My MMO Outlook for 2016

Here we are again with one of those end of the year posts I trot out every December.

This once hasn’t been as regular as some of the others, in part because it has become more difficult to write as time has moved on.

There was a time during the life of this blog where I was enamored to some degree with almost any new MMORPG on the horizon.  I remember the run up to Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer Online, Star Trek Online, and even Star Wars: The Old Republic as being exciting.

But as time wore on, I was overwhelmed by what I will call “the great sameness” of every new MMORPG.  They all differ some in details… graphics, classes, skills… but they all started to feel the same.  It turns out that killing ten rats doesn’t feel all that different no matter how you dress it up.

My post last year was essentially what I was already playing, EVE Online, World of Warcraft, and EverQuest II.  Why run after the false promise of a new experience when you’re already invested in one that isn’t all that different in the end?

And of those three I am only still playing EVE Online at the moment, that being the only one that doesn’t fit directly in the generic WoW-influence MMORPG role.  Minecraft has filled the void on that front, judging from my hours spent with it since June.

So it is tempting to just skip this post.  Do we really need another “burned out on MMORPGs” screed?

The thing is, some seeds planted in the last few years might actually come to fruition in 2016.  Kickstarters, long funded and past due, might actually deliver something in the coming year.  Here is what I think might be available… and yes, I know you can play bits and pieces of all of these right now, but among the things beaten out of me over the years is the desire to test somebody else’s product.  I want a shipping, ready for public consumption version of your game.

Shroud of the Avatar

ShroudoftheAvatar

Lord British attempts to bring back the wonder of the Ultima series in a sandbox-like, full 3D environment.

Attraction: I have fond memories of the first half of the Ultima series.  Seems like it might be an excellent place to explore.  I backed it on Kickstarter.  I already have it setup in Steam.

Worries:  Might be too cash shop focused and who knows what Mr. Garriott will glom onto as a good plan.  He has had some odd ideas over the years.

Camelot Unchained

CamelotUnchained_450pxMark Jacobs attempts to bring back the wonder of Dark Age of Camelot and some of the interesting bits of Warhamer Online, without all that mucking about with PvE levels and what not.

Attraction: While I never played DAoC, I do recall a few fun PvP moments in WAR.  Mark has owned up to lessons learned and has skin in the game, investing some of his own money.  And I backed it on Kickstarter.

Worries: PvP works best if you have a regular group and I will likely be showing up solo.  Also, recent history has shown some nifty large scale PvP ideas defeated by the players just forming an unstoppable zerg mob.

Project: Gorgon

ProjectGorgonLogo

Eric Heimberg and Sandra Powers make the MMORPG that they really want, quirky and a bit different and quite pretty… and you get used to the ill-fitting name after you have said it about five thousand times.

Attraction: Quirky, pretty, fun world to explore that might just be different enough to not make me sigh in boredom a few hours into playing.  And I backed all the Kickstarters, including the one that actually succeeded.

Worries: Quirky does have its limits, and where are you left when that wears off.  As a small budget project, will never be as polished as WoW or the like.  Not sure who will run off to play with me.

Star Citizen

Star_Citizen_logo

Chris Roberts promises to take every single cool feature from every space related game he has ever touched and meld them together into the most awesome persistent universe space game ever… and a single player campaign… and a first person shooter… and probably something else I missed.

Attraction: Love me some space games.  I  still log into EVE Online sometimes just to fly around and look at things.  Could be the game that steals me away from New Eden.  And I backed it post-Kickstarter, when it was at about the $20 million level of total funding.

Worries:  I don’t want to go all Derek Smart, but Chris Roberts has promised a whole lot of stuff.  I actually wish it was less.  That would make it more likely for 2016 if nothing else.  Also worried it will have an Elite: Dangerous level of difficulty just to do the most simple things, like undock and dock your ship.  Has very little traction amongst the people with whom I play regularly.

H1Z1

H1Z1logo

One of these things is not like the others… and kind of a long shot as well. Not an indie Kickstarter game like the previous four.  No, this is Daybreak’s attempt to leverage their work on PlanetSide 2 into something that will make some money.  And it has, selling a lot of early access copies.

Attraction:  It is actually pretty fun in a group.  Interesting combination of PvP, crafting, base building, and general survival.  And I own an early access copy.

Worries:  Daybreak will monetize it into oblivion, and they might have to based on the peak early access sales, lest Columbus Nova Prime be angered.  PvE version seems tedious while the esports aspects hold no interest for me.  It does need a regular group to be fun, and I am never great at making friends.  Suffers from all the usual PvP problems.

Other Candidates

I suppose I could put in a couple of comedy additions, like Landmark or EverQuest Next, but I strongly suspect neither will be much in 2016.  And then there is Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, which Brad McQuaid is still hanging on to.  Another one not for 2016 I would guess.  Crowfall, which I did not back, seems like it has its shit together, but I would call that yet another one for after 2016.

So I am going to stick with those five.  Which will be the winner in 2016?  And will any of them end my new MMO malaise?

 

Or are WoW Legion and the EVE Online Citadel expansion all I have to look forward to in 2016?

Meanwhile, if you want to see how previous versions of this mostly yearly post have fared, here are some links.  A bit of comedy to be mined in those.

 

9 thoughts on “My MMO Outlook for 2016

  1. Mazer

    If it’s any consolation with Star Citizen, they have specifically said in a few cases now that they don’t want things like ship startup to be mandatory 27 button clicks every time. I haven’t used it, but there’s an auto-landing mechanism in the game even now that’ll handle the last few meters of the process. As for 2016, we should be getting the 1.0 (in actual software development speak) of the first singleplayer / co-op campaign but I would be very surprised if we get a launch of the full MMO. Beta has a decent shot though.

    Sympathize with you on the ‘well, X looks cool but who do I play it with’. I’m still raiding WoW at this point entirely because it’s the least common denominator that all my gamer friends can agree on. : (

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  2. bhagpuss

    I voted Project: Gorgon, which I think is solid and has a realistic chance of both launching and being enjoyable. That said, even though I definitely don’t have any kind of MMO malaise, I am finding myself increasingly unwilling to move on from the substantial range of options already available to me. I like a lot of existing MMOs and I already don’t play most of them. I’m not sure I need more MMOs to like and not play.

    Of course, as long as they keep making them I will keep trying them just to get a few blog posts out of it but that’s not the same thing…

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  3. HarbingerZero

    Black Desert Online? May not be your cup of tea, but its also on the horizon.

    I voted Camelot, I think it will keep you most occupied.

    Did you ever get a chance to play Gods and Heroes? I bought a box after the transition and played for a bit. I think I may have been the only one on the server.

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  4. Izlain

    I’m surprised at the non mention of Crowfall… it’s already doing Alpha testing and Beta is supposed to happen next year. That’s the one I have my eye on, at least.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Izlain – From the post: “Crowfall, which I did not back, seems like it has its shit together, but I would call that yet another one for after 2016.”

    Given that their promised ship date in the Kickstarter was December 2016, and almost no project ever makes their promised ship date, I think I am safe in not counting it for next year.

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  6. SynCaine

    Crowfall is the title I’m betting the most on, and so far everything I’ve seen in alpha is positive, if very limited. CU I’m going to play most for social reasons, but hopefully its fun. Beyond that its just going to be more FFXIV for me in 2016 it seems.

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  7. Syl❄️☃❄️ (@Gypsy_Syl)

    If it’s just for your list vs. my personal preferences, we have a dreadful year ahead. :D
    It’s true though, similar to this year my 2016 will need to be saved by FFXIV remaining excellent. Other than that, I see myself spending time with BDO, some Overwatch and whatever unexpected smaller titles may come my way. Also really still enjoying 7 Days to Die and there are more online multiplay titles on the horizon.

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  8. Pingback: #Listmas: FFXIV is the Best, 2016 Plans and MMO Malaise Mayonnaise |

  9. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Syl – My list was something of a theme list, four Kickstarters and an Early Access funeral or some such. But then again, nothing else I saw headed for 2016 could even spark me to start in on this post, and I already did a “I’ll play the same damn crap!” post last year! Heh!

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