The year of 2016 has seen a huge increase in players coming back to their favorite MMORPG titles. Obviously, the biggest return has been to World of Warcraft with its new amazing expansion -- Legion. We all remember how Blizzard lost half of its subscribers just a year ago, and now they register numbers as high as over 10 million.
The other two games that strongly retain their playerbase are Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2, both having over 7 million subscribers. And some new titles have also seen some success, such as Black Desert Online and Blade & Soul. However, their numbers are not even close to the tried-and-true giants of the MMORPG scene.
Does this mean that there is no room for new massive multiplayer games anymore? Not at all! There are actually many great projects waiting to be released in 2017. Some of them are still in development, some are in closed alpha or beta stages, but all of them should be ready to see the light of the day next year. And some of them can certainly be played for free.
Here are the 11 most anticipated MMORPGs of 2017 that you should be looking forward to.
Revelation Online has been in development for the seven long years, and finally it will be officially released worldwide sometime in early 2017.
Currently, you can sign up for a closed beta and see what the game offers.
The world of Revelation includes a whole set of quests in the air, on the ground, and under the water -- all of which become progressively more difficult. The story is full of surprises and the characters are some of the most bizarre you have ever seen in any MMORPG title.
It also includes the standard PvP arena, dungeon raids, crafting and trading systems, and other typical MMO game modes. Despite the lack of new ideas, Revelation Online looks very impressive and it will definitely find its audience.
Although Lost Ark is another clone of Diablo, it is extremely well done. It has been in development for the last two years and is set to be released early-to-mid 2017. The game is now only available in South Korea, and if the closed beta is successful there, it will be opened to the rest of the world.
The most interesting thing about Lost Ark is that all areas within the open world of the game are fully available from the get go. However, some of the areas can be restricted if you take specific quests to accomplish.
Lost Ark has a strong PvP component with several types of arenas for both small and massive battles between the in-game guilds. Another cool thing is the possibility to play card games in the taverns, which is truly a great addition to any modern RPG game.
MU Legend is a sequel-prequel to MU Online that takes you a thousand years prior to the events of the first game. It has been in development since 2009 and is currently open for closed beta registrations.
The game combines both the elements of MOBA and MMORPG, which makes it a truly ambitious project. It introduces four new classes: War Mage, Dark Lord, Whisperer, and Blader. All classes have various abilities and skills that allow for some really creative hybrid builds.
MU Legend offers two types of PvP arena battles: 1v1 and 10v10. Also, there is a separate mode for guild battles. This one has launched and can be played for free.
Chronicles of Elyria is a truly original project -- it is an MMORPG with sandbox elements and unusual approach to character development system. The heroes not only level-up and learn skills, but also gradually mature by getting gray hair and becoming one step closer to death. Hence, the business model that allows you to pay for the life of a character until it dies.
The world of Chronicles of Elyria is reminiscent of medieval times with all their glorious castles and pristine nature. Now, imagine that there are no classes in the game -- you create a character and develop it in any way you like. You can become a king, a simple farmer or even a witcher -- it’s up to you.
The project has been kicked off with the help of the Kickstarter campaign and is currently awaiting for the closed beta to start. You can register and wait for your invitation right now. It is really an unusual project and that’s what makes it so interesting.
Lineage Eternal has been in development hell for a very long time. It was promised to be released this year -- but as we can see even today it still didn’t manage to get to the closed beta stage. The fans are furious!
The developers once again promise to deliver the game next year, but should we trust them on this? Probably yes, since any further delay would simply kill the buzz for one of the most anticipated games ever.
It is interesting to note that Lineage Eternal: Twilight Resistance almost has nothing to do with the two original games of the cult MMORPG, but takes place 200 years after the event of the first game in a completely different setting.
The game will have an isometric view (just like the original Lineage), and each zone will accommodate up to 1000 players at the same time with the possible PvP battles of 40v40 and 100v100. Lineage Eternal introduces a completely new interactive system called “Drag and Hold” that allows for a very simple yet effective way of controlling your character.
All the dungeons and raids will be procedurally generated, so you will never stumble upon the exact same location twice. We’ll see if the mixture of old and new ideas will bring any benefit to the game, but that’s going to be clear only next year.
Peria Chronicles will be really interesting for all manga and anime fans, as it utilizes cel-shading technology, which makes everything look like… well, like manga. To be honest this MMORPG does look very beautiful -- just watch the trailer below.
The game won’t bother you with building tasks, but instead structures will naturally appear in the places where groups of players gather in big numbers. Every character will have a bunch of monster sidekicks, which means that it tries to appeal to Pokemon fans, as well.
There is a voting system in the game that allows for guilds to vote for new players or how to punish the naughty ones. Overall, it’s full of fresh ideas and ought to put a smile on your face.
Here are a few interesting facts about Dark and Light:
As you see, it has quite a history -- but all this will be finally over next year when the game hits the shelves. Dark and Light has a huge world with a total area of 25,000 square miles. No wonder the developers even included the terraforming technology that allows you to change the biomes from cold to hot and vice versa.
Another cool thing about Dark and Light is that the day and night in the game change in real-time, as synchronized with your world clock – hence the title of the game. The characters will starve and get cold, so the survival component is very strong here. Other than that, this is your typical third-person MMORPG in a classical fantasy setting.
Here is something different for you – an action MMORPG from the developers of Revelation Online. Twilight Spirits is a hack-and-slash game with tons of character customization, hence the RPG label. The game utilizes a never-before-scene graphics engine called Nirvana that makes everything look and move incredibly smoothly.
The main goal of the game is to kill as many dungeon bosses as possible, so the core component of Twilight Spirits is PvE. However, there is one mode dedicated to PvP, and that is Guild Battles. Currently, this game is considered a title that will change not only how we see action MMORPG games, but hack-and-slash games in general.
This mysterious Kickstarter project is still deep in the development and testing stage, but there are rumors that late 2017 is the time when we will see Crowfall in its full glory.
The world of Crowfall is divided into many segments, where each of them has its own separate campaign. Every next campaign becomes progressively harder, and the developers promise that they will take up to several months to finish.
This is a cloud-based MMORPG that hosts different rules for different worlds, where guilds and factions can create their own challenges for others to try out. The Voxel Farm graphics engine will be well utilized for these purposes, as it allows for procedurally-generated areas and structures. The destructibility system is also promised to be spectacular.
Tiger Knight is a historical action MMORPG in the vein of Mount & Blade. The coolest thing about Tiger Knight is that it is not fantasy-based, but accurately depicts the ruling period of the Han dynasty of the Chinese Empire (221–206 BC).
The game utilizes a new and adapted Unreal Engine 3 and looks absolutely fantastic. Each player will be given a squad of soldiers rather than just one playable character to be used in the battles of epic proportions. So, can you imagine a PvP of 200 vs. 200? Well, that’s what you will get in Tiger Knight.
You got it right -- Bless is still not available in the NA/EU regions. Many rumors have been circulating the web in the first quarter of 2016 about the beginning of the closed beta test, but it didn’t happen after all. Finally, last week the developers addressed its fans, and here is what they said about the upcoming release (read the full text here):
“As explained in our status update the US/EU release of BLESS has been pushed due to some rework being done by our friends at Neowiz to enhance player’s experience.”
This means that we need to wait for at least another six months to be able to play one of the most anticipated MMORPGs of the year. If you still aren’t familiar with the game, then take a look at the trailer below.
What other anticipated MMORPG releases would you like to see included in this list? Share them in the comments section.