Tarnished brilliance

I’ve written about this before, but for some strange reason (solar flare?) it’s on my mind again today, so here we go. I hate Atlantica Online. I mean I hate it in that “I love you, I hate you, oh god I love you” Eminem kinda hate.

You see I think Atlantica Online is one of the best MMOs out in terms of design. Combat system? Awesome, fresh, deep, new (still, seriously how has no one copied this yet?). Graphics? Great, good style, runs really well. World design? Fantastic, classic stuff with twists, covers all the bases. PvP? Top-notch, be it 1v1 or guild vs guild, that perfect mix of player decision and character/gear influence. Extra stuff like the NPC arena, town bids, crafting, etc? Probably better than what your favorite MMO does. Payment model? Go kill yourself.

Atlantica Online is an oldschool F2P game.

And that makes it unplayable.

If all other F2P crimes were instantly wiped, I would still hate the model for Atlantica Online alone. It’s the epitome of why the F2P model (in the tradition sense, not in the LoL sense) is so horrible; because the better your game, the more F2P destroys it. I think the main reason this is not more front-and-center is because, quite frankly, most traditional F2P MMOs are garbage even before you factor in how the payment model actually affects gameplay, so you just don’t notice it that much. After all, the target audience for F2P games are people who just hop in, hop out and never actually take the time to care or look beyond the surface. I mean, how many blogs break down Farmville strategy or game design? Exactly.

It really is a shame, as I fully believe a relaunched, P2P Atlantica Online (or an updated clone) would be a huge hit in the west. Just rebalance things a bit to remove the influence of XP potions, lottery chests, and all the other F2P trash that affects design, and what’s left is one of the purest, most unique MMOs out, one that has some pretty damn good PvE for carebears, and one of the best guild vs guild PvP end-games around.

Again, just a total shame.

11 Responses to Tarnished brilliance

  1. Zapatero says:

    Totally agree. Even the UI, graphics and crappy translation are acceptable. It’s a very good game, the combat is almost HoMM/FF good, but that pushy buy stuff mentality is hurtful and a real turn-off.

  2. Irenor says:

    Atlantica being a big hit in the P2P West-o-sphere? That would be impossible. Atlantica is succesful because it is F2P. The game is quite average in terms of quality, it is extremely repetitive in both gameplay AND questing/storyline, graphics aren’t all that amazing. The combat system, albeit rarer in the MMO genre, has always existed in normal RPGs, so it’s nothing really special. Late game PvP is heavily cash shop-based. Nothing quite amazing here again.

    PvP *is* fun though, and so is the PvE. It’s challenging enough and customizing your whole team is quite fun. World is quite large, and they have put some work in the designs of the various countries. But that’s the only redeeming features Atlantica Online has. Everything else is of quite average quality.

    As for the F2P model, while I’m a huge supporter of F2Ps, I’ve always disliked the path that Atlantica has chosen. I don’t mind perhaps spending a small amount of money a year to enhance the overall experience, but I’d never pay for items that would allow me to win in PvP, that’s jus ridiculous.

    • SynCaine says:

      You do realize that the faults you listed about AO can be DIRECTLY attributed to the fact that it’s F2P? Late game PvP IS ruined because it’s F2P. Remove that, and all good. Same for how long and repetitive the leveling game is. Remove XP pots and other cash shop lures, and even if you cut it down by 50%, it’s still longer than most MMOs today, and the whole pace/variety of the PvE is increased. How highly you value each little piece is up to you (I thought the areas were pretty good), but yea, the total grind of it is all F2P design.

      • Irenor says:

        I don’t think it’s related to F2P (asides from the Imbalance with the cash shop). If they don’t haves the funds or the capacity to fully develop all areas, then wether it’s P2P or F2P, it won’t change much.

        • Torcano says:

          You miss the point. Your and everyone else’s complaints stem almost 100% from the cash shop. Hence, removing it would change the parts that you don’t like…

    • Max says:

      Hmm I never played AO exactly because of its Pay2Win system. I just cant be bothered with any pay2win after I saw some numbers ran (which showed you need around several grand to compete at top level)

      I mean I may never reach top level (there are few games I stick long enough to be in top 1%), but the very fact just kills it for me

      I like LoL and I like WoT free2play mechanics. Thats why I play them and pay them money (and not only just for convenience factor, but also because I like gameplay and want reward devs)

  3. Irenor says:

    Forgot to mention this, but there *is* an Atlantica-like MMORPG currently in the work in Asia. I can’t seem to remember the name, but some gameplay videos were posted a few months ago on either loadstart or SteparuTV. I’d need to find them again.

  4. Warsyde says:

    Although I don’t hold the game in quite the same esteem as you, I still completely agree with your general premise — Atlantica Online would be much better as a subscription game, and one I would probably want to play.

  5. The Claw says:

    Sometimes I agree with you, SynCaine, sometimes I don’t.

    Today, I agree with you 1000%. I spent half of last year playing Atlantica as my sole MMO. It has so much good.. and the worst F2P setup imaginable. Pay to win? Pay to win would be an improvement on this “pay to gamble to win” model.

  6. bhagpuss says:

    Every time I read someone praising Atlantica Online I think I must have woken up in a parallel universe. It’s one of only a handful of MMOs that I actually uninstalled from my HD within days of downloading it.

    Unless I’m misremembering it (entirely possible), isn’t it that game with really ugly, spiky, spindly character models that line up in ranks on a a series of almost featureless plains, most of which are pale blue?

    Assuming it is that game, I found it virtually unplayable as well as unpleasant to look at. I think I gave it about an hour before i gave up, which is about a fifth what i give most MMOs, even when I don’t think they’re up my street. What you describe doesn’t sound like the same game (maybe it isn’t!).

    • SynCaine says:

      I… don’t think it is? I’m surprised actually, AO can be played in a very non-linear way (not total sandbox, but better than most), the combat is turn-based (zero twitch), and exploring is rewarded with random mobs and such.

      Of course, trying to predict what you might like is, well, impossible :) You always surprise me with that you do like, and then a game I think is 100% Bhag you dislike because of some (to me) strange reason.

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