The Daily Grind: What entices you to try out a new MMO you weren’t otherwise following?

Phun phor the phamily.

Look, Phantasy Star Online 2 does not need to entice me to play it. The only thing it has to do is announce a launch on a platform I would not refuse to accept even as a gift (so, you know, the PC version). Some games don’t really need to win us over because they’ve already become games we’re watching and paying attention to from launch or earlier. But other games exist in a different space, games that we know about but aren’t necessarily inspired to play until…

Well, that “until” matters. For me, a lot of the time it can be as simple as “the opportunity to try this out for work is presented.” (I am notoriously cheap.) But it could also be a game holding a crossover with a property you quite like, or the addition of a new combat skill, or even just a steep sale following lots of interesting news. So what entices you to try out a new MMO you weren’t otherwise following?

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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Oleg Chebeneev

Just one look at it and I already know if I want to try it.

Fenrir Wolf

The same thing that draws me to any new online game I play: At least one genuinely interesting and notably non-human race (not a “human, but…” race), and a narrative that’s something outside of the usual toxic power fantasies that so many online games rely upon. Additional bonus points for: Gameplay with puzzles and/or tests of skill/reflexes, a general air of mystery that invites theorising, voiced dialogue (because I’m visually disabled), and a certain degree of freedom with self-expression.

This is why Guild Wars 2 has been my mainstay of late as it ticks every one of those boxes. I mean, if you’ve seen me comment you know how crazy they’re driving me with the current Icebrood storyline. And I love playing my charr. The thing is is that the majority of online games rarely even tick one of those boxes, so I don’t really play very many of them. On top of that, a game has to be incredibly special to me to warrant me playing anything other than a non-human for even a short period of time. One that stands out is Uru, but it is rare.

If we’re including non-massively online games then Portal 2 definitely ticks all of those boxes as well, with gusto. I absolutely adored playing Atlas and P-Body. I was going back to play user created test chambers for months after, and I was always so, so happy when my partner would agree to be dragged along so that I could play as a robot again.

I’m really fine with playing just about anything so long as it isn’t especially human. It’s an abuse thing. I dunno if I’ve talked about it here (I think I have??) but there’s this thing with abused children where they use biker gangs to look out for them because they look scary to “normal” people, whereas “normal” people look like terrifying monsters to the abused.

I mean, I’d play as a gelatinous cube.

That… would actually be kind of interesting, wouldn’t it? Shlupping along ceilings, ambush dropping on enemies and absorbing their essence to power up. Kind of like Kirby, but gross!

Now I want a gelatinous cube game.

(Edited to add “non-massively” to clarify what I meant with Portal 2.)


Pro: reviews from friends, IP that I like, low cost to enter, relatively new game (where I can be one of the people learning with everyone, vs mature games with legions of overpowered alts – sugardaddies that are bored and cynical about the game anyway). Seeing a number of you here mention it in WRUP over time (not just the first surge), sandboxy, appealing art style

Con: lots of alpha/beta/breathless marketing hype, implied gankbox, aggressive fanbois here and elsewhere, goofiness/silliness (I don’t mind OCCASIONALLY breaking the 4th wall, but to rely on it repeatedly is tiresome, SoD breaking, and pretty lazy)


If I’m disinclined to try it after pre-release coverage on places, well, like Massively :) Then odds that I’ll suddenly *become* inclined to try it are small.

Having friends/family think it’s fun would be one thing. A low (or zero) cost to “kick the tires” is another bonus. I’m highly unlikely to subscribe to a game “sight unseen”, and I’d have to be pretty sure I was going to keep playing it for a while to plonk down a “typical box price” for one.

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Brazen Bondar

I like to see how a community in a new game develops. Do they have a reputation for toxicity? Do the players seem excited about the game and are they having fun for more than 30 days? Are there ways for the players to make fun that the developers didn’t program in? I’m not necessarily someone who follows reviews by players, but I do like to see 30 minutes or so of game play footage. And finally, if someone who purports to be a friend drags me into the game, I will try it out of courtesy. Never interested in PVP, not usually for open world survival, and no orcs, elves, fairies, middle earth, kind of fantasy.


Not a lot entices me to try out a MMO I’m initially disinclined to try. Usually because the reasons I’m “not interested” are core design precepts. Such as “Open PVP,” “forced teaming” and “hardcore old-fashioned Raids!” Wildstar interested me enough that I *stayed* interested when it pivoted to the last one, but a game that starts out with that as a focus is aimed at a target audience that doesn’t include me.

For Wildstar, I’d swear at one point early on that the devs mentioned that a decent chunk of players solo at least a little, and that story content was super important. I can only assume that at some point that dev was murdered by the hard-core RAID dude-bros who were clearly running everything by the time the game launched.

The Weeb formerly known as Sray
The Weeb formerly known as Sray

The words “no PVP” are a big help. Not being fantasy genre also is a big plus for me (or at least not overtly fantasy; games like SWTOR or Phantasy Star Online are basically fantasy, but the sci-fi skin on them helps).


IP comes first

I like to commit to an mmo for the long haul, I get my enjoyment out of endgame combat and the community, both of which require a long term committment.

So, the IP has to be appealing right from the start. If it’s not something I like, then no amount of great mechanics is going to get me to spend months / years in a world I don’t like.

After that, it’s down to the mechanics and business model.

maydrock .

Haven’t really had an interest in retail WoW for a long time, but think I’m going to take on the brutasaur challenge since I think I can only handle the progression treadmill in Classic on one toon.


Six words: “PVE Only Open World Survival Sandbox.”

If a game launched (I mean a full launch, not a beta or early access) with that, I’d be sure to check it out, even if I hadn’t heard of it before.

Or, even better, if there was a PVE MMO with the world and quest design of the Witcher 3. Programed realistic chaos, with a feeling of a lived in world. No two players (or groups) would experience the exact same story in the exact same way. Not sure how that’d work in a MMO, it was probably a lot easier to do for the Witcher 3 because the devs only had to worry about Geralt, but I’d like to see someone try.


“PVE Only Open World Survival Sandbox.”

Check out PantheistHeathen on twitch, he plays on a Conan-something PVE server (try and ask him for invite). Sound like that could cover all those 6 keywords /shrug. I am not a great fan of the combat system, but it looks nice otherwise; most “mmo-like” feeling of the survival-sandbox types that I have seen.


I don’t know that streamer. Conan Exiles is the survival sandbox game though, and it does have a PVE mode. It can also be run offline as a single player game, which is how I play it.

For me the offline mode has a few advantages. The game was designed around the PVP mode and a lot of stuff is disabled or works weird when the PVE settings are on. (Ark: Survival Evolved has the same issue.) So I can play without having to work around the anti-griefing barriers.

I also like not having to compete for building space, and the fact that in single player time stops when I’m not playing – if I don’t play for a month all my stuff will still be there when I do have time to play again.