Perfect Ten: 20 upcoming MMOs to watch in 2018

It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).

This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!

As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like AnthemSea of ThievesThe Crew 2Monster Hunter WorldDayZRed Dead Redemption 2Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.

1. Ashes of Creation

With a great Kickstarter and a strong PAX presence, Ashes of Creation is coming off of a high this year. The question is, can this fledgling fantasy MMO keep the momentum, information, and enthusiasm going? With the alpha zero rolling out this winter, a lot of players will be looking to get into testing next year. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more information about this title and an expansion of alpha testing to keep the buzz circulating.

2. Bless Online

We’ve been waiting for this import almost near forever, but it’s actually coming to the west next year. Sometime. I am concerned about Neowiz’ whole “self-publishing” angle, but hopefully it will work out for this studio and title. While MMO players are starved for new material, Bless’ arrival might warrant more of a blip than a bomb, much the same way that Revelation Online did this past year.

3. Project Gorgon

The small indie team behind this unique MMO previously said it had hoped to get the title out the door in 2017, but obviously that didn’t happen. What we Gorgonites (is that a thing?) are hoping is that Steam early access isn’t too far away, especially with the redesign of the user interface and other improvements. After all, that’s what the devs indicated this past fall.

Tell me how I'm supposed to breathe with some air.

4. Ascent: Infinite Realm

Gorgeous steampunk packed into an eastern MMO that’s designed for a western audience? A lot of our readers are saying, “Yes, please!” pretty loudly to Bluehole’s reveal of Ascent: Infinite Realm. Personally, I’m glad to see an MMO swinging for the fences, and Bluehole certainly knows how to make a crowdpleaser. AIR really was one of the few pleasant surprises from 2017, and it would be great to see it do well as we learn more about it. A western beta is slated for the first half of 2018.

5. Star Citizen

Alpha 3.0.

Really, does anything more need to be said here? RSI has to get this long-awaited release out the door and maybe more, because it knows that it can’t delay for a whole additional year without causing world-ending riots. It feels like lowering the bar just to say “get 3.0 out the door,” because there’s a lot more that Star Citizen should be releasing as this is freaking 2018 already, but we’ll be happy if 3.0 happens period.

6. Wild West Online

Pretty much the only people who even believed that Wild West Online was going to launch this year was the people making them, and probably not even them. So now the team is eating delay after delay for the rollout of early access, beta, and launch, which means that 2018 is going to be a bumpy ride in the saddle. Still, there’s some genuine excitement over this western MMO, as evidenced by the attention given to it from the streaming community. I think a lot of people want to play pretend cowpokes.

7. Shroud of the Avatar

Speaking of delays (delays are going to be a theme in this massive list), Shroud of the Avatar had to own up to the fact that it wasn’t quite ready to officially launch with Episode 1 this year. It’s getting close, mind you, which is why this online fantasy game’s release is nearly assured for 2018. Then again, I said that about this past year, so what do I know. I’m captivated to see if a launch will manage to draw in a larger crowd or if SOTA is going to progress with mostly the same small (yet dedicated) community.

8. Worlds Adrift

I keep saying that it’s a mistake to underestimate Worlds Adrift — or to let your eyes slide off of this upcoming title. There’s some serious tech and serious money being poured into it, and the beta showed really healthy activity this year. The team is still ramping up for a “true” early access launch on Steam, so that will probably be 2018’s big news, but past that is anyone’s guess how close this game is to an actual release.

9. Camelot Unchained

With “big news” coming this January, we pretty much know what the community expects to hear: Beta 1. The steady-but-lengthy development of this RvR title has driven a fan or two bonkers with the waiting, but the team is adamant in taking its time to do the game right. This has resulted in dreaded delays, but I predict that the MMO will see a proper beta test sometime next year and begin its sprint toward launch.

10. Crowfall

With delays tallying up to a year of added development time so far, the Crowfall team is under pressure to deliver this PvP game sooner rather than later. Fully acknowledging that fact, ArtCraft has publicly stated that it plans to soft launch the game in early 2018, although no firm dates have been set.

11. RuneScape and Villagers and Heroes… on mobile

With the flurry of eastern games heading to mobile in the near future, I feel compelled to remind our readers that we have two western ports that should be arriving fairly soon. Both RuneScape and Villagers and Heroes have made mobile announcements, with the latter coming to iOS after its Android rollout earlier in 2017. Even better, both games are purported to be cross-platform compatible, bringing us the real deal instead of a lesser knockoff.

12. Legends of Aria

Updates and development on this Ultima Online spiritual successor have been pretty infrequent, but the ambition from this small team is there. The team wrapped up its final alpha test earlier this fall, so it is reasonable to assume that 2018 will be all about a beta… and maybe more?

13. Chronicles of Elyria

Greatly ambitious or vastly overreaching? You make the call on Chronicles of Elyria, but 2018 should see the team push out some of its pre-launch content, such as its VoxElyria visual MUD client. According to a July 2017 timeline, the team said that players also should see the start of alpha, the release of Kingdoms of Elyria, and server selection come next year.

14. Amazon’s New World and Cryptic’s Magic MMO

These two projects have potential to be huge… if we’d actually hear anything more about them past their initial announcements. It really remains to be seen if they’re going to step up onto the public stage next year, but hope springs eternal.

15. Ship of Heroes, Valiance Online, and City of Titans

There is a lot of movement in each of the City of Heroes spiritual successors as they become more playable every day. All three will be in various stages of testing, but the first one that could be out the door is City of Titans (if it sticks to its “fall 2018” launch window). So which one do you think that will end up carrying the biggest torch (emote) for City of Heroes?

16. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

With Pantheon’s pre-alpha program finally underway, players are now joining the devs on the path to release. It’s a good sign that 2018 could see the expansion of testing into a proper alpha — at the least — and perhaps even the start of the beta. The team has stated that it expects to spend a year in testing, so my guess is alpha by mid-2018 and beta by January 2019.

17. Soulworker Online

This could be a nice little sleeper hit of an MMO with an unusual post-apocalyptic setting and striking cel-shaded style. I’ll be checking out the beta come next spring — will you? If that import isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps you should keep an eye on Closers Online (check out our preview) and Moonlight Blade, with the former already in closed beta in the west and the latter weaving its way through Korean testing.

18. Darkfall: New Dawn

While Rise of Agon got the jump by being the first Darkfall reboot to launch, New Dawn hopes to have its day when it officially releases on January 26th. I have doubts about the sustainability of a second reboot after seeing Rise of Agon floundering, but perhaps its different approach will draw in a nice crowd.

19. Lost Ark and Project TL

Let’s give a shout out to the two MMOARPGs that have been so very, very long in the making that we’ve been reporting on them for years now. Seeing NCsoft start over with Lineage Eternal as Project TL was frustrating, but at least it means movement on that front. Meanwhile, Lost Ark is planning to launch in Korea and China in 2018. Would we like to see some big announcements and testing with these games? Yes. Yes we would. Pretty please.

20. Dual Universe

Here’s another game that hasn’t had the highest of profiles but could surprise a lot of players with its offerings when it releases. The space sim sandbox had a great pre-alpha test this year and originally planned to go into beta and release over the course of 2018. We’ll see if this is the case, but it’s definitely one game that should be on your radar.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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27 Comments on "Perfect Ten: 20 upcoming MMOs to watch in 2018"

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Ville Uusitalo

Monster Hunter World?!? Its coming to consoles already as early as 26th of January. PC will come “later”.

http://www.monsterhunterworld.com/us/

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Steven Williams

My list:
-Final Fantasy XIV
-RuneScape
-Elder Scrolls online
-Maybe World of Warcraft, idk

There are a lot of updates/expansions/dlcs for these games that I’m super excited for!

I’ve ran out of trust in new MMORPGs. My hype-o-meter is depleted.

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Gangrel

Concerning City of Titans: I honestly thought that they were aiming for a closed beta sometime at the end of 2018, and not a proper release.

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Matt Redding

I forgot about Soul Worker. I dug back and found the trailer. It looks cool! I hope I hear more about it.

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Chestnut Bowl

Ascent: Infinite Realm is the only two new MMO I’m watching. It’s difficult for me to get excited about new MMOs when even alphas and betas are distant. At least I’ll have Monster Hunter World, Sea of Thieves, and Dissidia coming soon.

butterpanda888
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butterpanda888

I am so hyped for: #1-#7, #9-#10, #13-#17, and #19. Also Sea of Thieves. Oh and I have hopes to one day see KurzPel, Shadow’s Kiss, Maplestory 2, Moonlight Blade, and Dogma: Eternal Knight.

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Utakata

Perfect 20? Or is this supposed 2 Perfect 10’s in one? o.O

(Not complaining, Mr. Justin. Just my pigtails where doing the math! :( )

styopa
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styopa

Well, it’s a thorough round up of what’s coming.

Here’s what I see mostly:
comment image

Not holding my breath for ANY of these to actually release in 2018.

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Oleg Chebeneev

The only 2 games Im interested in on the list are Star Citizen and Lost Ark since I know those will be great. Still not sure about some, like Chronicles of Elyria and Pantheon.
Im surprised you didnt add some other projects that are more anticipated then plenty of included. Games like Monster Hunter World and Anthem. ALso Project Sansar from Second Life creators is very intriguing.

One more game to look after in 2018 is Starmourn. You all probably never even heard about it, but its a sci-fi MUD made by Iron Realms that specializes on MUDs. The first commercial MUD in years. And its space opera, so Im really interested in it. Here is interesting interview with lead builder: http://www.starmourn.com/2017/11/22/an-interview-with-our-lead-builder-laura-martz/

Skor
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Skor

And my march through the desert will continue in 2018. Maybe the lull will be long enough by 2019 that I will no longer even have an interest in the genre.

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

So many games I’m excited about coming next year.

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Melissa McDonald

Dual Universe and Wild West are the ones I’m probably going to actually play from this list.

I was once really excited about Star Citizen, but now that’s cooled off. The “game” has entirely faded into the background as the “mechanics” of pooping and ever-more pixel ships (that one can’t even use … yet) seem to be the only real updates or headlines. The fighter combat sim is good, a worthy successor to Wing Commander, but Star Marine is a C + class FPS at best, pales in comparison to the leaders of the genre like Battlefield or the Noun of Noun series’. So we’re not much further along than trudging around a hangar, dreaming of a game that doesn’t exist yet. Just like the last couple of years. I’m halfway to thinking it’s going to be like the Old Man and the Sea… when they get this thing to dock it will be a skeleton of what was promised (and frankly, what we dreamed it would be, and assumed it would be, and we do this with just about every MMO, we tart it up in our minds to be way better than what it will actually be when it launches). Now, if the graphics are good enough, maybe that will be “enough” for some people. But as a collection of modules, CiG is failing to paint a picture of these systems together in a unified game experience.

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Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Sashaa

No Fallout MMO? Oh well, I’ll get back to sleep then.

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connor_jones

Agree completely. New Vegas is still my favorite RPG. Hard to believe that game is seven years old now. Who knows where the time goes?

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Dug From The Earth

You know the mmo industry is at a low point… when the top 20 lists, only really contain about 3-4 interesting choices.

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Melissa McDonald

Agreed in principle – but – I think reality is WHICH 3-4 choices are “interesting” will vary wildly from person to person. So I think they all have some audience, or some appeal, to somebody.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

I think it is a matter of trust and misinformation rather than a matter of no interesting concepts. I can see many really ambitious and interesting projects up there, but I remember for half of them some shady news piece or practice that just make me not trust the studio behind it.

A blogger named Greedygoblin posted a piece on it once parallelizing the MMO market to the “market for lemons”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Market_for_Lemons

Suppose buyers cannot distinguish between a high-quality car (a “peach”) and a “lemon”. Then they are only willing to pay a fixed price for a car that averages the value of a “peach” and “lemon” together (pavg). But sellers know whether they hold a peach or a lemon. Given the fixed price at which buyers will buy, sellers will sell only when they hold “lemons” (since plemon pavg). Eventually, as enough sellers of “peaches” leave the market, the average willingness-to-pay of buyers will decrease (since the average quality of cars on the market decreased), leading to even more sellers of high-quality cars to leave the market through a positive feedback loop.

The pessimist’s view is that the MMO market is becoming a market for lemons. I do not completely agree that we are already there but there is a trend.

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Dug From The Earth

as long as those 3-4 choices remain ambiguous, the industry will remain ignorant to why its not doing necessarily better in this genre.

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Daniel Miller

Titles 7-14 on your list but I have two others not on your list. Citadel: Forged with Fire & Peria Chronicles

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Zora

So which one do you think that will end up carrying the biggest torch (emote) for City of Heroes?

Oh boy you tell us, I so want to know myself <3

Glad to see my humble suggestion yesterday did not (coincidentially or not) fall on deaf ears, I had lost track which one was what.

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Loyal Patron
Armsbend

Maybe the only game that will come out this year isn’t on the list: Sea of Thieves.

I suggest saving this list for April 1st.

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Sally Bowls

+1 to Justin for turning his top 10 into a 20 and then getting more than 20 mentioned! Creative use of Article Mechanics! /salute

Although, I kinda disagree with #5, #14, & #1. Their future will change the MMO landscape, but there is nothing good they can finish in ’18.

To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

And IMO ’18 may not be their time.

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connor_jones

Very cool, love the Book of Ecclesiastes. It was King Solomon’s mid-life crisis. ;)

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Jaymes Buckman

Gorgonites are definitely a thing.

IMG_3286.PNG
Siphaed
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Siphaed

Loved that movie! Was played by Tommy Lee Jones

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Jaymes Buckman

He was the lead soldier guy. The head Gorgonite was Frank Langella. Or Skeletor if you prefer.

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