The beginning of a new year is a good opportunity to look back at a year full of games, posts and arguments – or alternatively, to look forward and muse on things to come. I feel like doing both, but today my avantgarde self has won the upper hand. What is it I am looking forward to about the future of MMOs in 2013?
PC Gamer have published a rather great and lengthy 2013 videogame preview, going by the bold title of “The best PC games of 2013“. Every genre has its dedicated section, so it’s not just an interesting sneakpeek overall but a recommendable read for anybody (of course it’s page 5, 9 and 3 where it’s really at!).
Sooo…newbie MMOs. Dare I even pick three of you from the crowd?
My horses in the 2013 races
1. The Elder Scrolls Online
While I dislike the idea of a “Skyrim MMO” with classes, restricted skill paths and formulaic MMO style combat as much as the next person, the truth is I am going to play ES Online no matter what. I cannot not look into this franchise taking an online dip! If they get the world right, the feeling of scale, atmosphere and adventure, then it will still hold enough interest for this explorer here (and then I haven’t experienced outdoor dungeons in a long, long time). To claim that some of the already confirmed disappointments are enough to keep me from wandering a polished Tamriel is to kid myself. And then there’s of course always the unquenchable hope that things might even turn out that bit better than expected. We never learn.
I have as many strong reasons not to want to try Wildstar as the other way around. That makes it a balanced pick, I guess. The comic style of the game screams WoW, there’s the holy trinity I am not too keen on (hah) and the self-proclaimed “friends & family” label. I don’t expect Wildstar to be daring in any way or attract my kind of community (or age range). Still, of all MMOs announced for 2013, Wildstar is the one title promising package and polish more than any other. Things have looked great in that department for a long time now and Carbine is ever eager on getting player feedback on twitter. Then, there’s the unquestionably brilliant housing system, the Bartle inspired questing mode and a quirky attempt at spicing up an otherwise classic combat. Hmm.
3. EQ Next versus Neverwinter
I’ve considerable misgivings concerning both these games which is why they share third spot for 2013. As much as I want to go more oldschool or niche, both EQ Next and Neverwinter have me tap my fingers nervously on the keyboard. As if expectations towards EQ’s “true successor” weren’t big enough, with obscure rumors circling back and forth for years, SOE’s president had nothing better to do than proclaim this title “the largest sandbox MMO ever designed” – when all we’ve basically seen so far is that one same green image. Yeah, that one…So for now, all I know is that SOE aren’t short for words and we’ll see about the sand. If it even comes out!
Neverwinter on the other hand, great as diving back into the Forgotten Realms may be, manages to both intrigue and scare with smaller but no less bold words: content creation tool and player created questlines. A lot of potential. A great many potential outcomes!
Unless something most unexpected comes along this year, that’s probably it for me in terms of new MMO dabbles. I can’t say that I am super excited about any of my picks but that’s what I’d roll with to satisfy the curiosity. I am obviously a somewhat restrictive player when it comes to non-fantasy settings or panties – truth be told though, I feel so content playing LOTRO at the moment while also far from done with GW2, that between playing older MMOs and a full Steam library I’m completely okay with 2013 making no grand attempts at the genre. I feel a little tired with the speed of MMO releases every year; I’d like to play less games but play them longer. And from that point of view I place my trust in Middle-Earth and Tyria, while a return to Telara is certainly not unthinkable.
Yep, I think I’ll be just fine.
P.S. I would of course love to hear what other people’s picks are from the PC Gamer overview!