Massively OP’s Best of 2015 Awards: Most Improved MMO


Massively OP’s end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the most improved MMO of 2015.

All MMOs, regardless of release date, were eligible for this award, provided they made improvements this year. Last year’s award, you’ll recall, went to Final Fantasy XIV.

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 2015 is…

Carbine’s WildStar


Brendan Drain (@nyphur): Guild Wars 2. While it would be easy to point to any of the new features in the Heart of Thorns expansion or the Revenant class as big improvements, probably the biggest and most unexpected improvement was Guild Wars 2’s base version going free to play. That helped me get several friends into the game who had never played before because of the box price, and playing with a full group of friends has brought the game back to life for me too.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): If I had opted to sit this vote out, we’d be looking at a four-way tie, no joke. I can see legitimately giving this award to any of the four nominated games, but I cast my vote for WildStar. Considering how badly off WildStar was and how it’s sitting right now, I think it deserves it, even if it does still have a long way to go.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Only time will tell if WildStar can make the leap from “most improved” to “fully viable,” but it’s gone from being the punchline of lots of jokes – including mine! – to having some genuine buzz and interest floating around. This time last year, the game looked to be in a death spiral, but it looks like next year might be its watershed. Not that it necessarily will be, but it could be.

Jef Reahard (@jefreahard): Elder Scrolls Online. That thieving system was pretty cool. I didn’t see a lot of real improvements this year, though. 2015 was more of the same old grind in every game and every patch.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): WildStar. Free-to-play was only the start of WildStar’s lengthy roster of improvements in 2015. Practically every weak system was either strengthened or overhauled entirely while its assets were given more focus. It helped that Carbine noticeably backed off its “arr hardcore!” stance to embrace the more casual set. And the game’s first two holiday events were actually pretty awesome. Also Marvel Heroes. It’s hard to argue that Gazillion has been lazy, what with adding a new hero (class) every month on top of many great features and content additions.

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): When there are many games that have started pretty high, it’s hard to name one that has been the most improved. But my pick is Elder Scrolls Online, even though I still this it has problems. The game itself changed from this strictly linear game to something that’s a little more do-as-you-like. Of course, there is still a primary story and fairly straightforward zone-to-zone leveling, but the number of things that players can do as they level up has increased. Half of the justice system, the Imperial City, and even the latest DLC Orsinium have added a lot to the game, and there is far less hand-holding overall.

Matt Daniel (@Matt_DanielMVOP): Oof, this is a tough one too. I don’t honestly feel that I’m qualified to speak in this area because I spend so much of my time hopping between games that I rarely stick around enough to see how much a given game improves over time. That being said, I feel like Final Fantasy XIV has improved immensely, though my memory is wibbly-wobbly, so I’m not sure all of the improvement I have in mind has happened over the course of the past year. Still, I feel like between the updates that have hit FFXIV over the course of the year, plus the launch of Heavensward which I absolutely adored, FFXIV has improved enough to get my vote in this category.

Tina Lauro (@purpletinabeans): For me at least, Guild Wars 2 has been drastically improved by HoT’s launch back in October.The expansion has drastically improved and refined the endgame of the game, opening up the title to the raiding community and providing several new mechanics that enhance and reward the exploration that the game is known for. I adore the new zone and I think it’s a much better experiment in verticality than the team’s previous attempts were. It actually got me into PvP too with the introduction of Stronghold, which I thought would never happen!

WildStar won our pick for most improved MMO of 2015. What’s your pick?

What's the most improved MMO of 2015?

  • WildStar (20%, 314 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (8%, 130 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Online (25%, 383 Votes)
  • Marvel Heroes (3%, 41 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XIV (6%, 88 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (1%, 14 Votes)
  • RIFT (1%, 13 Votes)
  • World of Warcraft (2%, 27 Votes)
  • TERA (1%, 13 Votes)
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic (13%, 202 Votes)
  • Neverwinter (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Star Trek Online (1%, 18 Votes)
  • The Secret World (3%, 39 Votes)
  • EVE Online (2%, 32 Votes)
  • Trove (0%, 5 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (2%, 30 Votes)
  • DC Universe Online (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Elite: Dangerous (7%, 113 Votes)
  • RuneScape (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Defiance (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Ultima Online (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Dark Age of Camelot (0%, 5 Votes)
  • EverQuest (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Darkfall (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Aion (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Age of Wushu/Wulin (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Landmark (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Something else -- tell us in the comments! (2%, 32 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,549

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Poll options include all games nominated plus several other major MMORPGs.

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