MMOs exploded this year, but not in the ways you’d expect

Millions of players give MMOs a chance, get hooked and populate their vast worlds. Final Fantasy 14 is the most popular MMO this year, and it’s not even available for purchase right now. Final Fantasy 14 exceeded all expectations and became the largest fantasy MMO, surpassing World of Warcraft. It was so popular during the summer before its major Endwalker expansion, that even its developers didn’t see it coming.

Global semiconductor shortages have a grip on everything, from cars to graphics cards, but they are also the reason Final Fantasy 14’s servers cannot hold all the players who log in to play. Square Enix and Naoki Yoshida (the game’s director) have posted post after post, apologizing for long queue times and detailing what it can and can’t do.

Final Fantasy 14 is currently in the midst of a horrendous 2021. MMOs were always the kind of game that tested the limits of modern technology. This year, the tech is unable to meet the demand. Eorzea and the whole world have been halted by the coronavirus. According to the developer, the virus has not been able to travel overseas to turn on more servers because of its resurgence in Japan. Every player who tried to log in for the game’s monumental expansion was met with long queue times and a variety of errors.

Square Enix’s apparent honesty is what makes Final Fantasy 14 so beloved by many. Many have called them “refugees” and praised the game more than its direct rival, World of Warcraft. Blizzard’s MMO, which has been trending in this direction for some time, continues to disappoint many of its players with misguided features as well as confusing story developments. World of Warcraft’s most recent expansion Shadowlands failed to address the anger caused by Battle for Azeroth. This was combined with Activision Blizzard’s widespread sexual harassment allegations and discrimination accusations that led to a significant number of players fleeing the game.

You could have predicted Final Fantasy 14’s rise and World of Warcraft’s fall by studying the trajectories of both games over the last few years. It’s hard to believe anyone could have predicted that New World would attract so much attention and keep it for four months. In his review, Fraser Brown, our own Fraser Brown, described the game as confusing, grindy, weak, and difficult for solo play. These criticisms didn’t stop it from having over 100,000 concurrent Steam players. Many more are continuing to stream it on Twitch. Amazon’s first MMO was among a number of server problems, bugs and exploits that cemented its position as one of 2021’s most important debuts.

Destiny 2 is another must-see. The year was spent by the shooter MMO to prepare for The Witch Queen’s expansion in early 2022. This expansion addressed issues such as crossplay, seasonal storytelling and cosmetic systems. Destiny 2 put a lot of effort into cleaning up its content in order to better serve its players, even though it didn’t address the concerns raised by last year’s Beyond Light expansion that ejected entire planets from the game.

There are also ongoing games such as Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2, Crowfall, or Genshin Impact, if we’re generous with our definitions. MMOs and other games that break the rules are constantly running and updating. This is why you should give them a try. The maturity of MMOs means that almost all can find a home in one that suits their thematic preferences and mechanical needs. It’s very rare for MMOs ever to cease to exist. Instead, they are more likely to be found in dedicated Discord servers, subreddits, forums, and Discord servers. The MMO is still alive and well in 2021.

Final Fantasy 14’s rapid success in the wake of World of Warcraft’s demise is a clear example of how player retention and reception define MMOs better than other live service games that are primarily focused on singleplayer experiences. These games are dynamic and require a steady pool of players to support their group-based events. This year would have been very different if Final Fantasy 14 had not spent eight years creating a complex story and a supportive community.

Endwalker, the massive expansion that wraps up the story that began in 2013’s A Realm Reborn is a hefty one that brings together much of the game’s history into a cataclysmic moment. Eorzea and its Warriors of Light have faced many foes but none have threatened the whole universe at once.

Endwalker offers a chance to relive the vast storyline and cast of characters from Final Fantasy 14. You will be able to revisit old friends, foes, and places throughout the story. Endwalker, like 2019’s Shadowbringers expansion reveals some of the most intriguing mysteries in the game. It’s a farewell to Final Fantasy 14 as well as a warm acknowledgment of those who helped keep the game alive in its first iteration. It’s a celebration for a place many call home for many years.

For many players who want to understand the game or even be part of it, it’s a place that can be considered a home and a possible destination. It is difficult to recommend it after its initial hours. They are slow, uninteresting, and quite dry, even without context. Once you can get past this and find a section or activity that you enjoy, you will be in good shape.

After I discovered Heavensward, I was not sold on the game. It combines a lot of what you would get from Game of Thrones with the scope of an RPG. Last year, I got really into smashing rocks as a Miner in the game’s pseudo-open world crafting-and-gathering area. Final Fantasy 14 fashion is my favorite, which basically means dressing up my bunny as Nier: Automata 2B.

Every person has their own reasons for wanting to play the game. MMOs are so appealing because everyone has their own reasons for wanting to play the game. This is why 2021, with Twitch streaming becoming so popular, has been a great year for MMOs. It’s easy to bring everyone together, and MMOs have done it for years.

Final Fantasy 14’s success and New World’s meteoric rise is a sign that MMOs endure and adapt as many games use parts of them. MMOs are responsible for the rise in live service games and even inhabitable worlds such as Fortnite. Most people know what raids and how to dungeons look like in 2021. This wasn’t true during World of Warcraft’s peak, when there were 12 million players.

It’s easy to understand why people want one game. With so many things happening in the past few years it’s hard to believe that anyone would want one game that will respect their time, allow them to have a lot of control over what they do and be able to share that information with their friends. It wasn’t World of Warcraft this past year. The game was criticized for its inability to uphold its most loyal players, and Activision Blizzard made it difficult to convince anyone to play it with the constant news about its toxic workplace culture. Final Fantasy 14 was replaced by New World, which showed us what kind of game people are looking for right now.

Long-time player I am well aware that MMOs and their users are always changing and stirring. A community might become stagnant if there is not enough content. However, a new release could spark everyone’s interest. You’re always willing to return to something you have invested so much time in, whether it’s through nostalgia or new experiences. Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker, New World and other MMO games have firmly established their place in the MMO world. They may be snapshots of a time, but they are equally important if you want to understand why MMOs have become such a huge and important genre.–jour-aucune-vrification–jour-aucune-vrification/c/ytT5qx_9SHg

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Janine Joubert

About the Author: Janine Joubert

I am the Writer Working for The Daily News Global. I love to keep our readers updated with the latest Gaming News from all around the world without worrying about it.

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