Massively OP’s PAX East 2017 awards and best-in-show reader vote


We’ve finished rolling out all of our PAX East content this year, and we’ve put our MMORPG-addled noggins together to try to choose our favorites out of what we got to see in person and from afar. Read on, then vote for your own best-in-show!

Best New MMO: Kritika Online

En Masse’s Kritika Online stole the show as a bit of a sleeper hit, surprising our attendee with its polished and fun PvE dungeon content demo. “It is, in every way, a microcosm of what dungeon experiences can be,” he wrote.

  Best Reveal: Rend

Frostkeep Studios was top-secret before PAX East, making survival sandbox Rend a totally new reveal for the convention. While it’s not a traditional MMORPG, it has some persistent elements and the factional PvP that MMO players might like, with plenty in common with PvP-oriented MMOs like Crowfall — but also plenty to set it apart from survival games like Conan Exiles, too, as we explored in a piece earlier this week. Oh yeah, and it’s pretty!

  Best Expansion: Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood

We struggled over how (and whether) to dish out awards to a few of the major MMORPGs with big content coming this year, given their not-really-commensurate-with-the-hype-or-quality showings at the con. However, we’re ultimately pinning the Best Expansion pin on Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood for its expansion panel deep-dive and a typically spectacular interview from Naoki Yoshida.

  Most Anticipated: The Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind

Morrowind has been dubbed a “chapter” rather than an “expansion,” and we’ve noted that we were underwhelmed by the specific battleground content we saw, but it’s hard to deny that The Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind is the most anticipated MMORPG we saw at the con. Your clicks on our follow-up deep-dive on the impact of PvP suggest the same.

  Best Indie MMO: Legends of Aria

In the world of MMORPGs, it’s not uncommon for games to start out as MMORPGs and scale back to much smaller games. Legends of Aria — formerly known as Shards Online — is doing just the opposite by expanding its world and scope beyond small shards into one big and truly massive official world. That earns it the indie crown for the show.

  Biggest Surprise: TERA

Maybe it shouldn’t have been a true surprise, since we’ve been tracking rumors on the subject for over a year, but TERA’s formal console announcement was indeed a head-turner. We didn’t see it coming this soon, anyway!

  Most Potential: Chronicles of Elyria

The demo of Kickstarter-funded Chronicles of Elyria at PAX was beautiful if relatively limited. But if the game is developed and embellished as promised — and more importantly, if griefplay is adequately discouraged as promised — the game has tremendous potential to be the next big thing. It’s just got a long way to go!

  Best Console Experience: Trove

Trion brought Trove on console to PAX just a few days ahead of its official launch, which means the demo on display has already been time-tested by open beta players, to say nothing of the millions of players who’ve been trundling around the sandbox on PC. That surely helped makes it the best console experience for MMORPG players at the con.

  Best Multiplayer RPG: Dauntless

Dauntless isn’t a traditional MMORPG, but it’s got the pedigree thanks to devs from BioWare, Riot Games, and Blizzard, as well as the online multiplayer combat and the cash shop. Hardcore “massive” fans should probably take a peek at the trailer because the gameplay might scratch your itch anyway.

And now for the poll — what was your pick for best-in-show (among the games we cover here)?

Massively OP Reader Best-in-Show, PAX East 2017

  • Kritika Online (5%, 186 Votes)
  • Rend (1%, 51 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood (1%, 33 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind (2%, 78 Votes)
  • Legends of Aria (Shards Online) (46%, 1,678 Votes)
  • TERA (console) (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Chronicles of Elyria (40%, 1,451 Votes)
  • Trove (console) (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Dauntless (1%, 43 Votes)
  • Conan Exiles (0%, 13 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Nothing (0%, 16 Votes)
  • No vote / just want to see results (1%, 50 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,610

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Here’s a complete roundup of all our coverage of the convention!


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For sure, Chronicles of Elyria. I cannot wait for that game to release more on the game, and ultimately launch!

Noah Mayes

Legends of Aria(Shards Online) all the way! An official server coming on Steam release that feels like old UO and they give access to the community to make their own servers. The possibilities are endless. A true mmorpg like back in 1998.



Mah vote’s for Legends of Aria. A return to the roots of the genre in the classic sandbox design, and a new path forward with modding and community servers.

Patreon Donor

+1 for Chronicles of Elyria

Sha… I mean, Legends of Aria looks interesting too, but I’m not so sure about how this player-run server idea will work out. I always preferred official servers, though with the stupid single server / megaserver push that MMOs have been doing, perhaps a proper MMORPG with small player-run servers is exactly what we need. Time will tell.


Elf butts

Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor

Of the new stuff Dauntless looks fun. 2017 means they made it without any begging which is great.

agemyth 😩
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
agemyth 😩

It has taken far too long for a good Monster Hunter clone to come out that does all the things the weak handheld platforms cannot do. Good luck, Dauntless.