Perfect Ten: Future MMOs that I can’t wait to play

    
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I imagine that most of us have a future bucket list of MMOs that we wish would get here already. It wasn’t but a couple of years ago that I was salivating over several major up-and-coming releases, including Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, and WildStar. My list of most-anticipated never seemed to get smaller, it seemed.

Flash-forward to 2015 and it feels as though we’re in a different era all of the sudden. Games are still being made, to be sure, but there seems like there are fewer blockbuster-wannabes on the horizon. I’m really happy playing what we already have, although I miss that feeling of “ooh, I can’t WAIT!” that used to drive my excitement.

Even so, there are several titles in development that have my attention to varying degrees. Maybe some of these aren’t the big-budget extravaganzas I was used to and maybe a couple are long shots, but as it stands, here are 10 future MMOs I can’t wait to play.

eqnext1. EverQuest Next

Like many of you, I’m absolutely terrified about the fate of EverQuest Next. The Daybreak corporate saga, Smedley’s troubling comments, and a real dearth of information and marketing over the past couple of years have made me wonder whether this project might never see the light of day. Even so, I’m holding a torch for it because I’d love to see a next-gen EverQuest title with improved graphics, a heavy touch of sandbox, collectable classes, and a strong studio behind it.

2. Shroud of the Avatar

I’ve been a long time coming around on Shroud of the Avatar, having been a little shied away by its indie status, the yes-we’re-online-but-also-not setup, and the somewhat generic visuals. However, the sheer passion of Richard Garriott and company, the enthusiastic community, and the fact that this is shaping up to be a game that caters more to roleplayers than gankers (which is a rarity in the sandbox space) convinced me to snag a copy. While I might be poking my head inside early access to satisfy curiosity, I can’t wait until later this year when the first episode officially releases.

3. Crowfall

Anyone who knows me knows that I am very much not a fan of PvP content in MMOs. I don’t resent it being there for those who love it, but I don’t want to be forced to play it or have it affect my game time. So why would I even put Crowfall on this list? PvP or not, I like its big ideas and the groundswell of excitement that it generated when it debuted earlier this year. Aspects of the game, such as its art style and eternal kingdoms, are attractive enough that I might have to get outside of my comfort zone to at least see what the fuss is about when it launches.

4. Star Citizen

To tell you the truth, I don’t even know what to make of Star Citizen right now. It’s so hard to separate the actual game from the rabid community, and I can tell you that if I get even a whiff that this is EVE Online 2.0, attitude-wise, then I am out. That said, I love space sims and am quite intrigued with the scope and drive behind this project. Give me a ship, some stars to steer her by, and a content-packed galaxy, and I will be in heaven.

5. Lost Ark

Plenty of my friends and colleagues had a similar reaction to me when they saw that Lost Ark gameplay trailer: “This looks amazing! I will gladly bear its children. When does it come out already?”

I’m not normally the biggest Diablo-clone fan, but I would be lying if I said that this didn’t interest me at all. Looks aren’t everything, but when done right they can get you a long way. Here’s hoping that the hype will hold up — and that Lost Ark will actually release in the west.

6. Skyforge

After playing this in beta, I found myself on the fence about it. On one hand, it’s a very fluffy MMO that won’t be winning awards for its storytelling or expansive world building. But on the other hand — the hand that is bringing me around — the combat, class flexibility, and aesthetic is kind of neat. It might well be a good “bite-sized” MMO, and I’m not going to poo-poo that. I just hope that some of the more questionable business model decisions will be addressed before release.

7. SkySaga

Trove didn’t quite convince me that it was the voxel MMO for me, but after watching several beta videos, I have hopes that SkySaga has more meat on its content bones for my taste. It’s really dang cute with a sense of humor, and I like its marketing emphasis on players going on adventures together. Did I mention its adorable quality? And that slick UI and artwork? OK, this entry is proving me to be just as shallow as you may have suspected. Moving on!

8. The Division

This is very borderline MMO, but I’m going to include it anyway because I think it’s got a good chance of drawing in Destiny-like crowds with the cross-platform and name recognition going for it. For me, I want to play it because I adore mid-apocalyptic games, and this one is giving off a bit of a Secret World vibe.

9. State of Decay Online

State of Decay’s MMO aspirations is one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry, mostly because Undead Labs is trying very hard to keep the current focus on its salable product and away from “Class4,” the massively multiplayer variant that is reportedly in the works. Having played and adored State of Decay, all I can say to an MMO version is, “YES PLEASE.” It’s such a terrifically fun game, and all that I would suggest to improve it is to be able to play it in a larger world with other gamers.

10. A decent mobile MMO

I am totally going to hedge this last entry because while I know that there are many mobile MMOs (including spin-offs and adaptations) in the works, I have no idea which ones will actually end up offering a solid play experience. Still, between Final Fantasy XI, Aion, Blade and Soul, Forsaken World, and others, there has to be one that hits the jackpot, yes?

Honorable Mentions

Not every MMO in the works was going to make this list, as I drew more from my gut than what I perceived was popular with the community. Still, here are a few additional titles that have my interest if not my future gametime.

  • I’ll probably pass on Landmark due to its being more of a toolset than a narrative wonderland. If I hear a feature or a tsunami of positive word-of-mouth, I might reconsider.
  • Camelot Unchained looks really neat in so many ways — except for its PvP-dominated focus. I gave that an honest try in Warhammer Online¬†and did not find it to my liking, so pass.
  • Blade and Soul would definitely get a spot on this list… if I ever thought it had an honest chance of releasing in the west.
  • I’m kind of waiting to see what H1Z1 shapes up to be. The PvE aspect currently feels grudgingly tacked on and I get the impression that this game is mostly DayZ with little moving it forward.
  • We know that Cryptic is working on at least one secret MMO. Chances are that when it unveils it, it will instantly appear on my “want to play now!” list. Also, if any of the Funcom secret projects are MMOs (which I doubt), I’ll jump right on board with that news.
  • There are a couple of ambitious smaller games that I’d love to see become sleeper hits, including Project Gorgon and Ascent. Those might be worth checking out at some point.

What’s on your list?

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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