MMO Industry at present
Fractured has popped up and given us all something to be excited about. I've noticed a real trend recently with smaller companies and industry veterans turning their attention to MMOs and deciding to fight the stagnation left behind by every game utilizing the same standard formulas. Not all of them are successful (Everquest NEXT, anyone?), but they fact that they're happening gives me hope.
With the recent success of Chronicles of Elyria and Ashes of Creation popping up on the tail of others like Crowfall, Albion Online, and Star Citizen, other games are making strides without the media coverage.
Games like Project Gorgon with it's interesting take on skill based gameplay, Pantheon with it's unapologetic focus on social gampeplay, and Legends of Aria (previously Shards Online) sit in their shadows.
It seems that no MMO ever achieves the full on "Dream", but as I look at a few of these recent entries, it seems like together they may create a better whole.
What games are you all following or interested in, as 2017 progresses? What trends in gameplay evolution are you most excited about?
I'm honestly sort of just waiting for the day that Maplestory 2 is finally announced for the west. Besides that, Albion is on my list of things I want. Sadly, even if I do get it, I'll be the only person I know that'll be playing it. Knowing how the game works, I'll probably just die multiple times, get mad, and quit.
Can't play Black Desert online with the region lock. Feelsbadman
I'm interested in seeing the affect 'Ready Player One' has on the mindset of gamers that have yet to try an MMORPG or even people who don't usually play games. Though probably doubtful, I hope it does something to inspire potential players to try them out and increase population of games ! The introduction of Blizzard's attempt at an economy outside of WoW affecting Blizzard currency is also something of interest to me. Having grown up reading korean novels, the idea of transferring in-game currency into currency usable outside of the game has always appealed to me. Most korean novels based around MMORPGs often have this in the story, allowing players to earn gold and equipment and be able to directly sell it to other players via real life or in-game currency with a fluctuating conversion rate. Though it may be unfeasible and only applicable in fiction, it is interesting to see how far Blizzard takes this.
I remember CoE being announced and have heard an increasing amount of people talking about it however I'm not sold on the idea of all the features listed actually making it into the game if it does get released. I've followed most Artix Entertainment games since Adventure Quest, probably my first RPG game on a computer when I was a child. Unfortunately things aren't looking too good for the company as they attempt to transition into mobile. Like KigoCho mentioned, Maplestory 2 is something I am interested in trying, I may check out the current version to see how it feels as I did enjoy the original.
At the moment, I've found myself drifting between FFXIV after finishing most of the new content and Black Desert after purchasing a good computer capable of powering it at 1440p while trying to fight of the urge to download ArcheAge. After investing quite a lot of time into that game since Kr CBT 2 up until late western Alpha, I'm disappointed with how things turned out.
That being said, there are two trends that I don't understand in current MMORPGs. The increase in 'shiny-ness' and the huge amount of Alpha and Beta access packs from non fan funded projects. I've only ever been invited to two MMORPGs via actual sign up rather than purchase an absurdly priced package to get it. I may just have an outdated mindset but being invited to said stages were often seen as a privilege with the intentions of helping the development of the game rather than just to play early for internet points with friends.