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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Best Update or Expansion of the Year

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Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Best Update or Expansion of the Year. Every patch, be it small freebie update or traditional paid expansion, was eligible for this category, as long as it released 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 just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Best Update or Expansion of 2014 is...




Anatoli Ingram, Columnist
@ceruleangrey: It's a hard call, but Guild Wars 2's April feature pack was my favorite. Even though I'm still divided on the positive impact of megaservers, I enjoyed almost every other change. I can't even remember what life was like before the wardrobe system. It must have been a dark time.

Brendan Drain, Columnist
@nyphur: EVE Online's Rhea release is some pretty exciting stuff, adding 100 new special wormhole systems, Tech 3 destroyers, manual flight controls, a ton of graphics updates, and a pirate hub system called Thera. Removal of the skill loss and death penalty associated with clones also takes some of the sting out of the game for new players and allows old players to fly cheaper ships again. But best of all, the wormhole storyline from 2009's Apocrypha expansion is finally being advanced. The new storyline ties together events from Apocrypha, the Empyrean Age novel, and EVE's earliest lore chronicles, and it's not just being played out in news posts and roleplaying forums. Ancient Sleeper NPCs are literally invading our space, scanning our ships and preparing for something ominous.

Bree Royce, Editor-in-Chief
@nbrianna/blog: Guild Wars 2's April feature pack. ArenaNet has done some bizarre, scattered stuff this year, and there are parts of the April feature pack that still make me scratch my head. But the feature pack, especially the wardrobe system but also the trait revamp and daily achievement retool, was a huge quality-of-life addition that outweighs my playing-it-right-now temptation to vote for Warlords of Draenor. I had way more fun with GW2 post-feature pack than any other MMO all year. That said, I expect bigger and better from GW2 next year.

Eliot Lefebvre, Contributing Editor
@Eliot_Lefebvre/blog: I'll throw my vote in for Star Wars: The Old Republic's Galactic Strongholds, which very nearly brought me back to the game just because it's a much-needed addition that seems to have a fair amount of modularity to it. Not quite enough to bring me back, but darn close.

Jef Reahard, Managing Editor
@jefreahard: I would like to say SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds because I really enjoy both the decoration mechanics and the sheer number of items available to place in your house. As ever, though, the cash shop ruins it for me, in this case because most of the desirable items are available only from the Cartel market or for bound currency that is a random lockbox prize from the Cartel market.

Justin Olivetti, Contributing Editor
@Sypster/blog: RIFT's Nightmare Tide. I suspect I'll be the only one writing this since I'm the only one on staff playing it, but you know what? It's a great expansion. The story is pretty awesome (gasp), the minion system is darn near addicting, and the little touches like sidekicking up to your friends' level reminds me that RIFT continues to be the most user-friendly MMO on the market.

Mike Foster, Contributing Editor
@MikedotFoster/blog: Gotta give this one to Dota 2's insanely huge 6.82 patch. Massive changes to core heroes, hundreds of tweaks to existing mechanics, and a complete map overhaul. It was really impressive to see Valve brazenly change so many things that have long been considered part of Dota's competitive meta. A lot of it ended up getting rolled back or softened, but those first few days provided quite a ride.

MJ Guthrie, Contributing Editor
@MJ_Guthrie/blog: Honestly I think this one often goes to what people know best and play more regularly. I was very impressed with EverQuest II's revisiting of its starter island as well as the new graphics. Final Fantasy XIV has definitely added lots to the game, and SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds brought housing. I mean, who doesn't want to have their own pad in the Star Wars universe?

But for top award, I am going with The Secret World's Sidestories packs! These packs have given players what they wanted -- more missions and more story done only as TSW can do. These new missions aren't just a reskinning of other tasks either; they have innovative new ways to engage the players. I love them!


Let's have your vote! Note: Including every patch for every game would make this poll unworkable, so we've included some from the bigger games nominated by our writing crew. Please feel free to write in for something else!%Poll-90342%
Our awards so far...

Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 10: Best Update of the Year - GW2's April feature pack
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 9: Most Likely to Flop - Star Citizen
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 8: Biggest MMO Blunder - Dev hubris & obstinance
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 7: Best MMO Trend - Sandbox gameplay
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 6: Best Pseudo-MMO - Hearthstone
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 5: Biggest Disappointment - Tie: WildStar & ArcheAge
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 4: Best MMO Studio - Sony Online Entertainment
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 3: Most Improved MMO - Final Fantasy XIV
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 2: Biggest Story - ArcheAge's melodrama
Massively's Best of 2014 Awards, Day 1: Most Underrated MMO - Elite: Dangerous

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