Posts Tagged ‘mmorpg predictions’

Why SW:TOR Won’t Be The Success Everyone Hopes

Fat Jedi

Fat Jedi have trouble gripping their lightsaber. It's a graphical bug.

First off, as I’m aware I’m being quite critical of the game lately, I just want to say that I’m really enjoying SW:TOR. It’s a blast to play, lots of fun, and I’ve had a good time these past couple of weeks with it. Whilst I’d urge people to check it out because of those facts, I highly doubt, however, that I’ll be playing the game in two or three months time. I expect by then I will have returned to dabbing with alts in WoW, resubscribed to RIFT and/or be trying out EVE again (at last). And this is what I mean when I say that SW:TOR won’t be the success everyone hopes it will be.

By success, of course, I mean making stupid amounts of money, money enough to rival Blizzard’s revenue and generate millions of dollars in profit a month. If success in your books means the creation of a really fun game though, then yes, The Old Republic has succeeded in spades on that account. Unfortunately I don’t think ‘fun’ is what the board members of EA/BioWare had on their minds when they dumped $300 million into their latest creation.

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Mists Of Pandaria Predictions

Pandas and kung fu. A natural combination.

Pandas and kung fu. A natural combination by anyone's standards.

A few weeks ago it was revealed that Blizzard had trademarked the name “Mists of Pandaria” and ever since then imaginations have been running wild as to what it’s all about. Just like most people, I’m reckoning that it’s the name of the next World of Warcraft expansion, something which makes perfect sense to me. Blizzard love their humour and also delight in giving players what they want without always being the most original in their attempts (which is exactly why I think project Titan will turn out to be World of Starcraft – but I digress). Seeing as how I balls up my original thoughts on Cataclysm many moons ago (I called it a hoax… turns out I was kinda wrong), I figured this time I’d get in their early and announce my predictions for Mists of Pandaria before it’s even been upgraded from rumour status.

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Titan Is World Of Starcraft

Starcraft 2 - Terran

It doesn't matter how far you go into the future, cigars will always be awesome

So, the codename “Titan” is official. I first heard it a few weeks ago when a leaked timetable surfaced on the web although at that point I dismissed the whole thing as a fake (understandably so considering how unprofessional the thing looked). But now Blizzard have owned up and admitted that the codename is genuine, not only making the leaked product slate a lot more believable but also casting a lot of (renewed) speculation about what the new MMO will be. Clash of the Titans the MMORPG? Something involving Saturn? A MMO set on the Titan…ic? Erm, well, yes…

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2010 MMORPG Predictions

Following suit with the traditional raft of new year blogging articles, here’s my rundown of MMORPG predictions for 2010.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Cataclysm will out sell WotLK and become the best selling PC game expansion ever. It will release around May or June to huge critical acclaim and attract millions of players back to WoW.

Mortal Online

MO will prove to be a relative success and receive a niché yet strong and avid following. Blogs and forums will be rife with comparisons between MO and Darkfall and the usual arguments of casual vs hardcore. It will lack polish and be full of bugs yet offer a freedom of play which appeals to many.

Allods Online

AO will prove to be the sleeper hit of 2010, generating a lot of interest and initial players using it’s F2P model. The F2P model will result in some particularly powerful and required items being sold which sparks huge debate over whether or not it’s a successful and fair business model.

Star Trek Online

Will launch to mediocre reviews and a heathly number of initial purchases which then steeply declines after one month. Everyone will criticise the ability to only PVE as the Federation and Cryptic will promise other factions in future expansions.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Won’t be released until 2011.

Global Agenda

GA will receive some positive, although not glowing, reviews and build a healthy base of subscribers as gamers enjoying playing something different. It will be hailed as the MMOFPS that Tabula Rasa should’ve been.

Dust 514

Dust will launch in November and sell well as there will be no other new MMOs coming out at that time. It will receive high praise for it’s interactivity with the EVE Online universe and initially spark a lot of interest from current EVE subscribers. By mid 2011 however, it will be all but forgotten.

Fallout MMORPG

A Fallout MMORPG will be officially announced and the gaming community will go ape-shit over it.


2009 Predictions – Review

Like every other blog on the planet, I’m going to review the predictions I laid down for 2009 at the start of the year. It’s a fun process that reflects back on the last 365 days and determines how right or wrong I was about it all. Here’s what I predicted:

SW:TOR, STO and DCU Online won’t be released until 2010.
Bingo. Although, to be honest, a pretty easy one to predict.

WoW won’t see an expansion until 2010 and the dual talent system will be delayed until the Spring.
Bingo again… and yep, another easy thing to predict. The dual talent system was delayed until the Spring and was extremely well received when it arrived. How did we ever live without it?

EQ2 will release a Luclin expansion in November.
Got this one completely wrong. EQ2 gets it’s new expansion in February 2010 and it’s about Erudin, not Luclin. Oh well, it was a good guess.

EQ will open a new nostaliga server in March.
It had already been announced that Everquest would open a new server in the Spring but the type wasn’t chosen until May. So was I right about it being a “nostalgia” server? I guess you could say so. The winning choice was the 51/50 server – all new characters start at level 51 with 50 AAs. I’m going to count that as nostalgic.

LotRO continues steadily along and nothing exciting at all happens…
Yep, right on the money here. OK, it did get the Mirkwood expansion but otherwise it’s been a pretty dull yet steady year for LotRO.

AoC gets a new expansion in the Spring.
Totally wrong… which is surprising actually. I was sure AoC would get an expansion in 2009 as the game desperately needs one. And still no release date for Rise of the Godslayer but hopefully it’s not too far off.

WAR gets get cross realm scenarios (battle grounds) and announces a new expansion in the Summer.
Odd one this as I managed to predict the WoW cross realm LFG system (in a round about kinda way). Still no expansion plans for WAR which is a shame.

Vanguard gets a new expansion and just won’t die.
50/50 here. No expansion for VG but it’s still alive and (barely) kicking.

Tabula Rasa closes.
Y’know, I honestly can’t remember if I knew about this before I predicted it. It’s quite possible so I’m inclined to scratch this off the list.

Darkfall doesn’t really amount to anything.
Call me an oracle cause I got this one absolutely right. To be fair, not hard to predict that a low-budget, independent hardcore sandbox RPG wouldn’t be a massive success.

Overall, not a bad score I’d reckon although I don’t think my 2009 predictions were anything radical or exciting but, then again, neither was 2009. I’ll post my 2010 predictions soon, taking a stab at how the forthcoming year will pan out.

How did your 2009 predictions do?


The Next WoW Hero Class

Ages ago I wrote an article about what I’d like to see in the next World of Warcraft expansion. I never mentioned any hero classes in it though and since then I’ve been thinking about what the next one should be.

I think Blizzard have inadvertently backed themselves into a corner by setting a precedent of having hero classes start at level 55 and be available to every race. This, in my opinion, kinda kills the whole point of race selection and it’s especially jarring that Death Knights can belong to absolutely any race but other classes can’t. Are Blizzard going to keep doing the same with every new hero class until eventually we have a handful of them that are completely ubiquitous whilst the old classes aren’t? My gut feeling is that the next WoW expansion will see two new hero classes, each limited to certain races, both starting at level 55 (or 65 even).

People are predicting the next hero class to be a healer which, I suppose, makes sense. Maybe it’s my lack of imagination but I just can’t think of any decent healing classes to introduce that would offer anything new to the game that doesn’t already exist. Warcraft has caster healers, melee healers and hybrid healers already so I can’t think of much else to add. I’m sure Blizzard will come up with something though and make it awesome, as they always do.

Fire and swords, a healthy combination

Fire and swords, a healthy combination

What I would really like to see for the next WoW hero class though is DPS and, in fact, a class that already exists in the game as a form of a NPC – the Pyromancer. Something about the idea of a cloth wearing caster who hurls fireballs and wields a huge two-handed sword really appeals to me. I know, complete Herald of Xotli rip-off (but I’m gonna remind you of all the old adage “good artists copy, great artists steal”) but I think it would be quite a new and exciting class for World of Warcraft.

I like the concept of glass canon classes but I’ve never been much of a fan of finger-wigglers because they remind me too much of the old cliché wizard running around in a dress with a pointed hat. When I first heard about the HoX in Age of Conan, however, I was excited because it sounded like such a new and unique class. Why wouldn’t a mage carry a big sword, imbued by demonic spirits? It makes such perfect sense.

I’m sure Blizzard could come up with some exciting mechanisms for the Pryomancer but the talent trees themselves would be pretty obvious. One talent tree for close up melee with swords, one tree for fire spells and one for, um, I dunno, DPS buffing or something to make them useful on raids. Although I love the idea of the transforming into a demon ala the HoX,  I don’t think it would make so much sense in the context of the Warcraft lore.

Whilst the Pyromancer hero class may not truly be a work of intellectual originality, I think it would be a fun addition to WoW and something a little different from the bog-standard Warrior or Rogue. Plus let’s not forget that Sunhawk Pyromancers existed in Warcraft long before Age of Conan was ever released.

So, what hero classes would you like to see?


2009 Predictions

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.

Everquest 2

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.

Everquest

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

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.

Tabula Rasa

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.

Darkfall

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.