As Portalarium announces their Top 10 Priorities for Launch, I have to both smirk and cringe. To me, there is only one priority, to rethink their decision making paradigm and reverse the myriad of changes that robbed this adventure game of its sense of adventure. Early on, we were on the cusp of the elusive, “Let me finish this one last thing,” because it was possible for the regular player to gather resources, craft items, find recipes and most importantly, earn gold (the staple of every worthy adventure game).

But, those are bygone releases. Today, we are hamstrung by the overshadowing and paralyzing idea of “economy”. It’s more important that a crafter no one has ever heard of is given the opportunity to make an item no one will never buy rather than setting it up so players can venture into the world and create an experience of their own.

As we move forward, in each release the skills and stats are neutered to the point where a 0.1% increase forces the player into a mindless grind. A grind that takes place in a world full of lifeless, flat, and instantly forgettable characters with each trying to tell a poorly written and sadly uninteresting story.

It’s certainly valid to say combat needs to be streamlined, that resource gathering is distractingly slow, that the Control Points are needless scenes, that destroying items on a crafting table is a senseless outcome, that being swarmed by mobs of combatants isn’t the right way to increase the difficulty, and that repeatedly adding a “trap” can be seen as a lack of creativity. But, in a boring game, no one will stick around long enough to be bothered by those.

What we have now is a game that creates an extremely vague and generic experience with no sense of progression or accomplishment. And that’s not an adventure game worth playing.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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