Massively OP’s 2019 Awards: Biggest MMO Disappointment

    
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Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2019 awards continue today with our award for Biggest MMO Disappointment, which was awarded to multiple industry failboats last year. Disappointments can be games, launches, patches, trends, stories, sunsets, all manner of topics in the MMORPG genre and orbiting sub-genres. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

And the MassivelyOP staff pick for the Biggest MMO Disappointment of 2019 is…

THE CANCELLATION OF PERIA CHRONICLES & THE DECLINE OF GUILD WARS 2

Andy McAdams: I actually put the same thing here as Blunder. I was horribly disappointed Blizzard’s conduct. I still am. While the award when to actual games, which is fair, I stand by my nomination. I had expected better of Blizzard. I don’t expect them to be good because they are far too arrogant for that, but I expected than the spectacle of rampant greed that we got.

Brendan Drain: It’s a split for me between Guild Wars 2 bungling its Living World story and EVE Online’s absolutely tone-deaf announcement of a new official in-game gambling mechanic. I’ve written before about gambling in EVE, from the early days of lotteries and giveaways to the fan-run casino-style websites Somer.Blink and IWantISK, and it’s always been a problematic issue. Gambling was officially banned in EVE Online back in 2016 right as talk about loot crate regulation was blowing up and CS:GO was slammed in court for enabling a skin gambling black market. The new Hypernet Relay gambling system announced for EVE allows players to launch their own in-game lotteries by spending HyperCores, a new item sold in the official microtransaction store. Though players participate in the lottery using only in-game ISK, CCP will earn a microtransaction sale for each lottery. The actual feature isn’t too bad aside from the obvious implications for those with gambling problems, like the player I spoke to in Februrary who had spent over $10,000 on EVE gambling websites before the 2016 gambling ban. The most disappointing part was actually the tone-deaf announcement of the feature, which compared it to Shareable Bookmarks as one of those highly requested features from players.

Brianna Royce: I’ve been deeply disturbed by the way ArenaNet appears to have been re-absorbed back into NCsoft West this year, a move that led to not just layoffs but an apparent exodus of key devs from the studio and the clear decline in Guild Wars 2’s content, quality, communication, and business savvy. Guild Wars 2 has been my favorite live-service MMORPG for a very long time, so I consider its unnecessary decline a tragedy as well as a disappointment.

Carlo Lacsina: GW2. I’m a massive fan of Guild Wars. It was my first true MMORPG and GW2 was an epic event for me. But with what’s gone on with the staff changes and the direction the story’s going, it just seems that it’s nowhere near as good as it was back in 2012. Something about the game feels off, and with all these QoL changes coming today rather than back in the day just feels like a slap in the face for me. It feels like they’re admitting they’re no longer capable of living up to what the game could have been. Instead, they’re giving us neat little trinkets to distract ourselves from the game’s problems.

Chris Neal: GW2’s decline. Seriously, what’s going on over there? There seems to be the potential for some really good gaming out of Guild Wars 2, but recently it’s just been… off. It’s hard to explain it, but everything that’s happened with this game just feels so weird and rushed and underwhelming. It’s just off-putting, which doesn’t instill me with a lot of confidence to try to play more. Even if having a weapon swap Elementalist is enticing.

Colin Henry: Diablo 4, Blitzchung, Peria canceled, GW2’s decline.

Eliot Lefebvre: Peria Chronicles, no, I wanted to love you so badly. I realize a lot of other people were way more surprised about the slide of Guild Wars 2, but to me it’s always felt more like a course correction for a game I’ve found to always be a more mixed bag than it’s credited for being. (And the fact that ArenaNet basically ceded control of the studio to Reddit did not endear it to me.) But Peria Chronicles looked so pretty, and… well, it probably played badly or was nowhere near being a playable game. So it makes sense, but I am disappointed.

Justin Olivetti: After all of the good word-of-mouth that we heard about Rend, this promising title all but slipped into obscurity the second it launched. So much work wasted and so much promise gone to pot.

Mia DeSanzo: I was only allowing myself to really anticipate a couple of games, and Peria Chronicles was one of them. It was a big one. The cancellation stung.

MJ Guthrie: Atlas’ messes. What disappointed me the most in 2019 was how vocally players skewered WildCard for its obvious disdain for and poor treatment of players, calling out that the studio did not deserve any support, but then they flocked to Atlas anyway with the excuse, “Well, it’s pirates — I gotta get it,” and the baffling “Maybe they somehow learned their lesson.” What lesson? That no matter what a studio does to players, they will still throw more money at it? Decrying how terrible something is and then buying the game is the opposite of not financially supporting it. “I can never support them!” and “take my money” can’t coexist here. Players knew perfectly well the situation WildCard makes and leaves games in, so they willingly jumped into that wreck.

Samon Kashani: GW2’s decline. The year has been a tough one as a Guild Wars 2 fan. I’ve always argued for why it is the best MMO currently, but this year didn’t do me any favors. It’s been tough reading about all the struggles that the company is going though. I feel for the employees and all the other players like myself that are nervous about what the future holds.

Tyler Edwards: ESO playing it safe so much. It’s undeniably a good game, and it’ll have my personal nomination for GOTY, but I am deeply disappointed by how formulaic every expansion and DLC is. When was the last time they added a major new system that wasn’t just a riff on something they already did? When was the last time they surprised us? Give us new weapons, new skill lines, new quest mechanics. With WoW continuing to falter, ESO has the potential to be the new leader of this genre. Pick up that mantle and lead!

The cancellation of Peria Chronicles and the decline of Guild Wars 2 tied to win our award for Biggest MMO Disappointment of 2019. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the biggest MMO disappointment of 2019?

  • ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2's seeming decline (45%, 1,174 Votes)
  • The cancellation of Peria Chronicles (2%, 57 Votes)
  • Blizzard's Hong Kong mess (16%, 425 Votes)
  • The failure of Rend (0%, 8 Votes)
  • CCP reintroducing gambling in EVE Online (1%, 37 Votes)
  • ESO's formulaic nature (2%, 45 Votes)
  • The bizarre development of Atlas (1%, 20 Votes)
  • Fallout 76's Fallout First greed (9%, 242 Votes)
  • ArcheAge Unchained's messy launch (1%, 35 Votes)
  • Anthem's messy development (5%, 121 Votes)
  • WoW's content pacing and Shadowlands reveal (4%, 104 Votes)
  • The failure of Worlds Adrift (1%, 22 Votes)
  • Gamigo killing Atlas Reactor after promising content (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Not enough new MMOs in development (7%, 189 Votes)
  • Too many crowdfunded MMO delays (3%, 81 Votes)
  • The shutdown of Fallen Earth (1%, 23 Votes)
  • PlanetSide Arena gets a date of execution (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (1%, 27 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,977

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How does MassivelyOP choose the winner?
Our team gathers together over the course of a few weeks to nominate and 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.
How does MassivelyOP populate this poll?
Poll options include all disappointing things nominated plus others we thought deserved consideration.
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Reader
overbyte

Dude. Secret World Legends seeming to be ignored has been absolutely brutal

Reader
7BitBrian

Let’s take a look at just a few of the items on the list:

* The cancellation of Peria Chronicles
* Blizzard’s Hong Kong mess (Why this isn’t the top of the list I’ll never understand.)
* ESO’s formulaic nature (what does this even mean?)
* Anthem’s messy development
* Fallout 76’s Fallout First greed

How are none of those items are even close to the top pick? Not just staff, but the reader vote choices too. Really!?

The Blizzard incident should be the top of the list. Even their employees staged a walk out in protest of the decision. Members of the US Senate and Congress wrote a letter to Blizzard. But hey, the GW2 Living Story isn’t living up to your hype so let’s all focus on that.

latorn
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
latorn

Luckily you could vote for 3 things in the poll, so both GW2’s decline and Blizzard censoring freespeech got mine.

I do agree that Blizzard’s HK fiasco should definitely be higher up, and is truly the biggest disappointment in gaming for 2019. For a company with mottos like “every voice matters” they sure like bending over for CCP dictatorship rather than maintaining a positive public image.

Oh ya, and Battle for Azeroth was shit.

Reader
Dystopiq

Peria’s cancellation was no surprise. The game wasn’t going anywhere and they kept talking about all the issues and road block they encountered. Then the CBT came out and and players didn’t have anything good to say about it.

Reader
Mark Temby

Darkfall New Dawn – loved it but in true Darkfall tradition it turned to merde.

Followed closely by Legends of Aria constant flipflops – I put so much time into a Carpenter when it flipped, but then it flopped back.

So I returned tail between my legs to Lotro (again).

Reader
Dilly Dolly

I wouldn’t know Peria Chronicles if I didn’t see news about it shutting down. Not a fan of anime style graphics and pet gameplay. Surely the character creation (where you can adjust thin, fat, muscular body) is pretty neat.

And the DoA of Astellia Online which I thought there’d be rival for Black Desert Online in character creation.

GW2 of course since for me it’s the only game that hits the perfect spot that I like in character design, world building, dynamic events, combat.

Reader
MolleaFauss

Anthem. I really wanted a Firefall replacement, but it ended up being a mess.

Reader
Robert Mann

The continued malaise of the big money in seeking something actually interesting, instead of chasing trends.

Reader
Danny Smith

It depends. Personal experience? Battle for Azeroth. Kul Tiras was a nice place to visit but the story was bland, the mechanics were more of NuBlizzards “iterate mobile game mechanics rather than rpg ones” approach and its post launch support was just coasting. As a follow up to Legion it definitely feels like filler thats not worth the money and certainly not the time in a year of some really excellent videogame releases.

Outside of what i tried myself you have the shitshow of Fallout 76, Anthem, just a lot of trash fires riding on brand loyalty drones swallowing any old shit with a recognisable name attached but thats not exactly a new thing, companies are just getting lazier in that regard.

Then you have Guild Wars 2 which you could have told me was in a confirmed maintenance mode and i would believe you. I hear less about that game nowadays than Rift or FFXI. Its like the devs haven’t admitted they have given up on it, the customers aren’t saying the devs have given up on it, the owners aren’t telling shareholders the devs have given up on it but i’ll be damned if i can find a sentiment that doesn’t come across as “we are all thinking it, the devs have given up on it”.

I’ve mentioned before that the Scarlet Briar cringefest was when i dropped GW2 like a bad penny but its still kind of a shame that it was something back near release treated as the “WoW aint looking so hot no more, is this the new timesink addiction?!?” online and you look at stuff like FFXIV or even WoW itself and Guild Wars 2 just doesn’t seem in the same league. Not because it died due to catastrophic misconceptions by the devs like Wildstar, or by turning into a greedy moneyfarm like Rift but simply because it got left behind.

If all these mmo’s were people Guild Wars 2 feels like the last kid waiting at soccer practice because their parents forgot to pick them up and its raining.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Hard to find most of those things disappointing when it’s more like a continuance of disappointment for things like Blizzard’s PR disasters and Bethesda continuing to be incompetent with Fallout 76.

For me the biggest one would be how the MMO market is still being treated as the awkward black sheep sibling in the gaming industry, to the point where companies that are doing MMOs don’t always call them MMOs to avoid the stigma. But that’s more just a reality I’ve accepted over the years rather than an ongoing disappointment.

Reader
EmberStar

I have to admit I did get Atlas. But not at launch. I didn’t touch it at all until after they added single player, and then only when it was on sale for about $10. Made a pirate, made a boat, messed around for about a week. Then hit some crippling (and obviously single player only) glitch that basically wrecked everything, and kind of gave up. I don’t think the game has even updated itself since they added the new map.

And since Ark’s new expansion slipped into next year, I’m not going to be surprised AT ALL if they’ve done a Grapeshot and pulled a bunch of people off *both* games to secretly smoosh them all on some OTHER new project no one asked for. And yes, I’m still upset that they dropped Ark like a bag of poop (abandoning the TLC pass and delaying the Extinction DLC by months) to secretly put basically everyone on Atlas. :(