Spoiler: It will not be.
We started talking the other day in the Massively office about just how much there's coming for the latter half of this year and why we're excited to see what the fall and winter months bring. There's so much to look forward to, in fact, that it was incredibly difficult to narrow it down to a mere 10 entries. But that's my job, and that's what I did. Here's why the second half of 2014 will be awesome.
Right now Landmark is a functional puzzle with many core pieces still missing, such as the fighty side of the game. That's slated to change quickly over the next few months, as the team has promised to work hard to make this title feature complete. I know that I've been holding off on playing it until it became something more than a building simulator, and I suspect others are waiting as I am. The Landmark we play at the end of 2014 will be light-years beyond the sketchy framework that we saw at the beginning, and that makes me excited.
2. Finally getting World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor
I'm a wee bit concerned that Warlords of Draenor might not make its 2014 release window with the sluggish pace of its testing so far, but there are many days between now and December 31st, so I shall have faith! In any case, a new World of Warcraft expansion will make a significant splash when it hits, calling back the faithful and giving bored players a whole bunch of new stuff to do. A return to Outland and the pseudo-housing system could have strong appeal among the playerbase.
3. Witnessing the titanic Destiny make or break history
Combine a huge built-in Halo fanbase, the high-quality work of Bungie, a multi-platform release, and a reportedly sizable budget, and you're going to have a video game extravaganza unlike few you've ever seen. Whether or not Destiny is up your alley or is even a "proper" MMO, it's hard to deny that this release is set to absolutely dominate September. I'm betting that more than a few of you console fans will be on hand to witness it as it goes live.
There are four more major video game conventions with big MMO offerings slated for the remainder of 2014, and since each one of those contains the potential for news bombs to be unleashed, that's four times the potential reveals. SOE Live, PAX Prime, BlizzCon, and Gamescom are all ahead of us, and I can't wait to find out what studios have in store for each one.
5. Being on the verge of a VR revolution
I vividly remember being there for the supposed virtual reality revolution of the '90s, a revolution that fizzled pretty quickly once we saw the clunky programs and Virtual Boy. But the excitement over the possibilities of VR was quite memorable, and it's that same excitement that I see going on now. Only this time we might actually be getting hardware and software that can live up to expectations... and we're already seeing several MMO studios toy around with these gadgets. Could we be on the verge of the next great step in MMO gaming, one that puts us inside the game? I think we'll know a lot more by the end of the year.
6. Hopping on board for ArcheAge's launch
Sandbox fans have scads of promising titles heading their way, but perhaps the biggest and most immediate is ArcheAge. What's terrific here is that ArcheAge is a proven product in several regions with years of live development under its belt, so what we'll be getting in North America will have an advantage over most baby MMOs. I don't know whether to gush over its looks or over the kajillion activities that you can choose to do, but I do know that I'm going to be there on day one.
"Jokes" about how Elder Scrolls Online's PC release is really just the beta for the console version may cut too close to the truth for some, but no matter how you see it, the team has given itself an extra half-year to prep a hopefully more polished edition of the game for Xbox and PlayStation. The fact that only 14% of Skyrim sales were on the PC platform should tell you a little something about the potential market for ESO on consoles. Could this second launch be a gigantic tsunami compared to what we witnessed this past spring?
8. Enlisting for another tour of duty via expansions
If the new kids on the block aren't calling to you, what about an old favorite? There are plenty of expansions on tap for the remainder of 2014, including EverQuest II's Tears of Veeshan, Star Wars: The Old Republic's Galactic Strongholds, and RIFT's Nightmare Tide. I'm also seeing an increased level of content competition between studios across the board as players have made it known that they're not willing to wait around for a pokey release schedule. That means more patches, more zones, and more features for us to enjoy. I can't wait.
9. Eating popcorn while we watch space sims duke it out
If you're a space sim lover -- and I am -- then the landscape's starting to look a lot more promising. EVE's still kicking with regular expansion updates and a VR spin-off, Star Citizen has raised more money than the GDP of Germany, and Elite: Dangerous is so good-looking that if I weren't married, I'd be proposing in a heartbeat. The best part is that because the others exist, each game needs to bring its absolute best and can't just coast on unique novelty. That's always a win for consumers.
10. Having something to do every two weeks in Guild Wars 2
We're still in the early days of Guild Wars 2's second season, but so far it's looking more promising and accessible than the first season by far. And with the devs pumping out a whole bunch of new stuff to do every two weeks, it's going to be pretty hard to get bored. That's a lot of updates between now and the end of December, even if you factor in the return of holiday festivals. I just hope I have time to stay on top of it all.
Justin "Syp" Olivetti enjoys counting up to ten, a feat that he considers the apex of his career. If you'd like to learn how to count as well, check out The Perfect Ten. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his gaming blog, Bio Break.