Massively OP’s 2018 Awards: Most Improved MMO of 2018


Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2018 awards continue today with our award for the Most Improved MMO, which was awarded jointly to Trove and Guild Wars 2 last year. All live MMOs, regardless of release date, were eligible for this award, provided they made improvements this year. 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 Most Improved MMO of 2018 is…


Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Pokemon Go if I’m allowed. It’s miles better, and I know several staffers that admit to having come back!

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): RuneScape. In a year when some of the biggest MMO studios tripped over their own feet, almost 17 year old MMO RuneScape just kept going with frequent updates to both the main game and its RuneScape 2 legacy version OldSchool RuneScape. There have been regular events throughout the year and developers have stayed on top of messaging to players with its RuneFest event, Month Ahead videos, quick-fire patch note roundup videos, and content previews. What really tipped the scale for me this year on RuneScape was the release of mobile versions for both the main and OldSchool versions of the game. As an old ex-player, I gave the OldSchool RuneScape mobile version a try to see if it lived up to what I remember and soon found myself logging in on the train or any time I had a free moment to play. The mobile versions are the exact same games and log into your actual characters on the same servers as usual, just with the user interface adapted to mobile devices where possible. There are certain activities that you’ll probably want to do on your PC, but shorter or more repetitive tasks such as smithing or slaying dragons can be safely done on mobile whenever you have a minute or two to spare. I would hope that this strategy stands out to other developers as the ideal model to use when creating a mobile version of an MMO.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): I didn’t really have a super strong opinion on this one going in, but several writers persuaded me that RuneScape deserves it. Look, this game is one of the oldest living MMORPGs in the entire genre, and yet it’s not only still alive but absolutely thriving, in part because Jagex has spent so much time and effort appealing to multiple playerbases and platforms at a time when other studios claim it can’t be done. Both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape leaped to mobile this year, and that alone is a huge deal for an MMORPG.

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): RuneScapeRuneScape feels like one of those elder statesmen that just gets better with age. Its update cadence has been a bit wobbly now and again, but not without good reason and pretty impressive results. I hope to be hearing about this game for many years to come. Maybe even a hint at what’s next?

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Jagex and I are not on speaking terms, but frankly, the studio has been pushing out a hell of a lot of stuff for RuneScape’s various incarnations this year.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Black Desert’s remastering campaign improved both the already amazing graphics and music to make it one of the best-looking and -sounding MMOs on the market, hands-down.

Matt Daniel (@Matt_DanielMVOP): RuneScape.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): Noting that “improved” is a measurement of distance traveled, not a reflection of where the journey started ( it does not have to mean going from bad to good), I give this award to RuneScape. Even though Jagex erroneously called it the first cross-platform MMO for mobile and PC, it did reinvigorate Old School RuneScape by introducing the game to mobile. And with mobile, this old, nearly ignored-by-the-masses MMORPG hit massive numbers of downloads. How many games get those numbers, let alone how many super old ones? Even I started playing!

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.

RuneScape won our award for Most Improved MMO of 2018. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the most improved MMO of 2018?

  • RuneScape (5%, 23 Votes)
  • World of Warcraft (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (5%, 20 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Online (30%, 130 Votes)
  • Black Desert (7%, 31 Votes)
  • EVE Online (3%, 12 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XIV (5%, 22 Votes)
  • TERA (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Star Wars The Old Republic (3%, 13 Votes)
  • Blade and Soul (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Secret World Legends (2%, 7 Votes)
  • Pokemon Go (3%, 12 Votes)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (5%, 23 Votes)
  • Skyforge (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Star Trek Online (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Neverwinter (0%, 1 Votes)
  • DC Universe Online (0%, 2 Votes)
  • RIFT (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (5%, 22 Votes)
  • Aion (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Lineage II (0%, 1 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Project Gorgon (3%, 11 Votes)
  • Trove (0%, 1 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Elite Dangerous (3%, 11 Votes)
  • Nothing (12%, 54 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (3%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 396

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Poll options include all games nominated plus other games we thought had a chance!
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