Here are my predictions for MMOs in 2009:
Star Wars: The Old Republic, Star Trek Online & DC Universe Online
Won’t be released this year. They will all be delayed until 2010.
World of Warcraft
Will continue to power on as usual but, as before, it will eventually lose subscribers to other games after a few months. This won’t really have any impact on the overall WoW subscriber figures though and players will return in droves in 2010 when Blizzard releases the next expansion. The dual-spec talent system will be delayed until late Spring but it will be much appreciated when it arrives.
SoE release another new expansion in November, increasing the level cap by 10 and adding a new continent, the moon of Luclin. Unfortunately, the expansion doesn’t include any new low level content.
SoE open a new server in March, similar to the Stromm server back in 2003. Lots of people go back and try it out for nostalgia’s sake.
Lord of the Rings Online
Continues to power along steadily but absolutely nothing exciting happens with it…
Age of Conan
Funcom release an expansion in the Spring with a new race, new content areas for all levels, a deity system, a handful more fatalities, some raiding zones and increase the level cap to 90. They make the Tortage starting area optional for all players who have a level 80 character or above.
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
Mythic work hard to fix all of the technical issues in the game has and focuses on improving the RvR experience. They increase the leveling speed again, making it quicker to get to T4 and reduce the all of the ‘requirements’ for PvP and RvR in Tiers 1-3 (i.e. reducing the number of people required to siege a keep). They add some new T4 PvE dungeons and, in the Spring, release the Choppa and Hammerer classes in a world event. They make scenarios cross server. During the summer they announce that they will release an expansion in 2010.
Vanguard eventually gets an expansion and proves that it just… won’t… die. The expansion focuses primarily on new areas for high levels and raiding.
The games closes in February, only 15 months after having started. Real shame cause I actually liked the game – if only it had more depth and content.
Eventually releases this year and, despite a lot of fanboi hoo-ya, never really amounts to anything as all of the hardcore players return to WoW after trying it out for 1 month.