I’m an easy sell the first time around when it comes to new mmorpgs. I have to enjoy my first taste and want more, like the direction that the developers say they’re taking the game, and have a position outlook on how it will all unfold. When it comes to second chances, I’m one of the harder sells out there. Unless I really liked the game and quit reluctantly or on good terms, it’s next to impossible to get me to try it again. The people I play with know I’m a tough resell — perhaps a little on the stubborn side even.
I’m reminded of the three stages. I believe these get credited to Arnold van Gennep: separation, transition, and incorporation. That middle stage – transition – is the most dangerous. That’s when we’re vulnerable and all sorts of bad stuff happens (or we believe it happens). It holds true for gaming. When we’re between games we are very susceptable to all sorts of influences we might normally be guarded against. Some of us get so bored that we will turn to anything for relief. Some can easily be swayed into trying something they were on the fence about. Some might even find themselves campaigning for the very game they fought so hard against.
A lot of my close gaming friends, with whom I play games and hang out on vent every day, cornered me last night and told me that they’re going to resubscribe to Darkfall. My first reply was “You all are bat ____ crazy”. Okay, so I didn’t come out and say it but that’s what I was thinking. “Our old buddies we played with have a real successful guild! They own an island will all sorts of villas, harvesting spots, mobs to fight, two cities, and are part of a big alliance!”. They went on to tell me about the skill system being what was promised on paper where you get better at one skill and that makes you weaker in another area — IE, better at melee worse at magic. Skilling up isn’t about shooting spells into the air but using them in PvE now. Ship battles, new weapon mechanics, revamped this and that.
Sounds fun. It always ‘sounds’ fun. I won’t be resold on the idea so quickly though. What about those people who macro’d to the moon and back? What about all the vast ways of exploiting hit boxes and other unpolished aspects of the game? Do I still have to mine *plink plink* rocks all day? Coming back to the game at this point would mean starting over. That means being eons behind everyone in their 100 rigor and bloated stats and rank 60 weapons. When I ask people whether or not it’s possible to come back and compete I get the run-around usual “oh well you’d have help”. I don’t blame them; I give the same responses to those tough questions. The reality though is that you can’t compete. Someone giving you a straight answer will say that you’ll get 3-shot by a high skilled player. It takes time and effort to build up those numbers on a character; after all, character development in Darkfall is not very disguised — it really is just getting higher numbers on skills. Can I catch up? “Everyone maxes out eventually”. No, that’s not what I asked. The truth is in there though. It’s not easy to catch up. It would be a huge uphill battle with the odds against you. What no one can answer for me yet is whether or not it’s worth it — whether or not it’s worth hiding behind everyone else in the battle for a few months, losing countless times before coming close to a win, and playing the odds that one day it will pan out for you — it absolutely was not the first time. Has the game really changed or are people just being optimistic because what was once so bad is now tolerable?
They’ll be the guinea pigs for me. I’ve told them that I want them to play it and let me know how it is before I give it a another try. Starting up today or next month won’t matter. At this rate I can only benefit from waiting because if they stick with it I’ll have all the more help.