Ten MMORPGs to look out for in 2014 (Part Two)

ArcheAge Screen

We’ve got five more MMORPGs expected or rumoured for 2014 that we think gamers are going to rave over.

Hail and well met!

Welcome to the concluding part of our ten hotly tipped MMORPGs this year. You’ll see some run-downs online that include some of the console ‘always online’ games (see Destiny) which we’re consciously not including as technically they’re not really MMORPGs, that’s not to say we don’t expect them to do well.

Will we get to see a viable competitor to World of Warcraft this year? We think even now this is a tall order, although Elder Scrolls Online has a huge fanbase and a console audience to tap into and SoE look to be making similar moves with Everquest Next. What’s for certain is that the latest influx of MMORPGs are bringing in more inventive gameplay, larger, more interactive sandboxes and high end graphics to seduce even the most jaded of role-players.

Everquest Next Landmark - TBA 2014 (PC)

This isn’t the finalised Everquest Next game but something to tie EQ fans over until Everquest Next proper makes its expected debut in 2015. EQNL is now in closed beta and although this will be a free to play (F2P) game when it finally arrives, access is currently prioritized for paying customers, although you can get a free time-restricted beta key. Landmark is offering players the chance to create potential content for the final Everquest Next game. It’s giving players a huge sandbox to play in and build their own projects Minecraft-style. The building tools look robust and the player-made content we’ve seen so far looks impressive, plus you have a chance to sell what you’ve made via the Player Store. SoE are promising that Landmark will have all the usual class, race, combat and questing content common to MMORPGs and you may just get the chance to see something you’ve crafted yourself make it into the world of Norrath. There’s a trailer below where SoE’s Dave Georgeson goes into detail about the world building aspects of Landmark.

ArcheAge - TBA 2014 (currently available in Japan and Korea on PC)

Yet another Korean MMORPG expected to be coming to Europe this year, ArcheAge is one that’s wowing us immensely and not just because of the beautiful graphics. This game allows you to define your class by picking from skills as opposed to pre-made class structures. ArcheAge uses an open sandbox that is zoneless and un-instanced, meaning that your player pad can be knocked down by others that attack it. There are also resource management elements, you can grow and harvest crops and nurture animals. Transport can be player driven and will allow players to carry others around, and have passengers man weapons in battle. There’s even a nifty player court system whereby ‘griefing’ players can be put in prison, boy how we wished that had been around in earlier MMORPGs we’ve played. If your looking for an immersive world where you define your role as you wish then ArcheAge is definitely worth a look. Check out the official trailer.

Pathfinder Online - TBA 2014 (PC)

Like ArcheAge, Pathfinder plays out in a persistent player-made sandbox world and lets you gain the skills you want, creating your own class. Coming from Goblinworks, Pathfinder exists in a Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) style high fantasy universe and promises for players to literally exist in the game-world too. Real time skill training, player made cities and an integrated alignment system are going to make for some very invested players we think. Pathfinder is arising from a $1 million Kickstarter and has the appeal and ambitions of an MMORPG from a big name studio. When you consider that the Pathfinder table-top RPG has split the core D&D audience and outsold D&D v.4 then it has great promise as an MMORPG. Whilst we might not see a full version this year early access is expected to start in the Autumn. A Kickstarter trailer is below.

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues - October 2014 (PC OSX LInux)

Developer Richard Garriott doesn’t have the rights to the Ultima name but SoTA is being hailed as Ultima’s spiritual successor and on this alone is one to watch. An open world game with ‘old school’ RPG mechanics SoTA is another crowdfunding success story. Since EA closed down Ultima Online 2 there’s been a gap in the Ultima Saga for a properly 3D version, SoTA is certainly giving us that although you could argue it’s a little late in coming. Check out the trailer.

The Repopulation - TBA 2014 (PC)

Hands up if you played Star Wars Galaxies? Back in the day SWG was at least this writer's best ever MMORPG,.Sadly ruined by fickle development SWG was axed in 2011. To hear The Repopulation compare itself openly to SWG is the prime reason we’re calling this one. If The Repopulation brings in the open-world exploration and freedom of SWG it’s doubtlessly going to draw in players who still harbour affection for the sci-fi classic. Hopefully it’ll be less of a macro-tastic game too. Private alpha testing started for The Repopulation in March, a Trailer is below.

That’s our ten MMORPGs over and done with (part one can be found here). Please do join in, in the comments if you agree or disagree with our selection or think there are any glaring omissions. It’s worth stating that while a lot of new MMORPGs are trying to break down established class structures this isn't always a good thing as what will quite often happen is a swathe of look-alike cookie cutter toons with the optimised PVP/PVE build will arise killing  an otherwise diverse and colourful character set and favouring grouping dynamics less. 

For the highly graphically demanding MMORPGs having a well-specked PC has always been a necessity, add to this heavy server populations and nasty lag can raise it’s ugly head, although any good MMORPG worth its salt should cater for lower graphics performance. If an MMORPG has got the right hooks to keep you engaged and suck you in then graphics aren’t always that important. That said the latest batch of MMORPGs are looking rather nice.

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