When I first imagined playing this game, I’ll admit I had high expectations. I expected to be defeating dragons and claiming their hoard (with the help of fellow guild members of course. The aesthetics and details of each character class as well as the diversity and detail in the game world made the game enjoyable to watch. However, when my character entered the world of Great Fayadark, my warlock was a measly level 1 with only 1 spell. Of course I knew realistically that I had to grow into higher level through various quests before tackling on the bigger monsters, but knowing that fact didn’t stop me from cringing every time my warlock damaged a slug for only 2 hp. Still, I persevered the painful task of watching my warlock level up and gain more damaging spells. However, despite the leveling of my character, there was no “leveling” up of quest difficulty. Sure, the enemies in each quest got slightly more difficult, but quest guidelines never changed. At level 1, I was searching for 5 plants for a better staff. At level 10, I was searching for 10 plants for a slightly better staff than my previous (again). While it was exciting to level up and earn new powerful spells, the mechanics for each quest remained the same and thus was very monotonous.
Go for this item, go for this item, return and receive your reward.Then this repeats with the next quest. To me, this repetition seriously takes away from the game-play. Sadly, I feel that this type of quest repetition is very common amongst MMORPGs and that many people enjoy this type of play. I, however, prefer games or quests which have a clear cut background beginning and set ending.
The biggest connection with my experience in the game and the ideas in the Harvard Business article was around the roles of each character. For example, the article mentions that, similarly to the business world, each character must perform his or her function in the group. While I stuck behind the group casting spells, the guardians and swashbucklers would charge in head first and attack. Of course, there were some funny moments where we all ended being wiped out, but it was all in good fun. The role of the leader changed fairly often to my surprise. It states in the article that, in the game world, the role of the leader often changes during the game. I found this to be very, especially in the group I played with. While at times we’d follow Matt in the quest, sometimes Eric would be causing some trouble with some random Orcs and we’d have to follow his lead and etc.
The best part of the game was definitely the interactions with the other players. While the group encountered many familiar characters throughout the night, the most memorable moment was when we met a random player who wanted to join our group. Instead, there was an impromptu dueling session between him and Cole, which Cole ended up victorious. Suffice it to say, it was fairly entertaining. This started up a chain of duels amongst the members. Evan would comically duel with everyone despite his lower level and would die each time. Overall, I was very surprised with the willingness of random strangers to interact with others on the gamer server.
While, I have not played many eastern MMORPGs, I have played all of the Final Fantasy games. I’m a little skeptical about how they are going to incorporate Final Fantasy elements into this type of gameplay. Also, usually the Final Fantasy battle system is turn-based. If grouping or raiding together with players online, I do not think that this turn based battle system will be efficient. Furthermore, Final Fantasy plot and game world is usually based on an overall enemy that is threatening a fictitious world. I’m not sure how this could remain the same if the creators try to incorporate the multiple quest schematic that is prevalent in common MMORPGs. Overall, I’m looking forward to how well the creators are going to incorporate all these elements into a cohesive online game.