The Daily Grind: Which old MMO studio do you miss the most?

    
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Also, more robots.

We have spent a lot of time — perhaps more than is prudent — pining over MMOs that have closed their doors. But I don’t think we’ve ever discussed game studios that we miss. These could be companies that closed outright, like Paragon Studios, or have changed so radically over the years that their current incarnation is nothing like what they once were, like SOE.

Do you ever look back in time and say to yourself, “Boy, I really miss that studio!”? Do you have fond memories for how the team used to function and communicate, or how there were specific devs who were active and helped to elevate that studio to a whole new level?

Which MMO studio do you miss the most right now in 2019? Which would you love to have back as it once was?

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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Fenrir Wolf

My favourites are still running — Turbine and Cryptic. The devs still even chat occasionally, too, which is lovely.

I suppose I could say Sony Online Entertainment, but… there was too much incompetent Smeddling, there. I certainly enjoyed some of the games, but the management managed to be worse than Team Bondi, which is really saying something. Daybreak certainly aren’t any better.

I lament the loss of Origin, but that hardly had anything to do with Ultima Online as sandbox experiences were never my jam. I prefer seeing the art of talent well used. I like levels more than open worlds, I enjoy craftsmanship and visibly applied talent, which probably has much to do with my undying love for DDO.

Um… I guess I can’t join in on this party, then. There are MMOs or parts thereof I might miss (exploring the cities of Everquest II and enjoying the blessedly ludicrous voice-acting, and faffing about with minigames in Free Realms), but I don’t really miss the companies tied to them. They ruined their own games.

I feel ZeniMax Online Studios is heading that way with ESO. They do so love to land content without any QA testing, and referring to whacking a random number generator as “balancing.” Each new content drop creates a bigger mess with grander game-breaking bugs than the last. It’s an unfortunate state of affairs.

Which is true for most developers, honestly. So many are good at that. What with their obsessive balancing, greed, self-interest, and what have you. That’s why I tend to raise an eyebrow at Turbine and their continued successes despite a lack of shady behaviour.

So, yeah. In order for me to miss a developer, they would’ve had to have avoided running their game into the ground. Which most do. The ones that didn’t seem to still be around. Go figure!

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Anstalt

I sort of miss Turbine.

As an EU player, I mostly dealt with Codemasters whilst playing LotRO, but the more I got sucked into the MMO world the more I came to appreciate Turbine. They seemed to be really good at designing interesting MMOs that looked like other games, but were in fact much higher quality and had much deeper systems.

Sadly, whilst they seemed to be good at designing MMOs, they were pretty crap at maintaining them. LotRO was amazing at launch and was well maintained for the first 2 years, but each expansion made the game progressively worse and Turbine never seemed to figure out why.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Paragon Studios. Post-Cryptic. These folks are the best people. Paragon was the type of people that you wanted to talk about the game with and then go down and share pizza and beer with them and talk about other games.
They were crazy supportive of even the smallest creators and fans and loved their game.

Funcom has some people like that who just get this, but for Paragon, that was just every day.

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Keersone .

pre-EA mythic

Ernost
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Ernost

Blizzard, before they merged with Activision. They made games back then instead of the milking machine/hamster wheels they make now.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

I miss the Mythic Entertainment, especially Paul Barnett’s videos. Mark Jacobs should hire a similar person to do videos for CityState, as the current ones are kind of boring ;-)

Also, miss the old CCP devs and employees and the way they interacted with and affected the EVE’s community. The TomB’s “nerf bat” posts, the T20’s drama related to BoB, Eris Discordia’s forum moderation, CCP_Oveur and so on. And the official forums were always a great source of entertainment, especially the CAOD section with all the info about current wars and corporation disputes – this was the MOST entertaining game-realted forums I have EVER read. Too bad CCP has destroyed everything over time.

Can’t say I missed SOE or Blizzard – their games were ok but I honestly never cared for any story in any of them, the gameplay (aside from SWG – it was pretty unique in some ways) or the people who worked there. I don’t think I even participated in their official forums for any of their games.

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Doctor Sweers

SOE (EQ/EQ2/VG era)
Blizzard pre-2008
Turbine pre-F2P

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Fenrir Wolf

Except Turbine’s F2P model has done nothing to add extra grind to the game, nor impede the play of their titles. It’s just granular and focuses on people who want to lord things over others. “Ah, you want something that you can use to say that you’re better than everyone else? To brag about to all the ‘nubs?’ In other games, you’d grind raids for that dubious honour, here you’re going to pay money for the luxury of it.”

Or perhaps that’s the problem.

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Castagere Shaikura

Westwood Studios
Earth & Beyond and all the old C&C games before EA slaughtered them.

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Dankey Kang

Carbine

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Grave Knight

Paragon Studios, goes without saying. Mythic Entertainment was pretty good till it was consumed by destructive monster known as EA.