not so massively

Not-So-Massively games are online games that share some but not all mechanics in common with traditional MMORPGs. Generally, their “massive” nature is contested. They frequently include MOBAs, OARPGs, MMOFPS titles, MMORTS games, mobile MMOs, and other pseudo-MMOs that provide single-player, offline, or custom-server support. The Not So Massively column is written by Brendan Drain. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]

E3 2018: Hands-on with Super Smash Bros Ultimate

With all the online talk about Nintendo this year, it feels only fitting to give Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros Ultimate a little time. We’ve talked recently about the unbundling of MMOs and why the market seems primed for a big title yet goes unanswered. Readers and writers all noted that other genres help meet the demands for this, from MOBAs to even social media.

In fact, we even covered an online fighting game last year because it included customizable characters (both appearance and abilities), quests, loot, guilds, and even guild quests that involved more than two people. An MMO it was not, but it certainly had enough overlap that it turned a few heads. The last Smash Bros included several of these components but restricted them to mostly offline play. However, one interesting note was that the Mii-fighter, a highly customizable character in the Smash-verse restricted to “fun” and “casual” play off and online, is being prepared for online battles. Whether that means in a new form or its customizable form matters, as one might hint at Nintendo’s aim for this title: another try for sanitized online fighter, or embracing the full spectrum of Smash fans. I’m leaning towards the latter.

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The Daily Grind: Which non-MMORPGs would make good MMORPGs?

When Jagex first announced its Transformers game, it was an MMORPG. Then it got its MMORPG elements stripped and became a MOBA, and then it got cancelled before launch. It is, however, indicative of a usual trend wherein it’s far more common for a game to go from a more open experience to a more closed one. Scaling down is easier.

But recently I played Warframe, and that game has not only bucked the trend but gone hard in the other direction. It’s not quite up to what I’d consider a full MMORPG just yet, but it’s approaching the sort of thing I’d expect from a game in the vein of the original Guild Wars. It wouldn’t even be hard for it to reach that platform. And that, of course, just brings to mind whether or not other games could go that route.

Of course, we can’t say if any other titles could or will, but we can look at the crop of online games which are not MMORPGs and decide which ones should be. So what say you? Which non-MMORPGs would do well becoming full MMORPGs? And for bonus points, you can even lay out a path to making that happen.

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Perfect Ten: 20 multiplayer games to watch in 2018

A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.

There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!

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MMO Burnout: Approaching DC Universe’s Injustice 2 as an MMORPG fan

NetherRealms’ Injustice 2 is not an MMORPG. It doesn’t have a persistent world or a massive number of players actively engaging with each other graphically on screen. However, it has levels, character stat and appearance customization, randomly generated loot and boxes, guilds, and boss fights requiring explicit coordination. For the moment, it’s about the most MMO-ish a 2-D fighter has gotten. And my guild experience with the game has shown me the traditionally solo-oriented genre has created a demand for those with a traditional MMO skill set: socialization skills, group planning, and grinding.

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Firefly Online extends development to work in the original cast

Sometimes even big damn heroes have to wait until a plan comes together.

Firefly Online, the official online RPG that will be continuing the adventures of the 2002 sci-fi show, has been taking its sweet time getting to release. While it was originally supposed to come out in spring 2015, the dev team has kept it in testing due to the good fortune of getting most of the original cast to reprise their in-game roles. This will be a great boon to the game, of course, but it also required the team to restructure the game from the ground-up (as it was originally not going to feature any of those characters).

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Not So Massively: Top 10 most surprising NSM stories of 2015

Back in 2011, our former corporate overlords at Massively-of-old noticed that games like League of Legends were getting pretty damn popular and asked us to work them into the site. In order to incorporate them into an MMO blog without disrupting the existing MMO news coverage, we decided to put all of the news on games that may not fit the MMO definition into a new roundup-style column called Not So Massively. In the years that followed, the column kept track of dozens of online games in various stages of development, watched the MOBA genre mature, saw many games plod slowly into an early grave, and witnessed the e-sports explosion on a weekly basis.

It’s no secret that online gaming has been trending away from the persistent online universes of MMOs and into the shorter session-based gameplay of MOBAs, action RPGs and first person shooters. With gaming preferences changing, it wasn’t long before Not So Massively became oversaturated with news each week and began drawing more traffic than some of the MMO news. Naturally, we’ve now adapted and started rolling MOBAs and other online games into our everyday news coverage. As we hit the end of 2015 and approach almost a full year since Massively was reborn independently as MassivelyOP, I’d like to look back at the past year and highlight the top ten most surprising and controversial Not So Massively stories of 2015 in no particular order.

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Not So Massively: Winter game update edition (December 21, 2015)

Online gaming and e-sports are getting bigger by the day, and there are literally hundreds of popular online games out there that don’t really fit into the MMO category. Join me each week for Not So Massively, where I gather together the top stories from the biggest MOBAs, competitive card games, first person shooters, and other popular online games in one place.

With just a few days to go until Christmas, every online game out there has been releasing its big winter update in the hopes of capturing your precious play time over the holiday period. Dota 2‘s Balance of Power update added a classic DotA hero you may recognise, and Heroes of the Storm released yet another classic Warcraft character. Dungeon Defenders II launched its huge The Harbinger Awakens update, Warframe released its massive The Second Dream update, and Paladins released its tenth closed beta update.

Elite: Dangerous released its planetary landing feature with the Horizons expansion, and Star Citizen took the opportunity to show off its own impressive-looking planetary landing gameplay demo. Path of Exile launched a competition to win one of four Alienware desktop PCs, and Splatoon revealed its final piece of free DLC. Finally, Destiny managed to upset its community again this week with an expensive new microtransaction item that automatically raises a player to level 25. We also discovered some surprising League of Legends news this week and heard the latest from SMITE and Heroes of Order and Chaos.

If there’s a game or story you’d like to see covered in next week’s Not So Massively, please drop us a tip and let us know.

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Not So Massively: Counter-Strike nerfs all the guns (December 14, 2015)

Online gaming and e-sports are getting bigger by the day, and there are literally hundreds of popular online games out there that don’t really fit into the MMO category. Join me each week for Not So Massively, where I gather together the top stories from the biggest MOBAs, competitive card games, first person shooters, and other popular online games in one place.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive frustrated its community this week with the release of a ridiculous one-hit-kill pistol and serious nerfs to the game’s most popular weapons. Star Citizen hit $100,000,000 in crowdfunding and another equally impressive development milestone this week. Diablo III revealed more details of its upcoming patch, Path of Exile made some major game balance changes, and Elite: Dangerous revealed the launch date for its Horizons expansion. In MOBA news, League of Legends released impressive viewership numbers for the 2015 world championship and a pro player has quit the scene due to ongoing depression and anxiety. Heroes of Newerth also has a new hero, and Heroes of the Storm has annoyed its community with the release of new refer-a-friend rewards.

If there’s a game or story you’d like to see covered in next week’s Not So Massively, please drop us a tip and let us know.

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Riot pulls League of Legends statue due to poor craftsmanship

When I was a kid, it was generally accepted that action figures looked nothing like their cartoon counterpart besides being a vaguely human-shaped blob. We’ve come a long way since then, as the modern geek expects high fidelity and quality on his or her statues and replicas.

This did not happen with a new League of Legends statue of the fox-girl Ahri, as fans soundly rejected preview photos of the merchandise. Riot Games subsequently pulled the statue from production, explaining, “This decision and its associated production processes yielded a loss of resolution in the finer details and structure of Ahri’s face. We also applied Ahri’s eye makeup too heavily in production. All of this resulted in a final product that failed to fully capture Ahri’s unique look.”

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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for the ‘Not So Massively’ gamer

The holidays are approaching, and that means there’s not much time left to get presents for your friends and lumps of coal for your enemies. At MassivelyOP this year, we’re putting together a series of themed gift guides highlighting some potential gift ideas for players of particular games. If you know anyone who is mad about MOBAs, shooters, sandbox games or dungeon crawlers and you’re having trouble finding gifts for them this year, hopefully this guide gives you a few ideas or at least points you in the right direction. Normal Not So Massively news roundups will resume next week.

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Not So Massively: An amazing revamp for LoL’s Poppy (November 30, 2015)

Online gaming and e-sports are getting bigger by the day, and there are literally hundreds of popular online games out there that don’t really fit into the MMO category. Join me each week for Not So Massively, where I gather together the top stories from the biggest MOBAs, competitive card games, first person shooters, and other popular online games in one place.

League of Legends gave old champion Poppy a whole new set of amazing abilities this week that are sure to make for some fantastic replay moments. Path of Exile revealed a new skill that may give oldschool Diablo II players a touch of nostalgia. Star Citizen is extremely close to hitting the $100,000,000 mark thanks to its anniversary sale. Hearthstone revealed how ordinary players can work their way into its million-dollar 2016 world championship. Destiny will be getting an interesting new Challenge mode for raids, Dungeon Defenders II is getting a full server wipe on PS4 in just a few days, and Heroes of the Storm released its new Towers of Doom game battleground. We also heard the latest news from Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, Splatoon, Lord of Vermillion Arena, and Elite: Dangerous.

If there’s a game or story you’d like to see covered in next week’s Not So Massively, please drop us a tip and let us know.

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Not So Massively: Path of Exile’s Ascendancy expansion (November 23, 2015)

Online gaming and e-sports are getting bigger by the day, and there are literally hundreds of popular online games out there that don’t really fit into the MMO category. Join me each week for Not So Massively, where I gather together the top stories from the biggest MOBAs, competitive card games, first person shooters, and other popular online games in one place.

Path of Exile revealed details of its upcoming Ascendancy expansion and its new procedurally generated labyrinth system this week. Star Citizen also finally released its alpha 2.0 patch to the public test servers and revealed its expected launch date for the patch’s final release. Destiny increased legendary drop rates with Update 2.02 and added some interesting hints at its upcoming refer-a-friend system rewards. Dota 2‘s $3,000,000 Frankfurt Major tournament was won by an unexpected newcomer from Europe, and one of the losing teams kicked a member for leaking game strategies and other instances of misconduct. And as if one player controlling two characters wasn’t difficult enough in a MOBA, Heroes of the Storm‘s new character Cho’Gall actually allows two players to control one character.

If there’s a game or story you’d like to see covered in next week’s Not So Massively, please drop us a tip and let us know.

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Not So Massively: StarCraft II Legacy of the Void sold 1M copies in three days (November 16 2015)

Online gaming and e-sports are getting bigger by the day, and there are literally hundreds of popular online games out there that don’t really fit into the MMO category. Join me each week for Not So Massively, where I gather together the top stories from the biggest MOBAs, competitive card games, first person shooters, and other popular online games in one place.

It’s been a week of solid development for online gaming, with Hearthstone releasing its League of Explorers adventure and StarCraft II launching its standalone Legacy of the Void expansion. We got development previews of Diablo III‘s next big patch, Heroes of the Storm‘s new battleground, Splatoon‘s new maps and items, and Path of Exile‘s Talisman league. League of Legends revealed its next champion and details of some huge buffs on the way for six champions, SMITE revealed its next character, and Star Citizen just has a few issues left before Alpha 2.0 can be released. We also heard the latest from Dota 2, Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, The Division, Elite: Dangerous, Grey Goo, and others.

If there’s a game or story you’d like to see covered in next week’s Not So Massively, please drop us a tip and let us know.

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