Ever since the release of World Of Warcraft back in 2004 the MMO Genre has been starting to bloom. The MMO market has been getting quite saturated for the past few years with titles like Star Wars: The Old Republic, Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, Rift, Lord of the Rings Online, and Dungeon of Dragons Online., and Aion. However, most of the titles listed above are going the free-to-play route with micro-transactions due to a huge loss of subscribers.
2012 is shaping up to be an amazing year for MMO players out there, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is releasing on September 25th 2012, and ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 is right around the corner later this month. Rift is also getting it’s very first expansion later this fall. Rift is also one of the survivors among other MMOs, and it had one of the most smoothest launches in history of MMOs. Tera came out in May with astounding graphics, and state-of-the-art real time combat system that works very well, and is a lot of fun.
So what do each of these MMOs have to offer, and how are they different? Let’s take at each one, and see how they differ.
World of Warcraft is a huge game right now, it’s packing 3 expansions, and a forth one coming up in September. The game has changed in so many ways that I won’t be able to talk about it in this article. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria adds a new race, class, continent, and lot of new PvP content with new style battlegrounds, and 3 new raids for the raiding junkies straight on launch day. Blizzard is finally bringing back world bosses into the game, that many players have been asking for. For people who played at launch, this feature will be nostalgic due to the fact that world bosses have been missing for the last 2 expansions.
A new race is also joining along with the Horde, and Alliance, the Pandaren. Pandaren is the very first neutral race that let’s you pick which faction you want to join after you finish the main story quests for the Pandaren. This is the first time where the same race is going to be in both Horde, and Alliance. The Monk class is a brand new melee class that gives you many different ways to play, whether it be tanking, healing, or damaging.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is also adding Pet Battles. Pet Battles let your pet companions duke it out against other pets, aka Pokemon style. This feature just adds something new to the game, it’s not meant to benefit your character anyway, but rather just a fun activity to do.
One of other new features in this expansion are the account-wide-achievements, and account-wide-mounts. People who are achievement hunters can finally not worry about doing the same achievements again on their alternate characters, and the same goes for the mounts. This is a really nice feature for those who put in a lot of time, and effort into earning different achievements, and acquiring rare mounts. Look for the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria review sometime next month, for the in-depth verdict.
Rift is a fantastic game in my opinion, it’s beautiful, has a lot of exploration, it has a ton of content to do since launch, and raiding is a ton of fun. Rift launched last year in March 2011, and had one of the most smoothest, and successful MMO launches in history. Rift has 2 different factions, the Guardians, and the Defiant. Each faction has 3 different races which is is a total of 6, the Guardians have the Dwarves, High Elves, and Mathosians, while the Defiant have Eth, Bahmi, and Kelari.
One of the most unique features in Rift are the “Rift Events”, occasionally you will see different swirling circles on the map of the zone. Those swirling circles indicate rift events. When rifts open up they release creatures from different elemental planes, there are life rifts, death rifts, water rifts, air rifts, earth rifts, and fire rifts. In order to close a rift, you need to follow the objectives in the rift event, once all of the stages of the rift event are completed, you are rewarded with different currency loot that you can spend on gear, and of course you gain a good amount of experience.
Trion has been very good at keeping their customers busy with the game, there is just an enormous amount of stuff to do. I think one of my favorite features about Rift is after you hit level 50, you can still progress in Planar Attunement levels, and beef up your character past 50. This motivates the player to keep on questing, do dungeons, raids, dailies, and pvp to keep themselves up to date. The best part about leveling Planar Attunements is that it does not feel grindy, because everything you do lets you gain experience.
Rift: Storm Legion is the first expansion that is coming out sometime this Fall. Rift: Storm Legion add new souls to each of the 4 classes, level 60 player cap, some sort of player/guild housing, 3 new raids, bunch of new dungeons, and epic interactive world bosses. According to Trion, the expansion will be more than 3 times bigger than the current world, adding a whopping of 2 whole new continents, with a new hub city.
The expansion has been recently announced, therefore we don’t have that much information to give you, other than what’s know. It sounds like Trion is really passionate about this expansion, and have a lot of ambition going for it. All we can do now is wait, and see, Trion promised to everyone that new information will be released during Gamescom later this month.
Tera is one of the newest MMOs that launched in May 2012. This is mostly well known for it’s amazing real-time combat where precision, and aiming actually comes into play. Whether your playing a melee class, or ranged, the combat is very fun. One of the first things attracted me about Tera was the astounding graphics, it just looks beyond beautiful, this is defiantly the best looking MMO on the market right now hands-down. Graphics is smooth, no frame-rate issues, monster designs are fantastic, the dungeons, and outdoor scenery is just flat out gorgeous.
The questing in Tera is your typical run of the mill, kill this, get that, and so on. However, other games seem to break-down the questing a bit better, in Tera it feels like every quest is almost exactly the same, and that creates the feeling of a monotonous grind. However, the very first content patch is coming out sometime this month, adding the very first raid tier to the game, new skills for Warrior, and Lancers are being added, and the patch also adds in battlegrounds.
Overall, these games all have something unique to offer, but I don’t think every game is for everybody. They all have their qualities, and faults, no MMO is perfect. Pick, and choose, and have fun wherever you decided to take on your virtual adventures with yourself, and your friends.