MMO Week in Review: Next-gen is now-gen

    
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MMO Week in Review: Next-gen is now-gen

The Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 systems launched this week, which meant that a lot of companies who weren’t launching games along with them got the heck out of the way, including many MMO studios. On MOP, we busied ourselves musing on the ups and downs of World of Warcraft, contemplating LOTRO’s lifetime sub, and interviewing the Crowfall devs on their new beta patch.

Read on to catch up with the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions today as every Sunday in Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES

THIS WEEK’S CASTS & STREAMS

Every week, get caught up on the MMO genre’s latest news and Massively OP’s best content in our MMO Week in Review! Want more roundups of content? Try Friday’s Betawatch for MMO testing highlights, Saturday’s Make My MMO for MMO crowdfunding updates, and Sunday’s The MOP Up, which mops up all the bits of news we didn’t cover anywhere else.

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2Ton Gamer

When given the choice between a PS5 or Xbox Whatever, I chose a new gaming PC… I had not upgraded since 2014 so it felt like a good time.

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Sarah Cushaway

MMORPGs aren’t part of this movement though. It’s a (quickly) dying genre, and unless some AAA company steps in and really embraces innovation in gameplay and next-gen technology, we’re not going to see a “next-gen” MMO for a long, long time.

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Robert Mann

Yeah, and aside from not limiting cross-play games so harshly for a while it… doesn’t really seem like a big deal. Faster load times are nice, but it already worked with SSDs to a similar extent. No real eye-popping features there or anything. Hype machine, was over-hype machine, as usual with the consoles. At the least, imo.

I do hope that people will enjoy, but I don’t see much overall changing. The big limiters, such as RAM and controller focus, will remain. The CPU/GPU upgrades help, but they are highly limited by that shared memory.

In the end, next-gen is last-gen, just newer. The places where consoles caught up are offset by where they failed to catch up, and sadly the memory at least was already a major problem point.

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Jon Wax

It’s not really until they actually have a legit game. Neither one has anything more than expensive demos. This could be a weird iteration. The amount of time it takes to finish a product is going to run right up against the end of the consoles life cycle. Gamers expect higher quality but they want it now.

We won’t see any legit games til maybe fall next year and that’s a big maybe

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Rndomuser

It is unfortunate that many MMORPG game developers are still not embracing the consoles. I would gladly play any MMORPG game on console if it had a keyboard/mouse support (this depends on developer, Sony and Microsoft allow all developers to add this optional support to any game) and if I could play on servers exclusive for console players – there would be no blatant cheaters anymore or people running multiboxing software on such servers since consoles do not allow sideloading of such software, and if game developers would tie the game account to the Xbox Live or Playstation Plus accounts – dealing with online harassers would be much better especially if Microsoft or Sony would issue both the account ban and hardware ban for a persistent harasser (hardware bans are possible on PC too but there are ways around that with hardware id spoofers and replacing certain hardware parts on PC to get around the ban is cheaper than, for example, replacing whole console). Not to mention the EXTREME convenience of not having to deal with drivers for various hardware, where one driver version would work fine and then the next one would actually cause the monitor to permanently go to sleep until force reboot (this happened on my current laptop and current Nvidia driver) or cause random black screen in random games (the AMD GPU drivers are known for this) or cause many other issues (you can read very long threads of people posting issues with every new driver release on official Nvidia forums).

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Robert Mann

You severely underestimate console cheating. Anti-cheater action, is indeed something that needs to get some upgrades… but it’s not so platform limited. Sure, multiboxing will go away then, but there’s other methods of getting rid of that.

I agree that it is interesting how devs refuse to allow for non-controller options on consoles. Sadly, they all seem to want to just limit control counts instead. Which is okay at times, but honestly sometimes more options is better there. I personally would rather play with more controls, and have more depth in what can be done, but don’t begrudge people having games the other way too. Just wish that we didn’t have FotHD (Flavor of the Half-Decade) issues with trends in that stuff.

Not sure why you are having so many driver issues, unless you are pushing the newest hardware on release. Which is actually pretty normal, and both consoles have had some as well. Driver complaints seem odd, given that I never see (including from a rather large sample of other gamers that never seem to have them) the constant issue stream that both companies seem to get blasted over. Occasional issues, sure. Never release issues, yes. Listen to the complaints, and you’d think the last working drivers were from 3DFX! XD

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Rndomuser

You severely underestimate console cheating.

I don’t. I have owned both PS and Xbox models for a long time, including software modding them back when it was still possible (it is not anymore), they are in fact MUCH more cheater-proof, especially if game developer writes a proper netcode which would make “man-in-the-middle” cheats (where you use a PC to capture packets between console and the online service and modify them) unusable. I actually had one of my Xbox consoles hardware banned, making them totally unusable (unless you change the motherboard, which is impractical since everything is soldered onto it and you can’t just easily buy those with proper manufacturer’s warranty the way you can buy PC motherboards from retail shops and you cannot resell your “hardware banned” motherboard to anyone the way you can do with PC motherboard because people who will buy it will not be able to play any console games online).

Not sure why you are having so many driver issues

Right now I have one issue, however there are many more for other people with different hardware configuration and who play different games. There are ALWAYS many issues with each driver releases, you can see this fact by simply reading thread for each new driver release on official Nvidia forums (I don’t know about AMD drivers – I don’t use their GPUs but I am sure the situation is still the same). Those issues simply do not exist on consoles.

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Robert Mann

I’ve dealt with plenty of console cheating before, but whatever. Even if I say ‘give you’ and don’t stress about it (and yes, hardware bans are harsher there, but still not enough given people willingly spend thousands just to grief others) more likely than not due to the push for cross-play you likely won’t get console only servers (and I would rather servers were split myself, especially if it allows control, code, and graphics differences). I do agree that better solutions are needed, not just for cheating but for general asshattery. If these things do not have appropriate consequences, we just get more selfish asshats.

Driver issues do exist on console early on as well. In fact, both PS5 and Xbox’s new offering of naming confusion… have had driver issues. YAY! Argument dead. Okay, now, sure, they eventually are a pretty stable configuration. The same is true of older video cards. The issues are with new hardware, which aligns with consoles as new hardware, and older stuff is stable for the most part on each. Not always, but guess what!?! Ps4 and Xbox’s last gen… had driver issues throughout their lifetime -AND- got updates. Same as PC. It’s very similar for some reason, a minority of people have issues even on the more stable drivers! Whee! PS4 and Xbox whateveryacallit even had games cause issues, just like you noted for PC.

Now, I’m not attacking or insulting consoles or people wanting to use them. I’m merely noting some flaws I see in your points.

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Rndomuser

Driver issues do exist on console early on as well. In fact, both PS5 and Xbox’s new offering of naming confusion… have had driver issues.

Please point me out to specific issues with video drivers on PS5 or Xbox’s new offering. I am not aware of any, especially issues specifically caused by the video drivers. Show me the thread similar to this for any console:

https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/forums/game-ready-drivers/13/407202/geforce-45730-game-ready-driver-feedback-thread-re/

While the software bugs do exist on any console, it does not mean they are caused by monthly video drivers releases, like on PC, and they ABSOLUTELY do not exist in a perpetual way where EACH new monthly driver release causes more bugs while fixing some of old ones. I know this, I actually own both the Xbox One S (I stopped upgrading Xboxes after it) and PS4 which I got the day it was released and still actively use.

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Robert Mann

You want me to google-fu for you? No. Just no. (One note that helps, everything is bundled together as ‘firmware’ for consoles, so you have to sort through firmware reports…)

Do a little looking. There are occasional driver problems, most commonly at release (more commonly before release, since consoles are being used for a while prior to that with devkits and all). Most frequently people actually take in consoles for such issues, as they are not invested in trying to fix problems similar as to PC anyway, so the best spot for you to look for actual evidence of driver issues isn’t forums for consoles (it’s with repair and troubleshooting, which reveals a lot of cases of not-so-broken hardware returns).

I’m not arguing that the end user experience is more stable than the latest/greatest PC GPU drivers. However, for anything that is several years old like the drivers for a console, and has had updates and bug fixing… guess what, the issues are pretty rare too! Apples to apples, if we are comparing things. So go find all the trouble reports from developers before consoles dropped, if you want the equivalent to drivers for Nvidia Ampere, assuming they aren’t locked away where nobody else can look by Sony and MS (hint, they somewhat are, but that doesn’t equate to zero information… just less).

If that’s enough for you to either accept the similarities, or to just not care since you get a product that is relatively stable, great. It’s just not a truth that consoles magically do not have driver issues. They DO have older drivers, which have had a lot of the bugs worked out, similar to picking up a last-gen GPU and the drivers with it on PC. Apples to apples, after all!

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angrakhan

You can multi-box on consoles. The term ‘multi-box’ comes from literally running multiple physical PC’s or ‘boxes’ at the same time. Nothing stops you from buying multiple consoles and running them at the same time. Sure it’s more expensive than running multiple instances of WoW on the same physical hardware of a PC, but if there’s an MMO that runs on a console and you would gain a substantial advantage by having multiple accounts running that the same time, people would fork over the cash to buy multiple consoles and multi-box.

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Rndomuser

You can multi-box on consoles. The term ‘multi-box’ comes from literally running multiple physical PC’s or ‘boxes’ at the same time.

I don’t think you understood what I wrote. I specifically mentioned running multiboxing software on consoles, where one person can do stuff like control dozen of other characters without the need to even use controls unless the character somehow got stuck and the multiboxing software could not properly recover your stuck character, all from same PC running multiple instances of a game. This is impossible on consoles. I know that the person can still buy multiple consoles and do stuff like run a script on PC which would emulate repeating controller commands which then would be transmitted to all consoles through custom controller, but this is much more costly, much less reliable and cannot be fully automated in the way the PC multiboxing can fully automate the character leveling through all zones and dungeons, so there will be very few people who would be doing this on consoles.

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Utakata

It’s only next-gen if it’s PC.

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Vanquesse V

Nah, on pc the rules are as follows: it’s next-gen whenever you upgrade.
I love my pc and wouldn’t want to game on any other system, but I’m very happy for the console players for this new gen. Seems like they’re getting some really nice quality of life features that they’ve been missing for a very long time.
It’s also nice to see how microsoft in particular is handling back compatibility with old titles both running and looking better than ever.
And this time around, the console gen shift happens around the same time pc gets some really solid new both gpu and cpu options so no matter the platform we can all be happy

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Utakata

The rules should be: #OnePlatformToRuleThemAll