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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Most Improved MMO

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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...



FFXIV
Anatoli Ingram, Columnist
@ceruleangrey: Guild Wars 2's living world really took a step up in season two, even though I miss the event-style content of season one. Overall we've seen a stronger story, better characterization and pacing, and a plot that feels more firmly connected to the game's established lore. ArenaNet has also improved reward systems, added more goals, revamped the new player experience (yes, I'll still defend that), and increased Tyria's explorable landmass. If all of this isn't leading to even bigger things in the coming year, you can print this prediction out and bonk me on the noggin with it. I am that confident.

Brendan Drain, Columnist
@nyphur: EVE Online. The change from two major expansions per year to a six-week deployment cycle has been a huge boon for EVE and resulted in far more complete and polished updates. The game was made more accessible to new players thanks to a complete overhaul of the industrial gameplay, a new notification system, an unlimited skill queue, and the removal of clone tiers and skillpoint loss on death. The frequent release of new exploration sites and loot has given veteran players something new to hunt for every few months, and a few long-overdue balance changes to capital ships have helped keep PvP interesting. Best of all, CCP proved that it can still tackle big features with December's Rhea update, which added 100 new wormhole systems, Tech 3 destroyers, a special pirate hub system called Thera, and a fantastic new live event that has had lore buffs like me in a tizzy.

Bree Royce, Editor-in-Chief
@nbrianna/blog: Star Wars: The Old Republic. I've been incredibly impressed at BioWare's effort into SWTOR. This year more than any time post-launch, the studio is treating the game like the AAA MMO it deserves to be, and the duodecupled experience boost that gripped pretty much everyone I know is a huge step forward for a genre that is otherwise uniformly obsessed with sadistic, boring grinds.

Eliot Lefebvre, Contributing Editor
@Eliot_Lefebvre/blog: Final Fantasy XIV, which has over the course of this year added housing, gardening, marriage, tons of new dungeons, quests, and raids, new open-world content, new ways of advancing characters, a new class... the game was good at launch and it's only gotten better. Mistakes have definitely been made, but the sheer amount of stuff going on makes any mistakes feel less egregious.

Jef Reahard, Managing Editor
@jefreahard: EVE Online. I'm dabbling here again since ArcheAge is more surrealist performance art than sandbox MMO. And it seems like CCP has doubled down on usability improvements, feature adds, and a bunch of life-quality stuff since I've been away. I love that skill loss and clone upgrades are history, and what the what? Manual flight controls? Uh, yes please.

Justin Olivetti, Contributing Editor
@Sypster/blog: Star Trek Online. Not only did STO release a new expansion with 10 additional levels and a new tier of starships, but it also overhauled the crafting system and Earth Spacedock. That shows me that Cryptic wasn't content to let creaky content age, and I applaud that. Plus, the devs got in a number of Star Trek actors to reprise their roles, which lent a lot to the stories in the game. I feel very comfortable nominating this here.

Mike Foster, Contributing Editor
@MikedotFoster/blog: Every time I log into Final Fantasy XIV, which I originally purchased in February, there's some sort of new feature or cool addition. I don't think the re-launched version of the game was all that weak to begin with, but Square Enix has done an excellent job of constantly building new features and giving players good reasons to keep playing. Exactly what one expects from a game with a monthly fee.

MJ Guthrie, Contributing Editor
@MJ_Guthrie/blog: Although I don't really play it, Final Fantasy XIV has added so many things this past year that you can't avoid giving it a nod. But that's not to say it was a bad game that needed improving just to be palatable, just that it piled more stuff on top of what it already had!


Let's have your vote!%Poll-90215%
Our awards so far...

Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 3: Most Improved MMO - Final Fantasy XIV
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 2: Biggest Story of the Year - ArcheAge melodrama
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 1: Most Underrated MMO - Elite: Dangerous

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