2010 Awards: Most Improved
This year, our categories are: Game of the Year, New Game of the Year, Most Innovative, Most Improved, Best F2P, Favorite Company, Biggest News Story, Most Anticipated, and the newest, and most dubious, addition to our prizes, Biggest Disappointment.
In order to qualify for this category, a game must have made a significant contribution to improving the experience of playing it, during the year 2010.
Aion – Assault on Balaurea
NCSoft's Aion had great numbers when it launched to an Asian audience, but upon its North American and European release, it failed to garner the same kind of reaction from a different base of gamers. With Assault on Balaurea, they attempted to directly appease North American and European gamers. A level cap raise of 5 (from 50 to 55), new instances, pets and an overall improvement in progression may have sealed the deal for players who once doubted the import.
World of Warcraft – Cataclysm
From a standard expansion pack, typically one would expect a level cap increase and some new content to accommodate those players fortunate enough to have that affect them, maybe a new playable race. Cataclysm has given us this and far more, making for a veritable overhaul of the game itself. Blizzard has taken its multi-million subscriber franchise and flipped it on its head while giving us a boatload of new content, once again making the six year old franchise fresh to play.
EVE Online – Tyrannis
All that truly needs to be said about the expansion for CCP's space opera EVE Online is Planetary Interaction. Finally, the gameplay envelope of this game was pushed by allowing players to not only look at the pretty planets as they pass them by, but to finally interact with them in terms of resources to be mined, such as Starship Fuel. This new and robust layer of gameplay provided the seven year old game with a much needed shot in the arm.
Age of Conan – Rise of the Godslayer
Rise of the Godslayer did not see the level cap increase that people may have been looking for. It didn't give us two new classes. It gave us a new race and a new location, in the Khitai, where questing after level 20 leads you from Tortage to your homeland. Moreover, players who have already capped get something as well; a Supplementary Advancement Tree in which you spend points that you have earned through PvP and PvE on enhancements to your character, keeping your character fresh despite the lack of a level cap increase.
City of Heroes – Going Rogue
The addition of the Praetorian Earth dimension provides players with new levels 1-20 content where you can choose to be a loyalist or a member of the rebellion against the Praetorian government. In addition to the new content, Going Rogue treads where few have dared to before – Alignment shifting. A hero can become a villain and a villain can become a hero. Tired of the Rogue Isles? Go good. Bored with Paragon City? Rob a bank and become the newest (and still powerful) baddie. Want to write a phenomenal roleplay story of betrayal and the falling-from-grace of a hero? Going Rogue gave us the opportunity to blur the good and the evil into a delightful shade of grey.
Now it's your turn!