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Ask Massively: The one where we talk about our 2012 awards


Welcome back to Ask Massively. Here's your present: an edit button! What? You say you didn't get us anything? Awww. Well, let's get back to the important things, like your telling us how wrong our opinions are.

thatchefdude (and zaithnoc and cbv1020) asked: How can Guild Wars 2 be your game of the year and also runner-up for biggest disappointment of the year? I understand no game is perfect, but I would expect game of the year to not have enough disappointments in it to warrant it a place as runner-up for disappointment of the year.

Because voting.

OK, also because of a few other things.

I think people asked this question because they didn't realize we were taking a direct tally of the votes. Fifteen of our 19 staffers voted, and they all got to vote on anything they wanted (there was no list of nominees to choose from; the nominees were "everything"). So this is really just a math game: It'd be pretty simple for pro-GW2 folks to put together enough votes to win best game and for its detractors to group-vote and rank it high for most disappointing. Yeah, I suppose I could have massaged those votes for consistency's sake, but I preferred to be honest.

The other thing is that the split between fans of GW2 and fans of The Secret World (runner-up for best MMO) is severe and polarizing. Personally, I think that a major innovative game shutting down is significantly more disappointing than a decent game not entirely measuring up to its launch hype, but hey, each staffer got to vote however he or she wanted, and enough people voted for GW2 as a disappointment to get it on the list. It's that simple.

Worst-case scenario? Guild Wars 2 stays humble.

carson63000, NickSchipper, n13green, and Garlain asked (paraphrased): Why is Torchlight II the runner-up for Best Non-Traditional MMO of the Year? It's not even an MMO!

We basically threw all of our "not so massively" games in the running for this title -- non-traditional MMO(FPS)es, Diablo clones, MOBAs, etc. It made for a weird hodge-podge of an award. Is Torchlight II a traditional MMO? Not really, no, but people play it as if it were, and we wanted a category to reward all those weird not-quite-massives on the fringe.

joanromba, petersierra, and ManastuUtakata asked (paraphrased): Why is there no mention of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria? Is Massively barred from talking about WoW and leaving all mention of it to its sister site WoW Insider?

There's no conspiracy; not enough staffers voted for WoW to earn it a top-two spot in any one category. It did score nominations for best expansion and biggest disappointment, just too few to win anything (or lose anything, in the case of biggest disappointment -- some things, you just don't want to win).

BUNNEHGIRLZLotOfSize asked: The Elder Scrolls Online was not even there for most anticipated MMO? Hipster much? Does everyone on Massively wear scarfs and sip on their Starbucks coffee every morning also.

Voting for a bunnygirl-laden, space-cowboy MMO from a huge, faceless, Korean super-corporation makes us hipsters?

The fact that TESO scored not a single nomination for anything suggests to me that the bulk of the staff either doesn't know the game plans to launch in 2013 or doesn't believe it will happen and so stuck to games about which so much more is known. Personally, as a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls series stretching back to Daggerfall, I'm really looking forward to the MMO entry -- I'm just looking forward to WildStar (which won the award) even more.

Plus, I hate coffee.

Space Cobra asked: I am a bit surprised that Wildstar edged out ArcheAge around the Massively offices, given my "feelers" out on some writers. Also, I am wondering who that "single staffer" is who offered up a different game from the two top "MMO of the Year" choices, but I have my list of suspects!

I suspect the combination of WildStar's sandboxy offerings and ArcheAge's hazy launch future in the U.S. had a lot to do with the result. But I will say that it wasn't really close; ArcheAge barely squeaked in for number two because of the breadth of the competition. Other games nominated for the category? City of Steam, DUST 514, The War Z, Age of Wushu, and EQ Next.

You probably can guess the odd-man-out for MMO of the year if you've been reading Massively long enough. But I'll tell you the game: It was Wakfu, and you know what? I think that was a fair nomination, even though it was sure not to win. It's little, and a lot of people have probably never heard of it, but it's actually a really clever and beautiful game with lots of innovative bits and unusual gameplay. Kudos to it and the voter for thinking outside the box.

Someone asked (I can't remember who or where!): Why didn't you let the community vote?

Honestly? Because someone always finds a way to cheat, and the results are worthless... except to the games that win and get to bewilderedly hoist the champion's banner for a year.

Besides, we know which games you guys like -- they're the ones you are paying for and talking about every day!

We'll be talking more about our awards on the podcast on Monday; if you have another question you want answered, fire it off to and we might get to tackle it then.

What should you play? Where is the MMO industry headed? How does Massively operate? Has Lord British lost his marbles? Why is there no edit button? Should "monoclegate" be hyphenated? Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce submits to your interrogations right here in Ask Massively every Thursday. Drop your questions in the comments below or ping us at Just ask!

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