mop 2017 in review

MMO Year in Review: Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 finally arrives (December 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey as we head into 2018!

Far from being a slow month for MMOs and the site, December has been hopping these last few years, spurred on partly by of our massive awards and end-of-the-year content rollout. But plenty of MMOs added fuel to the fire: Star Citizen pushed its alpha 3.0 out the door at the very last minute, under siege from the Crytek lawsuit, Squadron 42 doubts, and criticism over its latest concept ship tank saleWild West Online delayed into the new year following the gutting of its open PvP system; and RIFT studio Trion stepped into quite a mess – twice – when it posted a pay-to-win currency pack and a $100 random mount lockbox up for sale (and later backtracked on both).

Read on for the whole list and have a happy new year!

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MMO Year in Review: WoW Classic and the doom of Marvel Heroes (November 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

Blizzard took the month of November with huge announcements for World of Warcraft, specifically the Battle for Azeroth expansion and vanilla-flavored WoW Classic servers.

Meanwhile, we saw the sunset of Motiga, the sunset announcement for Master X Master, and the abysmally handled and abrupt end of Gazillion and Marvel Heroes.

In happier news, Kakao took the wraps off its next mega-MMORPG, Ascent: Infinite Realm, specifically targeting western players.

And lockboxes continued to drive conversations around the law, the cost of games development, the press, and gambling, and not just because of EA: Guild Wars 2’s mount lockboxes and Star Citizen’s land claims sales reminded MMO players that monetization problems aren’t just for mainstream gamers. Still, we doubt anyone will be forgetting the ol’ claim that lockboxes create a “sense of pride and accomplishment” any time soon.

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MMO Year in Review: Lockboxes, CCP, and Destiny 2 (October 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

The lockbox debate exploded in October, propelled in the mainstream by EA but closer to home by games like LOTRO. Meanwhile, Destiny 2 launched on PC, and the MMO world was shocked by the sudden closures of two of CCP Games’ substudios following EVE Vegas, which initially was not supposed to affect EVE Online (though by November we found out it most certainly did).

We also saw a number of updates to major MMOs, including Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City, Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon, SWTOR’s pre-merge United Forces Foundation, EVE’s Lifeblood, and LOTRO’s Update 21. And Star Citizen dampened delay criticism by demoing its procedural cities.

Read on for the whole list!

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MMO Year in Review: Expansion 2 for Guild Wars 2 (September 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

September dazzled with Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire launch, while indies lit up PAX West, Destiny 2 rolled out to consolers, EVE Online dabbled in drama, toxicity became the new buzzword, and Chris Roberts got fed up. The oldest living games of the genre had their day too, as Ultima Online turned 20 years old and announced free-to-play.

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MMO Year in Review: Johnny Depp + Secret World = profit? (August 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

August was dominated by several competing stories that just wound throughout the whole month: The Secret World’s TV series venture as produced by Johnny Depp, the full reveal of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion, and Star Citizen’s multiple delays and demos.

We also saw launches for World of Warcraft’s ArgusElder Scrolls Online’s Horns of the ReachLord of the Rings Online’s Mordor, ARK: Survival Evolved, LawBreakers, Fragmented, and Tree of Life. And if you squint, you can just see the first inklings that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was already taking off.

Read on for the whole list!

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MMO Year in Review: July was the high mark of the year for MMORPGs (July 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

July was a month of MMORPG launches, as Riders of IcarusAlbion Online, and Gigantic formally launched; Dark and Light hit early access; and other MMOs, including SWTOR, Guild Wars 2, and Neverwinter, rolled out major updates.

But it was also a period of delays, as Star Citizen collected thousands of comments over its repeated delays of its 3.0 alpha and both ARK: Survival Evolved and Lord of the Rings Online’s Mordor rescheduled launches for August. We also said farewell to Firefall after its long limbo, and don’t forget the Pokemon Go live event trainwreck!

Read on for the whole list!

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MMO Year in Review: Morrowind, Stormblood, and Secret World Legends (June 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

Easily the high point of the year, June saw the launch of The Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind and Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood, along with the relaunch of The Secret World as Secret World Legends.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar launched a controversial equity crowdfunding campaign, Cryptic announced a Magic the Gathering MMORPG, and we got a look at Skull & Bones, Sea of Thieves, and Anthem at E3. We also confirmed that Neowiz and Aeria had cut ties, leaving the former to bring Bless Online westward alone.

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MMO Year in Review: Ashes of Creation vs. Wild West Online (May 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

Ashes of Creation blew up on Kickstarter in May, weathering concerns over its CEO’s history and referral plans to easily meet its crowdfunding goal and truck onward through multiple stretch goals.

Wild West Online fared just as well, reportedly canceling its Kickstarter after announcing it as a result of outside investment and weathering its own drama.

Meanwhile, Marvel Heroes landed on console, Black Desert moseyed over to Steam, we delivered an absurd amount of Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood preview coverage, and Morrowind hit early access.

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MMO Year in Review: Ship of Heroes abandons Kickstarter (April 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

In April, City of Heroes-inspired MMORPG Ship of Heroes launched a $400,000 Kickstarter but canceled it soon after, believing it would not fund. Work on the game continued with an abbreviated scope.

Speaking of abbreviated scopes: Star Citizen began promising a trimmed-down alpha 3.0 by summer as of this month as devs talked up the game anyway. (Spoilers: Summer didn’t happen.)

Meanwhile, LOTRO turned 10 years old, SWTOR launched War for Iokath, Guild Wars 2 rolled out controversial raid armor, and Marvel Heroes finally announced a console version, sending the PC playerbase into turmoil.

Read on for the whole list!

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MMO Year in Review: City of Heroes necromancy in Master X Master (March 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

In March, NCsoft astonished MMORPG players by announcing it was resurrecting City of Heroes character Statesman… in MOBA Master X Master. It didn’t go over well, particularly among gamers still nursing grudges over NCsoft’s sunset of (and refusal to sell) CoH itself.

Meanwhile, Funcom finally revealed that the Secret World reboot it had been teasing would actually mean the death of the MMO and a reboot as more of a multiplayer RPG.

Read on for the whole list!

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MMO Year in Review: A home of your own in Elder Scrolls Online’s Tamriel (February 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

February saw the launch of housing The Elder Scrolls Online’s Homestead patch – a quality addition to a game that once declared MMO housing too hard to implement – and continued teasing Morrowind, both of which drove the game to a new high of 8.5M registered players.

Meanwhile, SOE/Daybreak’s former John Smedley, fresh off the death of Hero’s Song, set up shop with a new studio under the Amazon Games umbrella – with all the same people.

And Funcom declared it had recouped all its costs on Conan Exiles and would reboot The Secret World (while letting its other MMORPGs slide).

Read on for the whole list!

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MMO Year in Review: Landmark is wiped off the map (January 2017)

December’s many article roundups and awards always remind us that it’s hard to remember what happened last month, let alone what happened way back at the beginning, so this year (as in 2015 and 2016), we decided to poke through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we launch into 2018.

If you were still reeling from the devastating loss of EverQuest Next in 2016, the announcement in January of this year that Landmark was being kicked the curb too was salt in the wound. In fact, the beginning of 2017 was a dark spot for MMOs, with Firefall in limbo, Marvel Heroes rolling out an unwelcome patch, The Repopulation being sold to the company that almost snuffed it out, and the Asheron’s Call series on the chopping block. Even Nostalrius had regrets! We did, however, see the launch of Conan Exiles and get our first whisper of Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind.

Read on for the whole list from January of this past year.

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