Massively OP’s end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the biggest MMO disappointment of 2015.
Last year, we gave this “award” to WildStar and ArcheAge in a split vote. Disappointments can be games, launches, patches, trends, stories, sunsets, all manner of topics. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. 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 the biggest MMO disappointment of 2015 is…
Brendan Drain (@nyphur): Elite: Dangerous. Though it officially launched in December 2014, it was too early to tell by the end of the year whether the game would live up to the promise of a massive procedurally generated galaxy. The game at launch was best described as “a mile wide and an inch deep” and I recently delved back into it again in the hope that the past year of development had changed that fact. The power play update has certainly made the universe more dynamic and put a face on the various factions vying for power in the colonised corner of the galaxy, but the fundamental flaws that were in the game at launch still exist. Unidentified signals are still spawned right in front of your ship on a timer rather than being actually located somewhere within a star system, and everything from the mission board to NPCs in a star system still re-generate when you log out and in again or enter and exit supercruise. All the NPCs needed for your missions even spawn right on top of you when you enter supercruise, which is incredibly immersion-breaking (especially if you’re in deep space with nobody around for thousands of lightyears). I should clarify that I really do enjoy Elite’s moment-to-moment gameplay and it’s very addictive, but the fundamental lack of world persistence in Elite breaks the whole concept of an immersive sandbox and the fact that it hasn’t been addressed in a full year is a huge disappointment.
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): Man I hate voting for World of Warcraft here, but I think World of Warcraft’s staggering downward subscription slide, and Blizzard’s failure to mobilize to stop it, are the most disappointing things for me. And please realize I say this not because I dislike WoW but because I do like it and frankly expect better from it and Blizzard. I don’t like to see this happen to the frontrunner in our genre; it’s deeply troubling. My second choice would be the concerning silence on EverQuest Next, which went from Most Anticipated to Where Are They Now? in the span of a single year.
Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): World of Warcraft’s content drought. The truth is that I am super excited about the next WoW expansion. I think it might be really good, even if it’s holding on to some lingering bad ideas here and there. But Blizzard’s glacial pace (puns!) needs to stop unless they really want to lose the subscription status on this game because players are just getting more and more annoyed over time. It’s like they’re the one studio in the world that doesn’t work on anything more than what’s directly in front of them; I look at what other studios do and I know that the problems the studio suffers from are not requirements, just decisions made by the team.
Jef Reahard (@jefreahard): In a year full of MMO disappointments, The Repopulation’s out-of-left-field problems take my personal cake. The indie spiritual successor to Star Wars Galaxies was doing quite well for itself and was already pretty fun to play despite needing lots of polish and refinement. Now, though, problems with the underlying Hero Engine and some lawyerly license bullcrap has apparently put the brakes on the entire project? That makes no sense, and it’s extremely irritating on multiple levels.
Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Turbine. While LOTRO had a few OK updates, Turbine as a whole had a terrible year. Infinite Crisis’ failure rippled across all of the studio’s projects and caused layoffs, and we saw very little positive coming out of the studio for the entire year. I’m starting to worry that there might not be much of a future left for this once great indie MMO studio. Also WoW and Legion: Hopefully for World of Warcraft players, Legion will be a return to quality and greatness. But I do not have much hope. World of Warcraft saw a massive, massive drop in subscribers as Warlords of Draenor got a critical drubbing, and Legion wasn’t so much exciting as barely holding the status quo.
Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): I know this is highly personal, and it will probably not get many votes. I was highly disappointed in Elder Scrolls Online when the game finally launched on console in June. I expected that the veteran ranks would disappear. Unfortunately, it’s the end of the year, and we still have not see the Veteran Ranks disappear even though it was promised to us shortly after the PC launch.
Matt Daniel (@Matt_DanielMVOP): I’m probably alone in this one, but I’m gonna hafta go with the abysmal performance of Pathfinder Online. Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t see the proverbial writing on the wall, but I was at least cautiously optimistic about Pathfinder Online. Maybe it’s because of my frankly unhealthy obsession with playing assassin roles in MMORPGs, but I was especially excited that PFO had mechanics in place to allow assassins to take contracts, get paid, and even to perform assassinations while concealing their identities. Alas, it seems like my hopes are going to be dashed once again.
MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): Honestly for me the biggest disappointment was the loss of SOE Live. No convention that I have ever been to has compared to that experience, and not having it really left a hole in my year. Oh, and I know this is stating the obvious, but also tied for biggest disappointment: NO NEW EQN NEWS!
Tina Lauro (@purpletinabeans): This is a hard one… it was a relatively quiet year if nothing glaringly obvious is springing to mind, I suppose, so maybe that’s disappointing in itself? Seriously though, I had a good MMO year!
WoW’s setbacks won our vote for Biggest Disappointment of 2015. What’s your pick?
What was the biggest MMO disappointment of 2015?
- World of Warcraft's content drought & sub losses (24%, 466 Votes)
- Elite: Dangerous lack of world persistence (4%, 81 Votes)
- EverQuest Next's silence (50%, 949 Votes)
- The Repopulation's delay (4%, 69 Votes)
- Turbine's apparent scaleback (4%, 69 Votes)
- Elder Scrolls Online's veteran ranks (5%, 89 Votes)
- Pathfinder Online's meltdown (2%, 38 Votes)
- The loss of SOE Live (4%, 73 Votes)
- Something else -- let us know in the comments. (4%, 73 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,907