Greedy Goblin

Friday, May 19, 2017

Archeage: missing even the illusion of making difference

The unique selling point of MMOs is a World to live in and share with other players. A World you shape alone is best done in single player games (Skyrim, Fallout). To hop on and get some "pwnage XD" is easiest in arena games in various sub-genres (FPS, RTS, MOBA).

Of course I also realize that creating a World where players really have effect means players are forced to face with changes created by other players, may it be an battle with bad odds, shortage of some item or simply no content when they chose to log off. Only niche games are effectively doing this, because while players claim to want a World, in reality they want a World they imagined, but refuse to do anything about it.

World of Warcraft went on creating the perfect illusion of effect. While the game is formally MMO, most of the time players doing the same thing are in different phases or instances, unable to even see each other. You really have an effect on your phase - just like in a single player game - but not on the phase/instance of the other player. Players are also performing quests that belongs to a storyline and this story is progressed by every patch, further increasing the illusion of contribution. Sure, if no player would ever kill a monster or complete a quest, it would progress the same, but hey, it's selling illusion.

Archeage on the other hand neither has effect on the World, nor good illusion of it. Sure, there is non-consensual PvP, but with no losses, it's mere annoyance and I don't even bother to try to fight back. I respawn at the temple and continue doing what I was doing. I also realized that most of the "trading" is done not between players but to NPCs: you sell the trade packs to NPCs and most relevant items you craft have item shop component. I just look at the quest rewards and if it doesn't interest me, I skip. I don't feel included in a World. While trying to figure out effective methods to make lots of money is challenging, the game World itself is not. No wonder that Archeage has much less population than WoW or even BDO.

PS: you can be sure that the End is near when you see famines, pestilences, earthquakes and Anita Sarkeesian defending Donald Trump.


Alrenous said...

"You really have an effect on your phase - just like in a single player game - but not on the phase/instance of the other player."
When two(?) year olds play 'together,' what they actually do is play the same game next to each other. There's no actual interaction.

Carson 63000 said...

That Anita Sarkeesian video should only prove surprising if you always viewed her through an unthinking "us and them" prism rather than actually listening to what she had to say. A very social thing to do.

Gevlon said...

@Carson: I never considered her an "unthinking" person, look up how many times I referenced her (often positively). I'm very surprised that she dares to say it loud, despite she depends on donations and pageviews to pay her bills. Her feminist views make it very unlikely for conservatives to watch her shows (therefore pay her), and liberals are in the "anything goes if it hurts Trump" mode. Remember, Colbert - whom she criticized most - got record rating for his homophobic jokes on Trump. Colbert and his "us vs them" thinking is the norm in the liberal media and I'm honestly surprised that she dared to speak up against it.

maxim said...

Sarkeesian is a genuine political actor, even if a niche one. She maintains her political position and is willing to incur costs to maintain her position (which is always a winning strategy in the long run, provided you survive the short run)

This is the one thing i'll praise her for.

maxim said...

Totall offtopic, but here is a video involving WoT you might find interesting :D

Anonymous said...

Locking down and controlling world bosses has a profound impact on the whole server in Archeage. The money and unique gear allows you to control the boss spawns better and run many dangerous moneymaking methods like freeditch and auroria logs with much less risk as you can destroy the lesser geared players. Your faction will have a huge advantage at world events like abyssal and mismerrow due to the greater gearscore of your guild which will in turn increase the power level of your entire nation leading to a heavy imbalance and "winning" the server.