I agree 100%, it does sound silly to build an MMO, and not just that, one with a single universe of all things, and not get the networking code nailed down and ready. In contrast look at what Dual Universe is doing with their development, they’re working on the network code from the get go, before even getting into other aspects of gameplay, as Flavien says, it’s putting the cart in front of the horse.
With that said and done, I do hope they figure something out eventually, I’m no against CIG or SC, but I’m not holding my breath for the game either. I’m going to wait for squadron 42 to come out, see all reviews, and then decide if it’s worth the purchase, as far as star citizen is concerned, i’m going to wait as long as possible before getting in, so perhaps this time next year if not later.
as for the game itself I think their focusing too much on the little details and forgetting the bigger picture, creating a lot of small gameplay loops that by itself simply doesn’t make a game fun. Star citizen wants to be a sandbox MMO where you do whatever profession you want, and herein lies a very big problem.
To draw comparisons let’s look at a few single player games and a few mmorpgs.
Single player games, particularly building games like sim city, or even let’s say planetbase, which is a base building game. These types of games don’t have a story line propelling them forward, the premise of the game is that you have obstacles to expanding your base or city or whatever to as large as you can get it, and then you get bored, in the case of sim city they literally included ways to watch your creation burn, much like what we used to do as kids building castles in the sand, pretending there are people in, or if you have toys or whatever, and then destroying it yourself. This is equivalent of “finishing” a story driven game.
In MMORPGs, say guild wars 2, you have a story line that you play through, albeit with other players, you grind and progress through the levels until the next expansion comes along.
Now let’s look at star citizen, what is driving the game? where is the conflict? to understand how important that is, let’s look at a niche title, EVE online, eve is a very niche subgenre of mmorpgs, and the reason for that is because it’s mostly focused on PVP, but where is the conflict in EVE online? it’s a very subtle thing that i think most people miss, it’s their subscription model, you can pay your subscription with ingame currency, this creates an incentive to do things in the game to get money, control over resources become relevant because these resources will get you the ingame currency that you’ll use to keep playing the game, a very subtle thing but incredibly important, it essentially becomes a free to play game as long as you’re invested in it, it works for some people but not for most, hence why EVE is such a niche.
Now for SC. There are a lot of gameplay loops that are being built for it, but after the point where you’ve gone through all these gameplay loops, experienced all the different gameplay aspects, what would bring you back to the game? and this is where I think SC really misses the mark. just like a base building game, once you’ve seen all the game has to offer you basically lose most interest in it, because why waste your time doing the same thing over and over again? doesn’t sound very interesting, you’d come back to it every now and then, but you’d not consistently keep playing the same game over and over again, there has to be something different, something that drives people to come back to the game, and with all the gameplay loops SC has, there isn’t anything to keep the people interested.
This can be fixed, what you need is to create a system that continually brings people into conflict, with each other with NPCs, say the Vandul decided to invade UEE territories, and in order to fend them off resources, fighters and repair ships need to be dispatched to the frontiers, with that all these gameplay loops become relevant, there’s a story going on and the progress of that story depends on the collective action of players, that’s when players get invested and they keep coming back to the game, dramatic action is created and suddenly you’ve taken all these small gameplay loops to a whole different level with something very simple, just like letting your players play their sub with ingame currency.
A shout out to the INovae studios for working on a game that has the perfect mix between RTS, dog-fighting, and dramatic action where your efforts tie in to the overall victory of your team. can’t wait for it to be done!
I don’t post much, but when i do i surely go all out lol. until next time.