Mobile MMOs have a bad reputation among core MMORPG players here in the West; people are absolutely convinced they can’t possibly compare (even when they do). But in 2017 in particular, we’ve been deluged with more mobile MMOs than we’ve ever seen, for a bunch of reasons: the rise of the MMOARG, the influx of imports from popular Korean franchises, and mobile ports from existing cross-platform games. For today’s Leaderboard, let’s put it to a vote: What was the best mobile MMO of 2017?
Leaderboard is a weekly feature in which the Massively Overpowered staff pitch a poll to the readership. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]
Every year for the last many years, we’ve done some sort of award for the most underrated MMO, or even the year’s sleeper hit. And every year, someone points at our pick and says that it’s actually highly overrated. Like clockwork, that’s exactly what happened this year when we chose Black Desert and Secret World Legends as our most underrated.
So for our 300th poll since the start of the new site (wheeee!), let’s hash it out and figure out just what was the most overrated MMO of 2017!
One of the common tropes held by MMORPG players is that PvP, particularly free-for-all environments prone to ganks, generates the worst type of behavior. But while it may be more common for PvP, I have also witnessed absolutely wretched behavior from all types of players, including psychological abuse from roleplayers, to say nothing of plane-jumping, ninja-looting, and greed from PvE gamers. The problem in my mind isn’t PvP as much as it is conflict and competition, which is something most game types engender. I bet you’ve seen the same.
Making that point is a story from PCGamesN this morning, which reports on a World of Warcraft player who’s apparently been DDOSing teammates to ensure himself a raid spot in the well-known raiding guild Limit. Limit has since booted the player.
The most peculiar comment thread erupted in MJ’s recent post about Secret World Legends’ Krampusnacht. In response to the casual note that the holiday event rewards had been announced by the community manager in Funcom’s Discord channel, MMO readers expressed furious annoyance that details of that sort were being disseminated in obscure chats instead of through official channels accessible to everyone.
MOP commenter Greaterdivinity rather colorfully requested that developers stop using chat channels “for delivering information to the community at large,” not out of specific dislike of Discord but because studios must surely know that they’re reaching only the tiniest sliver of their full audience that way. The alternative “doesn’t even need to be a forum,” commenter Styopa chimed in. “Forums are for interacting and dialogue. I would be happy if they just had a single reliable go-to source for current game information. Like, say, an official web page?”
Now don’t go getting all reasonable! Save that for the polls! How should MMORPG studios communicate to players? Choose all that apply in today’s Leaderboard:
So this morning I’m dishing out cheese crackers for my kid, who was up all night barfing. (If my posts have typos today, it’s because I’m running on just caffeine and gumption.) Anyway, I realize that the Cheez-It box is one whole advertisement that uncomfortably edged into my work-and-fun wheelhouse. It’s Cayde-06 (Nathan Fillion) from Destiny 2, promising me MEGA XP FREE WITH EVERY BOX. All I have to do is text my receipt for my crackers to Bungie’s agents and then I get a code for MEGA EXPIES. I can do this for Pringles, Rice Krispies Treats, Pop-Tarts, and some sort of fruit candy thing that is not actually food. Nathan Fillion wants me to do it, so I probably should, yeah?
That’s not even the only way Destiny 2 is trying to seep into our lives, as apparently Bungie is hyping its new Amazon Alexa tie-in, which I actually thought was a joke when I first read it. It is not.
Earlier this month, Black Desert GMs ran a live in-game event. I was super excited to hear about something like that in a newer MMORPG until I saw some of the complaints. Apparently, the event amounted to a “mysterious stranger” played by what I assume is a GM, who arrived on Valencia 6 and started “gathering souls,” i.e., murdering everyone in sight with a scythe, until players took him down.
To me, that’s not really a live event. That’s the sort of obnoxious thing GMs used to do in classic EverQuest, inhabit sand giants and just start massacring newbs (less funny back when deaths cost you experience).
I’m jaded; I’ve seen live events in Ultima Online for so long that my bar is way higher than just powertripping GMs on a god character. I expect a long-running storyline, discussion, choices, a purpose to the interaction that elevates it above, well, a world boss. What do you expect out of live MMORPG events in 2017?
The Adventures expansion is slated for November 14th, bringing a whole host of changes and additions to this wacky sandbox MMO. There’s a lot going on with this update, too, such as a massive overhaul to the club (guild) system, a brand-new Asian-themed Forbidden Spires biome, unlimited mastery leveling, leaderboard rewards, and special Framework recipes with pre-built designs.
Trove’s Adventures will simultaneously release on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One next Tuesday. Get caught up on several of the new systems by watching the dev discussions on the Adventures updates after the break!
We were all prepared for the lack of Diablo III news from BlizzCon, in spite of the franchise’s huge following. But what we we didn’t anticipate was the demand for Diablo II and Warcraft III, especially in light of the announcement of World of Warcraft Classic and the free-to-play conversion of StarCraft II.
Turns out that Blizzard does have its eye on remastering both games, but it’s not ready yet. As Blizzard Senior Producer Peter Stilwell told PCGN, Warcraft III in particular needs a whole lot of balancing and a new map pool to satisfy tourney players.
And as for Diablo II? Hackers are the real threat.
“With Diablo [II] the big one is the botters and the spamming is out of control, [people asking] could we please fix that,” Stilwell admits. “Keep rolling seasons but maybe eventually be good enough at combating them that you see real names at the top of the leaderboard again.”
I think we can safely say that violence is probably not the answer to video game cheating, however vindicating it may feel. So what is? I thought it would make for an interesting Leaderboard to find out what you do. Whenever I come upon cheaters, I usually just report and move on with my life, but other people take these things to extremes, I know, and those extremes may actually be more productive for getting the studio to take notice. Let’s hit the polls and find out.
A week or two ago, Massively OP reader Sally Bowls proposed a Leaderboard too intriguing to pass up. “How about a poll on your lockbox purity?” she suggested, rattling off eight possible answers to a question about how “pure” you are when it comes to lockboxes and MMOs – in other words, it breaks down how far you’re willing to go to avoid them. In fact, I have a few options I want to add to in the interest of seeing whether folks who support lockboxes are really only supporting them because they want whales to pay our way. Plus, elf butts.
Let’s do it. To the pollmobile!
So here’s a new game that’s just rumbled onto our radar: It’s called RoboManiac, and it’s a self-described free-to-play browser MMO that combines “an RPG and sports manager” with robots, an elaborate trading system, a league leaderboard, multiplayer alliances, and basic RPG progression. It’s also adamantly against pay-to-win tactics. Did I mention the robots?
“From the beginning, you have the option to individually equip your Bot with different weapons, drive modules, blades, and numerous other body elements from energy cells to booster packs. Using your Workshop, you can repair, upgrade and level up the various elements of your bot. In your habitat and its surroundings you can send your bot on different missions, fight other bots, or send it to work in the factory, so you can use a few credits to buy or sell important boosters and upgrades at the marketplace. Trading in parts and items is an important part of the game and allows you to do good deals with other players.”
German studio YEPS! has granted MOP codes that will unlock a nice chunk of in-game currency, called platinum. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!
We’ve previously noted that the game is primarily pulling from the CSGO audience, but now it looks to be hitting the other top games too – H1Z1 especially, whose peak concurrency has dropped a full third since August – and I have a few guildies playing who normally play MMOs. How about you? Are you one of the 2M people playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds today? Let’s take it to a Leaderboard poll.
Nielsen has a massive “fan report” out this week dubbed The E-Sports Playbook, covering audiences in the US, UK, Germany, and France and focusing on e-sports fans as a market. There’s a massive breakdown of demographics that will suprise nobody, like the fact that millennial men are the core audience for watching e-sports, and they aren’t into actual sports or TV.
One of the more interesting surveys included covers whether fans believe e-sports are real sports (over 50% do) and whether they think it belongs in the Olympics (less than a third do). I thought we’d replicate the latter part of the survey for today’s Leaderboard. Knowing that e-sports are already being included in multiple sporting games in Asia, and given Nielsen’s clear lean toward its being an inevitability, what do you think?