Like a lot of you.. I’m a big MMORPG fan.. and unfortunately for us.. the last few years have been.. I don’t want to say bad.. but stale. While we do have established titles posting slow and steady growth year after year.. the way they update through their expansions and content patches typically is in that safe.. more of the same kind of way.. which doesn’t always appeal to people wanting to see new worlds and ideas. Last year the only 2 notable titles we had was the barely localized dumpster fire that was Revelation Online.. and the eventual release of Albion – a game that was delayed for so long it’s release came after it was playable for over a year beforehand. Looking to 2018 I spent some time and dug through the big MMORPG and gaming websites, I read listicle after listicle, I looked through press releases and watched quite a few of those..
Top 10 MMORPGs of 2018 videos.. and in almost a commentary to the state of new MMORPGs – 80% of the games on these lists have no chance of coming out this year – 2018 is going to be just as dry as last year.. with only 2 notable games coming out this year.. of which they both have red flags. Those games are Bless Online and Crowfall. I don’t want to spend a ton of time on each.. but in the near future as they get closer to launch I will cover them more, in depth and better informed. Bless Online represents a formulaic theme park game. Much of it’s feature list – of dungeons and raids, small and large scale PvP, dual faction, holy trinity.. fantasy setting.. its familiar. I’ve played the game myself and there is no real draw or thing Bless seems to do really well or better than other games.. besides just showing up this year and not looking like some weird indie throwback to the 90s – combine this with an MMORPG audience that just wants something new as the last real new themepark game released above some arbitrary threshold of quality was probably Elder Scrolls Online or Wildstar in 2014.
However.. red flag.. this game has done poorly, bordering on failure.. in 3 other regions, Korea- Japan and Russia. In the process of localizing it for our region – they are performing a revamp to performance and combat as they are largely understood to be garbage in both the original release of Bless and the Bless Rebuild, Japanese revamped version. So maybe the 3rd rebuild of the game or the 4th region is the charm.. Bless is a game that success for them will be an uphill battle even if they make combat feel not terrible- that will gets a shot because there really is nothing else..
If they don’t muck up monetization I could see this game being quite interesting for a few months until content hunger dictates a lot.. and then it’s up to post content release cycles.. but a lot of details are in the air.. but it’s soft release- which because there are no wipes and they are charging.. is basically it’s release – is coming next month.. I guess we’ll see soon. The second game.. is Crowfall. It’s tough to do this game justice in a quick summary. Suffice to say – Crowfall plays with the idea of what an MMORPG can be.. it’s a conflict driven, player vs player first game..
You join campaigns that are almost like matches.. if I had to compare it to other games.. it’s like a longer, more fleshed out version of a battleground or a WvW type experience- where you are fighting other players over territory and forts and keeps- and with your group, guild and faction you – set out to win the campaign which can have drastically different rule sets and victory conditions from other campaigns. These campaigns exist as temporary things that you choose between.. that work to complement a permanent world, or permanent worlds.. as each player has their own, Eternal Kingdom, that they can build up, alter rules, prepare for campaigns in… and end up being almost like player run servers as you can invite others, make them public, the UI lets you have a favorite list…
And in the process of building homes and castles and expanding and altering them through gameplay means – fueled by what you win or bring back with your from campaigns .. you create places that draw people in for different reasons. Do you create a trading hub.. or the equivalent to a lumberyard.. is it set up for player run PvP tournaments.. or do you just like decorating. Like I said.. it’s hard to give it justice in a summary as there are a lot of really cool ideas related to Crowfall that I didn’t even touch on.. but red flag, less than 8 months before they want to soft release.. a lot of it is still ideas.. and unless their testing phases have just been for testing the engine and interface and they are sitting on the actual things that make it a compelling game to play..
They need more time – even if it was just for the engine and interface.. they need more time. I’ve been in it’s playable alphas and betas for a while- and countless other games.. and this is not a unique or contrarian opinion. Crowfall, I hope, has taken note of Albion Online’s release and reception as not only do they share an overlap in a lot of gameplay facets – but also potential playerbase – and potential issues. The idea of a soft launch .. where you preform your last wipe and turn on monetization .. switching your game’s business model from the donation/support crowdfunding method to offering a service that you want people to pay additional for monthly – creates long lasting first impressions that may burn them. That said.. I bring the game up and will be introducing Crowfall coverage to the channel because in the last week Crowfall has made some statements, answered some questions in such a way..
That I’m on board. I want to follow what happens with the game and the team wherever it goes. Now.. that’s talking mainly PC MMORPGs.. I feel I also need to point out that we are in a bit of a porting and repurposing phase in MMORPGs. We’re seeing a lot of titles get ported to both mobile and console.. which best case scenario expands the audience.. but for most of us.. is a side note that doesn’t actually affect us especially since I haven’t seen one that allows like a crossover or sharing of accounts-cross platform. and repurposing.. we’re seeing fresh start servers, progression servers.. we’re even seeing a specific game, a failed game, getting what amounts to a new patch – and a new coat of paint.. and being re:released.. I swear Trion had a meeting about how to further monetize dead assets because it’s all coming at once… and because of how thirsty we are… a lot of us are tempted. Now.. I made the distinction of there only being 2 notable games.. because while there are other games. Tale of Toast, Project Gorgon, Darkfall’s 3rd split or something.. and while if you pressed me.. I have nice things to say about these games, which is why I mentioned these 3 specifically..
But these are like.. a special type of enthusiast game. These are games that if I asked 10 friends to check out with me.. I’d get 10 lols.. I mention them because there will be commenters that would say.. well you didn’t mention such and such a game with a potential playerbase of dozens of players.. because it’s not realistic.. and the people who would play these are probably deep enough online to find them anyways. Unfortunately 2018 ends up being a lot like 2017.. in that it’s going to be slow. This is probably the last year before we start seeing the hyped up crowdfunded games get playable states.. where we’re bound to finally see some innovation in the MMORPG genre as they continue to look for and find additional ways to monetize their already passionate fanbase, pre:release. So.. for 2018 – I think it’s a time to rediscover games that have been worked on since you last gave them a shot, MMORPGs grow and evolve over time.
I quickly name dropped Elder Scrolls Online earlier.. and after 4 years of updates it’s much better.. a lot of games.. are much better.. and so for me.. what I want to do is spend some time with as many of these established games as I can and give like a revisited review.. what’s changed.. what’s good.. what’s special about these games in current year and maybe give you a reason to give them that second look.
While I believe that the genre is stale, and upcoming games are looking more at what was.. instead of what else.. there are a few really stellar games and experiences out there to try and groups of people having fun and always seemingly ready to have room for one more. At the end here.. I’ve already made you sit through probably 9 minutes of rambling and I should play the youtube game and make it 10.. I do want to highlight a new MMORPG resource. MMOpulse.com.. this is a website put together by a youtuber that I follow – Nocht.. and while I don’t want to put words in his mouth .. a lot of MMORPG websites are garbage .. 2p.com recently shut down .. and it looks like MMOpulse is looking to pick up the slack – In general .. he’s always had a leaning towards eastern titles which tend to have a hard time getting decent coverage. So.. if you still use normal websites and are into this stuff..
MMOPulse.com. And THAT will do it for me until next time, this is Fevir. Peace..
As found on Youtube