In The Future There Will Be Grinding – An Overview Of Upcoming MMOs

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We all know about the current batch of MMOs. There’s the hugely popular fantasy one, the far less popular fantasy ones, the superhero one, the space one, the medieval one, and so on. However, on the horizon, there’s a fair number of newcomers looking to make an impact and perhaps garner some of the reflected glory that shines from World of Warcraft. As a result, I thought I’d take a look at what exactly is coming up, and speculate wildly on whether or not they’ll be any good. Join me, won’t you?

Champions Online

It looks as if the next couple of years will have the MMO community focusing on the superhero genre. Champions looks like it’ll be the best of these, coming from the original developers of City of Heroes, and is shaping up nicely thus far. It’s going for an MMO with reasonable graphics, which has my blessing, and it seems to be taking the lessons lerned from City of Heroes and improving this new brain child with the solutions. For example, they’ll be giving you a ‘transport power’ much earlier on in the game, to avoid the annoying trundling around the city when in between missions.

Despite these improvements, it looks fairly similar to City of Heroes. It’s not going to reinvent the game, let alone the genre, but it looks to accomplish what it’s setting out to do, and in doing so could get a decent amount of players behind it. That is, of course, unless the other major Superhero MMO undercuts it…

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DC Universe Online

The other major contender this time around is financed by the minds (or at least the wallets) behind superheroes such as Superman and Batman. Yep, DC are having a crack at the whole MMO thing. Originally, Marvel (the fellows behind Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men et al) were also creating an MMO, which was later cancelled and eventually became Champions Online. The idea behind DC Universe’s appeal seems to be mainly that you can interact with the superheroes from the comics – Superman and Batman will feature in the game as non-playable characters. However, this seems a bit pointless when you consider than if you attempt to make a character similar to those famous DC creations, it’ll get deleted. I doubt that many people are DC Comics nuts to the extent that they’ll keep playing a game because they occasionally will come across Batman in their missions.

Other than the appearance of these characters, the game seems to consist of a number of cities the players can exist in (Metropolis and Gotham being the main ones, obviously), but not much is known about the available powers or game structure further than it will adhere to the traditional levelling system of MMOs.

New Blizzard MMO

Not much is known about this new venture from the creators of World Of Warcraft. However, it has been stated that the new game will be of an entirely new IP, and not from the Warcraft or Starcraft universes on which Blizzard has relied upon for so long.

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Huxley

Huxley has been in development for quite a while. Originally hyped about before the Xbox 360, if I remember correctly, it’s a MMOFPS – a rare breed of game which attempts to fuse the popularity of FPS games with the commitment of MMOs. Despite apparently being released in the next couple of weeks for the Xbox 360 and PC, still not much has been revealed about how exactly Huxley will play. According to its creators, they want the action to be fast-paced (on a par with Unreal Tournament), which should set it apart from the rest of the MMO genre. It looks as though while the cities in Huxley will support over 5000 people, battles will take place in another area with up to 100 people on either side (on the PC version at least).

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