Massively OP’s 2018 Awards: Best MMO Trend of 2018

    
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Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2018 awards continue today with our award for the Best MMO Trend of 2018, which was awarded to the trend of developer communication and community focus last year. This year, all trends were back on the table. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for the Best MMO Trend of 2018 is…

Progression Servers

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): Classic and progression servers. The MMO industry is old enough now that we’re seeing huge waves of nostalgia for days gone by, and that can be a powerful driver of activity and profit. I’ve played on emulated servers for MMOs in the past and recently got crazy into OldSchool RuneScape, so I definitely see the appeal of classic and progression servers and it’s something I would definitely pay a subscription for in many MMOs. I’m not yet totally convinced that everyone clamouring for WoW Classic actually wants to go back to the era of kill-ten-boar quests and no auto-loot, but I’m happy to see Blizzard getting behind it and the new LOTRO progression servers bode well for the future of the idea.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): Progression servers. I felt like this was a really easy call this year because so, so many games got them, from RIFT and LOTRO to Age of Conan and even a rumor of one on the way for DDO. And let’s not forget WoW Classic is still cooking! I realize this isn’t an old idea at all; Ultima Online and EverQuest have had oddball servers like these for ages, but I’m thrilled to see developers both figuring out ways to keep these games going and tapping into older-school aesthetics to do it. For a lot of gamers, these servers are their only opportunity to peek into the games of the past, while for others, it’s like going home.

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): Progression servers. I have no skin in the progression server game, but it’s impossible to ignore just how happy these things make people, particularly in the case of LOTRO. I am all about folks finding things to enjoy in MMOs and gaming in general, so anything that brings more of that is welcome.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Honestly, this year I don’t have very strong feelings on a trend, but it really was a year in which progression servers really took to the streets (as it were) and made big waves. I can’t say it’s a trend that speaks to me, but it sure was a running thing.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Progression and legacy servers are giving veteran MMO players a new way to experience their favorite games. Loving this, would like to see more like it!

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): 2018 was the year of the progression server! Even though other games have had them a while, it feels like more jumped on the special legacy or vanilla server bandwagon. This trend is good because it offers the players an official nostalgic experience or a chance to jump in for the first time alongside everyone else and experience it all together. No gamer left behind!

How does Massively OP choose the winner?
Our team gathers together over the course of a few days to discuss candidates and ideally settle on a consensus winner. We don’t have a hard vote, but we do include written commentary from every writer who submitted it on time so that you can see where some of us differed, what our secondary picks were, and why we personally nominated what we did (or didn’t). The site’s award goes to the staff selection, but we’ll include both it and the community’s top nomination in our debrief in January.

Progression servers took our award for Best MMO Trend of 2018. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best MMORPG trend of 2018?

  • The push for progression and legacy servers (28%, 148 Votes)
  • The push to add battle royale modes in MMOs (2%, 8 Votes)
  • The push for mobile integration with MMOs (2%, 9 Votes)
  • The push to build new MMOs on mobile first or only (2%, 11 Votes)
  • Community focus and communication (5%, 25 Votes)
  • Nostalgia-driven content updates (3%, 18 Votes)
  • Game industry unionization (8%, 43 Votes)
  • Console ports or reimaginings (including Switch ports) (3%, 18 Votes)
  • Lockbox crackdowns (21%, 110 Votes)
  • PvP sandboxes making a comeback (5%, 27 Votes)
  • Anti-toxicity efforts (10%, 54 Votes)
  • Always online games that crossover into MMO turf (2%, 13 Votes)
  • Nothing (8%, 44 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 441

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Poll options include all trends nominated plus others we thought had a chance!
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