Writing news day in and day out about the MMORPG industry — and all of its loosely associated genres — means that you get a lot of weird and random information stuffed into your head. It’s not like you’re covering just a handful of games, but literally hundreds and hundreds of different ones. And one consequence of this, aside from me forgetting my kids’ names because I know several dozen MMO twitter handles by memory, is that there are some games that are very easy to confuse. Especially — and I want to stress this — if you are not playing them.
Here are seven pairs — 14 titles total — that I am forever mixing up like I do when I have to figure out if that girl is named Elana or Elaina.
1. Warframe and Warface
Obviously, some of the entries on this list are going to be name similarities, and these two evil candidates are out to get me. They’re both actiony-shooty MMOs with “warf___e” as a title, but that’s where the similarities end. One’s a sci-fi alien gonzo fest that’s insanely popular, and the other is a more grounded (though not entirely) military shooter that’s slightly less popular.
2. Saga of Lucimia and Legends of Aria/Shards Online
I don’t exactly know why I keep muddling these two titles. I think it’s in part the fact that they’re both these in-development indie MMOs that we don’t hear from a whole lot and share some DNA (more hardcore, more PvP). Lucimia is the one that makes a bigger deal out of darkness and grouping and Aria is a more attractive-looking, semi-isometric deal. But I’m sure I’ll continue to confuse the two.
3. Valiance Online and City of Titans
I don’t have a big dog in the whole “City of Heroes spiritual successor” fight. I think it’s a tad silly that there are all of these indie spin-offs that don’t just band together to make one awesome superhero MMO, but oh well. And for the life of me, Valiance and Titans feel completely interchangable in my memory. I have to pull them up to get a handle on the visual differences and design choices, but they’re both kind of City of Heroes-lite to me (for now).
4. Paladins and Paragon
You don’t have to tell me that these aren’t the same game, but by virtue that they’re both colorful PvP-centric titles that emerged on the scene near to each other aids in mixing them up. I actually am rooting for both and love the focus on personality and art styles, but I wish my head would keep them straight.
5. Age of Wushu and Age of Wulin
Both are the same MMO sandbox. Sort of. But they have different development tracks and ownership. Wushu is America and Wulin is Europe, I believe. Keeping track of the different versions gives me a headache.
6. Black Desert and Blade and Soul
To be honest, it isn’t as much of a problem these days with these games having been out for well over a year now, but before they were, I kept tripping over the “BL” names and would occasionally mix them up.
7. Alganon and Istaria
Smaller and less popular MMOs that we only occasionally cover can be confusing, as with these. Alganon is Derek Smart’s lackluster MMO and Istaria is the one that used to be Horizons and lets you play as a dragon.