Last year on the Fourth of July, I posted up a Perfect Ten that was a list of my favorite Perfect Tens Justin and Eliot had done since New Massively was born. It was a sort of a meta joke, but the post actually did well. Plus, I like funny listicles. I mean, we did one on sexy MMO monsters. We did one about robot fantasies. We did a sequel to the one where we pretend to have goofy conversations with anthropomorphized MMO studios. I love this job.
This year, I’m turning it into a new Independence Day tradition because literally nobody can stop me, and it amuses me to go back and look at some of these pieces that hold up so well over time.
So once again, in honor of those of you stuck at family gatherings today where you’re super bored, I’ve picked out my favorite Perfect Tens from the last dozen months and rounded them up for you below so you don’t even have to hunt for something fun to read. Just hunch over your phone and tell them you’re doing Very Important Work! I do it all the time!
If you have ever visited the MMORPG subreddit, you probably know that one of the most frequent posts that pop up are ones asking the community for recommendations. These are players who have left a full-time game and are now fishing around for a substitute, or those who have "played them all" and are hoping that some undiscovered gem exists, or are having a difficult time finding a good game match for their preferred playstyle. I am often leery about tossing out blanket recommendations because it's far better to get to know a player, his or her game history, and… Continue Reading
A while back, you may recall that I posted some of my conversations with anthropomorphized concepts of MMO studios. If you don't remember this, you will not be eligible for this year's Remembering Championship, but considering the fact that said championship is mostly determined by who remembers to show up, odds of that were always low. It's a memory championship, after all. You can't judge that like, say, curling. What were we talking about? Oh, right, MMO studios. Despite that single column, I have continued to have other conversations with various studios, most of which have gone about as well… Continue Reading
This week I've been absolutely consumed by the thought of Fallout 76. I know, I know I shouldn't get my hopes up for a proper MMORPG, but even the prospect of some online multiplayer functionality thrills me to no end. Fallout has been one of my favorite computer RPG series ever since its first installment way, way back in the 1990s. I played Fallout 2 like crazy back in the day, log in to Fallout Shelter frequently now, and just recently started my third journey into Fallout 4. There's so much to love about these games, which is I'm quite… Continue Reading
We've all been there. We're playing our favorite MMORPG and then self-appointed professors of game history start arguing in world chat about firsts -- usually, which MMO was considered to be the "first." As much as we all like to feel and be right about something, the truth is that history is messy and often ill-defined, even history as recent as that of video games. If you go looking for clear-cut facts and definitions, you might end up with an assortment of maybes, possiblys, and who knowses. So when it comes to "firsts" in MMOs, there's a lot of debate… Continue Reading
Around the time I started working at Massively-that-was, there was an article that I quite liked talking about how four high-profile MMO failures were not necessary. It was a product of its time, but the point was made that these games didn't have to wind up in the state they were in. The mistakes that were made were not unexpected problems, but entirely predictable ones that anyone could have seen. Heck, some people did see them and pointed them out, but nothing was changed. I think about that a lot when I think about other MMOs and online games because… Continue Reading
Less than a year ago, I faced a crisis as a fan and player of The Secret World. Funcom abruptly announced that it would be throwing the current game -- the one I had spent about five years of my time playing and leveling -- into maintenance mode and then rebooting the title as a free-to-play quasi-MMO called Secret World Legends. It was an obnoxious, brute-force decision that greatly alienated many TSW players, and in my opinion, did not pay off as well as Funcom had hoped. Without allowing us to port over our characters or perhaps figure out a… Continue Reading
Sometimes, you write a column more or less as a mental exercise, and then World of Warcraft drops an expansion pre-purchase that makes it all feel highly relevant. The world of Azeroth is a world of astonishing variety. On Earth, we have exactly one form of intelligent bipedal life, but when it comes to species native to Azeroth that are gifted with speech and cognition, the plethora of playable races available barely even scratches the surface. And that's without even getting into the various races available on Draenor and Argus, although at least the latter seems to be mostly limited… Continue Reading
And so it was as I traveled across the many spheres and realms of MMOs, I came to realize one simple truth: War is hell. But it is a hell of many sorts, and as MMOs almost always include some form of combat, it can be said that little forms of this hell approach as you descend through levels. Combat becomes difficult to follow, unclear, perhaps even oblique. The game stops caring what you're doing. So it became clear to me that these different circles of combat hell should be documented. For while there are games where fighting things may… Continue Reading
I remember my first time. Unlike many hunters, I didn't stalk her. In fact, she bumped into me. I was just strolling down the beach, collecting some bugs and BAM! There she was. Larger than life. I was a little scared, and I admit I tried to hide in a bush. She saw right through it. She chased me a bit since, well, I was hiding in a bush, but admittedly, she was also a predator. She wanted me, badly, and I kind of wanted her. We moved from the beach to the forest and even went on a bit of… Continue Reading
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won't be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year's list to see how spot-on I was). This year we're changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of "will see a hard launch in 2018." Instead, I drafted up a list… Continue Reading
I'm the type of player who has a stable of games that I return to from time to time, particularly when I'm looking for a dependable, enjoyable experience. I'll stay with these games for a while until I can feel the fringe of burnout approaching and then let them go until they are needed once more. Among these titles is a long-running favorite of mine -- and an MMO that I feel is somewhat underappreciated by the larger community. The game is, of course, Star Trek Online. I was there at launch with my Del Taco cup in hand (there… Continue Reading
Two years ago, NCsoft dealt a harsh blow to a certain subset of gaming fans when it canned the development of Project HON. This MMO was to be a glorious exercise in mecha combat, but scandals and a decision to reallocate development resources meant that it was never to be. So where can that kid who grew up playing with giant robots go to get a Voltron, Transformers, or Macross fix these days? While many MMOs offer the occasional mech experience, there aren't as many games that go all-in on that Pacific Rim experience. But in the interests of a… Continue Reading
Last week, MOP's Justin (friend to man and beast alike) posted his list of MMOs he would recommend people play. It was a pretty good list! It wasn't the list I would have written, but that's why we're separate people and not a single fused mass pulling ourselves along on withered, inhuman appendages. That would cause lots of problems in our respective marriages, for one thing. Also, it'd probably render us ineligible to collect multiple paychecks. One thing I did not ask, however, was why he didn't include World of Warcraft as a game he would recommend, even though some… Continue Reading
Every MMO tells a story through the run of its life. A lot of those stories are pretty happy, too. Ultima Online may not be the most happening place in the world right now, but its story is about launching a genre and then running for two solid decades. That's a pretty great story. However much it's become a tale of mismanaged expectations, World of Warcraft kind of became the most popular thing for a long while and brought in tons of new people to the hobby. Even titles with sad endings often have bright stories; the end bit for… Continue Reading