End-of-Year Eleven: The top MMOs to watch in 2022

    
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If 2021 had a problem, it was that we got simply too many MMO releases between new launches, early access, and expansions. This breathtaking torrent of titles to check out doesn’t seem to be slowing down as we head into 2022 — because, baby, there’s a whole lot more to come in this space!

As is our tradition here at MassivelyOP, we’ve combed through all of the MMO projects that we know about and trimmed the list to the top entries that we feel promise to generate the most excitement and be titles you’ll get to play in the new year. So read on as we march down our 10 MMOs to watch in 2022 — and stay tuned after that for a bonus section on all of the other projects that have our attention!

Lost Ark

New World wasn’t the only Amazon project to make big waves this past year. Lost Ark’s beta made a huge splash this fall and hinted at a very strong potential performance for this long-awaited MMOARPG. The good news is that fans won’t have to wait long: The launch is slated for February 11th, 2022.

Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons

If there’s one upcoming title that’s on many MMO players’ minds these days, it’s Guild Wars 2’s next expansion. End of Dragons is slotted for February 2022 and will add the fan-favorite Canthan continent as well as fishing, skiffs, a ton of new elite specs, and siege turtles. Turtles!

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Legacy of the Sith

Delayed from this December to February 2022, SWTOR’s next expansion has a whole lot riding on it due to how long it’s been since the last one and the need to prop up this title around its 10th anniversary. Legacy of the Sith will add combat styles, a trip to the ocean planet of Manaan, and plenty of new adventures in a galaxy far, far away.

Path of Exile 2

Not quite a sequel, not quite a mere content update, Path of Exile 2 will offer a second, seven-act storyline set 20 years in the current game’s future, 19 new ascendancy classes, a skill gem system, and more. We’re looking for a beta on the near horizon, though probably not a 2022 release.

Palia

One of the biggest surprises (in a good way!) that became one of our most anticipated MMOs, Palia has many of us hungry for more information and even a testing key for this super-casual MMO. While there’s no way that this is coming out next year, its every reveal and alpha (or perhaps beta?) test is going to be riveting.

Project Gorgon

We’ve adored this quirky and inventive indie MMO for a long time now, but its development feels like it’s taken forever. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel: Supposedly Project Gorgon is getting a full launch in 2022, bringing all of its bizarre skills (psychiatry! mushroom collecting! cow combat!) to a permanent, live environment.

Ship of Heroes

As this City of Heroes spiritual successor is currently blasting through beta, a 2022 release isn’t out of the bounds of believability — or at least a large-scale open test. Given some good polish, tighter combat, and solid promotion, and we could be looking at a decent sleeper hit. Heaven knows that superhero fans have been clamoring for a new MMO to play!

Elder Scrolls Online’s new chapter

With the year of Blackwood and all of its content now behind us, Elder Scrolls Online players are eager to hear what chapter and theme ZeniMax is working on for 2022 — and what new class or system it might contain. There’s a whole lot of speculation on this, but there’s no doubt that it’ll be gobbled up by the Tamriel faithful.

Corepunk

We’ll continue to champion this dark horse of a project, because we really want to see a cool cyberpunk-themed MMO actually come out. Corepunk’s had our attention for a while now with its blend of scifi and fantasy, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the beta next spring — and perhaps a launch later in 2022?

The unknown MMO projects

Driving us absolutely insane is the knowledge that there are many big MMOs in the works that we knew little about, including their names. Riot Games has a huge MMORPG coming set in the Runeterra universe, Raph Koster is working on both an MMO and metaverse, Facebook is making its own metaverse, Daybreak is making a Marvel MMO, Funcom’s working on a Dune massively multiplayer survival thing, One More Game is a studio full of MMO devs making something MMOy, Nexon’s Warhammer Fantasy “virtual world,” Jagex was working on multiple unannounced MMOs last we heard, CCP is chugging away on at least one title (if not more), Blizzard’s got a whole bunch of secret projects in the works (MMOs? Mobile?), ZeniMax is being very busy behind the scenes, Jake Song is fashioning a mobile MMO of some sort, Spry Fox is making some sort of “cozy” MMO published by Epic, Gamigo has a “major” project yet to be unveiled, former SOE president John Smedley is whipping up something in Amazon’s basement, Amazon’s publishing Glowmade’s creative co-op title, and ArtCraft is shifting resources to work on Project Atlas.

And more coming in 2022 and beyond…

Also coming in 2022, virtual reality MMO Zenith is set to launch, Dungeons and Dragons Online will be putting out an Isle of Dread expansion in the spring, Mortal Online 2 will come out kicking and screaming in January, and Gloria Victis should be coming soon(tm). Dual Universe is charging for beta subs but could see a launch in 2022.

But wait — there’s more! There are plenty of intriguing projects that are a little further out on the timeline, such as DCUO’s massive 2023 expansion, Lord of the Rings Online’s  possible console release, presumed expansions for World of Warcraft and WoW Classic, and Star Citizen’s eternal alpha (but at least it’s playable to a point!).

Many fantasy MMO gamers are hanging their hats and hopes on some big hitters such as Camelot Unchained, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, and Ashes of Creation that look promising but aren’t anywhere near release yet. Then there’s Saga of Lucimia, which rebranded as Embers Adrift, which is actually seeing some progress in development.

If you’re looking for adorable pixel MMOs, there’s Arcane Waters and Ravendawn in the works. Or how about some superhero projects such as Valiance Online and City of Titans? Maybe a trip to virtual reality with Ilysia? A gas-lamp fantasy in Nightingale? A laid-back journey with Book of Travels? An afrofantasy with The Wagatu Chronicles? A choice of worlds in Fractured? Lush eye candy in Profane? Time traveling with Into the Echo? Cel-shaded anime bliss with Blue Protocol? Dark horror with Mad World? Old school journeys in Monsters & Memories? Unlimited freedom with Past Fate? Vampires with Shadow’s Kiss? Charming fantasy in Swords ‘n Magic and Stuff? Rogue servers featuring WildStar, Asheron’s Call, and EverQuest Online Adventures?

The possibilities, my friends, are endless.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten usually takes an MMO topic and divides it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. And per tradition, we’re cranking this column up to eleven with our annual special features in the End-of-Year Eleven!
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