Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Best MMORPG PvP Experience in 2016, which is new to our awards series this year as proposed by proposed by strangesands and melissaheather. Once again, we’ve opted to include live, fully released MMORPGs launched in any year, as long as their 2016 PvP experience is what’s being judged (some writers nominated non-MMORPGs and unlaunched games; they were included below, but the votes were not considered). 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 Best MMORPG PvP Experience in 2016 is…
Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I still like how accessible Guild Wars 2’s conquest is. Only played a few times this year, but it’s because despite level differences, we could jump in and play together without having to have a special character for it.
Brendan Drain (@nyphur): EVE Online. It has to be EVE Online, which has seen renewed PvP in 2016 thanks to the launch of the Citadel expansion. Corporations can now set up their own citadel space stations anywhere in the game, even putting one near an enemy’s citadel to help them war over a star system. The expansion landed as the famous World War Bee conflict was winding down and played a key role in the fighting in the low-security system of Saranen. Skirmishes now regularly pop up over medium Astrahus citadels in nullsec, and there have been some massive wars over expensive Keepstar citadels. On the smaller end of the PvP spectrum was improved by the addition of free alpha clone accounts, the removal of troublesome off-grid boosting mechanics, and balance changes.
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): In any other year, I’d say EVE Online would win by default in spite of the overall unpleasantness of the PvP experience compared to more structured PvP in other games. But in 2016, the crown belongs to Black Desert, with its guild sieges and karma rules that allow even carebears who are really just there to breed horses to muddle through. And somehow Kakao did it all without turning the sandbox into a nihilistic and vile asshat magnet. Amazing.
Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Black Desert. In this case, “best” isn’t really a synonym for “most balanced” so much as it notes that BDO has managed to make a very heavily PvP-focused game into a viable experience for a lot of different players. That’s something of a rarity at this point, but as near as I’ve been able to gather from the outside, there are lots of players in the game who aren’t there just to smash the faces of other players… and yet they’re still playing and have plenty to do. The struggle is real, as always, to make players who don’t want to PvP feel like players instead of content for PvP predators, but the game is striving for it.
MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): I have to give this to Paladins. I have never been one to even give that type of game a second glance, but it really did grab me from the first time I popped in. I was surprised! I like the characters, the light-hearted style, and the fact I could get the hang of it pretty quickly and experience some success instead of having frustration upon frustration shoved down my throat. Sadly I haven’t liked where some of the changes have swung the game, but I still enjoy the PvP here the best. MechWarrior Online gets runner up for me, but only when playing with friends.
Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): EVE Online steals this one for me due to the Citadel expansion and the massive World War Bee that broke out this year. Thousands of players returned to engage in the massive battles that made up the war, with plenty of media and outside interest in the sheer scale of the fighting. The war has since been determined to be perhaps be the largest PvP event ever observed, and the result was the destruction of a shocking amount of ships that have a calculable real-world cost. Shattering the Imperium’s hold was no small task, and the fact that one side of the war was supposedly part-funded by one wealthy player who hold a grudge makes it even more impressive.
Black Desert and EVE Online won our award for Best MMORPG PvP Experience in 2016. What’s your pick?
Reader poll: Which MMORPG had the best PvP experience in 2016?
- Black Desert (10%, 89 Votes)
- EVE Online (14%, 128 Votes)
- Guild Wars 2 (16%, 148 Votes)
- ArcheAge (3%, 28 Votes)
- Elder Scrolls Online (15%, 134 Votes)
- Star Wars The Old Republic (4%, 36 Votes)
- World of Warcraft (10%, 88 Votes)
- Blade and Soul (5%, 46 Votes)
- TERA (1%, 10 Votes)
- Skyforge (0%, 4 Votes)
- RIFT (1%, 8 Votes)
- WildStar (1%, 10 Votes)
- RuneScape (1%, 11 Votes)
- Any of the Darkfalls (1%, 11 Votes)
- Age of Conan (1%, 9 Votes)
- Nothing (10%, 95 Votes)
- Something else (tell us in the comments!) (4%, 32 Votes)
- PlanetSide 2 (3%, 24 Votes)
Total Voters: 910