[E3 Best of the Rest]: WH40K, Black Prophecy, Jumpgate Evolution, Final Fantasy 14

Of the other upcoming MMOs showing at E3, these are the ones which caught my eye.

Final Fantasy 14

Why you want to play it:

  • It’s Final Fantasy. It will also be very pretty.
  • Squeenix have promised to build on their previous MMO experience with FF11. (This may or may not be a good thing depending on how you liked the previous game.)
  • They promise a very flexible job system, where it’s possible to change class within the game … or even create your own.
  • Intriguing Guild Leve system, which sounds as though it involves instanced quest areas, tailored to your group.
  • Will be possible to level as a crafter.

Why don’t you want to play it:

  • Is your PC a beast? If not, don’t apply. Squeenix have thoughtfully released an official benchmark program which will tell you just how much your setup fails. (I wish more MMO devs would do this actually, it’s nice to know if you can actually run a program before you buy.) There are plans to release the game on consoles also – still awaiting more information on this.
  • Story sounds incoherent.
  • It’s more of the same old fantasy MMO. Favourite FF races have been reskinned, there’s the obligatory tiny people, elves, catgirl race, etc. The costumes actually aren’t anywhere near as bad as most asian MMOs, so that’s something.

What’s the magic number?

  • 2010. Yup, they plan to release this year!

Where can I see more?

Now I like Final Fantasy and I’m intrigued to play this game, but since it looks as though my PC would struggle, it’s on the back burner for me. Having said that, I do appreciate the availability of the benchmark. Apparently they’re about to go into beta, and as I said above, they’re still talking about a 2010 release.

This is probably the largest of the MMOs to be released this year.

Jumpgate Evolution

Why you want to play it:

  • Space battles, dogfighting, all that cool stuff you can’t do in EVE because the autopilot does it instead.
  • 3-way PvP. Massive space combat focus – that’s what they’re aiming for.
  • Jumpgate. It’s also a sequel to an older MMO. Fans of the latter may be interested.

Why you don’t want to play it:

  • All PvP all of the time? We don’t yet know.
  • Too twitch-based for the typical MMO crowd?
  • Previous version has apparently been completely retooled. Whether this means good or bad things we’ve yet to see.

What’s the magic number?

  • 3. Fans of DaoC will remember that players raved about the PvP setup in the game, and in particular that there were three factions. This game also uses the three faction setup. Could it work again?

Where can I see more?

I’m interested in Jumpgate Evolution but it does sound as though the emphasis is increasingly on PvP. I still think a good space combat simulator with PvP territory control and fast, responsive gameplay should be able to find an audience (for example, all the fanboys who are currently agitating because SWTOR may not release with space combat). If they can pull this off I think they’ll do well. Good luck to them.

Black Prophecy

Black Prophecy is another space combat PvP style MMO. We don’t know a whole lot about this one although they did release some information about how players will be able to design and customise their own ships.

There is an E3 trailer but I’m not sure what state the demos are in. Black Prophecy is intended to be free to play (or at least, no subscription required) but obviously no final information about the pricing yet.

You can find the official website here.

Covers similar ground to Jumpgate, may the best game win.

Warhammer 40k

*sigh* One flashy trailer does not a game make.

However, THQ has a good track record and has made some popular RTS games based on the same IP. I’m not entirely sure how great a traditional MMO WH40k can really make –- it really is an exceedingly grim setting, plus of course all the trademark teenboy-friendly Games Workshop stylings (read: stupid armour, spikes, sexism, etc). But there’s plenty of scope for THQ to produce something genre-bending that could make a lot of fans very happy.

Here’s the Warhammer 40k Online fansite.

This is the official site, but not much on it yet.

Fallout Online

They don’t even have a trailer yet, just a website. You can however sign up for something, I don’t know what because the flash was loading very slowly and I couldn’t be bothered to wait and see.

I’m intrigued at the current popularity of post-apocalyptic games. But again, a Fallout MMO would make a lot of fans very happy.

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