Massively OP’s 2019 Awards: Most Anticipated MMO

    
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Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2019 awards continue today with our award for Most Anticipated MMO, which was awarded to Torchlight Frontiers last year. This year’s discussion on most anticipated once again generated a sense of frustration among our writers since a lot of the games we’re picking from here year after year are the same – because they still aren’t out. Of course, we do have one or two that are new…

Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

And the MassivelyOP staff pick for the Most Anticipated MMO for 2020 and beyond is…

BOOK OF TRAVELS and TORCHLIGHT FRONTIERS

Andy McAdams: Book of Travels and Torchlight Frontiers are both solid choices here. I had actually said A:IR in my nomination but we’ve not heard much from them. Book of Travels has definitely piqued my interest and I’m hoping they can deliver on such an original concept.

Brianna Royce: My most anticipated MMO is Raph’s game, but it’s a hard sell for anyone not really a long-time fan of his – we don’t even know what it’s called yet. So since I need to put a name on this, for me it’s now Book of Travels, the only game on Kickstarter I backed all year. I was dead serious when I said I wanted to play something weird and unique, something that pushes the boundaries of what MMOs are supposed to be, and it helps that it’s super pretty too. But I have a long list of other games I’m awaiting: AIR, Torchlight Frontiers, Ship of Heroes, Camelot Unchained, Star Citizen, Crowfall, Lost Ark, Pantheon, Zenith, New World, Fractured. And I am paying extra attention to what Elder Scrolls Online and Guild Wars 2 do in 2020. Let’s just get some new good stuff in here please!

Carlo Lacsina: Crimson Desert. My hot take is this game can be what sets the stage for the next decade This game can easily define what the MMORPG will look like for the next 10 years. The 2010s was a decade adjusting to the ramification of WoW’s meteoric rise. The latter half saw the rise of more prominent Korean studios leading the charge, Pearl Abyss being one of them. I can’t help but see this and any game coming of Korea in the next year to be what defines the genre and I especially have my eye on Crimson Desert. To me it represents a new direction Korea’s taking in order to take over the western market and boy am I excited to get conquered! It’s too early to tell what this game’s going to look like, but I know it’ll make a huge splash.

Chris Neal: Book of Travels. The moment I was reading up on this one, I knew I had to help fund it. One of the games that stuck with me was Journey, and this one feels like it hits much of that same overall vibe in that it’s about story and ambience and world and roaming that world. I really really want this one to come together.

Colin Henry: Book of Travels, Torchlight Frontiers. I like the Diablo gameplay style, but I’ve never liked the grimdark atmosphere of Diablo and many of its clones. Torchlight, with its cartoony graphics and more colorful palette, was the game that really got me into the genre. As you might expect, I was a big fan of Marvel Heroes, but when that shut down, there was really nothing like it to turn to. Torchlight Frontiers seems like the first game that has come along that has really come close. From what I’ve played of beta, I don’t think it will be the perfect game or anything, but I’m excited to see how it pans out! Any game that lets me choose between playing as a robot and a railroad engineer is bound to be good.

Eliot Lefebvre: Look, I am still looking forward to Ascent: Infinite Realm. And Phantasy Star Online 2, actually. Why? Because I’m stupid, I guess.

Justin Olivetti: I cannot wait to get my hands on the clicky goodness of Torchlight Frontiers, especially after trying the alpha this past year. It promises to be a great “filler” MMO. But Book of Travels was the game that stole my heart in 2019 with its Kickstarter campaign and wildly different and creative premise. A serene MMO? Sure, I’m up for that!

Mia DeSanzo: I picked Pantheon because that’s what I am personally anticipating. I don’t expect to see it any time soon, though, and Torchlight Frontiers looks so good. Choo choo!

MJ Guthrie: Dual Universe, Star Citizen. I am not ashamed to say I am still watching Star Citizen. It’s not about buying the fanciest ships for me (not like I could), it’s that the game is getting dream elements into the package. But the game I am most anticipating is Dual Universe! This brings back the Landmark-like voxel building with a space sandbox and I am eager to dive into it. I cannot wait until I can finally show y’all what it is about on OPTV.

Samon Kashani: Ashes of Creation. Originally, this game might as well have been nonexistent to me. I more or less had thrown my lot in with Crowfall and I planned on riding that out until it launches. Then AoC Apocalypse drops and I am blown away. The combat was fluid and amazing. The graphics and animations where stunning. I really can’t wait for this one to launch.

Tyler Edwards: My vote went to Amazon’s mysterious Lord of the Rings MMO, but I can’t say I object to the two games that got picked. As with any crowdfunded title, I have severe doubts over whether Book of Travels can live up to its promises, but if it does, it could be something special. And Torchlight Frontiers looks like a solid ARPG. I’d also maybe give a nod to Ascent: Infinite Realm, even if it has been awfully quiet lately.

Book of Travels and Torchlight Frontiers tied to win our award for Most Anticipated MMO for 2020 and beyond. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What's your most anticipated MMO of 2020 and beyond?

  • Book of Travels (2%, 40 Votes)
  • Torchlight Frontiers (3%, 50 Votes)
  • Ascent Infinite Realm (AIR) (1%, 17 Votes)
  • Star Citizen (8%, 132 Votes)
  • Crimson Desert (2%, 38 Votes)
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 (2%, 34 Votes)
  • Ship of Heroes (3%, 48 Votes)
  • Raph Koster's unnamed MMORPG (2%, 36 Votes)
  • Pantheon (37%, 609 Votes)
  • Crowfall (3%, 57 Votes)
  • Dual Universe (1%, 13 Votes)
  • Amazon's LOTR MMO (8%, 139 Votes)
  • Amazon's New World (7%, 118 Votes)
  • Lost Ark (2%, 32 Votes)
  • Camelot Unchained (5%, 83 Votes)
  • Zenith (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ashes of Creation (4%, 62 Votes)
  • Blue Protocol (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Corepunk (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Fractured (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Chronicles of Elyria (1%, 15 Votes)
  • Life Beyond (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Temtem (1%, 15 Votes)
  • City of Titans (2%, 33 Votes)
  • Valiance Online (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (2%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,258

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How does MassivelyOP choose the winner?
Our team gathers together over the course of a few weeks to nominate and discuss candidates and ideally settle on a consensus winner. We don’t have a hard vote, but we do include written commentary from every writer who submitted it on time so that you can see where some of us differed, what our secondary picks were, and why we personally nominated what we did (or didn’t). The site’s award goes to the staff selection, but we’ll include both it and the community’s top nomination in our debrief in January.
How does MassivelyOP populate this poll?
Poll options include all games nominated plus other games we thought should and would be in the running.
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Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

CITY OF TITANS

It’s the first of only two crowdfunded games that I’ve donated to and after how close CoT seemed to launch in 2018, that the Avatar Builder (costume creator) finally got released in 2019 was a big deal. Also, the closing of CITY OF HEROES so unceremoniously still has yet to make sense. it was great game doing stuff that mmos have still yet to do. I know how CoT has planned out the lore and stories and adventures while boosting the abilities of players to custom design their own heroes. I just gotta upgrade my laptop to run it. Good things come to those who wait.

STAR CITIZEN

This is second and last crowdfunded game that I’ve donated to. My favorite genre is Science Fiction. My favorite subgenre is Space Opera:

Star Trek, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery, Star Wars, Space Academy, Jason of Star Command, Stargate, SG1, Atlantis, Universe, Babylon 5, Crusade, Earth Final Conflict, Andromeda, Battlestar Galactica (original and reimagined), Space Cases, Firefly, Serenity, Star Blazers, Battle of the Planets, Starcom, Battle Beyond The Stars, The Last Starfighter, Interstellar, Farscape, Robotech, Voltron (5-lion robots were okay but I preferred the 15 space vehicle one), Pandora’s Star, Judas Unchained.

Two decades ago, I had bought from a used software store a very cheap copy of BATTLECRUISER 3000AD for about $5-10. I had read about its “history” but was still curious about it. I wasn’t able to install the game but spent weeks on daily commutes reading through the instruction manual. The irony in hindsight is palpable.

I had did something similar a decade earlier in buying a TRAVELER pen and paper rpg more for the lore since I didn’t have friends who played rpg. I was this/close to doing the same for a Babylon 5 rpg. I recall spending hours as a teen in bookstores flipping through coffee table books that were essentially portfolios of spaceships by Stewart Cowley, or looking at the covers of scifi novels for the illustrations.

So, yeah, to say the pitch for STAR CITIZEN was right in my wheelhouse, seamlessly combining planetary and space travel, exploration, combat, trade, is an understatement of cosmic proportions. I think the emotional draw to space is something easily and understandably overlooked but for a lot of people is there nonetheless. The venn diagram of fans of computers, video games, space opera is almost a single overlapping circle. The history of video games can be traced back to SPACE WAR and SPACE TREK.

So to say there is a game I most anticipating, yeah, you’ve guessed it.

SHIP OF HEROES

This came out of nowhere and instantly appealed to me. Superheroes … in space. It combines my love of superheroes (I used to collect superhero comics off and on for 30 years) and my, somewhat, kinda, wee bit, affinity for space opera (see above section for STAR CITIZEN). Yes, you have my attention. It is not a game I have donated to because I agree, they jumped the gun in doing a kickstarter with so little to show for it (I only donated to STAR CITIZEN in late 2014 after having seen, what I thought was considerable progress, little did I know it was only getting started) but it a game I’m looking forward to.

Reader
Kurt Shadle

Actually most looking forward to the Magic the Gathering MMO. Though cautious since Cryptic.

Reader
Rodrigo Dias Costa

So many upcoming MMOs to be excited. I guess my pick would be Temtem since they’re making what fans were begging Nintendo to do for years.

There’s also DokeV, which looks to be the same genre, but with a Battle Network vibe. Amazon’s MMOs are sure something to watch, even for those who don’t are really wanting to play them, just because the sheer size of budged and tech involved. Koster’s one is also worthy watching for his involvement alone.

I’m personally watching Seed, Prosperous Universe, Fractured, Ashes of Creation, Dual Universe, Starbase and Population Zero. These games speak to me on many ways.

Seed for the world simulation and perspective.
PrUn for the economy simulation that’s already entertaining and promises even more.
Fractured also for the economy, but for the different gameplay perspectives depending on your race, and the skill system looks interesting too.
AoC for the promised persistence.
Dual Universe for an more sandboxy EVE.
Starbase for almost the same as DU, but even looking like it’s smaller, it looks like the devs are working at breakneck speed to deliver their dream game.
Population Zero for more Sci-Fi love, and although I wasn’t looking for it, recently I joined the alpha and liked what I’ve seen so far. It’s shaping to be a great option.

Honorable mentions goes to Book of Travels and the CoH successors. The first one for being innovative and the other ones for trying to deliver what many CoH fans lost after their favorite MMO’s sunset. There are not exactly my cup of tea, but I’ll be joining them at launch just to see if they deliver what was promised.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Sashaa

Hard to pick between Pantheon and Raph Koster’s mmo…

Reader
Robert Mann

I’m not really anticipating any of them straight on just at the moment. I am keeping an eye on several, but so far everything has at least a couple MAJOR issues that leave me leery instead of anticipatory.

Reader
LiamQDH

Saga of Lucimia for sure.

Reader
Solaris

Star Citizen, because already the game in it’s current form provides experiences never before seen in gaming.

Ashes of Creation: Archeage without the cash shop trap? Yes please. Impressed with the studio as well.

Chronicles of Elyria: might be a long shot but if this game launches it should be incredible. I’m worried for this project though.

Pantheon: I have first hand experience and I’m 100% on board.

Corepunk: came out of nowhere and am interested.

Reader
Utakata

For the first time I picked Jeff Bezo…I mean, Amazon’s New World. Because for the first time as well, after recent reveals it seems to have evolved from a presumed Salem’s witch hunt survival gankfest…to something far more interesting. Where the worlds of BDO seem to meet the Secret World. Call the pigtails intrigued. But the details are still in the NDA pudding though.

Ernost
Reader
Ernost

Where the worlds of BDO seem to meet the Secret World.

That’s actually a really good description, based on what I’ve seen so far.

Reader
Toy Clown

Lots of spot-on stuff written there. :) I’ll just add one that isn’t talked about and that’s Camelot Unchained. I’m still intrigued by the MMO and look forward to playing it one day.

On my list, alongside Camelot Unchained, in no particular order:

Book of Travels
Star Citizen
A:IR
Crimson Desert

MJ Guthrie
Staff
MJ Guthrie

Camelot Unchained is the one very PvP-centric one I am looking forward to.

Reader
Sorenthaz

I’m looking forward to AoC Apoc’s Castle Sieges coming… in another month or two maybe? And then the first stage of the MMO’s alpha testing which should almost definitely be coming sometime in 2020.

Also PSO2 in the west. I’ve played the Japanese version off and on and I’m ready to support the Western version whenever it comes here.