Massively OP’s 2020 Awards: Most Improved MMO


MassivelyOP’s end-of-the-year awards for 2020 continue today with our award for Most Improved MMO, which was awarded to Black Desert last year. All live MMOs, regardless of release date, were eligible for this award, provided they made the improvements they’re being feted for this year. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

And the MassivelyOP staff pick for the Most Improved MMO of 2020 is…


Andy McAdams: I don’t think anyone actually deserves Most Improved this year because I don’t think any game actually did anything more than just tread water this year. My opinion of BDO is pretty low, so I also don’t agree it deserves that Most Improved. But like I said, but no MMO does in 2020.

Brianna Royce: I waffled on this one; I thought WoW’s pre-Shadowlands patch deserved a nod, or maybe even PlanetSide 2 since it’s turned into quite a powerhouse of overhaul patches in 2020 (I pitched this and was met with blank stares, so sorry, PS2). But then Carlo said the magic words – “season servers” – and reminded me that Black Desert reinvented itself for the better this summer. It has my nom.

Carlo Lacsina: Black Desert. I feel that this game has improved so much in the last year. The season servers alone justify a massive improvement in getting more people to play this game. I strongly believe the best MMOs in the coming decade wont gate players because of story progress or won’t “get good when you’re there.” I appreciate that the game at least gets that recognition.

Chris Neal: Black Desert, SWTOR. This one was extremely hard for me to suss out on my own, but after some discussion with the team, I was reminded of just how much Black Desert improved through one pretty simple addition: the seasonal servers. Anything that circumvents this game’s otherwise extremely rote leveling experience is a vast improvement to me, and it helped me to get a bit more experimental with classes and try new things out that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to before. Maybe someday I’ll actually settle on a main, get through a seasonal server, and actually see what late-game stuff is all about.

Eliot Lefebvre: Honestly, leaning toward Black Desert Online or Guild Wars 2 here.

Justin Olivetti: World of Warcraft 9.0, FFXIV, No Man’s Sky.

MJ Guthrie: Black Desert. Pointing out (as I have in years past) that “most improved” can easily mean going from good to even better, I think Black Desert Online earns this with the season servers this year. I know a number of very casual players who jumped on board for these seasons, increasing play and engagement. In fact, if BDO keeps its upward momentum, I feel it is poised to snatch the GOTY crown back soon.

Tyler Edwards: If it has to be something launched, I think WoW deserves this for the leveling revamp. It could have done more, and there are definite issues with the system, but it’s still got a lot going for it, and I don’t think any other games had big leaps forward like this in 2020.

Black Desert took our award for Most Improved MMO of 2020. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the most improved MMO of 2020?

  • Black Desert (7%, 75 Votes)
  • World of Warcraft (24%, 257 Votes)
  • PlanetSide 2 (3%, 34 Votes)
  • SWTOR (7%, 74 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (7%, 75 Votes)
  • FFXIV (10%, 107 Votes)
  • No Man's Sky (10%, 114 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Online (6%, 61 Votes)
  • RuneScape (2%, 25 Votes)
  • ArcheAge Unchained (1%, 9 Votes)
  • EVE Online (2%, 20 Votes)
  • Neverwinter (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Star Trek Online (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (2%, 24 Votes)
  • DC Universe Online (0%, 2 Votes)
  • TERA (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Blade and Soul (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Elite Dangerous (1%, 8 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Albion Online (4%, 49 Votes)
  • Nothing (9%, 93 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (2%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 966

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How does MassivelyOP choose the winner?
Our team gathers together to nominate and discuss candidates and hopefully settle on a consensus winner. We don’t have a hard vote, but we do include written commentary from every writer who submitted it on time so that you can see where some of us differed, what our secondary picks were, and why we personally nominated what we did (or didn’t). The site’s award goes to the staff selection, but we’ll include both it and the community’s top nomination in our debrief in January.
How does MassivelyOP populate this poll?
Poll options include all games nominated plus other released, live MMOs we thought had a chance!
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