Anarchy Online

Is Anarchy Online a lesson in how to completely fuck up a gaming companies reputation, or is it a game that got a bad reputation to start and is slowly rebuilding to reach a better, greener pasture?

i.e. Is it a horrible game that sucks off Peter North nightly, or is it hot-damn-good like a Jenna Jameson/Sylvia Saint lesbian scene?

Oh, and just for you, Chet: When’re you going to update OMM? Ha Ha! Yes, that’s a troll, good old buddy old pal! Oh, wait.

I’ve got Anarchy Online and I really have no idea how to answer the question. I can tell you I don’t play it that much, but I don’t know if that’s because MMORPG’s in general aren’t for me or if AO just sucks. Sorry to be of such little help :)

Both. Anarchy Online is nowhere near as bad as it was on launch, but it’s still a pretty mediocre game, it’s going absolutely nowhere, and even if it turned it around right now, it’s too late.

Not to say that it has nothing going for it, but Funcom managed to take what should have been their biggest features and flush them down the toilet, head to the sewer with a net, collect the pieces, and flush them again for good measure.

Both. Anarchy Online is nowhere near as bad as it was on launch, but it’s still a pretty mediocre game, it’s going absolutely nowhere, and even if it turned it around right now, it’s too late.

Not to say that it has nothing going for it, but Funcom managed to take what should have been their biggest features and flush them down the toilet, head to the sewer with a net, collect the pieces, and flush them again for good measure.

See? Even my shadow agrees.

I stopped play a long time ago. What great features did they flush away?

The Plot. That’s probably a good one to start with. They’ve created a gameworld that makes zero internal sense, and no longer seem to care about keeping things going. There haven’t been any big plot events for months, and there’s no incentive to play. Through judicious use of the novel, animated series, interviews and other such things, they’ve managed to work themselves into the following situation:

Neither side has any reason to fight. Seriously. Both Ross and Radiman are constantly portrayed as well meaning, intelligent men, albeit with different ideologies. That’s fine, politically speaking, and it makes a good story. But it screws the war idea. There’s no longer a good side, there’s no longer a bad side, there isn’t even any subtle shades of grey to build on - it’s purely a case of which side you like the look of better. Even the background is screwed up - the manual is filled with talk of Omni’s evil, but in game you never see a damn hint of it. Their first plot action was to announce an amnesty, for crying out loud, and every other shop seems to stock the enemy’s recruitment forms.

Worse, they’ve been introducing third parties that both sides can be united again. This wasn’t the point. No reason why it couldn’t be later on in the story, but they haven’t even started the warfare after a whole YEAR. Plus, because everyone knows that the villains are seperate to everyone, why fight an enemy that you know you’ll be working with? RPing or not, it makes no sense.

The combat itself is meaningless. There’s no concept of territory, and slain opponents just pop back into existence wherever they last saved. The only thing that you can do is hold an area for a while until you get out-powered by the ever-spawning guards.

The only RPing is on the part of the players, and it’s in their heads. You want to pretend that you own the burger bar in Omni-Ent? Go right ahead. They’ll probably even post news of your takeover bid on the main page. But it won’t change anything - you will never control that burger bar. I could announce that I’d just assassinated a high-level Omni, but it will make absolute nada difference. The story’s on hold. You can’t join any of the big organisations in the game, there’s precious little interaction with GMs, no important story characters worth mentioning wandering around the landscape. This is all the more important due to the added narrative elements that they were selling it on.

The futuristic world becomes more and more fantastical by the announcement - the next expansion pack is due to add angels and demons, for flip’s sake.

The gameworld is inevitably empty whenever I’ve tried to play. Rome in particular (I play as Omni) is absolutely silent.

Missions stink. They’re aimed at soldiers, with practically nothing for everyone else to do. And there’s only a handful of not especially great static dungeons as an alternative.

The high level game is non-existent. It sucks for every class, and it’s amazingly boring. You can PVP, certainly, but there’s precious little reason to actually do so.

But other than that, it’s OK, right?

Oh, yeah. Best game ever.

But! Through the magic of technology that even Derek will never master - only if your name is Norbert Henderson. For everyone else, the ‘fun’ option on the main menu is perpetually switched to ‘baa!!!’.

This is what I figured would be my response. And what spawned it all? Funcom’s nice little paid ad right in PC Gamer’s “editor” section. I mean, Christ, you’d think the fucking magazine has some level of journalistic dignity, but they make 1960’s-Time out to be as good a reporting service as the BBC.

For some scans, here’s the links:
http://www.anarchy-online.com/globalGFX/PCGscan1.jpg
http://www.anarchy-online.com/globalGFX/PCGscan2.jpg

I mean, Jesus, could they have been any more unsubtle about the entire damn thing?

Wouldn’t be that harsh. It’s certainly got its fans, and there is quite a bit of stuff that it does right, and I can see why people would like more than I do. I reviewed it for PCG UK and gave it a mediocre score (60% or something - it wasn’t the disaster that it was for the US launch) at the time
and more or less said the same as my previous post in an update this month, only taking the time to go over my words instead of just bashing them out in a stream. I don’t think it’s a shit game, really, most of the mechanics have come on a long way, but if I’m praising something for its ‘mechanics’…well… :roll:

Yeah, but don’t you see the blonde wearing the black t-shirt and white thong with her ass front and center of the screenshot? How can that NOT be MMOG of the year?

When your game sucks, just add a blonde with a thong and you’re sure to get a few extra subscribers.

Don’t be silly. Funcom would never lower the tone of the gaming industry like that…