Well, I’ve been playing Defiance lately, because I’m suffering from the ‘ol burnout with WildStar. After getting level 50 and having this insurmountable list of tasks in front of me and the rocky updates that just change the entire playing field, it’s tough to settle down for the long haul until things calm down a little bit. In the mean time, Defiance is my go to game.
Here’s why, first like The Secret World, it’s free. Which makes it actually worthwhile to play because it was never a good candidate for subscription or even buying the box. That’s not to say that I didn’t go and pick up a box in the clearance section of my local wally world, but that was $10.
Second, you point your gun at things and shoot them. Yeah, there is some grind with the reputations if you want something off a vendor, but outside of that, there is no grind. Just pointing your gun at one of five different enemy types and shooting. There is dude who runs up at you to hit you with his machete, dude who randomly spawns with a weapon and is called “weaponman” like “Shotgunman” or “Sniperman” or however it does it. Then there is the hulking minigunner. The last two are mutant variation #29382 and “a bug.” Bugs come in lots of flavors, but ultimately, you point and shoot at them until they’re all dead.
That’s the entire game of Defiance, point and shoot and stuff dies. After what a year of updates, it’s grown a lot, it’s cleaned up a lot, and it’s now what it’s supposed to always have been, a fun third person shooter in the likes of Serious Sam. Run around, shoot things, win.
I think we should all have a backup game to our main one and this is where free-to-play games shine. Right now on Steam there is a ton of options for stuff for me to play around with until I want to pick WildStar up. It used to be a few limited choices and they all suck, but now we have AAA free-to-play titles like SWTOR and Defiance to keep our appetites whet while we wait to do something somewhere else.
Considering WoW has lost 50% of its subscriptions, we have to ask where all those players are going. In the eastern markets, we know they’re going to the large unyielding selection of MMOs available, with some of the more popular titles pulling in most of the people.
In the NA market, we’re not so sure where they’re going and by we I mean me. It’s not RIFT. I’m sure WildStar picked up a ton. ESO as well, considering it’s supposed to have 700,000 subscribers worldwide (a number I’m not too sure on).
I think that’s ultimately where we’re going to settle for MMO players, a major subscription based title and then when the downtime between updates come, players are going to rotate off into their F2P haven until something interesting happens. I think, in a way, that poses a greater risk to AAA subscription titles.
Burnout is a real thing, and it’s something I feel game developers should address, but as much as we could raise an objection to the swaths of time games go without update or patches that just make things “eh” for a bit, I’m sure they’ll still continue.