The Last Bastion

For the old guard, the happy fools, the dreamers.

Daily Thoughts: BnS final impressions, comments on crowdfunding communities

Posted By on February 21, 2016

I think I’ll try to jot down some stuff every day. We’ll see how that goes.

So I played some Blade and Soul. Just another f2p Korean MMO that arrives in the western market with a lot of fanfare and very little reason for existing. This particular game was very shallow and it seems clear the main goals were simply to squeeze money out of players, to create a hyper-sexualized Barbi dress-up mini-game, and to attempt to handle MMORPG e-sports by simply creating a fighting game and calling it an MMO.

The game failed in multiple places…the world was small, poorly handled technically (tons of issues with terrain collision, glitchy lag, and seemingly poor net code), and obviously trumped up simply as a holder for the ultra-generic quest hub to quest hub linear task grind that players are forced to suffer through in order to obtain a full set of tools to play the fighting game.

The fighting game itself falls down for multiple reasons. Buggy classes and a lack of balance (some of which is due to the slip-shod way they are bringing sections of the game into the western version), plus a massive number of gold seller bots farming not only the PvE instances but also the dueling arena (!!), lead to the lower-mid ranks of the 1v1 PvP being a completely horrible experience of fighting nothing but a single class, most of which are bots.

Enough said on that one. It wasted a few weeks of my time…I never really thought it would be a long-term MMORPG home anyway. I did manage to beat the terrible RNG in the game and farm myself up a complete outfit and weapon on a couple characters. My female character (who I made to look just like Scarlett Johansson) got to display her digital T&A in all its jiggling glory. Mission accomplished, I guess.

Topic change! I’m having trouble believing that this new MMORPG funding method is going to work out. All these games using crowdfunding and getting early monetary investment from their community are going to run into difficult times if they ever get close to releasing a finished game. Maybe they don’t see it coming, but I’ve been a part of enough pre-release communities to know that things tend to get pretty ugly when the unwashed masses start filtering in as release approaches. This effect is likely to be magnified exponentially by the money that’s involved.

Early development communities tend to be pretty close-knit, extremely dedicated fans who are highly invested emotionally and time-wise in the success of the game they have been told they are getting. Adding money into this equation puts in on an entirely different level. Now these people actually have a reason to feel entitled.

What’s going to happen to these communities when all the completely uninterested and unconcerned players of the genre at large show up and start demanding changes during late beta? I hate to think how ugly some of these projects might get. For the developers, it’s going to be very difficult to stick to their guns, stick by their long-time fans, and finish what they started out to do. The temptation of a much wider audience and exponentially bigger profits will likely sink some of the ships before they even leave port.

I hope those highly invested fans can handle some disappointment…but I also hope that some of these games do end up staying true to their community and getting released. The genre needs some good games.


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