Since Everquest, there has been several MMORPG’s to hit the market. All looking to be the next big thing. Some were good, some weren’t worth talking about. All looked to improve upon some of the flaws and complaints of EQ gamers. Could these games make a comeback? I think not, but sequels of a MMORPG can always have a chance of being the game that everyone want. Forget World of Warcraft for a minute, there are a few MMO’s that I liked that I think are a few fixes away from being a real contender if they decide to make a sequel.
This is the first game I played post Everquest. I remember the sci-fi setting feeling like a really good change of pace. There were some things done in this game that has been copied over and over by many MMOs afterwards, even a big portion of WOW has one of Anarchy Online’sbiggest features. Anarchy online was a good game, had lots of potential. It had a horrible launch. Problems with playing, logging into, and staying connected to the game lasted for a long time when this game released, ultimately causing this game to be forgotten by most. There was a little problem with Everquest that Anarchy online solved. In everquest, people camped monsters. If you had to kill a certain monster for an item you needed, you would sit there and kill the monster over and over until it gave you the item. The problem is that hundred of other people needed that same item so people would actually have to make a list of whose turn it is to kill the monster. It was a mess. What Anarchy Online did to solve this problem is ad “instanced” areas. If you had to kill a certain monster, the dungeon that the monster lived would be duplicated for every group that entered the dungeon. Did away with lines and waiting to kill monsters for items.
I think this game could release a sequel that could see some success if it fixed a few problems with the core game. When it came to stats, and building your character, there were just too many choices. The choices need to be narrowed down a bit. in Anarchy Online, It is easy to overwhelm yourself when it comes to building your character. Another problem I saw with Anarchy online was the very bland looking locations. the whole world need some more personality. There were plenty of character optimizations, other than updating the visuals of the characters, they were fine. Its just that the locations were all boring and plain.
Anarchy Online can be played for free - Click here for info
This game was really fun, but it had one game breaking flaw (more on that in a few minutes). The very best thing I liked about Shadowbane was the classes. There were a lot of different interesting classes. I played a Templar, a paladin style class that had fire damage magic spells and eventually wings that actually allowed flight. Then there was a thief class that you could build out to either be an offensive powerhouse, or a Sneaking/pickpocketing powerhouse. The classes in this game were unique, and they had abilities that you would think the class should have, not watered down abilities that made sure you were never tougher than the things you fought.
This game was PVP based, completely PVP based. Everyone could attack everyone. Thieves could actually still your stuff. Assassins could assassinate you. It was complete chaos. To balance the PVP, the game is set up so that you were forced to join a guild after a certain level. That guild could then build a kingdom. The kingdom would include merchants, trainers, guards, buildings, defenses, even areas around the castle to hunt. If you joined a big rich guild, you could finish leveling up your character all within the safe area that your kingdom owned. if you didn’t join a guild, then it was pretty hard to progress. If you found a good spot to hunt, chances are that spot is owned by a guild and they would kill you every time they saw you hunting there. If it wasn’t owned by any guild, then you were prime targets for thieves and assassins to kill you and take all your stuff, making it impossible to level your character. like I said it was chaos.
Now for the game breaking flaw. Guilds could attack and take over other guilds kingdoms, sounds like fun right? It is until you are part of a kingdom that was burned to the ground. You log in one day and you are in the middle of nowhere, all the buildings are gone, your guild is disbanded, and the players from the winning guild is killing you and other players as they log in. You finally get away and now you have nowhere to go. You aren’t part of any guild, all of the other guilds worth joining aren’t accepting members.
The visuals in Shadowbane was also horrible. but there is enough interesting aspects of the game that I think would make a good sequel if some of the flaws were fixed, along with the visuals.
Dark Age of Camelot
This game is probably the best game post Everquest. DAOChad a good PVP model, a good variation of classes and races and good action. The only problem I see is a problem that just about every game had post EQ (except WOW). No Dungeons!!! The way the game was set up, you pretty much fought NPCs to build your character up to fight PC’s as the endgame. Imagine if you took all of the instances out of WOW and replaced them with battlegrounds. Thats not really that fun for everyone. Hunting monsters and killing bosses is a huge part of the fun of MMO’s and DAOC lacked. Mind you, I didn’t play any of the expansions, some of those features may have been added. Other than that, I would say that I enjoyed DAOC a lot more than I enjoyed WOW. I would most like to see a sequel