Not really a curse
However, there also are online games that defy the bad spell. For example, both EverQuest 1 and EverQuest 2 are solid productions that players remember with fondness. We could have an argument over which installment was the best, but the RuneScape series has also been successful with every entry. This title comes in several versions, so most players will be able to find something of interest. Interestingly, the Old School RuneScape is still being developed, independent of the sequels!
The Guild Wars series is in an interesting case. Part one and part two are two completely different stories, although both were MMOs. However, their differences are so pronounced that many people have stayed with the original, which is no longer in development (although it still gets patches, oddly enough). So, we have an example of a certain balance, where both parts have been appreciated by players and reviewers.
This works a little differently with The Division 2 and Destiny 2, which, as sequels, are natural progressions of the originals. In this case, we tend to think of these series as coherent entirety. However, players often claim that they felt the originals of both cycles were more interesting.
FINAL FANTASY XIV, OR TWO WITHOUT 2
Final Fantasy XIV is not a continuation of Final Fantasy XI, the first MMORPG set in this universe. At the same time, however, we should remember that originally, FFXIV remained closed for several years because it did not meet the expectations of the players. The game returned as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and was a huge success, eventually becoming one of the most popular representatives of the genre. Was it saved by not including the number 2 in the title?
Well, I think it had more to do with Naoki Yoshida doing an excellent job bringing the game back to grace... But you never know! We had Final Fantasy XIII-2, after all! Of course, for this conspiracy theory to be true, I pretend that Final Fantasy X-2 did not exist.…
What will Number 2 bring in the future?
We know how it used to be and how it is now, but what will it be like in the future? We've got Overwatch 2, Path of Exile 2 or Mortal Online 2 coming soon, so it's hard to judge what it will be like. As you can see, things can go sour out of nowhere. Most MMORPG sequels do not live up to the expectations, but there are notable exceptions that should not be forgotten.
The biggest unknown, however, would be World of Warcraft 2, which has not been announced, but as a fortune teller, I can mention it. Blizzard's MMORPG forums regularly mention the sequel. Players notice, and rightly so, that WoWs Engine has already been pushed beyond its reasonable capacity, and that an overhaul is simply mandatory. We could also use some more experiments in terms of story; on top of that, the gameplay formula itself could use an update. Would the second part of World of Warcraft even make sense? Well, let me just set up the tarot deck...
Patrick Manelski | Gamepressure.com