Feature: Top MMOs To Look Out For In 2013

MMORPG-Bless-1357131811-0-0It seems that each week there is news of a new MMO that is about to hit the scene ad vie for users to move away from whatever game it is they are playing at the moment and instead devote their time to something new. From the vast array of anime inspired games to the more realistically rendered entries there is truly something for everyone’s tastes. Luckily for you, game developers like to look at market competition such as this straight in the eye and do their best to deliver a product that is standout from the rest.

But do all of these titles lives up to the glory of which they were marketed? Sadly no. So it is with this in mind that I scour through the hundreds of games that are going to be at your disposal in the next year, separate the good from the bad and the mediocre from the standout.

wildstar

Wildstar; Carbine Studios

Being revealed halfway through 2011, Wildstar immediately grabbed the attention of those in the MMO scene due to its close resemblance to the MMO monolith World of Warcraft. Since then, the developers have done a great deal of marketing in the form of weekly updates, gameplay snippets and mechanics in order to show how Wildstar will separate itself from the rest of the pack.

One of the main differences Wildstar takes from others in the genre is its heavy influence from the science fiction genre. Players assume the role of either a colonist amongst the Dominion or the Exile who have just landed on planet Nexus. Through gameplay, players slowly begin to learn the secrets of this new planet and the fate of the advanced alien inhabitants that up until recently populated it.

Players are given similar class choices that are in line with other MMO’s but where Wildstar separates itself is in the game’s unique path system. Think of paths as an almost extension of professions. Choosing the path of the explorer gives your character unique quests that see you scaling the top of a large mountain peak, or delving into the far reaches of an ancient tomb. While the explorer might be out hunting for the newest vantage point the scientist path will see you studying dangerous plants, ancient architecture and even the odd creature. Each path will let you explore the world of Nexus in a new exciting way. Current paths in the beta include the previous two as well as the paths of the soldier and settler.

Wildstar has received a lot of hype since its announcement and has topped the list of most anticipated MMOs for quite some time over at mmorpg.com. Will the game live up to its hype? Early beta impressions would lean towards and overwhelming yes.

MMORPG-Bless-1357131811-0-0

Bless; Neowiz Games

Relatively new to the scene, Neowiz hopes to make its name common knowledge among the MMO world with its entry Bless. Bless bares a close resemblance in terms of styling to 2012’s Tera. But where Tera failed is where Bless hopes to succeed. Gone are the over the top styling’s of the characters, exaggerated limb (and other body part) proportions and in are photorealistic scenes in a free to explore world (something that was very lacking in Tera). The detail of Bless is so realistic that those who have had a chance to some early access have even commented on the detailing of the character’s pores.

Where Bless really sets to differentiate itself from the rest of the MMOs that are scheduled for release is in its massive realm versus realm battles. These events can occur both on the large and small-scale depending on how much of a consequence the player is willing to sacrifice is the result of that battle was not as they hoped. While developers have been pretty mum about exactly what these consequences are it seems like they have the potential to affect the game world in a way that we have yet to see in an MMO.

The game has been in development since 2009 and it shows. The screens and videos that have been shown so far are gorgeously rendered, but some critics are quick to compare these screens to the likes of Guild Wars which used a similar tactic in their pre-marketing and faced a lot of criticism when the game was finally rolled out.

There is no hard release date set for Bless, we can however speculate that we will see some form of beta testing before the year is over.

neverwinter (17)-noscale

Neverwinter; Cryptic Studio

Neverwinter seeks to boldly go where no MMO has gone before, at least in terms of its pricing model. From the outset, developers based the game around a completely free to play environment where players who wished not to spend money on in-game items or content would not be strong-armed into doing so.

The game itself operates in a similar fashion to Guild Wars 2 with the exception of skills that are tied to weapons. Instead, players have about four to five action buttons to which they can assign a variety of damage based, healing or crowd control abilities for a slew of PvE or PvP encounters.

Perhaps what is most impressive about Neverwinter is the creation tool called, The Foundry. In this mode, players are free to create their own quest line that other players can then drop into and try out themselves. From there, the community can vote on what they thought of it, leave a comment and rate the experience with a zero to five star system. I have personally been a part of the Neverwinter beta and I have to say, The Foundry portion of the game is pretty impressive. As the player’s knowledge of the game increases and increased sophistication is implemented into this system, there is a whole lot of potential for some truly awesome content here.

Black-Desert-3

Black Desert; Pearl Abyss

Not much has been released for Black Desert but taking one look at the trailer that was recently posted and you can’t help but ooh and awe just as the MMO community has been in the last few months as more and more information is slowly being released around this open world, sandbox MMO.

So far the developers have only leaked small portions of what we can expect from this heavy hitting MMO. Pearl Abyss states that the whole world will operate in a seamless instance with no load times as players travel from locale to locale. The game is also set to showcase weather in a way that we have yet to see from previous entries into the market. For instance, a snow storm could move into one area making your trek up a mountainside more perilous, or the rain in one area could have a certain adverse effect on the monster mobs that make their home there.

The average classes are all here to but the game does boast some pretty innovative uses for mounts. In one trailer you can see a player mounted on a pretty impressive horse chasing down a monster, firing off spells and moving in and out of first person views.

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Have any other MMO’s that you are looking forward to? I’d love to hear from you below.

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