8 Most Anticipated Upcoming MMORPGs -- And Why You Care

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New MMOs are announced and released constantly. The genre is full of unoriginal World of Warcraft clones and overambitious or money-hungry developers who promise to produce an MMO to be proud of -- and usually fall short. 

That is the fear, of course: that a game can sound fantastic on paper, but it's unlikely to ever deliver. If a game does release, it may be after years of setbacks and crowdfunding. And still, it can still be underwhelming. There can still be empty promises.

I get it. We're all afraid of getting our wallets emptied and our dreams dashed one more time for supporting -- or simply hoping -- for that one game that's going to change everything. But there's still hope for the MMO genre.

Let us show you why with these eight upcoming MMOs you should definitely be watching.  

Ashes of Creation

  • Developer: Intrepid Studios
  • Engine: Unreal 4 
  • Current Status: Pre-Alpha
  • Expected Release: TBA 
  • Business Model: Subscription
  • Platform: Windows PC
  • Official Website
What it Offers

Ashes of Creation promises a world "built to react to the actions of [the] players." Land can be developed anywhere and can be specialized for a certain purpose. There are many custom skills and abilities that ensure 64 unique classes. And there are multiple quest types that can change in real time. Players can fight in dungeons, raids, large-scale castle sieges, city defenses and assaults, and arena combat. 

What Makes it Different

The world is planned to be highly interactive. Intrepid Studios' Node System will control how the world is developed. This system will split the map into four distinct sections: Military, Divine, Economic, and Scientific. The many skill and combat choices will allow every player to thrive. Griefers in the open world are not expected to be a problem because of the game's in-depth flagging system. 

How to Get Involved

There will be a Kickstarter campaign for Ashes of Creation in approximately three to five weeks. There will be a countdown on the official website once the Kickstarter is two weeks away. Register your account now to stay updated on the Kickstarter and to begin participating in the forums. 

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

  • Developer: Visionary Realms, Inc. 
  • Engine: Unity 5 
  • Current Status: In development
  • Expected Release: 2017
  • Business Model: Subscription
  • Platforms: Mac and Windows PC
  • Official Website
What it Offers

Pantheon is set on the fantasy world of Terminus, where many diverse civilizations, deities, and fantastic creatures rule. The world is designed to be challenging with tough monsters, plenty of exploration, and a reliance on friends and community. The planned weather system and enchanted areas add a survival element to the game not often found in MMOs. 

What Makes it Different

Death is meaningful. High-level characters can "retire" and pass a portion of their skills onto their children. Rare spells and items can only be found in unique locations, and can be locked behind an event. Visionary Realms is reinforcing an emphasis on group play by planning AI NPCs and player-run dungeons and regions.  

How to Get Involved

You can support Pantheon's development on the official website here. Pledge a minimum of $50 to gain access to the beta and full game. 

Conan Exiles

  • Developer: Funcom
  • Engine: Unreal 4
  • Current Status: Early Access
  • Expected Release: 2018 (full launch)
  • Business Model: Buy to Play
  • Platform: Windows PC
  • Official Website
What it Offers

In Conan Exiles, players explore the land and civilizations of an ancient world where monsters truly do exist. The player must craft tools, buildings, and fight giant creatures to stay alive. They must also battle against the elements and watch out for deadly sandstorms.

What Makes it Different

This year, The Purge will be implemented. The Purge are enemy NPCs that will raid, pillage, and destroy everything they encounter. Players must work together to stop this deadly threat. In addition, players will be able to tame animals, and new systems -- sorcery and settlement systems -- will be introduced. The opportunities in this game will be limitless. 

How to Get Involved

You can purchase the game on Steam Early Access now for $29.99, or upgrade to the Barbarian Edition for an extra $30. 

Epocylipse The AfterFall

  • Developer: Razor Edge Games
  • Engine: Unity 5
  • Current Status: In development
  • Expected Release: TBA 
  • Business Model: Buy to Play
  • Platform: Windows PC
  • Official Website
What it Offers

Epocylipse is set in the year 2258. It is a survival MMO where humanity has been all but wiped out after an outbreak of an infectious disease. In this game, there is a day and night cycle, aging characters, faction wars, and a fully loot-able harsh environment. 

What Makes it Different

With aging comes perma-death, which means characters must find a heir before they pass on. The game is skill-based, so how well you play in the environment really matters. If the game isn't hard enough, you can enable optional rules that pose new challenges. You can play alone, with friends, or on servers. How you want to play is up to you.

How to Get Involved

Register on the official website to be a part of the forum community.

Dark and Light

  • Developer: Snail Games 
  • Engine: Unreal 4
  • Current Status: pre-Early Access 
  • Expected Release: TBA
  • Business Model: Buy to Play
  • Platform: Windows PC
  • Official Website
What it Offers

Dark and Light is a fantasy sandbox MMO. Magic is a part of the world and the characterization of the game. In a dynamic story, the player must choose to fight for light or be consumed by darkness. 

What Makes it Different

According to the game's Steam page, there "are over 100 magical skills related to survival, exploration, defense, transformation, control, [and] attack." With no set classes, there is a growth system for players and NPCs alike. Both melee and magical weapons can be forged and mastered. Magic will be used whether a player is hiding from an enemy, constructing a house, or claiming land by changing physical laws. 

How to Get Involved

Become a part of the conversation on Steam

Chronicles of Elyria

  • Developer: Soulbound Studios
  • Engines: Unreal 4, SpatialOS
  • Current Status: Production
  • Expected Release: 2017
  • Business Model: Buy to Play (Pay for Life)
  • Platform: Windows PC
  • Official Website
What It Offers

Chronicles of Elyria takes place in a medieval world where kingdoms, counties, and towns are run by players and NPCs alike. The game is an entirely open world where players must explore and settle in profitable areas to survive and thrive. Any griefers will be deterred by the law and jail time, which will consequently limit their playable life.  

What Makes it Different

Players start as a child in player- or NPC-run families. The game evolves over a 10-year storyline. Characters will never be offline with the help of programmable, offline character scripts. In addition, the game will run on a unique business model where the player must pay for a Spark for a new life every 10 to 14 months, when their character dies. 

How to Get Involved

Register an account on the official website, and check out the store to pledge your support for the game. Pledge a minimum of $40 to gain access to the full game upon launch. 

Crowfall

  • Developer: ArtCraft
  • Engine: Unity 5
  • Current Status: Pre-Alpha 4
  • Expected Release: TBA 
  • Business Model: Buy to Play
  • Platform: Windows PC
  • Official Website
What it Offers

Crowfall is described as a "thronewar simulator" MMO. There will be elements of strategy, politics, survival, and kingship in this game. Every player will have their own kingdom. Combat is action-based. 

What Makes it Different

There are no instanced dungeons in Crowfall. With many different elements, the game is diverse and can suit any player. There are no levels. Upon creation, players choose a unique character archetype, such as Confessor, Forgemaster, Frostweaver, or Myrmidon. Every skill can be accessed, but its use may change based on archetype. Skills must be raised to quality for a promotional class, which can vary greatly from one's original chosen class. Players can also learn select disciplines.

How to Get Involved

Register on the official website and pledge a minimum of $69 to gain access to scheduled pre-Alpha testing. 

Camelot Unchained

  • Developer: City State Entertainment
  • Engine: Unchained 
  • Current Status: In Development
  • Expected Release: TBA
  • Business Model: Subscription
  • Platform: Windows PC
  • Official Website
What it Offers

Camelot Unchained is a unique realm vs. realm MMO. Players choose one of three realms to join, which will influence their race and class choices. You can be a Tuatha, Hamadryad, Empath, Fianna, Jotnar, Stonehealer, and more. Players must fight for resources and land, and coordinates attacks and sieges against enemy realms. 

What Makes it Different

There will be no real world money shops in the game. Gear and supplies can't all be bought by one NPC -- players must find the masters of a profession to craft coveted items. The economy will be entirely player-run. All magic spells will be created by the player, and not the developer. Spell books and a set of runes are necessary.  

How to Get Involved

Register an account on the official website, become a part of the forum community, and pledge a minimum of $35 to receive Beta 2 access and the full game upon launch. 

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What do you think about these MMOs? Are you planning on playing any? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Published Apr. 8th 2017

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