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Alganon: Alganon Review

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com writer Jaime Skelton writes this week's review by taking a look at Alganon from the folks over at Quest Online.

There has been a trend lately of releasing "classic" MMORPGs; games that veterans would recognize as similar to MMO classics such as EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, and World of Warcraft. When it met the press, Alganon was introduced as a game that would grow and develop alongside its players, a game that offered both "innovative" elements and the things that everyone loved about other MMOs.

Two months after its release, Alganon may not have yet had time to grow, but it has had time to get over any initial bumps in its launch and offer its product to gamers. The question remains: does Alganon offer a game worth its price and subscription, and does it have potential to become something better?

Read the Alganon Review.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • Einherjar_LCEinherjar_LC MelfiPosts: 1,055Member Common

    A fair review IMO.

     

    With the exception of the study system, this game is a copy and paste of WoW and a poor one.  That being said one recurring theme keeps popping up, if you wanna play WoW, people will play WoW and not a poor knock off version.

     

    Had this game been F2P with item mall, or pay for content similar to DDO it might have been more successful.  People simply aren't going to want to pay a premium sub rate for a sub par knock off of a premium game.

     

     

    Einherjar_LC says: WTB the true successor to UO or Asheron's Call pst!

  • SkuzSkuz WorcesterPosts: 1,034Member Uncommon

    Before the game was shown to be the sham it was I had high hopes for it, it looked to be trying some quite innovative approaches, what was revealed was a substandard game, I almost feel sorry for those that are playing it, still, it could grow if it gets continued devlopment, but right now appears to still be stuck in a beta state or worse alpha.

    To my knowledge only a tiny number of games have ever grown after such dismal launch performances as this has had & it does appear that even if it were to grow it would be at a painfully glacial pace, it's not possible for it to be making much money to pay for anything faster than that, if indeed it's making any profit at all.

  • majimaji ColognePosts: 1,995Member Uncommon

    Played the free trial (which is quicky installed in case you feel like trying it). It was ok. I wouldn't buy it myself (I'm very picky anyway), but... I think for people who are no pro-gamers and just want some comfy small MMORPG to play, without gigantic raids or PvP battles, it's ok.

    It's not a good game, but empty MMORPGs depress me.

    Let's play Fallen Earth (blind, 300 episodes)

    Let's play Guild Wars 2 (blind, 45 episodes)

  • jayartejayarte LancasterPosts: 450Member

    I've been playng Alganon on and off since June of this year when it was still in closed beta.  (The "on and off" nature of my playing isn't due to anything lacking in Alganon; I just find it hard to stick with any one mmorpg these days now that I've become familiar with the genre and its audience).

     

    I enjoyed Alganon right from the start, particularly the fluid character animations, immersive music and colourful backdrop.  I've enjoyed the studies system, but would like to see it expanded to all alts.  Up until recently, the community has been a strong selling point for this game, but we could certainly do with more players.  Several people seem to have levelled to 50 fairly quickly and found a lack of quests in the higher levels.  This problem hasn't arisen for me (back to the on and off gaming approach again) and I currently have 3 alts, the highest of which is only about lv 14.

     

    Another plus for me has been the development team's communication and interaction with the players.  The servers are US based and I'm in the UK, but there is always at least one GM online when I log in and they participate in chat and the help channel regularly.  The dev team also regularly participates on the forums, which is great.

     

    I really hope this game succeeds; it has a "feel" to it which I like (fluidity of character model movement, plus easy-to-use UI), an excellent dev team behind it, and a good mix of new and familiar playstyle.  I'm not so good at breaking down the individual components of a game, I can only say that some games are a good "fit" for me (eg WoW, Alganon, Allods, Ryzom, Aion) and others, whilst still playable, and to a lesser extent enjoyable, don't have that same feel (eg EQ2, Vanguard, Guild Wars, DDO, DAOC).  For me, it isn't to do with content, graphics, style, pvp (or not) per se, it is in the end down to the way the game makes me feel as my character journeys through the gameworld and that isn't always something which is easily analysable.

  • OnsabooOnsaboo GreenwichPosts: 48Member

     As much as I dislike this game for it's 'borrowed' mechanics from other games, I hope their forthcoming F2P model works out for them.

  • TalinTalin West Babylon, NYPosts: 824Member

    I'm sorry to see a new game labeled with such a low score, due to the impact it will likely have towards other players even considering the trial. As is the modern trend, the game was released before it was ready and the backlash this will have on the future success of the game cannot be overstated. I loved the concepts the designers outlined in their plans for the game, but with such an empty husk to start with, what motivation do people have to hang on and grow with the game?

    This is not even a concern regarding F2P or P2P; I won't invest my time (much less my money) on a game that doesn't have any features that are truly enjoyable. Having a study system that works while I'm offline does nothing for my gaming experience, although I do like the concept of a level of advancement based on duration of character existence (making it so someone who blows through the level progression in a week is still unable to achieve something until a later time).

  • VinfallaVinfalla Itasca, ILPosts: 10Member

    I totally agree with the writer's viewpoints here.

     

    "It's hard to talk about a community that isn't there. Alganon is a ghost town, and it is rare that you would find another person, even in the main city. Over a month, every weekend and Friday evening, I would check the numbers on both servers, both factions, and no server ever came close to meeting fifty people on concurrently."

     

    However, that above quote is exactly why the game just can't rationally demonstrate survivability.  There is a cruel slippery slope that occurs when someone logs in and sees almost no one on.  We would hope the game would somehow cause folks to stay in long enough to start adding to the population and not subtracting from it.

     First off let me state tthat I was part of that early crowd that spent $39.99 for the digital download and $19.99 a month for the game.  A few hours before it went live (maybe even a day) it went to half those prices and none of us were given anything to compensate the change.  We merely had to accept it and hope for some sort of extra time plan or a free month or such.

    Anyway, going back to that slippery slope effect and as an example of that slippery slope effect I could go play Vanguard Saga of Heroes - a game that had lots of races and classes and a far more expansive and beatifully rendered world then what I ever saw in Alganon.  Yet, that slippery slope of lacking players has killed that beautiful game as well. Like Alganon (2009 release) Vanguard (2005 release) released with a lot of issues that mmorpgs like Dark Age of Camelot (a 2001 release - with arguably as many options as an SOE release) did not face. Like Alganon Vanguard had lots of promises and was unable to follow through for a few years. 

    First impressions will destroy an mmorpg if the developers have not met the expectations of a particular player base.

    UNLIKE Alganon - Vanguard offered many different options - and was beautifully rendered.  It however, like Alganon was unable to recover in the first few months of release.

    However, I wish the Alganon devs all the luck - I can only give credit and applaud any company that has the courage to break away from what we all know on paper works:

    i.e. Lots of races and classes a big map and tons of involved quests that identify you as a heroic figure in a complex political society (realm vs realm or what have you)...

    And instead - released the game with 2 races and the same handful of classes on both sides. If you can create a fun world out of that then I /salute you if not then I wish you folks all the best for the future.

  • WintersKeepWintersKeep Poulsbo, WAPosts: 5Member

    That was a very fair review indeed.  Alganon has its share of issues, to be sure, but still remains a good game.  I think this article gives the impression of "once improvements are made, this is worth checking out", which is fully true.  Low server pops and the fact that major changes and new content are soon to come are large hurdles to get over.  Alganon will just have to wait and see what the future brings.

    I applaud the reviewer for their honesty!

  • Esther-ChanEsther-Chan Prestonsburg, KYPosts: 288Member

    I agree with this review of Alganon. I tried Alganon using it's trial feature and I wasn't impressed with the game. First, the character visuals are just very poor and secondly, there just isn't enough races or classes to satisfy people who like to play alts.



    The music and sound are just subpar. Quests are too simple. It's 2010; we deserve voice acting for a subscription based game for heaven's sake! Take a page out of Everquest II and hire some voice actors!

  • VinfallaVinfalla Itasca, ILPosts: 10Member

    We had voice back in Asheron's Call 2 ( a game that died before World of Warcraft brought in all the future mmorpg experts ;p)...but Turbine (LOTRO, DDO, AC2) has done voice overs for a while now - it is a shame some good ideas in mmorpg gaming such as lots of classes and races with lots of political separation *you know like in the real world* has not been the model to compete with these days.

     

    I almost wonder if mmorpgs are regressing to a simple low depth world with a horrid level grind to compensate (to keep those power gamers from seeing what the game really has to offer at least..for a while).

     

    SOMEDAY - an mmorpg will release that has a huge world with lots of races and classes - where you get to choose a faction among a few *at least 3 (so tired of the 2 fation model in fantasy mmorpgs)...and we will have lots of great fun :)

    As an example - and I don't know squat about mmorpg creation:

    Welcome to Fantasy Empires! The mmorpg where you can choose from up to 5 factions - each with 8-14 class options and 4-6 races.  Modify your characters with skill progression instead of the traditional level grind! Yes, this means you will be able to group with friends regardless of level - though more skills will equivocate to more options down the road.

     

    Tired of your guild or alliance's rvr pvp successes going unnoticed? TIred of pointless arena rankings? Here in Fantasy Empires Online your nation's actions will reflect on the lowest level of you realm as well as the highest most epically geared players! Control a powerful territory that is complemented with rich pools of mana and watch as every caster in your realm enjoys the bonuses that magic brings her people!

    Conquer an enemy realm that is known for their soldiery and watch as melee advantage goes to your realm!

    WIth a low $9.99 per month and the option for lifetime subs you will have no worry of mindless cash shop mmos and yet will not be forced to pay more than you should for a pay to play!

    Do you enjoy pvp? Here we have massive siege warfare simulations that are ongoing - meaning there is no instancing.  Not sure where the action is? Just check out the borders of your kingdom and see who your empire is at war with!

    Forge alliances with previous enemy nations - break treaties over the aspect of plunder and greed - or, be a part of an empire that will rule the world with successful territorial conquest that literally forces alliances out of less active/organized nations!

    Fight by land - and even fight by sea with the all new realm vs realm ship to ship warfare system - and for those very elite - fight off the backs of your flying mounts - thousands of feet above the ground - to the victors will go the spoils - and to the fallen will either a watery end or a plummet to sure death occur!

    We have the epic battles that have you fight over much needed resources, - some of the greatest dungeons will only unlock if you can control a certain amount of territory - while others will be the laid back solo or small team advent that can be knocked out in an hour of your time and still offer great rewards!

    We also have the larger more complex epic dungeons! For you pve lovers you will have multiple tiered voiced over epic dungeon events that will allow you to earn the recipes and ingredients for  many of the most elite and complex crafting creations!  Trade recipes and ingredients with hard core pvpers and make even more potent gear templates, potions, weaponry, housing needs and all the look your guild's private castle and lands would ever want!

    Soon to release in 2010...via digital download or at a software vendor near you!

     

    ...yeah...dream on.  More like hey it's another free to play cash shop game with no community, or another mmorpg set in a fantasy universe where pvp is 32 guys in a corn field that all have almost the same exact gear and races all beating each other up - endlessly. /yawn

     

  • AnubisanAnubisan Boulder, COPosts: 1,801Member

    That was a very fair review Jaime. I think you were much kinder to them than I would have been in your situation. I personally could not get over the copied feeling I got from every single thing in the game. It felt like a bad World of Warcraft knock-off when I tried it...

    Still, I hope every game has a long enough lifespan to grow into its full potential. I just personally think they would have a greater chance at doing that if they went F2P. I don't think the game has any hope of survival under its current business model.

  • parrotpholkparrotpholk Leland, NCPosts: 3,275Member

     Good review and more than fair score. Its hard to imagine a MMO with a smaller following than this one. Well at least one under 2 or 3 yrs old.

  • astrob0yastrob0y stockholmPosts: 702Member

    A well made review that goes with what I saw in the beat. And I beliveve that  "[...] the player economy is virtually non-existent on either server. MMO that it is, Alganon seems more like a single player MMO,[...]" does sum the current state of the mmo industry atm :)

    I7@4ghz, 5970@ 1 ghz/5ghz, water cooled||Former setups Byggblogg||Byggblogg 2|| Msi Wind u100

  • johnmatthaisjohnmatthais Florence, SCPosts: 2,663Member

     All I can say is that March 1st will decide Alganon's fate in the eyes of many.

  • thormachthormach Manhattan, KSPosts: 14Member

    Alganon is just another example of not having enough money to finish the game so they try to release it early and get players to pay for the game to be developed.  I personally will not pay to play a beta. I got into the beta but could not play as the game would completely lock up as soon as I got into the game.   And no matter what anyone tries to say it is a WOW rip off. I lol'd when I saw the game trailer and could almost name the zones that Alganon had stolen from WOW.

  • shavashava Somerville, MAPosts: 282Member Uncommon

    Although parts of the training system is new, much of it is very very similar to Eve Online.  So even parts of that are derivative.  For example, to pursue invention, you need to train a complex of skills over time, and then find a faction-specific skill.  And your training is queued, and continues when you are offline -- but only one character at a time.

    One feature that I found intriguing was that you basically had almost a bartle-test choice in character generation -- the explorer, crafter,... "families" -- a feature that I might have really enjoyed.  I was reminded, conceptually, of the crafting chat channel on EQII in the early days.  It seemed like a fun thing.  But then, there just wasn't critical mass.

    I also rather enjoyed the concept that your alts all have the same surname -- although I know some folks would just hate that, as they want their alts to occupy segregated social spaces.

    But again, these features need critical mass.

    I loaded the beta, and was not impressed, frankly, with the graphics or the story/immersion.  Barring the training system, which did pique my curiosity, I'd as soon play LOTRO or Aion on the fantasy side, or Eve Online on the SF side.  There are advantages and disadvantages to scale, but if Alganon can't build a community, it's most charming features won't be realized.

    Yrs,

    Shava

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,988Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by shava


    Although parts of the training system is new, much of it is very very similar to Eve Online.  So even parts of that are derivative.  For example, to pursue invention, you need to train a complex of skills over time, and then find a faction-specific skill.  And your training is queued, and continues when you are offline -- but only one character at a time.
    One feature that I found intriguing was that you basically had almost a bartle-test choice in character generation -- the explorer, crafter,... "families" -- a feature that I might have really enjoyed.  I was reminded, conceptually, of the crafting chat channel on EQII in the early days.  It seemed like a fun thing.  But then, there just wasn't critical mass.
    I also rather enjoyed the concept that your alts all have the same surname -- although I know some folks would just hate that, as they want their alts to occupy segregated social spaces.
    But again, these features need critical mass.
    I loaded the beta, and was not impressed, frankly, with the graphics or the story/immersion.  Barring the training system, which did pique my curiosity, I'd as soon play LOTRO or Aion on the fantasy side, or Eve Online on the SF side.  There are advantages and disadvantages to scale, but if Alganon can't build a community, it's most charming features won't be realized.
    Yrs,

    Shava

    The reason EVE's training over time system works (though many people despise it) is that we only need one character, because we can train to do anything.  When you introduce fixed classes then player are going to want alts, and limiting the off line training to one character doesn't make any sense at all.

    Heck, they should change this immediately and it probably will boost their sub numbers right off the bat.

     

     

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • shavashava Somerville, MAPosts: 282Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kyleran The reason EVE's training over time system works (though many people despise it) is that we only need one character, because we can train to do anything.  When you introduce fixed classes then player are going to want alts, and limiting the off line training to one character doesn't make any sense at all.
    Heck, they should change this immediately and it probably will boost their sub numbers right off the bat.
     
     

     

    Totally agree!

    yrs,

    Shava

  • johnmatthaisjohnmatthais Florence, SCPosts: 2,663Member
    Originally posted by Kyleran


    Heck, they should change this immediately and it probably will boost their sub numbers right off the bat.

    Of course, because the lack of subs has nothing to do with the grind, lack of content, bugs, lack of PvP despite having 2 opposing factions, lack of races, lack of races that look different, lack of customization, shoddy animations, a ripped-off interface (albeit a poorly done ripoff), lack of real guild content, lack of group content, lack of dungeons, lack of a reason to craft, and lack of fulfilled promises.

    Yeah, nothing to do with it at all. =p

  • PhelimReaghPhelimReagh New York, NYPosts: 647Member Uncommon

    By and large a fair and accurate review, I take issue with the following conclusion:

     

    "Alganon deserves more players than it has. It is possible that, if players give Alganon the opportunity to grow, and its developers spend honest work improving the game, it may become a small classic of its own."

     

    No game deserves anything, and it is not incumbent on any player to give a game developer anything, be it their money or any kid of "opportunity to grow".

     

    Alganon had a lot of goodwill, buzz and expectations. Then they tried to pass off an Alpha-stage game as a AAA product with AAA prices.

     

    As much as I wish Alganon well in the future, it should be used as a case study for game developers: don't try to pull this kind of stunt, because you simply can't recover from it. Not anymore (if you even ever could).

     

    You have one chance to make a first impression, and if the impression that you make is that you're all hype and zero delivery, you lose people's trust. It could have been that had QOL done things a bit differently, they could have started out with a small core that would have eventually spread the good word, and some measure of success would have been sure to follow.

     

    As it stands now, open and excited folks lost their faith in the game, it's developers and QOL. The company is going to have to earn that trust back before a lot of folks will even consider looking at it again.

     

    I said earlier that I wish them well, I do so because the more games that succeed, the more investment and options the genre will have. So I hope the game succeeds for the sake of MMOs in general, not for the sake of QOL per se.

  • jamigrejamigre New York, NYPosts: 283Member

     this is what happens when you don't differentiate. a bad crtl-c ctrl-v job, and another shite product from D.Allen. 

     

    sigh... g'luck to them with the f2p model though. 

    -------
    Check out http://partyupgamer.com - and meet people you actually want to play with.
    -------

  • WisebutCruelWisebutCruel Paris, ALPosts: 1,089Member

    Alganon is marginally playable: a patchwork game sewn together with thin threads that keep breaking."

     

    That one line from the review says it all.

  • johnmatthaisjohnmatthais Florence, SCPosts: 2,663Member

     Oh god, I just realized that if this goes the way of Istaria by dying and then coming back as partially F2P, then maybe it'll actually garner subs. xD

  • parrotpholkparrotpholk Leland, NCPosts: 3,275Member

     They do not have a choice but to go f2p with a shop. You cant run a p2p on 400-500 subs and that might even be generous. F2p will increase that at least 10x for a while at least. 

     

    Edit. After thinking about it for a minute F2P wont help. Allods is so much better in so many different ways that there is still no reason to play this. A game without a home...tis sad, maybe it and Tabula Rasa can point and make fun of Auto Assault now in the shelter.

  • BruwinBruwin Roseburg, ORPosts: 54Member
    Originally posted by parrotpholk


     They do not have a choice but to go f2p with a shop. You cant run a p2p on 400-500 subs and that might even be generous. F2p will increase that at least 10x for a while at least. 
     
    Edit. After thinking about it for a minute F2P wont help. Allods is so much better in so many different ways that there is still no reason to play this. A game without a home...tis sad, maybe it and Tabula Rasa can point and make fun of Auto Assault now in the shelter.

     

    That was my exact thinking back when I beta tested this, and was in the CB1 of Allods. At that time, I literally had to do a double take that Allods was far more polished and professional looking, while being a F2P, while Alganon was going for a P2P model. Alganon might, and I stress this, might have had a shot if it had started out as F2P at the beginning, and then did a beta in much the same fashion as Allods did. But converting F2P after the fact when it isn't terribly engaging to start with probably won't help at all. There's better games to play currently - especially now that Allods isn't going to do another player wipe.

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