2013 was a slow year for the MMO genre. There weren’t many major new releases, and though there were some great expansions overall the industry felt uninspired. As it turns out that is because everyone was waiting for 2014. This year has barely started but our calendars are already filling up with betas and launches. So the MMOGamers writers got together and simply asked: What MMO are you looking forward to most in 2014?
Following gamers who are waiting for their new favorite MMO to be released the resulting scenes can bemore dramatic than a sappy Rom-Com. Playing an MMO is a lot like being in a relationship; both sides have to work at it for a bond to succeed. After months of long-distance communication, you really hope to be pleased by the union of two forces. You’ve got to fall in love with a game, or move on.
Each time WildStar shows us something new, I love it that much more. They’ve got a funny sci-fi/fantasy look about them, rather low in developed technology, which brings this earthy feel to the game. They’ve shown us that the combat system has not just adopted more action-driven features, but the core of the game is set up this way. This results in a clever way to engage players with their enemies and will probably reduce the button bashing grinding sensation we all know so well. You can play many different permutations of each class and path (your intergalactic career). You start with a limited action set, which can be used from level 1 to cap and you can divide your milestones, which are similar to talents but more locked to stats.
Besides innovation, what I’m looking for in a relationship is laughter. WildStar happily mixes epic content with dark humor into the dialogue and environment. Yes, I want to know what it’s like to stand eye to eye with a rabid space-rhino strapped with several tons of explosives! This playfulness is what keeps me interested in the next piece of information about the game, and what the developers have to tell about it. They seem pretty crazy, which is good. After all, the most important thing to make any relationship work: never take yourself too seriously!
Maressa: The Elder Scrolls Online
Good MMOs must be engaging. A fantastic MMO must be engaging, have character customization options, and plenty of land to get lost in with enough lore to keep you busy for months. Thankfully The Elder Scrolls Online fits into the fantastic MMO category very nicely. They have the benefit of a lore developed over several games and twenty years of releases, something which very few other titles can say. This gives The Elder Scrolls Online an advantage like none other and directly contributes to the size of the world. Worlds have been getting smaller as time has gone on. Travel becomes instantaneous and the world shrinks. But ESO is breaking away from that trend to give the people what they want; the opportunity to climb a mountain or get lost in a deadly swamp. You can even let your inner kleptomaniac run wild and take anything not tied down! Though good luck explaining that one in character.
Customization can make or break an MMO. Bethesda knows this and has developed not only an amazing character creation process with variety and some race specific items but even armor comes with choices. Armor comes in a number of styles and can be mixed and matched. Want to use magic while wearing plate mail? You can do that. Want to use magic while carrying a bow and wearing leather? You can do that too! The customization opens alone make me want to get my hands on the game. But add in lore, a massive world and all of the options that make ESO feel like a persistent world and you have me sold for life. Though I may be eyeing other MMOs being released this year Elder Scrolls Online is the only one I’ll be waiting in line to play when the servers go live.
DeadEyeMcDuck: The Division
First off, I’m a big Tom Clancy fan (God bless his soul). When I first saw the demo at E3 2013, I couldn’t wait to get my claws on the game. Tom Clancy’s The Division is one of the next gen MMOs to hit the PC, Xbox One, and PS4 in 2014 (provided that the delays are nothing but rumours). The game is set in a post apocalyptic world, after a devastating pandemic supposedly caused chaos all over New York City.
While most gamers find this setting drab and overly used, I for one find the Division’s take on this world fresh and somehow new. The new Snowdrop engine is also marvellous to behold, with excellent detail and overly realistic physics that puts most games to shame (I swear, the characters look more real than me). Heck, I don’t think any other game could ever make snow as pretty as that. There’s also the Companion System, which lets players use touchscreen tablets to operate drones, allowing them to point enemy locations, as well as provide strategic advantages to their party.
As one of the first few MMOs to hit next gen consoles this year, it’s just really hard to contain the hype and expectations for this new game. I’m just waiting anxiously for the day I’ll be able to jump in and experience the glory presented by the E3 demo myself. It’s a post-apocalyptic Tom Clancy game, for crying out loud.
Daniel Owens: ArcheAge
I am completely bored to death with themepark MMOs so I am becoming a really avid sandbox gamer. The problem I find though is that the hardcore sandbox MMOs often struggle to maintain their playerbase, leaving them quite empty and boring to play.
That’s why the game I am most looking forward to this year is ArcheAge. It’s a sandpark, a blend of both themepark and sandbox in to one hybrid. The game starts off in a very themepark fashion, holding peoples hands until they have learned the basic gameplay.
After that the game sets you free to make your own decisions and live more in a sandbox environment. This means players aren’t left feeling lost, quitting the game quickly because they don’t see the magic that awaits them on the other side of that learning curve.
The MMORPG will feature everything from a large seamless open world, castle sieges, player housing, a naval system, and more. If you’re anything like me then ArcheAge is your dream game and you are just hoping it lives up to expectations when it releases this year.
To find out more about ArcheAge, visit the game page.
Karrotkayk: The Elder Scrolls Online
There are lots of reasons why The Elder Scrolls Online is one of the biggest titles you have to watch out for this year, but you’d probably only need a few (of mine) to get hyped.
The first off my list is its rich lore. Several MMOs boast of impressive storylines to make playing meaningful and a lot less mechanical. Though other online games like Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Star Trek Online also have expansive and well-developed backgrounds seeing they’re based off books or movies, Elder Scrolls Online will be set in a fantastic universe with a lore that was inherently spun for the game and developed in the span 20 years. If you’re also the type of player who reads each book text you’ve collected ingame, then here’s to hoping that our efforts were not for naught. For a franchise that is well-known to deliver one of the best role playing game experience in the industry, I’m expecting that further exploring Tamriel and unravelling its history as a soulless being would be an unforgettable adventure in the online game. Second, if you like having the freedom to use your weapon of choice no matter what your race or class is, then join me in my little victory dance.
In connection with the first one, if you’ve been a fan of the franchise then I’d say go for the game for pure nostalgia. You get to visit and explore familiar places from the other Elder Scrolls game? Familiar mechanics like lockpicking and book collecting? Familiar creatures? Do I hear sold now? I probably wouldn’t be the only one laughing my head off if I see any guard muttering something about an arrow and a knee, even if the joke’s already as stale as last year’s coffee.
Ardua: Everquest Next Landmark
There are so many fine games coming out this year. My pick for 2014 is easily Everquest Next Landmark. I will say as an aside though, if anyone wants to give me a time machine and maybe bump The Division or Warhammer 40,000 Eternal Crusade from the depths of 2015 back to now? I’ll love you forever.
Despite wanting to dakka dakka dakka till the Orks come home, don’t think I’m not excited for Landmark or am in some way “settling” for it. The team over at Sony Online Entertainment are giving us something quite unlike anything else. It’s something I am excited about but not for any of the usual reasons. Lore? I doubt it has any. Story? Only what I decide myself to make. Combat? Combat is coming soon I believe but I don’t need it for the excitement.
Instead what they are offering is the chance to create. Anything. Do I want to build a tower today? Do I want to slap a bunch of plots together and try my hand at carving the USS Enterprise out of Norrath rock? Really anything I want to do is right there and waiting. It is that potential, that possibility for greatness and exploration and indeed for the creation that excites me so much. Add to that all that anything I create has every chance of being used by the other denizens of the world or even making its way into Everquest Next itself?
Tell me that isn’t fantastic. A sandbox to play in, do whatever your heart desires and then have a decent chance at recognition and reward for what you did for yourself? Freedom is something we often claim we want, Everquest Next Landmark appears to be offering as much as they can.
2015 can be the year of destruction and dakka. 2014, my heart and hopes go with Everquest. That and I know once I start, there’ll be no stopping.
So those are the games the MMOGames crew are patiently waiting for. Do you agree with anyone? What MMO are you looking forward to in 2014? Post in the comments below. And come back every Friday as we ask the MMOGames writers a new frequently asked question.Related: FAQ, MMO, MMOGames