Awaiting a New Generation of MMOs

I’m not sure if it’s just because I’ve once again become more plugged into things now that I’m working for Massively OP or if things are genuinely turning around, but for the first time in quite a while I find there’s not one but several upcoming new MMOs that I’m genuinely interested to check out once they launch. I’m always very leery of pre-launch hype, so none of these are “must plays” for me (yet), but they are games that I want to check out sooner rather than later, and not just out of intellectual curiosity.

A promotional screenshot from Amazon's upcoming MMO New World.New World

Of course this game is the talk of the proverbial town right now. Its reported PvP focus turned me off out of the gate, but some of what’s been trickling out since they announced the release date has me changing my mind a bit.

It now seems that PvP will be optional (though still a big part of the game), and that has me ready to give it a closer look. The setting does look intriguingly unique, and the environments look beautiful. New World also seems to be hitting a lot of other notes that appeal to me, like skill-based combat and classless progression.

There’s still a lot we don’t know, like how truly optional the “optional” PvP is. It might be a situation where you need to opt in for any meaningful progression. I’m also wondering how much story will be in the game. It’s a sandbox, so probably not much. Will I be able to maintain my interest without a constant plot leading me forward? Usually the answer is no, but for the right game maybe that could change.

Torchlight: Frontiers

I’m not the biggest Torchlight fan in the world — I’ve only recently been playing through the older games in preparation for Frontiers — but I like ARPGs, and a big new MMOARPG is definitely going to grab my attention, especially now that I’m heading up the Not So Massively column.

I’m also impressed by how clever and different the classes seem to be, though I do hope that it won’t just be the three we know about now.

A promotional shot for upcoming action MMO Torchlight: Frontiers.Lost Ark

To be honest, I don’t know much about this, but again, new ARPGs have my attention, and the buzz seems pretty strong. Pretty screenshots, too.

Corepunk

This has just been announced, and I have a lot of questions about it, but the magitech art style is intriguing, and it seems to have a pretty impressive feature list. A little worried they may be spreading themselves too thin, but we’ll see.

Book of Travels

I have a very low opinion of MMO crowdfunding, but if this actually launches in our lifetime, it looks like it could be a game to watch. I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it or not — the emphasis on peaceful exploration could be a delightful change of pace or deeply tedious, depending on execution — but I strongly admire that they’re trying to do something genuinely different. The genre needs more games willing to take chances like that.

Ascent: Infinite Realm

This sounds like the most traditional MMO on the list, which isn’t necessarily a compliment coming from me, and being made by the same people as TERA isn’t exactly a sterling pedigree, either. On the other hand, the steampunk stylings look damn cool, and the emphasis on aerial gameplay could be really fun.

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings MMO

The Fellowship of the RingThis is the one we know the least about — we know that it exists, and pretty much nothing else — but it’s the one I most want to hear more about. As a longtime Tolkien fanatic, the lack of a truly good Middle-Earth MMO has always stung. I know Lord of the Rings Online has many fans, but at the end of the day it’s just a low budget WoW clone. The setting deserves far better.

Whether Amazon can do better remains to be seen, but they certainly have the resources to pull it off. Just depends on if they make the right design choices.

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