MMORPG Expansions 2009/2010
Champions Online has just released and Aion is on the horizon but after that it’s going to be a pretty barren 12 to 18 months for new MMORPG releases. Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Blizzard’s next MMO and 38 Studios’ game with all likelyhood won’t be out until 2011 which leaves us poor MMO gamers deprived of nutrition for quite a while. Of course there’s always something to keep sustained in these harsh times – expansions!
World of Waracraft – Cataclysm
Well, yeah, duh. I had to include this one on the list. Oddly enough though, considering how tight-lipped Blizzard usually are, we actually seem to have know more about this expansion than any other on my list. A huge content revamp, two new races, new class/race combinations and a small level cap increase are all exciting stuff and, personally, I think Blizzard are pushing the boat out with this in terms of innovation more than they’ve ever done before.
Release Date: Winter 2010 (estimate)
Hype Factor: Mega-Ultra
EVE Online – Dominion
I’m finding myself surprisingly excited about the next EVE Online expansion even though I barely know anything about it. CCP are being decisively cryptic and even the official website has no information on it. However, I do know that the expansion is focusing on EVE’s “end game” and, in particular, alliance warfare. They’re also offering an overhaul of the current soverienty mechanic and introducing some new epic arcs for pirate factions. Plus it’s hinted that we can expect some more graphic improvements, this time to planets. Sounds good to me.
Release Date: Winter 2009
Hype Factor: High
Lord of the Rings – Siege of Mirkwood
Pretty disappointed with this expansion. LotRO is one of those games that it’s on my list to try “one day” and I just keep hoping for an expansion to come out and offer some exciting features to give me the excuse I’m looking for. Unfortunately Siege of Mirkwood sounds pretty dull to me. I’m sure it will be great for established players but an extra 5 levels and some randomised instances doesn’t exactly thrill me. Thumbs down.
Release Date: Early 2010
Hype Factor: Low
Age of Conan – Rise of the Godslayer
Finally, the expansion that we’ve been waiting for which might end up resurrecting Age of Conan. I always liked AoC and I’m so happy that they’ll be releasing some more content and, hopefully, depth. Funcom are very good at adapting and picking themselves up off the floor so I’ve got high hopes for this. Features look pretty good: new race, new starting area, new high level content, new armour, new mounts. Very promising. Plus the title is excellent. Turbine, start taking some pointers!
Release Date: 2010
Hype Factor: Moderate
Everquest – Underfoot
I stopped played Everquest about four years ago but it’s still great to see that SOE are supporting the game. Plus, Underfoot will mark EQ’s 16th expansion. Cripes! I don’t know much about it all apart from that it’s about giants, hence the name “under… foot”. Get it? Yeah, I didn’t either. What is interesting about EQ expansions though is how the developers have stopped adding new “features” and are now focusing more on content and events for the existing player base.
Release Date: November 2009
Hype Factor: “Meh”
Everquest 2 – Sentinels Fate
The first thing you’ll notice about the EQ2 expansion is utterly terrible their website it. When did SOE stop caring about important stuff like that? Anyway, apart from that, this expansion looks pretty tasty, offering the usual mix of revamped nostaliga. Apparently we’re going to get a whole new continent (Odus), a new starting area (Halas) and an increased level cap (90). They’re also delaying the release date from their usual month of November to February. Either that’s a move to make it more polished or it’s due to cutbacks in their development team. Either way, I’m kinda excited about the expansion and will more than likely pick it up.
Release Date: February 2010
Hype Factor: Warm
The only “big” game (unless I’ve missed one) that hasn’t made any expansion announcements yet, leaving us only to ponder it’s future. I’m pretty sure Mark Jacob’s guff about not having even started work on an expansion yet and focusing on free content first went out of the door with him and WAR’s declining subscription numbers. Expect an expansion mid to late 2010. My predictions? Two more cities, increased level cap, and more PvE content.
Any other big expansions that I’ve missed?