2009 Predictions

I thought I did a 2008 predictions post, but I guess not, so welcome to the first annual “throw darts at the board” Official 2009 MMO predictions.

WoW: All players will burn through WotLK faster than they did TBC, increasing the churn rate. WoW will launch in new areas of the world and count those players towards its own overall sub number (despite more than half of those not being full-paid subs), which counters the effects of the above and WoW retains its 11 million ‘subs’. The new raid content will be beaten the day it is released live by top guilds, but it will be considered tuned ‘correctly’ despite the churn. More daily grinds in 09.

WAR: Mythic steals CCP’s stackless I/O tech and Fortress sieges without lag become a reality. The Choppa and Slayer classes are added, and the game overall is ‘fixed’, with balance becoming the never-ending debate. Keeps gain the functionality they have in DAoC, along with some new features. WAR continues as the #2 sub MMO in the US/EU.

LoTRO: Replaces EQ2 as the ‘other’ fantasy PvE game in town, and continues to improve monthly. The overall effects of MoM are seen as a huge long-term positive for the game, and take its focus in that direction, with more legendary items and complex classes. The bread and butter book quests continue to be the best PvE in MMOs.

SOE and EQ2: Not much will change for EQ2, as 2009 will being ‘more of the same’, which will be embraced by the core players. Thanks to Station Access it will remain a nice option, yet it will concede more players as the engine continues to get more dated. FreeRealms will launch, and no one above the age of ten will notice. It certainly won’t be the MMO jesus SOE is praying it will be, but rather will become another free-to-play cartoon. The Agency will flop, as MMO players will reject the FPS-lite gameplay.

AoC: Closed before we see 2010.

EVE: Continues to grow, with avatars in stations bringing in many new players. Most leave once they fly out to low-sec and get podded. EVE continues to be the one MMO that defies all of the ‘WoW or bust’ logic, and gives hope to anyone looking for a different and yet successful MMO.

Free-to-play MMOs: They continue to be pumped out at dime-a-dozen rates, each a bit more anime than the last. Without a AAA representative, they remain in the same spot as they have been in 2008, an MMO afterthought or ‘niche’. The few gems in the crowd have difficulty finding an audience due to the overall perception of free-to-play games.

RMT: Again as in 2008, RMT is kept to buying ponies or cute dresses, though all games in the MMO graveyard (Station Access) gain some form of RMT. At least one major MMO will make a legitimate push into full-on RMT, giving us the NGE of 2009.

17 Responses to 2009 Predictions

  1. Werit says:

    I don’t think Stackless I/O is the cure-all people make it out to be. Eve still has lag problem. Also, Mythic would have to pretty much re-write everything, which is highly doubtful.

  2. Ravious says:

    Any thoughts on Aion or Guild Wars 2?

  3. Swift Voyager says:

    In regard to Eve, walking in stations will bring in a few new players. However, the effect of the deal with Atari to put Eve back on store shelves this year will be a much larger factor. This will be a good year for low sec pirates and high sec can flippers indeed. Unless CCP decide to raise the monthly price again.

    Any thoughts on whether Pirates of the Burning Sea will survive 2009? I’m surprised to hear that they’re still adding content. Since nobody ever talks about them at all, I’d say things don’t look good, but they haven’t closed down yet, so you never know.

  4. mutantmagnet says:

    Eve has lag problems but now fights over 400 players is becoming tolerable and you don’t sit around waiting for modules to load in 20 minutes.

    I thought these predictions were basically safe bets but I find the AoC one to be really out there. It has lost a lot of people but has it lost so much it doesn’t even have around 200k subs? If it is maintaining that much I don’t see why FUncom would bother scrapping the project.
    What’s more likely to happen is that their plans for “the Secret World” get altered significantly.

  5. saylah says:

    Having now played a children’s focused MMO (Wizard 101), I think you’re very wrong about Free Realms. I encounter many adults in W101 and the game play maturity isn’t much affected by the original target audience. It is this one game that opened my eyes to the fact that I might actually enjoy FR so I’m now following it’s development.

    I have to agree with Swift that walking in stations is going to bring more people to EVE. If they continue their efforts to easing new player’s introduction to the game, more trials will become subscriptions. I hope for good things for CCP just on general principle that they tried something unique and I want to see them rewarded for those efforts so that they continue down that path.

  6. [...] year, the blogging community has some more interesting predictions up, but I am caught up in the predictions thing now, so I have to display [...]

  7. Lars says:

    But what will walking in stations bring? Besides, you know, walking… in stations. How will it be integrated into gameplay?

    If you can’t do anything that you can’t already do by clicking on the little icons on the sidebar, it’ll be pointless because the icon takes less time than running around a 3D space and while it would be neat to see your avatar for a day or two after that everyone would go back to the icon shortcuts.

    Its not like they are going to add pew pew boarding FPS shooter action to the game, and if they did, that would irritate all the people who just want to be spaceships.

    If its just a social space where you can walk around and play mini-games and wave at other avatars, I can hardly see that attracting people. I mean, people who want THAT are probably already playing Second Life.

  8. syncaine says:

    Thoughts on Aion: It’s made by NCSoft, so either it won’t launch at all, or its going to be delayed. Honestly though, I’ve read nothing about it.

    GW2: Same boat, read little about it. Might give it a shot, although I’ve never been a fan of GW myself. Not enough MMO for me. I’ve heard that GW2 is going to be more MMO-like, but we will see.

    EVE stuff: Like I said, EVE will grow. My point was that the new avatars, and the retail boxes, will bring in WoW players, not MMO fans. WoW players jump ship after a month, because the MMO is not WoW. It will gain fans from other MMOs, and become a better game overall, but it won’t suddenly become WoW-accessable or anything. That’s a good thing for EVE players, but won’t work for the masses.

    PotBS: I’m really hoping they continue with the game, and stick to what it does well. I could see the game being EVE-like in growth, because I think the core behind it is solid, with a bunch of trash tacked on (avatar combat, busted economy, poorly planned endgame). Fixed up, PotBS could be a blast to jump in and sail around for a bit.

  9. Eve_podder says:

    sycaine

    why so down on world of warcraft ? do you have any indication that the new expansion is worse than TBC ? i know you are WAR fan but please dont dish WOW without real facts to back you up

  10. [...] Casual is a bit looser, I think, but he’s got a few good ones. I think his tone about RMT isn’t very useful, that said. Cracks like “one major MMO [...]

  11. [...] ist die Zukunft. Interessante Prognosen für 2009. Tags » Autor: Dirk Datum: Sonntag, 4. Januar [...]

  12. [...] everyone else is playing the MMO prognostications game. Can we play, too? Read on for WorldIV’s predictions for each of MMORPG.com’s most [...]

  13. Is the Stackless I/O basically racks of SSDs or is it something more complicated? The strategic use of SSDs can significantly improve performance.

    http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=517

    There is a little video from sun here, not seen it all but worth a look if you are bored,

    http://blogs.sun.com/storage/entry/flash_performance_in_storage_systems

  14. Swift Voyager says:

    They are referring to stackless software IO.

    They have been using advanced solid state drives for a long time now. They did a huge upgrade to the SSD systems last year in fact. Here’s a quote from slashdot from an article last year. They’ve done more upgrades since then:

    Magnus: Yes, but having 1000 people combat in the same system, is a massive requirement on the servers. Today they weigh two tons, the whole cluster weighs two tons. There’s still a lot of work being done, we’re still implementing new optimizations for the client and the server, and the hardware it’s running on, we can’t get any better hardware, so we have to focus on the code, so there’s a lot of effort to allow people to have these big battles.

    Slashdot: Excellent. I know you’re probably disinclined to give out exact details, but for the technology nerds, for the server nerds, can you give any details about what you’re running the game on. You mentioned the weight, I mean what are some of your specs?

    Magnus: For instance, the we don’t have hard disks on our database server. Those are solid-state harddisks, which are only previously only been used for military applications, those are extremely high output, they’re called RAMSANS, and that’s one applications. We’re now moving everything to 64 bit architecture. Everything is running on IBM hardware. IBM has been a really great partner for us to work with, so we get the latest hardware from them as soon as they can possibly deliver it. We’re always updating the hardware so we invest and have invested many many millions of dollars just on the hardware side.

    Slashdot: And uhh… i’m not sure this is a question you’d be all that interested in answering, but there was one gentleman who was very interested in Stackless Python, and how that’s worked out for you? Do you find that it still meets the demands of the many thousands of players that are playing the game?

    Magnus: Absolutely, Stackless Python because it’s a stateless environment is one of the keys of why EVE is actually capable of supporting all these users. And we have been working very closely with the Python community, we had a Python convention in Iceland that CCP actually orchestrated, and we’ve supported the PyCon conventions. We want to see more development on that end, and there’s some interesting things happening there, so we will continue using that.

    Original article:http: //games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/15/0726233&from=rss

    If you’re into tech stuff, the system specs on Tranquility (the Eve game server) are really astounding.

  15. Openedge1 says:

    So far, every “2009″ review post includes the closing of AoC.

    Funny stuff actually seeing they have had a boost in sales and time played on Xfire for example..

    I think I will do what I did for WAR, and come back at the end of the year and call everyone on it about being wrong (i.e: The super hype of WAR got so ridiculous. I knew it was not that great…. Then to see the same posters stating how the left the game..I felt vindicated.)

    Cheers and Happy New Year

  16. skarbd says:

    @Swift Vogager
    Thanks for the information. Very interesting.

  17. [...] predictions: BINGO! (not exactly) Can you believe I had trouble finding my 2009 predictions post. I know, how hard is it to find a post titled “2009 Predictions” on my own blog, but um, it [...]

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