The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG deserves way more hype than it gets?

According to Friday’s Daily Grind on hype cycles, a lot of folks think they begin way too early for most games. But what about games with the opposite problem – hype that just isn’t loud enough?

I’m thinking of games like Project Gorgon here. It saw a flurry of activity when it crowdfunded, and again when it went into early access on Steam, but because it’s such a small studio, it doesn’t really generate much hype on its own, being reliant on word of mouth. It’s a wondrous little game with really unusual and unique ideas, but it mostly flies under the radar.

Which MMORPG deserves way more hype than it gets?

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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Bango on Laurelin

FFXIV – Along with WoW it shows that a good mmo can justify a sub.

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rafael12104

Don’t make me say it… Don’t make me say it!

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Vexia

Are you talking about the one that rhymes with Braid & Bowl?

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rafael12104

Lol! The very one.

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Pandalulz

Coming soon: combination hair salon and bowling alley

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rafael12104

KO!

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Bruno Brito

Return of Reckoning mah frands

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Nate Woodard

It’s one of my favorite Emulators out there right now! And I feel zero remorse in playing it!

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Leiloni

I have to say probably Ashes of Creation. They’re moving so quickly on a game that on paper already sounded really cool and continues to look impressive as it develops. But I think a bit of silence is probably working in their favor. It gives them time to develop without too much scrutiny and then when they’re ready to show something more final, they can do so on their own terms.

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Pandalulz

Constant hype cycle hasn’t proven to work out well, so promoting in bursts seems like a good idea and better use of marketing money.

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Utakata

LynStar and AurinStar. <3

(I would also say WoWstar…but that game doesn't really need help in that department. :) )

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Bruno Brito

Wildstar needs a HUGE boost in pop and hype. Sadly, the game already kinda made it’s bed, which is a shame. WS is pretty much a complete game these days, full of cool stuff.

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Mark Mealman

Yeah, the game would be a lot more fun to level in if the battlegrounds and dungeons were more populated. Also more money to fund dev and marketing on it wouldn’t hurt.

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Sana Tan

I would really really like to play Wildstar battlegrounds but they tell me they don’t even pop due lack of population :((((((

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Dragon Whimsy

I’d say Ashes of Creation. I feel that game should be the Star Citizen of fantasy sandbox MMO’s. And also for those yearning for a return of Star Wars Galaxies.

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A Dad Supreme

Ashes should be getting far more press.

Out of all the indie MMOs, it seems to be the one that has progressed the fastest and one that according to gameplay vids, seems to be the closest to a AAA experience when compared to the rest.

That’s not saying much because things like SOTA and the rest barely look like a “C” experience. Most of the indie MMOs covered here barely look like anything I’d want to play seven years ago, let alone something that isn’t still out yet.

I’m not sure who they pissed off in the news reporting media world of gaming, but they seem to be getting all but ignored for some reason where projects less than a quarter of what they have done get almost daily coverage with “breaking news” like “We’ve added female modeling to the game!”

I’m not a PvP person, but this looks far and away more advanced than anything PvP I’ve seen in a typical MMO for years now, even Jacob’s all PvP game.

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Paragon Lost

They’ve definitely hit my radar and I am now paying more attention to what they’re doing. One point on your CU comparison, remember CU is making their own Engine versus buying one like Ashes did.

That’s got to have an effect on development time. At least in the case of a solid, stable Engine like the one that Ashes is using, versus say the crap that SWTOR got their hands on with Hero Engine.

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A Dad Supreme

Agree. You know, making a video game seems like running a sandwich shop.

One shop buys it’s bread from a decent baker, buys basic meats/cheeses, but makes their own sauces. Another decides it’s going to make it’s own bread, meat, sauces and cheese instead.

I can’t fault or penalize the guy making the decent sandwich with store-bought materials; they aimed to make a good sandwich for good value (price/time) knowing it would never be gourmet. It’s going to be exactly what you’d expect for what you pay… a competent take on a regular sandwich.

But the gourmet sandwich guy can’t keep using a lot of excuses as to why his sourdough isn’t rising, his cheeses aren’t curing and their prosciutto has a weird smell they can’t fix so the sandwich keeps having all these delays.

The gourmet guy decided all on his own to re-invent the sandwich with a taste like no other so if it isn’t A+, it’s too bad but he’s the one who built up all those expectations on his own.

I guess you can tell what time it is around here Para lol. Guess what I’m gonna do? Panini time!

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Paragon Lost

Hehe. Love it, good comparison. Now I want a Panini darn it!

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Oleg Chebeneev

Watching this video I cant understant what makes people excited about this game. Graphics looks outdated. Combat – bland and mediocre. UI – copypasted. World design – artificial. There is nothing in this or any other video they released that makes AoCreation stand out. Are people so desparate for something new they are excited for a game of RIFT standarts? In 2018!

I know, they have few cool features announced. But they never showed them yet. We dont even know if they started working on them (correct me if Im wrong). All they showing is some zones and lots of combat like its some selling point of AoW.

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A Dad Supreme

I know, they have few cool features announced. But they never showed them yet.

Every developing game has a few “cool features” announced. Your game, Star Citizen, leads the pack in fantastic, wistful promises for that with little in the way of delivery, so it’s hardly a minus when dealing with indie games… it’s par for the course.

I think compared to the alternative indie MMOs, Ashes seems to be the most advanced graphically.

Again, that’s not saying a lot when you consider what games like SOTA, The Repopulation, Otherworld, any of the CoH pretenders, etc look like.

The game appears to be the only one showing full videos of actual gameplay for a length of time and considering it’s probably the youngest, that says it has more room for improvement.

You have to compare apples to apples when you’re talking about what gets people excited. This isn’t the kind of game you’d compare to a Star Citizen based on genre, length of development and above all.. financial budgets.

The key is what have you done so far with your game with what you’ve had to build with, and it seems Ashes is pretty much a clear winner in regards to traditional indie MMOs thus far.

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Oleg Chebeneev

So, I should compare Ashes to games like Repopulation and SOTA to realise its not as crap and its how I should get excited? Sad time for MMOs if we got to this…

And as far as I know Ashes team positions it as AAA MMO now. So how about we compare it to big players then?

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Pandalulz

It is a sad time for MMOs, this is the most true statement

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A Dad Supreme

So, I should compare Ashes to games like Repopulation and SOTA to realise its not as crap and its how I should get excited?

It’s not for me to tell you how to get excited, that’s a personal decision. Ashes of Creation doesn’t “excite” me.

But I tend to try to compare apples vs apples as much as possible so that I can make fair determination of different games. Again, Star Citizen gets far more press than it should… it’s an overrated alpha project, yet it’s always in the news and not always for something good.

Of all the traditional indie MMOs that are coming out, this one deserves much more press in the industry than it gets.

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Reht

You can try to compare it to the big players if you want, but the game has a budget, at present unless something has changed, of about $35M-$40M (Shariff claimed to have bankrolled $30M+ himself plus their crowdfunding, which while impressive compared to many other indie games, doesn’t appear to be a money tree at this point) which does NOT necessarily put it into the AAA landscape by today’s standards. With 100+ employees and the presumed bankroll they have, nothing new about funding has been said in while, it kind of puts them in the middle above most of the other indie studios but below the AAA studios that have deep pockets. Now, I am not trying to take anything away from them and what they have accomplished at this point, it’s relatively impressive for such a short time. The game appears to be positioned to do well and is moving along at a nice pace at this pace, but will that last? Time will tell.

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Mark Mealman

Watching this video I cant understant what makes people excited about this game.

It’s the usual: It’s not out yet, has so much promise, can ignore the flaws because they’ll be fixed before live.

I’ve seen this MMO story about 50 times. Of course then there’s the old: This time it’s different.

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Robert Mann

Graphics… well, I’d actually rather MMOs avoid the super-cutting edge thing. Every game that does that ends up with their own problems. Culling, pop-in, characters that are rendered as shadows because the game can’t handle more than a dozen on the screen at once even with really good hardware, lag increases, etc. Single player games have the same issues, but not quite as badly (that whole data transmission thing takes a strain, after all.)

Combat is noted as still being worked on, or ‘placeholder’ to at least some extent. UIs are UIs, the design of UIs that are not the standard are often treated badly… and the key to UIs being decent seems to come with customization (because there’s not a darn one everyone likes.) World design shown here is minimal, but what is shown is, again, pretty similar seeming to just about any fantasy MMO.

There are very few attempts right now to make anything other than high-PvP MMOs. Where having those is fine, anything else stands out to some extent right now. And it is some of the other things that indies are doing that excites people more than anything (housing systems that are interesting, crafting, exploration, etc.) which, honestly, big companies have side-showed and phoned in for too long.

Where I’m not going to hype much over anything (I consider it silly) I can appreciate the ideas for things that are underserviced and of interest. What comes out will determine how much I enjoy it, but just the attention to the idea that other things matter is well received. Ashes is not alone in that, but they are one of the games that seems to understand that other things than combat matter too.

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Ken from Chicago

STAR TREK ONLINE.

STO tells great Star Trek set in the Prime universe, unlike TPTB’s obsession with telling stories in the past:
— in film (STAR TREK ENTERPRISE set a century before TOS, the Kelvin timeline which is a parallel universe, yet set during the TOS era not the TNG era or further in the future) or
— on tv (STAR TREK DISCOVERY set further in the past a decade before TOS).
STO builds on what’s gone before in Star Trek lore instead of taking the easy way out of ignoring it (I’m looking at you, JJ Abrams / Kelvin timeline).

Plus, its Foundry is the one legit way Star Trek fans can create fan films in the Star Trek universe that’s longer than a 15 minutes at a time and a combined 30 minutes in total to tell a 2-part story (google “Star Trek fan film rules”).

Moreover, STO is the unicorn of F2P mmos. Aside from lock boxes, STO has none of the complaints I hear about Free to Play mmos. It is legitimately free game to play from start to endgame. None of the content is behind paywalls. The game isn’t crippled to force you to pay for gear or features (e.g., tiny inventory bags to make you pay for reasonable inventory slots) or force you to wear ugly uniforms and reserving only the cool looking ones in the cash shop, etc.).

And STO is thoroughly fun to play solo or in teams. Yeah, there was a time when they first boosted the level cap from 50 to 60 where that last 10 levels was a slog to do solo but they finally, wisely eased up on that to make leveling–aka playing–those last 10 levels fun again.

— Ken from Chicago

P.S. Also, for those who for some reason have a console to play games instead of their computers (Team PC games FTW! ahem, but I digress), STO is on Playstation and Xbox. I don’t think it’s on Nintendo (yet).

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spookydonkey24

I had the urge to log in to this for the first time in years, but I sat there trying to figure out whether I should try to figure what to do with my old capped character or just start a new one from scratch.

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Peregrine Falcon

Does STO have exploration yet?

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Castagere Shaikura

No it doesn’t and it never will. This game is so full of give me money. Everything about it is grind or pay money not to grind. Its a fun game until you reach end game. Even if you want a good ship you have to pay money for it. Don’t be fooled by this game and its fanboys. It pretty much follows the companies policies of get them to buy zen at every turn. Its just like all PWE’s games. This game has a player base full of whales and PWE likes it that way.

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Ken from Chicago

It’s a “fun game until you reach end game” but it’s also “everything is about it is grind or pay money not to grind”? What are you grinding for if not leveling up to reach end game? If it’s to get custom starships and uniforms at endgame using in-game currency, well, yeah.

However you don’t have to pay to get a good ship or good uniforms. You can even turn off the announcements of players opening lockboxes.

What’s wrong with a game having rich players playing it? They pay for the custom starships and uniforms that support the game for the players who can’t or don’t pay. What’s wrong with that?

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Ken from Chicago

It did but exploration was removed because reportedly was very generic auto-created in the worst way. Conceptually, to create exploration where every player could explore new worlds and civilizations the way TOS did would require a ginormous boost in staff. Even if STAR TREK ONLINE had procedural planet creation akin to STAR CITIZEN, it would also need procedural alien creation and procedural civilization creation.

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IronSalamander8 .

I’d say FF14. It’s a popular game overall but I hardly hear about it beyond this site and from people that have played it with me. I haven’t played in a bit but when I did I found it worth my time more than most.

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Pandalulz

I hear about it all the time. No one covers it in as much detail as MOP, but it seems like every mainstream game site or podcast has at least one person who champions and evangelizes it at least a little. I think it’s a good game, so I have no complaints, but if any MMO is talked about outside of MMO only communities, it’s this one.

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IronSalamander8 .

See I’ve never met anyone that plays it outside the people I played with or this site. I’ve had coworkers, board game group members, and outside techs at work mention WoW or SWTOR, or EQ, or GW, but never FF14. In fact I only knew there was an FF14 after some guildies quit SWTOR and started playing it and got me to try it.

Of course the tech that mentioned SWTOR mentioned his guild had done all the raids and got bored and went back to WoW (this was before RotHC) but at least he mentioned it!

I don’t watch any podcasts so I can easily miss any data on those.

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Pandalulz

See, on the other hand, I know several handfuls of people who I either work with or know otherwise, who do play FFXIV, but have never played another MMO, based solely on the fact that it’s got the FF name. Maybe my issue is that I just don’t know anyone who plays MMOs anymore otherwise.

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NeoWolf

I’d say LOTRO, as other than fesitval news it is rarely in the news much at all, which is a shame as for its age and the SHEER amount of content that game deserves love (even though they nerfed my beloved captain..grr) lol

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Paragon Lost

I missed that, what nerf impacted captains? My captains only 68th so he isn’t going to notice level cap stuff. My champion as a tank for the first time since RoR feels so much better and fun as an aside. Yeah I’ve been stubbornly refusing to give up on the champion tank spec, glutton for punishment = me. ;)

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NeoWolf

The nerf of when they stopped it being a wonderful jack of all trades class and forced it into choosing one of three specific playstyles.

I LOVED the original captain, I miss it *sniffle**tear wipe* :)

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starbuck1771

Yeah the same changes that screwed up champions. Making everything harder to play then the armor nerds they did didn’t help either. My champ felt nude in Mordor.

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Brown Jenkin

If I could deal with tab targeting and oldschool WoW-esque combat, I’d still be playing LotRO today. One of the best MMOs I’ve ever played, the story is rich, the depth of content is insane and they’ve *still* managed to pull off some things that I’ve not seen any other game do as well to date.

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Bango on Laurelin

The old community manager – Sapience – got more hype than the game – but not in a good way.

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Mike Minier

If LotRO would get 4k friendly I’d gladly hop back into it. Last I checked the UI was still built for ants when playing in 4k.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

project gorgon has wider worth of mouth awareness and more visible widespread buzz than most of the games covered on this site on a regular basis. it has a pretty sizable fanbase that also spend alot of time on p1999 (and less so the official eq1 w/e servers). but a fair bit of the audience isn’t your typical social media mmo player trying to be an influencer type so you don’t see it as much if you’re looking for mmo buzz in mmo oriented venues – i see it in quite often the opposite and in very unexpected places.

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NeoWolf

If that game had modern graphics and animations it would be unstoppable.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

teh fact these two games run on toasters from the mid 90s is a big part of their success imo.

and also helps their potential futures into mobile platforms where alot of the audience for them spend alot of time gaming on breaks/commutes/etc.

it’s really a kind of different kind of mindset and they don’t really hsare much of the cliches and tropes of the more visible and vocal mmo fanbase. and they really don’t care for the average mmo either in my experience.

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NeoWolf

you may be right, but for me it ticks a lot of the boxes but the fact it is as ugly as sin puts me right off. They’ve done well on the budget they had though they definitely crammed a lot of features in.

Like I say though I think if they had some modern graphics and animations on it, that game would be ridiculously popular.

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Schmidt.Capela

This is part of the reason why I like cartoonish graphics so much: they can avoid looking dated while still running on a toaster.