a realm reborn

A Realm Reborn is the subtitle of Final Fantasy XIV’s 2013 reboot.

Perfect Ten: Best MMO debuts by year, 2007-2017

Continuing from my previous column, I’m going to be running through the second decade of graphical MMORPG launches and picking the best title to debut in any given year. From doing the first decade, I know that this thought exercise isn’t always fair; some years have several great contenders, while others see one mediocre one rise due to a lack of competition.

Still, it’s kind of fun to look back at MMO history and to see which game was really the best of that year. And if you ever felt sore that a particular title got overlooked, well, consider this a retroactive awards ceremony of some sort.

Let’s dive right in where we left off with 2007!

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Massively Overthinking: Which MMORPGs should stay away from legacy servers?

Legacy, vanilla, classic, progression – call them what you like, but alternative server rulesets, particularly of the nostalgia-driven kind, are all the rage in 2018. Just since the dawn of the new year, we’ve gotten a new server type for Age of Conan, with RIFT’s on the way – not to mention World of Warcraft’s looming in our future. And those are just the new ones! Games like RuneScape, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online already run similar servers.

That said, does every MMORPG need one? Aren’t some MMORPGs already in pretty good shape without needing a spin-off for nostalgia’s sake? Is it in every MMO’s best interests to prioritize, on some level, the very older ideas it intentionally left behind? That’s the question I’ve posed to the writers this week: Are there any MMORPGs that should stay far, far away from legacy servers, and if so, why?

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Global Chat: Learning from Master X Master

We’ve certainly remarked several times on Massively OP how much like an MMO Master X Master is, even though it firmly checks the “MOBA” box on its census form. With so much similarity and bleedover between the gameplay genres, is there something that MMOs can learn from this title?

Occasional Hero seems to think so and has pulled out three lessons from his experience, including altaholic pride: “As someone who loves playing an army of alts rather than a single character, I really like the idea of a game with a whole bunch of characters that I can switch between as I feel like it. It’s one of the reasons why I love Marvel Heroes so much, despite the fact that the gameplay revolves around doing the same content over and over. And the reason why playing a bunch of different characters/classes is fun in a game like Marvel Heroes or Master X Master is that they each have a unique gimmick.”

Join us for more interesting MMO discussions from gaming blogs after the break, including a strange revival for EverQuest Online Adventures, a new way to experience World of Warcraft, and first steps into Secret World Legends!

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Perfect Ten: The final minutes of beloved MMORPGs

“This is how the world ends,” T S Eliot wrote in his famous poem, “not with a bang, but with a whimper.”

That might well describe the concluding moment of any number of MMORPGs that were closed down over the years. From the death of an exceedingly popular title to the demise of a ghost town, those last seconds are pretty much all the same: “Connection to server lost” followed by silence forever.

But what happens before that fatal conclusion is of interest to us today, for it is in the final minutes of MMOs that the community rages, dances, mourns, and celebrates in various ways. Today we’re going to take a trip back in time to the end of 10 MMOs — and what it looked like to the players who were there.

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Perfect Ten: Most notable console MMORPGs to date

It used to be that hunting for a console MMORPG was one of the most fruitless endeavors known to gamers. The PC was where it was at, dating all the way back to the birth of MUDs back in the 1980s. For decades, console gamers could only look on in envy as their PC comrades enjoyed persistent worlds, massive multiplayer, and online events.

The scene, of course, has radically changed, particularly over the past five years. Now studios are downright eager to tap into the console market with their online titles, and in some cases these MMOs have proven to be much more successful on those platforms than their PC version counterparts.

While a full list of every console MMO to date would far exceed a top 10 list, I thought it was worthy of drawing out the most notable titles that have existed to date on video game consoles. Some of these are long extinguished, some are famous disappintments, while others are flourishing even today. What would you pick for this list? Let us know in the comments!

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The Realm’s creator wants to remake this 20-year-old MMO

MMO veterans might be familiar with The Realm (also known as The Realm Online), which was one of the first class of graphical online RPGs. While it’s been trucking along since 1996, creator Stephen Nichols accused the current owners of letting The Realm lapse into “deep neglect” and wants to remake the game for modern sensibilities.

“2016 marks the 20-year anniversary of The Realm Online,” Nichols posted. “If you’re like me, you miss seeing the game thrive and grow as you know it can. I think it’s time for a remake of this internet classic with a fresh coat of paint and updated technology. Perhaps you agree. Yes, it’s time for a Realm remake, and I’m gonna make it happen.”

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Massively Overthinking: The MMO with the brightest future

Imagine you have a friend who wants to play an MMO but doesn’t want to get involved in a game that’s in decline or might not be around in five years. Where do you steer that friend? Which current or forthcoming MMO has the brightest future?

I posed this question to the Massively OP writers for this week’s Overthinking in honor of the New Year ahead.

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The MOP Up: A look behind A Realm Reborn (December 27, 2015)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we’ll take a trip behind the scenes of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, celebrate Flyff’s anniversary, enjoy holiday celebrations, and more!

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The Stream Team: Returning to Final Fantasy XIV

In honor of the anniversary of the original release of FFXIV (before A Realm Reborn), MassivelyOP’s MJ is delving back into the beautiful lands of Eorzea. She’s been gone quite a while, so there is plenty to do. She could continue her questing, dive into a Duty, or just wander the world admiring its many splendors. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. to see just how much trouble she can get herself into.

What: Final Fantasy XIV
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

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Why I Play: Final Fantasy XIV

We used to do a column called Why I Play on Massively-that-was, and while I didn’t originally plan on rezzing it here today, I did return to Eorzea this week and have been enjoying the hell out of the place all over again. That old column was nothing if not a love letter to the author’s favorite game — or in my case, the favorite game of the moment — so in the interests of maintaining my recently acquired positive momentum, let’s talk about why Final Fantasy XIV kicks large amounts of ass!

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Jukebox Heroes: My top six favorite MMO soundtracks of all time

In ranking MMO soundtracks, there are a lot of ways to do it. You can pull out individual tracks or praise a game for its sheer quantity of musical material. You could even give props to well-known composers such as Jeremy Soule and Inon Zur. You might point to certain game soundtracks as triggers for powerful nostalgia.

Today I want to share my top six favorite MMO soundtracks, but I want to make it clear that the biggest criteron here isn’t whether I’ve played the game or like the composer or have a fondness for a specific track. No, each of these six (and it was agony to choose) is on the list because the overall quality and breadth of each soundtrack has impressed me. Track for track, these OSTs offer a higher ratio of hits to duds and have acquitted themselves well over time.

So what are they? In no particular order, my favorite six are…

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The Soapbox: These three MMOs deserve a do-over

Wouldn’t it be cool if every MMORPG that failed to reach its potential were granted some sort of do-over? We’ve seen it happen once, with 2013’s hugely successful A Realm Reborn reboot rising from the ashes of 2010’s Final Fantasy XIV farce.

That’s most definitely an isolated incident that owes a lot to Square’s deep pockets, though, and there are plenty of additional MMORPGs that started off as great ideas and ended up in desperate need of a retool.

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Global Chat: Do you crave human interaction in MMOs?

I’ve long been an advocate of “playing alone together” in MMOs. While I enjoy grouping and teaming up to a degree, mostly I want to be off soloing while enjoying a world populated by colorful personalities and the other perks that come with a massively multiplayer title.

Bhagpuss has a downright poetic and soul-filled post in which he struggles with why he likes about — and what he’s lost from — playing alongside and with others in MMOs. “Did we love the games because of the friends we made in them or make the friends we did because we loved the games? Was life better before Trammel, before PoP, before the NGE, before dungeon finder, because the games were better then, the interactions closer, more meaningful, more real? Or was it just because we were younger, less worn-down with responsibility or failure or ennui or cynicism?”

When you’re done with that read, head onward, because the deep thoughts don’t stop there! In this edition of Global Chat, bloggers discuss the virtues of RP servers, the storytelling of Final Fantasy XIV, the grey market of Star Citizen, and more!

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