The Daily Grind: What was the worst MMO industry trend of 2019?

    
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Last week, we offered up our award for best gaming trend of 2019. Now we’re back to talk the worst of the worst. And I call bullshit.

No, literally, bullshit is my pick. In going through this year’s articles, I saw one piece after another where a developer got caught apologizing without really meaning it, shrugging off major breaches, shirking responsibility, treating players like they’re stupid, dodging the press, treating employees like crap, lying to the government, and blaming video games for things that have nothing to do with video games. I’ve been covering this beat a long time and I’ve seen a lot of terrible stories, but it seems to me the pile of bullshit this year was particularly high.

Then again, big ol’ side-eye for Fallout 76 having so many disasters in one single year that someone could feasibly say it’s generated its very own trend for this non-award.

What was the worst MMO or gaming industry trend of 2019?

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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rosieposie

Hopefully the inevitable crash of global economy will hit the games industry with the force of ten thousand tsunamis that it so richly deserves. But since I’m aware of the state of humanity, I sadly see thousands of human shaped drones stumbling through the ruins of their civilization while still absentmindedly playing Candy Crush on their decaying mobile devices.

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Anton Mochalin

Vocal minorities dominating the MMO discourse. Especially visible in the case of WoW: while millions of players are playing the game making it the biggest MMO for one more of so many years everything I hear about it in non WoW specific media is constant bashing. And the biggest online looter shooter which is quickly transitioning to being an MMO (Destiny 2) is rarely even mentioned in media like MassivelyOP. The MMO media landscape is totally dominated by freaks while millions of players just play all those amazing games and don’t have time to write Reddit and forums posts.

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Does not check email

I thought we didn’t talk about politics here ….

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Utakata

…I’m not sure he is. In fact, I’m not sure what the Hell he’s talking about actually. >.<

Sib
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Sib

I have to admit looking through certain forums/community sites tends to be quite painful. It does sometimes seem to me that the loud, barking ones love gathering together to spread nonsense.

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Utakata

…yeah, it’s amazing how one loud individual seizing on a narrative of non existing issues dominates discourse. Thankfully, this site is mostly immune to such drivel and tends to moderate said comments to the round file. But yeah, vocal minority indeed. o.O

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Jon Wax

Or just maybe… Nah nevermind

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rosieposie

If what you say was actually grounded in reality and the developers were so reactionary, then they absolutely deserve to see their game crash and burn for their own stupidity.

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Bruno Brito

I’m going to break down your entire crap into small parts, so the bullshit doesn’t smear me and i can actually answer. Let’s go:

Vocal minorities dominating the MMO discourse.

I can “see” that happening in small clusters, but overall, that’s bullshit. “Vocal Minorities” are asking for the removal of lockboxes for YEARS, but they’re still a profitable mess and keep being sold. “Vocal Minorities” have been asking for the removal of Battle Passes and Season Passes for a while now, yet almost every game has them. “Vocal Minorities” have been asking for the complete destruction of the Early Access method, yet we keep seeing devs selling unfinished games for players to betatest them.

Your entire point is wrong.

Especially visible in the case of WoW: while millions of players are playing the game making it the biggest MMO for one more of so many years everything I hear about it in non WoW specific media is constant bashing.

The most popular something is, the more bashing it gets. I don’t see your issue here. Not every WoW bashing is wanting to destroy the game. A lot is to improve.

And the biggest online looter shooter which is quickly transitioning to being an MMO (Destiny 2) is rarely even mentioned in media like MassivelyOP.

Debatable. I find that Warframe is way bigger marketing-wise than D2.

The MMO media landscape is totally dominated by freaks

“Freaks”.

You see, Anton, i could dignify this with a response, but i’ll just tell you to go fuck yourself.

while millions of players just play all those amazing games and don’t have time to write Reddit and forums posts.

And there it is. The most important sentence of Anton’s post: The one where he shows again, what a GW2 whiteknight jackass he is.

Amazing games? Wtf are you talking about. BfA was complete garbage, who kept RNG systems for artificial gatekeeping, destroyed the lore, and showed again how detached Blizzard is. I can’t speak for D2, but it’s an Activision game, so it’s probably mediocre crap.

WoW whiteknights at least have some degree of selfloathing that gives them a miserable capability of small self-reflection. GW2 whiteknights are clueless morons who can’t, to save their game, formulate jackshit of a theory coherent with reality.

Shut up, man. Go play your goddamn “amazing” games who are laying off workers left and right, while pretending everything is roses and daisies.

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Anton Mochalin

I’m going to break down your entire crap into small parts

Hey Bruno, nice to see you, I was actually waiting for you to respond

“Vocal Minorities” are asking for the removal of lockboxes

“Vocal Minorities” have been asking for the complete destruction of the Early Access method

You actually just demonstrate that it all fits the definition of “vocal minority”. Most players just don’t care about lockboxes – they correctly identify them as a monetization method and buy them either when they see some value in them or when they want to support the game. For example I buy Smite’s gems (premium currency) when I want to support the game and then spend them on lockboxes or their Season Pass just because why not. And I had a lot of fun with several Early Access games including one that actually died in that status – again, it’s perfectly clear for an average gamer that Early Access status says “this is unfinished and you can dislike the game”. Even for “Early Access” games which don’t stick that label to themselves – like No Man’s Sky – it is quite clear that any game you buy can happen to be no fun for you. No Man’s Sky became the gem it is now because of the early fans like me who bought it for the full price and played it and “beta-tested” it after release. And there are so many good reviewers on YouTube for us to make informed buying decisions.

The most popular something is, the more bashing it gets. I don’t see your issue here.

I don’t have an issue with WoW’s popularity, that’s for sure, even though I don’t play it. But the voice of all those millions of players paying monthly sub for WoW was quite hard to hear behind all that bashing.

Debatable. I find that Warframe is way bigger marketing-wise than D2.

I’m sort of a Warframe fan and I was looking quite closely at Destiny 2’s transition to free-to-play. Destiny 2 has much more players that Warframe even now after Warframe’s huge Empyrean expansion. And much less coverage on MassivelyOP.

You see, Anton, i could dignify this with a response, but i’ll just tell you to go fuck yourself.

That’s because you’ve correctly identified yourself as one of those I’ve called “freaks”. Hense your “go fuck yourself” response, what else is there to be said – you’re one of those freaks I’m speaking about, and we both know it.

I can’t speak for D2, but it’s an Activision game, so it’s probably mediocre crap.

That’s basically how freaks like you approach gaming. You care about things external to gaming more than about gaming itself. Activision is bad so Destiny 2 is bad too. ArenaNet laid off an employee who has offended a fan in social media so GW2 is bad.

Except for Destiny 2 isn’t an Activision game anymore. And it has so many players – top 5 on Steamcharts and 2 times more concurrent players than Warframe. And GW2 is doing fine and keeps attracting new players. And League of Legends is still #1 top grossing game.

Shut up, man.

That’s basically your problem – you can’t tolerate that people are thinking differently from your point of view and are playing games you dislike. So you need to come up with rationalizations like “those people are wrong and generally stupid”. But when you yourself see your rationalizations fail to be very rational, all you have left is barking “shut up”. On Internet where you can’t make anyone to shut up. So this is not rational either, dude. And I know what you feel when you read this.

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Bruno Brito

You actually just demonstrate that it all fits the definition of “vocal minority”

Which proves MY point. You keep saying that vocal minorities have power. They don’t. They’re just noise. You can keep playing your game without claiming sugarcoating.

That’s basically your problem – you can’t tolerate that people are thinking differently from your point of view and are playing games you dislike.

1- I’m not paying you to be my psychologist. Keep your opinions about what you think are my problems to yourself. But since you indulged:

My problem is NOT that you guys play games i don’t like. My problem is that, you, Oleg, Lethality and some other dickheads have some kind of issue with having to sell your games with no resemblance of reality. You play GW2 and dismiss any and every kind of shortcoming the game has. The company laid off 130 people and you dismissed it as “normal” which it isn’t.

Oleg tends to do the same with SC and WoW. He keeps selling a shtick that doesn’t correspond with reality. Acti-Blizzard lost 800 people. It had several stock drops during WoW drama. But hey, “MiLlIoNs PlAy” so fuck it, right?

This has nothing to do with me hating the games. It has everything to do with me hating the way YOU whiteknighting imbeciles sell them. It’s because of your “vocal minority” bullshit, that we got raiding in a game that was supposed to not have it. Because you asslickers enable the goddamn companies to nickle-and-dime their players however they want, and when we criticize them for trying to reach our fucking wallets, you cry “HATERS!”

Fuck you, fuck Oleg, and fuck every goddamn imbecile who thinks allowing companies to do whatever they want is good.

And doubly fuck you for the Riot debacle, where you brought the SAME POINT, to a debate about SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

The way i see it, i don’t hate your fucking dismissal ENOUGH. This isn’t the first time, it won’t be the last.

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Anton Mochalin

Fuck you, fuck Oleg, and fuck every goddamn imbecile

i don’t hate your fucking dismissal ENOUGH

As I said “I know what you feel when you read this” but other readers would probably be thankful to you for making your position so clear. Or maybe not. I think your words more or less fit my explanation of you rationalizing your inability to tolerate opinions different from yours. People who find some flaws in the games they play not too severe to break their enjoyment are “imbeciles” in your opinion – and just have different priorities in my opinion. And as you like that “vote with your wallet” way of putting it to words I can say we outvote you so companies keep making games targeted for our consumption which I’m very glad about. But the fact that your minority is too vocal just prevents some people from discovering new games that could be entertaining for them or returning to the games they once left and which could still be fun for them.

As you already mentioned GW2 I’ll use this opportunity to say a few good words about it since you’ve put that “white knight” label on me. I’ve recently heard WoodenPotatoes responding to a “GW2 is dying blah blah” chat remark on his GW2 stream – WP said “this sounds like you’re from Reddit to me”. So I’m not the only one who notices that skew in judgement in the public discourse – but it’s interesting that we play GW2 very differently. WP mostly plays PvP when not on stream and he says the difficulty level for all the GW2 gameplay should be raised. And I don’t agree with that because I clearly see how this would push away casual players; and I have never tried structured PvP in the game. However he says GW2 is one of the best games one can play right now and I totally agree. And not only the game manages to fit such different playstyles but it also introduces things like 10-man strike missions to casuals like me. So I find myself thinking “maybe I could try raiding in this game someday”… gj ArenaNet, not bad at all. WP’s criticism of the game (being basically too easy) sounds like a solid opinion to me (but different from mine) while “people from Reddit” are, well, vocal minority freaks. So I find it a good idea to not only vote with my wallet for games like GW2 (which is quite profitable and the people laid off this year were mostly working on other projects like “GW3” or something) but also somehow balance those freaks’ hate with some impressions based on my experience.

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Zero_1_Zerum

The same thing it is every year, Pinky. F2P games designed to put whales on a money sucking treadmill, and B2P games with the same kind of BS.

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rafael12104

Releasing unfinished crap and charging for it.

Oh, that isn’t new? Fine. What is new is the completely brazen attempts. Atlas wasn’t even playable! And 76? LOL! Anthem launched an Alpha.

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Dwarf-Orc

Autoplay mobile ports.

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Omer Basaran Koc

Season Pass, Battlepass, Lootboxes, Re-colored events, mounts and such…

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Bryan Correll

Sadly those aren’t trends anymore. They’re just the new norm.

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Omer Basaran Koc

But it became a trend lately tho, EA and other companies are using that method.

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Arktouros

Bullshit from businesses is really not really a trend and way more of the norm. I would even disagree some of those are bullshit and more just a general disagreements with those companies. However even everyone’s favorite developer GGG is happy to throw things like loot boxes at you and their response is always evasive if asked about them.

By far the worst new trend is the nostalgia play and throwing up throw back “Classic” servers for games rather than trying to innovate or push the genre forward. Remakes and re-releases have been a thing in other forms of media for a while now (music, video, movies, etc) usually for the benefit/aim of an aging audience. We’ve seen it for games as well (HD Edition!) and it was only a matter of time for it to happen with MMOs as well.

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Bryan Correll

I swear I hadn’t read this post yet when I replied to Omer above.

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Danny Smith

The western AAA arrogance of “you fucking idiots will pay for anything, we have no reason to ship a quality controlled functioning product because it has our brand on and you sheep will gorge yourself on it and defend our actions because we brainwashed you for long enough” and the fact THAT THE CONSUMER KEEPS BLOODY FALLING FOR IT.

mchondy
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mchondy

Yup, hype it to 200% to boost pre-orders, then deliver something that needed months more of development. And as we allready have paid em, lower staff and just drag patches out.

The ‘new’ trend is also very slow and bad support….

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Anton Mochalin

You have a very peculiarly emotional way of saying “companies give consumers what they want and are getting better at that”. That Caps Lock in the end of your message seems to be a must for the genre.

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rosieposie

Just because you love being used and manipulated while taking that corporate d***, doesn’t mean the rest of us are happy about it.

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Anton Mochalin

Again, back to vocal minority question: there will always be some people who aren’t “happy about it” and it’s quite normal that they will tend to be quite vocal about their attitude, even using the expressions like “corporate d***”. They will also tend to speak about stupid masses assuming they are themselves are smarter than those masses.

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Bruno Brito

I’m sure one day, you’ll get tired of being wrong all the time.

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Robert Mann

Stepping up all the negative trends of the last decade to 11…

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ShadowReaver661

Gacha mechanics, be it loot boxes,”Surprise!” Items, roulette rewards, or throwing items into the void with a random chance of literally anything being spit out like a slot machine.

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Bryan Correll

And what the slot machine spits out is often just plain spit.