This is it...the week where you get to lay the smack down on the worst of the year in typical gamer style. The MMOWTF Awards are back for another year much to the chagrin of editors everywhere. I had hoped that the lineup for 2007 would have fared better than last year, but alas it seems there are quite a few games just begging for your vote this year. I've done some serious brain drizzling this week to make this year's vote even more entertaining. Without further ado: let's get this party started!
If you were fortunate enough to have missed last year's vote, let me remind everyone of the rules: This year has the same seven categories from last year, plus a new one. I am once again without all that HTML fancy-pants stuff so voting will consist of posting your vote in the forum topic. This will insure transparency in the process and make sure that all votes are properly counted unlike recent elections. Please only vote once since I have to manually count and tally each and every post. The results will be posted on next weeks MMOWTF along with my personal picks in each area.
I'm all for the 8-bit retro look, but If I can't tell a mob from my HP bar then something is terribly wrong. The loser in this field should have set a new standard for craptastic graphics and made your eyes bleed with every jerky animation. As with last year, try to give the nod to a 3D game and make allowance for the graphics standard when they were made. Last year Dark and Light won this dishonor, but are those wretched avatars still fresh enough in the minds of the half dozen remaining players for it to repeat? Time will tell.
Fun is in the eye of the beholder, but the game that gets your nomination in this category will make you wish you were blind. Some games suck because they are a boring and tedious grind while others have serious issues with stability and numerous bugs. Whatever your reasons, nominate the game that forced you to lose your hair, children, or sanity due to its horrible design. Star Wars Galaxies won the punk card last year, but will NGE angst alone be enough to carry it to victory again this year?
Free trials and server merges are sure sign that a game is a contender for this dubious award. Some games may seem more empty than they actually are because of poor group tools or mechanics that favor the end-game, thus leaving large tracts of the world vacant. When voting, weight your vote toward a game that really feels empty and devoid of life rather than simply comparing subscription numbers. Once again, SWG took the rotten tomato in 2006 so it's got history on its side. Perhaps a new Massively Single Player RPG will arise to take its crown.
Worst Use of Popular IP or License:
Look back on this past year and try to remember a game that made a mockery of a popular franchise. It's usually seen as a boon to make a game with an existing fan base but, pleasing them in a genre as static as MMOs is a tricky venture. Any game that is shredding the official canon or lore of a liceense in order to press it into a cookie cutter MMOld should get your nomination here with no questions asked. Last year Star Wars took the prize here on it's way to virtual sweep. With many more brand names jumping on the bandwagon it will have lots of competition this year.
This is the new category for this year's Awards. Almost all new MMO launches have glitches or unfinished features, but the game that deserves your nomination in this field got almost nothing right. Pick a new game that promised everything and delivered nothing and this one should be easy. The winner will set the standard for future years so choose wisely.
Most Likely to be Cancelled in 2008:
This is the part where you amaze us all with your foresight and pick the game most likely to bite the big one in the next year. Sometimes those games on life support just keep kicking (and in the case of DnL: billing) Some games run out of funds while others are just unlucky enough to get placed on 'Indefinite Hold' like Michael Vick. Whatever the reason, tell us what game won't last the year. You fine folks picked Star Wars Galaxies again last year, but it was I who was right when I picked Auto Assault. Now that I've broken my arm patting myself on the back, you get to pick the next game to get the ax.
The ultimate negative utopia in the MMO world during 2007 should get your vote here. Try to imagine a game that is worse than riding a razorblade into a vat of salt and you'll get an idea what title should win here. Sometimes the stars are perfectly aligned to birth a game so bad that the MMO gods weep in sorrow. Hyperbole aside, pick the game that defined 'Crap'.
Now go forth and cast your vote and I'll get my little minions hard a work counting while you sit back with a Coke and smile and watch the posts pile in. Feel free to link away to whatever corner of the web you rode in from so we can get a really good sample of the gamer public. If you want to drop a suggestion for the awards you can use the forum topic or shoot out a PM and I'll file it in my treasured keepsake folder till next year.