YouTuber Josh Strife Hayes is on a quest to play the worst MMOs ever made
When you’ve ever puzzled what sort of individual has the fortitude and keenness for video games to play the world’s worst MMORPGs, properly, we discovered him.
There’s one thing particular about nice MMOs like Closing Fantasy 14: they’re the sorts of video games that may swallow you up in sprawling tales, months-long quests for the final word gear, and communities that encourage lifelong friendships. There’s additionally one thing particular about horrible MMORPGs. As a result of after they’re unhealthy, they’re actually unhealthy: the MMO style could be a cornucopia of lifeless sport design, hilarious glitches, and microtransaction bullshit. They’re additionally notoriously time-intensive to play, and in consequence many commercially unsuccessful MMOs stay tragically unexamined. Fortunately there’s somebody documenting this wealthy and diversified historical past, and his title is Josh Strife Hayes.
Hayes’ YouTube channel is dedicated to MMOs, with a particular present on probably the most abysmal specimens of the style: The Worst MMOs Ever. From leveling up respiratory in Mortal On-line to navigating the psychotic free-floating stock within the Life is Feudal MMO, Hayes in some way has limitless reserves of persistence and vitality to energy via the “most terrible” video games he can discover. He even has a joke episode on Tinder, arguably the objectively worst MMO that many people can relate to, humorously evaluating it to a free-to-play sport that sends you on “quests” (dates). “It is a free-to-play sport which suggests it is closely biased in favor of those that pay to win, and it is in all probability one of many solely MMOs or RPGs ever the place the charisma stat issues greater than each different stat mixed,” he jokes.
Hayes’ journey into streaming started in college when he began enjoying Neverwinter. In 2017 he made a number of video guides and began to develop his YouTube channel till it snowballed right into a full-time job that paid the payments. He is been particularly profitable in streaming due to an innate sense of theatricality and leisure—he skilled as an expert stage actor and labored as an actor and performing trainer till COVID hit final 12 months.
“I noticed that I had sufficient expertise from sufficient MMOs to type of cross-compare techniques that I used to be seeing time and again,” he says. “Or I may relate what one sport was doing to what one other sport was doing. And the extra expertise you’ve got with video games, the better it turns into to do this.” For his “Worst MMOs” collection, Hayes tries to play every sport for 8-10 hours to offer it a good shot. “However so far as MMOs on the whole, they’ve taken up tens of hundreds of hours of my life,” he says.
So with all of this painstakingly discovered knowledge, what makes an MMO “the worst?” All of the movies within the collection are sturdy contenders, however there are a particular few that stand out. Dreamscape Dimensions is a very horrifying instance—it is a MUDD-turned-3D sport that used a whopping 15GB of RAM on Hayes’ first playthrough, prompting him to invest on whether or not the sport had hidden crypto-mining options. It additionally solely had 4 whole keybinds, you might unequip your individual hand/fist as a weapon, and it is the one MMO he is performed the place he could not even make it previous 4 hours. “I’m accomplished,” he says as an NPC very, very slowly hacks him to loss of life for strolling ever-so-slightly off the principle path. “This sport has had three-and-a-half hours longer than it deserves, to be trustworthy. This was dire.”
One of many worst MMOs he performed, Bloodlines of Prima, turned out to be the creation of 1 single individual; the developer truly received in contact with Hayes and revealed that it was a form of private problem to see if he may even make a sport. For Hayes, what constitutes “the worst sport” can also be about intent.
“It isn’t simply concerning the participant expertise of the sport… I’ve to take a look at the skin parts,” he says. “One man making a sport that is not less than playable is spectacular. However after I take a look at firms that make big large money seize pay-to-win video games. I might personally contemplate these worse as a result of they know they might do higher. They simply select to not. They know they have extra abilities. They simply select to not use them.”
For Hayes, integrity is a massively necessary consider judging a sport. He brings up developer Sergey Titov, who created arguably the worst sport ever made, Large Rigs Over the Highway Racing, microtransaction-filled zombie sport The Conflict Z, and a wild west-themed sport referred to as New Frontier. “However whereas I used to be scrolling via Steam to seek out different video games, I then discovered one other sport referred to as The Magnificent 5, which was a precise copy of [New Frontier],” he says. “So he is simply put the identical sport out twice, below two totally different names, they usually’re each monetized. So to me, that may present a scarcity of integrity… the truth that you are simply shotgun peppering video games all over the place as an alternative of specializing in one.”
Regardless of taking crappy MMOs to process on his channel, Hayes nonetheless harbors a love of unhealthy video games and typically prefaces his critiques with a brief speech on the significance of respecting builders for truly producing a sport.
“I discover a distinctive enjoyment in one thing being terrible. If one thing’s actually unhealthy, you may get pleasure from it even when you’re having fun with it mockingly,” says Hayes. “So to me the worst MMOs are those which might be forgettable, those which might be boring, those which might be neither so enjoyable that you simply wish to preserve enjoying them or so unhealthy that you simply wish to preserve going and learn how unhealthy it might probably get.”
In a way, what Hayes is doing, apart from being entertaining as hell, has an necessary archival operate. He likens digging up outdated, bizarre, even poorly-made video games to discovering hidden treasure whenever you’re out thrift buying. “I like discovering books that you’d by no means ever discover in a mainstream bookshop, like an outdated fantasy pulp novel like Conan the Barbarian however a knockoff model, and I might take a look at it and I might suppose, nobody is ever going to recollect this story,” he says. “Unusual board video games, unusual TV exhibits that you simply noticed as a child, unusual movies that you simply caught on TV that you would be able to’t bear in mind. Most artwork, most media, is not archived.”
The concept of what constitutes a nasty sport has modified as we have turn into accustomed to extra polished sport design.
“One of many issues I’ve found is lots of people who performed older PC video games within the ’80s, ’90s, early 2000s, working right into a bug is not essentially an issue, as a result of we’ll simply say, proper, let’s open the ini information,” says Hayes. Youthful or newer avid gamers are additionally extra possible to surrender after they hit a bug throughout gameplay, which does not bode properly for older, jankier video games that are not optimized for newer computer systems.
“Most individuals need one thing to work after they obtain it, which is totally comprehensible. So a whole lot of these outdated video games, they are not solely not being catalogued, as a result of folks cannot discover them… they are not straightforward to get working or to play.”
Now as sport growth has turn into a way more accessible endeavor, individuals are producing extra video games than ever, and but most of them battle to get seen, a lot much less remembered. “So I needed to try to discover the weirdest initiatives I may and play them and movie them and archive them and catalog them simply so sooner or later, we will look again and say, ‘Hey, bear in mind this, look how bizarre that is,'” he says. “As a result of it is received an odd, occult esoteric nature to it, the place folks take a look at one thing they’d by no means have seen in any other case. They usually’re fascinated by the unknown, or not less than I used to be.”
One of the best of the worst
- Otherland is a sport that Hayes discovered “tremendous unusual,” however he felt compelled to complete the 2016 MMO primarily based on the sci-fi novels by Tad Williams. After he made a 10-part video playthrough, he spoke to the builders and design crew, inadvertently helped to revive the sport’s fanbase, and “curiosity elevated a lot due to the playthrough, they employed a brand new group help dude.”
- Moreover the unbelievable music, Warhammer 40k: Everlasting Campaign was a “large disappointment” for Hayes, who’s an enormous fan of all issues Warhammer. “I really feel that they actually dropped the ball on how good that sport may very well be… and as of but, we’ve not had that many video games which have actually accomplished it justice.”
- Story of Toast: Sadly this free chibi-style sport would not have any precise toast, but it surely does have an in-game microtransaction for 3,250 “crumbs,” which prices $250. Come for the lovely hand-drawn map and heartwarming sound results, keep for the crushing despair as Hayes realizes he is enjoying the cutest MMO from hell. Oh, there is a built-in blockchain cryptocurrency generator, too.