MMORPGs after WoW

There's speculation going on in a few forums that I read concerning what's next in MMOs after World of Warcraft. WoW has been running for more than a year and a half now, and while there are plenty of newcomers working their way up the levels, most folk hit the endgame wall a while back. My main - a warlock - hit 60 early this year, and while I've struggled to maintain interest, there's just not so much there any more.

Warhammer Online (WAR) and Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO) are the main contenders for attention as WoW starts to lose players. Members of my guild, and our allied guilds, are already starting to look to these as the source of future entertainment. It does look likely that we'll move as a group to a new game, after the beta-testers and first-footers establish which will suit us better.

The upcoming expansion will certainly hold interest for a while, and Blizzard have a chance, with it, to actually retain players that might otherwise go elsewhere. The key, I think, will be in the casual play. Estimates of the percentage of the player base that are raiders vary, but even the most generous has it at 20% - which leaves 80% of the population of any given server with very little to do after they finish levelling.

There are a few things that would keep my interest, certainly: player housing, more complex crafts, good solo and single-group quests, less grinding, and more world PvP. We'll see how many of those are fulfilled by the WoW expansion - and how many by LotRO and WAR.

Posted by Drew Shiel at July 18, 2006 3:44 PM

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