Massively OP’s 2017 awards debrief and annual recap

    
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As we did in 20142015, and 2016, today I’m going to recap our annual awards and other meta articles from the end of 2017. We gave out 19 formal awards this past year, all in addition to dozens of other recaps, roundups, listicles, predictions, bloopers, oddities, polls, provocations, and retrospectives. It was by far our biggest content dump to date, even bigger than last year!

Following our deep-dive into our awards and the attached reader polls, I’ll be recapping all of the end-year articles in one convenient place in case you missed something over the holidays – enjoy!

MMO of the Year: Elder Scrolls Online (2017), Black Desert (2016), Final Fantasy XIV (2015), Nothing (2014), Final Fantasy XIV (2013), Guild Wars 2 (2012), Star Wars The Old Republic (2011), Global Agenda (2010), Fallen Earth & Dungeons & Dragons (2009)

Community Poll: Elder Scrolls Online (2017) Elder Scrolls Online (2016), Elder Scrolls Online & Trove (2015), Nothing (2014), Star Trek Online (2010), Runes of Magic (2009)

Way back in 2014, the Massively staff and readers were so underwhelmed by the field of new MMOs that we voted to name “Nothing” our GOTY, which ultimately led us to relax the rules and allow in older games. MMOs are never really done evolving until they’re dead, after all! That’s how four-year-old Elder Scrolls Online – fresh off a year filled with solid DLC, the Homestead housing patch, and the Morrowind expansion – managed to nearly sweep the staff vote and pull in half of the reader vote to boot. In fact, 2017 marks the third year in a row the game’s taken the reader vote. The pro-ESO polling was accompanied by some commenter pushback, however, from gamers who believe lockboxes should be a disqualifying factor for GOTY.

Best Expansion/Update: Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire (2017), World of Warcraft Legion (2016), Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns (2015), Guild Wars 2 April Feature Pack (2014), Guild Wars 2 Super Adventure Box (2013), RIFT Storm Legion (2012), Lord of the Rings Online Rise of Isengard (2011)

Community Poll: Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire (2017), World of Warcraft Legion (2016), Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns (2015), World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor (2014), World of Warcraft Cataclysm (2010)

While Guild Wars 2 didn’t take GOTY, its 2017 expansion, Path of Fire, took best expansion handily, beating out Morrowind (those mounts are just tough to top). The reader poll agreed, with nearly half of voters picking Path of Fire. That’s three years in a row we’ve agreed on this one! We did pick up quite a spike from Dungeons and Dragons Online players, however – not the first time DDO players have organized a campaign to upvote their home MMO!

Most Anticipated: Crowfall (2017), Star Citizen (2016), Star Citizen (2015), EverQuest Next/Landmark (2014), EverQuest Next (2013), WildStar (2012), Guild Wars 2 & WildStar (2011), Star Wars The Old Republic (2010), All Points Bulletin (2009)

Community Poll: Crowfall & Shroud of the Avatar (2017), Camelot Unchained (2016), Star Citizen (2015), Camelot Unchained & Shroud of the Avatar (2014), Star Wars The Old Republic & Project Titan (2010), Star Trek Online (2009)

Star Citizen couldn’t make it three straight years at the top of the most-anticipated list; Crowfall just barely took the staff award this year. “I do notice the trend that games seem to linger in this category for a couple of years before we give up on them or they’re canceled,” I wrote last year, “so if the pattern holds, Star Citizen better make a big move in 2017.” Our voting was locked in by the time alpha 3.0 actually fully launched, but I think the honeymoon might be over regardless. Camelot Unchained and Crowfall were at one point tied in the reader poll, with WoW Classic, Star Citizen, Ashes of Creation, and Pantheon trailing behind, though as of this morning, Shroud of the Avatar has pulled up to tie with Crowfall thanks to what was apparently a concerted effort to vote brigade.

Studio of the Year: ZeniMax & Square-Enix (2017), ZeniMax (2016), Square-Enix (2015), SOE (2014), SOE (2013), SOE & ArenaNet (2012), SOE (2010), Turbine & Fallen Earth LLC (2009)

Community Poll: ZeniMax & Square-Enix (2017), ZeniMax (2016), City State Entertainment (2015), Cloud Imperium (2015), Blizzard (2010), Frogster (2009)

ZeniMax (the Bethsoft studio behind Elder Scrolls Online) and Square-Enix (of Final Fantasy XIV and XI fame) have dominated this award for the last few years, so it’s no surprise that we all agree they deserve to share it jointly in 2017.

Most Improved: Guild Wars 2 & Trove (2017), Elder Scrolls Online (2016), WildStar (2015), Final Fantasy XIV (2014), Final Fantasy XIV (2013), RIFT (2012)

Community Poll: Guild Wars 2 (2017), Elder Scrolls Online (2016), Elder Scrolls Online (2015), Final Fantasy XIV (2014)

I always worry this award will seem like a back-handed compliment, but as my colleagues argued, this award by design goes to an older MMORPG that is putting in tremendous effort, and that’s deserving of the accolade — and a relook if the original version wasn’t to your taste. The staff picked both Trion’s Trove and ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 as having had admitted deficiencies that were happily nullified through new content this year. Guild Wars 2 alone took the reader poll with just about half the vote. You guys like mounts!

Best Business Model: World of Warcraft & Final Fantasy XIV (2017), Guild Wars 2 (2016)

Community Poll: World of Warcraft (2017), Guild Wars 2 (2016)

2017 was the year in which even fans of free-to-play and buy-to-play games called “shenanigans” over exploitative cash shop models (particularly lockboxes). While some subscription MMOs do indeed boast lockboxes, several do not, including World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV, which is why the duo nabbed this year’s best business model award. WoW alone led the reader poll, with XIV and GW2 not far behind.

Most Underrated: Black Desert & Secret World Legends (2017), Final Fantasy XIV (2016), Trove (2015), Elite Dangerous (2014), Neverwinter (2013), The Secret World (2012)

Community Poll: Secret World Legends (2017), Dungeons & Dragons Online (2016), Elder Scrolls Online (2015), Elite Dangerous (2014)

The staff was split again on this award as last year, ultimately tapping Black Desert (last year’s GOTY, which seemed to lose a little steam with readers this year) and Secret World Legends together. OG Secret World won way back in 2012 too, so we’ve come full circle! The readers agreed with the Secret World Legends pick, with Black Desert and Dungeons and Dragons Online behind (again, presumably an organized campaign there for the latter – last year they were positively incensed when we wouldn’t change our staff award to suit the poll they gamed, but DDO is legit underrated, so it’s a fair choice).

Story of the Year: The Lockbox Debate (2017), The Death of EverQuest Next (2016), Daybreak’s Drama (2015), ArcheAge’s Drama (2014), EverQuest Next’s Reveal (2013), 38 Studios’ Doom (2012), Monoclegate (2011), Blizzard’s Real ID Fiasco (2010)

Community Poll: The Lockbox Debate (2017), The Death of EverQuest Next (2016), Daybreak’s Drama (2015), ArcheAge’s Drama (2014)

We have three awards that focus on topics rather than specific games, and so we endeavored to spread them around rather than pile-on. While the lockbox/lootbox debate isn’t MMO-only, it began with our genre, affects us the most, and has been fought hard by MMO players for years, so it only makes sense that it was considered the biggest story by both our staff and nearly half of our readers. Since we began polling in 2014, the staff and readers have agreed on this award every year.

Worst Business Model: Star Citizen (2017), Star Wars The Old Republic (2016)

Community Poll: Star Citizen (2017), Star Wars The Old Republic (2016)

SWTOR should be thanking its lucky stars for Star Citizen this year, else it’d be going two for two. While some readers argued that Star Citizen shouldn’t be eligible for this negative award as it’s not launched yet, 60% of those polled agreed with the staff that a game already selling pixel starships, vehicles, and land claims has a business model, and it is one that is not exactly endearing itself to MMORPG players. Yikes. SWTOR, ArcheAge, and Destiny 2 also factored into the poll, but tolerance for Star Citizen’s model outside its backer community is clearly wearing thin.

Best Trend: Focus on Communities (2017), Content Scaling (2016) Resurgence of Expansions (2015), Sandbox Gameplay (2014), Sandbox Gameplay (2013); Best Innovation: SOEmote (2012)

Community Poll: Focus on Communities (2017), Content Scaling (2016), Resurgence of Expansions (2015), Sandbox Stuff (2014)

The staff were divided on this topic once again, with community focus barely getting the nod over nostalgia. Apparently it was a tough choice for the readers too; while community won that poll, nostalgia, content scaling, sub models, and lockbox crackdowns were major factors too.

Best Not-So-Massively Game: Warframe (2017), Overwatch (2016), ARK Survival Evolved (2015), Hearthstone (2014), Path of Exile (2013), PlanetSide 2 (2012); Best Mobile MMO: Arcane Legends (2012)

Community Poll: Warframe (2017), Overwatch (2016), ARK Survival Evolved (2015), Hearthstone (2014)

The award goes to “MOBAs, online dungeon crawlers, ARPGs, online shooters, survival sandboxes, and other games that tread into MMO territory but aren’t full MMORPGs” – i.e., games we cover that orbit the MMO genre but aren’t full MMORPGs (and therefore aren’t eligible for many of the awards we give). In fact, this year we changed the name of this award from Pseudo-MMO of the Year to Best Not-So-Massively Game of the Year in the hopes of staving off some of the complaining about what constitutes and MMO and whether we’re entitled to cover the online games we’ve been covering since long before we were Massively OP. Did the title trick work? Nah. But grats to Warframe anyway, which won chiefly by being an incredibly popular FPS that’s becoming more MMO-like by the year. Warframe took the reader vote by half too, though Path of Exile had a strong showing.

Best Indie or Crowdfunded MMO: Elite Dangerous (2017)

Community Poll: Dual Universe (2017)

This year, we retired our Best Popcorn MMO award (Marvel Heroes won that handily in 2016) and replaced it with a new one for Best Indie or Crowdfunded MMO. The aim was to figure out a way to honor a smaller game that’d never have a real chance at the big awards, but I suppose it was inevitable that the biggest fish in the smaller pond would win, and that’d be Elite Dangerous, the most successful Kickstarted MMO that’s actually fully launched to date. Elite did well in our reader poll too, but not as well as pre-alpha Dual Universe, whose community (along with pre-alpha Chronicles of Elyria’s) was clearly mobilized to the polls.

Most Likely to Flop: Star Citizen (2017), Star Citizen & WildStar (2016), Blade & Soul (2015), Star Citizen (2014), Elder Scrolls Online (2013)

Community Poll: Star Citizen (2017), Star Citizen (2016), Star Citizen (2015), Star Citizen & ArcheAge (2014)

This negative award never fails to generate angry first-time commenters parachuting in to tell us off, so we wearily remind everyone that “flop” can mean anything from outright sunset to financial ruin to simply not living up to insane hype (and that we don’t actually want anything to flop). Given enough time, Star Citizen will inevitably fail to live up to its own lofty promises — both our staff and our community (to the tune of 55% of those polled) are convinced of it. (In fact, our readers are harder on it than we are, having dinged it four years straight.) As in past years, many of the staff and readers who routinely vote Star Citizen most anticipated also think it will flop to some degree – a contradiction that somehow makes perfect sense thanks to the game’s impossibly, tantalizingly vast scope and expense.

Best Player Housing: WildStar (2017), WildStar (2016)

Community Poll: WildStar (2017), WildStar (2016)

The sad reality remains that a lot of bad or small or underrated MMOs have fantastic mechanics, and WildStar’s housing system is clearly one of them, as both staff and readers voted for the beleaguered sci-fi MMO’s housing as the best in the business (among live MMORPGs, anyway); in fact, we wrote a piece last year explaining what makes it so greatElder Scrolls Online and EverQuest II also had strong showings in the reader poll.

Best Crafting: EverQuest II (2017), Landmark (2016), Fallen Earth (2009)

Community Poll: Final Fantasy XIV (2017), Final Fantasy XIV (2016), Nothing (2010), Runes of Magic (2009)

There’s a pattern here with SOE/Daybreak: The studio makes – or made, anyway – games with the best crafting in the business. Alas, we’re left with just the originals, but it’s nice to see a classic game winning one of these. Hey, newer MMOs, try to keep up, would ya? Final Fantasy XIV won the reader poll once again, just besting both Elder Scrolls Online and EverQuest II.

Biggest Disappointment: The Sad Death of Marvel Heroes (2017), EverQuest Next & No Man’s Sky (2016), World of Warcraft (2015), WildStar & ArcheAge (2014), DUST 514 (2013), City of Heroes’ Sunset (2012), Star Wars Galaxies’ Sunset (2011), Aion (2009)

Community Poll: The Sad Death of Marvel Heroes (2017), EverQuest Next (2016), EverQuest Next’s Silence (2015), WildStar & ArcheAge (2014), Final Fantasy XIV (2010), Aion (2009)

There was nothing more disappointing in the MMO genre this year than the sudden and brutal death of Marvel Heroes after heaps of studio bungling on the part of both Gazillion and Disney, or so both the majority of our staff and readers say. Others that poked their heads up in the poll? Slow progress of Kickstarted MMOs, the mishandling of The Secret World, and toxicity.

Biggest Blunder: CCP’s VR Pullout & EVE Layoffs (2017), The VR Obsession (2016), Star Citizen Melodrama (2015), Dev Hubris – Multiple Games (2014), Elder Scrolls Online’s & WildStar’s Sub Models (2013)

Community Poll: The Death of Marvel Heroes (2017), EverQuest Next’s Cancellation (2016), Everything ArcheAge (2015), WildStar’s Endgame & ArcheAge’s Launch (2014)

The death of Marvel Heroes likewise topped the reader poll for biggest MMO industry blunder, but the writers stuck to holding CCP to account for bungling VR, shutting down studios, and laying off the EVE Online community team. The staff has a pretty good track record in this category, having previously pointed out the risk in the VR obsession and the foolhardiness of subscription-only models for WildStar and Elder Scrolls Online.

Best PvP: Nothing (2017), EVE Online & Black Desert (2016), Darkfall (2009)

Community Poll: Nothing (2017), Guild Wars 2 (2016), Star Trek Online (2010), Runes of Magic (2009)

As I noted in the award post for best genre PvP itself, the staff couldn’t reach a consensus for nominations. When we realized we were far more excited about PvP implementations coming in MMORPGs on the horizon, we choose not to bestow this award this year and in doing so communicate our dissatisfaction (even from our dedicated PvP players) with the current state of PvP in the genre. Surprisingly, a full quarter of our readers agreed with us, topping any single MMO. We’ll definitely reconsider whether to retire this one next year in favor of one that resonates better with the modern MMORPG community.

Best Holiday Event: Lord of the Rings Online (2017), The Secret World (2016)

Community Poll: Lord of the Rings Online (2017), The Elder Scrolls Online (2016)

Gotta love older MMORPGs still making it count in 2017! Lord of the Rings Online took both the staff award and the reader poll for best holiday event this year, specifically for its elaborate 10th anniversary questline.

And that’s a wrap on our awards for 2017! For those of you who missed other special content over the holidays, we’ve rounded up all our blooper awards, our weirdest story series, end-year content from some of our feature columns, our monthly news recaps, our staff roundtables, and our favorite top tens right down below. If you’re strapped for time, definitely hit the biggest stories list, healthiest MMOs list, best-value MMOs list, and our big list of every MMO coming next year!

2017 BLOOPER AWARDS
2017 WEIRDEST STORIES SERIES
2017 RECAP LISTICLES & ROUNDUPS
END-OF-2017 READER OPINIONS
END-OF-2017 STAFF ROUNDTABLES
END-OF-2017 COLUMN EDITORIALS
COMPLETE 2017 MONTH-IN-REVIEW SERIES
COMPLETE 2017 AWARDS SERIES
Are video games doomed? What do MMORPGs look like from space? Did free-to-play ruin everything? Will people ever stop talking about Star Wars Galaxies? Join Massively Overpowered Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce and mascot Mo every month as they answer your letters to the editor right here in Ask Mo.
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Jonny Sage

Geeez, Fallen Earth won best MMO in 2009? How far its FALLEN!

kalamari_
Reader
kalamari_

like I wrote under another award news:

pls chamge it so that the ppl have to vote FIRST for something and then show the winner and the staffs choices.

it is obv. that the com is just bandwaggoning to the winner or the titles that got mentioned by the staff.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

most it seems that fandoms link the winning game or anothers and brigade there. i feel you tho

Reader
Bill Baker

Community Vote: Crowfall & Shroud of the Avatar

I think you erred in reporting.. Shroud won the Community vote.

“Camelot Unchained and Crowfall were at one point tied in the reader poll, with WoW Classic, Star Citizen, Ashes of Creation, and Pantheon trailing behind, though as of this morning, Shroud of the Avatar has pulled up to tie with Crowfall.”

Incorrect…

Shroud: 387 Votes
Crowfall: 364 Votes

Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Most Anticipated MMORPG of 2018 and Beyond

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

On the “Pseudo-MMO” & “Not-So-Massively” naming problem…

As MMOs continue to evolve, the name of this category will continue to be important and challenging. MMO conventions will continue to be adopted in non-MMO games as the industry appropriates what works and what doesn’t. Meanwhile, gamers raised in the MMO age will care less and less what they are called and care more about meaningful mechanics.

So…

MMO-Esque?
Crypto-MMO?
Best MMO Mechanics in a Non-MMO?

Brendan Drain
Staff
Brendan Drain

I’ve probably been the biggest proponent on staff over the years for the need for a clear dividing line between massively multiplayer and standard multiplayer games, but even I have to admit the line often isn’t even visible any more. We have games that start out singleplayer and add multiplayer, games that start out multiplayer and expand to MMO scales, games that start out as clear MMOs and shrink population limits, even games that change their levels of persistence throughout development.

It’s a tough call, and I think you have the right of it — As time goes on, we seem to care less about the naming conventions and more about the actual gameplay or game mechanics. You could see the transition when people adopted “MMO” instead of “MMORPG”, when non-MMOs began incorporating mechanics from MMOs, when MMO fans started calling for news on games like MOBAs, and when most MMO news sites merged that news into their main feeds.

People just don’t seem to care about the distinction, games have more of a continuum of gameplay than strict feature divides between hard categories, and I think that’s a good thing. The best way to describe an online game today would probably be to describe it on a few criteria that might influence whether you would want to play it:
– Is it instance/session-based or open-world?
– What’s the average scale of its core multiplayer gameplay? 10 players? 100? 1,000?
– What elements of the game are persistent between play sessions?
– Maybe … what RPG elements does the game have? Any traditional gameplay roles like tank or healer? Character stats and gear? Dungeons? Quests?

Not sure how that factors into award categories, your post just got me thinking about this again.

Veldan
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Patreon Donor
Veldan

I disagree about the blurred line. You can still make a perfectly clear distinction going by the definition, being “massively multiplayer”.

Set a number that you think is the requirement for “massive” (for example 50, or 100). Then any game that caps main gameplay instances at a player count lower than that is not an MMO. It’s as simple as that.

I’d love to see this site do something like this and stick to it. It, for example, always hurts my eyes to see Path of Exile as an option in MMO and MMORPG polls.

Brendan Drain
Staff
Brendan Drain

This is exactly the argument I used to make, that by definition “massively multiplayer” means “multiplayer which is massive in scope or scale” when compared to standard multiplayer and that it refers specifically to the core gameplay in a game. So Guild Wars 1 isn’t an MMO just because its cities are lobbies because its core gameplay is limited to 8 people, for example. My article arguing that point can be found here: https://web.archive.org/web/20140627122720/https://www.massively.joystiq.com/2013/08/27/the-soapbox-actually-that-really-isnt-an-mmo/

The problem is that this no longer provides as clear a delineation across the entire industry. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds has 100 players in a game, is that large enough compared to standard multiplayer to qualify? What about the private minecraft servers that can set whatever player limit they like? Each Ultima Online shard now has fewer than 100 players (some far under 50), but it’s certainly an MMO.

My argument back then was that the threshold for calling something an MMO must by definition grow as standard multiplayer sizes grow, but we can now see that wasn’t enough to future-proof the definition. Games are growing in all directions, with some MMOs scaling down and some non-MMOs scaling up, and new techniques such as dynamic instancing make it less clear how many people you’re actually playing with. Standard multiplayer scale isn’t even a clearly defined thing any more, so we wouldn’t know where to draw the line if we wanted.

Some standard multiplayer games have 10-player matches, and some have 100 or more. Elite: Dangerous has dynamic multiplayer lobbies that hold 32 players, but you can hundreds of players as you move throughout the world because you move seamlessly between lobbies. And all of that is before we even tackle other definition problems such as level of persistence, whether character and gear persistence is enough, how much of the game is instanced, and whether a session-based game can be called an MMO.

It hurts my eyes too to see ARPGs like Path of Exile or seamless lobby games like E:D included in lists of MMOs or MMORPGs, and it’ll be a cold day in hell before I call a MOBA or strict session-based shooter an MMO. But I do accept now that the definition really is dissolving, and people are largely becoming apathetic to exactly where the dividing line is. Give it five years and I don’t think anyone will really care outside of historical discussions, perhaps the term MMO itself will even fall out of use and we’ll just talk about online games.

Veldan
Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

Thanks for the reply. I still don’t entirely agree, but I see your point.

Brendan Drain
Staff
Brendan Drain

On the dead shards? Sure. Everyone moved to the big ones. (Including me. I still play. :D I can log in and go find 100 live players in two city hops right this minute hehe.)

Granted, it’s not that case on the big shards, but my point is that playing on some Ultima Online shards will put you in a multiplayer game environment with fewer players than a game of PUBG or some minecraft servers. We wouldn’t dream of saying that Ultima Online isn’t an MMO or that somehow those specific shards don’t count, but we would also balk at the idea of PUBG being an MMO.

UO was just an example to show that if we scale an MMO down far enough, we’d still call it an MMO. So the dividing line between what is and isn’t an MMO definitely can’t be defended on pure scale, regardless of where we decide to draw the line. We’d have to explore level of persistence and the asynchronous gameplay between players to even begin to construct a clearer dividing line, and that that point I think most people don’t care enough to make the distinction.

I remember all the arguments we’ve had about what does and doesn’t constitute an MMO, and I think I may be slowly losing this argument a little more each year as games and their audiences evolve :D

deekay_plus
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Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

we ned brendan in the white house with this level of reasonabilitity. lol

Reader
TotalCowage .

Even if that was the case, it doesn’t change the fact that the actual sub-servers are built to support thousands… a game doesn’t stop being an MMO just because people stop playing it.

Although I don’t actually know the true capacity of the current servers, as Broadsword don’t own the physical hardware any more; it used to be the case that the Shard name roughly related to where the hardware was… so Oceania was in Australia, but I say roughly because although people assumed from the German name Drachenfels was in Germany, both Europa and Drachenfels were physically in London.

But these got sold off by EA long ago. Broadsword rents cloud capacity now instead, from Amazon I think…?

By comparison Shroud is still an MMO too, even though it uses Peer to Peer instancing, combined with a single central server in Austin, Texas… and there’s a cap of around 64 players per instance. And despite them never breaking more than 500 Concurrent users at any one time in their own words, the world can theoritcally host as many people as it can generate instances.

Brendan Drain
Staff
Brendan Drain

Even if that was the case, it doesn’t change the fact that the actual sub-servers are built to support thousands…

Is Minecraft an MMO then? Each server can host as many players as the owner wants and the hardware can support. This particular argument is only going to get less defensible in the coming years too as online games switch from hard servers to elastic cloud support.

By comparison Shroud is still an MMO too, even though it uses Peer to Peer instancing, combined with a single central server in Austin, Texas… and there’s a cap of around 64 players per instance. And despite them never breaking more than 500 Concurrent users at any one time in their own words, the world can theoritcally host as many people as it can generate instances.

If the core gameplay is heavily instanced and each instance hosts only 64 people at a time, is that still “massively multiplayer” when some standard multiplayer lobby games today are pushing 100+ players per match? There’s a reason ArenaNet marketed Guild Wars 1 as a Competitive Online RPG, they said that it wasn’t a traditional MMO because the instances only host a small number of players.

I’m not sure we can realistically defend a functional definition of MMO using just scale any more, and defending any definition is going to get much more complicated as time goes on and games continue to defy current standards.

deekay_plus
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Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

if sota is an mmo so is division or ghost recon wildlands. grw being the lessor of the two but still effectively qualifying under the defiintion that sota applies to.

Reader
TotalCowage .

Is Minecraft an MMO then? Each server can host as many players as the owner wants and the hardware can support.

Simple answer: Yes.

The problem is that MMO became synonymous with the next 3 letters, RPG because that genre drove the early industry… but by itself, the only definition of MMO is “Game which masses of players have multiple connections online with each other”.

Minecraft in single player is not. Minecraft servers are.

But language isn’t about actual logic, it’s about what people are understood to be saying to each other… If this wasn’t the case, slang like “Ill'” and “Bad!” wouldn’t be understood to mean entirely the opposite and be positives.

The confusion is people aren’t sure what each other is talking about any more, not that there isn’t an obvious standard to refer too.

If the core gameplay is heavily instanced and each instance hosts only 64 people at a time, is that still “massively multiplayer” when some standard multiplayer lobby games today are pushing 100+ players per match?

Again, yes.

An illustration; Ever been to the Louvre in Paris? Here’s what trying to look at the Mona Lisa is like. That handrail wasn’t there when I went, so people were pressed right up against the glass.

Each individual is getting only a tiny glimpse of the artwork, if they’re lucky. Each individual who does will have a unique experience of what they see… art after all is famously subjective. But does that mean that there isn’t a “massive” engagement with the art itself, just because that kind of crowding lowers the experience for everyone?

And if you gave each individual a private screening of the Mona Lisa, have you changed the “massive” part of the public response? Or just tried to manage it for other reasons?

That’s how I look at server handling; you’re debating the size of the room, but not the purpose of it. In the case of instancing, it’s done for the technical reason that some games just can’t handle that many players in the same shared location… but that doesn’t make them less of an MMO, at least not in their nature.

There’s a reason ArenaNet marketed Guild Wars 1 as a Competitive Online RPG, they said that it wasn’t a traditional MMO because the instances only host a small number of players.

The only reason though? Remember, it was launched in 2005. What did the term MMORPG mean back then? Pre the massive success of World of Warcraft? The Wikipedia page by the way says that it is one. What might have changed since 2005?

This is the real problem again.

I’m not sure we can realistically defend a functional definition of MMO using just scale any more,

Well, I wasn’t. I don’t think scale is relevant to what something IS.

But I do agree with you, it’s going to become impossible as time passes to agree on even that… but then again, I have to often google acronyms these days because I have no idea what the youngsters are even saying any more.

The MMO industry, like many of us, is getting old these days. That’s the real issue.

deekay_plus
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Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

meta note: it’s funny seeing staff members argue amoungst themselves stuff like this >>

anywyasy here’sa pic iof my kitty sleping on my desk. :D

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deekay_plus
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Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

afaik mmorpg.com does the distinct line and their idk what you wanna call it is complete trash.

i think brendan does a good job here of summing up the dificulties with the thing as it stands now.

i don’t think anyone is terribly confused about what a proper mmo is so to say, but what an mmo is should be and could be nowadays is quite confused.

Reader
Jonny Sage

What MMO fans started calling for news on MOBAs? Give me their names. I want them so I can visit their houses. ;)

maxresdefault.jpg
Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Imo many awards got boring and dont even make sense.
Let me explain. You ask the exact same questions for genre that doesnt change games often and where best MMOs stay in the lead for many years. Take “Best Business Model” for example. In 2017 its WoW, in 2016 it was GW2. Neither game changed its model since 2016. Nothing changed at all yet you choose different winners. This is relevant for half of nominations.

I think all those nominations where you can choose from all MMOs since ancient times: ‘best housing’, ‘best crafting’, ‘best model’, ‘worst model’, ‘most underrated’, ‘most overrated’, ‘best pvp’, ‘best holiday’ and even ‘best MMO’ (leave only “best new MMO”) should be scrapped altogether and instead you should think of awards that really showcase the trends of the past year with winners specific for each year. THings like “MMO story of the year” and “Best feature added to MMO this year”. Also more nominations for community like “Schlag of the year” would be nice.

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Rumm

The community zeitgeist changes from year to year in relation to the various awards/topics. This year, people sort of reached a tipping point with regard to lockboxes and cash shops, which is likely why GW2 lost out to the 2 sub model games for the Business Model award. The polls and staff choices show the ebb and flow of attitudes within the genre, and the static categories from year to year reflect those changing attitudes.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Some categories – yes. Some – dont. For example ‘best crafting’, ‘best housing’, ‘best PvP’ is forcing us to choose from exact same pool of MMOs every year. And every single year I name the exact same MMO in each category. Whats the fun in it? I want to think choosing among nominees like I think when I hear a good “Daily grind” question

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Rumm

Have you guys considered doing earlier, separate articles for the community polls before the staff choices? Can’t recall how things were done in past years. I’d be curious to see variations in community vs staff choices without the well written justifications from staff at the top of the polls.

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Loopy

As much as people talk crap about how subscription MMOs should die already, they are an ancient model, nobody wants to pay for subs any more, the fact that subscription games keep winning “business model” awards speaks for itself..

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Oleg Chebeneev

Lol. It only speaks that a few dozens of nerds on MOP voted for it.
A true showcase is that almost 99% of all current MMORPG are F2P. There are hundreds of MMOs out there and among them only WoW and FF14 have paywall sub (well, you can mention games like UO and DaoC too, but barely anyone plays them to count). Even EVE Online – a long time sub model veteran, can now be considered F2P

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Loopy

And i would argue that 99% of those 99% are designed to be quick cash grabs, and end up being shut down within the first 2-3 years. I don’t think the sheer number of F2P games is any indication that it’s the “best” business model. Again, i speak mostly for myself, but i played a crap ton of MMOs, and the ones i come back to most often are the subscription ones. And trust me, it’s not because i like spending money, but rather knowing the quality of life a subscription game provides.

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Armsbend

Only nerds vote for subscription based games.

BROFIST FUCK NERDS!!!!

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i’m going to give you a legitimate argument from someone you have respect for

subs feel like they hold my game hostage. i would probably dip into ffxiv now and then except i have to pay $15+ upfront to do so. if i could spend $10 on a cute outfit instead of being held hostage there’s a good chance id jump in more often giving them my warm body count as well as spending a dime or two once in a while.

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agemyth ?

Studio of the Year: SOE (2014), SOE (2013), SOE & ArenaNet (2012), SOE (2010)

?

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drelkag

Noticed this too. ?