It’s been a pretty quiet September for MMOs (or at least the bunch that I’ve been following the buzz on). This probably isn’t surprising to a lot of you. Fall’s a huge time for story-based and action games, with many MMOs waiting until closer to the holiday season to release, be it first version or expansion. I did garner a few interesting tidbits, however, that some of you may be interested in!
What I Have My Eye on:
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Bioware’s story-driven MMO finally has a release date! Set to release December 20th, players have also been promised early-game access for preordering the game. Supposedly, preorders on all versions of the game will be limited (they claim for server stability reasons on launch-day), so if you’re planning on playing on launch, you may want to consider the preorder. I have my own reservations about the game, but I’ve loved the greater part of Bioware games and I’m in the market for a new MMO, so I grabbed a preorder on Amazon. With story missions (“flashpoints”) where all party members have a say in the events, I’m hoping it’ll be absolutely rife with co-opportunities.
Free For You:
City of Heroes
After several years of being the top dog of superhero MMOs, City of Heroes is taking the plunge and switching over to a Free-to-Play model. It’s likely this will be a smart move since many other subscription-based games that have switched to F2P (e.g. Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, etc.) have actually experienced an increase of profit under the latter model. Free Players can play up to max level, but a slightly more limited in their access to power sets and costume pieces than the VIP players (players who are still paying a subscription). They are also more limited in their social and account features like chat channels and auction house use (which is almost surely to stem the influx of gold spammers). Many of the discrepancies can be purchased through a micro-transaction shop, however.
I never really got into City of Heroes, but it sounds like now is a great time to jump on in if you were ever curious. The restrictions will probably only start to chafe if you get really involved in it. If you’re into superheroes, what’re you waiting for?
Hopefully this month will bring some more plentiful announcements and updates to MMOs as we move deeper into fall. Were there any exciting updates to any of the MMOs you’re playing, or have your eye on?