We already covered our all-around most wanted MMOs of 2014 last week, but did you know there were a boatload of Indie MMOs also releasing this year? We’d be remiss if we didn’t give the guys with the littler budgets and possibly bigger dreams their own spotlight, so we’re back this week with the Most Wanted Indie MMOs of 2014. Read on for our list, and be sure to comment and let us know if you agree or have something we missed to boot. Reminder, these are only games that are expected as of right now to fully launch this year, and some blur the line between MMO and “Almost Massively Online RPG”, but we’re pretty psyched for them all the same.
10.) Origins of Malu
How can we not want in on Malu? Crazy player-made factions, all-out war, giant obelisks, and now good ol’ fashioned action-combat to make the fun of warfare more pulse-pounding. A bigger beta is just around the corner, but this little Indie gem has had a troubled development path with an all-volunteer staff. Here’s hoping 2014 is the year we finally get to see all their hard work pay off.
9.) Shadowrun Online
The beta for SRO is expected to launch in the next three months, and if all goes well we’ll see Cliffhanger and Harebrained’s collaboration by the end of 2014. A turn-based MMO based on the world and PnP Shadowrun games? Yes please. Player-made content? Yep. Official campaigns from the Shadowrun Universe? Why not! Let’s just hope the MMO version is as fun and focused as Shadowrun Returns was.
8.) Day Z
Day Z could easily be higher on this list, except for the fact that it feels like we’ve all been playing it for years already. Still, the standalone version is nothing short of engrossing even in its early alpha state, and the supporter response of several hundred thousand sold for an alpha’s early access is remarkable. People thought DayZ wouldn’t shrug off the bad name The WarZ made… luckily they were wrong. Chernarus thrives, folks.
7.) Albion Online
Albion Online is a truly cross-platform MMO with open PVP, a fully player-run economy, and the sort of sieges and warfare hardcore MMO PVPers dream of. It’s a crafter’s dream, a warmonger’s dream, and a portable MMOer’s best friend. The early betas have been a success it seems, and we really can’t wait to get our hands on the thing.
6.) Gloria Victis
Continuing the trend of Indie sandboxes, Gloria Victis Gloria Victis is a free-to-play MMORPG from Black Eye Games with fantasy elements from medieval Europe and Near East mythologies. The game features an action-based, non-target combat system, class-less progression, quests, PvP, crafting, and much more. Definitely one to keep an eye on as it near launch later this year.
5.) Black Desert
Black Desert in development by Pearl Abyss is a sandbox MMORPG that features castle sieging, trading, crafting, player housing, parkour, and more. There’s no US publisher announced yet, so until we hear one, we’re calling this one an Indie… and what a beautiful Indie game it is. If early reports from the East are anything to go by, this one could be a contender for the throne ArcheAge hopes to occupy.
Developed by Cryptozoic Entertainment, HEX is a free to play trading card MMORPG. It aims to create a compelling experience by combining a great community with roleplaying aspects simultaneously. You’ll have classes, raids, dungeons, and the whole nine yards, wrapped into a deep and addictive TCG experience. We can’t wait to see how it plays.
3.) The Repopulation
The Repopulation is an upcoming sci fi MMORPG from indie developer Above and Beyond Technologies, headed by Josh Halls. The game will put players in Plymouth City, a new human settlement on the planet Rhyldan, where differences over DNA control and cloning have split the population into two factions now at war. Yeah… it’s one of our most wanted for a reason, people.
2.) Elite: Dangerous
Developed by Frontier, headed by the people who created the Elite series many years ago, Dangerous is a first person spaceship MMORPG. The galaxy is yours to explore with billions of star systems, planets, moons, and more awaiting your exploration. The three superpowers, the Empire, Federation and Independents rule the galaxy, whom you side with is up to you. Regardless of who you side with you'll be able to become a trader, assassin, pirate, bounty hunter, and overall make space your playground. Before you become a Star Citizen, why not become Elite? We definitely will, if the game hits its March launch projection.
1.) Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues
We don’t want to get our hopes up, but Richard Garriott’s crowdfunded project is making it awfully difficult. SotA:FS (say that three times fast) is sounding more and more like a complete and welcome throwback to the RPGs of old, plus you can play it fully online with friends and strangers alike. Or if you’d rather, you can go it solo like the Ultima games of old. The choice of yours, as Shroud just might help usher in a new era of MMORPG that has an offline component. But more than anything, we just hope it doesn’t suck.
That’s our List, guys and gals. Tell us what we got wrong, how you’d switch the order, or what games you’d add. Just remember, only games that will likely release this year. We know there are plenty which don’t have a release date or are slotted to launch in 2015.
Bill Murphy / Bill Murphy is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.