The Year of MMO Development and Rebirth

2013 has pretty much been the year of MMO development and marketing. There have been constant teasers of videos, screenshots, concept art, and mechanics being unveiled throughout the year that make me drool with excitement at times. Some great titles are out there like Archeage, Black Desert, Wildstar, The Elder Scrolls, Everquest Next, World of Darkness and a couple more but they are all in development and now that Wildstar has put out a 2014 release date it looks like the year is pretty much over for interesting new releases.

In terms of play time it seems the biggest winner of the year is Guild Wars 2 which has run for the entire year pretty much uncontested by anything resembling a popular product… well beside you know, the giant shadow in the corner. GW2 released in 2012 though so it is kind of disqualified here I guess. Anywho I thought I’d do A recap on the year now that in terms of mmo releases it’s pretty much over

  • Firefall

This is of course my pick of the year as I’m honestly hard pressed picking out a product I had more fun in then it. I just like the shooty gameplay, the non forced progression, and the focus on crafting and economy which no mmo has done this in-depth for years. It’s an mmo I have written about a lot lately that has a strong vision and one that I am interested to see more of.
Firefall Purple Sunset

  • Final Fantasy 14

A recent release that I’m kind of impressed with so far but rather reserved with certain mechanics and how it ends up. It offers a lot of that old school mmo feeling with the long cast, tab target combat, the extensive questing and just the general mechanics. This could be a good or a bad thing.. haven’t decided yet but it’s one of the better mmo’s of the year  which if you think about it is a rather depressing thought.

    ffxiv

  • Neverwinter

It started out as a game with a certain amount of promise but ended up extremely dissatisfying. The combat was ok but forgettable, the dungeons meh, balance issues of the trinity a big complaint, and the instanced nature felt entirely restrictive. Oh and that micro-transaction system, wow is it intrusive.

  • Defiance

Trion’s Frankenstein experiment melding a mmofps with a T.V show. I don’t think anyone was expecting the T.V show would be the better of the two but there you go. It started out ok except for the rather linear feel but lacked the extensive content you might expect. Then troubles with the studio occurred, jobs were gutted, the game went extremely cheap and we are only just getting it’s first DLC Pack now. It was kind of fun while it lasted even if that excitement was relatively short but unfortunately I don’t give this experiment much more time to live

    Defiance 2013-03-24 17-22-22-09

  • Darkfall

The game that is trying to provide what most PvP players have been searching for all these years, an alternative to Eve that offers a brutal but interesting open world experience. Unfortunately it fell extremely short of that mark by having sub standard combat, some of the worst graphics an animations I think we’ve seen in a decade, and sandbox features that were lacking, broken, or half-baked ideas at best. It is slowing improving although not enough that it’s every going to gather more than the extremely niche and hardcore audience it has now.

    DFUW swamp

  • Age of Wushu

This could be good although I wouldn’t know. I had issues with a couple of its time based mechanics which completely screw over anyone not in America, I could play on an Asian server but then you have to deal with the extreme language barrier. Seems extremely complex with some with a decent amount of skill customisation and a few interesting open world PvP based mechanics.

  • Warframe

I’ve played this on and off over the year and its a decent ftp dungeon crawling shooter. There are certain crafting elements to it, the level design is interesting (if repetitive) and the general gameplay is fun in short bursts. Not a very nice cash shop though.

The Others

Then there are a plethora of titles that haven’t really garnered much attention and I really have no interest in trying

  • Dragons Prophet
  • World of Warplanes
  • City of Steam
  • Runescape 3
  • Ragnorak Online

Best of the year are pretty much those that went free to play in this period like Rift, Tera, The Secret World, and SW:ToR  if you count a relaunch the same as a release, it certainly helps them gain attention comparable to a release. It has been a rather disappointing year for many mmo gamers and those of use to having a glut of titles to pick and choose from.

Everything seemed piled into the year before and this year only had a filler of second-rate titles; they certainly entertained for a time but nothing comparable to those big releases. The single player titles have been great though- just wow, and I still have a backlog and there’s more coming. Well while I’m traveling Eaorzea, shooting bugs in New Eden, and occasionally dropping into the mists of GW2  I’ll be looking forward to the new year with a certain eager hunger bordering on insanity.

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