Friday, 26 April 2013

"The Entire Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions" - a look into the no-no of the games monetization

I recently reviewed Dragon Eternity and it looked like a quite good playable game (f2p) but on gaining more levels and going deeper an ugly face started to show.
This game is a money making factory and a good example for the title saying. The supporters of monetization / f2p eternal pro is the fact that people get the chance to play the game for free. 
True but not. Yes technically speaking, but in this game if you don't invest there's no chance on doing well in game and tho you wont see it on the net there many abandoning the game before achieving level 10.

First of all is the gear: leveling up you get access to better gear (weapons, armors, and so) but the better items are not available in shop. Presumable you get them in quests from enemies drops - which are very rare and involves using a lot of other items (potions, orbs, and so that also costs) to get there - or you can buy them in the auction hall at almost prohibitive prices. Which means you need to buy some "reals" on real money.
Quests items / collections also requests reals. You get the first ones also from battling monsters or in PvP but a part of them you have to buy. I got the "amendar" but it expired before getting the chance to gather enough reals for a "mekhar" (priced 3 reals) so only chance was to buy the reals from bank with my real money.
Upgrading items like parcels costs a bunch of reals if you buy them from the Merchant. 

Of course you can avoid investing and painfully crawl on gathering money through game but in the meantime you'll be constantly busted by rich players. You may end up by being level 12 to 15 hardly worked on some reasonable good armor and weapons and a level 9 with a bought better gear will bust you in PvP.
And the rotational PvP system is also designed to break as much as possible from the gear that will need repair (more money) and consume loads of orbs, potions or glyphs - more money. You'll fight one and when you are about to give the final hit it's switched with another one and someone else will give the deathly hit taking your credits. potentially this is said to balance the fight but not true. If they would want balance then they should offer equal levels one-o-one fights for PvP. Because you don't get the option to switched by yourself if that suppose to simulate real battles.

Even the monster battling tho appears like a random is not: it has an algorithm also to break you the most. I studied and registered about 200 of my battles and it is obviously not random: if you give a critical hit for example almost sure next time you'll have a low attack or the monster will block / dodge. You never have 2 critical hits in a row or if it is random at one point this will happen. I asked friends to study their fights and they confirmed: is not happening. Or you get a false critical hit - its marked in red but in fact is not bigger than your average damage potential.
With that being said, yes you can play the game for free but it wont be too much fun, you'll struggle a lot. I am considering that the "buy the game system" (paying a price from the beginning) is a far more honest offer that will bring the fighters with the same chances in game. 
Paying 30 to 50 $ on a game from start (you will pay far more in the so called f2p except that you'll pay by instalments) is what I want (at least at this point) but it is your choice. Maybe other f2ps are more honest but this one is not. So basically speaking is not that I'm against the f2p system but I want an honest offer.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Dragon Eternity - browser game

I played this game online for a while until reached some level (9 at this point). Haven't finished as is a long therm commitment :).

The game plays as a MMORPG in the hack&slash quest style where basically the background story doesn't count too much. But it is reflected in the many community based quests you get.
You're set in a fantasy world (Adan) where the Sadar Empire and Vaalor Empire are fighting for supremacy and will start by choosing one of 2 factions: Sadarians (Red) or Vaalorians (Blue). I played Sadarian the pick being based purely on the fact that I like red color :). The things in the story are complicated by the armies of the Dark Gods of Shaab that break into Adan from the mysterious Abyss and are enemies of both factions.

There 3 classes to choose from Bersek, Paladin or Witcher. Each class has specific items (weapons, armors, jewelry, necklasses and amulets). Potions, artifacts, glyphs and some other stuff are not class dependent. The items are earned from battles, or bought. The Shop will always show the items available to you depending of your level.

The leveling goes by earning XP like in any RPG to which will add various Reputations like Gladiator (fighting in the Arena) or Conqueror of Seven Bridges, and will also get Valor by participating to battles.
You can easy access your character stats, gear, and backpack content from a very easy handling interface

Later you'll have the option to create or join to a clan. Clans are formed by the online players, being available after you reached level 6. Also after reaching level 16 and passing the Elder Dragon trials (collecting 6 parts of the Amulet of Melding) you may have a dragon, and summon it into battle.
For the rest as said the game plays mainly by fulfilling various quests mostly requiring fighting a bunch of enemies: monsters, living dead, traitors, spies and others. Also there various quests of finding and researching.
You can also learn and use spells in battle

and various professions - hunter, farmer, fisherman and prospector that will help gathering items for crafting: blacksmith (armors & weapons), alchemist (potions) inscriptor (glyphs), cook (food) and jeweler (orbs). If you wonder what they serve for keep in mind that all these items are used to boost yourself a very useful thing.
The combat goes in turn-base style where you can choose to weapon attack, defend or use magic. Boosting by using potions doesn't count as an action being performed at anytime in battle and some items like orbs have auto option being functional for a certain number of actions.
Additional features are:
- PvP option with 5 Battlegrounds: Arena of Honor and Seven Bridges being available for players of any level the other 3 only for level 16+.
- Auction - for buying and selling items
- Bank - for buying reals, and items for real money.
There a lot of things going on will not go into all details it's up to you to discover them.
Technically the game goes very well in therms of graphics, sounds and handling and it's a very appealing scenery with a catchy going through. I started with the thought of just testing and ended by being caught in playing.
Worth trying, a good recommended experience for the fans but only if you're ready to spend some real money. And seriously if not you will struggle to get well in the game.