The Daily Grind: What MMO release did you overhype in your mind?

    
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The Daily Grind: What MMO release did you overhype in your mind?

I don’t think I’m overstepping here by stating that there is a whole lot riding on Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons. Not only is there the age-old “give us Cantha!” chant from players, but this MMO hasn’t exactly had the best couple of years here. A big hit in the form of an expansion would be nice — but will it happen?

Maybe. Maybe not. But there’s one thing that will most certainly happen: Some players will build it up to become the be-all, end-all expansion event in their own heads. It’s inevitable for starving and passionate fans to do this. Heck, I often do this myself, especially since I like to fall on the more optimistic side of the critical spectrum. But sometimes that ends up biting us all in the butts.

Looking back at your own past with honesty, what MMO release — launch, expansion, patch, event — did you overhype in your mind and found yourself let down by the reality of it when it finally arrived?

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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Malcolm Swoboda

Hm….. RIFT I might have looked like I overhyped, but in my opinion I didn’t (and when I ‘was’, it was TRION playing with my words). SWTOR I might have overhyped but yes, more in my own mind than publicly. Publicly maybe The Secret World.

Honestly, since the early 2010s, I rarely overhype any game unless I get really immersed into it post-release. Then I let the hype flow, because its based on something. I would never have believed I’d ‘hype up’ a gacha game like Another Eden. I still am in disbelief, ha.

SWTOR I expected something a lot more immersive in storytelling but instead that only happened rarely and in certain class stories (Agent). Only now does the game (IMO) work to show any proper variations of outcomes based on your choices.

TSW I expected something with more competence for long term service but instead they gradually imploded. And I’d still buy into a reboot – maybe not by ‘Funcom’ – using the IP.

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Mark Temby

UO2

In March 2001, Electronic Arts (parent company of Origin) announced that development on Ultima Worlds Online: Origin would cease in order to provide additional support for Ultima Online. Shortly after, EA announced it had laid off 200 employees including some at Origin Systems. EA feared that UO2 would compete for subscribers with UO, which was still profitable and not showing signs of slowing down. About one-third of the team that worked on UO2 joined Destination Games to work on Richard Garriott’s MMORPG, Tabula Rasa.

Just a few years later, history repeated itself when EA cancelled Ultima X: Odyssey in 2004.

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Pierre

Archeage, me and my guildmates from guild wars 2 left for that game expecting it to be our new game for another 4-5 years. Needless to say it let us down and our guild fell apart partly because of it. Still play with my guild leader occasionally but he on the wow bandwagon right now and I’m not going back to wow. Just could never stick with it when i do.

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NeoWolf

SWTOR and Champions Online for a variety of reasons. Neither are entirely garbage, but both fell WAY short of expectations in places.

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Ironwu

Well, if it is going to be a released MMO that I wanted to play, was excited to play, then turned out to be so bad I uninstalled it and never went back?

Champions Online.

What a dumpster fire.

They released to early, without enough content. So in order to drag out the content they did have, the class abilities were nerfed into the ground from what they were during the last open beta tests.

Turned a super fun game playing as a powerful superhero into an absolute drag of a game where you played as a wimpy 10 year old (sorry 10 year olds) with a dishrag for a cape.

What a disappointment.

1st Runner up?
Matrix Online
Installed. Played 5 minutes. Uninstalled never went back.

2nd Runner Up?
Earth & Beyond
Installed. Played 10 minutes. Uninstalled never went back.

MasterOfPuppets
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MasterOfPuppets

Oh and to add a seperate comment; not hyped by me, but right from the introduction of Trammel and consent only PvP in Ultima Online, for decades afterwards, you’d see Player Killers hype up a new game with non-consent combat as “The UO Killer” on the forums. Shadowbane being the big one for a while as I recall. But not a single one of them ever even survived more than a year or two, let alone overthrew the original (Although they did slowly lose their own audience, but that’s a different story).

Because very few of the PKs wanted to accept that it was a historical accident that they’d been able to |3o|\| 3 |)oO|) it up, as suffering direct harm is anathema to the MMO grind and progress addiction model, something that simply wasn’t predicted or understood in 1997; the early visionaries really didn’t grasp just how much of a dick people wanted to use the internet to be.

Only EvE really seems to have been able to make it work, and even that had to introduce some forms of insurance and newbie protection. Practically every other MMO has gone for realm/background loss, and protected personal items and progress, because whilst people like killing each other, they hate losing their personal stuff to you.

But it’s an imaginary world people will pitch again and again because the internet is full of people whose only joy is the hope they’ll upset someone else somehow.

MasterOfPuppets
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MasterOfPuppets

A combination of not really falling for marketting hype, and MMOs back in the day having a fair amount of Open Betas, Free Trials/Free 2 Play and just being able to subscribe for a month and then quit meant that I played tonnes of them very early, and so was able to see for myself exactly what they were pretty quickly.

So the only real disappointments for me were ones I got to play very, very late in the day, when I’d had time to hear from the fans what they thought, and I’d not hyped them myself but become somewhat postive towards them in my mind… only to find out they were pretty bad, or just not for me.

The big one was Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, I only got to play that when it went to an ahem Private Server, and good grief is it badly written, and janky to play. It’s also massively PvP focused, and the play is simplistic to say the least. I did finally get to run around as a Goblin with a big bouncing ball o’Squig, but it didn’t measure up to what I hoped it would be.

EvE Online has a fantastic soundtrack but is miserable to play as an actual game. Space is a seductive mistress, and I would have liked to have tried Earth and Beyond thinking about it, but I missed that one completely.

I caught Tabula Rasa in the last few weeks, when it went F2P; an early warning that Richard Garriott had lost any touch that he’d ever had, but hope dies hard I guess. Wasn’t he the first person to ever be sacked in space because of this? Playing it you could see how it might have worked, but everything felt so bodged together it was sadly clear how it absolutely wasn’t. Looking back, the final event just seemed to be spawning mobs at everyone until we were told “You lost. Bye!” I think…?

Damon Anderson
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Damon Anderson

There are three that stand out.

1 Anarchy Online, at the time before it’s release as I recall MMO choices were UO, EQ and AC. I was very interested in the classes in AO although sceptical about a sci fi MMO, but sounded cool, joined a guild before release, was looking forward to it. Got it right away when released and I think I might not have been the only person to have had issues with it on release. I have tried it since on F2P, I enjoyed it as a classic MMO experience and Funcom certainly creates MMO’s that are unique.

2 Shadowbane, another game that captured my imagination and interest before it’s release because of the really interesting classes, and PvP concept despite me being more of a PvE kind of player. I can’t recall why, likely didn’t have a PC that met the system requirements at the time, but I did not play it so no fault on the game or devs, also same thing with Star Wars Galaxies, nothing to do with the game but let down, from a certain point of view.

3 sorta 4 EQ Next, I was very much looking forward to that one.

For me I suppose it’s more so the games that captured my imagination but for whatever reason just couldn’t play that I had a “let down” feeling about.

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Hurbster

Well hyped for Cataclysm, then oh dear…

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traja

I really liked City of Heroes so Champions Online was the most significant overhype for me. Other ones are from the MMO boom era as well, like Warhammer Online and SWTOR.

Guild Wars 2 I always thought was being overhyped. By then my MMO hype had been replaced with MMO cynicism. I miss getting hyped. Even if it is unrealistic.