The Daily Grind: What was the biggest MMO mess that flew under the radar in 2019?

    
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With all of our awards, positive and negative, mostly behind us now, I want to reflect on something almost no one talked about at all: the bizarre trainwreck that was Atlas.

I shouldn’t say no one noticed; MOP’s MJ called it early on. In April, she penned a piece diving into the shenanigans of the studio behind Atlas and how poorly the game was developed up to that point. And that was just April – it kind of only went downhill from there, with a population a tenth the size of ARK’s on PC alone.

Atlas was a surprise early access release at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019; devs promised an “MMO On the Grandest Scale” with “up to 40,000 players exploring the same globe simultaneously.” It certainly hasn’t lived up to those claims a year later, and yet it doesn’t seem anyone is too fussed over it. “Grapecard” (my favorite studio portmanteau ever) seems to be skating by and avoiding notice.

What would you say was the biggest MMO clownshow that flew under the radar in 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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Trent “Twist” West

The Elder Scrolls Online was literal connectivity hell for months after the release of the Elsweyr Chapter. The game just kept locking me out at least once an hour, often twice, sometimes thrice and was updating so frequently for loooong periods of time that I straight-up quit until about a month ago.

At the time I thought the locking out was just my bad connection, but just about ALL of my Guildmates were having the same issue. Checked the reviews on the DLC after that and found that the majority of reviewers talked about a similar problem.

The only article I could find acknowledging the issue was a PushSquare article about player backlash due to how especially hard it hit PS4.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I just assumed it was a Steam problem.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Nothing, you guys are pretty diligent; occasionally it takes you a few days to get tipped but we do our best to.tip you from the seedy areas like Reddit.

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Sorenthaz

Atlas had good ideas and I would’ve been on board with the game if it had actually delivered on what it claimed to be going for.

But it didn’t. And I think it actually hurts the chances of there being another pirate sandbox anytime soon (Sea of Thieves is the closest and sadly it is too casual/safe for its own good). Much like the Wild West Online crap probably damaged the chances of there being an actual WW MMO/Sandbox outside of RDR2’s online stuff.

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PanagiotisLial1

I think there is still a pirate sandbox – pirates of the burning sea?

edit: no its sea of thieves

https://www.seaofthieves.com/

From oldies if I remember well Uncharted Waters Online can be played acting as a pirate and has very cool gameplay with mediocre graphics though

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Sorenthaz

By pirate sandbox I pretty much mean doing what you can do in Sea of Thieves/Atlas where you’re playing a single character who can then be part of a larger crew that sails larger ships or so on. Not just play as the boat itself or whatnot.

Pirates of the Caribbean Online was the first to really kind of have that iirc. Sadly that game died awhile ago, though I think it lives on in an emulator somewhere.

Games like ArcheAge and Black Desert Online with their sailing mechanics and such are another example of what I’d consider closer to a full pirate experience. That and Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.

I’m really not a fan of when it’s just condensed into being all about the naval combat/etc. because the swashbuckling/land aspects are important too in my book.

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PanagiotisLial1

Well in Uncharted Waters and Voyage Century you could at least get out of the ship on the land and go explore etc

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rafael12104

Atlas. Yeah. But, I’m not sure it flew under the radar as much as nobody gives a shit. Heh.

Remember, they released an nonfunctional version of the game to the public and gave “influencers” a different manicured and functional version to play and show off right before paid early access.

Those kind of shenanigans stick with you as a potential customer.

But it wasn’t just that. After a little time with the game, it became obvious it was, at its core, an Ark reskin. Heh. Players found Arks menu system among other things.

And the servers sucked at whatever capacity with disconnects and lag making the game unplayable at times. And let’s not forget the trailer which showed off game play that was not possible, or the thousands of bugs that embarrassed the game even in early access. Lol!

But the coup de grace is that devs wanted you to pay for all of that crap up front. Devs were so brazen in their attempts to cash in early that I ran for cover with my money in my back pocket. And, I know I am not the only one.

So, I say the game is just being ignored now. It can fly above or below the radar but many players like me don’t give a flying fuck.

(my apologies for the colorful language, but Atlas pisses me off)

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Daniel Reasor

Ever, Jane still doesn’t have PvP.

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Kurt Shadle

Raganrok Online shutting down servers for a month + is the first thing that came to my mind. I don’t recall the details and don’t feel like googling atm but it was announced late last year that the servers all all going offline sometime soon for at least a month.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

Is this that Transcendence beta thing?

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Utakata

Did they ever get their, “40,000 players exploring the same globe simultaneously?” I mean if they didn’t, this seems less of a hot mess and more of the dev’s experiencing their Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge moment instead. o.O

…and no, this does not answer what DG questions. Rather I can’t think of anything offhand that would answer it as of posting this. Sowwy. :(

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Robert Mann

The map size and server limit per cluster means that 33,750 would be the absolute limit for the map they have. So no, they certainly have not achieved that.

The game isn’t really that bad, if you avoid random people. The honest truth is that it works much better as a small group of people who know each other, and won’t cheat/exploit their way through a conflict (in fact, won’t generally just base wipe each other is best).

Once that is achieved, it like Ark can be good fun. The big problem remains finding groups that are interested in cooperation or such friendly PvP encounters.

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Schmidt.Capela

According to SteamCharts, the most players simultaneously running the game was 58,788; if the game has only released on Steam then this should be an accurate portrayal (and if not, then the actual number is higher). I believe the game had already multiple servers when this happened, though, so the record number of players in any single server at the same time should have been quite smaller.

The game isn’t dead, mind; it’s still peaking above 10K simultaneous players almost every day, which isn’t too shabby and, given that the total active players tend to be roughly 10x the daily peak players, would point to still retaining about 100K active players.

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Bryan Correll

The game isn’t really that bad, if you avoid random people.

So it’s just like real life?

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Robert Mann

It’s… just like the internet! Oh horrors!

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Utakata

I still can have polite conversations with random people on the internet…as I seem to be having now. Less so in RL though. >.<