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PAX East 2011 MMO Roundup: What's On Your Radar?

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Posted March 24, 2011 - By Guest Writer






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Dragon Nest

PAX East saw a flood of exciting news this year. G4 was on the floor with their hands on every demo and preview they could cram in during their time in Boston. In case you missed any of the coverage, we’ve rounded up all the news, previews and reviews that focus on one of our favorite gaming genres, the MMO. Take a look at all of our coverage, and decide which multiplayer realm you're going to dive into.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic was the title everyone was lining up to see and BioWare delivered with a fully playable flashpoint group instance. G4 was there to get their hands on the keyboard and test drive the Republic tank, healer, and two dps classes that were available. Leah Jackson felt the ranged damage and healer classes at her command were very similar in playstyle to World of Warcraft and the gameplay was solid, but uninspired. Nikole Zivalich took on the role of a gun-wielding tank and found it a good fit for someone with first or third person shoot experience. Eric Eckstein jumped in with a lightsaber-wielding dps class and was pleasantly surprised that the gameplay was easy to understand. He was especially impressed with the storytelling that kicked off the mission. SWTOR is in closed friends and family beta with no announced launch date other than “not April.”

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 followed up its GDC unveiling of the thief class with a Q&A panel delving deeper into this upcoming MMOs innovative features. The devs talked about how, similar to RIFT, rewards for participating in dynamic world events will be scaled to the player’s involvement. Dungeons will have a story mode so the entire party experiences the same content and a repeatable mode that will allow you to explore different parts of the instance. PvP is not only the usual arenas, battlegrounds, and one-on-one dueling, but server vs. server in massive battles for bragging rights. Finally, they talked about the sidekick system that allows you to either temporarily drop your level to match a friend’s lower level or, alternately, bump up your buddies level to your own. If ArenaNet can pull that off, it will solve a long-running problem with MMOs: friends barred from playing together due to level differences. Guild Wars 2 is still in development with no announced launch date.

Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online previewed their latest major content update, Vol III, Book 3 Echoes of the Dead. This update continues the story of Middle-earth’s Rangers preparing the way for the Fellowship from Mirkwood on through Rohan. Four new instances and a new raid are introduced in Echoes, centered around Gaunt-lords striking out against the Free Peoples. Geared towards 3-person, 6-person, and 12-person teams, these instances take you back to familiar places such as the Shire, Forochell, and the Trollshaws. LotRO is currently free-to-play and the next announced expansion, Rise of Isengard, is currently slated for Fall.

Firefall PAX East 2011 Screenshots 

Firefall is a team-based, action-shooter MMOFPS. Think Team Fortress 2 Online. At PAX East, the G4 squad played through the latest demo by choosing from a Recon, Assualt, or Medic class and jumping into a map with an objective to shoot it out. Gameplay is fast and furious, and there is also a single-player mode for leveling up as well as rankings for team play. Firefall is set to launch by the end of this year.

Faxion GDC 2011 Screenshots

Faxion is a new PvP-centric MMO that just went into open beta. Choose you class and your allegiance to Heaven or Hell then duke it out with other online players in Limbo. Zones are designed around the theme of the Seven Seadly Sins, and when one side takes over a zone, they get access to the vendors and other features as long as they can hold it. Players can skill up while offline similar to EVE Online and can even use a mobile app to manage the skill queue. The game uses the free-to-play model to lure players into this timeless struggle.

Also showing on the floor of Pax East was a number of other up-and-coming as well as released MMOs. Nexon showed off Dragon Nest’s non-stop instanced game play. The publisher also previewed the next big update for its hit action-MMO Vindictus with its new level cap, new town, and new advanced crafting professions with a promise of a new playable class soon. Turbine showed not only the LotRO content but also the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons Online horror-themed, Update 9. Superhero MMO City of Heroes got its own PAX East panel that explored the upcoming Issue 20 update with its new mid-level raid content, the expansion of the Incarnate abilities, and and the new teaming system for the Incarnate trials.

That’s it for this year’s PAX East MMO news. The new MMO titles are rolling out fast and furious these days. Which one has caught your eye?

Written by: Dan O'Halloran

PAX East 2011 MMO Roundup: What's On Your Radar?
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