View Full Version : So much to be thankful for... so little love

04-12-2013, 04:28 PM
I'm not surprising anyone by saying Defiance is not a traditional MMO, nor is it a pure shooter. It is forging a new path ahead in many different directions, and those directions are much needed "new life" in the gaming world.

But combining these very different groups of people into one game is going to cause problems on many different levels. Defiance will never be able to outperform the "pure" games at what they do best. It shouldn't be expected to. Comparing the polish of say a Black Ops 2 to Defiance is fundamentally unfair. Black Ops 2 is basically just MW3 with new weapons.

What Trion is trying to pull off with Defiance is too big for any "normal" game company. No monthly fees? Are you serious? This is why I believe they paired the game with a TV show. A brilliant idea for both... besides the obvious financial benefits, the game gets "freshness" from the TV show, and the TV show gets a dedicated audience right out of the gate.

I have to admit that Defiance isn't the game that I was hoping for, but it has taken a HUGE step in that direction, so I want to discuss a few of the things defiance does well.

First, the vehicle physics are fantastic, and travel is fast and easy for those that want it that way. The map is beautiful, and you can tell lots of thought went into making the terrain as fun as possible for vehicles. The "low gravity" environment might irk some simulation shooter types, but it works great in this game, and it's something I didn't expect.

The missions or "instances", despite the numerous bugs, are very well done. I love having someone jump in and assist me finishing something off, an attitude I never had in any other MMO. The individualized xp and loot systems are awesome, and I really enjoy the cut scenes which gives the game a fresh "campaign" type feel at times.

I love how the difficulty of the arkfalls scale with the number of people fighting it. I can't think of any other MMO with this metric. The carnage is massive and the intensity level is high. I'm not convinced that arkfalls are perfect however, they do need some tuning... and maybe some surprises every now and then.

The weapon choices are so varied, that you basically get annoyed trying to make a decision on a favorite. What you discover through experimentation is that there are many "best" weapons. My advice is to pick a favorite weapon for each ammo type (i.e. BMG, pistol, LMG/SMG/Assault, shotgun shells, sniper rounds, rockets & grenades). This will ensure you have maximum time-on-target and helps you plan your approach to combat. (E.g. starting with a long range snipe, moving to a mid range assault, and finishing with short range shotgun.)

Mods are an interesting way of tweaking your play-style and improving weapon performance. The basic ones are common enough that you can slap them on a gun you might sell in 15 minutes without a second thought. But don't you dare put a nice mod on your favorite weapon that has a "junk mod" already on it. Your destroying either the weapon or the mod. Finding the perfect mods for your play-style will be difficult and mostly dependent on luck. This fact made me try play styles I wasn't completely comfortable with at first. Something that I'm glad the game made me do.

Finally, because this is way longer than intended... I love the idea and the implementation of the ego system. It is a very complex and satisfying alternative to the traditional leveling systems associated with MMOs. I also think it's great that you aren't punished for an early strategy mistake by having a "reset" option. Micro-managers have found some "uber-combos" that make PvP very challenging for even the most talented shooter pros. This has irked many "good" shooter-type players who are more interested in showing off their skills than pulling out a spreadsheet to figure out the perfect combinations. Once they figure out the nuances of the game though, the playing field will even out, and the cream will rise to the top again.

Throw in a dedicated developer team and you have something here that could be very special.