Top 5 Upcoming MMOs of 2014

By Jeff Francis
top 5 upcoming mmos of 2014

While 2013 was somewhat of a quiet year in terms of big, AAA mmo games being released, 2014 is shaping up to be a big year for online gamers. There are a number of big mmos planning to launch in the upcoming year that are pushing the hype meter into overdrive. Will they live up to the hype and grand expectations from the players? Who knows, but the truth is that 2014 is going to be a banner year for new mmorpgs. For a quick rundown of some of the biggest games coming out, here is our top five upcoming mmos of 2014.

Elder Scrolls Online
Our first of the top five upcoming mmos of 2014 is Elder Scrolls Online. Personally, this is the mmorpg that I'm looking forward to the most. The Elder Scrolls game have been amazing since their inception and both Oblivion and Skyrim sucked way too many hours from my life with their amazing gameplay and depth. The insane amount of backstory and lore in ESO will fully immerse players into the continent of Tamriel. While the mmo does have classes, it is open enough where you can use any armor or weapons that you choose, which helps deflate being locked into a rigid role from the very beginning before you can fully grasp the nuances of the game. Combat should be gangbusters as it follows the franchise's right hand/left hand mode with mouse buttons activating either hand. Players will find it refreshing not to see question marks floating above npcs as the game has a more organic approach, requiring players to actually talk to denizens to pick up quests and find out what's going on. Elder Scrolls Online is one of the big mmos looking to bring back subscription-based gaming.

WildStar screenshot

WildStar
WildStar, like Elder Scrolls Online, is also launching as a subscription-based mmo. WildStar makes our list of top five upcoming mmos of 2014 for a variety of reasons. First, there is a dearth of solid sci-fi mmorpgs on the market, so the addition of WildStar is a pleasant one. The class/path system is unique where while classes can be linked to certain races, the four paths are open to everyone. Depending upon which path a player takes, additional content is opened up for them. An example would be a player following the settler path creating structures that other players can use and getting a cut of the profits. Players with different paths can team up and share their content. Combat looks amazing with a great deal of flexibility where you can react to what your opponents are doing. PvP should sizzle as players can create their own warplots and go to war against other players and their warplots. Most of all, WildStar has a humorous tone to it that should keep the mood light and the gameplay flowing.

EverQuest Next
Players will be flocking to a parallel version of Norrath in EverQuest Next. Fans of the EverQuest games are practically hyperventilating waiting for this mmo to be released. What is really fascinating with this game is the sandbox nature of the game combined with the many standard features we expect from a top-notch mmorpg. The many classes of EverQuest have been streamlined and are capable of being mixed to create the character you truly want to play. What has me excited is the destructible nature of the game's world. Everything in EverQuest Next can be  destroyed, even the ground beneath your feet. Want to tunnel through a mountain to reach a room in the dungeon without fighting through a whole host of monsters? Well, now you can. Players will impact not only the environment, but also other components of the game's world, such as changing the gods themselves.  Sandbox plus EverQuest plus destructible world equals good times for players.

Star Citizen screenshot

Star Citizen
Space sims are practically considered a dead genre, with only EVE Online filling that particular niche. Fortunately for us gamers, Star Citizen is coming our way from Chris Roberts, the legendary game designer of Wing Commander and Privateer. This pick on our top five upcoming mmos of 2014 had a very successful Kickstarter campaign and looks to launch later this year. (Overall, Star Citizen hit $36 million in funding!) Star Citizen promises a massive sandbox experience of space exploration and combat. You can even play in an offline mode if you wish. The ships feature real physics (if a port engine is damaged, that will impact how your ship maneuvers) and the range of ships comprise everything from single-person fighters to massive carriers. How players choose their allegiance is up to them. They can work with Earth as a Citizen or go rogue and fight the powers that be or even turn pirate against other players. Tech lovers will go crazy over the peripherals supported by the game, such as rudder pedals or flight chairs. There's even virtual reality where you can use the Oculus Rift headset/visor to move your viewpoint just by moving your head, leaving your hands free to use a joystick. Chris Roberts was synonymous with realistic space combat and exploration and now that time has come again.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
Our last item on our top five upcoming mmos of 2014 is the latest expansion for World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor. While not a full game in its own right, I felt it warranted inclusion as it will make huge waves when it is launched sometime in 2014. As WoW is still the biggest mmorpg on the market, anything they release is of vital importance for online gaming. Fans of the Warcraft franchise are stoked over Warlords of Draenor as it brings WoW back to its rts roots, lore wise. The character models are more detailed and tougher looking to reflect the original models. Players will be able to build and upgrade their own base, called the garrison that has different building types, its own type of quests, followers, and even pets and gear. There's a ton of new content as a new continent, Draenor, is introduced that is harsher and a far cry from the last expansion, Mists of Pandaria, and hundreds of new quests. The level cap will also be raised to 100 and there's even a PvP zone as well as new battlegrounds. It looks like Blizzard is packing an awful lot into Warlords of Draenor.

There you have it, my friends, our top five upcoming mmos of 2014. It looks like it'll be a tremendous year for mmo players as a number of huge titles are set to launch. Even better, there's a nice diversity amongst the upcoming games to appeal to many different types of gamers. See you in the starting zones.

Jan072014

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