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An unfinished game

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,129
Yes, yes, I realize that some people will say that MMORPGs are never finished, with the possible exception of games in maintenance mode.  But what I mean here is something different from that.

Imagine if, in Guild Wars Prophecies, the game ended in the Crystal Desert.  That is, you escape the White Mantle at Sanctum Cay, finish ascension, talk to Glint, and then the game just ends with no way to get to the Southern Shiverpeaks.  That would feel obviously unfinished for storyline reasons, wouldn't it?  That's about where the Astellia storyline is right now.  The game has a real storyline, which a lot of MMORPGs don't, but there are some major loose ends that don't get tied up with existing content.

That's not the only way in which it feels like the game at launch is something well short of what they intended for the launch product to be.  At launch, much of the quest text read like a machine translation.  They've since gone back and cleaned it up.  Most likely, it was an actual machine translation first that was later redone by a human who is actually fluent in English.  The gender unlocks are also obviously not finished.

But there's more to it than that.  For example, there are currently some tooltips in the game that say that something works for level 1-60.  The level cap right now is 50.  But their roadmap says that they're going to increase the level cap, presumably to 60.  Once that happens, the tooltip makes sense.  They probably intended for a level cap of 60 all along.

The roadmap also lists new content for November (already added), December, the first quarter of 2020, and beyond that.  Beyond that includes three new main story zones.  Why three?  I'm sure that the developers would like to see the game become a huge hit that justifies funding many expansions or sequels over the course of decades.  And at this point, they surely realize that that isn't likely to happen.  Most likely, three more zones is what it takes to finish the intended storyline.  There's absolutely no way that they would have implemented the storyline as it is now without knowing exactly how they want it to end.

That doesn't mean that what is available to play now is bad, at least other than the endgame, which is basically a placeholder.  At launch, the game had 12 dungeons, and the endgame dungeons were "legendary" (level cap, stronger mobs) versions of three of them (not all twelve!), one of which was already at the level cap for the non-legendary version.  I think that the current endgame is to try to give players something to do without it effectively allowing players to skip past the intended endgame when it arrives next year.  That's why starring up astels right now is so slow; I'd bet on them making it much faster once they've finished the intended content.
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