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MMORPGs of 2013

As 2013 comes to a close I want to reflect back on the MMOs I played this year.  It was a weird one for MMOs, and I think this restrospective is quite telling.

Ultima Online Forever

KGC Haven First House UOF

KGC First House UOF

I began the year playing UO Forever, a player-run shard.  Practically the entire Keen and Graev Community played together, and we met a dozen new friends.  I was reminded of how glorious it is to be able to focus on nothing but gathering materials and crafting.  In its prime, UO was able to provide such a fulfilling experience to so many different playstyles.  I was one of the top crafters on the entire server, placed the very first house, and became one of the richest players with the largest merchandise selection.  The highs of building a player city, and the lows of being ganked repeatedly by other players, were a great way to start the year.  This year’s adventure in UO lasted about 3 months.

Defiance Shadow War Objectives

Defiance was a flop for us.

Defiance

Graev and I were originally uninterested in Defiance.  Then, out of nowhere, we must have been bored enough to pay attention and get interested in playing.  We played the beta for a bit, and slightly after launch, and quickly realized it wasn’t for us.  We couldn’t get past how generic the game felt, and ultimately decided not to play longer than a few weeks.  I’m pretty sure this is the way most people felt.  Neat idea, pairing with a TV series and all, but overall “meh.”

 

Project 1999

KGC in Crushbone camping the Orc Trainer.

EverQuest Project 1999

My next stop this year was yet another player-driven MMO server: EQ Project 1999. I think I played twice this year… I’m still trying to remember.  I’m positive I played back in April, but I think I went back sometime during the Summer as well.  I played as a Dwarf paladin and a Gnome Enchanter, and rekindled my love for Norrath.

Together with members of KGC, we camped Crushbone Orcs, Crocs in Oasis, Aviaks in SK, all sorts of stuff in Kunark, the bowels of Guk, Sol A, and more.  I remembered why I love games that require players to group, and why it’s so awesome to have a massive world all about PvE.

FFXIV Christmas

Keen during FFXIV’s Christmas Event

Final Fantasy XIV

FFXIV launched in August, and for the last four months has been the MMO of choice for me and the community.  FFXIV started really strong, albeit more themepark than I had hoped.  The leveling content is solid, and perhaps one of the more polished MMO experiences outside of a Blizzard product.  The class system truly embraces the themepark model by allowing one character to essentially be everything.

Where FFXIV has fallen short for me and a lot of the members in our community is the the end-game.  FFXIV focuses on raiding the same bosses over and over, and for a while had a huge leap in difficulty between the grind and hardest encounters people wanted to see.

Thankfully patch 2.1 finally came out this month which added PvP and Housing. I confess myself disappointed by the incredibly high prices for housing and dumbed-down and unbalanced PvP.  Overall, I don’t know how much longer I am going to last in FFXIV if they don’t do more to make the game about Final Fantasy instead of about being a theempark.

As you can see, 2013 was… an off year for MMOs.  It makes sense if you think about it.   This year has been entirely about waiting for the next big thing.  EverQuest Next Landmark, WildStar and The Elder Scrolls Online all officially launch in 2014.

The best things to come out of MMOs for me in 2013 were the friends I’ve made.  I’ve made at least a dozen new friends — most now a big part of our gaming community — and hope to continue playing with them for many years to come.  That’s why I play MMOs, and even in a year like 2013 it’s nice to know that people still make these games worth playing.

I’m curious to hear your impressions of 2013′s MMOs.  What did you play?

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Comments

  1. Stopped Warhammer Online this spring when I realized they were going to can it.
    Started up in DAoC – freeshard Uthgard.Been going on some years and they are constantly adjusting With a patchgoal of 1.69.
    But With recent changes I have gone a bit off it..and restared playing Skyrim.

    2014..might see a freeshard Version of Warhammer Online which will be interesting to try.
    A New freeshard of DAoC- DAoC Origins-with a fresh start might be better than Uthgard.
    Main attraction is we all start from scratch rather that having to live with playing among superrich realmmates or high RealmRank opponents on Uthgard.

    ESO sounds Nice.

    Assuming it is too early for Camelot Unchained though..

  2. Although I had the rest of my army service this year, and lots of work, I’ve managed to have some longer runs in MMORPGs aswell.

    -From January to February, I played some LaTale, which I’ve been playing on and off for four years.
    -From March to July, I played Eden Eternal and Ragnarok Online 2 pretty much evenly.
    -Then came the hype for FFXIV: ARR, and from mid-August to November I played that pretty much all the time.
    - Finally, I had a month without MMORPG, and for the final week of the year I started to play Mabinogi. Goddamn, I remember when I first tried it, it wasn’t beginner friendly at all. Now I enjoy it the most!

    And, of course, this was only MMORPGs. Too much games on my Steam library waiting to be finished.

  3. EQMac, RIP

    I blasted through the WoW MoP content in a month or 2 earlier in the year

    Now I’m playing FFXIV. I am pretty much just logging in at this point to cap my myth points and do coil, 2.1 didn’t help me much at all. I don’t like PS or the hard mode dungeons as much as I liked WP.

    I’m not too excited about 2014 for MMOs. EQN/L looks interesting, but I’ll wait and see before I get hyped because of the f2p/cash shop scheme.

  4. FFXIV was a lot of fun for a while. Unfortunately, the combination of “every character can be everything” and “must complete storyline to proceed” pretty much killed any prospect of long-term play for me. If it was on some kind of Buy-To-Play model I’d certainly still be dabbling and it’s likely to be one of those MMOs that gets better slowly over time so I’ll probably re-visit on and off, but for now it’s off the table.

    Apart from those couple of months in FFXIV, pretty much the whole year has been about GW2. I don’t much like the direction they’ve taken and there are enough things wrong with just about every aspect of the game to fill a book, let alone a series of blog posts, but it’s just so damn comfortable. GW2 really is the MMO equivalent of a comfy chair in front of a log fire on a cold winter’s night.

    EQ2 remains a similar comfort choice but with almost a decade of content stacked up it’s more like living in a rambling old mansion with more rooms than you could ever possibly explore. One thing that will never happen in EQ2 is running out of things to do.

    Other than those three I don’t think I’ve invested a heavy amount of time in anything although I’ve popped my head into a lot more for a look around. Of next year’s offerings EQNLandmark is the only one I am certain to play and I don’t hold out any great hopes for that. EQNext, which I would be surprised to see before 2015, is the only new MMO that I am genuinely looking forward to playing out of more than curiosity and the opportunity for something fresh to blog about.

  5. Play UO Forever with the guild was a blast. Really enjoyed the few months there. Tried to keep remembering to refresh my houses every week but eventually forgot. Sucks

  6. Been MMO free this year ;) backed Camelot Unchained on kickstarter. Next year ESO looks horrible so big no for me.. CU Internal Test will start for me, that should be fun not as game but as building/helping test game. Thats about it, MMOs are really barren for me atm.