The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the most satisfying ‘massively’ content?

    
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A while back, I saw a great thread on the MMORPG subreddit about “massive team PvP.” The writer was looking specifically for games with the best massive team PvP, and boy do I sympathize. My favorite PvP experiences were all in large-scale RvR games or MMOs that offered large-scale battlegrounds. I get bored in small arenas and duels; give me the really big stuff with zergs, where having a ton of people actually helps! This is why I’m still watching some of the RvR-ish MMORPGs on our horizon right now.

That said, as I was crafting this Daily Grind, I remembered that I also really miss zerg PvE. Big raids in many MMOs have scaled down so much from when you just brought along everyone you knew to an EverQuest plane and you could muddle through it. Heck, I was grumpy when Star Wars Galaxies dropped the group size down from 20 – it made huge groups for taking on krayts and running a band with dancers that much harder. That fondness for casual but genuinely massive play is one of the reasons I always wind up back in Guild Wars 2 sooner or later.

Which MMO has the most satisfying “massively” content – PvP or PvE content that actually requires a megaton of people to make it work?

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

Guild Wars 2, hands down.

It’s a game that doesn’t judge you for how you want to play, and it fosters a surprisingly low level of toxicity where players will actually revive you. The other day I was doing the bloody timed golem whatchamajigger that’s needed for the beetle mount, there was a strong sense of camaraderie amongst those present.

Usually, in video games, if someone is downed, no one really bothers to help them back up. I was running around and getting people back on their feet, though, and whenever I did an oops by staying too long in a circle of sadness to save someone’s hide I was similarly aided.

It’s what I keep saying, really—if you force grouping, it’s just going to create resentment and force people into a crowd with bad actors. I mean, if you force grouping, you’re also forcing people to play with hyper-competitive, manipulative sociopaths whose raison d’etre is to rise to the top of any given hierarchy through any means necessary.

Most guilds are lead by sociopaths, with the exception of the odd, small roleplaying guild that manages to police itself enough to keep people like that out.

That element of being forced to be around bad actors, though, is reason #1 why I dislike the vast majority of MMOs. Why learn how to be a decent sapient being when the game will force others to group with you? If you remove all that irritating guff though and let people group as they want to, optionally, then they’re more ready to police.

And the resulting experience is a much more enjoyable one.

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Robert Mann

PvP… not sure, the massive battles tend to degrade performance too much. Putting those aside, I’d say for polished experiences there are a few good opinions below.

PvE… largely the same issue. I’d give a slight nod to Rift with Volan as an idea, although the practical part of it was not up to the task. Just like with the PvP side you either get lag or forced lag.

Then there are the games where just having 8 people around makes everything lag. XD

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Oleg Chebeneev

EVE by far

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Neurotic

One of my favourite memories is of the early days of RIFT, when a rift would pop open and everyone in the zone would flock to it. It was absolutely crazy, lights flashing, effects popping off, numbers whizzing everywhere, madness. A real sense of ‘instant community, just add huge random colourful fight’. :D Funnily enough, the lag made me (back then) nostalgic for the big EQ raids and spontaneous barneys that would burn out my 56k modem; RIFT taxed my 1 mb broadband in much the same way. :D

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maydrock .

Planetsiiiidddeee!!!!

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Neurotic

YES! omg, the memories! Squatting on the base computer in those tiny corner rooms, glancing side to side, listening as the fighting got closer and closer, waiting for the enemy to burst in… Brilliant, top-to-bottom brilliance.

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

Hot drops. So much fun.

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Stiqman

I’d say EVE, but not for the super massive battles that inflict extreme time dilation, but rather for the regular mid-scale battles of a 100 or so in the fleets. And also for the massive cooperation required corporation-wise to run a war and an economy efficiently from the ratting/salvaging/mining/manufacturing/fleet doctrine/training/fleet organization/supply lines/etc… other MMO’s have guilds which function as nice lobbies for forming groups. But in EVE a proper corporation is a well oiled machine that co-ordinates a lot of activity at many skill levels to fulfill it’s objectives.

quark1020
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quark1020

Hey, “100 or so” ships is plenty big. That’s more than most MMO’s.

Probably the most, period.

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Anstalt

I havent had that many gaming moments involving massive amounts of players (I would say you need a minimum of 100+ to count) for one simple reason – most game engines can’t handle it. That said, those that I do remember or came close (in so far as they were larger groups than today, even though not massive…) are as follows:

* SWG – An empire guild, KDS, on our server managed to get a GM to spawn an AT-AT at their player city in order to encourage a community-style event. 100s of us descended on their city to attack the AT-AT. It was a bit of a slide-show and we did eventually crash the server but that was the first time I ever saw what “massively multiplayer” really meant.

* SWG – Not massively multiplayer, but I loved the 20man groups. I would spend most days in 20mans just farming squills on Tattooine to level a new profession, or strolling round the Geonosian Caves. As Bree noted, this was “easy” group content, no fuss, no stress, just a great social time; something you rarely see today.

* LotRO – I loved the Ettenmoors! LotRO’s combat mechanics remain the deepest I’ve ever played and time-to-kill was long back at the beginning. We’d regularly have 50-100 PvPers fighting over keeps and some fun tactics rather than just zerging (though, we did ofc zerg on occasion!).

* WAR – I remember the server crashing during our first fortress fight, think it’d topped out somewhere around 1200 players all trying to get in on the action. Daily keep fights with 200+ players on each side for the first few months. The engine couldn’t handle it ofc, but it handled it a lot better than most so-called MMOs. Had a lot of fun, especially when we could form our own guild raids and get our co-ordination working for us. Only downside was rampant vertical progression.

butterpanda888
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butterpanda888

I’ve always wanted to participate in a large scale RP event, but I don’t play just one game for one long stretch and I usually only group if I need to run a dungeon or if I know my group IRL. I think if I did participate in an RP event I’d hope to do it in WoW, CO, or CoH.

That said I miss the RvR of Warhammer Online. Heres hoping Camelot Unchained and Crowfall will fill that void once they launch.

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styopa

Massive?
WW2OL has a 128-player visible entity limit, but I’ve been in battles with north of 250-300 players at the same time….tanks, fighters, bombers, infantry, at guns, all hammering away at each other for sometimes a handful of hours.
I don’t know if they have the playerbase any more for that, but it was great at the time.

Planetside 2 is also great for that but chokes harder on high player numbers. Is about 100x prettier, though not as ‘simulationist’ level of realism.

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Arktouros

Planetside 1/2 basically ruined FPS games for me because I want them all to be that scale now. You get into some “tiny” game of 64 players and it just feels small and bad. Shame they fucked the game all up, had a real winner on their hands with PS2.

GW2 is probably the default choice here otherwise. It’s been hit or miss over their updates but is over all okay. Still wish their team focused on raids was instead designing world boss encounters for everyone to enjoy. WvW is basically ignored unfortunately.

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Dug From The Earth

I was gonna say GW2… all I had to do was think of what game had so many players on the screen at once that it caused me to think “I cant tell WTF is going on lol”

Daoc back in the day was a close 2nd.

I recently just started PS2 ( I know, im late to the game… literally.), and its so massively huge and complex, I have no idea whats going on. I auto join a team and have issues just trying to find out how to get where they are at, and when I finally do.. POOF, they are off 3000km away in another sector.