MassivelyOP’s 2023 Awards: Best MMO Rogue Server


Welcome back to Massively Overpowered’s formal end-of-the-year awards!

Today’s award is for the Best MMO Rogue Server, which was awarded to City of Heroes’ Homecoming last year. Readers will remember that this is still a fairly new award for us, being formalized back in 2021. We use the term “rogue server” to describe the haze of private servers floating around the genre; while we do not cover rogue servers or private servers for MMOs that still exist and are still being developed by their parent companies, we do cover player-run servers for dead MMOs and studio-approved player-run servers, and so this award is for that latter group. 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 Best MMO Rogue Server of 2023 is…


Andy McAdams: Warhammer, City of Heroes. I don’t play on rogue servers much, but Warhammer has a good reputation and seems to be a solid rogue server. Being a bit of a newcomer to the space, combined with some of the old guard of rogue servers resting on their laurels bit, this was a no-brainer.

Brianna Royce: Warhammer ROR, SWG Legends, City of Heroes. City of Heroes’ Homecoming servers have won this award every year that it’s existed, and for good reason; we have a lot of fans around here. Likewise, I always try to make a case for SWG Legends, which is one of my own permanent homes. But there are other great emus out there with dedicated volunteer teams, and I’m glad we get to highlight one of them. Thanks for keeping Warhammer alive for the genre, my dudes!

Carlo Lacsina: Star Wars Galaxies, Warhammer. Justin convinced me that ROR is the right place to put my vote. I’ll have to check it out in 2024.

Chris Neal: Pirates of the Burning Sea, Warhammer: Return of Reckoning. Warhammer still stands up as one of the few PvP MMORPGs that I’ll actually generally enjoy playing (when I’m not involved in some aggravating RvR goofery anyway), and the folks running it continue to push out impressive updates all throughout. It’s a testament to fan adoration if ever there was one.

Eliot Lefebvre: City of Heroes: Homecoming, Warhammer Online: Return of Reckoning. Warhammer Online was a mixed bag of an MMO when it released, but it had some genuine charm. The real shame of it was that as soon as it was clear it was not going to be anything close to a brick thrown through the window of Blizzard’s headquarters, the powers that were funding the game lost interest, and that’s not fair to the game or its fans. What is cool is how much time and effort the Return of Reckoning crew has put into making the game significantly better, and that’s no small feat.

Justin Olivetti: It felt like an underwhelming year of rogue server action, but if I had to pick one, I say Warhammer Return of Reckoning. Those volunteers are still doing so much to build up this late, great MMO and deserve a lot of credit.

MJ Guthrie: Warhammer Return of Reckoning. Although I haven’t played it (yet), just seeing that a Warhammer emu exists makes me want to! I have very fond memories of Warhammer, and I even miss chickens in RvR. This game was one I enjoyed PvP in (crazy, huh?!). The only other emu that beckons me is SWG. Other games just kind of leave me with a feeling that I couldn’t ever recapture any of the feeling from my first play. (Sadly, SWG actually fits in that as well.)

Warhammer Return of Reckoning took our award for Best MMO Rogue Server. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best MMO rogue server in 2023?

  • Warhammer Return of Reckoning (33%, 262 Votes)
  • City of Heroes Homecoming (9%, 74 Votes)
  • SWG Legends (8%, 60 Votes)
  • WildStar Nexus Forever (4%, 34 Votes)
  • Vanguard Emu (3%, 24 Votes)
  • City of Heroes Rebirth (13%, 102 Votes)
  • Asheron's Call's emus (2%, 13 Votes)
  • The Marvel Heroes emu project (2%, 15 Votes)
  • EQOA Return Home (4%, 32 Votes)
  • Menma's TERA emu (0%, 2 Votes)
  • POTBS (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Elyon emu (0%, 0 Votes)
  • SWGemu (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Project 1999 (4%, 35 Votes)
  • Free Realms Sunrise (0%, 3 Votes)
  • PlanetSide 1 PSForever (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Neocron (3%, 26 Votes)
  • Earth Eternal Anubian War (0%, 2 Votes)
  • SWG Restoration III (3%, 20 Votes)
  • AOEO Project Celeste (1%, 6 Votes)
  • SWG Empire in Flames (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Spellborn Reborn (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Sims Online FreeSO (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Earth and Beyond emu (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Infantry Online Free Infantry (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (4%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 705

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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 commentary from writers so that you can see our thought process. 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. Reader poll options include all MMOs nominated plus a few others we thought should be included.
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