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, in 2010, provided us with something bold, or groundbreaking, but the game itself need not have been released this year, simply the innovation. As always, the MMORPG.com staff discussed the potential nominees at length, and here are our nominees:
Vindictus brought us the introduction of the physics-based gameplay within an MMO. Developed on Valve's Source engine, the physics engine may not run as deeply as a non-MMO, physics -based game (Half Life 2, I'm looking in your direction!) but to see it available, and perhaps more surprising, playable, in an MMO is an exciting step forward.
The folks at Hi-Rez gave us six beautiful letters this past year, M-M-O-F-P-S. What does that spell? A massively-multiplayer-online-first-person-shooter! (I realize it doesn't spell that, but that's what it stands for!) We've had tastes of MMOFPS for a long time, but nothing that worked quite like this. Now, we finally get that first M, leading to the mouth-watering prospects out there for anyone who's ever played Call of Duty, Battlefield, Left 4 Dead, Bioshock, Doom, and I can go on and on.
With the recently released expansion pack, Incursion, CCP seems to have provided us with a character creator the likes of which that we, MMOGamers, have never seen before. All you need to do is see the demonstrative videos and you will see what a huge step forward this character create is/could be for MMOs for years to come.
World of Warcraft
Once again the good people at Blizzard have taken this snow globe that we call the MMO Industry and given it a good shake. With the release of Cataclysm we see, for the first time, an MMO world (iconic in scope) turned completely on his head. Why? For the sake of better storytelling and advancements in gameplay and content. For the story-centric, this could be the start of a beautiful trend.
I'd always wanted an MMO I could play on the bus, or the subway, or at the airport. Now I have one! As if being able to play this game on my iPhone wasn't enough, Spacetime Studios rocked our worlds with the Four Platforms/One Server structure, a feat that could, with time, redefine our MMOGaming expectations.
Now it's your turn!