7 days around the MMO world / March 14

We have to love GDC for providing this week with more than enough news to last us a couple of weeks but, unfortunately being that this is a weekly update, we won’t be able to detail everything. Despite there are some interesting things to share and even more exciting news listed at the bottom of the article so be sure to check that out before heading out.

We get a lot of press release emails from the company Nexon and sadly nothing ever really grabs our eye as ever being something we must report. However, recently this changed; they’re working on Vindictus, an MMO. Once you get past the unnecessarily long dramatic intro in the above video, there’s some pretty high-paced, action-oriented gameplay and it looks beautiful to boot.

The game will follow the same model of other Nexon games, free-to-play with micro-transactions built in. One of the more interesting aspects of Vindictus is its focus on straight up action. Nexon Vice President described the gameplay recently at GDC as “kind of like 300, except with sexy girls kicking the crap out of stuff as well. So, it’s better than 300.” Needless to say Vindictus is a game we’ll be keeping an eye on as it’s much different than Nexon’s other games like Maplestory and Dungeon Fighters.

With the beta for Final Fantasy XIV right around the corner information on the MMO has been tight, so when even the tiniest bit of information drops, it’s important. Thankfully someone translated some of the info in advanced copies of Japanese magazines Famitsu and Dengeki and revealed some interesting tidbits. Apparently the combat will be mobile with a focus on positioning and MP conservation, we would like to make some kind of submarine battle analogy but it’s probably best we didn’t.

There was a tiny bit of light shed on how some classes will play out with the Pugilists’ ability to Provoke and Gladiators getting Phalanx and Shield Bash. There was also some information on party-based crafting setups for Mining and Blacksmithing with a focus on group utility for crafting disciplines. While information is tight, we expect to see floods of information to roll out as soon as the beta goes live as we’re sure players won’t be able to keep their secrets despite an NDA. Good news too if you bought Final Fantasy XIII on PS3 as you should have received an extra chance to get into the FFXIV beta, though there are not guarantees.

It seems like a lot of MMO developers either have been drinking from the same cup or all their water supplies are tainted with the same Facebook loving virus. Runes of Magic, Champions Online and Fallen Earth all have something going down on Facebook.

Runes of Magic has a social version of their MMO in development called RoM: The Challenge. The game will focus on exploration, adventure and strategy elements. Players will receive items from playing the Facebook that is redeemable in the full out MMO, thus enticing players to transition from the casual MMO to the real deal. We’re not sure how well this will work but being how popular a lot of Facebook casual MMO games are, we wouldn’t be surprised if this was a slam dunk.

The Champions Online approach to their Facebook game is bit different as it’s a stand-alone game with no ties to the MMO proper. The game is a text/stat-based game much like Mafia Wars and features superteams, bases and even PvP. This might prove to be a nice little distraction from work while you’re waiting to get home and play the real game, but we’re disappointed to see that this doesn’t connect to the MMO proper like the Runes of Magic game.

The Fallen Earth game seems to be similar to Champions Online’s as it is a stand-alone game and isn’t linked in anyway to the MMO proper. Again it is believed that this game will also feature a combat setup likened to that of Mafia Wars and centers around the notion of “conflict towns”. These towns represent the six factions found in the MMO proper of Fallen Earth. The Facebook game will feature similar things as the MMO like crafting, PvP and character customization. Much like the Champions Online Facebook game, this will prove as a nice distraction but not a replacement to the MMO.

In other MMO news