Another year, another show has come and gone. It was a strange E3 for MMORPGs, mainly because two of the best games we saw were not really present on the show floor. We also saw some amazing proof of concept games like EVE-VR: CCP’s little Occulus Rift experiment that puts you quite literally in the cockpit of a fighter and sends you out against an opposing team in a virtual reality setting. More will be coming from us on this one next week, but if it were more of an MMO it could have easily won our most innovative. Then there’s the likes of TERA, FFXIV, Black Gold, and more that all equally impressed but didn’t quite do enough to steal the thunder from the following titles. Without further ado, here are MMORPG’s Best of E3 2013 Awards.
Best Hybrid MMO: Destiny
Activision and Bungie are not keen on calling this one an MMO, but let’s be honest... there’s not much different between “persistent world shooter” and “MMO” other than the acronym. We were treated in person to a live gameplay demo, and while it’s still up in the air just how far the persistent world aspects go, Bungies massively open world shooter takes everything Defiance was aiming for and does it with much more aplomb and beauty. This is one we cannot wait to get our hands on, even if it is only on the consoles at first. It’s absolutely stunning in every regard, and should be at the top of any shooter/RPG/MMO fan’s watch-list.
Rising Star: ArcheAge Online
Finally showing signs of life in the West with their E3 presence, Trion Worlds and XLGAMES caught a lot of unknowing gamers by surprise with the localized demo of ArcheAge Online. Sure, we all here at MMORPG.com have been following this one for a while, but E3 was the first time a lot of press found out just how ambitious the sandbox in Jake Song’s epic really is. Pirates, housing, farming, crafting, warfare... a lot of what ArcheAge promises is what made Ultima Online great so many years ago. With ESO delayed into 2014, the fall and winter of this year could be a great time for ArcheAge to gain their audience and we’ll be right there aamong the horde of players that will be pleasantly surprised.
Most Innovative: Warhammer Online 40K - Eternal Crusade
This one caught us all off guard when just a day before E3, we were setting up appointments with Behaviour Interactive for an unannounced MMORPG... little did we know that Behaviour’s Massive team had been built and put together by none other than Miguel Caron (who many MMO gamers might remember from time on Anarchy Online and Age of Conan at Funcom). In fact, many of the team on Eternal Crusade are directly from Funcom’s Montreal studio, and their plans are nothing short of incredible for the third-person action MMORPG with a heavy slant on PVP and sandbox warfare. You can read a great overview on the game right here, but stay-tuned in the coming weeks for more info as Eternal Crusade is only 18 months from Open Beta, and Behaviour has a ton of plans to keep us all informed leading up to that momentous occasion.
Most Anticipated: Elder Scrolls Online and WildStar Online
It’s looking more and more like these two prodigious theme-park MMOs will be duking it out head to head in the coming months, and the fever-pitch of anticipation is running at an all-time high for both when it comes to our staff. Whether or not they’ll live up to their expectations remains to be seen. But these two games could be the last great theme parks of this generation of MMOs as the industry leans more and more towards sandbox player-driven experiences. And both equally have us waiting to see if they can deliver on their many promises.
Best of Show: Everquest Next
Say what? You thought this one wasn’t at E3? Well, really... it wasn’t in any official capacity. But we were treated to an early look at what SOE has planned for the game’s unveiling in August and we were quite simply blown away by every little detail we saw. This is going to sound like a cop-out, but we can't say why we are choosing EQN as our Best of Show because we've been sworn to secrecy until the big debut in August. What we can say is that we saw grand plans for the world's largest sandbox and it was more than enough to stand head and shoulders above any game we saw at E3. When Sony pulls back the curtain later this summer, you will not be disappointed. EverQuest Next is this year's E3 Best of Show, and in just a couple months you'll all understand why. We promise.