Now that we’re almost 1/12th of the way through 2018, it’s probably about time to stop anticipating the year and start experiencing it. We have already looked at MMOs coming this year, multiplayer titles on the way, the current healthiest MMOs, MMO predictions, and the best value games on the market. So what’s left?
Expansions. Expansions and major content updates are what’s left. It might seem a little presumptuous to try to outline what’s coming this year, since many studios still have their long-range plans under wraps, but when we sat down in the MOP office to talk about it, we ended up with a much larger list than anticipated.
So here’s a look at the major MMO expansions and content updates we are expecting and anticipating over the course of this year. After this? You’re on your own, kid.
Elder Scrolls Online: Unnamed chapter
Whether or not you agreed with our MMORPG of the Year award, you have to admit that ESO is really on the ball lately with its content delivery schedule. Zenimax has committed to a quarterly release schedule, three of which will be meaty DLC and the fourth an expansion — or standalone “chapter,” as the studio is calling it. Dataminers think that they have discovered the location for this expansion, although we’re not going to blatantly spoil that here in case you like to be surprised.
Definitely the most well-known and -anticipated expansion that was announced in 2017, Battle for Azeroth will no doubt be whipping up a few headlines this year. With an island theme, new playable allied races, replayable small-group content, PvP warfronts, and a new take on the artifact system, this expansion will have plenty to keep the loyal occupied. It’s most likely coming very late in the fall.
Star Trek Online: Deep Space Nine expansion
Coming this summer, this DS9-focused expansion looks to hit on some of the big races and locales from the show, including the Dominion and Gamma Quadrant. The tagline of the unnamed expansion pack is “Victory is Life.”
Guild Wars 2: Living world season four
With the launch of the fourth season of Guild Wars 2’s living world late last year, we’re most definitely in for a 2018 that will see the remaining chapters release periodically over the months. Our GW2 expert Tina predicts a focus on the Inquest, Palawa Joko, Kralkatorrik, and the mysterious E during the storyline reveals. We might also get a third expansion announcement, but it is looking highly unlikely for a 2018 release.
Lord of the Rings Online: Northern Mirkwood and Minas Morgul
Lots of excitement among Middle-earth fans for Update 22, which will bring the zone of Northern Mirkwood. Hitting up iconic locations like Erebor, Dale, and Laketown will be a nice respite from Mordor, although players will be heading back to the dreaded country for Update 23. Shelob is waiting for us in Minas Morgul, and she is not prepared to be hospitable.
Final Fantasy XIV: Quarterly content releases
The fun begins this month with the release of Patch 4.2, but that should only be the start of the content rollout this year. As the team is dedicated to quarterly releases, three more should be on deck for 2018. What will they contain? Eliot has a few predictions.
Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot: Free-to-play
Broadsword figures that late is better than never with a business model shift, and the studio is taking two classic MMOs into the free-to-play market this year. Ultima Online is prepping a F2P mode with limitations for this spring, while Dark Age of Camelot has its “Endless Conquest” update in the works (as well as an alternative ruleset server!).
Galactic war is brewing, and the stars are becoming a much more deadly place to do business in this exploration-heavy game. The Thargoids are ramping up attacks on humanity this spring in the Beyond — Chapter One story update, but is it the fault of the playerbase that war exists at all?
Star Citizen: A year of Alpha 3
Now that the insanely delayed and anticipated Alpha 3.0 build is in testers’ hands, what’s next for the game? More Alpha 3, baby. Lots more. The developers have committed to a quarterly release schedule for Alpha 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, and so on, at least over the next year. Hopefully the team has a firm foundation in place to build the game of backers’ dreams.
Funcom’s roadmap for this rebooted title promised the first new batch of Secret World content in a long time for late 2017 and early 2018. This content includes a Dark Agartha scenario, a rookie agent system, and the start of Season Two of the epic storyline. The studio’s been very silent on this over the last few months, however.
According to last year’s E3, ports for Black Desert should be coming this year for both Xbox One and Xbox One X. Time to check out one of the prettiest MMOs on the market!
What are you looking forward to playing this year? Is it an update from this list or something else entirely? Let us know in the comments!