In-Development Indie MMORPGs

Most mainstream MMOs require hours upon hours of grind and leveling up to reach the end-game and be somewhat competitive in PvP or raids. The indie MMOs listed below, in most cases, let players jump into the "end-game" fun not so long after joining the game and pretty much cut on the grind. Here are 10 of the independent MMOs currently in development that I consider most popular or promising.

Dual Universe [Beta]
Setting: Science-Fiction || Focus: PvP || Budget: ~$25M* || Engine: Unigine 2

  • Single shard persistent universe shared by all the players
  • Voxel-based universe: player-made cities, stations and warships
  • Space warfare: pirate ships, coordinated attacks, skirmishes
  • Player-controlled global economy: mine, craft, build, optimize, barter and trade

Crowfall [Beta]
Setting: Medieval Fantasy || Focus: PvP || Budget: $38M || Engine: Unity 5

  • Spiritual successor to Shadowbane
  • Player-created worlds with parcels of terrain and pre-fab building pieces
  • GvG/RvR campaigns that guilds or factions can win
  • Deep crafting system inspired by Star Wars: Galaxies

Camelot Unchained [Beta]
Setting: Medieval Fantasy || Focus: RvR || Budget: ~$20M || Engine: Unchained

  • Spiritual successor to Dark Age of Camelot
  • Large-scale RvR battles and sieges with more than a thousand players
  • Open world with islands that players can move to strategically reshape the world
  • Block-by-block construction with server-side stability and destruction

Gloria Victis [Beta]
Setting: Medieval Realistic || Focus: PvP || Budget: ~$4M* || Engine: Unity 5

  • Skill-based combat mechanics à la Mount and Blade
  • Class-less system with diversified equipment
  • Open world with housing, territory control and sieges
  • Complex crafting system: leatherworking, armorsmithing, weapon forging

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen [Pre-Alpha]
Setting: Medieval Fantasy || Focus: PvE || Budget: $? || Engine: Unity 5

  • Spiritual successor to EverQuest
  • Deeply social: dungeons require teamwork and group strategy
  • Thrilling climbing system
  • Perception system: the world reveals its secrets through the environment

Ashes of Creation [Alpha]
Setting: Medieval Fantasy || Focus: PvP || Budget: ~$30M* || Engine: Unreal 4

  • Nodes system: player participation influences the type of content in the surrounding areas
  • Open world housing: players have the ability to survey and develop land anywhere in the world
  • Castle sieges with hundreds of players with many moving parts
  • Harsh, unforgiving and stunning environment

Star Citizen [Alpha]
Setting: Science-Fiction || Focus: PvP || Budget: $348M || Engine: Lumberyard

  • Spiritual successor to Freelancer
  • Procedurally generated and handcrafted stunning worlds
  • Open world PvP with high speed dog fights with multi-crew ships or intense FPS warfare
  • Exploration: hidden outpost, abandoned ships and beautiful sunsets

Project Gorgon [Beta]
Setting: Medieval Fantasy || Focus: PvE || Budget: +$1M || Engine: Unity 5

  • Exploration: many hidden secrets awaiting discovery
  • Ambitious skill-based leveling system allowing the player to combine skills
  • Old-school MMO with innovative ideas, such as morphing into animals
  • 16 combat skills, 71 trade skills, 11 beasts skills

Mortal Online 2 [Beta]
Setting: Medieval Fantasy || Focus: PvP || Budget: $? || Engine: Unreal 4

  • Open and realistic sandbox world
  • True, real-time combat where outcomes are decided by skill rather than levels or gear
  • Become a legendary crafter whose goods are traded across the globe or a famous warrior studying the art of combat
  • Individual reputation is everything: people will recognize you by the impact you've made on the world

Rise Online [Alpha]
Setting: Medieval Fantasy || Focus PvP/PvE || Budget: $? || Engine: Unreal 4

  • Spiritual successor to Knight Online
  • Full PvP-based maps and events
  • PvE content like missions, creatures and bosses that take several groups to defeat
  • An endless war between two kingdoms

Cross post. *Personal estimate, may be inaccurate
Feel free to suggest improvements to this post!

I'd merely like all these games to release and gain enough folks to sustain themselves.

NathanialG wrote:

Looks like a very inspired and beautiful game, thanks for sharing

garion333 wrote:

I'd merely like all these games to release and gain enough folks to sustain themselves.

Yea me too, and one of the problems to have so many games in development is that the player base is spreading between many projects, and they may not be sustainable but a few.

I'm most interested in Ashes out of everything listed.

Badferret wrote:

I'm most interested in Ashes out of everything listed.

Ashes of Creation looks stunning, but they don't seem to have an original art direction (feels a bit generic imo). The node system seems promising, we'll see if they can achieve to deliver on their promises!

Impressive list!

Dual Universe has a lot of promise. I've been dabbling with it since alpha and i wanted it to bake some more before i jumped back in. The beta feedback seems promising and now that i'm close to being able to step away from Valheim for a bit i may jump back in.

Crowfall and more so Camelot Unchained are in development hell. Crowfall every time i think they're about to push it out the door they delay. Which i guess at the end of the day is ok and they're making baby step in improvements. Camelot Unchained is just a mess. I'm not impressed at all with what they have in place. Every play test i do it's still the same janky mess as before. Which is a shame because i wanted this game so much.

Gloria Victus, i tried it during alpha and was completely disheartened because it was complete garbage. This is what i've been hoping for. The combat of Chivalry, but in a mmo... That was 3 years ago so no clue on it's current state.

Pantheon on all accounts i've heard is just a hot mess. Little to no improvement has been shown. They also just got a new influx of money. So hopefully this will get them moving a little bit quicker and end up with a workable game.

Ashes of Creation. I no longer think this is a major ponzy scheme, cash grab. What they've been showing in the past 6 months have been impressive, and i'm back to excited mode for it. Sadly they just announced another delay and the reasons they gave have me almost thinking it's a cash grab again... We'll see.

Star Citizen... f*ck them...

Project Gorgon is an amazing game which is even more impressive because it's primarily a 1 man dev team that has made an old school MMO that is a lot of fun.

Mortal Online 2. I played a lot of Mortal Online and it was OK, but this is NOT a friendly world and the server performance made the skill combat annoying AF. I'll probably eventually jump in to this one to see how things are but waiting a bit to hear more details.

Rise Online i have 0 experience with but when i saw the announcement and follow up videos i was unimpressed.

Book of Travels looks impressive and i hope it goes somewhere. When they first announced it i was in love with the little bit they showed.

Book of Travels has been on my radar for a while. It was supposed to come out last fall and was delayed to this year some time. The way I see it, the game is atypical for an MMO in two key ways:

It's not really an MMO
Book of Travels bills itself as a "TMO", with the 'T' standing for 'Tiny'. It places you into servers with only a handful of people, with the promise "other players are few, but your paths will cross".

I love this idea. One of my issues with MMOs (and I admit it's not my genre of choice) is that, if you're playing solo, it's all so impersonal. There are dozens of other characters milling around, but everyone is doing their own thing, and there is seldom any interaction. I tried ESO for a short while and found that even when a random and I were obviously pursuing the same quest, there was no sense of working together; we'd just, independently of each other, be clicking on the monster until it was dead, and that was that. I like the idea of a game where meeting another player is uncommon enough that you might be encouraged to stop and interact in some way.

It's not stat-based
Character creation "focuses on personality and identity rather than stats and classes," and players are encouraged to decide on who their character is and truly roleplay, instead of focusing on grinding content to drive up their numbers or whatever.

Here's the website. And sorry if this seems like a shilly post. I'm excited about this and would like other people to be excited, too.

Tasty Pudding wrote:

Book of Travels has been on my radar for a while. It was supposed to come out last fall and was delayed to this year some time. The way I see it, the game is atypical for an MMO in two key ways:

It's not really an MMO
Book of Travels bills itself as a "TMO", with the 'T' standing for 'Tiny'. It places you into servers with only a handful of people, with the promise "other players are few, but your paths will cross".

I love this idea. One of my issues with MMOs (and I admit it's not my genre of choice) is that, if you're playing solo, it's all so impersonal. There are dozens of other characters milling around, but everyone is doing their own thing, and there is seldom any interaction. I tried ESO for a short while and found that even when a random and I were obviously pursuing the same quest, there was no sense of working together; we'd just, independently of each other, be clicking on the monster until it was dead, and that was that. I like the idea of a game where meeting another player is uncommon enough that you might be encouraged to stop and interact in some way.

Honestly this is my biggest concern. I don't think the human race has changed enough in the 20 years or so since i've been playing MMOs to make this possible on a regular occasion. You'll find that one person out of hundreds that isn't an asshole if you're playing solo every once in a while but not enough to make it worth the time to deal with the sh*t from the other sh*theals.

I am curious about the rpg system and communication system they talk about and regardless of them stating they're wanting you to ignore stats and roleplay... there has to be stats and the gameplay loop will center around leveling those up. Calling it roleplay is just a nice buzzword.

Proof is in the pudding though so hopefully we'll get to see more because it's hand painted art style is a beauty to behold.

Oh to add to the list. I recommend checking out :

Yellow King. It game out in early access last year and it's based on the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert W. Chambers.

They've been improving over time and hopefully this will eventually become a complete experience. I love the world building they're trying for here. Fingers Crossed.

ranalin wrote:

Honestly this is my biggest concern. I don't think the human race has changed enough in the 20 years or so since i've been playing MMOs to make this possible on a regular occasion. You'll find that one person out of hundreds that isn't an asshole if you're playing solo every once in a while but not enough to make it worth the time to deal with the sh*t from the other sh*theals.

Yes, this is a legitimate concern. I suppose it depends on how they design the multiplayer aspect.

Looking back, my absolute favorite "co-op with randoms" experiences of all time have been in Dark Souls and Journey. Two very different games, but both handle co-op in a strikingly similar way: you faze into another person's world, there is limited communication (no voice or text, only gestures and such), and you work together for a while. Honestly, it doesn't sound like much, but the experience is really special - and there is never any toxicity, because the co-op element has been designed to prevent that kind of communication.

I guess I'm just hungry to have that sort of experience in a different game, and I'm hoping to find something similar in Book of Travels. As you say, though, there are still a lot of question marks.

ranalin wrote:

Oh to add to the list. I recommend checking out :

Yellow King. It game out in early access last year and it's based on the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert W. Chambers.

They've been improving over time and hopefully this will eventually become a complete experience. I love the world building they're trying for here. Fingers Crossed.

This looks like it could be fun but the last update was June 2020. I can't find anything saying they are actively working on the game. However, it is 75% off on Steam right now. I've spent $7 on worse

Mortal Online 2 looks great.

There’s an upcoming open stress test you sign up for here:
https://www.mortalonline2.com/stress...

PaladinTom wrote:

Mortal Online 2 looks great.

I'm waiting for feedback from the stress test. Reason no one is talking about this game is that they over promised and under delivered with their first game. Hopefully they won't continue that pattern.

So Project Gorgon is doing better? Last time I played the starter island was fin and interesting but then when you moved to off there the game was so AO laggy and unplayable. (This was maybe a couple years ago)

ranalin wrote:
PaladinTom wrote:

Mortal Online 2 looks great.

I'm waiting for feedback from the stress test. Reason no one is talking about this game is that they over promised and under delivered with their first game. Hopefully they won't continue that pattern.

I never even heard about Mortal Online before, but I don’t follow the MMO scene all that much.

Project Gorgon does run a lot smoother now a days

PaladinTom wrote:
ranalin wrote:
PaladinTom wrote:

Mortal Online 2 looks great.

I'm waiting for feedback from the stress test. Reason no one is talking about this game is that they over promised and under delivered with their first game. Hopefully they won't continue that pattern.

I never even heard about Mortal Online before, but I don’t follow the MMO scene all that much.

I went ahead and created a catch all for it because like i say in the post, Valheim has surprised me with the number of people that is down to play a hard core game.

ranalin wrote:

Impressive list!

Dual Universe has a lot of promise. I've been dabbling with it since alpha and i wanted it to bake some more before i jumped back in. The beta feedback seems promising and now that i'm close to being able to step away from Valheim for a bit i may jump back in.

Crowfall and more so Camelot Unchained are in development hell. Crowfall every time i think they're about to push it out the door they delay. Which i guess at the end of the day is ok and they're making baby step in improvements. Camelot Unchained is just a mess. I'm not impressed at all with what they have in place. Every play test i do it's still the same janky mess as before. Which is a shame because i wanted this game so much.

Gloria Victus, i tried it during alpha and was completely disheartened because it was complete garbage. This is what i've been hoping for. The combat of Chivalry, but in a mmo... That was 3 years ago so no clue on it's current state.

Pantheon on all accounts i've heard is just a hot mess. Little to no improvement has been shown. They also just got a new influx of money. So hopefully this will get them moving a little bit quicker and end up with a workable game.

Ashes of Creation. I no longer think this is a major ponzy scheme, cash grab. What they've been showing in the past 6 months have been impressive, and i'm back to excited mode for it. Sadly they just announced another delay and the reasons they gave have me almost thinking it's a cash grab again... We'll see.

Star Citizen... f*ck them...

Project Gorgon is an amazing game which is even more impressive because it's primarily a 1 man dev team that has made an old school MMO that is a lot of fun.

Mortal Online 2. I played a lot of Mortal Online and it was OK, but this is NOT a friendly world and the server performance made the skill combat annoying AF. I'll probably eventually jump in to this one to see how things are but waiting a bit to hear more details.

Rise Online i have 0 experience with but when i saw the announcement and follow up videos i was unimpressed.

Book of Travels looks impressive and i hope it goes somewhere. When they first announced it i was in love with the little bit they showed.

Thanks! I agree with you on Dual Universe, the idea behind the game is very appealing, a single shard universe with all its players on the same server, I'm not sure it's been ever done (EVE Online is getting close to this).

CU/CF are trying to achieve about the same goal (a quality dynamic strategy PvP-focused MMO), but with different means. Hopefully they both release and have a decent player base.

Rise Online is being developed in Turkey, so I'm not sure the translation will be top-notch once it releases, but we never know. I'm aware of it mainly because I've played Knight Online a lot in 2006-2008 and they're pretty much recreating it with modern graphics and systems.

Mortal Online 2, the world looks beautiful but I'm not into gore violence or zombie stuff.

Star Citizen, they may have more incentive to actually stay in development than to launch the game (+1 million dollars in crowdfunding every week)...

Ashes of Creation looks beautiful so far. The head of the studio doesn't have (afaik) experience in the MMO development, so we'll see if it impacts on the game quality. They're already revamping the combat but it may be a good thing or a bad sign.

ranalin wrote:

Oh to add to the list. I recommend checking out :

Yellow King. It game out in early access last year and it's based on the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert W. Chambers.

They've been improving over time and hopefully this will eventually become a complete experience. I love the world building they're trying for here. Fingers Crossed.

Interesting! First time I read about this game. They're on Steam for more than a year now but it doesn't seem to get popular (so far). The gameplay looked cool though.