Massively Overthinking: The MMOs we’re happy still exist – even if we don’t play them


Earlier this month, following the news that Project Gorgon was in dire financial straits as the MMO wasn’t making enough for full development and the indie couple behind the title were being crushed by medical bills owing to one dev’s cancer treatments, the MMO community leaped to action to support the well-loved but weird MMO. And one gamer said something on Mastodon that stuck out to me:

“I want to live in a world where this game exists,” @VerseandVermin wrote. “I still haven’t tried it, but I always told myself I would get to it.”

The reality is that few of us will ever get to play most, let alone all, of the MMOs. Most times we have to just be content that they exist, that they’re out there making somebody happy. So for this Thanksgiving Massively Overthinking, I won’t make you think too hard: Just tell me about an MMO you don’t play or don’t play any longer that you’re just glad still exists. What game isn’t your type but still makes you thankful for its persistence?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Obviously Project Gorgon is on there. I played it ages ago and it was fun, but I just couldn’t get my friends into it or make strong connections myself. I’m very glad it exists though! Then there’s Elite Dangerous. I’m terrible at realistic flight sims, but it always seems neat. Then there’s the Asheron’s Call 1 (and 2?) emulation server(s). As with Project Gorgon, I would need to be able to get some of my friends into it at least a bit, but the games are so old that it wouldn’t happen for me personally, but I love that they’re still getting attention. Maybe if the AC2 remake gets far I’ll take it for a spin, but for now, I’m just happy that people can still enjoy some Asheron’s Call even unofficially. Horizons/Istaria, also may look dated, but I’m still super glad it’s around, especially for people who want to be a dragon in an MMO without putting up with Blizzard, or if you want some fun crafting in a non-Star Wars game. There are tons more, but I’ll let others comment too, haha.

Andy McAdams: I really loved Wakfu. I loved Wakfu and its quirkiness so much, but it never really resonated with me. I’m not sure why exactly. But the world, the politics, the ecosystems – everything about it seemed so… awesome. I only played it for a bit (Steam says just a handful of hours total), but I am so glad it still exists. In a nearly unending sea of “Blank of Blank” clones, Wakfu is different in more than just name. Turn-based gameplay, deep, uncommon game systems, iso-perspective – it’s a game that set out to do something different and succeeded. It’s not the fanciest game out there with the most players or the most content, but I love it for what it is, and I’m grateful that it still exists.

Ben Griggs (@braxwolf): I feel this way about most MMO’s that I’ve played and moved on from. I’m happy for the existence of Guild Wars 2, SWTOR, Star Trek Online, and EVE Online. All of these games have caught my attention at one time or another, and I’m thankful for my time in each of them. However, the #1 “I’m glad it’s out there” MMO is LOTRO. I hope that game stays around forever.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): Honestly, I feel this way about so many MMOs, whether I’ve played them or not, whether I like them or not. I don’t think many happy things about EverQuest or World of Warcraft, but I want them to keep existing. There are few MMOs out there I actively wish harm on, and the ones that qualify are pretty much just scam MMOs and not real MMOs anyway.

But I want to pick one as a positive, so I pick No Man’s Sky. I’ve played it before but am not playing it now, and I’m happy that it exists, I’m happy that it’s good, I’m happy that it came back from terrible marketing, I’m happy that it gets delightful updates, I’m happy that people are still having so much fun in it, a game that is already doing the things other games claim to have been trying to do for a decade. Ahem.

Carlo Lacsina (@UltraMudkipEX, YouTube, Twitch): I’m so glad EverQuest and The Secret World exist. EverQuest is EverQuest, man. I love how it’s still going strong; it’s awesome to have almost 25 years’ worth of MMO history just there. It might be past its heyday, but a venerable MMO that can still be played, and a dev willing to let its community do things like Project 99 is a huge plus.

Outside of an academic endeavor to study the game and its place in gaming history, I don’t see myself playing this title. I like my modern conveniences. Irregardless, I certainly hope the servers continue to run, and hopefully, we can let the legacy live on through other future gamers who might actually see it as their kinda jam.

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): EVE Online definitely stands out as a game that I’m never going near again but is worth staying operational. It’s literally the antithesis of everything I like about the genre in nearly every sense besides its setting, but PvP MMO fans deserve a bedrock of a game like anyone else. So long as CCP doesn’t try and goof around and ruin things, anyway.

Honestly, I’d say the same thing about any PvP sandbox title. Would it be nice if sandboxes weren’t all designed to be murder blenders? Sure, absolutely. But for those who like PvP, they should be allowed to game too.

Colin Henry (@ChaosConstant): Actually, in a vacuum, I probably would have gone with Project Gorgon, but since the intro already said that quite eloquently, I’m going to go with AdventureQuest 3D. We have surprisingly few seamlessly cross-platform PC/Mobile MMOs, and this one is wonderfully colorful and goofy. Too many games in this genre take themselves and their lore far too seriously, and AQ3D refuses to do that. I’ve tried it a few times and couldn’t really get into the actual gameplay, but I will always think of it fondly, and I’m glad it keeps cranking out wacky updates

Mia DeSanzo (@neschria): I am glad EverQuest is still alive and kicking. I played for the better part of a decade, and while I find it frustratingly slow these days, I know it has its die-hard fans who are still in it for the long haul.

For that matter, I am glad that EverQuest II is still out there. It’s old at this point, but it is different than a lot of what’s out there. We need variety. And I have been playing with one of my adult kids who is discovering it for the first time, so that’s fun.

I only wish I could say Vanguard and WildStar. Milk spilled under the bridge, I guess.

Sam Kash (@thesamkash): Lord of the Rings Online is hands down my choice. There’s just about a zero chance I’ll ever play it at this point. I’m not a huge graphics snob, but it’s hard for me to go back to a game from so long ago. I just can’t do it. It’s too glaring for me. But I know that a lot of gamers love and enjoy LOTRO, and for them I appreciate it. When I listen to Justin chat on the podcast about how much fun he is having, I get excited too, even though I know it isn’t really content for me.

I always felt the same about Wurm Online. Listening to… I think it was Shawn on the old Massively podcast prior to Justin and Bree, who would rave about the effort he would go through to mine and build his house. It absolutely isn’t anything I’d ever want to spend my time playing, but his enthusiasm was great.

Tyler Edwards (blog): City of Heroes’ rogue servers. I never got to play it back in the day, and I was quite glad to finally get the chance after hearing so much about it. Ultimately I decided it was a bit too old and creaky to be a game I wanted to spend a lot of time in, but I’m grateful I got to experience it, and I’m happy that its fans got it back.

Every week, join the Massively OP staff for Massively Overthinking column, a multi-writer roundtable in which we discuss the MMO industry topics du jour – and then invite you to join the fray in the comments. Overthinking it is literally the whole point. Your turn!
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