It’s that time of year again when we look over what news of upcoming MMO’s has caught our attention over the last 12 months… Yep, it’s the return of Geektown’s Most Anticipated MMORPGs List!
7. Blizzard’s New MMO: Codenamed ‘Titan’ (position last yr – 6th)
Well, it’s another year on, and still only tiny slivers of information on Blizzard’s next MMO have worked there way out of Blizz HQ. So, here’s what we know…
- It’s codenamed ‘Titan’ internally.
- It’s a brand new IP and not based on WoW, Starcraft or Diablo.
- We know it’s designed to be a more casual MMO experience.
- It’s possibly some mix of Scifi and Fantasy in it’s setting.
Other rumors are that it’ll could be an MMOFPS, and it could be planned for release at the end of 2013 – So that’ll be an actual release date at some point in 2014…
Blizzard Website | Release Date: At least 2014 (cause when has Blizzard ever hit an intended release date!)
6. Warhammer 40k: Dark Millennium Online (position last yr – 5th)
The W40K MMO, now named ‘Dark Millennium Online‘ was first announced in 2007. Then went very quiet. However, in the past year more information has started to come to light.
DMO is set in the 41st Millennium and should include all the races 40k players are familiar with. The only know playable races at the moment are The Imperium and the Eldar, and (this being Warhammer) all the classes will be dedicated to shooting, chainsawing, and generally beating the living snot out of the enemy. There may be some crafting involved, but only if your making more bullets to fire at the enemy!
The control system is likely to be more of like an action game than a traditional MMO, and developers Vigil Games are promising that action will be fast, furious and intense! They are promising DMO will be playable at E3 2012, with a likely release date in 2013.
Dark Millennium Online Website | Release Date: 2013
5. ArcheAge (New Entry)
ArcheAge is an MMORPG from Korean developers XL Games using CryEngine 2. It’s based in a fairly standard fantasy setting, but it’s more the gameplay that has piqued my interest than the environment. Like some other games on this list, it’s abandoned the traditional class selection for a far more fluid option. When you create your character, you pick 3 out of a possible 10 abilities, which means you could play as a full blown warrior, or some kind of healer, or take little bits from each and create your own class.
ArcheAge is also a game with some advance crafting, rather than your standard WoW-esque ‘cookie-cutter’ setup. If you want to build a house, go cut down some trees and build one. Same goes for if you want to build a ship. The system works using something called ‘labor power’ which builds up both whilst you are on and offline. If you want to build something really massive, you can get together with friends and pool your labor, allowing the creation of larger and more elaborate structures.
If combat is more your thing, it isn’t just restricted to your character on foot. You can fight on horseback, and in naval combat too. Overall, there’s a whole bunch of interesting things going on in ArcheAge. It’s currently in closed Beta in Korea, and is likely to get released to an eastern market before we get it in the west, so it’s probably going to be a while before we see ArcheAge in the UK.
ArcheAge Website | Release Date: TBA
4. Firefall (New Entry)
There was a game that fellow geektowner D used to rave about… The original MMOFPS – PlanetSide. Ever since then though, MMOFPS’s have rather struggled to really make an impact, despite numerous attempts. Firefall plans to change all that, and what’s more, it plans on doing it on a free-to-play model!
The story is set on a future Earth where overuse of an energy source called Crystite has decimated most of the planet, which is now covered by an energy storm known as the ‘Melding’. You take control of one of the survivors of the human race battling entities called the ‘Chosen’ who have emerged from the ‘Melding’.
Gameplay is split between large pile-in battles, and more organised tournaments & leagues. The classes are actually prescribed by the type of exo-skeletons that you wear, allowing you to play as Engineers, Assault & Recon roles, or as Medics. Unlike the previous 3 games in the list, this one is due out in November this year, so if your an ex-PlanetSide player still looking for a new home, you’ve not long to wait to find out if Firefall is it.
Firefall Website | Release Date: Nov 2011
3. Salem (New Entry)
Salem is a really interesting little MMO. Set in a fantastical version of New England, you play colonists from the Old World seeking to make lives for themselves in the New. Developers Paradox describe it as a crafting MMO… with open PvP combat and permanent death! Well, sort of… If you do happen to upset your neighbor, so he decides to stab you through the head with a pitchfork, your descendents can pick up where you left off. It’s an interesting take on the idea of perma-death, without the player necessarily losing everything. It also means that your little village may have to band together to police itself from any internal disputes, and also to defend itself from any invading ruffians. Player justice!
Salem is a persistent world which can be altered by the player’s actions, with skills such as crafting, farming and creating your own buildings. There’s also some good ol’ 17th century alchemy & witchcraft thrown in for good measure. Best of all, it’s another MMO using the free-to-play model. In terms of gameplay mechanics, it’s all sounding very open and sandboxy, which is an idea i really like.
Salem Website | Release Date: Nov 2011
2. The Secret World (New Entry)
The Secret World is based on the idea that every myth, conspiracy theory and urban legend you’ve ever heard was true. Placed in a modern world setting, with cities such as London and New York, various secret societies (in this case The Templars, The Illuminati, and The Dragon) are at war – not only with each other, but also the various demons, vampires, zombies and other creatures that go bump in the night!
TSW has taken a leaf out of the pre-nge Star Wars Galaxies handbook, and removed all levels and classes. Using a skill based system, you can pick from hundreds of powers to customise your character however you see fit. There’s no set progression path. The skills system is sounding very pre-nge SWG, and that’s a great thing in my book. Developer Funcom are powering TSW using the same engine as Age of Conan, a game which had it’s faults, but the engine wasn’t one of them. The creative director of the game was also the man behind the brilliant adventure ‘The Longest Journey’, so i’m expecting a decent story too.
The Secret World Website | Release Date: TBC 2012
1. Star Wars : The Old Republic (position last yr – 1st)
We were rather hoping to be playing SWTOR by now, but Bioware have taken a leaf out of Blizzard’s book and gone with a ‘it’ll be done when it’s done’ attitude. Still, it’s the right thing to do. There’s nothing worse than releasing a half finished MMO with no content (*cough*Conan-DCOnline-SWG-etc…*cough*). It’s fair to say Bioware have rather gone out of their way to make sure content is something that SWTOR should most definitely not be lacking in… The currently estimate is that there’s around 200 hrs of gameplay… PER CLASS! Now, we know from experience, that developers always over estimate how many hrs it’ll take for players to get through their content, but if they are even close to being correct, that around 1500 hrs of Star Wars-y goodness to sink your teeth into! It would also rather explains why SWTOR hasn’t been released yet, cause that’s a heck of a lot of code to test.
If your in a relationship or have a family member who is a Star Wars fan, kiss them goodbye when SWTOR is released, cause you won’t be seeing them for a very very long time!
Star Wars : The Old Republic Website | Release Date: Late 2011.