Big week in MMORPGs

It’s a big week for MMORPGs as Pax Dei, Tarisland, and EverQuest 2 Classic all debut

Who said MMORPGs were dead?

If someone’s trying to convince you that the MMORPG genre is dead, don’t believe it! Sure, it may not be as lively as the years following the massive success of World of Warcraft—you know, when we saw Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Star Trek Online all released within a few years of each other—but it’s still a good time to be an MMORPG fan and this week proves it. In a four-day window, we will see the release of two brand-new MMORPGs as well as the relaunch of a classic version of a popular MMORPG. Let’s take a look at what’s coming this week.

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Pax Dei enters Early Access on June 18
Image via Mainframe Industries

Pax Dei Early Access Launch – June 18

It all kicks off on June 18 with the Early Access launch of the highly anticipated sandbox MMORPG Pax Dei. I had a hands-on experience with Pax Dei in November 2023 and was blown away by developer Mainframe Industries ability to create a massive world that felt like the players truly molded it how they wanted. In a nutshell, if you’ve ever played an MMORPG and thought, “It would be cool to just be a blacksmith all day and actually be able to progress and be useful in an MMORPG”, Pax Dei gives you the opportunity to do just that.

Even though it’s launching into Early Access, the core meat and potatoes of Pax Dei are there. The 116 mi² map tasks players with finding their own slice of life to settle down and build a homestead, eventually building up to an entire village or fortress. In a purely player-driven economy, it’s up to the inhabitants of Pax Dei to work together or fight over resources as they build and tech up.

Mainframe Industries expects the Early Access period to last at least a year as they enhance and evolve the MMORPG based on player feedback.

Pax Dei launches in Early Access on Steam on June 18.

EverQuest 2 Origins (Classic) Server Anasthi Sul - June 19
Image via Darkpaw Games

EverQuest 2 Origins (Classic) Server Anasthi Sul – June 19

The very popular MMORPG EverQuest had a sequel release in November of 2004, though many people didn’t get the opportunity to play it then. Why? Well, just two weeks after its release, an MMORPG you may have heard of called World of Warcraft took the genre by storm. EverQuest 2 is still supported today, with the Ballands of Zimara expansion dropping last year, and a new expansion codenamed EverQuest 21 (indicating the 21st expansion) is set to launch in November of this year.

Back in April the new owner of EverQuest, Darkpaw Games, announced that a classic “origins” server for EverQuest 2 was in the works. While the game has evolved over the years, especially to be more solo-friendly, many miss the times when MMORPG’s had a bit more of the MMO part, primarily due to mechanics being built around socializing and working with other players.

This unique server aims to bring the social back to EverQuest 2. The server will launch with just the base vanilla EverQuest 2 experience, with a focus on group play. Mechanics that have become trivial over the years like relying on other players to craft gear, putting together parties to tackle dungeons, and leveling groups, will be front and center with this server.

The EverQuest 2 Origins server, Anasthi Sul, is set to launch on June 19.

Image via Level Infinite

Tarisland Global Launch – June 21

At the beginning of 2023, the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft went offline in China due to a dispute between Blizzard and the game’s Chinese distributor NetEase. This was a big deal as World of Warcraft has a massive player base in China, and all of a sudden millions of players suddenly couldn’t access their account overnight.

In the midst of all the madness, Level Infinite and Tencent saw an opportunity to fill the void and announced Tarisland, an MMORPG with a plethora of race and class combinations where players would work together to explore, craft, and take down massive bosses in raid encounters. Tarisland has been developed to allow cross-platform play between PC, Android, and iOS devices all at once.

In April 2024, Blizzard and NetEase resolved their differences and came to an agreement which brought World of Warcraft back to China. Tarisland is still hoping to provide an enticing experience in a F2P format that uses the standard WoW-like MMORPG formula.

Tarisland launches globally on PC, Android, and iOS on June 21.

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Steven Mills
Staff Writer - Steven has been writing in some capacity for over a decade now. He has a passion for story focused RPG's like the Final Fantasy franchise and ARPG's like Diablo and Path of Exile. But really, he's willing to try anything.