the daily grind

No, it’s not a slow news day; it’s just The Daily Grind, a long-running morning feature in which the Massively Overpowered writers pose gaming-related questions to the MMORPG community. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]

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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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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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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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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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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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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The Daily Grind: Which MMO boasts the best bard?

A player on Reddit recently asked one of the most pressing questions in the MMO genre today: “Where can I find a fun Bard-like class?” Though often posts on the MMORPG Reddit aren’t heavily populated, this one elicited dozens of responses and ideas. I’m telling you: Bards are awesome, and everyone knows it.

Naturally, the thread quickly devolved into bragging about just who could twist the most songs as a Bard in classic EverQuest.

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The Daily Grind: Are you with or behind the player curve?

There’s one unfortunate fallout to taking an extended leave from an MMO: You quickly fall behind the curve. As patches and expansions and changes roll in, players in the game adapt and conquer while you’ll be playing catch-up if or when you come back.

I’m experiencing this right now in Star Wars: The Old Republic. When I left, my Operative was doing Makeb with the rest of the crowd, but now that I’ve returned, I’m one of approximately six people on this planet while everyone else is Rishi this and Rishi that. I don’t even know what a Rishi is, although I suspect it’s some type of midichlorian pasta maker.

In your MMO, are you with or behind the player curve?

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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The Daily Grind: Are you optimistic about WildStar’s future?

I’m sure this won’t serve as a grand surprise to anyone reading this, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of WildStar ever since we saw NCsoft’s financials last week. While it’s all well and good to try and cast the news as a positive by pointing out that it’s nearing the range of City of Heroes in terms of revenue, it behooves us to remember that CoH was unceremoniously shut down. Considering the hostile takeover NCsoft is facing, I think it’s enough to start one seriously thinking about the future.

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The Daily Grind: How do you rate Guild Wars 2’s season 2?

As I write this, I’m almost finished with the second season of Guild Wars 2’s vaunted living story. Without any specific spoilers, I have to say that the season was a step up from the first, with a tighter delivery of narrative and the ability to replay episodes at one’s leisure. However, I never felt truly drawn into what felt like a drawn-out prologue to a boss fight that has yet to come, and none of the characters save Taimi had any interesting character development happen.

So now that the season is over, let’s hear some reviews from those who have played it through. What do you think of season two? What could the devs do better in the third season, assuming that it will come after the expansion pack?

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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The Daily Grind: Do you have more time or money for games?

I’m told that time is money, but the exchange rate is not universal. There are people whose time is, apparently, worth more than my time. But we can agree that the exchange rate is there, and it’s one of those aspects used to sell convenience in almost every game going. You can spend a whole lot of time leveling a character to the level cap in World of Warcraft, or you can just pick up a level 90 boost and save yourself a pile of time. Experience boosts, travel speed boosts, crafting time boosts, they’re all functionally ways of trading money for time.

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The Daily Grind: Do you see hate speech in your MMO?

The other day one of our readers, Joe F., pointed us at a conversation between Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman and an ArcheAge customer who was banned. In the exchange, Hartsman said he reviewed the chat log that led to the ban, concluding, “In 2015, those two words aren’t ‘cussing.’ One is hate speech, the other racism. We wish you the best.”

Obviously, there are lots of kind players who exist together in peace in MMOs, but there are also bad eggs who do like to sling slurs against others out of anger or as part of their “gaming vocabulary.” In your MMOs, do you see much hate speech in chat and tells, or are most folks pretty much behaving themselves?

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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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite MMO character for PvP?

I’ve been spending my gaming time lately PvPing in Guild Wars 2 in an attempt to reinkindle my old obsession with World of Warcraft battleground-style gameplay. It’s working: I really love the GW2 maps, and it thrills me that it’s one more fun facet of a game I already enjoy more than most titles still alive today.

(Of course, there’s no more disgruntled a group in GW2 than PvPers, and I’m sure I’ll get to that same point in a few months. But for now, while everything is still new to me, I’m actually *gasp* having a good time.)

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