Cataclysm catastrophy

We’ve all heard of the announcement from Blizzard confirming the release of Cataclysm in 2010. Since it’s still pretty early into 2010, this  time frame can be anything up to 10 months, although I doubt it’ll be coming out at the end of the year. But if Blizzard’s track record serves any indications, you can probably expect Cataclysm to hit the store maybe in the last quarter of this year.
Now the big question, what will we do in game to tide us over till the expansion? Bear in mind there’s a strong possibility Blizzcon will take place sometime in October. This gives us 8 months before Blizzcon and if they launch the expansion after that, it’ll be 9 months till we see Cataclysm.
We know there’ll be another patch coming with some new pve and pvp content as well as the patch 4.0 before the expansion, as been confirmed by a blue post in the forum. Now everyone is speculating about the next patch. Personally, I think it’ll be another Zul’ something raid, like with all previous expansions. Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman both came out as the last patch of content before expansion. Is this going to be enough to make you stay in the game until expansion? Arthas is not going to survive too much longer in hard mode. Will this lull in game drive players to try other MMOs coming out this year? Let’s take a look at what other MMOs are expected to come out this year.

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic. It’s Star Wars, the fan base is already there, although it’s rumoured the game won’t be out until 2011, you never know if they’ll make a big push to get this game out if they learn the launch date of Cataclysm, to get a head start over Blizzard and lure the players away from WoW.
  • Guild Wars 2. It’s a free MMO (no monthly fee, just have to buy the disks) and plays just like WoW. If WoW didn’t exist, Guild Wars would have a much bigger audience, the game is solid and plays well. Depending on the changes they make for 2, this might be something to draw players in since there’s no subscription fee involved.
  • Lego Universe. Building on the success of all the Lego games out for the consoles, the younger players will feel more at home playing this as well as parents who enjoys MMO and would like to play with their children.
  • APB: All Points Bulletin. Like GTA but in MMO form. This game looks interesting from what I can see so far. Cops vs robbers with loads of car chases. Could prove to be a dark horse this year. And it’s written by Realtime Worlds, the potential is there, but no one knows how it plays, going to keep a close eye on this game.
  • Final Fantasy XIV. Having jumped ship from Final Fantasy XI online to WoW myself, FFXI will always have a soft spot in my heart. Blighted by the lack of new ideas for their expansions and the grindy nature of Japanese MMO, the core of the game is still top notch. One that I’ll certainly try when it comes out. (They’re currently accepting Beta testing applications).
  • DC Universe Online. Champions Online was a disappointment, but DC Universe will have proper super heroes and villains to fight alongside with. Can corner the super hero market and maybe draw others in too.
  • Need for Speed World.  No idea how a racing game can turn into an MMO, but there are millions of Need for Speed fans out there. Could be fun joining a racing world if you’re into driving games. (they’re also taking applications for beta testing from their site).

There are some strong MMO schedule to come out this year, but whether it’ll draw players away from WoW remains to be seen. Or maybe Blizzard is confident in their loyal fanbase and don’t really see the need to push out games faster and expect everyone to just sit around and wait till they feel the game is ready. The younger players won’t attach themselves to a brand as easily as the older gamers, WoW is probably the only Blizzard game they have played. Will this “the game is ready when we feel it’s ready” approach have any repercussions to Blizzard seeing how many MMOs are coming out this year? The exodus before an expansion isn’t anything unusual, while they always return to WoW once the expansion is out, but partly because there isnt any competition out there at the time. But with titles like Star Wars and Final Fantasy, if they can provide a richer and more rewarding enviroment, it’s not inconceivable that the players will stick with it instead of returning to WoW.

Are you feeling a little jaded with WoW and which upcoming MMO piqued your interest? Final Fantasy XIV is definitely on my list and APB should be something to look forward to.

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~ by pulverise on February 14, 2010.

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