I’m hoping that someone has knowledge of some great game that checks all my boxes that somehow I missed. As MMO fans we’ve been in a bit of a new game drought these last years.. and we’ve seen videos with the same games that probably still won’t release for years.. populate these, “games to check out this year” lists … surrounded by games that aren’t worth your time. 2019 is bad – but for me, there actually are a few bright spots. We’ll start with one of them, TemTem. Broadly speaking – this is an MMO based around monster or creation collection, taming, breeding and battling. There is no hiding it.. they’ve obviously played and taken huge inspiration from Monster Rancher on the Playstation 1. One of the most appealing aspects of TemTem to me, besides saying its name, is in order to make the turn based battles and combat as skill reliant as possible. Their vision is to remove as much RNG as they can. Which many games use as a balancing crutch, heavily relying on things like damage ranges, evasion, accuracy and critical hits to create variation in actions. They’re introducing systems alongside it to allow skills to differentiate themselves in other ways – but they really want to lean into minimizing the moments when someone calls bullshit. I don’t even know if there is an NDA or how much can and can’t be said – backers of the game have already spent time in it, there are youtube let’s plays and tons of footage. The reception has been overwhelmingly positive. Which I attribute to the fact it can deliver on expectations while maintaining a small scope. As long as they have cool monsters and a battle system – they’re good. The campaign, co-op, housing, cosmetics and the promise of cross platform play is just gravy.. and is probably just the start of what we can expect from this game.
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way. World of Warcraft Classic. I could release an entire video on my thoughts of this. I think the way they are releasing this is the ‘safe’ option and are squandering a huge opportunity by doing so.. but.. it’s undeniable that this will be the largest and most interesting release we’ve had or will have in MMOs for a while. MMOs are so much fun, the first month – when people are still enjoying the game, figuring it out, all the communities and online presence the game has is super charged- friends haven’t quit yet. And World of Warcraft Classic will be that.. and more. Because you’re going to attract not only people looking to play a new game.. but people who may have stopped playing games wanting to relive it.. the people who haven’t been able to shut up others who have talked about it for a decade.. many of the top video game influencers are invest. You’re also going to get people who might have played the game way back when, but are in a different phase of their life- and be playing it from a different perspective. It’s also a solved game- with an uncertain, but probably fixed, future.
As well as being a free addition to people already subscribed to the most popular MMO out – so you’ll have tourists.. just checking it out.. people show up, for free. But most importantly – it’s a rose tinted glasses reality check. Some of the more tedious old school mechanics are both remembered too fondly.. but are also more than just nostalgia. I’m going to play it.. to be part of that wave.. but it’s not a game I’ll take seriously, all the discovery for me, has already been done. It will be nice to try to one shot, triple windfury proc people again – but the launch of World of Warcraft Classic is- to me, a returning player.. more of an event than a game. Lost Ark Online. It launched in Korea last year.. and I played it up until recently.. almost daily. I stopped because.. not only have there been more and more rumors and indications that an NA version is on the way and playing on Korean servers you have this fear of being discovered as a foreigner and banned- as certain players actively reported and got us banned. I’m pretty sure it was confirmed that the Russian version is meant to go into alpha this summer, and beta and open beta by year end. I might be wrong here, but I believe I saw they won’t be region locking either.. as that was the straw that killed our English speaking group on the Korean sever.
Playing Lost Ark ruined a lot of other games for me. The level of polish and care with the game.. as well as how good it feels to push buttons – even with the increased ping – is almost unrivaled. The performance is stellar, the variation, the amount of content. It’s just a solid MMORPG. Although, I will add – that it is a solid MMORPG in the same vein as Final Fantasy XIV – where once you get to the end-game stuff, it becomes formulaeic to a fault- but presented well. It’s very gamey. And while it looks like an aRPG – it’s not and is considerably slower and more structured. While I do play overseas games and tinker with english patches and VPNs – I have never specifically recommended other people to jump through similar hoops.. Lost Ark is my exception there. This game lived up to the crazy hype, for me.
This next one, might get groans. Mad World. Let me just say outright.. that strictly on the atmosphere and the visuals of this game.. I have been looking forward to this for a while now. Add in that this MMO is a full featured MMO- but is browser based and free to play.. and that accessibility already makes it a contender and worthy of a mention. But… recently they had a play test – and now I’m also impressed. Granted, it’s really hard to get a feel for the content of a game during a weekend playtest and for sure, it still has rough edges and a ways to go. But I love the dark and twisted atmosphere and poorly translated writing, more than I thought I would. Breaking from the shackles of traditional high fantasy or sci fi is just so refreshing. The enemies are nightmare fuel – the combat and looting and character customization.. actually reminded me a lot of Ragnarok Online. I’m not just saying that to grab certain people’s attention. It’s a similar very functional, but simplistic form of action combat – with many different weapon types and abilities – and you have points to skill up the abilities and points to skill up different attributes and it seems to me that you build your character the same way, although I didn’t see jobs or classes. This is going to seem silly, but my favorite part, was the Ragnarok style item drops. When you kill an enemy, you see a mini icon of the item fall to the ground.. I don’t know how but it makes it feel different- and when it’s 2d like this it also feels different than a 3d item drop. To pretty up the language.. I could say, with immediate visual representation of the spoils of a kill, it maintains that causal link from death to loot – that you loose when games obscure the drop contents into a sparkling body, to build anticipation for the largest possible dopamean hit and transform each kill into a small scale loot box. I could say that, it’s probably not true – there is just something I really like about clearly, seeing the item itself drop, and sit on the ground waiting to be clicked. Overall, it has a lot of the charm of like Tree of Savior.. but dark.. and again, it’s a browser game. Crazy.
Two last games to add.. but I’m the least confident on these games being playable this year. There is a good chance, but whether or not it will include… the true indicator for an MMO release, no more wipes, who knows. Those two games are the New World … and Hytale. New World is Amazon’s big sandbox MMO – there have been some leaks and people seem to talk freely about it online – but I do believe this is still under NDA. So I’ll respect that. New World is really cool to me.. because even within sandbox MMOs.. New World pushes boundaries. In fact, many people who you may see leaks from may have played the game a few hours and came back with the impression that New World is just a survival game- it isn’t. Now.. I don’t want to fully dig into how much overlap an online surival game and sandbox MMO share already- but in my time with the New World.. coming from someone who has played EVE for the better part of a decade – I like free form, sandbox, community oriented, conflict driven games – and having Amazon’s name and money behind it.. only makes it more interesting.. More than anything I could say though.. I’ve at this point turned down multiple offers or paid trips from them.. because I already see it as a game I’ll play, long term. As long as they build out the potential I see in it.. and not fumble and just create a pretty murder box.
The other, Hytale – is one that I actually have no interest in personally playing.. I have an interest, in the interest. The trailer alone – had 47 000 000 views and it’s a game name I see brought up over and over again. When you look over the features and systems that it will include – it looks like it checks many of the boxes.. but also has dope stuff like in game modelling and animations tools to customize your character and your items.. as well as in game scripting – Hytale, obviously has Minecraft roots, and there is an interesting story from their journey from Minecraft to being this independent game, which we won’t touch on here. For me, to be honest, I think I was a few years too old and detached from that Minecraft wave. Because of this- all of this voxel and grid based stuff.. look so goofy to me. Which is funny because I still think Everquest graphics have a certain charm. But it is crystal clear that this is a highly anticipated game – and with simpler assets – comes the potential for faster released content and an appeal inspite of graphics – which gives the game promise. That’s really it, though. Next year there are some interesting titles, Dual Universe specifically is one that has caught my eye and I predict we’ll see 1 of the handful of crowdfunded games come out- and there are a lot of interesting games and ideas out there I can’t wait to explore and share. But that’s going to do it for me – if there is a game you’re really looking forward to – let me know- and why And until next time, this is Fevir. Peace.