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Reader Comments (32)

Posted: Dec 27th 2008 12:08PM Rollins said

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If CoH2 hasn't been announced yet, there's no way it will release in 2009. I don't think NCSoft has the resources to do it right now.

I think Darkfall and Aion are more worth watching than it is right now.

Posted: Dec 27th 2008 12:49PM (Unverified) said

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I don't personally think Darkfall has a big place in the climate of the current MMO space. It's certainly got a fervent fanbase, but I don't think it's a game everyone should be watching.

In many ways, I think Darkfall is a devolution of MMO design over the past several years. It's a game that will be rife with griefing and frustrating moments. Also, it's got a LOT of feature creep via what seems to be over-promising on things like realistic physics, naval warfare, destructive cities, realistic weather, player housing, unrestricted PvP with full looting of player equipment. It's all very unrealistic sounding, actually. Does anyone really think this sort of a game will appeal to anybody outside of a very small, very hardcore audience?

Plus, the fantasy setting is going to turn off a lot of potential players who'd just rather play WoW, LotRO or WAR.

Now, if Darkfall were taking up a radical business model (IE, micro or some kind of non-subscription) it may have more play. As far as I know there's been no business model talk yet, but I could be wrong there.

As for Aion, I'm not entirely sold on whether or not it's got a lot of play in the Western markets yet. If I were to add a six game to the list, it would certainly be Aion -- but to me it doesn't beat out any of the titles I've listed.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2008 1:13PM Rollins said

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I'm pretty sure that Darkfall's going with a typical subscription model, but I'm not positive where I read that. It's quite possible that the last time it was mentioned was in 2003 or 2004.

I don't think it's going to break open the market in any real way, but I still think it's worth watching. If they can pull off even a fraction of what they're attempting and the game is relatively stable at launch, they'll get the niche they're looking for.

The hardcore PvP community still hasn't found a new game to settle on. I won't pretend that their numbers are huge, but their dedication was enough to keep Shadowbane (a game with many, many flaws) alive for quite some time.

As far as Aion is concerned, I think it all depends on how NCSoft handles marketing. It's going to have an extremely difficult time overcoming the stigma that comes with being an unabashedly Korean MMO. Not to mention the impact that closing TR has had on NCSoft's reputation. Honestly, how they handle Aion could make or break their chances to become a major player in North America. If Aion fails, all they have is CoH, which is going to face considerable competition.

I have to agree that a CoH sequel is necessary; I just don't know if they have it in them.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2008 2:57PM (Unverified) said

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"In many ways, I think Darkfall is a devolution of MMO design over the past several years."

I think that "devolution" is kind of a loaded term. Sure it's returning to previous design concepts, but that doesn't mean that those concepts were worse than the ones we have now. It's a game to watch, because it's the first attempt at a true sandbox play dynamic (I can't really count EvE because being locked inside your ship seems like a pretty huge invisible wall). None of the other titles on that list offer anything nearly as revolutionary in their design.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2008 3:24PM Holgranth said

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In all honesty I really think Darkfall is NOT going to be the game a lot of rabid fan boys think it is. Darkfall has made a lot of promises to include featured that in all honesty are A. Totally NICHE (Rabid pvp semi-psychopaths) and B. stuff I’d expect from an mmo five years down the road. They are basically trying to combine, Hack and slash, first person shooters ala Tom Clancey, living world, world builders, all in an mmo setting. I could see that all working together at some point when we all have super computers but not yet.
I would be shocked if they could actually pull off HALF the features they say they are going to. The most Hilarious thing that I see happening is that Darkfall’s best hope of going mainstream is having a mod community developing all the things that the game doesn’t come with (Health bar mods, enemy ID mods, friendly ID mods, minimap mods and so on) Still I have been wrong before It could be the game to end all games.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2008 12:14PM (Unverified) said

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Jumpgate is the only one in that list the interests me, but still doesn't make my top 5, which is:

Earthrise
Mortal Online
Darkfall
Huxley
Aion

Perhaps most of those are not 'maintream' enough to make your list, but I thought you'd at least mention Aion.

Posted: Dec 27th 2008 12:41PM J Brad Hicks said

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I would actually be prepared to bet a large sum of money (for me), at any odds you care to name, that NCsoft will never release anything even vaguely called "City of Heroes 2." And I'll tell you why: Lineage II, which has been an unmitigated disaster for the company. All Lineage II succeeded in doing was fracturing the player base for Lineage, at tremendous expense, and without increasing revenues one thin dime. That is not a mistake that any company makes twice.

I suspect that the City of Heroes team is being quietly smug about the prospects of Champions Online. Why? Because roughly half of them have worked for Cryptic in the past, and remember how Cryptic's Jack Emmert was a drag on their revenues for most of his last year, year and a half in charge of CoH. People are going to go over to CO expecting new hotness, run into Emmert's bull-headedness in a game that's terribly feature-incomplete, and suddenly CoH will look really good by comparison. Especially since CoH will have come out with player-generated content by them. No, the question in my mind is not whether Champions Online will be an expensive fiasco, I think that's a given. The only question in my mind is whether it will be such a money-losing fiasco that it drags down Star Trek Online.

But speaking of science fiction media franchise MMOs, no, the 5th MMO to watch this year is one that I can't believe you left out: SGW, Stargate Worlds. That, far more than Jumpgate Evolution, is this year's big budget bid to find out if there's a customer base out there for a science fiction MMO, stepping into the vacuum left behind by the collapse of Tabula Rasa. It's far from a given that it'll succeed, not least of which because it's tied to a TV and movie franchise (the kiss of death for MMOs so far). And with its developers visibly running out of money, it's likely to ship in as crippled a state as Tabula Rasa did, too. But succeed or fail, an awful lot of the industry is watching them for more up to date hints as to whether or not there's room for a big-budget character-based MMO that isn't a linear descendant of Chainmail Fantasy Supplement.

On the other hand, it boggles my mind that anybody thinks that Jumpgate Evolution has even a prayer of being successful, since it goes head to head with EVE Online, an all too similar much older and more feature-complete game than JGE can possibly be and that has shown amazing ability to retain customers. I give JGE about a year, tops, before they pull the plug, and I feel confident saying that sight-unseen.

Posted: Dec 27th 2008 1:13PM (Unverified) said

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I don't know if you are a rabid EVE fan or just havn't read anything about Jumpgate at all before you have a opinion about it, but those games are not very similar. Sure, they are both space-based MMOs where you fly your own ship, but that's where the similarities end. JG:E is a action based shooteresque game, while EVE is more of a simulator where you're not in direct control of your ship.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2008 1:09PM animagnum said

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Global Agenda? I am not sure if it is scheduled for release in 2009, but a beta is starting soon (I think).

Posted: Dec 27th 2008 1:11PM (Unverified) said

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I had to go back, after I finished the article, and look again... had you REALLY included "City of Heroes 2" in an article about games in 2009? That makes... no sense. Perhaps you should have written a separate article about "5 games we hope to be announced in 2009."

As others are already pointing out, there are plenty of games that probably will be out in 2009 that could have been given that 5th slot. This probably isn't a full list but I can think of....

Aion: Tower of Eternity
All Points Bulletin
Battlefield Heroes
Darkfall
Earthrise
Free Realms
FusionFall
Global Agenda
Hello Kitty Online
Runes of Magic
Stargate Worlds

So, that's enough for a top 10 list, not just 5... and that's without using games that aren't even officially announced yet.

Posted: Dec 27th 2008 1:30PM (Unverified) said

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I'm not sure if you really read over the article twice, because this was at the very beginning:

"Out of all the games coming out or possibly being announced in the coming year, which are the ones everyone should train their eye on? What games -- or announcements -- should be watched more closely than others, and why?"

City of Heroes 2 is really the only announcement I think we can be sure of for 2009. So I included it in my list, which has been stated, is my own personal opinion and not a statement of fact.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2008 1:50PM (Unverified) said

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I'll admit I missed that line in the beginning of your article... but I still think you should have separated the two concepts. And as far as announcements go... I would still dispute whether City of Heroes 2 is the one not-yet-announced game that I would single out. What about say, the Turbine project which the hot money says is none other than Harry Potter Online ! There's also the unannounced projects from Zenimax (possibly Elder Scrolls Online ?), Red 5, Big Huge, Blizzard, Carbine, Titan Studios, Trian and Slipgate Ironworks. And also... Everquest III !

And as far as games likely to be launched in 2009, here's what I would personally pick as the top 10 to keep an eye on...

#1 Free Realms
#2 All Points Bulletin
#3 Champions Online
#4 DC Universe
#5 Stargate Worlds
#6 Global Agenda
#7 Earthrise
#8 The Agency
#9 Battlefield Heroes
#10 Darkfall

I put Darkfall at #10 because if they keep their date, we won't be very far into 2009 and it'll be out.

Posted: Dec 27th 2008 1:50PM Abriael said

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Wow, the darkfall community has always been a tad rabid, this seems a pretty thypical example.

We got your scream for attention. Thank you. Now go back sulking in the quasi-vaporware corner

Posted: Dec 27th 2008 2:16PM Temko said

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with darkfall coming out in less then a month time, i dont think it's "one to watch", it's more like "one to put on the shopping list".

other then that, out of all the mmo's i can think of this year...

1, the agency (who knows)
2, Earthrise
3, red 5's unnancouned mmo
4, blizzards new project
5, Aion
6, stargate worlds
7, Turbine's new game (god i hate codemaster for eu :S)
8, champions online

..and "all others".

but out of all of these i think that only Darkfall and Aion might make a dent in the market. Darkfall to show that classes are not the end all answer and for the involved and loving pvp crowd. (small or big, if 200k people play the game - thats a success by any standard other then wow).

Aion of course as the "new and shiny one" that helps with the prettyness. it delivers the "new" wow gameplay with a different artstyle.

that said i have little or no hope for jumpgate, stargate or star trek.

Posted: Dec 28th 2008 2:15PM (Unverified) said

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Depends if you like your hardcore pvp or not really. Darkfall, is the antithesis of my ideal game. Personally it will be a niche game at most, tank into the depths (tabula rasa/motor assault stylee) at worst.

There are far more in depth discussions and summations that I wont go into the depths of why PvP will just never be popular but it comes down to no one likes getting dominated. The adage of too many wolves and not enough sheep is the primary argument of why pvp games start strong then deteriorate very, very quickly into obscurity. The only one I can think that really broke the mold was Dark age of Camelot (within recent memory) but that had allot of other diversions and was a gear based pvp (as such, Darkfall 'isn't').

I can't see it lasting more than 9-12 months as a money making concern for the developers, and I don't know how they hope to recoup almost 8 years of development costings.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2008 3:01PM Sam not Spam said

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I'd expect a complete re-launch of COH sooner than I'd see COH2. Same reasons as infamousBrad gave, really (didn't EQ/EQ2 and AC/AC2 run into the same issue?). And I'll also agree there's a number of longtime COH players who will not be happy with Jack. With the group I play with?

1. The more they learn about CO the less interested they are.
2. They won't touch another game from Jack.

CO won't hurt COH. DCU, on the other hand...

Posted: Dec 27th 2008 3:12PM (Unverified) said

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The lead designer on CO isn't even Jack, though. It's Randy Mosiondz. As far as I know, while Jack is indeed involved he's working across all of Cryptic's projects.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2008 3:15PM Sam not Spam said

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Hate to say it, but the mere association has been enough to turn them off.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2008 3:14PM TheJackman said

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Champions Online.... maybe.... but looking more towards DC Universe Online to have some real superheros and not this wanabes ripoffs

Jumpgate Evolution is a lot like EvE and I do not like that game.... if this is more wing commander style I may pick it up!

Wonder why Stargate is not on the list even...

Posted: Dec 27th 2008 3:17PM (Unverified) said

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RMT will only be the future of mmorpgs if we let it. I, for one, won't play any game that uses RMT/item mall/microtransactions and if enough people agree with me than RMT will stay within the confines of eastern oriented games.

Sites like this should be completely against any sort of RMT insanity because developers of RMT games have to make their games as un-fun as possible to get you to pay for the item mall crap whereas games that charge a monthly subscription have to make the game as fun as possible to keep you subscribing. Would you rather play a game where the devs are actively working to make it a horrible experience or a game where the ultimate goal is to make the game fun?

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