Lots of good points, many of which I agree with. The lack of polish hurts, but the thing that stands out to me is the lack of an “OMG” factor. Don’t get me wrong, I love this game a little too much, but it’s not like I don’t want more from it. Like others said, it does a lot of things okay, and some things well, but nothing exceptional.
Between bugs, server performance, the ban-meta (seriously, how hard is it to issue a 24-hour remedy-or-be wiped warning?), the lack of mainstream press (like others, I’ve seen more ads for Valheim and Ark), and the struggles with dev-to-consumer engagement, I’m not sure I can put it on one sole factor that really holds this game back. Since EA, it seems to be an endless cycle of two steps forward, 1 backwards.
Taking myself as an example, I was drawn in by 3 potential factors: City Life, Purges, and Avatars. I will admit that I am disappointed in the implementation (or lack thereof) of these things. City life was nixed (understandably) which was then replaced for me by the hope for Sorcery (which I’ll get to later). Purges…well…they just don’t work. I want to be in constant fear of these things, but the reality is far from it. The decision to lock in zones to maximum purge levels without offering server admins the ability to change this is unfortunate. No mounted purges, no siege weaponry, it just seems so tame. And now, how I would love to see “A coven of sorcerers is attacking” and seeing dudes in black robes casting LS and CotD against me, but I doubt that’s gonna happen. And then Avatars…well…ya’ll know how I feel about them.
It just feels like I see the effort, but the mark keeps getting missed every so slightly. Its enough to keep me here and engaged, but down the line I just really want to see something that makes me go “OMG, you have to try this” to my friends.
One question I get asked is “What’s the whole point of the game?” and unfortunately, “Build, Survive, Dominate” doesn’t do the trick, especially when it comes to the endgame loop. Dungeons? Too simple and lacking in substance. Yes, I know there needs to be a way for SP players to beat them, but c’mon, right now (especially with 3.0) they’re just strolls in the park. PvP? Unbalanced, and I don’t mean in-game, I mean in RL distribution. Either a few servers attract a bunch of active (and potentially toxic) players or you’re on a dead server that nobody visits (or has abandoned due to toxic alphas). Private servers have bad reps (some earned, some not) and on mine, those who have had the cajones to actually raid me disappear after 2 days without ever establishing a base and actually fighting a war (seriously, EVERY time we’ve been robbed, the people don’t go far, don’t defend themselves, and disappear after a week at most, like what’s even the point?).
And Sorcery…hoo-boy. Look, I’m cool with it, for now, but it seems like another one of FC’s close misses. Lots of potential, but for now I’ve just been treated to a small nugget of what could be something awesome. But here’s my big issue: the press should have been “oh look at this awesome new feature in this game! Tell your friends! Post to Youtube and stream on Twitch!” but instead we’re mired in “BP doesn’t work, Bazaar is a ripoff, Moar broken things” fiasco. Look, I get you need monetization to keep new features rolling in, but I would much rather have the community start talking about the next phase of the game and the future potential of this new system instead of getting the game working again. When the community is sitting here focusing on this stuff instead of singing its praises and spreading the word, that’s a problem. Instead of “OMG they made this game even more awesome” its “OMG they broke it more!”
FC, no joke, I want you to succeed. I want this game to succeed. More players means more people potentially stumbling upon my server and finding a home. More new players means more funds to add in newer cool features in upcoming patches. But seriously, get your act in gear.
TLDR: Endgame feels half@$$ed, nothing that makes people go “Wow!”, Bugs. Basically what others said: Lack of Polish.