The Daily Grind: What was the worst MMO trend of 2018?

    
69
If this went away, I would be pissed.

Last week, as part of MOP’s 2018 awards rollout, we asked you about the best trend of the year for our genre. We were nearly unanimous in calling that one for progression servers, which were a big deal for many MMO studios this year.

But of course, not all trends are actually good. For example, I was mildly dismayed to see so many MMOs, from Trove and Skyforge to Ashes of Creation and Revelation, add battle royale modes to try to capitalize on the craze. I guess the problem isn’t so much that MMOs would have these types of battlegrounds – I don’t mind PvP battlegrounds at all – but more that it seems like a cheap ploy to capture attention at the expense of the existing playerbase paying the rent. I don’t love it.

What would you say was the worst MMO trend of 2018?

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!

69
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Anstalt

I genuinely haven’t touched a single MMO during 2018.

So, worst trend for me is definitely the complete lack of quality MMOs. The existing ones continue to get worse over time (for my playstyle) and the new ones are awful. Maybe they aren’t awful, but I can’t get over the shitty advertising, business models and combat mechanics (I fucking hate action combat, give me something that requires some brainpower!).

Beyond that very personal negative trend, I’m going to say the continuing trend of early access / paid alphas and betas. I understand the need for extra funding, but it’s terrible for the long term health of the game (due to stretching out the community) and a terrible gaming experience.

Reader
Fervor Bliss

PvP

Random MMO fan
Reader
Random MMO fan

“Worst trend” is definitely re-launching same exact content as a separate game (or on separate servers), marketed as “legacy” or “progression” servers. I know what you gonna say – “I want to get back and re-live my initial experience with the game with more people running around me”, but I believe what most people fail to realize is this trend makes developers more lazy, they will all now start considering “why bother developing a newer game with original setting and story and heroes/monsters? Look at “progression/legacy” servers that company x launched, they seem to be doing acceptably well, we should just do the same!”

And the very worst example of it is LOTRO. I already played on new Arnor Legendary server – they did not even bother rolling back the game to the time when it was more interesting and more challenging (yes, I understand that it’s a progression server and not legacy) , they just put an artificial “content wall” and left same issues as with non-progression servers, from technical ones to the complete lack of challenge. I tried Beoring, there was absolutely 0 threat from any monster few levels above me even when I kept using few basic attacks in bear form without trying to heal myself, and I’ve read that Guradian is just as easy to play… I also got my riding skill without basically doing any quests (not sure how – I do not have Lifetime sub and I quit paying for LOTRO many years ago) and I’ve seen every new characters using mounts at the newbie areas, which was pretty disappointing since I remember how hard it was to get riding and first mount in original game (I think it was at lvl35 and it cost a few gold for basic mount) and how extremely useful the Hunter class was at that time due to its teleports…

All in all it was pretty disappointing and I stopped playing already out of sheer boredom. And yea, I am aware that many people still play on these Legendary servers, but that still won’t change my impression about this whole trend (especially if more developers will start doing this).

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Probably forgetting something actually bad, but the one that’s been the most annoying to me is everybody getting their own bloody battle royal spinoffs.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Action Combat, Battel Royales and PVP being thrust in EVERYONES faces despite remaining a niche market.

Reader
Mr.McSleaz

Battle Royale scams.

Reader
kieranbunny

The “early access” garbage..paying to beta test is what it is and me dislike it intensely!! It goes along with the “get our pprofit now;screw long term viability” mindset that seems to be the suits mindset these days.And don’t even get me started on quality!..Where are the “Sir Techs” or “Interplays”? There’s just a few left..and none of them make MMO’S . I have a chunk of the new games on me puter..Teso, Lotr,WoW,(durned RL friends..*giggle*) but me been playin Balder’s Gate,Neverwinter,Grim Dawn.,Divine Divinity series instead. me hopin that somehow,somewhen..a company will rediscover and implement quality again..and somehow rekindles the old “mudlike” sense of community that any people have nostalgia for. just me two carrots worth! ==(:*D

Reader
Ravven

Battle Royal and survival sandboxes (“Create your own story!”).

Reader
Utakata

The gutting and cutting side quests. I heard Blade & Soul wasn’t the only game who did this. /sigh

Reader
Utakata

PS: Just to note, I don’t consider the worst trend of ’18. Rather the one that pissed me off the most. >.<

Reader
rafael12104

Lack of a focus on quality. It is a trend that permeates everything.

I’m a Quality Program Manager in real life and it is more than managing quality assurance. It is the management of quality in all phases of development including post-launch with a clear understanding of the impact on brand and customers. You have heard me harp about brand before, I’m sure. This is why. Heh.

So, let me cut to the chase. AAAs are sacrificing quality to cut costs because the golden goose is in predatory business practices and not quality products. Products can be, “just good enough” to allow lock boxes, early access, and other schemes to open the cash flow. That is the focus.

And so, a ship date outweighs almost any issue at hand. And let’s be clear, the AAAs know the issues. The idea that they get blindsided by certain bugs or problems once they have released a product is bullshit. How do I know? Because in all corps quality is tracked in every phase of development. Why? Because there is a cost associated with quality. It digs into profit margins.

And so, “ship it then fix it” is the motto and the result is buggy unfinished games, and or games that do not meet customers expectations.

And btw, Bethesda isn’t the biggest culprit, EA and Activision got there first. Ubi, learned a hard lesson with Assasins Creed Unity and The Division but the lure of the golden goose makes them vulnerable.

One more thing, gaming as a service dovetails nicely with the ship it then fix it idea. It can be easily rationalized that gaming as a service will provide quality products over time. Just not at launch.

Hamblepants
Reader
Hamblepants

Great post.

Random MMO fan
Reader
Random MMO fan

Good points all around. Luckily there’s a limit of pushing out unfinished, low-quality garbage onto the fans, as EA has already learned with their latest game:

https://seekingalpha.com/amp/article/4229279-electronic-arts-expect-additional-estimate-reductions-battlefield-v-sales-disappoint

And hopefully they will at least try to learn something from that and get back into making a higher quality games, with features the fans expect to have at release date.

Reader
rafael12104

Exactly. I saw a youtube report and read this article as well.

Reader
Maggie May

Definitely this, not only in gaming I’m afraid.