First impressions of Worlds Adrift: Innovation, Zelda, open-world PvP, and that sinking feeling

    
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Worlds Adrift has been one of those games I’ve been closely watching but trying not to jump into until it was ready. I tried one of the alpha weekends, and while it was playable, I could tell I needed to wait, and wait I did. I had faith that once the game would hit Steam (“early access” shield be damned if you ask for cash to play your game), it’d be something that’d move me. In fact, I called it out by name when discussing possible future MMOs that could tackle griefing with a moral system.

Today, I’m here to eat my hat, good sirs and madams.

While Improbable has been trying to “save MMOs” with SpatialOS, this being the first big MMO that uses it doesn’t wholly impress me. Some things work well, and yes, there are some good ideas, but as a PvP fan, I think there are some glaring mistakes that are going to send a lot of MMORPG players heading for the hills. Let’s dig in.

What in the Worlds is right

I want to start out positive with Worlds Adrift. There clearly is something that attracts people here. We already knew the style was to be reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, a title I sadly never finished but spent hours exploring just for fun. Even better, the character customization is adorably flexible enough for me to be able to recreate some well known classic RPG characters, like Crono of Chrono Trigger and basically every hero from the Dragon Quest series. It’s rare for an MMO to evoke that specific nostalgia from me (my kingdom for a Chrono MMO!).

While we may not be sailing on the seas, we’re sailing the skies, and that’s just as cool, especially with flying whales (another Zelda link to the past). Without experience point grinds. Or classes. Or trinities. Or auction houses. Or NPC vendors. Or dungeons. Or quests. Just build, explore, and adventure. My god, the description alone is getting me hot and bothered.

Even live, some of the good ideas shine out. Gathering is active. As you aim at your target to harvest, it breaks apart and can fall into the abyss. See, all land in Words Adrift float, as the game’s name implies. Between the game’s awesome grappling hooks and climbing option, dangerous harvesting on the bottom of a floating island is totally a thing, and knowing how to gather without losing resources to gravity is a true skill, making player-skill gathering a real thing to be proud of.

Shipbuilding is another. Perhaps the biggest thing to understand about Worlds Adrift is that it’s a physics-based game. It’s not ultra hardcore about it, but it’s deeply ingrained, to the point that I think a lot of the bugs I experienced are precisely due to physics issues (you will die a lot just by trying to grapple or climb objects, only for the game to freak out and smack you with damage). While crafting ship frames have preset dimensions, you’re free to change them, as long as you understand that it changes the physics of how that ship will fly too.

Yes, this is actually a game that’s got a lot of crafting involved, and it’s player-skill based, not avatar based. You get better not just by doing it repeatedly but by understanding what you did right or wrong. That’s without considering the different materials and their properties, which I’m sure Star Wars Galaxies crafters can appreciate.

Avatar skill-wise, players must gain “knowledge” to unlock new recipes. Knowledge, as in real life, is hard to come by. I can’t imagine anyone being able to specialize in every kind of crafting, especially when so many recipes also seem to randomly spawn in chests found throughout the game. Specializing in engines means something, especially if you also understand the value and benefits of the materials you’re working with.

Combat is relatively simple, but again, it’s physics-based. I’m a terrible shot, but I did kill a guy by crashing his ship on him by destroying the device that held it up. I mean, I died in the wreckage too, but I’m still going to count it as a win.

Theoretically, this all sounds exactly what the genre needs. It’s what some people have said they want from Sea of Thieves, and have even suggested it’s what SOT needs to do. I can kind of agree with that. But it’s not without its own issues, and I’m not just referring to the game’s archaic, obtuse UI, lack of a formal tutorial, and 1990s “drag and drop X to Y and press ‘use’ for anything you want to use” input method.

Killing vs. looting

Many readers have complained about the game being open-world PvP only. Some even suggested the game could simply have PvE servers. Those people probably have never made a game or don’t understand how physics in games work. I’m no code monkey, but I do know a few things, and I know that Worlds Adrift uses Spatial OS because a deep physics-based MMO with a persistent world needs to track everything in order to work perfectly.

Let’s go back to my example of indirectly killing a player with a ship. Let’s say the ship is in a tree. The game essentially has sticky notes on me, the tree, the ship, and we’ll say Bree and MJ. It knows we exist. When I destroy the tree, the game knows that the eight segments of the tree may break apart depending on how fast and from what height it falls from. The ship and all it’s, say, 20 parts do the same thing. Taking into account their size, weight, and velocity vs. the tree and ship, any falling pieces will damage Bree and MJ, possibly killing them.

As the ship falls, Bree may shoot her grappling hook to the mass and use that to swing out of harm’s way. MJ risks using her harvester and breaks the tree into pieces that fall away from her. Both ladies survive to gank me and harvest the tree and the wreckage.

Now, some of you say, “Just make it so there’s a PvE option!” Now what you’ve done is made it so that at every step we just discussed, the game has to also decide between PvP and PvE modes and how those physics will play out. We’re talking, conservatively, about 30 player-like objects. These aren’t like your World of Warcraft spells, an outcome of animation decided by a hidden dice roll you have no power to control. You can dodge, swing, and manipulate these items in real time. And that’s just in your section of the world. This could be happening in tons of places at once, in a non-instanced, persistent world. Assuming we go with an all PvE server, that means every step of these scenarios gets bogged down with the game having to add another sticky-note.

Even if the game were to handle that well (and really, very few MMOs use these systems these days, and not to this scale, so we’ve got major innovation here already), when and how would these flags happen? Does the tree follow PvP rules because I struck it? What about the ship which I didn’t hit but is affected by the tree? What happens if PvP-enabled MJ runs under Bree for cover – does the ship bounce on her head, or does it pass through Bree to smash MJ? If it passes through Bree, does that also mean Bree cannot interact with the object now? What of Larry, who was sitting on the ship without a PvP flag? Does he simply get to float, or is he going to have to take fall damage, and if he’s falling, can he interact with the PvP-enabled objects to possibly reduce or avoid damage? This is without considering a pure PvE mode, in which flagging every step means PvE players are immune to the game’s physics, nullifying a lot of the exploratory gameplay.

In short, trying to use different rulesets for a physics-based game is intensely problematic. The developers have mentioned this issue before, and frankly, hearing the complaints really makes me feel like people don’t understand why Worlds Adrift and SpatialOS are so exciting from a tech perspective. These are things that just aren’t possible in other games. Essentially asking for something this new to do multiple other tasks on top of that is like asking a juggler to also walk to the grocery store. Sure, it could be done, but it’s too demanding given the situation.

And let’s be honest: In all games, you’re going to die. Period. There’s no helping it. The problem is, how is death handled? People die all the time in Elder Scrolls Online and Overwatch, and it’s not a big deal. When it happens in, say, Age of Conan, you lose anything you had on your person. Maybe your house gets burned to the ground too. That sucks.

But it’s worse in Worlds Adrift. When you die, not only do you lose almost everything on you (except wearables, which stay in your belt pouch), but your ship becomes vulnerable. Your ship is like your house, mount, spawn point, portal hub, pet, guild meeting spot, and ultimate attack all rolled into one.

The value of your ship can’t be overstated. It’s your whole game. Without a lot of combat (there are only guns for players, no melee), gameplay is basically craft a ship, get better materials, get knowledge and more materials, build better ship. Maybe do some pirating, help friends, engage in turf patrol, barter for parts, chat with friends – but all of that requires a ship, a ship that has to remain in the gameworld unmolested for several minutes before it’s successfully logged out (only if the ship is complete and not in a dock). That’s the whole game. When the ship is your only way to escape griefers, the lack of a ship is painful.

A captain with no ship

This is where Worlds Adrift truly falls apart. While I had some pleasant starter experiences while learning the game, it became apparent that I was lucky. I spent my first few hours just gathering supplies and learning the game. In alpha, I’d already learned that I’d need mountains of resources and time/space to build my ship to ensure nothing unfortunate happened. I’m used to this kind of thing as a hardcore PvP player and fan of open-world PvP sandboxes like Darkfall.

Then he struck. Some random killed me right before I could get a spawner on my ship. I was sent back to the nearby spawn point, but by the time I’d gotten back, he’d destroyed several ship parts and taken most of my loot. This seemed fine, as I still had the spawner, I hid it on my ship and began gathering resources. Just when I thought I had enough, he struck again, dry looting me.

At this point, I had a few options. First, I could log out. That would leave my ship vulnerable, and this person had already proved he was looking to destroy what I had. Not a great option. Second, I could try to reason with him, but if it’s not obvious, that’s something I do all the time anyway, and this guy wasn’t responding to chat at all (no voice chat here, it’s all text!). I could teleport to another island and hope it was griefer-free, but I’d already seen another newbie mention he’d used that option already. Not a good sign.

Finally, I could fight back. My enemy had an advanced gun, allowing him to get off multiple shots in the time it took me to shoot once. While I’d gotten some good hits on him, I couldn’t zerg-rush him fast enough to get a kill.

I contacted several neighbors who were friendly enough not to KOS me, but even when they were in a group, they did nothing to help. Even when he picked a few off, everyone was too busy trying to solo build a ship so they could get away from that floating hell. In any ground-based MMO, you can always find some corner of the world to hide in. In Worlds Adrift, though, you are palpably stuck. The realization that you and your neighbor are stuck in a war where the winner maybe gets a chance of escaping hours more of ganking is depressing. Loss means enduring more of it.

I don’t quit easily. While I didn’t win, my neighbor had enough close calls to hastily repair his ship and take off… only for another griefer to immediately move in. This is the guy whom I eventually crashed a ship into before meeting the original owner of the site, who’d tried visiting other islands as a respawn option, only to return to our shared hell.

This is not a system that encourages new players to stick with a game! The game world, before the early access launch and after, was constantly littered with half-built ships and abandoned workstations. I’d thought most of this was because of the sandbox nature of the game and lack of direction beyond the vague “build a ship!” There’s very little that tells you what gives you the main avatar customization currency, Knowledge, your ship may not work for a variety of reasons you won’t understand, the controls are unintuitive (resources are gathered with “1”, but for some reason, Atlas Shards, which come from gathering nodes, must be collected with “E”).

That may have been part of it. The other half, though, is the ease with which one can ruin his fellow player’s day, so easily and so early on. Maybe it says something about the modern gamer, but among newbies in other MMOs I’ve played, I could always find people who would band together against a player killer to stop this scenario from playing out.

In Worlds Adrift, the desire for a ship and the potential for salvation seem to make people desperate and selfish. After so many of my “neighbors” stood by and allowed me to take the brunt of a griefer’s attack for hours, all I wanted to do was return the favor on them once the real gankers were gone, though I’m an adult and chose not to. The only “help” I was offered was someone who wished to “help” me with trying to figure out how to launch my ship. I immediately pulled out my gun and told that person to get away from me and my ship, considering what had just transpired. I felt terrible, but also didn’t want someone else flying off with the ship I’d finally completed.

Sailing away

Maybe if I were playing in a group it would have been easier, but what I experienced in World’s Adrift was worse than my most painful past PvP experiences. I could bank in those games. I could run into the hills and grind out sub-optimal experience and make slow and steady progress with which to eventually retaliate. I could make friends and forge alliances. But here, in nine hours of play, using all my MMO and social gaming experience, I felt completely powerless. Any new player could walk up to me with a gun and send me back several hours. And that would continue unless I was able to stay logged in, complete a ship, and fly it to safety in the same gaming session.

That’s ignoring the buggy physics, sudden slowdowns in performance at seemingly random moments (which could be issues with SpatialOS), obtuse game design, and the multiple accidental deaths you’ll suffer when physics strikes without you considering it (watch where those trees fall!).

Unlike survival games, WA has no private server to turn to in order to experience faster level gains or lower populations. Bossa Studios’ idealistic belief that finding other people should be rare isn’t working out yet. Maybe down the line it will, but as of now, I can only recommend the game to people who have friends to play Sea of Thieves with but want a more challenging and persistent game to play in. If I, a hardened FFA PvP player, came away dispirited, I can only imagine how a regular MMORPG player accustomed to modern PvP protections will feel.

Massively Overpowered skips scored reviews; they’re outdated in a genre whose games evolve daily. Instead, our veteran reporters immerse themselves in MMOs to present their experiences as hands-on articles, impressions pieces, and previews of games yet to come. First impressions matter, but MMOs change, so why shouldn’t our opinions?
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Jack Kerras

I basically bitched about this non-stop on the forums during as much of alpha and beta as I was a part of.

There’re a lot of ways to make FFA PVP work better, and Worlds Adrift functionally does none of them.

Further, there’s a ton of really great stuff here for PVE players; building ships and flying/looting/etc. with friends in an efficient way, or just trawling around finding new, cool places to discover and explore? Very cool. It’s a really relaxed, generally chill experience… that also happens to be a horrible PvP gankbox, wherein folks absolutely adore rolling around noob islands with nothing but standard pistols and killing soloists for fun.

The game has a lot of potential, it’s fun, it’s interesting, it needs more player agency (IE you need to be able to control your research in some way, not just get full-on random recipes, my rolls have always been awful), but there is a tiny percentage of players that can make life an absolute misery for a huge majority, and they go more or less totally unchecked. Piracy is fine, but making a thing out of it instead of just instantly murdering anyone you see makes the whole thing better, and most of the folks I’ve met are just griefy assholes.

It’s just a shameful fucking waste. That, and the actual PvP itself (at least in my experience) is precisely one gun, swivel guns, cannon, and that’s the lot. There are nearly zero mechanics to fighting other people, and even when you’re good at it (I win pretty regularly!) it’s unsatisfying to participate, and it’s actively annoying to be forced to participate by an extreme minority of shitheads.

‘Oh, well, if you don’t like it, just leave the game!’

I have. And I personally know a dozen people who won’t touch this thing with a ten-foot pole because of the state it’s in and the reviews it gets; there are a lot, lot, lot, lot more, and Worlds Adrift is going to RELY on new blood appearing regularly if it’s going to thrive. You can’t just run your own server, friends. If (when) official servers start operating at a loss, Worlds Adrift is dead forever, and the devs really, really need to recognize that.

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Kross Vilalobos

I liked the concept of creating your own airships from materials and exploring unique worlds in the clouds while delving in dungeons with your grappling hooks and explorers wit and treasure hunter-esque demeanor when I was watching it in development.

Then it turns out it was a actually a open pvp game. Seeing that made me automatically lose interest since I figured after the many other pvp open games that turned into gankboxes this will be no different. I held on to hope until release though maybe they can actually make it fun and not a gankbox. Judging by the videos and other experiences read by my friends swinging their fist in discord its…still…turned out to be a gankbox. It really seems this is not for me, but I am glad some people enjoy it.

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Utakata

…never did buy the “physics forced to make the game PvP” argument. And I still don’t buy it…and I am pretty sure I am no more a physicist than the folks who made this game or argue this. Just saying. o.O

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Sorenthaz

Sounds like it has the same issues Sea of Thieves has where PvP ultimately overruns the rest of the experience because it’s left unchecked.

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Jack Kerras

PvP in Sea of Thieves actually -isn’t- left unchecked, when it comes down to it. It is in Worlds Adrift, but that is mainly because of your default schtick.

In Sea of Thieves ‘I just died and respawned’ is a fight or two worth of cannonballs, bananas, and planks, as well as three crew members and a brand new ship.

In Worlds Adrift, ‘I just died and respawned’ can mean you’re not even armed, and if people are looking to hunt you, they only have a few quite-obvious places to look before finding you and chasing you down. Further, in Sea of Thieves, your motility does not rely on your stock, only your combat ability, and combat as a rule yields very little of the resource you need to fight. You can sometimes get some cannonballs from an enemy ship, but if you run into that same enemy again after sinking them once, they will pretty much definitely not have a sufficient number of cannonballs to restock you. The more you hunt and kill a single team, the less resource you have to press the fight, up until you’re on a basically-empty ship and have to either scuttle it to restock (a tiny bit) or stop on an island and loot it.

In any case, you never need to chop down trees and blow up rocks to run away; you can just put your sails in the wind and -go-, and you will have enough cannonballs for a minor conflict or to harrass and slow down a ship, particularly a larger ship.

There are a lot of very finely-balanced, REALLY COOL THINGS in Sea of Thieves that Worlds Adrift lacks.

Now: it is also quite easy to say that Sea of Thieves doesn’t have meaningful combat, since a sunk ship merely means a respawn elsewhere on a brand new ship! This is a separate but related issue; making PvP fun and interesting means that you need to make it at least somewhat equitable. When you get the shit murdered out of you and your ship scuttled in Worlds Adrift, there is basically no recovery for you; you’ll spawn nearby, and if you’re fighting folks who want your blood for whatever reason, or who wish to grief you for some perceived slight (or for the lulz, which seems to be the major reason), they WILL find you, they WILL be able to engage you before you can crank out the resources you need to escape your spawn island, and they WILL force you to use one of your whopping two ‘respawn me somewhere random in this zone oh god please’ charges per day. This is not an uncommon occurrence, so at some point you are going to end up stranded on an island with pistols while some fucking chucklehead bombards you with cannon.

‘Cuz, y’know, it takes almost no metal to build ammunition, and you can carry such a goddamn amazing amount of it that there’s essentially no supply problem. You don’t need to stop and create ammunition on an island (IE with a molding machine). You don’t need to stop to refit; your current inventory will do. Your inventory is so vast in Worlds Adrift that, with a small amount of management, you can sink newbies (on sailships, who haven’t even researched cannon yet) all day long without refitting or restocking.

That, and Worlds Adrift’s combat design does not even BEGIN to indicate that it was created with PvP in mind. It is immensely basic, I find absolutely nothing redeeming or interesting about it, and although the crafting has the potential to be extremely interesting (re: weight/quality buffs by wood/metal type, etc., VERY cool), it also has a shitty component in that ALL your crafting recipes are randomized; you can crank out a Tier 1 engine that can punch through a windwall solo with no problem, or you can make a Tier 3 engine that’s very fuel-efficient but barely has enough power to move you at all ’til four or five are hanging off your ship. It’s impossible to tweak these in any way; you just keep spending Knowledge on recipes until you get one that doesn’t blow like a deep-space hull breach.

So! I genuinely enjoy the concept of Worlds Adrift, but they will have to do a SERIOUS combat/restock design pass in order to go from ‘this is a neat game that sucks ass to play because of other people’ to ‘this is a neat game which I will invite my friends to en masse’.

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Schmidt.Capela

Or, in other words, while in Sea of Thieves the PvP itself is left unchecked, there are other mechanics in place that make losing less punishing, repeatedly hunting a single target less rewarding, and escape easier.

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Jack Kerras

Those are functionally checks.

It’s basically worthless to hunt someone down again and again and again in Sea of Thieves; after the first kill, they have nothing but a handful of cannon shot, and you spend more bringing them down than you make.

This isn’t a hard check, IE you don’t become unable to harm someone who you have killed in the last X period of time, but the nature of resource gathering means that your restocks spell escape for your victims; there’s no way to sustain a griefy attack for a long period of time. That IS a check, even if it doesn’t completely disable PvP as a concept for a given player or within a given area.

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Sorenthaz

Except they’re not checks. Anyone who enjoys that gameplay will be able to keep doing it without consequence.

Create excuses for it all you want, but the fact of the matter is that Sea of Thieves has no consequences or inhibitions when it comes to PvP. Those who enjoy to simply chase and attack other ships can do so to their heart’s content and nothing stops them from doing so. If they run low on ammo or whatever they can just steal it from another ship or scuttle theirs and then jump right back to it.

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Schmidt.Capela

Though Sea of Thieves seems to be far better than Worlds Adrift in that you can only lose the rewards you obtained in the current session and didn’t yet turn over; anything you already had before you logged can never be lost. Plus, the game seems to be tuned right now to make escaping the attackers after the first confrontation easy even if you don’t scuttle the boat.

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Jack Kerras

Oh, the Knowledge is the real treasure as far as WA’s concerned. It’s how you get new blueprints and new capabilities, you just have to be able to travel to gather more. You can’t lose it and everyone gets their own procedurally-generated versions of ‘engine’ or ‘wing’ or what-have-you.

The crafting mats you need to make boats aren’t super essential except inasmuch as they are EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to get when someone is murdering the shit out of you over and over and over again; you can have a ship up and running in ten minutes if all you need to do is hop from one island to another, and the more cool things you unlock, the bigger and better your ship can be. More weight capacity for your Cores, better agility from Wings, more efficiency and speed from Engines, etc., and each takes a few island visits to accrue the points for, and they can be built to varying degrees of success out of Tier 0 birch and lead or Tier 10 oak and steel.

You never lose Knowledge, and when you get the Really Good Shit (like Atlas upgrades, which allow you to put extra stuff on your ships), they’re with you for good AND you can load them into crafting machines so that others can print them more or less for ‘free’, not needing to unlock them so long as they don’t switch out to another blueprint.

So there’s a lot of great potential for sharing and intermingling, or for one person to just go ALL ZIG for wings/engines/guns and have a whole guild collaborate on building The Perfect Airship.

…there’s also getting murdered by a group of three people with basic pistols because they happened to see you spawn and think it’s funny. This happens more or less as many times as they want it to happen, or until you disconnect.

Same for T4 ships rumbling around in T1 zones smoking newbie boats. It’s not that common, but population is insufficient for a group of folks to fight off a T4 ship in little tugboats. There’s not as much Incredibly Dumb Griefy Bullshit as before (see: parking your ship at max-height and jumping down onto another ship with gliderpaks that don’t drop on death, then dropping tons of timed explosives that -also- don’t drop on death to nuke the piss otu of someone’s ship, then corpse-grinding that way until the ship falls out of the sky), but it doesn’t mean that Bossa has made any clear attempt to curb actively damaging player behavior.

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Jack Kerras

No, man. Those are checks.

In Worlds Adrift, you can carry thousands of rounds of ammunition for your cannons, and repair your ship more or less infinitely. It can be SIGNIFICANTLY better than another, lesser ship, to the tune of being completely unable to escape and having functionally zero combat cost when engaging T1 or T2 ships with a kitted-out T4 vessel. No need to stop; just wreck ships over and over and over again, fly around faster than they possibly can, and prey on them as much as you like. It’s that easy.

In Sea of Thieves, there are some mechanical checks in place to make this more difficult; you can refuse to believe that these are checks if you’d like, but you’re incorrect.

Sea of Thieves’ supply/ammo system never spawns you helpless, but it also doesn’t spawn you in a good position to engage in multiple battles; you WILL need to stop for refit and resupply (or scuttle, with both costing time, and the maximum speed for all ships is identical so catching up means waiting for a mistake rather than simply cranking your engines). This is not even mentioning the fact that scuttles spawn you elsewhere and can easily mean losing the ship you were originally hunting, which is half the point.

Plenty of soft power checks like this exist. It doesn’t mean that any player can veto PvP at any time, but it does mean that every player spawns with the capability to fight back (not so in Worlds Adrift, which has ZERO checks), and that every combat takes enough out of an aggressor that they will REQUIRE refit/resupply after just a handful of conflicts, even when those conflicts are relatively easy kills.

THAT IS A CHECK.

And yes, you can engage more or less with impunity, but the difficult supply situation if you wish to do nothing but hunt others means that you will either run dry after a conflict and a half-ish, or you will have to spend time interacting with the game’s other systems in order to replenish your ship and make combat possible again. The amount that you spawn with is unacceptable for sustained hunting, and if you’re hunting the same people down, they WILL shoot all their cannons at you and you WILL have to shoot some at them before you can take them down. Fighting -always- has a cost that’s significant to your motility.

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Cosmic Cleric

It’s amazing as to how much money the devs are going to leave on the table because of no PvE mode.

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Arktouros

It’s equally amazing how people will pass up a super fun experience once you get past the potential for grief play. I’m out here spelunking and exploring like crazy and people sitting here complaining about something that might happen.

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Schmidt.Capela

For many people, the mere potential for grief play already makes the experience not fun.

Besides, with so many games competing for our attention (and our wallets), why would someone that doesn’t like that kind of PvP even bother with a game that includes it, no matter how rare it’s supposed to be? This isn’t the 90s, when there existed just a small handful of online games with good production values, restricting player choice.

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Sorenthaz

Sometimes I want to play games without worrying about xXxShadowLord63xXx running over to stomp on whatever I was trying to do the moment he sees another player existing in the same space as him.

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Arktouros

Sometimes I like to play expecting xXxShadowM4st3R420BBQxXx to come over and try to stomp on my sandcastle I’m working on only to find it’s really just another normal person playing the game and having a good time, offering to put schematics in assemblers so we can share each other’s technology to reaffirm my faith that humanity isn’t all just a bunch assholes or cowards.

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Cosmic Cleric

Sometimes I like to play expecting xXxShadowM4st3R420BBQxXx to come over and try to stomp on my sandcastle I’m working on only to find it’s really just another normal person playing the game and having a good time, offering to put schematics in assemblers so we can share each other’s technology to reaffirm my faith that humanity isn’t all just a bunch assholes or cowards.

Who are you, and what have you done with Arktouros? :p

Seriously though, what you’ve described (co-op gameplay) is something I’d be interested in, and you and I have discussed the pros/cons of that in the past on this site (I think you mentioned once of me wanting to hold hands with others and singing kumbaya), so if the game offered that co-op experience, then MOAR! Powah! to you and I both.

But, like I mentioned before, the YouTube vids I’ve seen (and there has been many; I’m interested in the game), and the articles/reviews like this one, doesn’t seem to condone, let alone promote, a co-op game style. /shrug

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Arktouros

I’m still me, I simply prefer freedom over all. That means the same freedom that will allow for assholes and griefers is the same freedom that lets you meet actually nice and chill people. People you know who are like that not because they have to be because some game arbitrarily tells you that you can’t be that way but because they actually choose to be so.

Yea there’s a lot of videos out there, negative reviews, and articles like that. On the other hand I just spent 40 minutes exploring the bowels of an underground cavern in the pitch dark having to setup bonfires as I go to mark the routes I tried/explored. Then I went up to see my ship being attacked, only to end up having a nice conversation for about 30 minutes with some guy who just lost his ship to pirates and wanted a drop off at another island with better base materials on it.

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Cosmic Cleric

It’s equally amazing how people will pass up a super fun experience once you get past the potential for grief play. I’m out here spelunking and exploring like crazy and people sitting here complaining about something that might happen.

My recreational time is precious to me, as I get so little of it. Its just not worth my recreational time to have that level of risk of losing all of my progression (per the article). Just not worth it.

I don’t mind PvP, but I do mind constant ganking, and I REALLY do mind losing all of my stuffs, and having to start over.

Finally, been watching enough YouTube videos of this game to see that what you describe as “something that might happen” is more like “something that happens often”. /shrug

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Sorenthaz

Yeah, Sea of Thieves faces the same issue.

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flamethekid .

what are you even gonna do in PvE mode just build a ship run around and call it a day and then there is the whole part where the game is nearly entirely physics based PvE mode allows me to Greif as much as I want with no consequence.

this just goes back to the saying this is why we can’t have anything good cause there will always be someone to ruin it

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

“this is why we can’t have anything good cause there will always be someone to ruin it”

Yeah, that was pretty much CC’s whole point – there will always be griefers happy to ruin it.

Presumably, a theoretical future PvE server would need to disable the equivalent of physics-based friendly fire, the technical hurdles described by Andrew in his article notwithstanding.

Reader
Jack Kerras

When it comes down to it, I feel that people being able to fell a tree on my head to kill me is hilarious as a ‘PvP’ mode. I wouldn’t even be mad if someone managed it.

That would be a good story!

‘Some guy walked up to me, didn’t say a word, and shot me a total of five hundred and forty times after I’d used my last ‘spawn random’ credit’ isn’t a good story, it’s being blocked from accessing a neat game by a shitty person who does more harm than good to the community at large.

They’re having fun, sure, maybe, but they’re having fun at the expense of UNTOLD numbers of newbies, particularly early-game people who are still within Worlds Adrift’s refund window.

That’s a BIG fucking deal.

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Cosmic Cleric

what are you even gonna do in PvE mode

Building, exploring, co-op activities, and RPG. And maybe some PvP, if there was a flag to turn on/off, so it’s consensual.

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Daniel Miller

The reviewer has one major issue, Many newer MMOS like this are trying to bring back the group or teamwork content. She herself said she was mostly alone, and no one really came to help her. Play with a small group, this is not a single player MMO.

Besides that, good review

Reader
Arktouros

Playing with a group really changes everything.

Guys would come over to our ship when building it and we’d just chain blap them dead with pistols. We had a duo trying to shoot a cannon at our main ship and I was able to spin around and nail them on a satellite ship till they were forced to go away.

Team basically fixes most of these things and most strangers I find are more inclined to be friendly when they know they gotta rumble against multiple people.

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Arktouros

The value of your ship can’t be overstated.

I think this is the common trap in this game.

When starting out, it’s very easy to keep fuel, atlas shards, pistol, stack of wood, stack of ore and some ammo/berries in your pouch. This is enough to make a basic sailboat (frame, 2 decks, personal respawner, sail, helm, wing, atlas reactor) and GTFO out of dodge. That’s it. Doable in under a few minutes from belt pouch. Unless you trying to cross the wind wall you don’t even need more than that to go pillage chests/knowledge across the area you in.

Later you replace the wood with 2-3 stacks of metal, keep shards on you, and you good to go.

You learned the hard lesson of always build a Personal Respawn ASAP for boat as well. This always stays attached to the Frame, so even if they pop your decks off via damage it won’t matter. Personal respawner also makes boat take a lot less damage when docked.

I’ll also say that the populous varies from server to server and zone by zone. I started a guy out and had basically zero run ins with PvP for days. Most people were just knowledge/chest grinding minding their own business. My other character I started had PvP the second he got out of the respawner and it was nothing but a life of constant struggle for him with every island jam packed with 3-5 people/teams trying to make a boat and kill each other for mats/parts.

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IronSalamander8 .

I like the concept of the world design but the rest not so much. Not a big PvPer in the first place and open season even less so. Sounds like I’ll have to give it a pass.

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Mr.McSleaz

Same here. If they ever decide that they want to make more money & create PVE servers, Then I’ll check it out.

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flamethekid .

what will you do in a PVE server? cause if they use physics to greif you there is nothing you can do

people have been building elaborate ships meant exclusively for physics based greifing

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Arcanum Zero

I’m not offended by open-world PvP; like any other mechanical concept there’s a time and a place for it, and some part of me agrees that it is the purest and most desirable form for any MMOG.

What offends me is the attitude (among developers and community managers, specifically) that open-world PvP is in any way a functioning game for a player that hasn’t completed at least a healthy chunk of the tech tree. These people are not just part of your player base, they are its roots.

I mean, you /can/ plant a tree in concrete, I’m just confused by the assertion that it is somehow optimal.