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The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind: Do single-player games give you a craving for MMOs?

MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Secret World

I made a dent in my Steam backlog this month, and one of the older titles that I finally got around to beating was Alan Wake. This has nothing to do with MMOs, really, except for the fact that the game's creepy atmospherics and its focus on the supernatural made me want to fire up The Secret World.

What about you, Massively readers? Do your single-player adventures ever give you a craving for a particular MMO?

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 Daily Grind: What was your best open-world PvP experience?

Culture, PvP, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

black desert
As someone who usually stands on the outside of the whole PvP scene, I'm often curious about the appeal and goings-on of fighting endlessly against other human opponents, especially in MMOs. People seem to talk highly of open world battles and epic moments, although my experience has been limited to being corpse camped on a World of Warcraft server and taking part in many confusic and hectic keep battles in Warhammer Online.

So sate my curiosity today and tell me a time when you had your best open-world PvP experience. What happened and why was that such a treasured memory?

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 Daily Grind: What's the best MMO for solo play?

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

SWTOR
One of the comment tropes we see repeated over and over below our articles is this idea that if you're soloing in an MMORPG, you're in violation of the rules of the genre. I despise that idea so much that I even wrote a whole rant about it. The fact that a game is massively multiplayer does not mean that you need to be playing directly with other people at all let alone all the time, and it definitely doesn't mean you need to be grouped up performing completely arbitrary combat activities, which is usually how the argument goes. MMORPGs without groups and without combat debunk that construct handily. The genre is way bigger than that limited definition; the options are what make it great, not the requirements.

A lot of MMO gamers solo for so very many reasons: don't like other games, don't want to hold anyone back, don't want to be held back, might need to AFK, feel too shy, don't speak the language, or just prefer solo challenges and want to be measured for them against that massively multiplayer backdrop.

That leads me to today's question: Which MMORPG is the absolute best for a gamer who likes to solo but wants to do it "alone together" alongside lots of other people?

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 Daily Grind: Which tabletop setting would make a great MMO?

MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

Tabletop RPG properties haven't fared too well as MMORPGs. Yeah, Dungeons and Dragons Online has lasted for eight years and as far as anyone knows, Neverwinter is profitable. But then you have Champions Online and Pathfinder, which aren't exactly setting the world on fire. And we all know how World of Darkness went.

I must be a glutton for punishment, though, since there are a couple of other tabletop settings I'd love to explore as MMOs. Chief among them is 7th Sea. What about you, Massively readers? Which tabletop property do you think would make a great MMO?

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 Daily Grind: What's your favorite MOBA?

Super-hero, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, The Daily Grind, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

I'm a bit late to the MOBA party, but this past week I've been having a grand old time playing Infinite Crisis. Previously I'd dabbled in SMITE and Guardians of Middle-earth, but I'd never seriously considered a MOBA as part of my regular fun-time rotation.

That's all changed thanks to IC, though, and I've downloaded a few other genre titles to try while I'm at it. What about you, Massively MOBA players? Which is your favorite?

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 Daily Grind: Would you play on a WoW progression server?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

wow
Recently I resubscribed to World of Warcraft, spent about two hours back in the game, and then uninstalled it once again. Call it $15 spent on a nostalgia trip of curiosity. The overwhelming feeling that I got coming back after being mostly gone for four years is that everything had moved on and I wasn't there to move on with it. Sure, I could catch up in time, but I lacked the will to do so.

But you know what would get me back and in a big way? If WoW took a page from EverQuest and instituted a progression server. Maybe the devs can't recreate the game as it once was, but I'd play a WoW that started out only with the core content and then slowly unlocked the expansions over a series of months so that the server's playerbase could go through it together.

It's a pipe dream, I know. But would you play on a WoW progression server?

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 Daily Grind: Are DPS meters bad for MMOs?

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons

DPS Meters - WoW Interface
In the comments of Eliot's Soapboxes about MMO raiding, one Massively reader declared his own most-hated element of the raiding scene: DPS meters. In MMOs that allow mods, players invariably find a way to slice and dice the combat logs with a plugin that parses who did what and how much of it, spitting those data out into a tidy list that shows who's king of DPS and who's just being "carried."

I don't think most MMO players want to see math and numbers driven from the genre in favor of rock-paper-scissors simplicity -- I sure don't, anyway; I like my crafting spreadsheets. But the vast majority of MMO combat really truly doesn't require the rotational precision of the top raiding guilds in the world, so why do we see DPS meters being trotted out for every basic dungeon? Repeatedly seeing people as numbers isn't exactly generating warmer MMO communities, and sometimes I wonder whether our obsession with judging everyone around us "by the numbers" is a crutch to help us avoid unpleasant conversations. Did we really need a DPS meter to clue us into the fact that Bob is half AFK tapping his 1 key over and over instead of paying attention to the fight? I think we knew that without the mod.

What do you guys think? Are DPS meters bad for 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!

The Daily Grind: Do you fill out MMO cancellation surveys?

Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Star Wars: The Old Republic

I cancelled my Star Wars: The Old Republic subscription this week. Given my history with the game I'm sure it's only temporary, but for now I got what I needed out of the 12x event and I'm off to greener pastures.

I told BioWare as much in the post-cancel survey thing, too, but I seriously doubt it'll be removing the gear grind just for me! What about you, Massively readers? Do you think cancellation surveys are a formality? Do you fill them out?

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 Daily Grind: Could a non-combat MMO be compelling?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

brain
As much as I like being the action hero in MMOs, even I must admit that the ratio of combat to non-combat activities is lopsided to the extreme. Some days I feel like I'm playing an endless kill simulator that doesn't allow me to live in these virtual worlds so much as attempt to murder most of what is in them.

So sometimes I think about MMOs where combat isn't just marginalized but non-existent. Could it work? Sure, we have seen titles like A Tale in the Desert and Myst Online replace combat with community crafting, but such games are so few in number and under-populated.

What do you think? Could a non-combat MMO be compelling? Would you play a game that was heavy on sandbox elements but had no fighting?

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 Daily Grind: Would you have played a Diablo MMO?

Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Diablo III, OARPG

Diablo 3
A few weeks ago, Blizzard content designer Kevin Martens admitted that the studio once considered turning the Diablo IP loose on an MMORPG. It's off the table now, but it still got me wistful. I've been strangely attached to the Diablo franchise and its clones for a very long time. Seriously, it's not even possible to pry the Torchlight series or Titan Quest off my harddrive. But Diablo itself just has a compelling, gritty gloom to the world that would make an MMO version a welcome in a genre that's obsessed with bright and happy fantasy worlds.

Massively's Brendan Drain once opined that Path of Exile is the sequel that Diablo II deserved, but is it MMO enough to count here? Would you have played a Diablo MMORPG, and what would you want it to look like?

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 Daily Grind: Are you playing any of the December releases?

Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind

This is a pretty full month for MMO content releases. We've got a couple of new games in The Crew and Elite: Dangerous, though how "MMO" they are remains to be seen. We've also got expansions for Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, and Destiny, one of which I'm already playing and another of which I'll get to before the month is out.

What about you, Massively readers? Do any of this month's MMO content releases tickle your fancy? Which one(s) are you playing?

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 Daily Grind: Have you played a console MMO?

Super-hero, The Daily Grind, DC Universe Online

SOE recently announced that DC Universe Online has over 18 million registered users. Even if we take that with the usual grains of salt (how many concurrent users? how many of them spend money?), it's a pretty huge number. Prior to reading it, in fact, I would have guessed that the number of console players interested in every console MMO would be well under 18 million.

What do you think? Does the number surprise you? Have you yourself played a console MMO?

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 Daily Grind: Who's your favorite child NPC?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

gw2
This might be a difficult topic because in truth we have not seen an over-abundance of children NPCs in MMOs, nevermind ones that speak or are part of missions. I'm mostly reminded of the tag-along I had in World of Warcraft's Children Week when I think of young characters.

However, I'm most impressed with the handling of Taimi in Guild Wars 2's storyline. She's easily the best character of the group, and somewhat unique in being very young and also partially disabled. I love that those two characteristics don't define who she is, but instead her vivacious and sometimes reckless genius does.

So who is your favorite child NPC in an MMO?

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 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 Daily Grind: What game do you intend to play more in 2015?

MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

I can't quite believe it's December. Pretty soon it'll be Christmas, then New Year's, and then we'll see if 2015 is an unintentional comedy for the MMO industry just like 2014! I kinda doubt that it will be, simply because there aren't as many new/big games on the way.

In any case, there are a few pre-existing titles that I neglected this year, and I fully intend to return to them in 2015. What about you, Massively readers? What MMO do you intend to play more of in 2015?

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!

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