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[Preview] Defiance: A Hard Look at Trion’s Gamble

BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing EditorBerea, OHPosts: 2,369MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Defiance is poised on the edge of release, the ongoing beta having nearly run its course. We've got an extensive preview to share that will pique our readers' interest. See what we've got to say before heading into the comments to continue the discussion.

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Trion’s Defiance has a lot riding on it. The combined reputations and bankrolls of the game developer and the SyFy Network are hinging on this ambitious experiment’s success.  If one fails, it’s likely that the other will be fine. Say the show winds up a stinker, but the game’s a polished gem? The game will likely forge onward. The same could be said if the tables are turned.  The success of each unique product is not necessarily mutually exclusive. But no doubt, the ultimate goal is to have this multi-platform world of Defiance dominate the hearts and minds of sci-fi nerds everywhere, and anything less than a rousing success of both products will be seen as a failure. 

Read more of Bill Murphy's Defiance: A Hard Look at Trion’s Gamble.

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Comments

  • mcrippinsmcrippins Dallas, TXPosts: 1,070Member Uncommon
    Just finished watching the live ep about this game. I have to say watching the gameplay really exceeded my expectations of this project. Definitely going to give it a try.
  • steelheartxsteelheartx Biloxi, MSPosts: 432Member Uncommon
    The game is a good solid game, but your right about the UI.  If they haven't had any improvements on it since last beta weekend then it's going to really frustrate PC players :(

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  • DerrosDerros Posts: 1,077Member Uncommon

    I'd say this is a fair analysis.  The PC UI was bad the last time I played it last beta weekend.  It took me a while to figure out how to even quit the game. 

     

    Trion, I press ESC, and there should be an option to quit right there!  Please!

     

    Regardless, Im excited, mainly because ive been wanting a good pve/shooter MMO type game for a while, and firefall just didnt grab me, at all.

     

    I do wish there were a few more races to start out with, as well.

  • psiicpsiic Tampa, FLPosts: 943Member Uncommon

    I would not really call this a solid game at least not yet. 

     

    As with almost every other mmo , this one could use another month or two in the oven to get cooked thru all the way. 

     

    However, Trion is on SyFy's time table and not thier own on this project so it is going to be a crunch from now on.

     

    I am a bit concerned for how trying to rush along to keep up with a TV show is ultimately going to effect the overall game but quess we will have to wait and see on that issue.

  • wildtalentwildtalent Huntsville, ALPosts: 380Member
    It's an ambitious project for sure, but if anyone can pull it off it's Trion.  Having said that, I'm a pc gamer at heart but I'll be playing this title on the PS3 due to the UI and control set up.  

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  • DeniZgDeniZg ZagrebPosts: 669Member Uncommon

    I'm not happy to say this, but the game has pretty shallow class design system.

    More accurately, it only has 1 (one) class available, which you tailor using passive talents. On top of that, you have only 4 skills (besides shooting gun and throwing grenade), where only 1 can be actively used.

    So, the way I see it, Defiance is aiming at console shooter fans. But, why would console shooter fan play this over, I don't know, Gears of War, Borderlands, or even COD or Battlefield?

  • AnthurAnthur StolbergPosts: 686Member Uncommon
    So the PC UI is crap. Ok, if they don't care for me as a customer using a PC I don't care for their game. I really don't know what is so difficult to make a good UI. Its pure laziness from dev side.
  • uller30uller30 MILWAUKEE, WIPosts: 114Member
    A ui for all kinda if idea is bad for games. This will not be that good for PC gamers. Is this cool an ambitious yes I'm excited to see where this will go. Hope it can do well.
  • McGamerMcGamer Fairfield Bay, ARPosts: 1,012Member
    Why is it the Defiance site says the NDA is not lifted until a few minutes from now and yet this article is immune?
  • QuailmanQuailman marlborough, MAPosts: 165Member

    I guess I'll weigh in since the NDA is lifted. I've been playing the PS3 version quite a bit since tuesday. The controls are tight. I feel the game has some of the best controls in a console shooter. I was popping off headshots with ease. The guns themselves had a good sound and feel to them. I was very Impressed there. As for the vehicles, they control pretty well. They don't have the best driving mechanics out there, but they certainly aren't bad. I'd say it's pretty average there, not bad, but not great either. Now, that's the good stuff.

     

    Now for the less than good. The AI is unimpressive. Very predictable patterns and I never really broke a sweat taking them out. The side missions were moderately fun, but they get extremely repetive quite fast, and I can see people losing interest in them fairly quickly. I have witnessed on many occasions teleporting mobs, missing sounds and music, your "EGO" just going on a tangent talking to you about stuff that isn't going on (like talking about certain enemies that aren't there, or events that aren't happening) for up to 5 minutes, just cycling through a ton of preset dialog. I've also gotten stuck on lots of terrain, among other various annoying bugs.

     

    The worst bug I had was one of my main missions kept breaking and I couldn't complete it. I kept getting to the very end of the mission, but it just wouldn't progress. Eventually, through abandoning and restarting the mission, I was able to complete it, but it sure was annoying and wasted a lot of time. I left feedback for them about the quest, so hopefully that will be fixed come launch.

     

    As for the story, well I was wholly unimpressed. Very generic and boring story with some bad voice acting. I hope the show is more interesting.

     

    As for the UI, it works great on the PS3. Menus are easy to navigate, and there are some quick menus you can cycle through for easy access to chat and group functions as well as a few emotes. That said, if the UI is the same on the PC as it is on consoles, PC players are going to be unhappy.

     

    I haven't touched the PvP side of the game yet, I'll be doing that this weekend.

     

    Overall, I feel there is definitely some fun to be had here once they do some bug fixing, but I honestly don't see it having too much longevity for most people. Unless the PvP is really good, I couldn't see myself playing for too long. With the game being $60, the season pass being $40 and there also being a a cash shop for convenience items like xp and loot boosts, as well as clothing and weapon skins, the price of admission seems a little too high.

     

    Either way, I encourage anyone who is even a little bit interested in the game to play the beta this weekend and form an opinion themselves. Whether you like the game at first or not, I'd suggest playing the game for at least 4 or 5 hours to see if it has any lasting appeal for you. For me, it got a bit boring, but your mileage may vary.

     

    Cheers.

    Consume. Be silent. Die.

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,408Member Uncommon

    TODAY cant wait downloaded client last night!!!

     

    this looks like a Borderlands2 mmo!!!!-about time! out are the Dragons n wizards in with  Apocolipse!

    YEZ!

  • adam_noxadam_nox hays, KSPosts: 2,036Member Uncommon
    It's nothing like borderlands 2.  It's a fairly simple shooter.  I don't even get the point of it yet.
  • sacredfoolsacredfool prague, TXPosts: 760Member Uncommon
    A challenge for you all. Stop looking at the vid and try to guess whats happening by listening to sounds and looking at the reflection on Grakulens forehead. 


    Originally posted by nethaniah

    Seriously Farmville? Yeah I think it's great. In a World where half our population is dying of hunger the more fortunate half is spending their time harvesting food that doesn't exist.


  • SenadinaSenadina San Diego, CAPosts: 896Member Uncommon

    Trion did add an easily identifiable exit button after the first beta weekend. And I agree that the UI is less than desirable, but not a game killer for me.

    I kinda like the no fall damage. While completely unrealistic, it makes my sloppy driving far less frustrating when I don't have to worry about careening off a cliff. Just put the pedal to the metal and go, kinda like bumper cars.

    I really like finding quests while exploring in the world, a la TSW. It just feels more organic to me than a quest "hub".

    I HATE the lack of character customization. I know I'm gonna cover up with a helmet at some point but, as an MMO player, I want an attachment to my toon. Hard for me to do when my toon looks like ass. And they have SIX alien races in the world of Defiance but we can only play ONE???  Way to milk the DLC Trion. But like Bill said, there is NO reason to create an alt, so by the time they offer more races I will have no need for them.

     

     

    image
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon

    I'll be trying the beta this weekend, but nothing I've seen or heard about Defiance so far has really grabbed my attention. It seems to be a case of "generic MMO/shooter" with a novelty angle due to the TV show tie-in.

     

    If the show's a big hit, they'll probably have a steady supply of new players, but at this point it's unclear if those players will be around for long. However, that may actually not matter, because the bulk of the money spent by those new customers will be spent in the first month or two (game purchase + initial cash shop spend for the "must have" quality-of-life shop stuff).

     

    Given that SyFy will probably promote the game in all kinds of ways, it will get above-average advertising exposure. Coupled with the console-focus, it may actually be a decent money-spinner, even if it's a very average game.

  • ThelricThelric Woodbury, NJPosts: 26Member

    There's a chat channel, it just doesn't appear unless you try to type in it. If devs took any feedback, they should know they have to up their efforts in adding purpose to socialization in their mmo so that there's a strong community and a need to band together. There are instances to do as groups, but this seem easily doable with any PUG atm since it's more dependent on twitch and while most of your party is dead, you can still get by. I enjoyed the alpha and I am looking forward to release. Just hoping the dev team improves upon multiplayer features.

    And if you do happen to read this comment, forcing people to group would not be the improvement needed in order to make it more multiplayer. Focus on features such as having land or fortresses for guilds which gives them access to resources not available otherwise, buffs and other incentives which require groups to accomplish. You could easily make underground facilities availables with the acquisition of a guild fortress which makes said guild have access to the instance and unique weapons and customization options in it.

  • TuchakaTuchaka san diego, CAPosts: 468Member
    I frankly feel its a very average shooter the only difference being its online but if this was not a online game no one would care. I will admit i hate quest hubs and this game has plenty of them so for me that is a major issue. I don' t think its a horrible game but considering they have a TV show tied into it i would think they would have done a much better job. If it does okay great, but i think most come launch will be dissapointed, but again its not the worst shooter out there , but frankly i think i played better offline shooters more than 5 years ago and that is not a good thing.
  • KrellenKrellen Fort Lauderdale, FLPosts: 84Member

    Played a couple days now in beta on PS3 and will play more over the weekend.  Not sure what to think of game yet.  Shooters usually aren't my thing, but cause of ther MMO aspects and the setting looked cool I wanted to try this.  I have had fun, but I am not sure it will last.  My feeling so far is I would want to play this by not at $60. 

    This game looks to me it will be very discounted for box or F2p within a couple months and then just rely on cash shop and DLC.  We will see how weekend goes to see if I will preorder as I want to try this on the PC also.  My guess is I will wait a couple months till it is less expensive.

  • QuailmanQuailman marlborough, MAPosts: 165Member

    I just created a character on the PC version.

     

    Estimated time remaining in queue: 36 days

     

    Nice.

    Consume. Be silent. Die.

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member
    How is the PvE? Is it free-form open world type or quest-hub based?
  • GrayGhost79GrayGhost79 Webster, MAPosts: 4,813Member
    Originally posted by DeniZg

    I'm not happy to say this, but the game has pretty shallow class design system.

    More accurately, it only has 1 (one) class available, which you tailor using passive talents. On top of that, you have only 4 skills (besides shooting gun and throwing grenade), where only 1 can be actively used.

    So, the way I see it, Defiance is aiming at console shooter fans. But, why would console shooter fan play this over, I don't know, Gears of War, Borderlands, or even COD or Battlefield?

    CoD and Battlefield do not have a persistant world. I guess it could be argued that Borderlands and Gears of War do.

    Battlefield, CoD, Borderlands, and Gears of War lack the number of simultanious players. 

    Defiance is aiming at those looking for a persistant online Massive Multiplayer TPS and none of the games you listed offer anything remotely similar to that. 

     

    Also, there are very few MMO's on the consoles. Add that to the fact that Defiance itself offers a fairly unique MMO experience due to its unique settings, lore, mechanics, and genre combined with the fact that it's tying into a TV show. 

     

    Next I imagine you are going to ask why would any RPG fan play an MMORPG when they can play an RPG?

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,221Member Uncommon

    Bill,  falling damage was removed from Rift in the last month or so.  I guess they felt it detracted from smooth gamelay.  I would be surprised if falling damage is added back into the game.  Their design philosophy seems to be shifting towards one of ultra simplicity as in the player gets to the action they want and isn't hindered by immersive world elements.

    I'm not a big fan of this sort of shift in thinking, but there it is.

  • CalibanvovCalibanvov Fuquay Varina, NCPosts: 191Member
    Originally posted by Derros

    I'd say this is a fair analysis.  The PC UI was bad the last time I played it last beta weekend.  It took me a while to figure out how to even quit the game. 

     

    Trion, I press ESC, and there should be an option to quit right there!  Please!

     

    I kept saying this in Beta.  Its too complex to figure out how to exit the game.  Your only going to frustrate. 

    Regardless, Im excited, mainly because ive been wanting a good pve/shooter MMO type game for a while, and firefall just didnt grab me, at all.

     

    I do wish there were a few more races to start out with, as well.

     

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,408Member Uncommon

    Just watched the live covereage- this morning went hoem for lunch, logged in to create a character and get a name.

    first impression :

    was very dissapointed in character creation- is it THAT LIMITED do to beign a beta a  week from launch?=really?...ok.

    similar noses lips and skin tones= this looked rushed to me (sorry iam a graphic artist=details count first for me!!!).one hair style for the alien? wow.-i know this isnt House style barbie. but come on-are all aliens gonna look the same if they dont wear a helmet? or goggles?..i dunno, i just landed on my capsule iam goin to recreate a character again tonght and see if i weas just rushing things-

     

    on a good note- the terrain looks pretty cool!

     
  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    The UI will be the single biggest reason the game fails to catch on.  It's completely awful.

    You make me like charity

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