Changes to the MMO landscape

Well, after a long hiatus due to an emense amount of work I’m back in the fray of MMO blogging, and with enough furious vengeance of revelations, proclamations and provocative questions to last quite a while. The mmo landscape looks quite differently then it did when I last post, so lets recap.

+ WoW is still going strong with both of its new content patches. 3.2’s paces slowed as each raid boss is released one week at a time but this gives many a chance to level and gear alts with their updated badge system (preparing for the new expansion, Cataclysm).

+ EQ2 and LotRO started off so strong at the beginning of the year, but with slow content updates and the luster of the current expansion wearing thin, one has to wonder where the next adrenaline boost is coming from for both franchises. I have my own ideas but they are neither here nor there. Outside of a few free weekends, I worry more for the short term future of both of these titles as I believe inevitably they will lose a solid number of old timers to new mmos.

+ Tabula Rasa came and went. Yeah, that’s about it.

+ Eve still has no expected date for ambulation but they are releasing a FPS based on the Eve universe? I call shenanigans; something else is up over in Europe.

+ Warhammer still feels like a number of functioning parts instead of a game, no,  a world as a whole. The game and the problems may be the same but my perception of how and if Mythic is able to solve them has changed. As an outsider looking in, they are still too focused on the here and now, and not on the game as a whole. Additional entry points for keeps is nice but should have been in shortly after release; cohesion to quest hubs versus the progression of the storyline and zones should have been reworked long ago to retain the high volume of new players as were funneling in not more than 6 month ago. WAR is in desperate need of polish but so much is left to be done still. =(

+ AoC is still alive and kicking. A number of sweeping changes and the natural increase of technology has done wonders to the once critically broken mmo.

+ Aion is looking good on the horizon and will be a solid attempt to capture the once great L2 community. To that end I think it will succeed though ultimately still be a lack luster success in the U.S.

+ FFXIV is on the horizon finally after being a poorly kept secret. This to me seems the most interesting of all the recently announced mmos. If Square can deliver on its promice, we may have an endgame starting at level 1.  With more free time to do fun stuff, ie crafting, collecting, dungeons and boss, I don’t see a downside. For the time being I’ll drink this coolaid by SE.

+ The star wars mmo has great promise (it’s coming from BioWare, how can you really doubt them?) but I do worry that it will feel more like KOTOR but with a general chat. Time will tell as we learn more details but for the time being I’ll again bite and be optimistic.

+ Star Trek Online’s appeal on the ther hand, will vary greatly with the success of the next movie. Much like LotRO (which initially prospered from great movie marketing) STO will do well its first year.

+ DDO is now f2p with an item shop and/or payment plan option. This will be an interesting experiment for a great game plagued by funky design choices.

+ And finally, say what you will, but Hello Kitty Online does look like a fun game. It encompasses much of my earlier ideas of mmo theory wrapped in a cute container. My wife will be surely playing it this December so you’ll probably find me on it every once in a while as well. =)

-D^t

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One Response to “Changes to the MMO landscape”

  1. I know I shouldn’t comment on my own post but wow those are some interesting impressions from almost exactly a year ago.

    I’d say I wasn’t too off. =)

    -D^t

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