Top 10 Classic Free MMORPGs That Need True Sequels

Top 10 Classic Free MMORPGs That Need True Sequels




Some MMO games have clearly overstayed their welcome, while others left us way too soon. However, there is always that one game that hit the spot but could do with a proper makeover – a sequel, to be more specific. You know, like MapleStory 2 and Project BBQ (a.k.a. Dungeon Fighter Online 3D) are doing. So, in no particular order, here is our Top 10 Classic Free MMORPGs That Need True Sequels. And no, mobile sequels don’t count, thank you very much.

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VINDICTUS (MABINOGI HEROES)

Arisha second weapon

Often referenced as one of the greatest examples of MMO action combat, Vindictus (or Mabinogi Heroes as it is known in Asia) still stands proudly among the greats. DevCAT did a wonderful job and eventually NSquare took a stab at a sequel called Mabinogi 2: Arena. This game was built with a heavy focus on action and spectator interaction, so it wouldn’t be a direct sequel to either Mabinogi Heroes or the original and cute Mabinogi: Fantasy Life.

However, the game was canceled in 2014, with the team moving on to MapleStory 2. DevCAT, on the other hand, is awfully busy with monster hunter MMO Dragon Hound, the MOBA Ascendant One, and Mabinogi Mobile, while still releasing new characters for Vindictus. It’s obvious that they have no time for a proper Vindictus sequel… or maybe they do. Or some other studio does. Let’s hope so!

BLADE & SOUL

Blade & Soul 2 mmorpg

Blade & Soul is a tour de force by NCsoft, a wonderful fantasy MMORPG with memorable characters that even spawned a live musical – yes, we’re not even kidding! While it took an eternity to reach the west, it eventually did and is doing nicely, considering the overall state of the MMORPG genre during the last few years.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see a Blade & Soul sequel. What is surprising is to know that NCsoft and a few third-party studios are working on several Blade & Soul games: Blade & Soul 2, Blade & Soul M, Blade & Soul S and Blade & Soul Revolution. You have a sequel, a revamp of the PC original, a prequel, and… well, that other one. Not to mention a Blade & Soul collectible card game and a browser-based China-exclusive called Blade & Soul: Hongmoon Rising.

 All of this and not a single fully-fledged PC sequel in sight. Sigh.

AION

Aion next class graffiti artist

There’s Aion: Legions of War and Aion 2 coming, but can you guess what these games have in common? That’s right: mobile as the target platform. It’s depressing when you discover that another classic PC MMORPG is getting a sequel for a platform that will never be able to deliver a superior experience.

But that’s what we, PC crazies think, it seems. According to NCsoft, Aion 2 will include features that could never be realized in the PC game, and their vision for Aion is “no longer a dream”. This prequel will feature large-scale PvP and a new combat system, which I’m sure that no PC could ever even dream to handle.

I guess they’re right. Lost Ark, for example, would surely be ten times better if it was a mobile game. Oh well…

DRAGON NEST

Along with Vindictus, Dragon Nest was one of the coolest precursors of the action MMORPG genre. It was fun to play, and you couldn’t take a nap during combat, as you probably do in a lot of tab-target MMOs.

What happens when a game is popular? You try to milk it in every way possible, of course! That is how we got to see quite a few Dragon Nest spin-offs, along with a bizarre mobile sequel called Dragon Nest II Legend which was released during the Summer of 2017, only to shut down a few months later.

Touted as an ambitious follow-up to the original PC game, this sequel turned out to be a complete failure. We can’t say for sure, but moving from the colorful anime graphics of the PC game to a bland art style that had more in common with Vindictus could also have played an important part in the closure.

However, there is another sequel in the making. World of Dragon Nest, as it is called, is a PC and mobile cross-platform MMO that looks like a massive downgrade of the original. Sure, it was meant to feature large battles, but the price to pay for cross-platform was already looking too high back in 2017. The release was planned for Summer 2018, but there’s a strange silence surrounding the game, with only the odd job offer confirming that it is still in development.

CITY OF HEROES

City of Heroes was one of the few superhero MMORPGs that managed to cause an uproar when it was canceled out of the blue in 2012. A fun game with an incredible community that made it all worthwhile, it came as a shock when these adventures were abruptly cut short, as NCsoft decided to close developer Paragon Studios and cease development.

City of Heroes had a reasonably large following and soon petitions emerged, massive in-game protests rallied players, and ultimately all this passion wasn’t enough to save the MMO.

City of Heroes may have succumbed to a greater nemesis, but its legacy lives on in the shape of spiritual successors. City of Titans is probably the most ambitious, having raised $678,189 from its Kickstarter campaign. Then we have Valliance Online and Ship of Heroes, projects started by City of Heroes fans that are looking more and more like solid alternatives.

We may not get a sequel to City of Heroes anytime soon, but the tradeoff is looking very interesting indeed.

TERA

TERA's early 2019 roadmap

TERA was released in the west during 2012 and was highly regarded by fans of MMORPGs, especially due to its action combat and Big Ass Monsters, or BAMs, as they are endearly called. For a game that is running for so many years, it still gets frequent updates, although the player base isn’t too keen on the focus on new female classes. It was probably just a phase, though.

Needless to say, TERA’s acclaim led to a few mobile spin-offs, including TERA M and TERA Frontier. However, there is no PC sequel in sight and developer Bluehole is currently busy with another MMORPG, the steampunk Ascent: Infinite Realm. The least we can say is that at least they haven’t given up on the genre already.

EVERQUEST

EverQuest has one official sequel released in 2004 and tons of spin-offs, but it desperately needs a shot in its fantasy arm to reinvigorate the franchise. Sony Online tried to do it with EverQuest Next, but there was no way of foretelling the shitstorm that would come from this.

First it was the delicious trend of splitting a game into two, something that Sony Online also did with H1Z1. EverQuest Next spawned a little brother called Landmark, which was the world building part, with player creations allegedly to be integrated into the main game. EverQuest Next ended up canceled, probably because of its ambitious and unattainable goals of emergent AI, destructible environments and permanent change. Landmark limped its way for a while more, abandoned to its fate until it was finally put to rest, thankfully.

Nice try, but don’t give up on EverQuest already, OK? There are rumors that Daybreak could be working on EverQuest 3, but after seeing PlanetSide Arena, we’re wondering if they’ll ever bother with it. But an EverQuest: Royale? That wouldn’t surprise a soul.

GUILD WARS 2

Guild Wars 2 path of fire

Guild Wars 2 needs a sequel, because great games need sequels and ArenaNet must keep the flame alive. Also, Guild Wars was released in 2005, Guild Wars 2 launched in 2012, and if you do the math, a new chapter is released every seven years. Coincidence?

Well, we’re letting our imagination run wild, since if this was going to happen, an announcement would have already been made a while ago. ArenaNet may in fact be working on their new generation of games, but they are surely a few years away from release.

Either way, I don’t see the Guild Wars franchise ending with the second game. Indisputably one of the best MMORPGs around, a third game developed with better tech and the same expertise from its developers would be nothing but well received.

RUNESCAPE

RuneScape action RPG

Let’s be honest here: RuneScape is never, ever going to get a sequel. Or at least, a proper sequel built from the ground up, as years go by and a new iteration is occasionally released. However, call us names if you want, but there has only been one RuneScape so far, although with several upgrades to it.

A true RuneScape sequel would have to be something groundbreaking, a game to honor one of the most popular MMORPGs ever, one that was recognized more than once by the Guinness World Records. For now, we’ll have to settle for an action RPG spin-off that was recently leaked, and apparently it is the same one that was previously leaked (again) as RuneScape NextGen. Quite frankly, the thought of a game of Path of Exile and Torchlight Frontiers quality set in the RuneScape world is enough to leave many players giggling with excitement.

DRAKENSANG ONLINE

Released in 2011 by once-prolific German publisher Bigpoint, Drakensang Online was acclaimed for its high-quality graphics that pushed what browser-based games were capable of. It was also available as a client game, so at least you were given a choice.

Drakensang Online’s brand of Diablo gameplay was inspired, despite some controversy over its sometimes ruthless free-to-play business model. No matter what, it was still a very decent action RPG that deserved a follow-up.

However, this is highly unlikely to happen, unless Bigpoint’s new Chinese owner Yoozoo Games decides to do something with the licence. But they’re more likely to create a couple more League of Angels games instead.

So, there it is, ten hypothetical MMORPGs that would probably rake in a ton of cash unless… you know, they absolutely sucked. Which one would be your favorite from the list, and do you have any other strong options in mind? You do? Well, what are you waiting for to let us know in the comments?



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