Massively Overthinking: Hopes and wishes for MMORPGs in the new year

One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It's way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.

But all the same, for tonight's Massively Overthinking, we'd like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2017 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I hope we can get back to being virtual worlds more than loot chases. To be excited to log into a game because of an exciting, developer lead story arc we the players can actually affect in a non-binary win/lose way. To have an "everything box" game where I can sit in a tavern doing a card game and, relatively easily, jump into my friend's star cruiser, help her with a big asteroid mining haul, and then prevent space pirates from penetrating the ship too deeply. To have characters that are more than just equipment dolls, but avatars capable of living in worlds with families, die a noble death, and have their next of kin pick up where their parent left off. They're ideals that have been simmering in developer minds for decades now, and a few games are trying to make them happen. I don't know if 2017 is the year they'll actually launch in, but this is about hope, right?

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): I always struggle, from my position atop the professional insanity of Massively OP, to maintain the proper balance of hope and terror when it comes to the MMORPG genre. Worrying is literally my job. But when I put our lists of upcoming stuff in front of my eyeballs, it's not hard to feel optimistic. So...

I am hopeful for Guild Wars 2's expansion (please be a return to form) and Elder Scrolls Online's rumored Vvdardenfell DLC and housing -- these are pure nostalgia! I'm hopeful for Blizzard's ability to stave off World of Warcraft drought as implied (if not outright promised). I'm hopeful that Crowfall will make it out the door before it runs out of money, that Camelot Unchained's beta blows everyone away, that Project Gorgon can prettify itself in a world where appearances matter more than content, that Shroud of the Avatar and Star Wars: The Old Republic can escape from their business model woes. I'm hopeful that one of the retro games like Pantheon will finally give those folks a home, and I'm hopeful that fans of SWG-style sandboxes will someday get a home too.

While we're wishing for things, let's wish luck on the City of Heroes spinoffs and Daybreak -- it hasn't had the best year -- and Standing Stone too. WildStar, it may not seem like it, but we're still rooting for you. And let's not forget to pile hope that games like Bless and Lineage Eternal and Lost Ark actually make the journey westward, and that New World isn't our last great chance for a true and full AAA western MMORPG. I want more big MMORPGs, and I want them to be good and do well!

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): I have lots of hopes for the next year, but a lot of them are pretty straightforward and even likely. I hope that Stormblood continues the excellent track record that Final Fantasy XIV has already been having, and I hope that before the year is out we have a plan and a launch date for World of Warcraft's next expansion. I'm also hoping for more news on Peria Chronicles and some really good forward movement for Funcom and The Secret World.

Industry-wide, of course, my big hope is the same one I always have, that we see more studios break down the idea that there's some kind of enforced and necessary split between types of genre. There's no reason why WoW can't have housing, no reason why Star Wars: The Old Republic can't have more freeform content, and no reason why you can't have more ad hoc options for gameplay resting alongside structured content. It's another one of those things that FFXIV has been doing really well, mashing up stuff like Palace of the Dead and beast tribe quests alongside dungeon runs and endgame progression content. I want to see more of that, more emphasis on playing how you want without feeling that it leaves you miles behind.

Also, I want more robots.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): I deeply hope that 2017 will be a renaissance of sorts for MMORPGs. We need to pull up out of this slump and back into an era of excitement and experimentation. There are several games coming out this year; I pray that at least two will be modest-or-greater hits and show some sign of innovation. I don't want any more games to shut down but would love to see previously closed titles come back via official permission from the previous owners. I want to be surprised and delighted on a weekly basis.

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): I mentioned this on the roundtable podcast: This year, I'd like to focus on the roleplay side of the MMORPG, specifically in its immersive roots. In the ye ol' days while sitting around a table throwing dice at a character sheet, the focus used to be about creating an interesting character living in a fantastical world. As MMOs grew and more players were required to support a game, the stories and systems became simpler and more general. This year, I'd like to find support for game systems that allow a wider variety of things for the player to do and create for themselves. The tabletop games, which were always a lot of fun for me when I was a kid, allowed for players to used the campaigns and stories that the game had to offer or carve their own path in the world created by the developers. I know I'm just dreaming, but that is what I would like to see more of from MMOs this year.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): I'm sure this will come as no surprise, but my biggest hopes and wishes revolve around The Secret World. I want to see season two get rolling really early and have the game get back to 3 or 4 good story-filled issues a year (at least one of them focused on Innsmouth Academy, possibly tying it to the history with Little Springs High). I really want to see the game get more of the recognition it deserves. And I admit it, I want to see a mind-blowing story next Halloween.

I was about to say that I want to see more games adopt awesome housing systems, but then I realized that too many and I would end up in trouble trying to decorate them all. I'm already unable to get all the decorating projects I want in the games I am currently in, and with ESO getting some good housing and my goal of creating a working inn and tavern in Shroud of Avatar, my to-do list is already growing!

Another hope is to see a resurgence of roleplaying. I personally want to increase my roleplaying in games again (and in fact have a project starting that does just that!). I also want to see a return to stronger community bonds, be it in single games or groups that hop between games. Also, as corny as some may think it sounds, I mostly hope that devs get to keep doing what they love, bringing us games to play. I know all the games aren't my cup of tea, but I am loving the variety. Besides that, I am finding that I really enjoy some of these games in genres I wouldn't have normally even tried. Speaking of which, if someone can please invent a way I could just plain fit more gaming into my days, that is a major 2017 wish! There are just so many interesting and fun games now I want to delve into.

Finally, big wish for the new year is that the rabid negativity that plagues our pastime diminishes. Specifically, I hope that instead of spending inordinate amounts of time tearing games (and studios and devs) down that they hold a grudge against, disgruntled people can move on. Viciousness just doesn't accomplish anything good.

Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): My main MMORPG wish for 2017 is to see a fantastic expansion come together for Guild Wars 2. It'd be fantastic for ArenaNet to use this expansion to well and truly shed the Heart of Thorns stigma and prove that the team can produce a stellar expansion that satisfies players from all corners of the gamespace without alienating players of any type of content by dropping it without fanfare or any feasible replacement in sight. I've loved this season so far and have been delighted with the team's work in the latter half of 2016, so there's a solid framework in place to build upon in 2017.

Your turn!

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41 comments
Callixto
Callixto

My hope and wish for 2017 in terms of gaming is a new GW2 expansion.

ButterPanda888
ButterPanda888

My hopes and wishes are for Crowfall to launch an succeed, for Camelot Unchained to succeed, for Soul Worker Online and Maplestory 2 and Bless to release in the west, for a few truly exciting mmo news surprises, for Marvel Heroes to keep releasing new heroes, for the city of heroes successors to succeed, I want New World to be a truly amazing and captivating game worthy of investing large amount of time playing, for Wildstar to survive, for more characters to be released in Herowarz, for Pantheon to be awesome.

crack_fox
crack_fox

I'm going to channel Elvis for this one:

A little more conversation, a little less action please: I would like to see more open and respectful communication between players and developers. Mutual distrust and contempt doesn't benefit either party. I'm tired of reading about moronic death threats and harassment of support staff. 

All this gamification ain't satisfactioning me: I'm tired of the relentless focus on combat and loot. Let's have more support for roleplayers and more 'meaningful' non-combat activities in general. There ought to be more things to do in a virtual world than kill stuff and steal their trousers/organs/lunch money. 

Robert80
Robert80

@crack_fox Seconded most heartily!


*I'd add deeper systems for a lot of what is already in games, and offerings with more complexity in the systems for those who like that, while also noting that not every game has to be tied around high stat requirements for fun in the combat.  I think that's kinda a second step from where you went though... so the first step, I think you got it down!*

luxundae
luxundae

Very much agree with Andrew: I'd like to see an actual virtual world.  That's not to say that I don't like seriously gamified ones too, but there are many to scratch that itch, and none to fill the virtual world void at the moment.

paragonlostinspace
paragonlostinspace

 Honestly I have no real hopes for 2017 in regards to mmorpgs. For the first time in over a quarter century online I am not playing anything at all online rpg wise. Tired of it, tired of the lack, the silliness etc. I've actually started putting more and more focus on a return to tabletop gaming. I'm in a once every other week game. I've just recently started running a small campaign and I've probably spent a few grand in the past three or so months on a return the hobby, money the mmorpg folks could have gotten if they hadn't gotten so far away from what made mmrpgs awesome.


So no, I have no hope, I'll just be pleasantly surprised "hopefully" if anything worth my time happens in regards to mmrpgs. Who knew that when I stopped focusing on tabletop gaming by the end of the twentieth century because I felt that the future of gaming was online that I'd find myself returning. Truly wish I hadn't gotten rid of the huge library of old gaming stuff, miniatures and other gaming related stuff back then. I always sat on the line before that, spending equal time and money on both offline and online gaming before that choice. Ah well, it wasn't wasted time by any means, I did enjoy myself mostly. Anyhow heading back down stairs, I've got some stuff to do before tonight's Friday night game. 


TLDR: my only hope is to be pleasantly surprised if anything good happens that makes me want to play online.  


Edit: There of course is City State and CU. The wife and I did back in it, and I do hold hope for it. Let's hope that doesn't jinx it.

Woetoo
Woetoo

Hopes for 2017 MMORPG's

  • A developer who can deliver the living, evolving, largely horizontal progression world promised by Everquest: Next, but without voxels.
  • Ideally a developer who watched Westworld and thought "NPCs with implicit motivations rather than explicit actions - you know, I already had some ideas on how to make that work".
  • CD Projekt Red to buy out all other RPG developers.
  • CD Projekt Red to announce a non-Witcher MMORPG. 
  • A ban on anyone with "financial" in their job title or description talking to anyone with "creative" in their job title/description.
  • Developers willing to deliver the games they want to write rather than the games they are told people want to play. (ie. a developer who is passionate enough about their project to let it succeed or fail on it's own merits) .

Veldan
Veldan

That MMORPGs get rid of lockboxes and excessive cash shop development, and go back to being good games and making money because of being fun.

MagmaFist
MagmaFist

Ditto on Project Gorgon and City of Heroes spiritual successors, Bree. Considering the current MMO landscape, I also hope that the CoH spinoffs are planning on pre-WoW type of numbers for success, at least initially. Though, I definitely wish them much better than that and one or more of them implement some type of gameplay that strikes a chord with a larger portion of gamers because let's face it they have much better game building tools than CoH did.

I want my MasterMind and Controller archetypes back.

Mark Jacobs
Mark Jacobs

Bree and MOP,


 Thanks, as always!


   Besides my own vested self-interest, I hope that the next few years are the most exciting for the MMORPG genre since WoW redefined what gamers, developers, publishers and VCs came to expect from MMORPGs.


-Mark

paragonlostinspace
paragonlostinspace

@Mark Jacobs  You and your company actually are the only hope I have actually. I was hesitant to even say that because I'm afraid I'll jinx it. lol. 

torched_timeline
torched_timeline

I'm hoping that Crowfall expands into a form that is very playable, because judging by testing, it has been a lot of fun.


Most of all, though, I want news on New World.

Suikoden
Suikoden

Specifically, I wish good things for Guardians of Ember, as I think it's the best pure MMOARPG currently on the market, as many of the ARPGs covered by this site really aren't MMOs, but rather multiplayer ARPGs.

Kanbe
Kanbe

I'll have to come back to this. Right now the only thing I wish is for Daybreak to sell all their games/IP to studios that will actually take care of them.

Hirku
Hirku

"Finally, big wish for the new year is that the rabid negativity that plagues our pastime diminishes. Specifically, I hope that instead of spending inordinate amounts of time tearing games (and studios and devs) down that they hold a grudge against, disgruntled people can move on. Viciousness just doesn't accomplish anything good."

This. It's getting embarrassing.

xania
xania

I agree 100% with Eliot. 


MORE ROBOTS

CistaCista
CistaCista

Interesting how noone's wish was "I hope they shut Landmark down next month". Maybe it will be a tough year for well-wishing.

Gibbins
Gibbins

While all of you write these..... Chris Roberts is making notes for stretch goals.

kofteburger
kofteburger

As slim as it it my only mmo wish if that the Repopulation relaunch.

Kiritsu
Kiritsu

1. In general I hope games start actually delivering to the same extent as they are hyped.


2. Hope we get some real MMORPG focus on VR. This genre is the most amazing for VR and the potential is huge, but someone has to take the first steps to making it happen. As of now noone wants to buy VR because it isn't worth the investment partly due to there actually being zero good games that uses it.


3. I hope FFXIV actually starts delivering GOOD and varied content, not just a lot of content. I hope they improve their itemization as well.

Pashgan
Pashgan

I hope Skyforge devs will be able to finish 1.00 version this year and its gameplay will be on par with its superb art and animations. And I hope MU Legend won't be too expensive to play i.e. I won't have to buy a bank stash every week like it happens in all decent F2P games lately...

Peregrine_Falcon
Peregrine_Falcon

I want to play Andrew's MMO. I'd pay a lot of money to play that game.

Unfortunately I don't see that game launching in 2017 either.

camelotcrusade
camelotcrusade

I'll aim low: I just hope an MMO gets me to login.  I want more stuff for the weekly One Shots.  ^-^

pigluck
pigluck

Everquest IP gets sold to a great studio that knows what they're doing with MMOs and gives a crap about the franchise enough to make a proper EQ 3.

Dystopiq
Dystopiq

More GW2 stuff. New World.

Estranged
Estranged

I think we will see some solid news about The New World.  


Camelot Unchained will have a nice beta. 


Red Dead Redemption 2 will make me smile like a child, once again.


Destiny 2 will be awesome. 


SWTOR will keep adding group content and actually a raid.  


Wildstar will survive. 


SQ42 will launch in some form, making Star Citizen the game I bought for a $45 and $30 special package. The rest is just gravy.  


The Secret World will be hot and heavy into Season 2.  



rhaps85
rhaps85

Only Guild Wars 2 plays well enough to keep my attention, all other mmos (ive played)  are to clunky and awkward.

Cramit
Cramit

I think the end all be all, is that developers don't know how to make "real" MMORPGS.  All they know how to do is make games for single player gamers and gambling gamers.  That's it.  They have no idea how to improve MMORPGS that are social in nature.  I would give my left nut for a good EQ or DAoC successor.  


Hilarious that I can only hope that Mark Jacobs can get hit by lightening twice or that Brad McQuaid can recreate that EQ feel.  I think Mark Jacobs and CU are really my only hope at this point for a good group based PvP game.  Brad McQuaid is seemingly the only hope for group based PvE.  With the amount of hate Brad gets, I find it hilarious that these publisher backed devs can only make MMO's on rails.  This is a sad state of affairs.


I almost wish that Wow turned out to be a niche title instead of bringing my hobby into the main stream.  I think the industry would have actually been better in that event at least in terms of MMO's.

Anarwen
Anarwen

I hope that Mordor is as impressive as it could be. In most games you just wander about but LOTRO has had a goal which makes it unique.

Kanbe
Kanbe

Ya that right there killed this topic for me

MurderHobo
MurderHobo

I'm sanguine about the future of MMOs in a way I haven't been for years.  When Minecraft came around we saw a resurgence in MUD-style private servers and the advent of the survival genre. I hope the cycle is repeating itself as we see games like ARK and Crowfall start linking these individual maps into complete game worlds.  Just as MUDs led to MMOs, the Minecraft-inspired survival games are positioned to break new ground by revisiting old assumptions.


I'd trade "seamless worlds" for zone walls if it means that every map is a unique place with players helping to build the online worlds. Add blockchain tech to solve the duping issues and I can imagine a great revolution in MMO worlds.

imayb1
imayb1

"I am hopeful for Guild Wars 2's expansion (please be a return to form)"...

This. If ESO's housing goes well, that may finally tempt me to the game in spite of a lack of mods. 

If Project Gorgon gets a face lift, I'll give that a go but it really is too ugly for me to play right now. I'm sorry about that because it's wonderfully creative, but darn it, graphics matter to me. 

I hope Revelation comes out in a good state without excessive cash shop shennanigans. I hope the Aion2 rumor is true. Lastly, I hope that New World is a game that I really want to play. 

groo the wanderer
groo the wanderer

I guess like most other Rift players my hopes are for patch 4.1 .Other than that for the first time since 2005 when I first started playing mmos none of the games in development really grab me with anything more than a passing interest .



I suspect I may try some of the mmos that have been around for a while and I have never given a proper try like Tera and Star Wars TOR . I almost went back to WoW for the first time since 2009 because I had heard that the new expansion wasn't too bad but then I remembered all the reasons why I left 7 years ago .


Things must be pretty dire in the mmo industry for me to even consider doing that .


Mochaccino
Mochaccino

I'm too jaded and bitten several times to be hopeful about anything relating to MMOs. 

One thing I will hope for is that you people out there can finally find an MMO you can call home.

Vaeris
Vaeris

I've been hoping for what Andrew wrote since 2005...


Fenryr
Fenryr

It's very hard to not be negative. Each year I have been thinking we reached rock bottom but then the devs seem to be eager to proof me wrong.

syberghost
syberghost

Nope. No more well-wishes for Daybreak. It's time they just die and, hopefully, somebody takes up where they left off years ago when they lost their way so badly.