The Daily Grind: What’s the most unused place or feature in your favorite MMORPG?

I really like abandoned places in games. One of my favorite articles ever was about Glitch, after it sunsetted, when I recapped my experience touring the abandoned secret places that were inexplicably built into that MMO.

That article popped into my brain again last week when Kotaku wrote about abandoned modes in GTA OnlineGTAO is one of the biggest, most lucrative online games in the world, a top-10 game even last year – and yet there’s so much to do, Kotaku argues, that most of the game is suffering from the old MMO problem whereby old content is a ghost town as everyone is in the new stuff. Hence, abandoned modes.

Of course, MMORPGs are constantly struggling to fix that problem by giving us reasons to go back into old content, but they’re not always successful. What’s the most unused place or feature in your favorite MMORPG?

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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Will Martin

going off on a tangent, but the most frustratingly uselessly added feature just for money, is regrading in archeage

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Robert Mann

I’m debating between the housing and crafting areas. Which should be no surprise, given that games generally do very little with them.

Open worlds would be next, followed by grouping when things can be done solo…

All of which is fine, for some games. I just don’t lean towards it. XD

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Caelium

I really wish the Dev’s had stuck with the Skirmish system in Lord of the Rings Online.. There was so much flexibility with what could be done, they could have designed everything from dungeons to raids to story quests with this scaling system in mind. Two Players? No problem. 6 players but two of them are low level? No Problem!

I feel like this was about as close to true scaling content (not auto scaling mind you, scaling to what the player wants it to be) we had seen since City of Heroes.

Honorable mention also goes to Lord of the Rings Online and their Fellowship Maneuver feature. This allowed groups (minimum of two people, up to five or six I believe) to perform special moves based on what colours were picked. There was a wheel of four colours, Blue(Power/mana), Red(direct damage), Yellow(Damage over Time) and Green(Morale/Health) and you could combine different colours for different moves. For example Green, Green, Green, Green, Yellow would provide a large heal and health buff with a smaller damage over time component. It was really neat but sadly they never stuck with it and made most (all) current bosses immune to the maneuvers. Combine this with the fact most players could do more damage than it took to wait for the maneuver to go through and people just dont use them anymore.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Diplomacy system from Vanguard. It is one of the best features in MMO history and for some reason developers refuse to borrow it from VG, copying some crappy features instead

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rafael12104

Heh. Hold my beer, I got this.

The most unused place or feature in an MMO? SWTORs exclusive second floor bar in the middle of the fleet.

Let me explain. One of the perks of buying the collectors edition of SWTOR at launch was free access to the this second floor bar area at the center of the fleet. There you would find an exclusive vendor that was to have unique and varied items only available to those that bought the collector’s edition. Other peasants could buy a pass to get in this magical bar for 1 mill credits.

So, what happened? Well, first the exclusive vendor didn’t have shit for almost a year. Seriously, only one item on the menu, and over priced mount that had the charm of a dump truck. But worst of all, there was nothing else there. It was a bar full of npcs you could not interact with and aside from watching your toon stand there, there was simply nothing left to do. The result? A ghost bar. Much later the exclusivity was removed and GTN and mail were made available there. Nope! Still nor reason to go there at all.

There you go, an example of something that obsoleted itself by just launching. A horrible waste.

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connor_jones

Thanks for this. I’ve always been curious about what that place is like. Now I see I’m not missing anything.

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Archebius

Guild Wars. All of Guild Wars.

*weeps*

Xijit
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Xijit

This Guild Wars 1 you are talking about?

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Archebius

Yes indeed. I’ve logged in a few times lately and didn’t see a soul.

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Gooty

Really? :o theres usually 2 districts in kamadan and there were 7 or so districts in sjm for the new year event the other day… though most were probably playing 9 rings. Doesnt compare to the 100+ districts there used to be i guess.

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Archebius

Yeah, you still get people for events sometimes. Lion’s Arch on your average day is barren – a far cry, as you said, from the 100+ districts you used to see.

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Zen Dadaist

Off the top of my head, a Feature in Anarchy Online that could have been so cool but was never really used beyond 1 or 2 gimmick encounters were the Mechs. The Scout Mech was cute and pretty nippy. I made use of it on lowbies when I had to traverse areas with mobs that were Much Higher Than Me.

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Armsbend

In TSW it was the theater.

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Rolan Storm

Indeed.

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Pandalulz

When Wildstar launched, I found a spot where I could walk off of the map, and just kept going until I found this big tree in the blank space between zones. There were no enemies, just cliffs and winding paths, and this tree. I thought that was pretty neat. I assume it’s still there.

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socontrariwise

I’ve been there!

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Tobasco da Gama

Pre-Battle Minas Tirith in LOTRO has some absolutely gorgeous theater spaces. One is an outdoor amphitheater, the other is an indoor space with a stage. They were clearly built with roleplayers and festivals in mind, but I’ve never heard of either being used for anything.

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Robert Mann

Probably because they REALLY stretched what the engine can handle in those areas. Server lag is a major issue there.

Lotro has a lot of pretty good ideas and things like that, but the engine really has problems with running some of the busier areas.