Monday, December 9, 2013

New MMOs for 2014: There Are Some

J3w3l has some trailers for forthcoming attractions up, along with her second take on WildStar. That, along with both her and Keen's enthusiastic responses to the latest EQ Landmark promo (may as well embed it - everyone else has...) got me thinking about what we have to look forward to for 2014 in MMO Land.

Off the top of my head I could think of WildStar, EQLandmark, The Elder Scrolls Online and... well that was it, really. Come on, there must be more than that. Maybe it's my memory failing. That age thing again.

Remembering stuff, though, that's so 20th Century. We have machines to do that for us now. So I googled "mmo 2014 releases".

Top Free offers Star Citizen (don't care, won't play, won't be out in 2014 anyway), EQNext (care so much it hurts, will play unless dead, don't believe it will be out until the very end of 2014 at the earliest), Titan (yeah, right), PK Project (um, excuse me?), Lineage Eternal:Twilight Resistance (not quite clear what this is but I've successfully managed to avoid the Lineage franchise for the last decade and a half...) and World of Darkness (now you're just being silly).

I won't go through all the rest of their, um, idiosyncratic list, although it did remind me that The Crew, despite being delayed, is due out next summer. Not all that interested in the gameplay on that one but the prospect of being able to take a virtual road trip across the continental United States has a certain appeal. 

Games Radar has a very slick slideshow that includes the usual suspects but throws in some marginally interesting possibilities like the two hyper-realistic South Korean offerings, Bless and Blade and Soul, neither of which appears to have any kind of Western release scheduled.

They also name-check Black Desert, which I was interested in briefly but am no longer and Otherland, in which I was very interested indeed but which I was sure had been cancelled. On checking it appears that, weirdly, the Gamigo website is still up although the latest news refers to the closed beta from over a year ago. I'm pretty sure it's dead.

Other than that the Games Radar list offers a smattering of funded Kickstarter projects like Embers of Caerus, Pathfinder and City of Titans, all of which are nominally interesting but won't see daylight in 2014.

Ten Ton Hammer includes both EQNext and Pathfinder in its Top Six Sandbox MMOs To Watch In 2014, a list which intriguingly includes TESO, which I hadn't realized was supposed to be a sandbox, along with a previous hot tip now fading fast, ArcheAge. Mention of that one reminded me of Trion's other iron in the fire for next year, Trove. They're both games I'm moderately interested to take a look at but I can't say either is stoking any great fires.

Massively has a round-robin of staff picks for next year that doesn't really shed much light on anything other than the predilections of the individuals involved but the paucity of suggestions on offer does serve to back up my own feeling that 2014 is going to be a really thin year for MMOs. Not having played Halo and not having much interest in space-based games, Destiny, one of the few MMOs the Massively crew add to the pile, doesn't press any of my buttons. Neither doesTUG, yet another of the seemingly endless spawn of Kickstarter-funded sandbox titles.

 So back we come around to where we started. I'll try most any MMO for flavor and in our brave new world of open betas, free to play and try-before-you-buy there's no reason not to give any or all of them a run. Curiosity and the potential for getting a blog post out of the experience almost ensures I'll try all of them at some point but I'm not actually looking forward to playing any of them.

I don't even have the same sense of excitement and expectation for EQ Landmark that I had for, say, GW2 or The Secret World back in 2012. I'm interested in in it, sure, but I can't help thinking it looks like work. No, it's EQNext I really want to play.

And that, I think, is the heart of the problem. Everything else is just marking time until EQNext, which probably won't be out until 2015. Next year is looking like another year of more of the same - GW2, EQ2, all the old favorites - unless, as I very much wish it might, one or more of the MMOs on these lacklustre lists manages to pounce on me and sink its fangs in deep.

Failing that, anyone have any other good tips for 2014?


  1. I feel I concur on the dearth that 2014 is looking like. I know my opinions are far from the majority, but Wildstar? Meh. TESO? Meh. Star Citizen? Interested, but not enough to give them money yet. EQNext? Never played EQ, or EQ2, they just seem too generic fantasy, but I may give EQNext a shot a month or three after release. Black Desert, Trove, Titan? All Meh (and yeah 2014 for Titan, knowing Blizz, is just poor logic). I guess I'll just be keepin' on in my current stable, unless something really jumps out at me.

  2. Things do feel a bit dry lately, and I don't see rain in the near future, heh. I'm patiently waiting for Landmark at least, figure that should be interesting until EQN releases. Waiting on Wildstar too. I just want to sink my teeth into something new, something not centered around raiding, so burnt out from my last WoW stint. EQN seems the best bet for that atm.

  3. That TTH list feels odd unless you define "sandbox," "MMO," and "watch" pretty specifically.

    Across the board, EQN is probably the only "must play" on the list. I am "interested" in TESO in the same way I am in FFXIV, I am unlikely to play it, but I like to read about it.

    Otherwise it seems like an average year. We should have two big titles, TESO and WildStar, ship and a range of smaller items. It is only my lack of interest that makes 2014 seem like less than it probably is.

    1. Yes, two "AAA" releases does seem about average and really that's plenty *if* it's two that appeal. If neither do then it starts to look like a long haul to the year after next.

      There should be plenty of entertainment coming soon enough as we get to see which of the dozens of Kickstarted projects make it out the gate and what in what kind of shape, though. I'm looking forward to that :P

  4. Definitely excited for TESO, simply due to the fact that I love the Elder Scrolls universe/lore.

    I think I will ultimately judge the game on its lore, storylines, and narrative. Judging from the information available, the "game" side of it really doesn't excite me, but I will enjoy it despite that if it offers me the lore-rich world which the ES games have always done.

    But will they be able to translate their success in single-player games to an MMO?


  5. I've given up on trying to predict. My two favorite "releases" of 2014 are FFXIV and Marvel Heroes, neither of which was anywhere on my radar in December 2012.

    1. FFXIV surprised me too. If it was F2P I'd be dabbling still. Couldn't really justify a sub or not yet. It's on my long-term watch list, though. I think it'll be around a long time and I don't doubt that I'll go back to it at some point.

      Marvel Heroes I tried in beta and never really got on with. I should take another look at it.

    2. They've cleaned up a fair amount of quality of life stuff - e.g. you can actually tell what quests you have done on each character - and are steadily adding stuff. I probably wouldn't care about the game if it wasn't full of characters I know from the comics/movies.

      One big downside - it's dirt cheap if you play exactly one character (some are free, none cost more than $15 these days, and all can be earned in-game), relatively cheap if you play a ton (again, all characters unlockable free in-game), but potentially costly if you're playing it infrequently and want to try a wider range of characters. At the moment, the only try-before-you-buy mechanism is to download a second client to run the test server, wait for the next round of testing, and then be prepared to spend time leveling the character on test to see if it's any good.

  6. I'm really interested in The Division, looks like an excellent shared world survival game. Then there's Destiny and Dark Souls 2. EQ Next and Landmark of course and while I'm excited I'm still a bit cautious with how they will turn out. TESO AVA for sure as well. Maybe Elite: Dangerous and Pathfinder. Most of the good stuff seems to be for eastern gamers only.

    There seems to be a lot of awesome indie's coming as well

    1. The Division does look interesting. The Secret World made me realize just how powerful a real-world setting can be. What with the massive popularity of Urban Fantasy over the last couple of decades I'm surprised we've seen so little of it in MMOs.

  7. Well, I paid the "get land first" tax, so I will try the EQNL alpha... no big hopes however. I really want try EQN and not EQNL. But maybe EQNL be a good Minecraft....

  8. This was my post on Telwyn's blog:

    For me the standout releases for 2014 are Wildstar and EQNext. The rest are just filler. Yes I put TESO on the filler list as well. TESO will attract the curious and those who were really attracted to the lore of TES - beyond that I can't see this appealing to a larger group of players (I will be glad to be proven wrong!).

    World Of Warcraft could be facing it's biggest gameplay shakeup in 10 years (beyond pet battles and farms) and I am certainly interested in revisiting that universe if this proves true in 2014.

    The 1000 ton gorilla over shadowing everything is - in my opinion - the alpha and beta release of the Star Citizen MMO. I doubt we will see an alpha release of the Star Citizen MMO module until 4Q 2014 but I predict this will be a major event in the MMO genre. This MMO more than anything has gathered a community that is literally throwing mountains of money at Chris Roberts. I suspect many other MMO devs are looking with very focused eyes on what happens with this title. If successful I predict this will change the landscape of how MMO's are funded.


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