One of the things that surprised me at PAXEast was the sheer number of MMO’s that are on the market right now. I do play a MMO but I haven’t really been keeping my eye on the different types of MMOs that are out right now. I knew Rift and SWTOR existed, but never paid much attention to them.
When I went to PAX I saw full extent of what has happened in the MMO world over the past few years. On the first day of PAXEAST when my brother, dad, and I all stepped through the doorway of the exhibit hall and we (and everyone else) were given a goodie bag and within those bags we all received a free game disk of Rift, then at the Expo hall we were greeted with many more MMO’s: Dungeon Dragon Online, EvE and even the Lord of the Rings Online all had an appearance there (which made the lack of Blizzard’s presence was even more surprising)
Friday night I decided to go to the panel,“The Future of Online Game” there I got to see the head designers of some of the MMO’s on the market. (Link to the Youtube video HERE) I don’t want to bore you with what they talked about, since the video already covers all of it, but an interesting thing that was said at the event was that innovation is the major driving force of all the new MMOs.
The panel explained that early MMO’s had poor gameplay and had to rely on the community to keep the players interested in the game. While as the new MMO’s can’t have their main appeal be the community, every game now needs better gameplay to make them stand out from the competition. WoW players have seen the two different type of MMO play styles, pre 4.0 WoW had quests that just asked you to just kill 5 wolves or just gather a certain type of plants or reagents and post 4.0 WoW which have more voice actors, cut scenes and unique mechanics to improve the quests and story telling.
The panel wasn’t just there to answer questions from the audience, they were also there to promote the games they have been working on. Out of all of them two games caught my interest, Defiance and Guild Wars 2.
Defiance is a third person shooter MMO where the gamers play as space soldiers fighting against a race of hostile feral aliens. One of the major draw to this MMO is that not only is it cross-platform game (XBOX 360, PS3, and PC players could all play together in the same match) but when this game launches there will be a SYFY television show that will air along side the game. The show have challenges that the player community will need to step up to collectively complete in order for the television charters to complete the same challenge in the show.
I usually don’t play FPS games (save for Monday Night Combat and Team Fortress 2) but the idea that I can effect the plot of a television show has made me gung-ho for buying this game.
The other MMO that I was interested in is Guild Wars 2, this game promises huge expansive maps, with organic gameplay and world events.
The maps promises hours of exploration in just one area with constantly changing geography. An example is that is given is if you clear away a tribe of trolls from an area, you will need to go back there daily because those trolls will constantly try to reclaim their land.
As for gameplay the game developers claims that there will be no proper class rotation, the moves you choose to use is based on what type of fight you are in and how you want the fight to go.
If you see another player fighting a monster and you want to help, you can assist in killing the monster or give aid to the player without worrying about the grouping mechanics or the sharing of loot or exp. (at the end of the panel video you get to see some of the game play)
I’m excited for this game because it looks like a sandbox WoW game. I know that game developers always don’t like it when people compare their work to WoW, but this time the comparison is meant as a complement
In WoW, it is true that you have the freedom to go where ever you want to go, but there is always a pre-written story that is there waiting for you. There is always a big bad guy that you, and every other player who is on the same questline, will have to fight. I am looking forward to playing a fantasy MMO that doesn’t have a script and just gives you the freedom to do whatever you want whenever.
This leads very well into my next giveaway! After we got to see the Guild Wars 2 developer show off some of the gameplay of the new MMO, the audience were given some shocking news. Everyone who attended the panel would get a beta key for GW2, and two more keys for their friends, needless to say everyone went nuts.
I’m planning on using one of the beta keys, I gave one to a good friend, and the third one is going to a very lucky reader. The same rules apply for this giveaway, leave a comment below and I will randomly pick someone and contact them via email, only one entry per person. The contest ends 4/14 at 11:59pm EST.
P.S: This will not be the only GuildWars 2 beta key I will hand out on this blog.
Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mist of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays