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The 2015 Grindies - Because We Have Opinions

AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
edited January 2016 in MMO Extravaganza
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Since this was well received last year, and a new thread hasn't been put up yet, it's time to open up nominations for the 2015 edition of our MMO awards, The Grindies.

As a reminder, here are the categories:

MMO Of The Year: Exactly what it says on the box - which MMO was the best in 2015?

Best Graphics

Best Story

Best Music

Best Combat

Best Crafting

Achievement in Real Estate Award

Toronto Housing Market Award For "Achievement" In Real Estate

The Vlad Award for Dungeon Design

The Mountain Dew Award in PvP

Best Content Patch

Best Expansion

Best Newcomer

The APB Award in Abject Failure

The Rip Van Winkle Award For Resting On One's Laurels

Most Improved

The Karl Marx F2P Award

The Robert Kotick "F2P" Award

To be eligible, the game must have formally launched in the US on or before December 31st, 2015. The one exception, due to the year and that the majority of its prep was done in 2015, is Blade and Soul.

Nominations will be open until February 15. To nominate, put down which games should be up for which awards, and a short blurb as to why in a comment below.

Edit: A few changes!

One, as it was pointed out, giving Blade and Soul an exemption to the cutoff makes sense as the game has been out abroad, and the testing for the US launch took place in 2015.

Two, because it's only fair if this is a competition, the positive awards will only be kept if there are two or more candidates for the award. The negative awards may be kept if there is only one candidate, because problems need to pointed out.

Three, there are two new awards. The Toronto Housing Market award is for the game that most flubbed player housing, much like Toronto is doing with their actual housing market. The Rip Van Winkle award is for the game that most sat back on its current state and said "What update?"

XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
AngelHedgie on

Posts

  • CorehealerCorehealer The Apothecary The softer edge of the universe.Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Here's my mostly exhaustive list of recommendations:

    MMO Of The Year: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. Hands down without a doubt the most cohesive MMO experience there is on almost every front, and consistently too. It has solid PvE, great and highly detailed story content that tugs on your heartstrings at times, raids with tough and sometimes brutal mechanics, plenty of dungeons and LFG content to keep you busy, a crafting system that would make even a bitter veteran of the older MMO games that did good crafting like SWG blush, and an ever improving PvP and open world PvE sphere of design. Every day I see more and more new sprout bearing new adventurers in starting zones, and I understand why.

    Best Graphics: Skyforge. Those Russian devs have come a long way from the cartoony look of Allods Online for sure. This game has a few things going for it this early in it's life and graphical quality is definately one.

    Best Story: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. Koji Fox and his Japanese counterparts are goddamn geniuses for the most part, making entertaining main, side and class quest story arcs that enthrall, entertain and world build together and give players a deeper sense of connection to the world of Eorzea, it's people and it's problems, many of them all too familiar to us in the real world. SWTOR content of late is a pretty good contender for this section as well, as anyone who'se played Fallen Empire can attest to.

    Best Music: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. Masayoshi Soken has done a fabulous job in ARR and HW blending different musical genres and themes together to give a rich variety and auditory delight to each zone and dungeon and raid. Soken and those that work with him should be given medals for the scores of the Coils of Bahamut and the Heavensward theme alone.

    Best Combat: I'd put Blade and Soul here, but it only just came out in Western markets finally after years of being around in South Korea and Asia generally, so I leave this one more open to whatever people think is a better alternative. Many of the games I list here for other reasons have good combat, but not on the level perhaps of deserving the epithet of best combat.

    It is also important to remember combat mileage as ever varies greatly between those who prefer twitchy action oriented combat, those who prefer tab targeting cooldown centric action bars with a slower and more methodical pace, and those who want a bigger mix of both, to the extent both can be mixed.

    Best Crafting: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. A game unto itself that can be played without really needing to dive too deep into the combat PvE and PvP aspects of the game except as a means for raising some gil to feed that crafting addiction. Gathering jobs, specialized crafting soulstones and abilities, crafting questlines and levequests, craftable housing items, crafted airship components and now the equivalent of tombstone gear progression for crafters via blue and red crafting scrips all contribute to a deep and enjoyable crafting experience.

    Achievement in Real Estate Award: NOT Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. FFXIV has a few things that I don't like, and by far the housing situation is the worst of the lot. The game needs to get it's artificially limited housing systems in line and stop making the three housing districts a seller's market and render many craftable housing items (especially Carpenter created ones) essentially useless and lacking in market value. Also needs a Ishgard housing area, to add even more space.

    If you're going to award housing to anyone, I'd recommend SWTOR for the good work they've done and continue to do with Strongholds.

    The Vlad Award for Dungeon Design: I would like to say FFXIV here again, and it does have some pretty great dungeons and raids released often, but I know a few other games here and some stuff in Blade and Soul have a lot of potential/are pretty well designed for their mechanics. The Secret World for example has been doing some of it's better work in this area of design, regardless of how you might view the controversial AEGIS system. So I honestly am left thinking this one should be either split among several prominent titles or left vacant.

    The Mountain Dew Award in PvP: I want this one to be placed on ice until the spiritual successor to DAoC comes out (Camelot Unchained), so we can then hand it to City State Entertainment if they pull it off.

    I don't really see a lot else of interest in this section of MMO design of late, and the more successful PvE experiences around right now like FFXIV have largely treated PvP as an afterthought or something to be avoided. In the case of GW2, they've largely been screwing the pooch in terms of their venerable WvW PvP system by taking a giant dump on their community communication transparency wise and not doing a lot with that section of their game even in sPvP. More MMOs need to step it up in this area to compete with MoBAs and shooters for the bloodthirsty MMO enthusiasts among us.

    Best Content Patch: The Secret World Issue #12: To The Dark Tower Below. Added a bunch of stuff that the game needed frankly for a long time like a more streamlined early game experience and an LFG tool. Not to mention more Orochi/Tokyo content generally.

    Best Expansion: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. For many of the reasons listed above and more. I would also like to have Knights of the Fallen Empire for Star Wars: The Old Republic put in here as a very close runner up and absolutely an expansion deserving of recognition and praise from a story development standpoint.

    Best Newcomer: Skyforge. Seems like a promising, if generic-y Russian entry into the MMO space that has some really neat combat and character class progression ideas but might not be able to stand out among the crowd as a cohesive experience once it's in full release territory.

    The APB Award in Abject Failure: Split this one between post F2P Wildstar and post F2P TERA in my opinion, one of which should probably be shot to put it out of it's misery and the other allowed to shamble along in zombie life to provide occasional entertainment to the masses. I will let you guess which is which. None of the more recent releases or re-releases strikes of failure (yet), at least not of a catastrophic kind like we saw with these two not long after their respective launches.

    Most Improved: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Lots and lots of good improvements here over the past year from the mixed bag that was ESO 1.0 and with a fair F2P system to boot, which I think is also deserving of The Karl Marx F2P Award as well. I played a lot of this over the holidays and still do so casually as an alternative for my open world Bethesda IP fix to Fallout 4's somewhat bland quests, which is certainly saying something.

    As a side note, I don't think World of Warcraft deserves ridicule or praise in any areas at present, and so I don't include it among my list. Blizzard's masterwork is mostly just trudging along now and others are fading faster or reaching new heights of iteration and innovation instead, with Blizzard themselves largely moving on with other things like Hearthstone, HotS and Overwatch, and Legion looking more like everything and the kitchen sink redux rather then something that makes me stand up and say "Wow, I really want to play WoW again!".

    Corehealer on
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  • AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    I just wanted to pop in quick, before I gather my thoughts, and echo Core's Best Story choice of FFXIV: Heavensward

    It is, no joke, no exaggeration, one of the best Final Fantasy stories in a long, long time.

    SE needs to give these guys the reigns to a mainline FF game ASAP.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I think Core really likes FFXIV :-P

    Ladies.
  • I needed a gnome to post.I needed a gnome to post. Registered User regular
    Honestly though looking at MMO releases in 2015, it seems like it's really ff14's year to shine. There don't seem to be any other huge releases or patch shakeups.

    Like it's FF14 Heavensward, Skyforge, that GW2 expansion, and that TOR expansion.

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  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    I dunno, depends? DFO had a really good patch year. So did dragon nest. ESO did a lot of things right. Though I guess this kind of worms down to how one defines a mmo.

    Like I'd probably throw path of exile into the mix. Probably marvel heroes too for the failure category. That weird monster game is apparently doing really well for itself too. ...I totally forget the name of it though.

    Can warframe be a mmo? Because hot damn that game.

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  • DelphinidaesDelphinidaes FFXIV: Delphi Kisaragi Registered User regular
    Well I was gonna post here but Core pretty much nailed what I was gonna say. FFXIV:Heavensward has pretty much set the standard for an expansion release and what an MMO should strive for these days in the classic sense. The only real missteps have been in making the Raid content a bit too hard (something they have acknowledged and will change in the upcoming February Raid tier), the housing being really only available for the 1% of the 1%, and PvP being there, and honestly fun, but still needs some work.

    Outside of that they continue to bring amazing graphics, awesome story, very cool dungeon designs, superb music, and the balance between the classes remains the tightest I've ever seen in an MMO, each class is completely viable in their role with really only a marginal difference at the most extreme level of play. The one exception being Paladin being a bit on the weak side, but that's largely due to their focus on physical mitigation and the current raid tier leaning towards magic damage, still it's something they have noted and will be adjusting in the next raid tier as well.

    They also continue to release side content for anyone to enjoy with things like Triple Triad, Chocobo Racing, Lord of Verminion, and multiple side storylines with awesome characters and cool stories.

    Basically it's the gold standard right now and they've taken a lot of cues from older successful MMOs, taken what works, refined it, and also intelligently tackled some classic problems and managed to make quite the successful MMO.

    NNID: delphinidaes
    Official PA Forums FFXIV:ARR Free Company <GHOST> gitl.enjin.com Join us on Sargatanas!
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  • Kai_SanKai_San Commonly known as Klineshrike! Registered User regular
    It is a shame, because B&S EASILLY would win the PVP award if it had come out 3 weeks earlier.

    No other MMO pvp even compared at this point. It really is that good.

    It is sad but literally the only MMO with pvp that deserves a mention is GW2 and I hear that has gone down the tubes lately.

  • StericaSterica Halloween Japes Registered User, Moderator mod
    I honestly didn't bother because this was very light year in terms of releases compared to 2014, so not a lot changed that would cause a major shift in the voting.

    Not to say you can't run this, but honestly I would have cut down on categories because I think FFXIV is going to run away with the votes again barring maybe some competition from GW2. At this point WoW is just stagnating and the devs come in once a year to wipe off the mold. Like seriously: there was only one real major content patch this year since I think nobody counts 6.1 as being significant enough.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Okay, so two questions for you all:

    1. Should Blade and Soul be allowed in the mix? While I did set a limit on eligibility, considering that it has been out in Asia and was getting tested in 2015 for the US market, a case can be made to let it in. What do you think?

    2. So, I'm thinking of adding a new award, the Toronto Housing Market Award For "Achievement" In Player Housing. What do you all think?

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • CorehealerCorehealer The Apothecary The softer edge of the universe.Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Okay, so two questions for you all:

    1. Should Blade and Soul be allowed in the mix? While I did set a limit on eligibility, considering that it has been out in Asia and was getting tested in 2015 for the US market, a case can be made to let it in. What do you think?

    I think it should be let in, for the reasons you raise and because it's been a lightweight year for MMOs generally in 2015.
    2. So, I'm thinking of adding a new award, the Toronto Housing Market Award For "Achievement" In Player Housing. What do you all think?

    Yes; give it to FFXIV for housing costing several million Gil at minimum to buy.

    Corehealer on
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  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    I still think dragon nest has the better pvp, actually.

    Or DFO, when you get down to it. That game has a pretty serious business Korean PvP following because of its arena.

    Both are weird, complex beasts with frame cancelling, iframes, footsies and zoning, counters and all that junk.

    All without having the awful B&S stealth class. Because man stealth makes everything fun.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    OP has been updated - please read the changes!

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • CorehealerCorehealer The Apothecary The softer edge of the universe.Registered User regular
    Rip Van Winkle Award goes hands down to World of Warcraft. Fingers crossed WoW's Legion expansion proves to be more then a desperate attempt to avoid further sub lapses or a growing chorus of former players pining for a fuller F2P WoW option.

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  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    Rip Van Winkle goes to firefall, hands down.

    Yes, it still exists!

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  • CorehealerCorehealer The Apothecary The softer edge of the universe.Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    I don't know, Firefall actually seems to be trying to add more content then even WoW, which is a hell of a thing considering there hasn't been much since it finally launched in 2014.

    They are mostly just doing bug fixes and class balance changes however, still, which is also a hell of a thing.

    EDIT: I went and looked, they haven't released any content updates in months, so they are probably also a good contender with WoW for Van Winkle.

    Corehealer on
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  • VeagleVeagle Registered User regular
    Swtor is pretty much the only thing I played this year, but I think it could be a contender for Best Story and Best Expansion. KotFE really gets them back on track with the single-player storylines, and the jump in quality in the new cutscenes seems like it's a whole new game.

    I guess I also played Wildstar after it went F2P, but boy did my interest in it ever fall off fast, so I guess it could get the The APB Award in Abject Failure. The cash shop looked pretty decent from my brief time with it, and I think you could eventually unlock most things with in game currencies, so maybe toss it The Karl Marx F2P Award as a consolation prize.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    I would just call it for FF14 and be done. As a resident FF14 hater I have nothing to stack against it.

    What is this I don't even.
  • Kai_SanKai_San Commonly known as Klineshrike! Registered User regular
    I have played DFO pvp at least, and while fun I do not rank it above B&S at all.

    B&S so far has felt more balanced than what I experienced in DFO, and will be getting better when it is caught up in patches. And even though DFO almost downright feels like a fighting game, B&S feels like a perfect hybrid of actual online game and fighter. There is a reason that actual fighting games are not taken seriously online. You can honestly only expect to go so far in the direction of pure FG, and B&S seems to be at a sweet spot for it. Sure it does have targetting, but once you get into it it doesn't quite feel like it (and you need to keep them reasonably in front of you or lose the target).

    And Assassin stealth is not as bad as it seems. The only factor about it that is stupid is the RNG dodge it has that makes it 50/50 if you actually knock them out of it or not. Apparently this goes away later and is replaced with the ability for them to be invulnverable for 1 second on stealth which is MUCH more predictable. Not only that, but strong play allows you to avoid them going into stealth mostly and since you can see them, there is a hard counter to it. It is not GW2 or WoW levels of annoying stealth.

  • Lucid_SeraphLucid_Seraph TealDeer MarylandRegistered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Corehealer wrote: »
    2. So, I'm thinking of adding a new award, the Toronto Housing Market Award For "Achievement" In Player Housing. What do you all think?

    Yes; give it to FFXIV for housing costing several million Gil at minimum to buy.


    Or Guild Wars 2: you can get the "housing" (a shared guild hall), but it costs several hundred gold to build even the most basic and boring of decorations. And you still can't even sit in chairs or interact with most furniture in any sort of meaningful way.

    *e* Maybe that'd be the Restoration Hardware Award for Most Overpriced Furniture instead.

    Lucid_Seraph on
  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    I don't even understand the meaning of most of those category awards.

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    PSN: AuthorFrost
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  • KylindraKylindra Sage Registered User regular
    Is "Toronto Housing Market Award For "Achievement" In Real Estate" the one where we nominate shitty player housing? Because if so I nominate Guild Wars 2 for fucking up guild halls so badly that I can't even. Our guild officers and members have poured thousands of gold worth of resources into the damn thing and there's still more to do. And the benefits of having done so are marginal at best! Oh, and our guild leader went broke trying to level scribing, the crafting discipline that lets you make furniture, and now that he finally has we can't afford any furniture because it's all insanely expensive and we're all too damn broke from leveling up the hall and scribing.

    If not for that and the WvW fiasco, I would nominate GW2 for Best Expansion. The new zones were good, the new bosses were great, the story was good, adventures are fun, the new masteries are fun (can we get an honorable mention on the basis of gliding alone? Wheeeeeeeeeee!) and the new class is good. It was a really great time for about 2 months. And then we made it out the other side and realized that the insane prices of materials weren't going down and that all our accumulated resources had been drained and that we still needed more and that we were going to have to grind forever to get it and they still keep coming out with more stuff to bleed us with. :(


    Sage Persephone
  • Lucid_SeraphLucid_Seraph TealDeer MarylandRegistered User regular
    why the fuck do scribes make chairs anyway

    shouldn't carpenters be making goddamn chairs

    scribes WRITE stuff, they don't make fucking chairs!

  • CorehealerCorehealer The Apothecary The softer edge of the universe.Registered User regular
    In FFXIV, carpenters make chairs, and most crafting classes can make furniture. I think Culinarian might be the only one that can't but I might just be forgetting if they can make any of the food you can put in your house or not.

    And yeah the housing situation in Heavensward is still crummy but from what I've heard about the current state of the long awaited guild halls I get the sense that our monetary housing expenses in Eorzea pale in comparison. Which is one reason I decided Heart of Thorns wasn't expansion of the year, even though in many other respects it had a strong showing.

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  • Lucid_SeraphLucid_Seraph TealDeer MarylandRegistered User regular
    Corehealer wrote: »
    In FFXIV, carpenters make chairs, and most crafting classes can make furniture. I think Culinarian might be the only one that can't but I might just be forgetting if they can make any of the food you can put in your house or not.

    And yeah the housing situation in Heavensward is still crummy but from what I've heard about the current state of the long awaited guild halls I get the sense that our monetary housing expenses in Eorzea pale in comparison. Which is one reason I decided Heart of Thorns wasn't expansion of the year, even though in many other respects it had a strong showing.

    Yeah it's a damn shame because there's so many other areas in which HoT shines. Gliding alone is one of the best things in the whole entire universe, AND you can do it on any map now. I have literally spent hours just flying around maps because I can fly AND YET unlike WoW flying it didn't break the entire game because you do have to land eventually. ... on most maps. And on maps where you do not ever have to land, the map was specifically designed with that in mind.

  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    Corehealer wrote: »
    In FFXIV, carpenters make chairs, and most crafting classes can make furniture. I think Culinarian might be the only one that can't but I might just be forgetting if they can make any of the food you can put in your house or not.

    And yeah the housing situation in Heavensward is still crummy but from what I've heard about the current state of the long awaited guild halls I get the sense that our monetary housing expenses in Eorzea pale in comparison. Which is one reason I decided Heart of Thorns wasn't expansion of the year, even though in many other respects it had a strong showing.

    Culinarians do make all the food, tea sets, and stripper sized cakes for your home.

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  • drunkenpandarendrunkenpandaren Slapping all the goblin ham In the top laneRegistered User regular
    But where do I get stripper poles?

    Origin: DPPandaren
    Steam: pandas_gota_gun
  • CorehealerCorehealer The Apothecary The softer edge of the universe.Registered User regular
    But where do I get stripper poles?

    Blacksmith.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    So, just to point out, nominations are closed. I'm going to figure out what awards have candidates, and have the ballot up in a day or two.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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