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.