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Comparing To Other MMOs
What makes Defiance different from other MMOs?
I think the moment-to-moment game mechanics are one of the big things. Typically, massive online games have you standing there, you target something, and you hit hot keys until one of you falls over. This one requires you to actually aim, and aim well, and movement is also very important. Keeping things between you and the enemy, constantly trying to be on the move – that is something that we’ve been getting a lot of great response with, was, ‘ wow, this actually feels like a real shooter, not like any of the MMOs I played before.’ So that’s what we really started, and really focused a lot of attention on, because if that wasn’t going to work it was going to be very difficult to sell people on the rest of it.
What makes it like other MMOs? What are the MMO staples that you’ve opted to keep in place that you think are important for the genre?
I just think the scale, the fact that you’re in this world with a lot of other people around you. That sense that I don’t know that person but that guy is kicking butt. I really want to get in a group with that guy so that we can go off and kick butt together. Okay, now we’ve played a lot together, we’re going to join a persistent clan on the server and build those social bonds that you don’t necessarily do within games in shooters as they currently are. There’s a lot of out of game tools that you can use to maintain those kind of social relationships, but really, having that mass scale, coming across strangers and giving them tools to, within the game, keep those relationships going are what is really strongest with the massive online games. That’s what makes them so successful, I believe, and maybe not paying off as much on their end with the moment-to-moment combat that we’re trying to do.
Whether in the MMO space or elsewhere, I’m curious if there are games on the market that your team has looked to for inspiration.
Well, at the time, not really. I mean, we’ve looked at all sorts of games that had some shooting mechanics, Global Agenda, and those things, early PlanetSide, but the difference with those, particularly when we initially looked at them, was PlanetSide was originally just player-versus-player. It still is with the sequel. And Global Agenda was a very instanced space. We really wanted to reinforce the large scale of the world and the people in it, so we didn’t want to go as instance spaced as that. We wanted you constantly stumbling across people within the world so that you can really have an opportunity to start grouping with them, sticking with them, and put them on your friends list and get a clan going – all the things I said before we felt was really important to have in an open, persistent world with tons of people, and that really wasn’t there.
But we did look a lot at different shooter games. How do these things move, what weapons feel good, what enemy AI does. The tricky part was those don’t do the mass scale stuff we were talking about, so that was a heavy learning process, to figure out how you build a world like this with shooting mechanics like we have, where you can kill things at pretty extended ranges if you want to if you’re equipped properly. And how do we make it so that if they decide to converge 30 people on a single space that they’re not just wiping it out; or being way overpowered if you don’t have that group of people. The core was really looking at the shooter games that existed. Honestly, we looked at a ton of stuff: anything from Red Dead [Redemption], to Borderlands, to even Gears [of War], or Call of Duty. We looked at a ton of stuff. We looked at a ton of different stuff, and really tried to focus on what we thought each of them did well to kind of try and make something new, not just direct copies of all that.
[Next up: The storyline behind this new science fiction game world]
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I've been intrigued since I heard about it. Let's hope it plays well.
Although the idea is neat, the gameplay has not impressed me yet
I actually got to play this game during the beta, I was of the mindset to just test it for Trion's sake cause I really like the work they do and I didn't have high hopes for the game, but when I started playing I was actually having a lot of fun and really enjoyed it!
Been following this game for awhile now, looks like it could be the next step between bridging the gap in interactive entertainment since the game creators have stated that major events in the game will change things during the course of the show.
Maybe the gameplay will be fine, but graphics and soundtrack wise, I just don't see anything special.
I played one of the beta weekends a few weeks ago...It actually seemed fairly decent; a nice mix of MMO and third-person-shooter mechanics, plus it's coming to consoles which should be nice (the beta was PC-only).
That being said, I personally don't think it's worth shelling out $60 for, even if there is no sub fee. I'm curious to see if the show's popularity combined with how many intitial sales the game makes will determine the game's price. Like, if they notice sales aren't doing so well will the lower the game's price to keep the show from floundering?
It's most likely just pointless speculation on my part, I'm sure both Trion and SyFi have contigincy plans incase either the show or the game flop but it's still going to be an interesting process to see unfold.
I've been on the closed beta weekends of this game. So far everything is really neat, just the obvious bug fixes and stuff that are always in a beta, but the gun play is pretty good. And the arkfall events where lots and lots of player get to work together are really fun! and that's just the beta, i hope that when they get the game out those event will be a lot better!
The show looks like it's going to be awesome.
Great interview. GameInformer is soo good :D
Very comprehensive interview, Matt. I'm sure that the game will be great, but honestly, aren't their enough Defiance ads around this site?. . .
This is too long to read XD
Yeah, DCU got me addicted to the idea of a console MMO (4 and 8 man raids are cool), So this is day 1 for me. 50 vs 50? Finally!
I'm SO hopeful that this turns out to be good. I'm all onboard if the thing works. The universe seems cool (that TV show is pretty much the only promising thing I've see "the Ghost Network" come up with in years. God, SyFy sucks), and TRION's MMO (Tera? Rift? There are too many four letter MMO's) was quite well received. This has also been compared to Borderlands, which is a good thing. There's a lot more hype and energy for this right now than, say, Dust 514. Everything seems to indicate that this is going to be good. I'm crossing my fingers.
Just waiting for a beta to see for myself...
Is it coming to the PS4