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After reading the praise from critics and player base i decided to give it a go. I got the game for 20 buck and was very excited. I mean two quality B2P games and holiday season..what could go wrong right?
I have been playing it only for sometimes so my impression is from point of view of someone who is fairly new to the game. But the more i played the more i started to realise why this game went to B2P and failed as a P2P MMO.
At first i thought that maybe it is because of its complex gameplay and niche settings but i think problems are lot more deep rooted. And its 'niche' nature is just used to cover up the real issues I will go through these issues one by one which really spoiled the game experince for me.
1.) The 'End OF Days' Event.
What does this event rewards to its players?
The top 1000 players will receive a unique title, Hero of Ages, so their contribution to the world may be remembered for all time.
The top 100 players will also receive the exclusive Hatchling pet, a young ak'ab flown straight from the abyss to your side! This may be your only chance to ever own one of these soulless chittering creatures!
Good compeition on paper but fails completely when put into practise. Thanks to slow reponse by the dev team, this event even though ending on 7th Jan has been exploited from day one. Now since i can not mention the exploit openly and many TSW players are already aware of it, it is sad state of affairs that it has been allowed to continue without any strict action from FC.
What is even more interesting is that any topic regarding this exploit of farming 'mayans' is immediately removed from forums which in beginning gave a false impression that dev team will crackdown on this exploit and those who are using this exploit.
I as a new player though wasn't aware of it and when i questioned the tactics in general chat i was told to 'shove it' and 'mind my own business'.
However, once the final results come up for this event and you see list of top 100 players, it would be hard to take their win seriously. Not saying all 100players exploited but how can you really tell?
Moving on to next issue of this poorly thought out event.
Random spawns of zombies much higher than your level. When i just started playing i entered kingsmouth and immediately got attacked by a zombie which was red to me. As expected i died quite quickly. I inquired about this in general chat and i was told that this zombie will continue to attack me till i kill it and pick up its remains.
I asked for help in general several times but i got no help so decided to continue playing. I got jumped by this zombie several times in middle of fighting other mobs and i died many many times that day. I decided to take break in frustration and give it another go next day.
Next day after several hours i managed to find help of a high level player to kill it and pick up remains. The attacks by aggressive zombie stopped.
As i thought it was the end of it, i started getting zombie spawns right on top of me (non aggro) while fighting other mobs. And it happens so fast that before you reliase that you hit that non aggro zombie you are dead.
And all this in starter zone.where new players are just starting to learn the game.
But i kept it together (i am avery patient man) and continued to play. As i got half way through Kingsmouth i realised i can join Fusang. (how exciting!!)
2.) Fusang PVP
I am an illuminatti player and had no idea that i joined faction which owns Fusang in Group C 24 hours a day. Yes 24 hours constant farming of white marks for PVP gear. And how it is done?
Join Fusang (queue time is anywhere between 40 minutes to one hour), rush towards a facility, stand in there afk as you get your 3000 White Marks, leave fusang, convert them to Black Marks, rejoin queue..rinse and repeat.
On ocassion if you get 4 or 5 payers from Templars or Dragons zerg them with 15 players and camp their spawn point. This is the state of PVP in Group C. I have heared that same situation exists in Group A only difference is that Templars own Fusang 24 hours a day.
Because of this imbalance, Templars in Group A and illuminati in group C are geared to the teeth in 10.4 which leaves other factions in their groups with no fighting chance.
There is no buff for under dogs and at most you can get is 2 or 4 white marks in 3 minutes where as the over populated faction can farm upto 140 marks in 3 minutes.
3.) Error; 'Disconnected from community server' ;
Every 30 minutes to one hour you get kicked out of Fusang, raid groups and Market goes down. During this period all community functions are unavilable. This usually lasts for 10 minutes and you have to rejoin PVP queues and reform your raid groups just to fall apart again after an hour or so.
This has been happening since the day patch 1.5 was launched. So far the reasponse has been that 'devs are also human beings and they need off time in holidays'. So this will get fixed once dev team is back from holidays.
Fair enough. I mean if my MMO is a huge succes i would also go take long extended holidays..what is there to worry about right?
4.) Character Customization
I know this must have been talked about many many times before. But since i am a new player i just can not get over the hideous faces that i get to choose while making my character. No other MMO has put me off so badly on character creation screen before.
Considering the 'modern day' settings of the game i find it really un settling that all players are blessed with perfect and chiseled physique. There is no place for various body sizes in modern world and some magic pill has transformed eveyone into these models right out of an episode of Bay Watch but.... with very hedious faces. There is a plastic surgeon in New York but even that poor guy can not fix the faces which look like as if hit by a bus.
5.) Lag and game freezes.
Horrible lag, constant server disconnects and game freezes is a part of daily life in TSW now.
Regarding which i was told by other players that even though FC opened the doors to more players with B2P model they forgot to upgrade their servers which is causing major performance issues for the players. At first i though that maybe it is my internet connection. So i fired up all other MMOS that i could like GW2, SWTOR, STO, EQ2 etc.
All these MMOS ran without any problems and latency was normal. But as i got back into TSW, i started getting very high latency, game would just freeze randomly and disconnect from server along with all other players in my group making dungeon runs almost impossible.
Despite all these problems is there a fun game hidden in there somewhere? yes maybe but as a new player i have come to the conclusion that in its current state regardless of cheap box price, i value my sanity a lot more.
The story, atmosphere, cut scenes, skill wheel all are very interesting and top notch and game can be fun when it works. Sadly it works for vey little in its current state.
I believe that the poor support by FC and delayed and slow fixes is the reason that caused it to be a failure as P2P MMO and not its complex game design or niche settings. And if FC wants it to be a long lasting success this time in my opinion they really really need to be more aggressive.
"The problem is that the hardcore folks always want the same thing: 'We want exactly what you gave us before, but it has to be completely different.'
"Online gamers are the most ludicrously entitled beings since Caligula made his horse a senator, and at least the horse never said anything stupid."