The Daily Grind: Are you hostile to mobile MMORPGs?


Happy Friday. Let’s talk mobile. MMORPG players in particular run along a certain demographic that does not align well with mobile. Oh, sure, we have phones, Wyatt Cheng. I do. I love my apps and games too, and I use my phone as a workhorse and a toy every single day. Buuuuut. When it comes to MMOs, I want to see big, bold virtual worlds, the kind that immerse me on multiple levels, the kind so complicated and detailed that only a mouse and keyboard are going to be enough to make it go. There’s nothing on a phone that can do that yet. Heck, there are vanishingly few MMOs on PC that can still do that, if I’m honest.

In light of that, the BlizzCon interview at which Blizzard says “many of us over the last few years have shifted from playing primarily desktop to playing many hours on mobile, and we have many of our best developers now working on new mobile titles across all of our IPs” is mildly disturbing (cheers, Kavorka!). Even non-MMO players are freaking out over this otherwise innocuous comment, showing a distinct divide between PC and mobile that is much more than just some Diablo Immortal uproar.

Are you hostile to mobile MMORPGs? What about mobile games in general? Are you concerned over the shift of a major publisher like ActiBlizz, or do you shrug and figure there’s enough pie for everyone?

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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Bruno Brito

They tend to be hostile to my financial health.


Lol, I’m hostile to everything mobile! I’m in my early 30s which means I spent the majority of my childhood in a world without mobile phones (except massive car phones) and I still find it weird carrying a device that allows anyone in the world to get in contact instantly (or the government to determine my location at any given moment). We’ve voluntarily tagged and chipped ourselves and even worse, modern mobile phones now listen and record the majority of what we say. We’re idiots for letting this happen.

But, can’t escape the utility of phone calls and text from any location, so I still have one.

Mobile games and MMOs……fuck that shit! I’m definitely a “PC Master Race” kinda guy and I’ve yet to see a mobile game that looked fun. They are all so basic that I’m bored before I’ve even launched the game. The controls are too limited to make for interesting gameplay. The devices are too slow to build good games. Even good games that have been ported to mobile devices (e.g. gta 3, FF etc) are measurably worse on mobile than their PC or console equivalent.

The one and only potential positive of mobile gaming is that every idiot has a mobile. This means that large portions of people who used to look down on gaming or didn’t want to spend money on gaming can now start getting into it very easily. This potentially increases the size of the gaming market and therefore the money, which potentially leads to more games.

The problem, however, is converting these mobile “gamers” into proper gamers. I’ve seen very little evidence of this happening. In fact, I’ve observed the opposite happening: core gamers of the past are spending more time playing dumb games on their mobiles which is leading to developers focusing their attention of low quality games. Even games on core platforms are getting worse: the quality of gameplay, the depth of games etc seems to be trending downwards. The only improvement to the gaming genre that seems consistent is graphics, but in my opinion its not worth sacrificing the gameplay and creativity just so things look slightly prettier. At the end of the day, it comes down to economics. Dev companies these days are all chasing the money. They seem to have lost sight of the potential of computer games to raise ourselves up, to inspire us and teach us things. Chasing that lowest common denominator for the largest chunk of cash is ruining gaming. So hard to find a good game these days.

Oleg Chebeneev

No. I see potential in mobile MMOs. I just think noone figured the right formula yet

Jacquotte Fox Kline

Mobile games are a devolution to the lowest common denominator. In the case of Diablo, it’s like your favorite product (food, whatever) being made cheaper, smaller, faster, and maybe for some other target audience, thereby ruined by the company that makes it, which is not uncommon these days.

I get the allure of developing for a six-inch screen, but for Blizzard to make a major push in the mobile direction, is disgusting. Activision-Blizzard bought King Digital for that. I thought King was going to push its customers in the direction of Blizzard, not the other way around! Good god.

I think we should come up with a different name for Blizzard. Like, “Anakin Skywalker,The Company”. Thanks for writing this daily grind.

David Goodman

Not hostile but not interested. Not feasible to play and uninteresting.

Feasibility: mobile games are for when you are, as a rule, mobile. I live in Boston – its not New York or LA, but we have MIT so we are far from a unconnected city.

We do not have 100% Wi-Fi access. There are a lot of xfinity points and I am a comcast customer (against my will), but the constant disconnect and reconnect makes online games impracitcal.

Data would work…..but i commute on the subway. Lots of data dead zones.

Add onto that a game like Diablo Immortal is played in Landscape mode and likely requires both hands, its also surprisingly difficult to play lime that while standing on a train with an arm hooked around a pole. I rarely get a seat because its crowded.

Finally, most mobile games are gacha gamblebox trash that tricks and pressures you into buying rng crates for a 1% chance at a thing that will make your experience not horrible.

So most of what I do on my phone is complain on forums luke these and read web comics and webfiction :) (plugging A Pracitcal Guide to Evil here )


The only mobile MMORPGs that are worth somehing are:

Villagers & Heroes (also has a PC version)
AdventureQuest 3D (also has a PC version)
Celtic Heroes
Order & Chaos Online 1 (not 2… 1)
and now Runescape Old School too

These are the only games that don’t have that stupid AUTO feature where the game plays itself and Villagers & Heroes is literally Vanilla WoW for a phone.

The rest of the games are anime-themed garbage or trying to sport the best graphics possible, but the irony is the game still plays itself and it’s severely limited to what you can do and where you can go.

Like there was one game I was trying ot – Sword of Shadows and it’s like Age of Wushu – Wuxia themed, nice graphics, nice music, but the stupidity of the game is that it has literally 7 zones… that’s it, the whole world is 7 zones and each is as big as the city of Stormwind in WoW. So to expand the game, they make you do some daily quests where you have to kill about 20 of a certain type of mobs, but that’s just one type, there another 10 or 20 types you have to kill after than. And to top it off, there is some overly-complicated, yet extremely dumb item and character upgrade system that just acts as a way to prolong your progress for months, otherwise if the game was played by the rules of Vanilla WoW, it would take you about 4 days to complete it.

That’s stupid about mobile games – they are idiotic, simple, insulting and very alluring to developers and publishers and they are willing to shell out some mobile garbage and make some easy money than make a proper PC game.

Mobile games are ruining gaming in general and the kids that are now 6-12 years old and play mobile games will become dumb consumers and gamblers, because they are exposed to dumb mechanics that involve shelling out money and gambling for shiny shit you may or may not get. And the worst part is they grow to become tolerant of this model and are OK with it, whereas I (and I’m sure many others here) are disgusted and turned off by such cheap models and don’t feel the slightest attraction to play such “games”.


I’m not hostile to the platform itself, but I am hostile to developers focussing exclusively on that platform. I am similarly hostile to games being console exclusive also. It irritates me to no end that Microsoft still has not released pc versions of the Halo series (after 2).


I’m going to pitch in with the “not hostile, but not interested camp”.

I’ve got a laptop with a video card in it. Said laptop is small enough for me to actually use it on my lap but powerful enough to actually play games like Destiny 2 and FF14. Since I can tether to my phone for a wifi connection anywhere, I can play pretty much any PC game I want at any time.

So why would I play a game on my phone? If I’m in a place where I can relax, but where PC gaming wouldn’t be appropriate (such as eating lunch at a restaurant or at a client’s location) I just catch up on my web reading. Anywhere else I can play a fully-featured PC game.

Putting Diablo on mobile is particularly confusing because it’s a lightweight enough game that modern tablets that are leveraging integrated graphics can run the game just fine. The same could be said of WoW, Hearthstone, and HotS. A low-end graphics card can run SC2 and Overwatch just fine as well. Nothing in the Blizzard portfolio requires a powerful system to run.

You know what would have been more interesting? An Android/iOS client for WoW.

kelathos .

Mobile what? I don’t play games on my phone.

Kickstarter Donor

I’m not hostile, I just don’t care. I don’t play games on my phone. Period. At all. I don’t have downtime where I’m stuck with just my phone. I’m either at home playing on my PC/PS4, or I’m at work, or I’m in my car driving to/from work. None of those places are phone game playing spots. It’s just another of the things in the world that I hope other people enjoy, but accept they aren’t for me.