Which MMOs to look forward to in 2017 and beyond?

I mentioned in my recent New Year’s post that I no longer look forward to any upcoming MMORPGs in 2017 and beyond. In fact, I have a hard time remembering many titles and the ones I do know, aren’t exactly my cup of tea. Judging from the reactions within my twitter verse, I am far from alone in this sentiment.

Now others have pointed out of course that gaming has never been more diverse and better than today and that is completely true. I can return to established MMORPGs and still find a lot of content to play through and get busy with. But with way fewer new projects on the horizon, I will still miss the excitement of looking forward to something new, diving into unknown worlds with other people. That’s just something I have always loved, that newcomer feel and collective excitement.

This encouraged me to actually go and do some research on upcoming MMORPGs for 2017 – 2018. As expected, it’s a different world from few years ago but I still managed to identify a few titles that may pique my interest in time:

Chronicles of Elyria

elyria01

There’s been some buzz around this title for a while now and I admit some of the developer’s ideas, such as aging and living through several lifespans with your characters, sound interesting. As a kickstarted project it’s got a lot to prove but there’s no harm in following what already looks like a fairly promising indie project. Release date estimated at Dez 2017 earliest, so double that probably.

Pantheon, Rise of the Fallen

pantheon

I know next to nothing about the great Everquest legacy and its associated heroes but I’m reading “high fantasy open world” and “focus on social and group play” and yeah you got me, I’m desperate! Bhagpuss has recently brought this title to my attention again and I’ve always trusted his savvy on the classics such as EQ and Vanguard, so color me mildly interested in Pantheon (once I got over the graphics, anyway)! Alpha/beta testing to be commenced in 2017 – release date who knows!

BLESS

bless

BLESS is a Korean title set in a medieval fantasy world, composed for by legend Hans Zimmer which has caught my attention in the past. While the game inhabits the crowded space of “very pretty looking, grindy Asian MMOs with ingame shops” together with upcoming Revelation Online, its overall aesthetic is significantly more mature (no colorful wings either which is good news). Like Revelation Online, BLESS is another F2P title, so I may or may not find myself downloading the client at a very weak moment of MMO desperation. That is, if it’s actually available sometime – a somewhat curious topic of late!

….Aaaand that’s it! This is already the end of my list for 2017 – 2018 MMOs and this summary frankly hasn’t done much to lift my spirits. Granted, I am a fantasy MMORPG traditionalist, so PvP titles like Camelot Unchained or Crowfall are missing. These are no doubt interesting titles to a select audience but they ain’t mine. Are there any other upcoming games I should know of – and if so, where are they hiding??? :halp:

14 comments

  1. The obvious titles missing from your list would be Revelation Online and Project:Gorgon.

    RO is Bliss but due sooner. Actually, it just looks identical. I haven’t bothered to read up on the gameplay of either beyond that they are the next imported sandparks on the production line after AA and BDO. Probably good for six weeks and a dozen blog posts then never to be played again.

    P:G is nuts, has graphics that make Pantheon look like GW2 and has been up and running in an entirely playable form for several years, so if you were interested you’d already have tried it out, I’m sure. If it was 2003 I’d be all over it but I’m not sure I’m that person any more. I pledged it on the last Kickstarter so I’m due a free copy, which I guess means I’ll play it some time but I can’t imagine it’ll take up much of my time.

    I actually like the (pre-alpha) graphics of Pantheon. It looks like a low-rez vanguard and that works for me. If it ever goes fully Live, which is a very big “if”, I am guessing the graphics will have had several passes and will look a bit more presentable. It’s not even intended to go into beta in 2017 as far as I can tell so really I don’t know why everyone (me included) is talking about it as a “2017 MMO”.

    I thought Chronicles of Elyria looked awful from the moment I started reading about it so I haven’t paid it any attention since the Kickstarter. The idea of a character that ages is so off-putting it would be enough on its own to stop me playing an MMO. I like my characters eternal and unchanging – I never change their appearance after character creation and I don’t really even like changing their clothes once they are at the level cap so the idea of them aging is positively repellent.

    There are one or two moderately amusing anime-style MMOs on the way that I might have a dabble in but that won’t last. I’ve lost my password for Dragomon Hunter, I’m waaaaay behind on Dragon Nest and I haven’t even made a character in Twin Saga yet so I really don’t need to add another cartoonish MMO to the list of games I own and don’t play.

    Really, though, I’m entirely happy to have a year or even two free of “must play” new MMOs. The whole genre could do with taking a breather, taking stock, having a bit of a reconsolidation. Actually five years is probably more like what’s needed. Let’s reconvene in 2020 and see how things are looking then.

    1. 2020?! Oh god….
      I forgot about Project Gorgon, mainly because it’s been around for a while and I remember you blogging about it. Dragon Nest I quite enjoyed (another recommendation I came by on your blog) but then there was this huge server hack in Europe or everywhere and I lost all my toons iirc. It’s just not really the flavor of game I yearn for, anyway.

      I disagree somewhat on Revelation Online. I was gonna lump it in with BLESS but as I already wrote, RO’s style does not appeal. If you compare them, yea both are Asian grinders with pretty graphics but there’s a decidedly more mature design to BLESS, less goofy, less screaming colors and none of the wings silliness (for now). There’s actually screenshots of BLESS reminding me of FFXIV and it has some really cool full armor (which is not to say there ain’t skimpy service). RO looks like Blade and Soul and AION and so many others imho. I also think BLESS is going for more medieval feel than traditional East-Asian which is true for the soundtrack as well (Neal Acree delivered a very traditional Chinese score for RO). Stuff like color palette or music can make or break games for me.

  2. Let’s put it this way… I was more interested in trying out Shards of Titan, a Flash game on Kongregate advertised as “massively multiplayer” on the developer’s website marketing copy, merely because the same company successfully put out the idle game that I’m currently enjoying, than any of the promised crop of upcoming MMO titles.

    Prior track record of actually successfully launching a game and simplicity of game features (aka no overambitious feature creep) beat hopeful promises in a Kickstarter design document.

    Unfortunately, Google Chrome’s overzealous blocking of Flash got in the way of that sentiment. Maybe I’ll overcome laziness another time, merely for exploratory and curiosity purposes.

    Though I do think I seem to be done with the MMO genre as a whole until the next earthshaking innovation on the scale of “public quests” comes along.

    1. I’m still trying to figure out that move. How do you get around that by the way? I had to update Explorer just to update my Nvidea drivers due to the newly Flash-agnostic Chrome

    2. I had never heard of Shards of Titan! Seeing the screenshots now, I see the similarities. The graphics though, for an MMO…I already struggle with stuff like Gorgon and Pantheon. ;) You’ll be sticking with GW2 this year, I assume?

      1. “Sticking with” is not quite the turn of phrase I would use.

        I’m tempted to say “malinger” in the sense of “mal” implying a “bad” form of lingering, but apparently that’s not what the word means. Ah, English.

        So the closest approximation I can think of right now is “endure,” in the sense of bearing a heavy weight, almost but not quite suffering, and just possibly, if my outlook becomes more positive, lasting power like how a rock endures.

        But this is only about 20% of my time at most. I’ve been wanting to blog these few days about my recent digital wanderlust, but haven’t quite found the right approach yet.

  3. I really don’t have any new MMOs that I’m looking forward to this year, but that’s just fine. It was the same for me last year. FFXIV remains my main, and the Stormblood expansion will be releasing. That’s my big anticipation.

    If I had to pick new MMOs to keep an eye on, I’m interested in the Project: Gorgon Steam release, when I’ll actually put some time into playing it. I’m also watching Shards Online. Neither of these are going to pull me away from FFXIV, though.

    1. I re-subbed to FFXIV over Xmas so I hear ya. It’s a good game to stay with and I certainly look forward to some of that. And Gorgon looks rather interesting, too.

  4. I don’t know what’s happening to MMOs, it’s difficult to pinpoint the mistake that’s being done, but yeah I also feel like nothing hypes me anymore. Maybe it’s because of all the disappointments we’ve had since 2010.

    I think the ever decreasing difficulty in MMOs is a factor in it. Getting high levels in Runescape took an immense amount of time, and even though that game didn’t have all that much content, it kept us playing for hours and hours on end just because being high level was meaningful and rewarding. And it’s not only the levelling, but also the general difficulty and risks you have to take.

    Recent MMOs let us cap characters in less than a month. Within a day after release there’s already people who have capped their characters. You don’t lose anything when you die, interactions with other players are very limited to avoid any kind of griefing, quests have been reduced from difficult brain teasers to mere “kill x” “gather x” errands… All this overprotection seems to have ruined the MMO genre in my opinion.

    1. I agree it’s different factors and the “overprotection” aka convenience gaming is a big reason why games lack the longevity they used to; it’s all straightforward, guided experience these days but this is also part of an understanding of polish and gametime optimization nowadays that you cannot go back on. Not enough people would pay a monthly sub to play the games of old that made you camp mobs for 10hours or travel on foot for hours without guidance. I think the issue is that this style of gameplay is only okay with a very small core and back when MMOs were small and core (and cheaper) that worked out. But today MMOs have multi-million budgets and investors and must by default attract millions of players. So maybe the future really is niche…smaller titles that can survive with small player bases. Unfortunately (for me) these tend to be games that aren’t exactly great looking either and I have a weakness for beautiful graphics and music. Alas.

      And the multi-million flops of the past years have definitely communicated to potential investors that MMOs are more plague than anything else. Not worth the risk.

      (p.s. It takes a one-time approval to comment on my site – you’re approved now)

  5. I have been out the loop for a good while. Went through a real phase of hating MMOs.

    Alas after a few years break Ive actually just returned to gw2 and really enjoying it. I had deleted all my toons so its been a fresh start which is appealing to me. Going to play the core game for a while before purchasing HoT.

    I have been looking at new releases and MMOs on the horizon however it just makes me sigh.

    Anyway hope you are well

    1. You – I know youuuu! :D
      Awesome to hear from ya, I can see why you would need that break! It’s not exactly a great time to come back but HoT looks pretty cool and I still personally hold that FFXIV is the greatest themepark classic you could play right now. Let me know if you open any blogs in the future ;)

      1. Yeah I apologise I havent been active in the community in years, have always been reading in the background but have been in hiding, been busy in real life which took over a bit but finally getting back to some gaming.

        Heh I have been really considering starting up a blog/log again. Will wait and see how it goes, done with being an MMO tourist though so would probably be of little interest to people other than myself…….. which is probably what is making it appealing

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