Right now we are in a strange place in MMORPG history. Following the backlash of WoW clones and several high-profile titles that underperformed, major studios are becoming extremely risk-averse to creating big-budget titles the way that we saw not five years ago. Many former MMO teams are diversifying with shooters, MOBAs, and other safer and trendier titles.
Yet all is not lost! MMO features continue to ripple out into all types of game genres and new titles continue to be produced -- just not from the usual suspects. Instead, most of what is on our immediate horizon comes from either crowdfunded indie teams or eastern giants. The good news is that 2017 should see the culmination of many of these long-brewing projects and adaptations, hopefully resulting in a bumper crop of interesting online RPGs for us to play.
So let's run down the list of games that either are or possibly could be coming to you in 2017. We will provide an overview of each title, why you should care about it, and our best guess at the odds of its officially launching during the calendar year. If an upcoming MMO is not on the list, then it is our opinion that while we'll see it eventually, a 2017 release isn't happening.
Over the last couple of weeks, we shared with you part one and part two of our guide to the best upcoming and current indie MMORPGs on the market. Naturally, there were always those titles that we overlooked or couldn't fit into the space, so we are back with the third and final part of this guide to make sure that all of your favorite games got mentioned.
As a side note, we won't be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too much for the scope of this guide. And if you're interested in these games, then you'll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns.
On with part three!
This week, Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft's sixth expansion, Legion, will indeed arrive this summer as planned. August 30th is the big day. Got your preorder in yet? Here's what else is new in the land of MMO beta testing:
- Tree of Savior banned 3000 cheaters and dealt with pricing fallout from scheming arbitrage artists.
- Tree of Life -- yeah, all the trees are confusing -- launched its beta (along with its cash shop).
- Origins of Malu announced it has suspended its development as it shops for investors.
- Camelot Unchained announced its beta one release has been delayed, likely several weeks.
- Nexon's flying MMORPG Riders of Icarus began its second round of closed beta.
- Hi-Rez's shooter-hybrid Paladins patched its closed beta with, Dragon Punch, which pushes live new champion Drogoz, The Greedy.
- Guild Wars 2's live beta test of world linking for WvW began today.
- Cube World is alive!
- Fragmented released a trailer ahead of next week's Steam early access launch. Stress tests are ongoing.
- Glitch-spinoff Children of Ur updated its open alpha with a new build.
- The Black Death lurched like a plague-ridden zombie into Steam early access.
- Nexon launched the alpha for LawBreakers with a new trailer featuring no less than Ice-T.
- The Culling's first big early access patch introduced female playable characters.
- Asta's still in beta too, but it's also getting a big content patch.
Check out our complete list of games in testing below!
Back in December, we reported that Cube World had resumed development after nearly a year and a half of nearly silent alpha (and a lot of bitter early buyers). Dev Wolfram von Funck has tweeted updates lightly since then, but April has seen a fresh flurry of activity and teasers.
Here's a quick look at the new map:
If you're stuck away from home with family over the holidays, you might find yourself jonesing for an MMO that will run and run well on a lower-end rig. Or maybe that's just me!
I'd have thought a game like Trove or Cube World would be my best bet, but both are surprisingly rough on an old machine -- turns out that cutesy voxel graphics really aren't as cheap and simple and easy as some people would like to think. Very old games, then? Ultima Online's modern client runs OK, but it's a bit clunky no matter what I run it on. World of Warcraft runs pretty well too, but I'm looking for something a little more updated.
So I found myself wondering just what the best MMO for a low-spec PC or laptop might be. What would you recommend to someone who for whatever reason doesn't have access to a high-end rig, temporarily or permanently? What MMORPGs run surprisingly well on a toaster?
As the podcast crew prepares to wrap up the year, there's still an avalanche of news with which to deal! On today's episode, Bree and Justin talk about Star Citizen's milestones, Devilian's launch, the debate around multiboxing, and more.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
When voxel sandbox Trove hit the pavement running, I know I wasn't alone when my first reaction was, "Damn, this looks like Cube World, only, you know, getting updated!" Now I might need to eat my words because Cube World is indeed under development again after a long hiatus. And I do mean long.
While the game's website hasn't had an update since June 2014 when alpha buyers were left a bit in the lurch, dev Wolfram von Funck started pushing out tweets about development two months ago and hasn't let up. The most recent one arrived over the weekend: