Rob recently penned his own “Looking Forward to 2015” article, and Shawn did his own take on what to watch in 2015, but since the year’s only just begun and we’re coming off a pretty underwhelming 2014 for new MMOs, we might as well take yet another peek at what the next year could bring us. Rob’s article focused mainly on what he specifically wants to play. I’ll try to focus mainly on the MMOs or updates that 2015 is scheduled to bring. In no particular order, here are my own personal “Top Five MMOs to Watch in 2015”. Keep in mind, I only brought up games that are actually supposed to release this year, while games like Camelot Unchained, Pathfinder Online, what ArtCraft are making as well as others are not due out until 2016 at the earliest.
Blade & Soul – NCSOFT | While it seems like we’ve been waiting forever for this game to release in the West, and the official NA site hasn’t been updated in over a year, last we heard from NCSOFT Korea and West was that 2015 will be Blade & Soul’s year. Will we finally start seeing news from the game with an eye towards a Western release? I personally hope so, as I’ve always found the Anime intriguing (it can be streamed on Crunchyroll). Plus the fluid combat and visuals are unique enough to warrant at least some attention. Still, I won’t admit I’m an expert on the game, and folks who might have participated in the Korean release would be best to ask if B&S is actually worth watching. Steparu’s gameplay videos (see below) are good look at what to expect.
Guild Wars 2 – ArenaNet | I know, I know… you’re all sick of me championing this game. I still think GW2 is one of the best MMOs on the market, despite not enjoying the haphazard style of its party-based content (I still want a Monk to come in and be the healer we all need and deserve). But something’s shaking over in Seattle. The Living World is not the only thing they’re working on, at least not as we’ve come to know it. I fully expect PAX South and East to reveal much more about what ArenaNet’s been hiring so many people for. And I think 2015 could be a pretty big year for Tyria.
EverQuest Next - SOE | The no-brainer, and game on everyone’s list to watch in 2015. Landmark may now be the MMO a lot of people were hoping for, but I believe Dave, Terry and crew when they say Landmark is the toolset with which they’ll be building the new Norrath. We saw a little more of what they’re working on this past year at SOE Live, and the combat and classes looked compelling. There’s still so much more to learn about how the game will work, but now that 2015 is here I’d fully expect the EQ Next info train to pick up speed.
Skyforge – Obsidian and Allods Team | Will this be “just another instanced themepark”? Honestly, that’s the vibe I’ve gotten from the team, but its combat and class design are enough for me to not write it off just yet. I’ve played a bit of the game, and so has Hive (see below) and it’s very fun to play, but I worry if that fun will truly last for hours upon hours of combat and questing. There’s a big campaign-based PVP system yet to be revealed, as well as crafting and more about the god system overall. I get the Neverwinter vibe from Skyforge a lot, but one thing it doesn’t do that brought Neverwinter down in my eyes is throw the cash shop in your face. It’s clear that Skyforge’s goal is to create an immersive UI, not one that always funnels you through a cash shop. For that alone, they have my attention.
TIE: ESO and FFXIV | FFXIV has done nothing but get better since its re-launch, and while I never did cap out any of my classes, it’s on my to do list. And with the Heavensward expansion set to launch in 2015, bringing with it a host of new quests, features, and plenty of unannounced stuff? I’m pretty psyched to see how the expansion, er… expands FFXIV. In terms of ESO, I’m watching Zenimax’s game like a hawk, because it’s been getting some of the best content upgrades since it launched earlier in 2014. With Update 6 on the horizon, and the console launch looming ever closer, I’m really keen to see if ESO can become the first MMO I really enjoy on the couch.
Now, this is far from a definitive list. It’s just what I feel most inclined to keep an eye on to come out this year. Repopulation is up there too, but I think it’s got a lot of work to do before it truly impresses. I’m also watching Gloria Invictus and Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade, but I need to see much more of both before I get really excited. I’m also keen to see how WildStar rebounds from an overall underwhelming 2014. What about you? What MMOs, upcoming or already released are you keeping tabs on for 2015?