Earlier this week, we posted our award celebrating what we thought was the best MMO-related trend of the year: a renewed focus on building MMO community and dev communication. Naturally, we need to flip that around and consider the worst trends, too.
I feel like lockboxes would be a dull and obvious pick even though so many MMOs played around with them this year, so let me go off in a different direction. I noticed a lot of developers – not just EA, but MMORPG devs specifically – seemingly deliberately using anchoring tactics when it comes to their cash shops. Studios like ArenaNet and Trion would do something wild – like, say, put up a $100 random mount or dozens of random mounts in cheapie boxes – to see what the market would tolerate, anchoring the original prices in our minds and manufacturing that new baseline, that new normal, even if they then retreated slightly after player pushback.
That kind of manipulation bugs me. I know we’re always subject to it, but it seemed particularly overt this year. What else did you notice was a bad trend over the last 12 months? What was the worst MMO trend of 2017?