Trade gameplay and F2P

I’ve realised that the MMOs in my current roster a bit too alike. Playing LOTRO as my main solo game, plus SWTOR both solo and in a duo/trio and then Rift as a quartet means I’m playing a lot of that same Everquest/WoW-style gameplay. There are some differences between them, of course, but the combat and linear questing is very much the same model.

In order to add just a little spice I’ve been considering adding something decidedly different. Currently I think the contenders are:

  • A return to Elder Scrolls Online with a focus on wandering and crafting/trade
  • Archeage with the aim of eventually getting into the farming or trading side
  • Black Desert Online with a view to do a lot of trading

As background I’ve dabbled in ESO a couple of times but the game never quite grabbed me. Logging in again I was struck with how effective the cut scenes can be (with a good voice-over artist). I never touched crafting in the game or joined a trading guild so that would have to be something I consider seriously if I do choose ESO.

I recently downloaded Archeage for a quick look since the icon was sat there in the Glyph client tempting me. The game looks really rather lovely, and despite my concerns over the bad news stories relating to it since launch, the server seems busy enough including traders on those steam-wagons contraptions.

I’ve not tried the closed Beta for Black Desert Online so I’ve only read about that game. Watching the odd gameplay video I do find the idea of establishing trading routes between settlements very interesting. I have to admit the idea of gender-locked classes isn’t really my thing. I prefer the styling of Archeage or ESO probably plus those two games both have very flexible class/build systems.

A couple of factors I shall certainly be considering:

  1. I want to be able to avoid PVP most of the time, if I were to dabble it would have to be on roughly equal terms and not “gank me for my trade goods”.
  2. The Free to Play models need some further investigation

Much of the bad press that I have read about Archeage is centered around the cash shop – so whether I can play the game casually without needing to splash out lots is certainly a factor. Liore has a nice rant-post about just how bad F2P cash shops have become. Furthermore BDO’s cash shop has made the headlines this week stirring controversy about just how expensive costumes will be (unless the prices are adjusted before launch on March 3rd). I’m not personally affected by this as I’m not that into costume collecting but such high prices might end up spreading into other areas of the game that would. Also apparently the end-game is open PVP; that’s a concern if it stops me from my desired to be an adventurer-trader.

This is just a quick “first thoughts” post, lots more reading to be done but I’d welcome any insights in the comments on any of the three games!

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2 Responses to Trade gameplay and F2P

  1. P. Mersault says:

    With what you mentioned about pvp and your current preferences in games, i’d think ESO might be the way to go. The PvP is entirely optional and you can even go and do PvE in the PvP zone without others being able to steal anything. ESO is also quite similar to Lotro and/or SWTOR in terms of the strong focus on story. What’s more is the pacing of gameplay. While spouting action combat, ESO does it in a non-hectic way. But you know all that already, you’ve played it. While i guess wandering and trading can become interesting in ESO, it might just take some time for the trading to become interesting. Wandering is interesting from the get-go, though.

    Keep in mind that, unless they changed it, you’ll need to subscribe for land ownership in ArcheAge. If there is land to begin with, i don’t know. And if you were to try and trade without owning land (which might just be possible), the Labor points (energy system) are regenerated quite slowly and have a lower cap if you’re not a subscriber. PvP in AA is rotating- zones above level 30, i think, can be either safe, dangerous or ffa- but you’ll never be locked out of a zone (exception is that third continent where pvp is always-on) completely if you don’t want to pvp.

    I don’t know if avoiding pvp is even an option in Black Desert, the trading system does seem interesting, i agree. BDO’s combat is more on the actiony side of things, though. For some insights on this game you might enjoy Ironweakness’ posts about it:

    All in all, i’d suggest to skip ArcheAge and look into the other two.

  2. Telwyn says:

    Sounds like good advice I’d say. I have ESO installed already so that’s an easy one to look back at. As for BDO, I guess I’ll wait till after launch to see how the blogosphere reacts to the live game.

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