The Daily Grind: Do you rely on reviews for your MMO purchases?

    
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The Daily Grind: Do you rely on reviews for your MMO purchases?

On MOP, we don’t do formal reviews; we’ve spent the last 10 years arguing that MMORPGs change so dramatically from year to year that the standard launch review is kinda pointless, and no MMO should really be stuck with its launch grade years later. (Sometimes they get better; sometimes they get worse!) So we don’t sweat the numbers and grades.

But mainstream games take reviews so seriously that Metacritic, which aggregates reviewer and player scores, has become a marker for staff bonuses at some companies. So this past week, when Metacritic confirmed it will be adding a new 36-hour waiting period for user reviews, it summoned age-old arguments about these types of reviews: How long should you wait before issuing an opinion, how much of a game do you need to play to know a game is good or bad, and do you actually base your purchases on reviews?

I want to home in on that last one for today’s Daily Grind because it’s a topic that recently came up in our own work chats, as one writer said bad reviews on a certain game had made it hard for him to convince his gaming crew to try it out. Do you rely on reviews for your MMO purchases? Do you use them in conjunction with other things, like Reddit chatter or hands-on streams? Or do you ignore all that and just buy games to give them a clean and fair look?

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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Rodrigo Dias Costa

There are some websites that I rely on before considering committing financially to one game. Of course, those are journalists that mostly end up with the same opinion as me about the games, so this way I can assess if the game will also cater to my interests.

Review score aggregators such as Metacritic or even the Steam score are my last resource, in those cases that I’m still not sure I should purchase it. That’s why most games with a demo or trial end up with a better chance of me even considering it, since I don’t need to check anything other than the game itself.

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Bryan Correll

Professional reviews? Hell no. There’s way too much entanglement between review sites and studios. Independent Youtubers will get more attention from me, but rarely is that going to the deciding factor. I’d rather take a wide look at the player community for a broad consensus. Even there you have to learn to identify and weed out bad reviews from people who have a gripe against a studio and good reviews from the White Knights.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Tbh I have so much experience with MMOs that I need just a quick glance on gameplay footage to know if Im gonna play it. Dont really need reviews

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Bryan Turner

Absolutely I’m all about making informed purchases.

Dantos
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Dantos

I try to get a sense of the ‘mood’ surrounding a game along with some gameplay videos. Reviews might be part of that process.

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Kickstarter Donor
Vunak

Less about the review/reviewer or reporter and more about the gameplay and design. I know enough about the types of games -mmos- I will enjoy, I don’t need anyone to tell me if I will enjoy it or not. Most of the time the reviewer is pretty clueless or only put in an hour into the game. LazyPeon for example.

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Crowe

Yes, I care about the reviews. Not the “scores” or numbers per se but about what the reviewer is saying. In many cases something they don’t like is something I might or vice-versa. Example: “it’s a mobile game, I’m so excited” = hard pass for me.

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Leiloni

No I don’t care about reviews, I care about facts. I read as much as I can about the game and decide if it’s the type of game I’d be into. The only “reviews” I’d pay attention to are those of friends I’ve played with and whose gaming preferences and habits I know well enough for that review to be of some use to me.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

The best thing I ever did was not pay attention to reviews or scores anymore. I didn’t realize how so many of them shaped my opinion of a game before actually playing them. That’s not to say I don’t do some research about a game to see if there are game breaking bugs, etc. but I typically find that on forums.

It’s funny because sometimes I’ll think a game is amazing now, and get absolutely shocked when I get curious to see scores about it and everyone gave the game 6/10s or something lol.

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Schmidt.Capela

For me, depends on whether the game is on Steam (i.e., a platform where the user review score only takes into account people who actually purchased the game) or not.

On Steam, if the game has a very high score, in the 90s, then I assume I will enjoy it if the store page (plus some extra info about the game mechanics) gets me excited about the game; such high score among people who purchased the game tends to indicate that the game very much corresponds to what the publisher says it is, with few, if any, hidden issues.

A score between 70 and 90 will have me also checking the negative reviews to find why the game has that many negative reviews; whether I will purchase or not now also depends on not seeing anything particularly troubling in those negative reviews.

A score lower than 70 will make me also check the positive reviews; besides getting excited with the sales pitch and not seeing anything particularly damning in the negative reviews, for a game with such low scores I also need to see a few positive reviews that can sell the game to me.

Now, if the game isn’t available somewhere only people who purchased it are allowed to leave reviews, then I will always treat it as if it had a low score, regardless of its actual score on places like MetaCritic.