My MMO Outlook for 2015

Another of those regular end of the year posts where I either try to reflect on the past or peer into the future.

I don’t do this post every year, but once in a while I am driven to it for one reason or another.  Last year it was because I could come up with five good candidates for what new things I might be playing in 2014.

Granted, one of them was a new expansion, Warlords of Draenor, rather than a new game.  But at least I had four potential new games.

Okay, three potential new games, since I had EverQuest Next on the list, and that was beyond a long shot even a year ago.

Or maybe really two potential new games, since Landmark, still burdened with the EverQuest handle at that point, was also on the list.  Sure, it was available to the public, for a price.  And I even played with it a couple of times.  But it isn’t even feature complete yet, so SOE calling it beta is purely a political move.

And that will be... December?

And that will be… when?

There simply wasn’t enough “there” there to call it a game.

But there were two potentials, two new games coming in 2014 that raised enough interest in me that I could imagine myself perhaps playing them.  The were The Elder Scrolls Online and WildStar.

And I did not play either of those.  I downloaded the beta for TESO, and while it felt like it had an Elder Scrolls vibe, an opinion based entirely on my few hours of playing Skyrim, which shouldn’t be viewed as being at all definitive, it did not really enchant me.  I was more interested in whether or not it and WildStar could pull off the monthly subscription model and last through to the end of the year without going F2P.  They made it, though things look grim for WildStar on that front.

So, in the end, I played one game on my list, which was just an expansion to a game I was already playing and which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.  I also played EVE Online, which passed the 11 year mark this year, and started in again on EverQuest II, another title in the double digit age range at this point.

I suppose I could throw War Thunder on the list, but that really isn’t an MMO in the sense I mean.  That, and World of Tanks are more lobby based battle match making games than persistent world.  I did take another shot at Star Wars: The Old Republic, but that passed quickly.  I’ve already spent more time in EverQuest II this week than I did in SWTOR all year.

So that was my year in MMOs  2014 was completely rooted in old standards.

And, as I sit here, it looks like that might be the way 2015 rolls, all old school.  Gaff, having patched up EQII and then balked at how dated it feels… and it does feel dated, though for me that is part of the charm… is talking a bit about Lord of the Rings Online.  But I don’t think LOTRO is going to win many points on the fresh-O-meter either.

I cannot, at this moment, bring to mind any new titles for 2015 that I might play.

Sure, I could go do a bit of research and come up with a few.  I know there has to be a few persistent, virtual world-like, MMORPGs slated for 2015, but I figure that if I do not know them without a Google search, then they are unlikely candidates at best.

Yes, I could put up a list like:

  • Landmark
  • EverQuest Next
  • Camelot Unchained
  • Shroud of the Avatar
  • Star Citizen

But I am not feeling it for Landmark really, and of the other four we might see something really playable (not just a badly branded open play test or bits and pieces) from Shroud of the Avatar or Camelot Unchained by next December, given the current state of progress.  Might as well just save those for the 2016 list.  I’m not really interested in doing beta any more.

So there it stands.  My likely slate of MMOs for 2015 appears to be:

  • World of Warcraft
  • EVE Online
  • EverQuest II

Not that such a list is bad.  As long as I am enjoying my time playing, it doesn’t matter if I am playing something new of something I started playing a decade back. And, at least in the case of EVE Online, it is an exciting time to be in the game as things are changing.  But after years of being able to name at least some new stuff coming in the next calendar year, it seems a bit odd to only be looking at the same things for 2015.

Of course, the golden age of the big MMO launch seems to have passed.  It has been a while since there was a list of strong candidates.  The market is too crowded, there are an almost unbelievable number of second or third tier titles, and going forward we seem to be entering the age of the niche title that focuses on a specific strength catering to a specific demographic.

Or so it seems.  I might have missed something.  Is there a new title coming in 2015 I ought to be excited about?  Is there one that you are excited about?

Addendum: And now that I have written this, Massively has a “what are you looking forward to in 2015” post with a list of titles… and most of the staff mention Landmark or EverQuest Next or both.  Their poll lumps the two together in a blatant display of SOE bias. (And the two titles together are still losing to Camelot Unchained, though Mark Jacobs is all over the comment thread, so he might have called out the cavalry.)

8 thoughts on “My MMO Outlook for 2015

  1. SynCaine

    I think CU is planning to go live in 2015, isn’t it? They keep sending me novels via email, which I scan sometimes, but even just from that I think its pretty close?

    But yea, short of something surprising being announced, not looking super hot for MMOs in 2015.

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  2. bhagpuss

    You probably saw from EQ2Wire that the EQ2 team have a whole new set of design tools. Feldon was possibly going a little far when he claimed you wouldn’t recognize the new expansion zones as being from EQ2 but they certainly are a lot more graphically impressive than we’re used to from New Norrath. I’m not sure if they had those tools when they built Cobalt Scar but that looks pretty good too. Shame the rest of Velious is so dull to look at.

    I am trying to be pluralist in my MMO play but really its only around the edges. While I certainly spent some time in quite a few this year, the huge majority was in GW2. I had intense but relatively short spells in Landmark and ArcheAge, I spent a significant amount of time either in bursts or dribbles in TSW, EQ, EQ2 and City of Steam and I futzed around for a few hours here and there in half a dozen more.

    I imagine 2015 will follow a very similar pattern because I definitely don’t have a single big-ticket new release in my sights for the coming year. If WildStar goes F2P I’ll probably give that a run – I was enjoying beta, the little I did of it. I’ll probably play some Endless Trial WoW too . Really, though, I hope something comes out of left field and surprises us all. Not holding my breath on that one.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – I believe 2015 is on their calendar… I think I saw it in the background of a picture in one of their “we’ve gone to lunch!” or “we’re playing with Nerf projectiles!” or “the whole office now has Ebola” posts… but a smallish team making a complex product, even steeped in MMO dev knowledge, just seems more likely than not to slip into 2016, even with the best of intentions and an Ebloa cure on the horizon. I wouldn’t hold it against them.

    @JJ – The fact that Zombie PlanetSide totally slipped my mind despite the fact that I mentioned it in some post just recently… maybe that was in a post in progress, but I was writing something about it the other day… is probably a good indicator of my level of interest. So, yes, you made me laugh with that one as well.

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  4. zaphod6502

    Nothing that much exciting on the MMO front for me. I am done with Korean MMO’s after the ArcheAge fiasco. Wildstar and ESO fell flat after a month or so.

    I think I will retreat to the warm bosom of WoW for my infrequent MMO fix and the occasional spurts of EVE Online. Besides I have more fun these days with single player games like KSP, Minecraft, and stellar CRPG’s like DAI (and the soon to be released The Witcher).

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  5. Steel Monkey

    Long time lurker here. I am slightly surprised that you haven’t mentioned Elite: Dangerous, -which has just started- although it is probably MMO lite or Star Citizen (but that is now due in 2017). Anyway, I am also in a similar groove to you, having given up SWTOR and just recently Neverwinter.

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  6. tsuhelm

    Well I cannot see me leaving my comfort zone of LOTRO until I manage to get out of Argentina! But when I do I have commitments with friends back in Blighty to be playing ELITE (this is the biggy for me) and SWTOR…and finally will give TSW a try!

    So if things go well the NEW GAME of 2015 should be ELITE…

    Anything else will be a bonus!

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