Massively's Better Of 2022 Awards

Expires in 9 months

09 July 2022

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It is almost the top of the 12 months, a time for merriment, camaraderie, and cynical analysis of all the MMO triumphs and tragedies that 2013 offered us.

In the present day, Massively's employees honors the best of the best (and the worst of the worst) for the year 2013. Each author was permitted a vote in every category with an something-goes nomination course of. No MMO, firm, or headline was off the desk, as lengthy because it met the criteria. Can WildStar make it to a few years in a row at the top of our "most anticipated" pile, or did its delay dampen our enthusiasm? Can SOE repeat its win for greatest studio? Which MMO is most prone to flop subsequent year? And just what constituted the largest MMO screw-up of the final 12 months?

Take pleasure in our picks for the very best MMOs, expansions, studios, stories, and improvements of 2013... and our most-anticipated for 2014 and beyond.

Greatest New MMO of 2013: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Runners-up: Tie between Neverwinter and Defiance

Jasmine: Final Fantasy XIV, arms down. This recreation managed to attain one thing I thought was not possible: Square-Enix took a game that I thought-about the worst MMO I've ever played and turned it into something that retains me logging in every probability I get.

Eliot: If you happen to had requested me two weeks ago, I might have mentioned Final Fantasy XIV with out reservation. Now don't get me unsuitable; all the pieces good about the original version is brought to the forefront, and everything damaging has both been eliminated or minimized. However the 2.1 replace and the housing fiasco have pushed house the concept we're not out of the woods and that we're just taking a look at an era of daring new mistakes. If these points get fastened, then I have high hopes for the long run; if not, it will be a shocking instance of a gorgeous turnaround followed by a shameful crash.

Best Expansion or Update of 2013: Guild Wars 2's Super Adventure Box

Runners-up: Tie between EVE Online's Odyssey, EVE On-line's Rubicon, and Star Trek Online's

Legacy of Romulus

Richie: Guild Wars 2's Super Adventure Field patch stands out in such a profound means as a result of many players thought it was nothing greater than an April Fools' Joke. The official website was up to date with amazing images from an 8-bit world accompanied by a hilarious, cheesy, '80s-fashion business. When i logged into the sport and realized that SAB was actually in the sport, my jaw hit my desk. There were three full levels of this 8-bit world full with secrets, puzzles, boss battles, authentic music rating, and custom sound results -- a full platforming journey sport neatly tucked inside of my MMO.

Brendan: I've written a good bit on why I really like this 12 months's Odyssey and Rubicon expansions, but Rubicon's private deployable constructions push it simply over the edge. The Mobile Depot has made long-term exploration a extremely feasible career by permitting tech three ships to refit wherever in deep area, and Ghost Sites have added some further reward for those scouring deep space. The change to warp acceleration has additionally fastened the disparity between small and enormous ships and enabled real hit-and-run model warfare once more.

Finest Non-Conventional MMO or Pseudo-MMO of 2013: Path of Exile

Different nominees: Hearthstone, Dota 2, Cube World, Defiance, MUSH

Matt: Path of Exile will get my vote for this one. The parents at Grinding Gear Games have taken the time-honored action-RPG formula popularized by Diablo and twisted it up into an experience that feels both fresh and acquainted. Eschewing conventional courses and development in favor of an virtually inconceivably large skill tree and permitting players to customise their ability loadouts by interchangeable gems are just two of the distinctive spins Path of Exile brings to the table, and with its variety of leagues and competitions, there's one thing right here for the whole casual-hardcore spectrum.

Justin: Hearthstone. If just about everybody's in beta, does it count? I say it counts. Blizzard's bought a cash cow hit on its hands, and the mixture of World of Warcraft and Magic-lite is simply impressed. Plus, it's fairly enjoyable.

Most Underrated MMO of 2013: Neverwinter

Runner-up: Defiance

Larry: Neverwinter launched with a large viewers and the hopes of being a full-fledged Dungeons and Dragons MMO. But alas, that's not what Cryptic had in mind for the game, and players did not appreciate Neverwinter for what it was: a enjoyable recreation that you just spend a few minutes to a couple of hours taking part in to unwind from the each day stress. When i revisited the game, I was truly surprised at how a lot enjoyable I had. I do not have to stress about rotations or builds or the usual MMO worries. I simply log in, pound via a few dungeons, then carry on with my day.

Tina: I feel lots of people boxed Neverwinter below the "extra of the identical" class with out giving it an opportunity. The normal charm is up to date properly by the 4th Version Dungeons and Dragons freshness.

Jef: Defiance is not setting the world on fireplace or something, but I loved my time in it, and i keep it installed in case I would like some sci-fi shooter action with questing and a purpose.

Most Anticipated for 2014 and Beyond: EverQuest Subsequent

Runner-up: WildStar

Different nominees: EverQuest Subsequent Landmark, ArcheAge, Destiny, Pathfinder Online, TUG, The Elder Scrolls On-line

Brendan: There are some nice MMOs on the horizon, however the one I am wanting ahead to essentially the most is EverQuest Subsequent. I am an absolute sucker for sandboxes, and the thought of a fantasy sandbox with a voxel-primarily based and fully destructible world has me completely excited! The massive monetary success of Minecraft has inspired a deluge of voxel-based video games in recent years, but no sport has but carried out the feature justice. EQ Subsequent promises to be as far from these blocky worlds as potential while retaining much of the same sandbox gameplay.

Bree: The day I learned Star Wars Galaxies was closing, Smed reassured a teary-eyed me that SOE was engaged on an excellent bigger and better sandbox. That sandbox turned out to be EverQuest Subsequent. I am banking on SOE's potential to parlay everything it discovered from SWG -- especially the mistakes -- into EQN. There are other good sandboxes on the horizon, completely, however nothing as likely to thrive as Next.

Justin: Progressive sandboxes or large fanbase followings apart, I'm rooting for Carbine to drag off a wacky sci-fi themepark in WildStar. I nearly hope it doesn't launch super-huge so that it may well develop from phrase-of-mouth as a substitute of developer hype.

Richie: I'm looking ahead to WildStar. Ever since I give up World of Warcraft, a part of me has missed having a couple of nights each week as scheduled hangouts with my friends. I'm itching to raid once more, and it seems to be as if WildStar could have one of the best endgame features of the 2014 MMO crop.

Most Likely to "Flop" in 2014: The Elder Scrolls Online

Runner-up: Dust 514

Anatoli: "Flop" is a very loaded term with regards to MMO. I do not think ESO will make a lot of a splash. I doubt it will fail as a recreation or as a venture, but I predict that lots of people will resolve that it did when it would not set the whole world on fireplace.

Bree: I think ESO will launch just fantastic and accumulate plenty of field and sub charges initially, but long-time period, it's in bother. MMORPG followers are sick of story-driven single-player themepark MMOs, console followers shall be mystified by subs and a three-way PvP endgame, and Elder Scrolls followers will wander back to the lore and mods of their solo sandboxes. I am actually not sure for whom the sport is intended, and i say that as a TES fanatic.

Matthew: I am not really a fan of The Elder Scrolls collection, so maybe I am biased, however I can't see the web version having the success of the single-player installments.

MJ: If I have been forced to hazard a guess, I'd say ESO. feels as if there is a darkish shadow of "cannot meet expectations" hanging over it.

Greatest Studio in 2013: Sony Online Leisure

Runner-up: Trion Worlds

Honorable Mention: Tiny Speck

Beau: SOE continues to churn out video games, however the studio does so by itself phrases. Like it or hate it, you can't deny that SOE has performed many, many things which have modified the course of MMOs.

Mike: SOE seems like the studio that has the very best hold on what the market wants. It keeps releasing engaging new content material for its existing properties, and EverQuest Subsequent appears like the first fantasy MMO to actually strive something new since Ultima On-line. SOE additionally has a solid reputation for making large guarantees and failing to ship, however I might say it had an excellent yr. No query all eyes are on EQN in the approaching years.

Toli: Glitch's shutdown final yr was downright tragic, but Tiny Speck has made each effort to maintain the spirit and group alive, going so far as to release the game's property into the general public domain only recently. That's preposterous, and that i imply that in the absolute best method.

Largest Story of 2013: The reveal of EverQuest Next and Landmark

Runners-up: Tie between Star Citizen's Kickstarter success and Closing Fantasy XIV's relaunch

MJ: EverQuest Subsequent Landmark grabs this one as a result of the sport came actually out of nowhere! There was not a single whisper, trace, leak or anything to suggest there was a second game on SOE's horizon. In this business, that is merely unheard of.

Tina: EverQuest Subsequent. Everybody simply went nuts, and for good purpose!

Matthew: EverQuest Subsequent. Since the announcement, it seems as if the whole future of the industry is colored by comparisons to our new savior. I'm not going to disagree. I will go out on a limb so far as to say I suspect Blizzard went again to the drawing board on Titan due to EQN.

Jef: Star Citizen. You could not need to play it, and also you may be uninterested in the Chris Roberts hero-worship, however you cannot deny the impression that it's had and continues to have on the best way games are made.

Greatest Disappointment of 2013: Mud 514

Different nominees: Defiance, Warhammer's sunset, the Kickstarter craze, Age of Wushu, Neverwinter, uninspired MMO design, traditional subscription models, no EverQuest Subsequent at SOE Dwell, the gloom and doom surrounding World of Darkness, and Guild Wars 2's dwelling story.

Jef: Mud 514. I is perhaps beating a dead horse here, however console-solely plus similar-previous-shooter-gameplay equals meh. And CCP hyping the crap out of the EVE On-line connection wasn't particularly clever since there actually isn't one.

Mike: This may be a cop-out, however I am pinning this on the whole MMO genre. The year was ruled by numerous re-treads of familiar fantasy worlds and a lot of uninspired work from developers that should really know better (Trion, I am taking a look at you). With the road between MMO and non-MMO getting blurrier by the minute, MMO developers need to get their acts together in the event that they're hoping to stay competitive. And they need stop asking for handouts by way of Kickstarter.

Eliot: Kickstarter. We've had plenty of funding drives for games, some profitable, some not, with nearly every single one in every of them promising the identical basic gameplay philosophies, none of which has been backed up by actual finished MMOs. At the very least a kind of studios has gone back to the properly and requested for extra money from Kickstarter backers, and I do not think about it is going to be the first. It's not a trend I'm pleased to see, and one that I've already written about at length. There's some nice stuff on Kickstarter, however this 12 months's glut was unpleasant.

Greatest Blunder of 2013: Subscription fashions for Elder Scrolls Online and WildStar

Other nominees: Console MMOs, Everything ESO does, LucasArts' closure, Blizzard's lore sexism, Star Wars: The Previous Republic's space combat, FFXIV's launch woes, CCP's World of Darkness layoffs, Guild Wars 2's horrifying PR campaigns, and Diablo III's public sale home fiasco.

[Update: We speak extra about this award and the rationale behind it in December twenty sixth's Ask Massively.]

Eliot: WildStar's business model a minimum of seems to be taken from a book written by someone with the vaguest information of business developments, however ESO's seems to have been designed with the assumption that every different sport that went free-to-play after launch (also called "pretty much each sport that has launched within the past four years") was a worse recreation than ESO might be. Can we please stop pretending that you could launch with a subscription now?

Mike: I think, in the long run, putting a subscription charge on The Elder Scrolls Online will develop into a reasonably unhealthy idea. Bethesda will make piles of cash before it is forced to shift to free-to-play, but I'm unsure what the value will likely be when it comes to loyalty to the brand. If fans feel burned or taken benefit of, the Elder Scrolls franchise will undergo. A subscription payment primarily says, "You may stop World of Warcraft/EVE On-line/Last Fantasy XIV for this," and that's exceptionally bold from a studio that's never made an MMO.

Tina: I actually don't see how CCP can keep its commitment to finish World of Darkness whereas frequently chopping the crew. We need to see some stable results in 2014 to prove otherwise.

Greatest Innovation or Development of 2013: The return of sandbox gameplay

Runner-up: Defiance's transmedia synergy

Other nominees: Oculus Rift, Guild Wars 2's cadence, streaming games, blurring genre strains, actiony MMOs, voxels, and Warhammer's sunset.

Toli: I like that developments are swinging again towards a variety of gameplay features this 12 months. Voxels! Sandboxy issues! I flip around and immediately MMOs are launching with housing again! Holy smokes!

Matt: I'm joyful to see more studios tapping into the sandbox market. From heavy-hitters like EverQuest Next and Star Citizen to less-hyped titles like Pathfinder Online, the sandbox style is gaining a variety of traction.

Larry: Defiance was a disappointment as a game, however as a product it broke the mold. I really enjoyed the tie-in launch of a tv sequence with an MMO. I do not suppose different games want to copy this model exactly, however I do assume that tie-ins, crossovers, and multi-media launches add value to a product. And i also consider that outdoors-the-field considering needs to be inspired in MMOs, even if it does in the end flop.

Justin: Oculus Rift: May VR come again to be an precise future for MMOs? It is a possibility, and what teases we're seeing this yr have whet my desire to attempt it out for actual.

Shawn: Closing Warhammer Online. I mean, the sport was kinda fun at first, but can we cease with that precise system now? Thanks. (I'm already placing my vote in for 2015's Greatest Development to be "the tip of voxel-based mostly on-line video games.")

Most Improved in 2013: Ultimate Fantasy XIV

Runners-up: Tie between Star Wars: The Outdated Republic and RuneScape 3

Jasmine: Closing Fantasy XIV. It improved so much from 1.Zero to 2.Zero that it plays like an nearly entirely totally different recreation. I do not think you can get way more improved than that.

Beau: RuneScape 3 introduced a lot to the older game that it actually is a unique sport. It is always been dynamic and felt like a dwelling world, but this relaunch made it that much better.

Those are our picks. Howsabout yours?