I’ve been putting this off.
Mostly because I just don’t have a whole lot to say.
I played the beta, talked about my errors with other players, found they had already been reported. I tried all the classes – all four of them. I tried all the races – all two of them. I, like many before me, noted that there is nothing original in the game.
And that seems to be the debate – in liberally sampling from the genre to create a kinda of “MMO – Alganon Remix” – did the creators do something good, or something bad?
From the business side of things – we just don’t know yet. Clearly the strategy is obvious – to be successful yourself, imitate others as closely as possible. Pepsi is like Coke. Of course there is differences, but – they are still much alike. Same with Pibb and Dr. Pepper. Sprite and Sierra Mist. Chaos Mage and Dwarf Engineer. Blood Elves and Sephiroth. You get the point. So, the Alganon people might be on to something.
But MMO’s are complex creatures, and there is more to the game than the business side. Was Alganon fun? Not even remotely. The highest I leveled anywhere was 5. With a human ranger type. The only thing original about the class was that I got access to an HoT early on. And the weapon graphics looked cool. Crafting was point, click, and wait. And there were very few recipes. On the bright side, I actually wore some crafted armor early on because the quest rewards overlapped badly – I got new weapon after new weapon – but no helm or cloak or anything.
That said – there was nothing really *bad* about the game either. It didn’t crash, the quests were plentiful and the mobs were of good density and respawn rate and challenge. The starter areas were laid out well. About the only thing I can complain about was combat and mob distance. Often my ranger would shoot once and then move over to her sword/axe combo immediately, hitting even while the mob was still far off. And I could still use my ranged abilities inside combat with no penalty, muss, or fuss – the melee/missile switch is automatic and consumes no time.
Good and bad, the overwhelming sense of deja vu gets to you very quickly. Alganon may have done tooo good of a job of imitating other MMO’s (and not just WoW btw). They may have been shooting for Pepsi, but I think what they got was New Coke. The lack of classes and races reinforces this – you get the bare bones vanilla of tank, ranged dps, melee dps, and healer. And the races as well – human and night elf….err, whatever they are.
Ultimately its just sad – because the innovations Alganon does bring to the table – the study system, the idea of player “families” (with their own sets of quests and targeted rewards) – are pretty nifty. Here’s to hoping that somebody (a good, strong dev perhaps?) takes those parts of Alganon that are good and elevates them into the spotlight.
Otherwise, when people want vanilla MMO – back to WoW they will go.