|Scary lookin', ain't it?|
When you finally reach the mainland of the map, off the tutorial island stage, what you have is an incredibly deep game the likes of which simply doesn't exist anymore. With the complexities and depth though, come the issues with the game. If it hasn't been mentioned thus far, the learning curve on this game is a steep one. The different equipment, how nano technology works, crafting, implants, the mission system, hell even learning the basic UI was a pain in the ass.
It took Rik and I the better part of a few hours before we finally managed to figure out where the AV options were located at, and that was simply because he had already filed a petition in game, asking one of the moderators about a different issue he had stumbled upon. He managed to get in another question in during the conversation. If I had one major complaint about Anarchy, then it would be the lack of explanation concerning the mechanics of the game. It's frustrating and will drive you up the wall. There is no doubt that without prior experience playing the game, you'll be asking a lot of questions. That's not to say that there's not an established community willing to help you (which, thankfully, there most certainly is), but these basic errors end up being the ones that'll cost developers and publishers at the end of the day.
If you ask around on the game for the different ages of those playing, then you'll find that several of them are older gamers, which is to be expected. I tread lightly when I say this, but if several newer players to the MMO world were to boot up Anarchy, the clunkiness of its interface and the lack of integration would probably be why those who stop playing do (if we ignore its dated graphics). A big reason for this is that there are things that separate modern MMOs from titles of the past. Take The Old Republic (hell pick any newish game), while I wasn't necessarily hand-held throughout the introduction, it did far more to teach me about the game than older titles like AO. This is a problem, but it's not one that AO should get a ton of flak for. It's the old adage that you can't judge something from the past by the standards of the present. Often I'll be the one to call "horseshit" on similar arguments, but from personal experience, I'd say it fits here. Pick any MMO from the around the same time, and you'll notice a lot of the same issues (Star Wars Galaxies comes to mind from a comparative standpoint).
Another thing to make a quick note of, while teaming up was certainly rewarding within the game, you weren't in any way pushed to do so. If you pick the right class, at least through the first few levels, then it's possible to breeze through a good chunk of the game on your own. It's another contrast to more modern games that are more willing to put you into a group or try and promote teaming up. Neither is better, but it's worth pointing out as another example of how time changes things.
So back to Coyce and Kendar. Actually...Kendar's a bit busy at the moment.
Well there's more to come on the exploits of our two heroes as they continue their journey. Stay tuned.