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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