View Full Version : Some thoughts and feedback

04-17-2013, 03:07 PM
Alright, so I figured I'd try to make a post that addresses a lot of the issues all around. There are quite a few problems with the game, and more importantly the community. However, what a lot of people seem to be ignoring are all the things that have gone right.

A lot of people seem to be upset with the launch of the game for various reasons. There are bugs, it took a few hours to get in, it's not what they expected. The list could go on for days.

What people seem to neglect though is history. So let's briefly revisit the history of MMOs.

Since everyone seems to have a pretty short term memory (or wasn't around for the older MMOs) lets just talk about recent history.

WoW. WoW did not have a flawless launch, and Blizzard has it's own failings. They, much like Trion, underestimated the number of people who would be playing the game. Not only were queue times enormous, but the servers suffered from extremely high latency as well. However there is a key difference, the problems here were solved in a matter of hours. In fact, speaking of Blizzard, their patch setup isn't always pristine. In fact, simply look at the state of D3. Patches have been promised since launch, yet a year later have still yet to be scheduled, much less applied.

Vanguard? The devs ran out of money once they got into the beta stage. Faced with the project being shut down entirely and their work being lost, or releasing the game early, they chose the latter. Inside the game it was difficult to find anything to do. You could travel from place to place and never see a single player or even NPC along the way. They later corrected some of the issues, however by that time everyone had already jumped ship. Players were not reimbursed in any way for buying the game, or paying the monthly fee, even though the lack of content left a lot to be desired.

How about SWTOR? SWTOR had long queue times and high lag as well. But moving beyond server latency, lets talk about their approach to content and patches. Sure, Bioware pushed out patches. However, the game lacked content outside of the story. PvP was restructured, and there was no real gear progression. You worked towards the PvP set, and once you had it, you looked like everyone else. As time passed the community cried out more and more for more content, and more gear progression. Each subsequent patch added more gear... but it was social gear, which was only good for... well at most RP. Players cried for server merges as more and more players abandoned ship. Server merges finally took place a few months later, once many of the high population servers finally emptied. Some servers were so low, you were lucky to see more than 9 players of your faction online at any given time.

What about PlanetSide? For the first month or two, server population was highly unbalanced. One faction would have all the players, the other two would be empty. You could spend an hour traveling from point to point looking for a fight, but never actually finding one.

Still other MMOs were even worse. If you think this game's launch was bad, just take a look at the the games in this link http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/05/31/the-perfect-ten-worst-mmo-launches-of-all-time/ (10 Worst MMO Launches).

How is any of this relevant? Well lets look at Defiance's launch. We had a jam initially when everyone tried to log in. The servers were bogged down, and it would take up to 30 minutes to wait on a password change so you could get into the game. The game was quite laggy, although playable. By noon the next day these issues were corrected. There were still some minor instances of lag.

Since then, we've seen constant server side and client updates.

I've taken part in many MMO launches throughout the years, and have played quite a few others. I've got to say, personally, I'm impressed by how smoothly this launch went. It wasn't flawless by any means, but it was a lot smoother than most.

But here are a few things worth mentioning. Most games these days cost around $60/pop right? It's a shame, I don't really agree with it in most cases but as long as people are willing to pay that it won't change. Recent shooters have a campaign length of around 5-10 hours. There are a few exceptions which occasionally reach 20.

One of the big complaints I see is on content. Typically, the complaint starts with I finished everything there is to do in 40 hours. First off, that's twice the length of time of most other games out now... and we still aren't taking into account competitive or co-op matches.

I think we were given a lot on this front. We're given a game with quests, side quests, challenges, and along the way he have arkfalls and emergencies thrown at us. Is the gameplay revolutionary? No, not really. But we've got a lot of things we can do. Some have completed everything and still find things to do. MMOs are social games - why not run around with other players, explore, or work on completing all of the achievements?

The simple fact that we have content, and there will be additional content added for free should say a lot. Trion isn't requiring us to buy any DLC. Sure, access the content, but we'll have to lock the new loot (etc) out until you buy it. That's a lot more than some of these other companies can say. Especially since we aren't even being charged a monthly fee.

If you want to play Skyrim, go play Skyrim. You want to play Gears, go play Gears. This game has some aspects that may be similar to other games, but it isn't those games. This game is Defiance, and one of the things that really sets it apart from other games is that it IS different. It's not the grind that WoW is. If you're grinding in the game it's because you want to. Nobody is forced to.

The sooner we can start treating this game as what it is, it's own game unrelated to any of these other games, the better.

Another problem people bring up is progression... specifically gear progression. Here's the thing though... this game did it right in a lot of ways. Gear level and color don't really matter. Everyone is, for the most part, on equal footing. That does wonders for PvP as the noob stands a chance against the veteran. No matter how skilled you are in a game, it really sucks to be late to the party and having to deal with constantly being the underdog. It's just not an issue here. The only true thing that people miss out on is their bragging rights. The reality is though, when the game is focused more on skill than on gear, you have true bragging rights. You didn't win because you have epic loot. You won because you earned it by being a badass.

Outside of some synergy bonuses, gear color doesn't matter. The only thing that really matters is what mods you have put in the weapon, and how high your XP bar on the weapon is (if you haven't maxed out your skill for that weapon). Nothing else. So to be completely honest, there isn't a huge rush on getting a lot of lock boxes quickly. Having come across a few oranges myself, I've got to say they really only are good for saying "hey I've got an orange..."

That being said, do we need to be rewarded with keys for every single thing we do? I don't think so. Not only does it not really accomplish anything, but it goes against the lore. Even if you do save some guy taken prisoner by raiders... do you really think he's going to give up his really valuable key code? If I were in his shoes I'd tell my rescuer "Hey uh... yeah sorry man. I'm pretty much broke. But here's all the scrip I own..."

This doesn't mean that things don't need to be changed. I do believe that the boxes should have slightly better rolls. Despite the fact that there isn't a drastic difference between gear colors, I do believe that the boxes should roll blue or higher rather than green. Why? Well, simply because greens are found everywhere - so why would this awesome gear supposedly coming from arkfalls be no different than the gear I just saw on the last 10 dead mutants/tankers/etc or so? Stats aside, blues are more valuable. If I save my keys up for a box, I would expect it to at least have some value - but it currently is quite a (unavoidable) gamble.

Keys don't need to be plentiful, but they do need to be meaningful. If you know you probably aren't going to get anything worth selling, scrapping, or using, keys and boxes both lose their value.

Weapons. They didn't get nerfed. The sawed-off got nerfed. The LMG is (even more) effective if you know how to use it. The biggest complaints I've seen is how people can't do any damage.

Problems doing damage aren't so much related to what you're using being crap as not knowing where to aim and when to shoot. All difficult enemies in Defiance have weak spots on them. If you shoot this weak spot, you will score a critical. If you use EGO skills and perks to boost damage / criticals and aim at these locations when they are exposed you WILL end up higher on the scoreboard at the end of an arkfall than if you don't. To be quite honest, you'll know you're doing well when you end up drawing aggro from everything around you. When it happens, there will be very little you can do. You will end up in a downed state, and mobs will continue to attack you while you're down.

So, on the note of being downed, you can generally sustain more DPS if when you die, you either self-res (in place) if it's available, or wait to be res'ed. Extracting generally takes much more time than waiting for a revive. Revive if you must, but your deaths (extractions) are tracked, and I'm not sure how they figure in, but either way... if the goal is to end up at the top - don't do it.

Listen, there are problems with the game. I get it, they need to be addressed. But going off on rants or constantly whining doesn't accomplish anything. The only thing it really does is show the maturity level of the person posting. These problems really should be discussed in a mature manner because truthfully, neither you, nor I are the only players in the game. What I think is best (for me) may not be the best for you and vice versa. What you may want might be good for you and your group of friends, but it could possibly be hated by everyone else. No substantial changes should be made based off of an opinion, unless everyone has had the chance to weigh in. But in order to go through a process like this we as a community need to understand that every single person here has a different viewpoint and motivations.

Beyond the bugs which are being addressed (rather quickly I might add), I believe the biggest thing that needs work is this forum, and the community. I'm not a fan of censorship of any kind, but having followed these forums since beta, I've got to say that something needs to be done. This community seems to be well on the road to getting as bad as the EvE community. I hate to make the comparison, but it's true in a lot of ways. The problem with it is unlike EvE, scams, metagaming, ponzi schemes, and the like AREN'T part of this game. The rough nature of EvE is why the community is what it is over there. There really isn't an excuse here. We're simply discussing the game and TV show, yet quite a few threads end up breaking out in flame wars. I sincerely believe that if mods don't start becoming more active in some of these threads, it will ultimately be the community itself which causes the downfall of Defiance.

Talking about problems with the game is one thing. Flaming people who have a different point of view is another.