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2006 MMOWTF Award Winners

Editorial By Dan Fortier on December 19, 2006

2006 MMOWTF AWARD WINNERS

Dan Fortier returns this week to hand out his own awards for the Best of the Worst.

Editor's Note: This is an edition of a weekly column by Staff Writer Dan Fortier. The column is called "MMOWTF" and will look at some of the stranger or more frustrating events in MMOs as seen by Mr. Fotier. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of MMORPG.com, its staff or management.

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Welcome back to the 2006 MMOWTF Awards. Despite threats and plummeting approval ratings, I’m still your host for this weekly jaunt into forbidden territory. This week, we tally up all the votes that you placed and give out some punk cards to the losers in each category. I painstakingly counted each and every post/ballot and finished a mere couple of hours before the forums were the victim of a database failure. Each of the categories will show the game you voted for followed by my choice. Now without further ado, let’s see how you voted:

WORST GRAPHICS:

DARK AND LIGHT

With a healthy 38% of the votes, Dark and Light won by a decent margin over the runner ups Roma Victor (21%) and World of Warcraft (8%). This game met all of my requirements for truly awful graphics with its melted wax hills and mountains, horrible avatars and poorly placed structures. Congrats DnL, I hope we never see your like again.

MY PICK: ROMA VICTOR

There are so many choices here that it’s hard to select one from the bunch. Narrowing it down the games that are 3D and that look bad even on their released screen shots makes it a bit easier. I’d have to say that Roma Victor is the worst simply because it is brand new and looks equally as bad even on the highest settings. Et tu RedBedlam?

LEAST FUN:

STAR WARS GALAXIES

Star Wars has no trouble beating out the other games nominated in this field taking 37% of the votes when compared to Dark and Light (16%) and RF Online (11%). Obviously our voters are still a tad bit upset over the giant overhaul of the combat and class system last year. It is more fun than picking the fleas off a Wookie or potty-training an Ewok? Who knows, but I’m not in hurry to experience any of the three anytime soon.

MY PICK: DARK AND LIGHT

How much fun can you have in a game that crashes every ten minutes, has ridiculously poor design, and game breaking bugs? Not much, if any, I assure you. Why not hop on a Dragon and soar through the sky? Make sure to avoid looking at the ground if you enjoy getting more than 10 FPS. Take a hot air balloon ride across the massive landscape? If you do then everyone within 2 km will crash out as soon as you hop aboard only to be told they are already logged in when they try and restart! I wouldn’t recommend this ‘game’ even to a masochist.

MOST DESOLATE:

STAR WARS GALAXIES

Once again, the majority spoke and gave SWG another dubious award gaining 51% of the votes for this category. Coming in at second place was Dark and Light (23%) followed by Dark Age of Camelot (9%) at a distant third. In my introduction to the voting last week I suggested giving preference to game whose population had dropped rapidly rather than a game that never had the big numbers so I’m not too surprised at this outcome. Maybe by this time next year, everyone will be over it, or playing a new Star Wars game.

MY PICK: DARK AGE OF CAMELOT

It’s truly a sad state of affairs when even the mighty zerg army of Albion is reduced to a couple eight man groups in peak hours. While it never quite had the numbers the SWG enjoyed its demise is more significant to me because it represents the downfall of one of the best PvP games in the last ten years. All good things must come to an end though, so out with old and in with the new.

WORST USE OF A POPULAR IP OR LICENSE:

STAR WARS GALAXIES

Seeing a trend here? With 63% of the votes, Star Wars beat out Dungeons and Dragons Online (37%) and The Matrix Online (4%) for the worst of the MMOG conversions. I’m pretty sure that no permanent damage was done to the franchise, but for most of the voters SWG betrayed the original concept of the movie, much like the newest Trilogy did. DDO has fallen pretty far from last year when it won “Most Anticipated for 2006”. Shows how much you can trust award votes.

MY PICK: DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS ONLINE

This was a tough call since I was torn between DDO and Lord of the Rings. Being an old PnP gamer who still keeps 1st edition books I was appalled at the shallow gameplay and simplistic mechanics which are totally at odd with the flavor of the AD&D system. Why pay monthly for a poor mans’s Guild Wars when you can just log on to a NWN Persistent World for free and get better Modules to boot?

MOST SHAMELESS DEVELOPER:

SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT

With a staggering 77% of the votes SOE won in a blowout and the next closest was Dark and Light’s very own NP Cube (16%) and Turbine (3%). What can you say? When the gibbering hordes have spoken all you can do it stand aside and watch them play ‘Pin the Punk Card’. Keep your chin up Sony, at least the PS3 works great right?

MY PICK: NP CUBE

Sony may have their enemies, but for me I have to give the nod in this category to the guys from Reunion Island. Without comparing lies, mismanagement, and audience alienation stories, I can safely say that NP Cube has done more than anyone else to damage to the reputation of small time Devs everywhere and when you hurt the folks with little pockets it means a lot more in my book. Plan on dropping that NDA sometime guys?

MOST LIKELY TO BE CANCELLED IN 2007:

STAR WARS GALAXIES

Star Wars wins its fourth award tonight in a close fought battle of bargain-bin hopefuls taking 29% of the votes edging out it’s faithful runner up Dark and Light (17%) and Archlord (15%). The voters continued to vent their rage on their favorite meat puppet and SWG beat out other games on the chopping block with less than a tenth of their subscribers. I can only hope that by the time next year’s awards roll around we won’t have to look at any of the games that received votes here.

MY PICK: AUTO ASSAULT

How much longer can you go on with a handful of subscriptions and server merges before you call it quits? NetDevil may just choose to skate along on the razor edge of profit margin, but MMOs are only worth running if you love your own game. I don’t think any amount of extra work can turn this title into a money maker however.

BIGGEST STINKER:

STAR WARS GALAXIES

For some reason space opera games seem to win all the awards, good or bad here. Once again, Star Wars crapped its way past the competition gaining 40% of the overall votes. In a close second Dark and Light claimed 29% followed by Dungeons and Dragons Online (10%). This year the old school Pre-CU/NGE gangstas came out in ‘force’ and sent a message. Are they just Rebel scum without a cause? Will something good ever come of this franchise? Will I ever stop causing trouble by provoking die-hard fans? Difficult to answer, these questions are...uncertain the future is.

MY PICK: DARK AND LIGHT

Once again I’m in the minority here, but as far as I’m concerned this is the worst game top to bottom that I’ve ever had the displeasure to play. When this title is gone the MMO world will be a better place. When you have to hire an exorcist to uninstall something from your computer you’ll truly feel my pain.

Well, there you have it. After all is said and done we still aren’t any closer to original, fun and engaging titles than we were last year. Let’s all wish upon a star that 2007 brings me a reason to stop these Awards all together. When you’re done washing out your drool cup I’ll be waiting for your comments in the Forums. Till next time.

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