Longtime readers know that the Daily Grind column on MassivelyOP is basically a morning icebreaker post, something fun or juicy or silly to get us warmed up before the regular news gets started every day and occasionally prompt a brand-new reader to ask whether it’s a slow news day (we get maybe three slow news days a year, and we write these pieces days in advance, so that’s never it). The very first Daily Grind on Old Massively was penned on November 3rd, 2007, which means that our staff has written around 5172 Daily Grinds to date. This is, frankly, an extremely stupid number. Even with some repeats every now and then, how are there this many things to talk about when it comes to MMOs?
As is our tradition, I’ve gone back and looked at some of the biggest and weirdest and best Daily Grinds of the year, one from each month. Let’s do this.
Apparently, many of us misremember old games’ user interfaces and controls the most.
A lot of folks weighed in one this one, arguing that players have changed and the genre has stagnated but that it’s hard to say a genre that has more games, money, devs, and players than ever is actually in decline. It’s all in how you measure it.
My favorite responses that you folks wrote in? Guild Wars 2 Queensdale, the Shire in Lord of the Rings Online, and the guy who picked a personal airship in Final Fantasy XIV – “then I could just be a traveling murder hobo,” creationguru wrote.
Can you tell I wrote this one without clicking? It’s about MMO economies, so you could probably guess it’s mine. EVE Online came up a ton in the responses, as did Black Desert. I’d throw Ultima Online into the mix too, though of course it’s very small. I’m sensing a sandboxy pattern here.
Someday, we will no longer have to ask this question, as Blizzard will finally add actual housing like many other MMORPGs already have and like the first MMORPGs had 25 years ago. But it is not this day.
Other people, bots, RNG, gated content, hand-holding, railroading, FOTM classes, childish races, microtransactions, day-one paid DLC, ganking, punitive death, required soloing, corporate lies, whiteknighting, escort quests, stunlocking, dailies, endgame, cash shops, lockboxes, giant mounts, bad writing, platforming, need-versus-greed lootrolling, bugs, timers, action combat, particle effects, and immersion-breaking clownery all made the list.
It’s fun to look back into July at what the readership thought of New World’s closed beta, when we could finally talk openly about it as a big group. Overall, people enjoyed the graphics and combat, while being concerned about content longevity and comparisons to other MMOs with tons more to do. Which is… pretty much the same as where we stand now too.
I didn’t mean for the comments here to turn into 1) a fight about generational definitions and 2) a group therapy session for folks who aren’t kids anymore trying to figure out their place in the modern genre, but that’s pretty much what it became and I’m not sorry about it.
Marvel, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Firefly, Lord of the Rings, Mass Effect, Bladerunner, Discworld, Dune, Shadowrun, Stargate, Wheel of Time, WildStar, Asheron’s Call, Transformers, World of Darkness, Mechwarrior, Warhammer, Earthsea, Star Trek, and Star Wars all got mentions. Funcom, take note: Multiple people think The Secret World franchise would be better off in somebody else’s hands.
Cataclysm is still getting a lot of votes here, though Draenor, Battle for Azeroth, and even Shadowlands got multiple mentions.
I was super surprised to see how many comments this one got, but you guys have opinions. Among the best responses? Tunnel vision, founders moving on, listening too much to the wrong players, over-complication, failing to balance PvP and PvE, being contemptuous of players, neglecting the “massively” in MMORPG, itemization and inventory bloat, not using proper press relations staff, destroying immersion, poor comms, copypasta content, abusive monetization, not playing their own game, arrogance, content droughts, hardcore mindsets, dramatic design flip-flops, and borrowed power.
You recommended porting to Steam, going free-to-play, adding more PvE, undergoing a full remake or rebrand, cutting their losses, or selling the game to another company. As it happens, the studio announced the sale to a new company, Monumental, as of December 17th. So while the future for the game isn’t clear, at least there’s something happening.