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Game of the Year Awards 2008 - Best MMORPG

by The RPGWatch Team, 2009-01-09

For two weeks you could vote for the Best MMORPG of 2008. There is no Editors' choice for this one as there simply aren't enough editors playing MMORPGs....

 

The Winner: Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

Warhammer Online marginally managed to best Wrath of the Lich King to receive our readers' award for best MMORPG of 2008. Costing a fortune to develop to the point that Mythic opted to join forces with EA, and postpone the launch to polish the product, and cut major content (cities, classes), and have developers leave (to Bethesda's TES Online I believe) it must have been a hell of a year at Mythic.

WAR's cynosure is group play, along with Dark Age of Camelot, and excels in getting players together for quick skirmishes or long RVR campaigns. It's heavily reliant on the players "doing their bit" for Order or Destruction (nearly wrote Chaos there, old habit) and strives to bring Games Workshop's table top creation to life in a way its never been seen before.

Warhammer Online offers a heavy PVP ethos and we look forward to seeing how the game develops over 2009. Congratulations to Mythic.

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

 

The Runner up: World of Warcraft - Wrath of the Lich King

World of Warcraft's second expansion finally brings Northrend to the fore with Warcraft 3's inspired Death Knight class (a new favorite with some PVP'ers I hear), with a new story system (phasing), many more quests, a new trade profession (Scribing) and a new level cap (80). Blizzard are (quite rightly) focused on extending the experience for their existing players, and thus, most of these additions are only for players of level 55 and above although the expansion also brings something new for all players, like new character customisations and graphical improvements. World of Warcraft is the Jack of all trades (and master of a few) and remains the most fluid and polished MMO on the market.

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

 

Third Place: Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures

Together with Warhammer Online, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures was without doubt one of the most anticipated new MMORPG releases of 2008. The Norwegian game developer Funcom - who had previously released the buggy MMORPG Anarchy Online and the critically acclaimed adventure gaming series The Longest Journey - has aimed to recreate the fictional world of Hyboria as described by the American author Robert E. Howard in his books about Conan the Barbarian.

The world of Hyboria is savage and brutal which is also the reason to why Age of Conan was awarded a Mature/18+ rating. The game is controversial both in regards to nudity and violence. Though this is not the only thing that makes the game stand out amongst its competitors. In terms of gameplay Age of Conan featured an original combat system, but more importantly it introduced a more classical approach to quests as seen in singleplayer RPGs. Quests were no longer restricted to the typical Fed Ex formular. 

Though unfortunately Age of Conan suffered from technical problems created by the huge ambitions that Funcom had for it. Despite of the the very successful launch Age of Conan has seen a decrease in subscribers and Game Director Gaute Godager has in response to this left Funcom. A promising - but also very hyped - MMORPG that failed in execution and the players of today's MMO market have repeatedly shown that there's no room for poor initial releases. 

Age of Conan Age of Conan

 

The Numbers

The following tables shows the complete results of the voting.

Visitors' Choice
Rank Game Percentage
1 Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning 19,3
2 World of Warcraft - Wrath of the Lich King 18,6
3 Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures 13,5
4 Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria 13,3
5 EVE Online - Empyrean Age 4,0
6 Everquest II - The Shadow Odyssey 1,6
6 Pirates of the Burning Sea 1,6

All other games scored a percentage of less than 1%.

 

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