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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Biggest MMO disappointment of the year

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Biggest Disappointment of the year -- not exactly one of the more coveted awards, admittedly. For this category, we focused on single games rather than concepts, and every MMO that launched in 2014 was eligible. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Biggest Disappointment of 2014 is...

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The Think Tank: What was the best MMO launch of all time?

Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

Atlantis - Thomas Fawls
After any year of bad MMO launches -- so, you know, pretty much every year -- we pause for a moment of reflection and comparison. Was this launch really the worst ever? Or is it just the freshest?

We're going to turn that question on its head for today's Think Tank. I didn't ask our writers about the worst MMO launch ever; I asked them to name the best. Plus, everyone knows Anarchy Online was the worst. Everyone!

So which high-profile MMO launch was so great that future MMOs should be aspiring to match and exceed it?

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Best MMO Studio

Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Best MMO Studio of the year. Every studio that runs an MMO in 2014 was eligible, even those who didn't launch anything this year, but whatever the studio did to impress us should have occurred this year. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Best MMO Studio of 2014 is...

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Most Improved MMO

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Most Improved MMO of the year. Pretty much all MMOs were eligible for this particular award, even if they didn't launch in 2014, as long as they improved significantly in 2014. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Most Improved MMO of 2014 is...

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Massively Speaking Episode 324: The server is down

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

tsw
On this week's show, the podcasters will need to lower their voice or else risk attracting the attention of undesirable demons, server outages, and console delays. If you play this episode backwards, you will hear hidden messages that will unravel your mind and show you the truth of what lies beyond the black. Also a plug for Chia pets.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
[Stitcher] Follow the podcast on Stitcher Radio.
Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Biggest Story of the Year

Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Biggest MMO Story of the year. We're not talking about a single article or a game's plot here; we're looking for dominant, ongoing news arcs in the MMO space that had a big impact on the genre. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Biggest MMO Story of 2014 is...

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Most Underrated MMO

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
We're breaking with tradition this year when it comes to the Massively end-of-the-year awards. Instead of lumping them together into one huge article that no one reads because everyone's busy cheering and jeering over the GOTY down in the comments, we're going to pace ourselves so the little ones get some attention too. We'll also be explaining our votes so you can see the split and the rationale behind our picks. And because we know you want to have your say too, we'll throw in a reader poll just for fun. Please don't cheat.

Today's award is for the Most Underrated MMO of the year. As will be the case for many (though not all) of this year's awards, games must have launched in 2014 to be eligible, which makes the list of eligible games fairly short. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for every category, so some games will literally win by a hair.

The Massively staff pick for Most Underrated MMO of 2014 is...

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MMO Week in Review: Revan returns in SWTOR

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

SWTOR
At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadow of Revan expansion launched for early-access players this week, adding new locations and storylines, revamping skill trees, selling strongholds for a song, and nuking training costs. And yes, it's that Revan. Massively's SWTOR expert Larry Everett scoped out the expansion ahead of launch and judged it worthy even for soloers.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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WRUP: Troll-free eggnog

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

I love this job
Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you pour everyone another round of that eggnog. The good stuff, if you would.

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The Daily Grind: What's the worst character name you've ever seen in an MMO?

Fantasy, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Roleplaying, Humor, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

In writing his article about Final Fantasy XIV's character rename service, Massively's Eliot rattled off a few silly names he's seen in-game that could really use a rename token. What you didn't see was the list of awful names he passed along to the writers behind the scenes: Combyo Beard, Carfullof Whiteboys, Sharing Needles, Stupid Name, Popular Character, Avengers Assemble. And here I was thinking Ffxiv Blows and Mycat Isanimro were pretty wretched, but I should have known better. There's always something more wretched to reset the wretchedness scale.

How about you, Massively peeps? What's the worst character name you've ever seen in an MMO? Bonus points if it makes me laugh. Bonus-bonus points to the first person to call me out for the joke name I used for my Second Wind Torchlight II character. Names are serious business.

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Think Tank: Digging out of MMO doom

Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

This year, we've been watching multiple MMO companies dig themselves into deep holes with mistake after mistake, some seemingly preventable. Do you think there's a hole so deep that an MMO studio can never dig out? Do you think that serial goof-ups like WildStar and ArcheAge can pull a SWTOR and actually be making trucktons of money three years from now? Or is everything DOOM, etc.?

That's precisely what I asked the Massively writers in this week's Think Tank.

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The Daily Grind: Does a studio's home country impact your faith in an MMO?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

skyforge
I've been cautiously excited about the development of Skyforge, although something's really been holding me back from gushing too strongly about it: the fact that its dev team (well, one of them at least) is located in Russia. Maybe it's silly and even a bit nationalist, but I am somewhat less trusting of MMOs that hail from other regions than my own.

Maybe it's a fear of making payments to studios in countries across the world. Maybe it's a fear that the studio won't have my own best interests in mind in operating that product. Maybe I've been let down by too many titles that were developed overseas but never made the transition to my home shores.

Does a studio's home country or region impact your faith in an MMO? A reminder: Let's keep the discussion free of nation-bashing, please!

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Massively Speaking Episode 323: Fun buddies!

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

When Bree's away, the kids will play! This week, Justin invites his fun buddies, MJ and Larry, to come on the show and jaw about recent MMO expansions. And also the Star Wars trailer. And also we're just goofy. This is professional podcasting, peoples!

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
[Stitcher] Follow the podcast on Stitcher Radio.
Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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The Daily Grind: Do you prefer 'action-combat' in MMORPGs?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

AoC
"Action-combat" has been one of those stock gameplay tropes that MMO developers have been shoving into their games since at least Age of Conan. But is it actually wanted by the core MMO audience?

Massively reader theodorus321 commented last week that he prefers the old-school TAB-targeting combat systems of older MMOs. "I don't want a challenge to my leet gaming skillz," he wrote. "I want to explore an interesting and immersive world while building up my character in the conventional way and finding some cool stuff." He got 16 likes, so clearly, he's not alone. I agree with him too! I'm happier with slower, more tactical RPG combat or hybrid systems than I am with purely twitchy stuff.

What do you think? Would you rather have "action-combat" or old-school tab targeting or something else entirely in your MMOs?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

MMO Week in Review: A new take on playing internet spaceships

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

Elite
At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

Time to brush up on your Greek! Elite: Dangerous' gamma phase launched last week, marking the last test phase before launch on December 16th. Backers can jump in and play now, but for those who are late to the buying party, there's a solo mode to check out in the meantime. Massively's Mike Foster, who toured the game in September, returned this weekend for hands-on time with and a stream of the final build.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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