Monday, March 25, 2013

Defiance Beta Impressions and My Thoughts on the Business Model

I've been interested in Defiance for quite sometime because it offers a similar experience to Guild Wars 2 but with different combat mechanics and setting. The fact that it's also linked to a TV series is also a pretty big plus. I've had my hands on two Defiance beta weekends and this is my impressions of the game from both beta weekends.

First of all, I like the narrative, they successfully show you a story in an even better way than Guild Wars 2. Because seriously, as good as Guild Wars 2 is for me I really don't feel anything about the story. While some of the voice acting is a bit hit or miss, overall, Defiance gives a better story experience.

Graphically, Defiance looks pretty good although it wouldn't hurt to have more character customization options. The in-game environment looks great, but graphic isn't really what makes me interested in a game, it's the gameplay. And sadly I find the gameplay in Defiance a bit lacking although I do like the addition of vehicles in the game, makes exploring much more enjoyable.

In theory it sounded a lot like Firefall meets Guild Wars 2, which is fine and all but the idea of just shooting enemies over and over again for hours are just not really interesting for me. Yes, there are abilities but it is so lacking in that it only gives you four kinds of skills to choose from.

And classes? no such thing. You might say there is a class selection at the beginning of the game but that mostly only affects your starting weapon and clothes. By the time you actually play the game you'll have access to all weapons and you can choose any of the four skills available, regardless of your class. This means as far as gameplay variety goes, I will be bored in a matter of hours.

The dynamic events and challenges are quite fun as you'll be finding them around the world and trying to clear them with or without the help of other players. This is always a fun aspect and more games should change their usual questing system to dynamic events because this system is so much better and pushes people to explore the world instead of sticking to the main roads like in most MMOs.

The overall gameplay however is still lacking and as a $60 game I wouldn't really recommend it if the game's still in this form when it's released. More abilities and more character customization options like talents would help a lot rather than the perk system that they have right now, which is really limited.

What really irks me is their business model. I have no problem with Buy to Play games, heck I love Guild Wars 2. but I have a problem with a game that tries to take as much of your money as possible. We have to pay for the game, and you get microtransactions in it(which is fine) but add a Season Pass, which means a lot of paid DLCs to the mix and it's starting to get ridiculous. Even Guild Wars 2 doesn't expect me to pay for more content(and they added A LOT of content for free).

In conclusion, Defiance might be a decent title for those of you who wanted to play something similar to Guild Wars 2 but with different combat mechanics and in a different setting. Some of you who likes the TV Series might also want to try this game. but for those who expects something out of the ordinary, this is not the MMO for you. The combat will get repetitive and the limited number of abilities is really disappointing. And paid DLCs on top of microtransactions? it seems people aren't learning anything from EAs mistakes. This is one MMO I will have to pass.

If you're still interested though, do check out the site:
And the Steam page:

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