Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Upcoming Line-Up of Lesser Known MMOs

While I'm having fun in Warhammer at the moment I know some people are looking forward to to other MMOs that are just around the corner. I'm not just talking about Wrath of the Lich King either. There's a decent line up of smaller sized games lined up to release not that far from now. Most of them are waiting for the Warhammer vs Warcraft fight to die down a bit before releasing, but we should see them in Spring 2009. Even more exciting is that fact that most of them aren't your traditional fantasy MMORPG.

Chronicles of Spellborn - Nov 28th 2008
This game is the only traditional fantasy game out of the bunch, but it follows a weird dystopian setting where the world has been shattered. The combat system uses elements of First Person Shooters and players have to target their opponents. The game has nine classes, but the game is more oriented around a complex skill system. The game seems to be following more along the model established by Ultima Online then normal DIKU based games. In fact in the game items are mostly decorative and have no effect on player stats. It should be an interesting game though I doubt it will be for everyone. Still if you're not a fan of either Warhammer or WotLK , but like fantasy games then this could be for you.

Aion - Q1 2009 already released in Korea
This game is coming from eastern studio NCSoft and is far from the traditional elves and orcs type of MMO. Players get to choose between two different types of angelic looking races who are war with each other. One is a very standard looking angel and the other is more a raven feathered one. A third NPC faction is in the game which is made of dragon looking beings which will sometimes be allied with one faction or the other. Combat is traditional and oriented around a class based system which most MMO fans should pick up right away. The big selling feature of the game is that elements of flight are heavily incorporated into the game. As you level up you can fly for longer periods of time which open up special skills and the ability to visit more locations.

Jumpgate Evolution - Spring 2009 (could change)
The eventual success of EVE Online has encouraged a couple other companies to try making their own space based MMO. Jumpgate Evolution seems to be the one most closely following in EVE Online's footsteps and is sticking with mostly ship to ship combat. Blackstar and StarTrek Online on the other hand have decided to incorporate large portions of avatar gameplay. Blackstar is still shopping for a publisher and StarTrek Online is still a long way off, so Jumpgate Evolution is likely to be the only space based MMO we see for awhile. It should be an interesting game since NetDevil has promised a experience more friendly to new users then EVE Online. If you've followed the recent Zero Punctuation review of EVE Online then you know the game's heavy dependence on numbers and complex skills systems greatly limit its appeal.

Stargate Worlds - Spring 2009 (could change)
I'm probably the least excited about this game though I'm a huge fan of the shows. The game uses first person shooter combat and is organized around working in small squads. They are going with a class system though apparently everyone will be able to learn the medic skill and thus be able to heal. The real draw for the game will be that its supposed to be very true to the Stargate license and will allow players to choose among the most popular races. The Stargate lore also works perfectly with instancing and provides an easy method of transportation between the different worlds. The only reason I'm not excited about this game is because of Tabula Rasa which turned me off FPS elements in MMOs.

Champions Online - Spring 2009
Cryptic Studios started working on Marvel Online with Microsoft after they sold the rights for City of Heroes to NCSoft. However, Microsoft and Marvel decided the MMO market was too crowded and they pull out of the project. Using the proceeds from the sale of City of Heroes they bought the license to the popular table top rpg, Champions. Using the Champions license and the backbone of the work they did on Marvel Online they have quickly created a decent looking game. Champions Online uses a interesting style of cell shaded graphics which gives it an authentic comic book feel. The combat is supposed to be similar to City of Heroes, but with powers sets and abilities being much more customizable. Also Cryptic has sworn to avoid a lot the procedural generated content which turned so many away from City of Heroes.

6 comments:

Zelmor said...

Darkfall.

Relmstein said...

Wow, Darkfall has had a very long development history and I almost forgot about it. It'll be nice if they finally get it released this year. I'm very curious how successful a game which mirrors classic Ultima Online in so many ways will become.

CrazyKinux said...

Let's all cross our fingers that all (but most likely some) will be successful!

CrazyKinux

Openedge1 said...

Chronicles of Spellborn -
Awesome concept, yet being published in the states by Acclaim, and already has a bad rep thanks to that.
It is not like their other "freebie" MMO's with cash shop, yet will be given short shrift thanks to the attachment.

Aion -
Simply incredible looking and has some great aspects for the standardized MMO.
But, is an Anime styled MMO, which screams Korean "grind" and has already turned off any type of Western audience.
What sucks is it could walk all over more recent games visually and mechanically, and will be ignored due to it's birthplace (ignored in the States anyways)


Jumpgate Evolution -
Niche

Stargate Worlds -
WoW in the Stargate universe with Tabula Rasa feel.

Champions Online -
Superheroes again = niche
And has the stigma of being an upgraded CoH to many..

Notice all of these may sound cool, yet, none will be any major success, and will be niche or fail..

Makes me so sad
/frown

Relmstein said...

Hmmm, If I had to gaze into a crystal ball and make a prediction I would say that Jumpgate Evolution will probably succeed. I think there is a strong market for a more accessible version of EVE Online.

All of them should at least have strong niche markets that put them in the 40-70k subscriber area. I do have reservations about the Chronicles of Spellborn since its gameplay doesn't seem like it would attract montly subscriptions. I wonder if they are just depending on box sales like Guild Wars?

Openedge1 said...

Chronicles has the cool idea like Ryzom of having a free zone to play in and test the aspects of the game..
FREE!

But, then a box and monthly is required after that.
So, the only issue will be content, and enough to satisfy for a monthly.

As to the FPS style. If it is GOOD, and I get a lot of things to do for my money, I have no issue paying for monthly.
The "Sigils" system and the Bag of neverending goodness (supposedly you start with a bag which has 200 slots!!) all sound fun.

I hope it is for variety sake (so sick of the old mechanics)

Cheers