The best MassivelyOP community Daily Grinds of 2023


This traditional roundup of the best Daily Grinds of the year is actually one of my favorites because it demonstrates just how long we’ve all been doing this gig. The very first Daily Grind on Old Massively was penned on November 3rd, 2007, which means that our staff has written exactly 5900 Daily Grinds to date, assuming we never missed any (and I don’t think we have!). And far more than half of them were done right here on our indie site!

For those who somehow don’t know, The Daily Grind was originally meant to be an easy thinky post to put out early in the morning while the news team booted up and got some good stuff written, but over time, it’s become an official icebreaker, something topical to mull over as people roll up to the site at the start of the work day. While sometimes we find ourselves repeating topics, that’s probably inevitable with almost 6000 topics – and all too often, our answers change over time too.

We’ll carry on the tradition here. I’m pulling out our best Daily Grinds of the year, one from each month!

January: What’s your favorite abandoned MMO system?

MMO players are not unreasonably salty about abandoned systems in our games. We are very reasonably salty. Eliot’s heavily commented question on abandoned systems brought forward some broadly missed mechanics – like Vanguard’s diplomacy and City of Heroes’ sidekicking – as well as some we often forget about, like Warhammer’s dedicated lowbie PvP and Asheron’s Call’s spell-learning tricks. Me, I still miss WoW Pandaria’s perfected farming minigame.

February: Which MMOs are hard to love because of their combat design?

What’s wild to me is just how many MMOs surfaced during this community discussion. Like, no MMO was left untouched. But most notably, The Secret World, EVE Online, Elder Scrolls Online, and Warframe achieved the highest honors of being great games with meh combat.

March: Would you play a My Little Pony MMO?

This Daily Grind was half tongue-in-cheek, but a lot of you folks were on board with having a go at one. The best part, however, was that commenters pointed out a fan-made My Little Pony MMO called Legends of Equestria actually exists – and perhaps more importantly, hasn’t been taken down by Hasbro!

April: How could Blizzard make World of Warcraft more appealing to former players?

There’s a bit of question-begging inherent here; we’ve certainly assumed the general principle that Blizzard even wants to make World of Warcraft more appealing to former players, which certainly wasn’t in evidence back in April, even if we could argue it is now. You had all kinds of suggestions from wild to clever: making Metzen CEO, ending gated flying, rewarding casual content with respectable gear, designing worthwhile crafting, fixing progression, and repairing trust with the community and industry. And hey, a lot of you wanted Blizzard to get rid of Bobby Kotick. Done!

May: People still play that game?

It was my husband who unwittingly prompted this Daily Grind with his snarky comment about an MMORPG that he, in fact, does still play. In response, you all lifted up quite a few MMOs you were surprised to find out still exist and still have warm bodies, including RIFT, Allods Online, Meridian 59, Dark Age of Camelot, and Ryzom. Bless all the oldies.

June: Would you prefer maintenance mode or sunsets for your favorite MMOs?

Between the two choices offered, most of you prefer maintenance mode to outright death, and we can hardly blame you. Of course, a third way – handing the game over to the community – is more ideal!

July: What’s the best MMO to play if you’re flat broke?

I love threads like this one; our readers really did come up with a solid list of MMOs and how to maximize fun out of them for next to nothing invested, and I hope it helps some folks out there! Notably, we highlighted Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy XIV, Star Wars The Old Republic, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Trek Online, and of course, the reams of private servers out there that can’t, won’t, and shouldn’t charge a dime. Or as Eliot joked, “I would simply not be flat broke. If I were in Squid Game I would simply not die at any of the games.”

August: What’s your most cancel-worthy MMO opinion?

This was easily the most fun of the Daily Grinds all year, as everyone leaped in to troll with a smirk. It’s hard to separate the genuinely held opinions from the jokes, but some of you insist that the MMO genre is dead, people who buy stuff from cash shops are the worst, instanced content sucks, the revival of classic MMOs is a mistake, free-to-play ruined the genre, true challenge is in solo not group play, and crafting has not evolved since Star Wars Galaxies. (Hey, I kinda agree with that last one.)

September: When has an MMO shutdown notice truly shocked you?

Eliot wisely pointed out that most of the time when an MMO sunsets, everybody saw it coming miles and years away. But occasionally, they’re announced out of the blue. City of Heroes, Marvel Heroes, Warhammer Online, Tabula Rasa, Asheron’s Call 2, and TERA all made the shortlist – and their abrupt endings certainly contribute to the pain.

October: Do you worry about getting too old for MMORPGs to release?

There’s no shame in age, but Justin clearly struck a nerve with this Daily Grind, as quite a few members of our community piped up to admit the number of times they’ve gone round the sun – and that they are worried they’ll never see the next truly great MMORPG. Or heck, that they might never see Star Citizen finished. Really, we’re all worried about that.

November: Should all PvP-centric MMOs offer ‘safer seas’ servers?

It was Sea of Thieves that inspired this question, though it’s a bit shameful that Sea of Thieves’ “safer seas” mechanic is as much an insult to carebears as it is an accommodation, seeing as it’s super limited and very obviously intended to funnel casuals back into the oceans of sheep and wolves. Don’t think that about that metaphor too hard; it doesn’t hold up. Anyhow, overall our community says most definitely: We like PvP, but we’re pretty exhausted of gankboxes that make no compromises.

December: What departed and unplayable MMO do you most dearly miss?

This was a bit of a trick question, I fear, as some of the best dead MMOs aren’t dead in the sense that a fully functional and playable rogue server does indeed exist. But not so for the likes of Marvel Heroes, WildStar, Gigantic, and Landmark, which popped up again and again from our readers. I’m still burning a little candle for Zentia, myself!

Don’t miss our faves from 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022!

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