Not too long ago, I was messaged on Twitter (of all places) if I want to do a collab with this developer. According to them, they wanted to hook me up with an access pass and even possibly add me to their ambassador program. The Twitter account in question has 255k followers and they essentially wanted me to hop on a call with them at some point.
It doesn’t happen often that devs message me in regard to my stream content. Frankly, I found the idea of doing a sponsorship or collab with a big brand interesting and hence went on a call with one of the developers.
In that call, I was then told a lot of stuff… but I didn’t hear anything about the game. The screenshot here shows that it’s about a third-person Sci-Fantasy AMMORPG but I didn’t know anything about the game in question when I was on the call.
The presentation that I was shown was mostly about the rare cosmetics that monsters can drop.
These cosmetics are limited in their quantity and can be sold on a marketplace with no control of the developers, whatsoever. Diablo fans may know that this idea is good in theory but bad in practice. Oh well,…
The fact that these cosmetics are limited and that players can make real money by buying and selling these items was stressed a lot during the 15-minute presentation… so much in fact, that I felt like something was off.
Trading limited amounts of items? Sounds familiar.
At the end of the question, I asked the developer what the actual game is about and what the core gameplay loop looks like. That wasn’t part of the presentation, after all.
I also asked the developer how they’re gonna make money if the game is gonna be free-to-play… and apparently, they take a small amount of money from the commissions made during Early Access and in the live stages of the game.
No, I’m not gonna stream this.
So, something felt fishy and after discussing it with my chat, they told me that it sounds a lot like NFT stuff.
I asked the devs.
They confirmed it.
Weird how it never got mentioned before that in the actual call about the game, eh?
What’s worse, is that these people reach out to streamers wanting them to play their game and to share access passes to their audiences. They sell streamers a pipe dream by naming their numbers and stuff… but none of these people are ever gonna grow in a dead category for a game that could even get banned from Twitch due to it being just one big scam.
It’s concerning to say the least but the fact that it’s a blockchain game is already enough to stop me from streaming it… still, I wanted to know what a blockchain game is like and whether or not it was actually fun, so I tried it out before stopping to play after roughly an hour… mostly because of how boring it was.
A game developed without any passion…
The game itself is sort of about time-travellers fighting monsters to open portals. The story is incredibly convoluted and there is practically no lore. It just drops you into the game with no introduction. There is also Erwin Schrödinger in the game who talks with an exaggerated German accent, even though the game features no voice acting.
How does that work? Well, every time there is a “th”, the developers chose to replace it with a “z”. That’s comedy, I guess? I’m not sure if I should take offence in it or if I should cry about how hard that makes reading the dialogues.
You get to choose one of four classes – but classes work in an FF14-esque manner where you equip “pocket watches” to change classes on the fly. You can be any class you want – so I chose a healer. These pocket watches have to be manually levelled and you can upgrade them later for better pocket watches… that you then need to level again.
Imagine grinding to level 30 only to then get an uncommon Pocket Watch that now needs to be levelled to 30 as well. It’s borderline absurd how little these devs value their players time.
Combat itself revolves around light attacks and heavy attacks that can be chained for combos – but the developer that I was in a call with compared the game to Monster Hunter… which seemed quite insulting to the franchise.
Attacks lock you into animations and you can chain attacks onto other attacks even when one animation is in place – but it doesn’t cancel any of the animations which sucks as it makes it hard to also dodge enemies. So, combos aren’t your friend. Just stick to singular attacks, I guess?
Every attack lacks impact, though, and thus is missing what makes Monster Hunter so much fun. There are no VFX, loud SFX or even any special animations for hitting a monster. But what’s worse is that monsters can block attacks completely and even evade them which is mostly based on luck.
It’s the ultimate buzzkill when you unleash a full combo and none of your attacks actually did damage to the enemy. In my one-hour play session, I managed to miss 13 attacks in a row. Afterwards, I didn’t miss as much but that one instance already made me question whether or not I should play the game any further.
And well,… I stopped playing once I got the first drop that indicates any sort of NFT-shenanigans.
You can trade artefacts to special traders for a chance to get an NFT which you then can sell for real money if anyone wants it.
The main gameplay loop has you running from point A to point B, and back, for the majority of the time. Valuable skill points can be used to make you run faster. The world is big and open but it feels so darn empty with seemingly no enemies occupying it unless you’re in a dungeon.
And the dungeons themselves get stale rather quickly. You have to kill X monsters, collect Y amount of plants, and then you defeat a boss who doesn’t even do anything that is very “boss-like”.
I played a fair few MMOs from Tera, Rift, Blade n Soul, and Neverwinter to Trove, Destiny 2, Guildwars and Black Desert. I’m no expert but… satisfying skills and challenging bosses are the bread and butter of every MMO. Even an early boss fight can be well-designed and pose a threat to low-level players.
In this game, skills barely do anything unless you actually put a lot of skill points into them. Skill Points are hard to come by as levelling requires you to kill enemies that are just so darn boring to grind.
In other games, healers are just second ranged-DPS classes… here, you have some low-damage hammers that you swing around with one hand while casting heals on yourself to survive these low-level mobs.
ALSO, the endgame of all MMOs is fashion… and if cosmetics are only accessible through trading them for huge amounts of money… then this game has no fashion and thus no endgame if you’re broke or not stupid.
Heck, there is no character creation in the game and my character was male by default, for whatever reason.
It’s a scam.
The game obviously has no passion behind it.
Looking through the discord, the majority of the feedback is about the drop rate of NFTs. A lot of players bought the Silver, Gold or Diamond Access passes and hoped to make money off of these limited-supply Legendaries that they could possibly get… but they didn’t.
A lot of people are leaving because “Ruby Access players” (like me, I guess?) have a chance of getting more and better stuff than they themselves. They were able to spend hundreds of dollars to get access to a bunch of common items. Meanwhile, the next wave of players enters (including streamers like me that got the game for free) and there are now more legendary items than before.
The developers promised that items are very limited and that supply/demand is gonna be everything. They won’t control the market place too much and they won’t introduce too many new items… but at the same time, they created their own inflation of sorts by introducing new items, on top of breaking trust.
I won’t ever stream or promote the game here but I just really wanted to write about this incredibly bad game… that is swindling people out of their money.
It’s a free-to-play game that you need to buy access to… so that you then can play it and earn the developers a fat sum.
People on the discord for this game are reporting scammers, talking about people who took items from them but didn’t actually send them any money. There are also people complaining about the fact that the value of items is inflated and that nobody wants to actually buy these cosmetics.
A lot of people are leaving the project… but many people still want to make what they lost by investing into this game back… which most likely will never happen.
This is just how these blockchain games work, I guess. You sell a dream and earn money with a cheap game that already made millions within the Early Access phase. Again, this is supposedly a free-to-play game… Early Access… made millions. Wild.
Always do a background check
When developers reach out to me, I check their socials and google them quickly to see if they got any dirt on them that I don’t want to have associated with my “brand”. Of course, you cannot know about stuff all the time but it’s important to at least try to find any controversies or possible scam situations.
NFTs are Ponzi schemes.
If I promote one, I end up not only turning into a “crypto bro” but also possibly ruining the lives of others who want to now invest into this stupid token that people sell.
And as I previously mentioned, the developers are releasing more of these cosmetics into the game as time goes on. That makes all existing ones practically worthless, especially when the game sucks and when new players won’t stick around to actually get to any of it or make any meaningful progress to want to have some sort of cosmetic on a character.
These cosmetics are not worth anything but by selling people a pipedream, they invest into the game and now attract new players that will buy their way into the game to then get the chance of obtaining these incredibly worthless cosmetics that the devs could even remove from your account.
On top of that, there are charges being made to the bank accounts that these people linked… some of which have yet to be refunded, apparently…
Don’t support shit like this.
This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.
That honestly sounds like more of a game than I was expecting. If you factor out the blockchain/NFT nonsense, it sounds similar to a number of not all that interesting but basically fuctional F2P mmos I’ve tried. I was expecting something a lot less finished. I wonder if they developed the game from scratch or if it’s a pre-existing game they acquired and retro-fitted with NFTs?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yeah, the issue I have is mostly that it’s barely functional for a game that is supposed to be free-to-play but whose access passes go for $400-2.5k USD.
It’s honestly a crime that they’re charging money for access to this game to then rob players of even more money by having them trade their digital tokens… and the game itself is not fun at all but they compared it to Fortnite (in terms of the business model) and to Monster Hunter or Diablo (in terms of combat) which is just bad.
Yes, it may “function” but it doesn’t “work”. There’s no passion here, just greed.
I’d love to know if they made it from scratch, as well, since I had the suspicious, too, that the game may not actually have been made by these people.