The Daily Grind: Which MMOs do the best job with patch notes?

    
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To the surprise of no one, working here involves reading lots of patch notes. Some games do a better job with this than others. Final Fantasy XIV does a pretty good job with the notes, but they’re still enormous and sometimes difficult to navigate; still, it’s better than the patch notes for Star Wars: The Old Republic, which always struck me as needlessly obtuse and unclear. World of Warcraft has gone back and forth over the years, although they tend to at least be readable (and the “fake patch notes” every April 1st are usually great).

By contrast, I quite like the trick that some games such as Eternal Crusade use, putting the biggest and most relevant changes front-and-center before launching into the detailed patch notes. And I would be remiss to not mention the old Final Fantasy XI patch notes, including such wonderful vagueness as “altered the drop rates on certain items.” That’s real clear. What do you say, readers? Which MMOs do the best job with patch notes?

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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Celestia
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Celestia

WoW’s patch notes have been consistently comprehensive and easily digestible.

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Little Bugbear

WoW’s patch notes are easy to read.

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Bryan Turner

Hey folks I’m at a loss and I’m looking for advice, I’m walking away from GW2, finished Map Completion and every thing just seems dead and empty, I spend more time watching YouTube videos about GW2 or bitching about it on the Forums.

I’m currently broke at the moment so subbing to something is out.

I’ve got single player options but I don’t think it will help with that itch of exploring beautiful maps with the option of jumping into open world zergs.

Any one know if Rift is fine these days, I’ve got a different ISP, I’m wondering if Star Fall is still buy to play? Granted I could just level a character from scratch I do have the first two expansions.

Swtor seems too boxed in with their worlds.

I’ve thought about EQ2 Or Lotro but those games are kind of dated.

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Sorenthaz

Rift is probably doing fine, though its F2P monetization will always be a sore spot for me personally.

If you own ESO, that’s a good option. BDO is only $10 if you can scrounge up enough for it (though the cash shop shenanigans are irritating). I guess Wildstar is F2P now? But I don’t know what it’s like at all.

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Suikoden

Rift is doing fine. The lower level areas still have a healthy amount of people, and the game gets regular updates.

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Leviathonlx

FF14 makes patch notes a tad too long. Like I get listing important information but things like ‘New music added’ always make me laugh or the part where they list every single new item in the patch for over a third of the patch notes.

hurbster
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hurbster

Oh, you mean natch potes…

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Tulerezzer

I would have to go with EQ and EQ2.
Not sure how well Deybreak Games does on their other 2(?) games but their notes for the EQ games I find easy to read and concise.

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Reht

I would typically agree with this except for the occasional intention omissions of nerfs on their part.

CapnLan
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CapnLan

Oh god those FFXI patch notes. “Adjusted Red Mage spells.” What spells did you adjust? How did you adjust them? “Added armor to the game.” What armor? Where is it? How do I get it? What are it’s stats? ARRRRGH. FFXI is how I came to support the data mining community as much as I do. SE would release a page of notes that said NOTHING. I’d go to Alla and get the latest data mine (usually from TummieGaruda) to find out wtf they actually did instead of looking at their “patch notes”.

As for good patch notes, I rather enjoy how Digital Extremes does it in Warframe. They often release a full developer workshop post detailing on what they’re doing and why before the patch actually happens. Then when the patch comes down they make notes on what, if anything, actually changed in the workshop and then link that in the notes. I think that’s what really sets their workshops/notes apart is that they often tell me why something has changed instead of just telling me that it has. They also post a link to the notes in game when you’re aboard your ship. Next to the navigation panel you can find a news console that you can click on to bring up the notes without having to leave the game. It’s damn nice.

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Darthbawl

Patch notes for games can be as bad as BIOS update notes for motherboards. “Updated CPU microcode” is as vague as you can get LOL.

EQ2 patch notes aren’t too bad, they usually drop before the patch.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

just an fyi you can usually find what the “updated cpu microcode” updates relate to in the errata for your cpu model/line.

which is sometimes covered in sometimes silly ways in tech blogs that notice them (and sometimes further spun on social media in FUDish ways as opposed to how utterly mundane and non consequential they tend to be for 99% of end user applications :D)

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Darthbawl

Not talking about any fixes for certain processors but new processor support.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

thoser are usually mentioned with teh new cpu listed in my experience. at least the odd time with intel i’ve seen (which is rare really for intel to support new CPUs on existing chipsets).

Benjamin Northrup
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Benjamin Northrup

BDO is the absolute worst wtih patch notes. at the start we’d get patches that just said “changed warrior skills” or shit like that, or not announce new content untill the week before when they patch half of it in in a 8 GB patch, then the players had to scramble to try and get set up for the new content.

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Godiva

Path of Exile has elevated Patch Notes to an art form. They release them on the official website before the patch hits, they are extremely detailed and easy to follow, and the community thoroughly enjoys reading them before the new content hits.

If anyone is interested, here are the patch notes for the latest big update Fall of Oriath:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1930316

Veldan
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Veldan

I came here to say this, pretty much. No other patch notes are like PoE patch notes. It’s an example for every game.

(For the record I still don’t consider PoE an MMO though!)