The most popular MMORPG conversations of 2018

    
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We can’t do an accurate “most popular MMORPG articles of 2018 by pageviews” list as we usually do thanks to skewed data from MOP’s extensive tech upgrades this year, but we can take a look at the most popular articles of the year as measured by comments, which always provides an entirely different overview of the year and the genre.

Just remember, what people really truly want to talk about isn’t always the same thing you like to click on!

That whole ArenaNet mess

The so-called “Pricegate” PR mess ArenaNet generated this past summer created not only the single biggest thread of the year but the single biggest set of comments – across the multiple threads on the topic – that any of us can remember in the history of Massively and MassivelyOP. The initial confrontation between ArenaNet devs and fans and influencers was ugly for Guild Wars 2 no matter which side you supported, but it then proceeded to spiral out of control as ArenaNet’s top brass seemingly acceded to Reddit’s uproar and fired the devs involved, one of whom set about burning every digital bridge on the way out, all combining for a PR nightmare that escalated out of the MMO world and onto mainstream gaming websites, even catching the attention of the gaming industry unionization effort. Needless to say, everyone hunkered down and started sniping. For weeks.

The Madden tourney mass shooting

Unfortunately, the next biggest post this year was a tragedy as a mass shooter attacked a Madden NFL tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, killing two and wounding many more. While the thread properly encapsulates the horror and dread and empathy, it also treads into a spat over lax gun control.

Star Citizen warbonds, insurance, and concept ships

Star Citizen threads never fail to impress with multi-day flamewars down in the comments between the same dozen people, do they? We saw giant threads over a backer losing faith, the “what is the meaning of win” quote, the small claims court post, and the Crytek lawsuit, but the biggest was the Warbond fiasco and $600/$700 Starlifter concept ship.

Diablo Immortal

The opening ceremonies liveblog we did for BlizzCon 2018 feels like cheating since many of the comments belong to us, as that’s where we liveblog. But it’s also the panel where Blizzard shocked everyone with the Diablo Immortal announcement. It, uh, didn’t go over.

“New phone, who dis?” says Daybreak to Columbus Nova

Yes, our pick for biggest story of the year – the bizarre moment when Daybreak said Columbus Nova never owned it and then set about deleting all the press releases that said otherwise – was also one of the biggest, especially once you count all the threads and coverage up together, including the layoffs thread and the CPO’s hasty departure.

PvP in upcoming MMOs

Nicely done, Justin: You got a Daily Grind in the list! Even when you phrase it nicely, people love to argue about PvP.

FFXIV’s fansite sexual harassment scandal

I’ve always thought of Final Fantasy XIV as being pretty wholesome, so maybe that’s why this thread about an XIV community website-runner accused by nine women of “blackmail, coercion, and extensive emotional manipulation” caused such a stir in the #MeToo era.

Bait and switch

You had to know the Fallout 76’s canvas bag scandal was going to show up, right? This was not Bethsoft’s finest moment, and our commenters had no qualms about saying so.

The spyware stuff

Multiple MMO companies ran afoul of spyware accusations this year. The Guild Wars 2 thread was the biggest; ArenaNet gave six-month suspensions to over 1500 accounts after stealth-patching in code to detect programs used for everything from actual cheating to legitimate modding in other games. Naturally, players weren’t happy, including innocent people who simply didn’t like the idea of ArenaNet spying on their computers unannounced.

Battling the Sylvanas defense squad

Eliot’s WoW Factor on exactly what was wrong with World of Warcraft’s pre-expansion storyline may not have aligned with your opinions, but it definitely got everyone talking.

Massively OP 2.0

I have to give a special nod to the Massively OP revamp threads – there were several all together, but this was the biggest. Some of you left the most wonderful, heartfelt notes and useful feedback that I just want to drown you all in hugs. The site basically leaped forward dramatically in terms of layout, mobile, ad handling, and speed. I’m still so very happy with it and hope you’re all still enjoying it too. Especially the speed part!

Here’s to an equally chatty 2019!

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