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

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...

WildStar and ArcheAge

Anatoli Ingram, Columnist

@ceruleangrey: For me, it's ArcheAge. I know it has its fans, and I hope it finds its feet, but it's never fun to look forward to a game for a long time and then realize, "Yeah, this just isn't something I'm going to enjoy."

Brendan Drain, Columnist

@nyphur: World of Darkness. So little visible progress was made on World of Darkness each year that it was largely considered vapourware, but fans hung onto hope as they knew CCP was obligated to make the game as part of its 2006 merger deal with White Wolf. Its official cancellation this year burst that bubble for a lot of Vampire: The Masquerade fans worldwide, and there's still no word on what (if anything) CCP plans to do with the World of Darkness IP. (Editor's note: Technically, WoD didn't launch this year, but the cancelation was this year, provoking the disappointment, so we've opted to include the vote as it stands.)

Bree Royce, Editor-in-Chief

@nbrianna/blog: WildStar. I don't think it's a terrible game, and the launch itself wasn't a trainwreck at all, but it's certainly the biggest disappointment of the year, particularly given that my expectations for the other releases were so much lower. WildStar bears little resemblance to its marketing from even two years ago, it hasn't been handled well post-launch by its studio, and it could have been so very much more -- there's a reason it won "most anticipated" here on Massively two years in a row. Disappointment is exactly the right word for its 2014 showing.

Eliot Lefebvre, Contributing Editor

@Eliot_Lefebvre/blog: WildStar. In a year filled with disappointing launches and titles that could be doing so much better, WildStar had every reason to be a real standout. Instead the game focused on high-end huge raids as the pinnacle of endgame and doubled down on randomness and constant challenge, relegating interesting concepts like Paths to the sidelines. The game still has an interesting crafting system, great graphics, interesting lore, fantastic housing, and tons of potential, but it crashed hard on impact by not capitalizing on what it did well.

Jef Reahard, Managing Editor

@jefreahard: ArcheAge. I don't have anything to add here that I haven't ranted about already, so I'll just direct you to said rants.

Justin Olivetti, Contributing Editor

@Sypster/blog: Elder Scrolls Online. Almost everything that Elder Scrolls has historically been about, ESO was not, starting with a lack of a sandbox world. The over-reliance on the single-person instanced story, the botched grouping mechanics, and the "had to rewrite it on the fly" endgame took what should have been instant gold and made it a mere silver. Plus, there's the issue of the console release being (indefinitely?) postponed, making PC players feel as though they are continuing to pay for beta testing what the "real" players will get later on.

Mike Foster, Contributing Editor

@MikedotFoster/blog: My traditional buying process involves getting something everyone else has been playing for months when it comes up cheap on Steam, so I'm rarely caught off-guard by a terrible game. As an observer, though, I would give this to ArcheAge. Watching the immense enthusiasm for the game fade into utter despair has been heartbreaking.

MJ Guthrie, Contributing Editor

@MJ_Guthrie/blog: After all the hype and excitement everyone was radiating for WildStar, I just wasn't impressed. In fact, parts of the game grated on me so much (those comments when you level up... ugh) that I couldn't really stomach playing long even though I did try. And trust me, given its robust housing features, I really wanted to enjoy it, but I never even could get far enough to participate in the housing since it was level-locked.

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