emulators of dead MMOs that studios often turn a blind eye to (such as Star Wars Galaxies or Earth & Beyond), and there are studio-sanctioned player-run servers, as in the (eventual) case of Asheron’s Call.

Personally, I’m torn. The law is the law, but in the case of abandoned projects, I would much rather see them continue in some format than left to rot. What do you think?

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: Are MMO players too mean to game developers?

Is it too easy to forget that MMOs, like all video games, are made by people just like you and I? Belghast over at Tales of the Aggronaut thinks so; he says that our inability to see devs as real folks breeds hostility and makes it “hip to be mean.”

“I have a hard time viewing these companies as the evil empires they are made out to be,” Belghast writes. “No one sets out wanting to make a horrible product, and no one deserves to feel like they are hated by the people that are supposed to be their fans.”

The blogging community has plenty of kind, helpful, and critical words to say this week, including a return to Star Wars: The Old Republic, a guide to Guild Wars 2 achievements, and why data mining messes up the fun for all of us.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your most memorable MMO noob moment?

I was basically still a kid when I first started playing MMOs, and my first, of course, was the wild west of the newly launched Ultima Online. Completely new to multiplayer games, I rolled up my first character with the fun-sounding tailoring and musicianship skills (no other bard skills — just musicianship, a passive skill that did nothing alone). Clueless, I made money selling dyeing services to equally clueless newbies and wandering the roads picking up left-behind bags to sell for gold.

But what I remember most from those first few days was standing by the East Britain bank watching what I thought were elite mage characters repeatedly summoning ham, eating it, and then summoning more ham, over and over again as they worked on their skills. One of them explained to me that really good mages could cast recall on marked runes and make them disappear. That was the moment I decided I didn’t want to be a hopeless bag lady in this weirdo game. I wanted to be a powerful mage and summon ham and make runes disappear. And that’s exactly what I did.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your preferred MOBA class?

The strangest thing has been happening to me here lately. I… I think I’m becoming a MOBA fan. It’s not that I had anything against MOBAs before, but given my preference for online virtual worlds and all things non-combat, it seems an unlikely match.

But whatever because Infinite Crisis is really fun and I can’t stop playing it. So, riddle me this, MOBA fans. What’s your preferred MOBA class, archetype, or character?

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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MMO Week in Review: April 5, 2015

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

This week, Daybreak Game Company announced that the venerable EverQuest II, with 10 full expansions under its belt, will cease production of more, turning instead to smaller and more frequent paid DLC. The first of such DLC, dubbed Rum Cellar, is due to launch April 28th.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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One Shots: Row, row, row your boat

When I’m perusing my One Shots mail folder seeking that special picture that will make the headlines, I’m not looking for anything in particular. I just know it when I see it. It’ll make me drool with eye candy envy, it’ll tell an interesting story, or (in this case) it makes me laugh.

Reader Siphaed spent his time well in ArcheAge, apparently: “Before my self-exile from the game, I had become a majorly wanted criminal for… applying true justice (killing same-faction bots and uprooting illegal farms found in the hillsides of the world). Apparently my actions were not favored by the local player jury, and they claimed my actions to be criminal. So after busting out of jail I decided to hold a protest in the city center water fountain. Keep rowing on!”

For a means of transportation, it’s certainly not the worst I’ve ever seen. So what else do our fair readers have to show us this week?

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The Daily Grind: How long do you have your subscriptions set up for?

I had not put my Final Fantasy XIV account on anything more extended than month-by-month billing for the longest time. Which is kind of weird, when you think about it. There has never been a question in my mind of whether or not I would be playing again next month, so it’s kind of ridiculous to think that I wouldn’t be signed up for several months at a time… but for some reason, I just went along on month-to-month billing.

Of course, that’s not always unusual. I have friends who will subscribe to games for months or years while still being on monthly subscriptions, and I know of others who quit games in a month but always subscribe on three-month packages for no readily explained reason. So what about you? How long do you have your subscriptions set up for? Or do you just not subscribe to anything any longer, even with an optional subscription?

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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