Project Gorgon explains why its appeal isn’t merely nostalgia-related

Project Gorgon, the scrappy indie MMO that recently went into Steam early access, hosted an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit to talk about the game yesterday. Gorgon is a somewhat popular subject on MMO boards, and the AMA garnered a lot of questions and responses.

The devs said that they had not posted a roadmap for the fantasy MMO because “we don’t really work that way,” but they did tease major projects including “several new areas, a new animation system, horse mounts, playable fae race, a new dungeon, and (starting soon) player housing.”

There was also an explanation of how Gorgon veers off from the mainstream MMO design and appeals to players looking for that classic MMO feel: “Project Gorgon was designed around the idea of letting you explore deep game systems. The game’s complexity opens up like an onion — and it’s not pointless complexity, because that’s dumb. There’s real complexity that models interesting things, to let you create interesting custom combat builds, or solve problems in interesting ways. You have to learn how to play, but doing so is really rewarding.”

There were more details on what will persist through release: “There will not be a complete wipe at launch, but we will be wiping some aspects of your characters including but not limited to: items, currency, NPC favor levels, and favor-quests. That said, we don’t plan on wiping most skill levels.”

And just in case you were worried: “We are adamantly opposed to any pay-to-win elements, and you won’t see them in Project Gorgon.”

Want to read a deep-dive into the game from an old-school MMORPG player? We published Impressions of Project Gorgon from an Asheron’s Call player this morning.

Source: Reddit
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Sunken Visions

There’s no role playing in games where you can swap roles at any time. Your character doesn’t feel like anything specific, so you have no specific goals or socialization in mind because of that.

I can understand hybridization (to an extent), but these homogenized characters never work out. Developers need to be expanding on specific class types and creating more ways for those classes to interact with the game world. They’re doing the opposite because it’s easier for them, not because it’s better for you.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

It’s definitely not just nostalgia-related. I haven’t played most of the games people say this gives them nostalgia about and I am really enjoying it :D

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Neurotic

Playable Fae? My EQII sense is jumping for joy!

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George?

About a month in and this game still isn’t tiring yet — absolutely loving this game.

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drgreenhoe

Hand holding theme park games are fun but have distinct drawbacks. It’s like sugar and salt. We all love it but it is not good for us. I find a game like PG extremely good for my mental fitness as it keeps me throughly engaged mentally . From things like inventory management to how much money I need versus how much can I donate to NPC’s for favor.

In the end my character is broke but loved by many and I still have no space in my storage locations. It is things like this that keep me coming back.

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Al_Bundy

I still find the hype around this game… bizarre.

They get a lot of favorable press and many good steam reviews, yet my own experience with the game was the complete opposite. As I’ve said before, I simply don’t understand why people like this game.

I guess I’m just one of the “post-WoW MMO fans” mentioned in the other article this morning.

Duey Bear
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Duey Bear

I was never in the WoW demographic, my mainstream MMO was Runescape and Project Gorgon feels like next gen Runescape, which is why I love it.

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Al_Bundy

Yes, what I mean is: There are games, which I don’t like playing but where I see why other people like them. A good example is Heartstone, I simply dont ‘like’ to play that game or genre. But I see why other people like it.

Now the strange thing with P:G is, even though I (honestly!) tried play and like that game, I simply couldn’t. As much was I would have loved not to be a “casual post-WoW kid” , the whole game simply doesn’t appeal to me. Like, at all.

I’m honestly happy if many of you “oldschool” guys find a new home in P:G and I wish the game will succeed – the market is big enough for everyone.

Still I’m feeling a little ‘frustrated’ because obviously I’m much more casual than I thought I was.

kjempff
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kjempff

I don’t think it is a casual / hardcore thing, but more a philosophy difference in what you want from a game. Both types of games can be hardcore, just in different ways.

Estranged
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Estranged

Al, Project Gorgon is like when you were a football star… before Peg and the kids.

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Tobasco da Gama

Four touchdowns in a single game!

kjempff
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kjempff

We like what we like, and we should just realize that a label like “post-WoW MMO” should not be taken as an insult, but rather as a description of two different play mentalities.
The hard part is realizing that those are in fact very different, and also that it is not an age or era difference, but a fundamental different way to approach a game and what you expect to get out of playing, which is not bound to any particular age.

The mmo genre had a steady but niche player base up till WoW and then it exploded in numbers by a factor 10. This was not really because WoW did everything just a tad smoother but because it brought a new kind of player who was not into mmo for the same reason as before. Of course with 9 times as many players, everyone wanted to target their mmo towards these players and naturally the whole genre evolved in a new direction.

However, the thing is the 10% of players with the other mentality and approach to mmo gaming, were now homeless because every game were chasing the preferences of the more profitable 90%. What is happening now is that a bunch of indie projects think they can provide an experience targeted to the 10% again. They believe that those 10% are not just “old” players wanting their preferred style of mmo back, but that these 10% are just a type of player that will always exist.

It is extremely hard to explain pre and post wow play mentality to someone who has not tried and embraced both, which is why all discussion on the matter turns into walls of misunderstandings. On the surface it seem like there is not much difference and WoW is just a continuation of earlier mmos, which leads to provoking (for oldschool players) statements that Everquest and WoW are the same kind of game (further obscured by a a statement from early wow developers that they were inspired by Everquest). For someone who has been deeply into both games and later mmos, you see past the mechanical similarities and realize they are fundamentally different.

Daaarm, haha this took off :D

Oh yeah, and when you add the opinions of pvp players into the mix, every attempt to find common ground and discuss definitions goes straight to hell. Pvp mmos are a totally different area of the mmo genre with a demographic who play for very different reasons than either “post WoW” or “oldschool” players. Pvp players are also a steady but low percentage of the mmo genre and several projects (too many compared to the player base one would think?) are targeting these.

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Oleg Chebeneev

PG devs need to play EVE and see what complexity actually means. Throwing as much useless skills as you can in a bucket is not complexity. Its cluttering – something that smart devs avoid.

I bet they also consider part of their “complexity” shit like this: http://wiki.projectgorgon.com/wiki/Crown_Quests

Duey Bear
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Duey Bear

Low hanging fruit^
They do make dying a rewarding experience: http://wiki.projectgorgon.com/wiki/Dying
You get tangible benefits for dying in new and unique ways.

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Oleg Chebeneev

And you think rewarding players for dying is a smart move?
This is just another useless skill that players have to level for the heck of leveling. Instead of adding fun content, they add dozens of skills that you grind to feel progression. This is what this game all about

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Tobasco da Gama

I mean, it’s both. There’s lots of cool random stuff to discover. There’s also a lot of grinding to do along the way. That’s fine.

It sounds like it’s just not your kind of game, and that’s fine as well. Not everything needs to be for everyone.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

@Oleg – Why does a game have to have features you prefer to be objectively good?

drivendawn
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drivendawn

Have you played PG at all cause you sound like you haven’t. Wow pick one simple thing in the game and try to say the whole game is that way. >.> It’s also a test quest system there will be a main story and epic quests as well.

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agemyth 😩

You don’t need to like or play PG. Please don’t develop some kind of personal vendetta against this game and bog down every comment section for articles about this game with attacks against this tiny TINY game that a small corner of the internet has taken a liking to.

There certainly is plenty to criticize about Gorgon (no game is without its own issues). I like Gorgon in spite of its flaws, and sometimes the flaws are endearing.

borghive
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borghive

They only like articles that praise World of Warcrap. Just ignore this poster.

Veldan
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Veldan

Tbh not only WoW. He’s also a big supporter of Eve and Star Citizen. But yeah, he’ll be negative about anything else.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

The problem that I understand Oleg has (and I admit I share) is the feeling that the game is trying to pass off many of its mundane features as novelties or complex/deep gameplay.

This is confusing for someone like me who is trying to do their research and decide if the game is for them. For example: what makes the long list of the skills so special? If it is as simple as “interact with item A, level skill A, interact with item B, level skill B, … iteract with item Z, level skill Z”, this is not complicated or deep game play, nor is the huge number of skills as interesting a feature as they try to present it to be.

If I understand correctly the appeal of the game is in the exploration aspect: you do not have any indication, markers, rails or hand holding of what to do or where to go to get your goal, you need to explore, use reasoning and put facts and little bits from the game together to get there. So the game is really fun for explorers that can resist not getting spoiled by online sources.

I have the impression that lots of misunderstandings between the fans and those who criticize the game (apart from the graphics) comes from mislabeling features and miscommunication. The devs obviously have an interesting offering for some, and it is ok if it does not appeal to everyone, but it is hard for a potential player to decide if it is for them if they abuse or misplace terms like “complex”, “deep” when devs or fans are advertising the game – especially with this price tag.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

In essesnce, I feel the appeal of the game comes from its “adventure game” elements (for those that are old enough to know what I am talking about) rather than its “deep” or “complex” systems.

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Tobasco da Gama

I can see that, but that’s not a problem with PG, it’s a problem with the vocabulary MMO fans in general talk about games. Specifically, the way that MMO fans use vocab purely to express their preferences rather than to accurately describe game systems.

Is it a game they like? It’s “deep” and “complex”.

Is it a game they don’t like? It’s “shallow” and “grindy” (or “dumbed down”).

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Oleg Chebeneev

I couldnt get into Anarchy Online yet I always thought it was a deep complex MMO. I love WoW and I dont consider it complex.

You’re just trying to defend PG by downplaying authority of everyone who criticizes it. And its very obvious

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Tobasco da Gama

Or maybe you’re just being a giant dick for no reason?

Estranged
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Estranged

Oleg, have you played PG?

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Oleg Chebeneev

Ive seen streams.