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Hrothmund's random ramblings.

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Author: Hrothmund

2008, my thoughts and hopes.

Posted by Hrothmund Monday December 31 2007 at 1:31AM
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Here I am sitting at the office, sipping a warm cup of coffee and thinking about the coming year. Whatever will happen, it sure as hell is going to be one interesting ride. In fact, I think 2008 will be a landmark year for the MMO. It has the potential to be the greatest year in the history of MMO gaming, or a sour disappointment, a true lemon of a year that could even bring the bustling genre to a decline. There are so many promising titles coming out next year that i can't even hope to cover them all. So I'll take the easy way out and just cover the big hitters.

Blizzard is releasing WotLK, which will probably be where WoW reaches its peak. For years(Seems a little strange to type that.) people have been claiming that WoW is in the decline and people are leaving the game, when in fact the number of subscribers has steadily been building up. After Wrath of the Lich King, whether it is succesful or not, WoW will be nearing the end of its life-cycle. No matter how well the new expansion augments an already great game, there is not a whole lot of directions Blizzard can take the game that would keep the masses playing for years on end. The game is at a level of polish and amount of content where all Blizzard can offer is more of the same. The question is, how much more of WoW are we the players willing to play through? On the other hand, Blizzard has such a strong product on their hands, that if the competition fails to deliver people will stick with a quality game they can trust. Whatever happens, don't count on WoW dropping out of pole position in 2008.

Funcom and Age of Conan. An enigma in the making. I would like to see this title become a huge success, what's better than sending your opponents to the grave knowing it was your circle strafing, aiming and correctly timed combos that sent the fools to their demise rather than your fully purple set of epic gear? If Funcom pull this off with flourish, and the game becomes a huge success, guilds like Nihilum could actually realise the dream of many MMO players, becoming a professional MMO player. However great that might sound, I don't see it happening for Funcom. AoC is simply not appealing enough to the masses in my opinion to enable WoW-like success. The game will probably be a hit, but not the top dog.

To Mythic and WAR then. If you want a potential WoW-killer, here is your game. The masses have now gone through MMO elementary school, and as interest in the current juggernaut of the MMO genre is waning, WAR will surely be an appealing alternative to the generic gamer. This game also has the potential to bring in the "more serious" roleplaying crowd, where WoW was somewhat of a failure. The imagery might have a cartoony edge, but the lore of the Warhammer universe is much more adult orientated and sinister, the humor is more acidic than black and if WoW screams "Toys"R"Us" to some people, WAR might as well be what "Toys"R"Us" would have been if Charles Lazarus had founded the chain in the 60s after reflecting on an acid trip. If Mythic deliver an outstanding game, the sky's the limit.

Now that I've the big guns covered, I'd like to cover my pet game before this entry becomes too long for anybody to finish. I bet you did not guess the title, it is Jumpgate Evolved. Oh how I adored the original title, no EVEish point and click "carebear" combat, yes you actually had to grab that dusty Sidewinder from your cupboard to earn some respect in this game. Like with AoC, I hope NetDevil pull off a roaring success, hooray for the "skill based" MMO! If anybody from the development team happens to read this, I'm always willing to help with testing! ;)

Right, with my little plug taken care of, let's sum things up. We have three big batters at the plate, who'll be hitting one home? I'm hoping for a true grand slam, all three of the big names producing a hit game, and a fourth large title rising up from out of the blue. What more could a consumer wish for than four quality titles competing for the top spot? To top this off, happy New Year to all of you, don't forget that whatever happens next year there is always one person you can rely on, yourself!