The Daily Grind: When was the last time you played a ‘dead’ MMO

    
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Earlier this week, I trolled myself by picking up the charity Itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. I say I trolled myself because you get close to 1500 games for the donation, and that is not a typo. It’s going to take literally days to go through all these and download the ones I’ll actually want. This is a good problem to have, really, and they are close to the $5M goal as I type this.

Anyhow, one of the games that leaped out at me is called PAGAN: Autogeny. It is not an MMORPG, but it’s about an MMORPG – a dead one.

“PAGAN: Autogeny is an experimental first person open world role playing game set in the digital ruins of a largely abandoned MMORPG. It is heavily inspired by long-forgotten bargain-bin 1990s adventure games, and by a general ethos of user-hostile design. Features include: Over 100 acres of lovingly handcrafted playable space; an increasingly esoteric series of secret endings; five major zones + a litany of hidden areas; four idiosyncratic repeatable boss fights; over 7000 possible gear combinations; five strange and eldritch skills; very cursed gender_magick(). PAGAN: Autogeny is an exercise in aesthetic maximalism — In other words, it’s pretty big, at least by normal altGame standards. A full adventure will take several hours, but you can return to spawn at any point to save and exit. The game also autosaves when passing through doors, in case you have to run off in a hurry.”

“General ethos of user-hostile design” – the whole genre just felt that burn, am I right?

OK, on topic: I absolutely love this concept. Mucking around in the ruins of dead MMOs is probably familiar to a lot of us, whether we’re talking about live games that don’t have a lot of players or dead games with emulators. My kids, for example, are obsessed with Paragon Chat; even though they could be playing the actual City of Heroes emulator, it’s the empty version they want to fly around in, exploring. There’s something soothing about that, and also a little bit creepy.

When was the last time you played a “dead” MMO – not necessarily a game that’s been sunsetted and no longer exists but a game that actually feels dead – and what was the experience like?

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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fester1

Every so often I’ll play EQ2 and can spend hours/days without seeing any other players.

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aeden

Bounty Hounds was my dead MMO. Closed Beta was super fun, but keys were only given out through obscure giveaways. Then it launched and practically no one knew about it, which was probably for the best if I’m being honest. It changed so much and so many promises were left unkept.

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Jeromai _

I am currently playing Boundless, which everyone seems to think a sub-300 player population = “ded gaem” and “ghost town”, and having the time of my life!

It’s peaceful, spacious enough to flex and take up living space without a whole bunch of players stepping on your toes or overlapping avatars on top of you and ignoring your existence, and there is still room for asynchronous player interaction and actual multi-player gatherings if you look for opportunities.

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ogged451

I logged into Secret World Legends this morning.

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Mr Ish

I’m playing Warhammer Online: Return of Reckoning right now, still going strong 💪.

mchondy
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mchondy

Fallen Earth, played far bit up LO decided to shut down the server, returned for the send off event.

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Arktouros

I value my time enough to not waste it on dead games.

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Mr Ish

Time enjoyed wasting is not wasted time.

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Arktouros

While I’m sure you think you’re very clever with your fortune cookie wisdom it’s a rather pointless observation as my original statement precludes enjoyment from dead games and thus still would be a waste of time.

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Mr Ish

Wow, bad day bud?

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Arktouros

No, why?

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Mr Ish

You’re naturally passive aggressive then. Sorry to hear that.

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Arktouros

Shouldn’t read emotion into things.

There are literally endless games to play many of which are fantastic. Unless you can time management your way out of the laws of space and time as we know it there’s no reason to waste your time on dead games.

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Bruno Brito

I’m willing to bet people who say that aren’t having fun with their current games.

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Arktouros

I’m having a blast personally in my current games.

Destiny 2’s removal of game content has basically created the greatest FOMO I’ve ever personally experienced as someone relatively new (December) to the game. Add on top of that the new season is a banger with good mechanics, good rewards and great story elements and it’s a lot to take in. Trying to balance between securing old content, doing new content, and progressing season ranks/item power is a lot to do and that feels great.

Black Desert I was drawn back into because of Seasons as I like the idea of the progression there and I was reinvigorated a bit on my Lifeskill goals. Seasonal characters will give me an easy avenue to gear out an alt character permanently with pretty decent gear post season which as someone who’s heavy into account wide progression systems is pretty great. I am mildly annoyed I filled out a support ticket and it’s been 12 days with no response.

There’s just so many games out there today that are constantly being updated, changed and moving forward. Seems silly to look backwards towards dead games when you have a near endless buffet of live updated games to gorge upon.

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NeoWolf

Marvel Heroes Online is the only dead game I’ve played. Before that I have always known when a game was dying and likely to die so kept clear.. but I guess with MHO I just put my head in the sand and ignored all the glaring warning signs :(

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Schmidt.Capela

I say I trolled myself because you get close to 1500 games for the donation, and that is not a typo.

They seem to be adding new games as devs submit those to the bundle, so the current count is 1637 items (and the new games are retroactively added to people who already purchased the bundle).

As for the question, if you include maintenance-mode MMOs among the dead ones then I usually play at least one per month. If not, well, only very sporadically; I’m not really into playing MMOs on non-official servers I’m not running myself, and with the kind of backlog I have setting the servers isn’t usually worth my time when I could be instead downloading and playing one of the many other games I already have.

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agemyth 😩

I’m actually way into fiction about MMOs right now more than I am in any actual MMOs. PAGAN: Autogeny was certainly a cool surprise to find in this giant pile of games (anyone else who might play it be sure to take a look at the player manual included in the install directory).

Wanted to say some other stuff but I gotta leave the house D: