This clip from a recent interview over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun is why I love Darkfall and Aventurine (emphasis is mine).
Tasos: We don’t really have an ideal player, but the players who would get the most out of Darkfall are intelligent players that enjoy freedom, action, more options, more challenges, don’t need or want constant hand-holding, don’t need constant direction by the game, and can look past the first few hours of trying to learn the ropes.
Here is why I love the part I bolded; I’ve seen countless MMOs give up core benefits, redirect focus, and sacrifice long-term attraction at the expense of making things ‘accessible’ in the first five minutes. I think someone seeing what your MMO is all about in the first five minutes is bullshit. Bullshit either on the player’s part by jumping to conclusions, or bullshit on the games part for being a shallow piece of ADD crap rather than a complex virtual world with inter-dependent layers. That’s not what the MMORPG genre is about. (And before you comment, sure in an ideal perfect world you could do both, but that’s not reality. Either you re-polish the same game and tack on a ‘look at me’ feature, or you try to do something actually different and react to what happens, sacrificing polish time to get it done.)
If you are signing up for an MMO, at the minimum I expect you to stick with it for a few hours before making ANY kind of judgment. Seriously, any. You can’t bitch about the UI in the first hour, you can’t bitch about the graphics, and you can’t bitch about the progression or the content. You can be confused, you can wonder how to do things, you can struggle and get lost, and you can ask noob questions or seek external help, but you should not understand the game in the first 5 minutes, the first five hours, or even the first five days. You can’t call anything ‘broken’, ‘bad’, or ‘pointless’ during this time. Again, you don’t understand the game, you don’t understand why things are the way they are, and you don’t understand why it’s important that things are the way they are.
If that’s asking too much, find a different genre to spend your gaming time in. Or pay for the next rehash while you post about being exciting for the next big thing because it will be “so different” and you can’t wait to give it a try because you are SO sick of WoW (until you return in 2-3 months to buy a pony).
Chuck-o-the-day: Chuck Norris was named after himself.
(DarkFall-related post disclaimer/reminder. If you click the image link near the top-right of this page and buy a DarkFall account, I get paid 20% of the client cost. If you believe this taints my views and reporting on DarkFall, your opinion is wrong.)