| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (23)

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 2:10PM Plastic said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
In terms of actual content, I don't think it will take much to beat 2011.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 3:05PM Mynsc said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@Plastic This. 2011 was a terrible year... Nothing actually new launched, just reiterations of the same old established mechanics.
Reply

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 2:11PM Spacegrass said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It's hard to say. 2011 had two very solid releases - RIFT and SWTOR - that take a familiar formula and improve on it. 2012 has Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World, but they're an unknown quantity - they both look promising, but a lot of games do until you actually play them. I chose 2011 because I like SWTOR so much, but I'm interested in seeing what happens over the next year.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 3:12PM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@Spacegrass While Rift was a solid release, the jury is still out on SWTOR in my opinion. The reality of BOTH of these games is that they are the same old mechanics with a single "selling point". For Rift it was their so called dynamic content, which ended up just being random zone invasions. With SWTOR its Voiced Story, which they will have a hard time continuing to update because of the work involved in creating it.

There was nothing really "new" in 2011. Rift and SWTOR are basically reskinned 2007 versions of WoW with a few minor changes. WoW tried to make us believe it was moving into the future but it ended up just being some makeup and a new dress. That's not to say that 2012 is going to offer us anything new either. GW2 looks like the game we have all been waiting for, but is it all that new? Not really. Its a return to something that worked in the past but was never replicated. So we can only hope that "old" is the new "new.
Reply

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 4:35PM Sorithal said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

Uh... RIFT's selling point is beyond just "random zone invasions". It also has the soul system, which is very much in contrast with WoW's own class system.

RIFT has four classes - Rogue, Cleric, Mage, and Warrior, and these are just sort of the "base" classes. Each of them has 8 souls (and then like one PvP soul I think), and you can use three of these souls at a time. Those are what provide you with your actual abilities, and each soul has its own rather huge (talent) tree where you can choose to put points into or not, and the more points you put into a tree, the more abilities you'll learn for that specific soul.

For instance, a Mage could end up being a Necromancer/Warlock/Archon which would make them a pet class that debuffs the hell out of opponents while possibly providing support buffs to party members. Or they could have three different souls and focus as a Chloromancer, which is a support/healing soul. And a Rogue can take souls that make it more akin to a WoW Rogue or even a Hunter, yet could also be something completely different since there's stuff like the Riftblade (basically a spell-sword type Rogue) and Bard (support/healer that has a massive amount of buffs) and Saboteur (which focuses on bombs/traps).

So it's also for people who want variety since each class has so many potential options for playing with it thanks to the soul system. And with the Planar Attunement system that apparently adds an extra layer of customization.

And that's among other features RIFT has that WoW lacks. RIFT pretty much lets you level how you want, and even exploring is encouraged since there's a lot of hidden goodies that can even lead to finding a really good piece of gear for level 15/20/25/etc.

Also Trion Worlds has been updating RIFT frequently, to where there's been a content update at the rate of about 1.5 months per patch. So really there's much more than a single "selling point" in RIFT. I could go on further to correct misconceptions about it being some sort of WoW clone with a special gimmick, but I'm sure you can find other places that have talked this issue to death.
Reply

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 5:02PM Spacegrass said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

SWTOR also has:
- companion characters that make leveling a tank or healer viable
- a crafting system that doesn't require you to stand in one place and watch a progress bar fill up
- a space combat minigame, which will be expanded upon in the future
- an entire planet dedicated to endgame pvp
And Rift, as has already been mentioned, has the soul system, which is a pretty big deal.
Reply

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 6:01PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Sorithal, @Spacegrass : it's nice that you can come up with lists of more new features that Rift and SW:TOR have added to the EQ/WoW model. But seriously, just the fact that the differences are things to be listed is depressing.

Have a look at some other games (both old and new).

Compare WoW, EQ2, LOTRO, Rift and TOR to these seven I plucked out of the air.

* EVE
* Darkfall
* Atlantica Online
* Uncharted Waters Online
* A Tale In The Desert
* Rusty Hearts
* Spiral Knights

Now I'm not saying all those games are good or are to be emulated, but seriously, the massively multiplayer space SHOULD consist of a bunch of DIFFERENT games. Not games that are basically the same but try to distinguish themselves by tweaking the holy trinity class system in a few different ways. Or by making the quest-grinding to level cap more dynamic, or more story-driven. Or by making crafting take real time rather than just mats + click on a recipe. Or what have you.

I want to see the big MMO releases of 2012 being games that have nothing in common with each other beyond being massively multiplayer, and online. Will I get that? Probably not. But I hope I get more of it than I got in 2011.
Reply

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 2:29PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think 2012 will be 'better', because it could be the year that F2P effectively kills P2P. The two big name P2P titles - WoW and TOR, are both going to be under a lot of scrutiny this year.

If the unprecedentedly awful response to Mists of Pandaria manifests as actual lost subscriptions on a significant scale then WoW is going to look less than invincible for the first time ever. Sure, subs have been on a slow decline, but it's still got numbers that any other MMO would kill for. If MoP goes over badly and pulls WoW down closer to the rest of the genre then I can easily envisage Blizzard doing something drastic to recover. They've dipped their toe in F2P, so they're obviously thinking about it.

As for TOR - well, the game is out now. Fairly or otherwise MMOs get judged on their launch content for a month or so, and then it all comes down to updates - how often, how big, how good. TOR is simply too high profile, too hyped, too closely watched to get by with numbers that would be good for other MMOs. If TOR can't hang onto, or build on, its launch numbers I can see them rethinking the P2P model as well.

If either of these games take a big hit in 2012 then the future of purely P2P MMOs is doubtful. If both take a hit then I'd say the model will be obsolete.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 3:16PM smartstep said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

Pure P2P model dying in favor of F2P is actually awful thing and It will be time to move on to "greenier pastures" for me, away from mmorpg land.


WoW and Swtor are both awful games ,on the other hand.

Limited , simplistic instance grinders that have tools and mechanics to kill IN-GAME communities.
Reply

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 4:52PM Sorithal said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

I think I'd rather keep my monthly subscription fee in a P2P rather than end up shelling out more money per month just for the same level of convenience/quality in an F2P.

While yes, many MMOs have become more successful in terms of players after going F2P, that... doesn't mean a whole lot when you think about it. P2Ps get a steady stream of money and the developers can just focus on creating content patches. F2Ps get large chunks of money from only a chunk of their playerbase and so the developers have to focus part of their time on creating things to help keep people paying and nudging free players to pay as well.

Also as the population in a game rises, the stupidity of the general playerbase (aka trolls, griefers, bad players, and lack of mature/friendly players) rises as well in most cases.

Which is why I'm glad RIFT isn't planning on going F2P. It's doing great as a P2P and is growing stronger as time goes on, so it'll be nice to know that there's one MMO out there that won't succumb to F2P. And they haven't even done much microtransaction stuff - so far you can buy a cosmetic mount + portable bank + tabard cosmetic for only ten dollars, and that was back in October. Server transfers are also free and can be done weekly.
Reply

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 2:31PM BarGamer said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
In terms of advancing the genre, lack of the "holy trinity," something to kill besides ten rats, and the rise of F2P, 2012 looks like the year everything's going to change for the better. Viva la gaming revolution!

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 2:42PM DancingCow said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
"the loud whining in one corner"

This would be the reality check :)

Once thing's for certain - in 2012 we'll clearly still be seeing lots of these subscription doomsayer articles.....

Rift and SWTOR were both released in 2011. Both were well polished MMOs (unlike the turds we're used to seeing) and both solid performers. That would be in stark contrast to the flood of games you say are embracing change in the industry - or rather those crappy subscription games forced to go free to play after flopping.

Absolutely f2p is a viable business model but there's a large segment of the market who don't like it and all this rubbish about subscriptions going the way of the dodo is just a great big fantasy.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 2:53PM Amlin said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
In terms of MMOs I thought 2011 was pretty boring, swtor was the only thing that really made a splash last year for me. With this year having 2 or 3 big releases, it's gonna be sweet.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 3:17PM J45neoboy said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
2011 had TOR and Rift. Rift is still successful even after all this time and Star Wars is looking to have a promising future in 2012. This year, we'll have The Secret World and Guild Wars 2 coming as well as Tera. We'll probably have a western publisher for ArcheAge announced as well as enough information to start guessing WildStar's release date.
We'll probably be seeing Aion go F2P, Rift go F2P as well or at least an expansion announced. We'll have WoW's Pandas coming to town which if it takes a dip in subscribers, we could very well see WoW going F2P in 2013.
2012 will definitely be the year in which we see the weak subscription MMOs killed off and leaving only enough room for a few games that require you to pay monthly. Overall, 2012 will definitely be a better year for MMOs.
We'll be having huge releases such as The Secret World and Guild Wars, other big releases such as Tera. We'll see where this year takes us but it'll definitely be better then last year.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 4:45PM Sorithal said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@J45neoboy

RIFT won't be going F2P anytime soon if at all according to Scott Hartsman back in November. It's doing fine as-is and is only growing stronger as time goes on, so it going f2p would potentially hurt it more than help it.

(http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-11-16-trions-scott-hartsman-on-rift-subscribers-free-to-play-and-money)
Reply

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 5:39PM J45neoboy said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Sorithal

Just a prediction and I'm truly hoping that it stays P2P. If P2P dies out, I'm leaving the MMO genre forever.
Reply

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 3:40PM Sente said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Next year will always be better than last year - it is inevitable. Comparing two past years on the other hand, might provide a different result :)

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 4:41PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'm hoping that this year might usher in the idea that maybe $14.99 per month isn't a gold-standard number. WoW's continued existense--hell, EQ and Runescape's continued existense--prove that aesthetics and polish are more important than graphics a lot of the time, and games can be made on that scale with a much lower monthly subscription cost than the fifteen that new AAA titles have been stuck at.

I know there are a few examples of difference here and there, but if a decent new game could just go a more wallet-friendly route, there might be less P2P doomsaying. GW2 doing GW1's box sales and xpac box sales to support the game (and maybe an aesthetic-items-only cash shop) is certainly my favorite method so far. Considering $15 a month will be a residual number in many players' minds, people might even consider paying for more than one sub-based game a month if they could still hold to that same monthly cost.

So I'm voting 2012 pretty much on that hope alone. I would drop my on-again-off-again WoW account in a heartbeat if SWTOR or Rift suddenly lowered it's monthly fee.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 5:20PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'm quietly confident that 2012 will be the first year in a loooong time that the biggest releases will not be "this year's rehashes of the EverQuest race/class/level/trinity model".

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 7:05PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think you'd be hard pressed to see the previous year win at any point in this kind of poll. Once it's set in the past or present, reality sets in along with pessimism and supporting evidence for that pessimism. Come 2013 (yes, imagine the world won't end, crazy talk I know :P) we'll look back and say it'll be so much better than 2012.

2011 was a great year in my opinion. It may not have had the MMO boundaries being pushed but the market seemed solid enough. New pricing systems are being introduced and refined, mostly in terms of F2P models. You know things are going well enough if a game as costly as SWTOR can launch and likely turn a profit. (Bit of a prediction there; not a hard one to make of course.)

That said, I still voted for 2012 with Guild Wars 2 primarily in mind. The Secret World and Tera register too, though they're more along the line of "Please don't let these flop!". I also want to hear more information on ArcheAge and Wildstar.

And don't forget changes for existing games. I'm interested to see how WoW fares with Mists of Pandaria and if Rift will have any expansion announcements plus new features. I'll keep my eye on FFXIV for curiosity's sake. Of course SWTOR is ever present and staying strong in our minds at the start of the year. I doubt we'll see any official subscription numbers as the months go on, but at least we can get a feel for how things are going from the community.

Featured Stories

Make My MMO: December 14 - 20, 2014

Posted on Dec 20th 2014 7:00PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW