5 MMO’s Still Going Strong In 2016January 28, 2016
Many different MMO’s have come and gone, but some have stayed around due to a loyal player base and a large amount of updates from the creators. Here is a list of 5 MMO’s that have managed to stay alive in 2016.
Lord of the Rings Online came out in 2007 from developer Turbine, right during the height of MMO popularity. It is based on the popular book series of the same name by J.R.R Tolkien and sets the story of the game at the same time as Frodo and his company are trying to deliver the ring to Mordor. The game has multiple classes, races, professions and a dungeon system to help you meet up and clear out instances with friends or random others. Originally the game was subscription based where you would pay a monthly fee to play, but change to free to play with micro-transactions. So if you really want to live your dream of going on an adventure as a Hobbit Burger, this is your game.
LotRO has a pretty healthy population and an anticipated expansion is set to release this year to help finish off the in game story.
Star Trek Online was released in 2010 and had a pretty low key release. The original thought of the game was that it was nice to be in the world the Roddenbery created, but many aspects of the game were “bland and shallow”. The game also was released with a subscription based model, but quickly changed to free to play nearly a year later. Even though the game had a rough start, the players who are playing (approx 3.2 million worldwide) have kept it going and popular. Cryptic Studios who created the game has also been busy keeping the game updated with its 11th content update released this past October 2015.
One large difference in this game than any other MMO out there is that you not only get to choose from one of over two dozen canonical Star Trek races, but also you get the ability to create your own unique alien character for you to play. There is also space combat, ship upgrade and creation, and user made quests that players can choose to take and play through.
FF14:ARR has to have one of the most interesting histories as an MMO. Originally Final Fantasy XIV was released on September 30th, 2010 to terrible reviews and negative player feedback. The game was a followup to the (still active) first Final Fantasy MMO, Final Fantasy 11 which came out for PS2 and PC in 2002. Compared to FF11, FF14 was a big step back in terms of stability of the game, and how open and fun it was supposed to be. Many critics had said the game was released before it was even finished, just so they could get something out there to compete with the other popular MMO’s that were currently out there.
Due to all this negative press, and the fact the game was terrible, SquareEnix decided to do something drastic, and very beneficial to the game… BLOW IT ALL UP.
On November 1st, 2012 a final revision was put into the game and invited every player into a massive final battle to try and stop Bahamut from destroying Eorzea. This event lasted until the 11th of November and the servers were shut down, with a promise of something grand that would be released eventually.
On August 27th, 2013 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was released, and it was the polished fun game that the players wanted from the beginning. The game had fun classes, a solid crafting system, dungeons, raids, live events on the map that anyone in the area could join in on, and a pretty decent story to back it all up. The game does have a subscription model where you have to pay every month to play the game, but with the amount of updates and the sheer beauty of the game, no one is complaining that you have to pay to play.
Even though the game almost died, SquareEnix did all it could to make it one of the top MMO’s around.
What happens when you mix Star Wars, and Bioware? You get a fully voiced MMO, with immersive story lines and an ethics system that will pit Light against Dark. SW:TOR is set 300 years before the Knights of the Old Republic games, and approx 3500 years before the Star Wars movies. The story follows the two factions The Galactic Republic (Jedi) and the Sith Empire during the aftermath of the Great Galactic War where both factions (Jedi and Sith) reclaim their homeworlds and prepare for more battle.
SW:TOR is different and special due to the amount of RPG elements that Bioware has put into the game and the large focus on story it has compared to other MMO’s. Each class has its own story line, choices, and outcomes throughout the quests from beginning to end. There are also differences between the stories dependent on which race, and which sex you choose as your character. You also have a very solid companion part of the game that allows a companion to follow you, and fight with your during the game. You also have the choice to set your affinity with them, and eventually (if you play your cards right) have them fall in love with you.
The game also has a strong PVP community, guilds, the ability to create your own homes, dungeons, crafting, space battles where you can also create/upgrade your own ship, and raiding.
One of the best parts of the game is not just the game itself, but the beautiful cutscenes that have been created for the game, which are some of the best I have seen in any game.
SW:TOR also just had a new expansion release lately and was available for free too all subscribers to the game. There is also a free to play option in this game with microtransactions, that allow you to only get the parts of the game you want, and leave the rest alone. It is a very nice in between to those who want a little bit more from the game, but do not want to spend the 14.99/mo subscription fee.
The granddaddy and king of all MMO’s is obviously on this list.
World of Warcraft is the game that introduced most people to MMO’s, and made it popular to play them in the first place. WoW was released on November 23rd, 2004 and has not stopped creating and bringing more to the world of MMO’s. It is based on the RTS games developed by Blizzard in the 90’s, and used it’s rich lore to create a living world that players could explore and quest though.
World of Warcraft has been the staple MMO since it has been released with it being parodied and borrowed from multiple times though the years by popular culture and other games. WoW has been parodied in South Park, The Simpsons, various commercials, and was even used to sell Toyota trucks at one point.
WoW has created some of the staple things that all MMO’s seem to now have such as dungeon finders, easy raiding, auction houses (or try your luck at Ruby Fortune, in game mini games, collectible pets, and the ability to change your characters look with a transmog system.
WoW may not have the numbers they once had in 2008, but still holds a mighty large player base that still dwarfs all other MMO’s out there. This year they are set to release their latest expansion pack Legion, and it will be sure to entice those that may have let their subscription run out, sign up again to check out everything that is new with the game.
If you are looking for a place to start with MMO’s I suggest starting with World of Warcraft and do the trial, it is fun and a great way to get introduced to MMO’s.