Snap Judgment – The Division Open Beta

The Division isn’t for me.

It’s a very beautiful-looking game. The graphics are fantastic, and the urban environments are very realistic and detailed.

Unfortunately I didn’t see anything new or innovative in the gameplay. The whole time I was playing, I kept thinking, “This plays just like Defiance, and Defiance is free.” The only thing The Division has is the cover mechanic. And the fantastic graphics, of course.

I also couldn’t help but notice that there were very few other people around in this alleged MMO game. Perhaps that’s why they keep talking up the Dark Zone–because that’s the only place that has any people in it?

Anyway, I recorded my impressions in a video.

Punishing PvP Activity In PvP Games

I was reading the Albion Online State of the Game and came across this part:

Red zones will be full loot PvP zones that do not contain any claimable territories. Red zones will be subject to a crime and reputation system that makes sure that killing peaceful players – in particular, if they are zerged down – has more consequences for the attackers.

No part of that makes me more interested in Albion Online.

This chain of logic seems to happen often in MMO games:

  1. Make hardcore PvP game because it’ll (I guess?) attract a lot of players.
  2. Notice players complaining about getting killed unfairly in hardcore PvP game.
  3. Add systems to constrain people from killing each other in hardcore PvP game.
  4. Wonder why everyone leaves the game.

What is the point of putting full-loot, open-world PvP in a game if you’re going to punish players for killing and looting people?

I was listening to the GWJ Conference Call talking about The Division and there seems to be a similar system in there. It’s super dangerous in the Dark Zone because anyone can kill you but oh, by the way, if they do they’ll get a bounty on their head and everyone in the game will get bonus points for hunting them down and taking their stuff*. Say what? Who’s going to sign up for that?

I can only assume this is yet another misguided attempt to get PvP players and PvE players to buy the same game.

* I don’t know if that’s exactly right, but it was something along those lines.

Don’t Feel Bad About Getting Bored

I recently saw a farewell post on My Life in Azeroth. I’m sorry to see anyone stop blogging, and I hope they resume someday, but the tone of the post got me thinking.

It seems like a lot of WoW players sound apologetic or guilty when they discuss leaving that game, like they are somehow letting Blizzard or the community down. I’ve seen it in blog posts, and I’ve seen it on Twitter. Like they are admitting some deep, dark secret that they didn’t want to tell anyone. Like they are revealing some deep personal flaw in themselves.

I don’t mean to single out WoW here, but it seems like that’s where I see it the most.

I realize I’m probably reading more into this than what is actually there, but on the off chance anyone actually does feel that way, allow me to dispense some unrequested advice from someone who’s been there many times: It’s completely fine and normal and I daresay even expected that you as a player will grow tired of even the greatest, most fantastic MMORPG in the history of the world. (This applies to any game, really, not just WoW or MMORPGs.) There’s just no way that any developer can create content faster than a player can consume it. I actually find it more strange to hear about people who keep playing a single MMORPG day after day for years on end without any break.

The MMORPG genre is basically defined by repetitive gameplay, especially at the endgame (PvE at least). Sometimes repetition is soothing, and sometimes it’s annoying and soul-crushing. If it becomes more of the latter, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break from an MMORPG. If you come back to it later, then great, but if not, that’s okay too.

So to summarize: Don’t feel bad about it!