Browse other gaming articles
Updated: 15 Apr 2019 18:01
Analyzing Claims made by Game Developers
One thing I've been parroting for years, is that while a game developer might be extremely gifted when it comes to designing and developing a game, this does not automatically translate into a good candidate for support or communicating to the fan base. This is why separating the publisher from the developer is often a good idea, or at the very least, hiring a community ambassador (or both).
Regardless of the mouth piece through which the claim is made, it's generally a good idea to analyze the claims made by the developers. This is assuming of course that you care about what is true. Some fanboys will let the developers do the thinking for them but it's okay to be a fan of the game, and critical all at once.
One game that I've been following and playing during early access is called Worlds Adrift. It's an MMO in the classical sense of the term as apposed to the bastardization of the term to apply to a multi-player game with servers ran by the players and a population that barely breaks 20. This has become common in an annoying sort of way. The game does not yet enjoy a large player base (for an MMO) but has a lot of potential. At the time of this writing the game has an all time peak of 2013 concurrently logged in players. When I was playing daily, it had around 600 players but lately this number has dropped and at this moment, it's down to 211 with peaks of around 300 on weekends. But this article isn't a review for the game, it is a reminder to check the claims made by developers because as disappointing as it can be, they are not always honest.
As a case in point, and with reference to publish 30 for Worlds Adrift, the was a comment posted by Bossa Studios, the company behind the development of Worlds Adrift. The statement addresses a change in progression. Up to this point, the player had three methods of gaining schematics; an item used to determine what you are able to craft.
- You could grind for knowledge and as your knowledge built up, you could choose to use your knowledge to unlock new random schematics. (For me this is literally boring as fuck and while I would do this on occasion, I preferred the choice of loot containers)
- You could trade them with other players. This is a rare event really, a small and occasional choice, but a choice nonetheless.
- You could collect them as random drops in loot containers spread throughout the world. Better schematics could be found in higher risk zones with more common schematics appearing in low risk or starter zones. The image below is of a large container and often contain multiple schematics.
As you can see, there was a fair number of choices here which was nice because often times I would get bored with grinding for knowledge and it was nice to know that I could actively island-hop in search of containers instead. And if I happened to snag a schematic that was decent, yet not needed in my collection, then I could hold it to trade with another player.
This is what was posted by Bossa Studios:
"The intention behind these changes is making your progression through the game about what you choose rather than looting chests and hoping for the schematic you want."
What an odd thing to say. This statement was in fact an attempt to justify the change, which is fine; all changes should have justification. But the issue here was that this was not a justification, it was a spin because the change did not bring additional choices. In fact it did the opposite, it brought fewer changes. Some people might like this, not me. When it comes to MMO's, I like choices and the more the merrier. This is why when it comes to MMO's I prefer games like Asheron's Call, Eve Online, and Star Wars Galaxies: These games cater to the problem solver, the analyst, and the critic where as most newer MMO's are dumbed down to appeal to a larger audience in an effort to gain more money.
So by removing schematics from containers, my choices are greatly reduced and if I get bored with grinding knowledge to gain schematics (and this is very boring to me), then I simply have to stop working to get schematics.
This also removes another advantage; sharing schematics with an Alt. In Worlds Adrift you are permitted 3 characters per account. In my case, I like to use an alt to help store stuff; a classic mule. One of the great things with hunting down containers, was that if I happened to get a schematic that I no longer needed (or wanted) I could pass it down to an ALT so even it it wasn't something good enough to trade, I could still put it to good use. This also meant that I didn't have to spend time progressing an alt and that for me was a huge bonus. But with this change, my mule wont be able to progress. So much for "choices".