Last year, I counted it up: The first Daily Grind on Massively was written on November 3rd, 2007, one day after Old Massively was founded aka polymorphed from a Second Life blog into an MMO website. (We’ve come a very long way!) That means we’re up to 12 years of these community topics – something like 4400 of them. I’m sorry for the occasional duplicate, but honestly it blows my mind that we’ve pulled that off through all these years.
And so, in honor of that humbling number, I’m going to pick out some of the more popular and interesting TDGs from the year behind us, one from each month. Let’s do this!
This one was fun because it actually came before the layoffs, so we can get an idea what the community was thinking ahead of that disaster. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people want Guild Wars 3, though a sizable number don’t want it to come at the expense of Guild Wars 2 itself. See how well we learned our Guild Wars lessons, father.
We seldom do Daily Grinds that touch on the political, so it’s no shock that this one blew up as we discussed a mainstream journalism piece on whether Amazon’s New World’s colonial setting posed any uncomfortable narrative problems. Our community was pretty split; some think it could be gross if not handled well, while others seem more offended that anyone might be offended. Die on whatever hill you wanna, I guess?
I thought this would be an easy one – money – but nope! Our readers rattled off dozens of reasons, from sunsets and bad expansions to real-life issues and tech problems. A dead community and bad F2P conversions also came up. Also, Dr Richard Bartle actually popped into our comments to answer this one. “This time round, it looks as if it’s going to be a frozen shoulder caused by holding my left hand over the WASD keys for hours at a time.” Hah!
Here’s the perfect counterpart to March’s pick. What keeps people away from new MMOs? Gankbox or forced PvP, pay-to-win, crappy free-to-play monetization, gender-locked classes, poor optimization, long travel times, bad controls and UI, action combat, ugly animations, “bikini armor,” dev drama, and specific publishers. Level-scaling also appears to annoy more folks than I’d expect. “Working as a market researcher in Asia with a few gaming companies as clients, I would very much like to direct my clients to this comments section,” one reader wrote. (I hope he/she did so!)
Neither seems to be the overall consensus: Our readers didn’t believe Classic would be the end-all, be-all of the world, nor did they think it would flop, only that it would launch big and then settle off respectably for fans of old-school gaming. Which is pretty much just what it did, too.
This was a fun one! If it’s in an MMORPG somewhere, it made the list. Among my favorites? The “one true hero” storyline, endgame, fantasy settings, microtransactions, group-or-die mentality, generic classes, forums, instancing, the trinity, trash mobs, raid lockouts, scripted bosses, questing, and vertical progression.
I had no idea this topic was going to take off when I wrote it, but damn, you guys have some serious opinions about how you look in video games, and you do not appreciate it when people mess with your image. I suppose I don’t blame you!
You might think people would say “make EverQuest III!” But in fact, a clear majority of our readership at this point would prefer Daybreak simply sell it to another company to do something with. That’s… not a good sign for Daybreak.
You know what didn’t come up a lot under the April Daily Grind? Graphics. But it turns out most of our readers are graphic snobs and happy to admit it when asked directly!
October was heavily dominated by the Blizzard boycott story following the Blitzchung fiasco, and heading into BlizzCon, we asked our readers whether the event would soften gamers’ anger. We certainly didn’t think Blizzard would issue an apology, however feeble it turned out to be. I expected our audience to be cynical about it, and some were, but just as many were confident that nothing Blizzard could announce would really fix the root problems that caused the boycott. And I suppose they still haven’t.
This isn’t the first time we’ve asked about possibly merging WoW’s factions, but it was the first time we’d asked it since BlizzCon, during which Blizzard made it clear that in spite of the storytelling suggesting otherwise, it wasn’t happening. Needless to say, people are still bummed indeed.
I worried over this one before it went live because ug, it had the possibility to go way wrong, be misunderstood, bring out nasty comments. But for the most part, people were honest, and not only did a lot of folks chime in, but the comment quality and length are high. Skim through it and you’ll see what I mean: People did some serious thinking and soul-searching here about what they play and why – and also what other people see when they see “you” in games.
And for the bonus… the absolute worst Daily Grind of the year, at least in terms of engagement:
Nobody cares but you, Bree. Lesson learned, lesson learned!
Check out last year’s picks while you’re at it – we’d love to hear your favorites too!