The Daily Grind: Which MMO is soooo close to being perfect but just misses the mark?


Last week, there was a thread on the MMORPG subreddit that struck a chord with me. Author SaintNutella rattles off a list of some of the larger MMOs in our genre and their very best points… and then the one thing that renders the others moot.

For example, Elder Scrolls Online? “Great story, huge world, good quality” – but clunky combat. Black Desert and Blade and Soul? That pesky RNG gets in the way of awesome combat. Guild Wars 2? It’s cheap and it’s got awesome combat, but a lot of content is abandoned and the dev communication is, as the author puts it, “questionable.” I bet “FFA PvP” accounts for a lot of rationale behind not hopping into many titles nowadays too.

I know sometimes when you’re grumpy with a genre you can start looking for reasons to skip a game. But other times, you’re willing to put up with some specific dopey element because something else in the game sets your heart on fire. Somewhere in the middle are those games you’re just sad about because of that one hang-up you have that keeps you out of it.

Which MMOs is so close to being perfect for you – but just misses the mark? And why?

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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Luca S.

Definitely FFXIV.
I’ve played so many different MMOs over the years, none of which managed to bind me for longer than a few months. LotRO was the longest because I’m a LotR fanboy, but the Rohan expansion turned me away. Where are the raids?

Anyways, FFXIV was almost perfect, engaging story telling, not overly asian, decent quests, good community, mechanic-filled group content etc. but there is just this one thing ruining EVERYTHING and most probably know what it is: the combat.

Never before in any MMO I’ve played have I encountered such a mind numbingly boring combat as in FFXIV, it’s insane. Global CDs are so stupid, healer and tanks are required to do DPS, most classes feel the same, pre-60 is an absolute snoozefest because you neither have enough abilites nor do the normal mobs have mechanics you have to watch out for, like in higher ranked group content. The fact that it does get a little better in the endgame is a poor excuse, because leveling is so integral to an MMO. Most people who play for a long time have almost every class on max level, so it’s not like you just have to get to endgame once and then the boring leveling is not a problem anymore.

If FFXIV had the combat system of Tera I would play it literally every single minute of my free time, but as it is now I stopped playing at all. Such a shame.


Yep ESO combat no good other wise its close. FFxiv I personally find the leveling boring and tedious but the group content is fun and it has a charm to it. graphics dont impress me either lacks large amounts of vegetation and memory intensive elements due to its console nature. GW2 good 3 hours of content every LS release due to some very nice world building and design and good combat my fav of the three but then nothing to do but grind map currency or achievements after that as they arent very quick on raid tiers or fractals. Also lacks an auto dungeon queue system.

Eban Smith

Yeah ESO is so close to being the perfect MMORPG (for me anyway) but the combat lets it down big time.
The story is good,the world feels massive, I even enjoy the crafting system, the thieves guild/dark brotherhood etc are fun.
Tons to do/burn time on and new content comes at a decent pace.

Now the problems (my opinions,don’t get triggered too much), the guild system is rubbish.
Don’t like the fact there’s no auction house central hubs.
Trying to find a decent well stocked guild that doesn’t boot you after a week of poor sales is a pain.
Guilds should be for social aspects not buying/selling.
I would prefer if main cities just had an auction house that we could all use to sell our shinies and join guilds on characters not on account names to do group content with.

Then there is the combat, oh my it is poor.
It does feel clunky, it’s never fluid.
For a game with tons of content/quests with poor combat it justs ruins everything.
No matter what spec/class/rotation/skills you level, it just plain sucks.
It doesn’t feel like traditional tab target MMORPG combat but it also doesn’t feel like the new action combat in games like Black Desert, it’s something else altogether.
The light/heavy attacks need to go.
They suck the life out of the combat.
Rotations suffer massively when you have to use these abilities.
Just give people bigger action bars with some abilities when used regen stamina or magicka.
I’d rather have cluttered action bars full of different abilities than have to suffer light/heavy attacks.

Richard Papaconstantinou

The state of perfecity can be, by its very nature, an oxymoron. If one was perfect than one would be the only one and by nature a freak. Everything needs its flaws, annoying as they can be, even MMOs

Rolan Storm

Every bloody MMORPG I played long enough. I think it’s matter of perception.

Still I would name SWG and TSW. First got close enough to a virtual world. Second is so good at delivering supernatural story and immersing into it. Still both never got to be perfect.


BDO would be amazing if the business model wasn’t so aggressively pushed.


I guess I’ll take the pessimistic route and say none of them are close to perfect.

And that’s OK!

If there was one that was even close to perfect, I wouldn’t have any reason to play anything else, and I feel that might not be healthy. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.

Panda McGee

I think Minecraft and Roblox were pretty good like those HD raphics blew me away

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Dean Greenhoe

Vanguard SOH had alot going for it. In the end the grind seemed to lack a purpose. I think something like a tri-realm PvP would have given the grind a purpose.

Anthony Clark

That ‘real life’ one has amazing graphics but is very repetitive, and the end game is terrible. I can’t recommend it to anyone due to perma-death!