Thursday, January 13, 2011

Au Revoir Alganon

Well this is way past due but felt a need to talk about a game I had hope for. I don't remember the exact day maybe a year or more ago I had the great fortune of beta testing for a game called Alganon by Quest Online.

It was virtually unheard of, and I think it still is, the head of advertising if there was one dropped the ball on getting the word out. With the gaming blogs, gaming websites, and gaming magazines I find it a big fail flop not to be able to get the word out some how or another.

The one thing I noticed right away when beta testing was the game was enjoyable to look at, the quests were fun, I really enjoyed the study system, but it seemed pretty much like a zero story line. You weren't sure why you were in the world and what purpose the questing was for. But I kept going seeing the great potential this game had.

There were many bugs in the game but I thought hey it's beta. I was really drawn in and stayed because of the close knit community we all formed with each other. The developers were really hands on and played along side you and listened to feedback.

I even purchased the game when it came out and paid .. yes paid the monthly sub .. (shaking my head) ..

It kind of felt like one of those relationships where you know it's going downhill but you try to look the other way, hoping if you don't look at the ground you are about to go face first into some how it won't happen.

I was shocked they released the game the way they did. It still had all the same bugs as it did from day one in beta, there was still no advertising regarding the game, and still no true story to pull me into the fantasy to want to battle my hero against the virtual foes. I don't know if this is true my gut has to wonder if they were pushed to get the product out as fast as possible. I have to wonder if the investors pushed for the release worried about making money or spending anymore.

I say this because I don't feel any true developer would be willing to put a game out how Alganon was put out. It would be embarrassing. It had to be someone's decision who didn't truly understand and now they try to save a sinking boat.

They replaced David Allen with Derek Smart and several other changes within the company .. you can read that here .. but I feel that changing the employees does not change or recognize the real problem or issue with the game.

I gave the changes time, they made it free to play so I thought well I saw potential in this game I will hop back on and see what the changes are like. The game is a virtual ghost town. There has never once been a truly operating Auction House because there are not enough players to create one. The main city where everything should be hustling and bustling is still has dead as it was during beta. Well actually I think during beta there were more people on. There are not even enough players on to group up and do a dungeon with.

They now try to sale you on the new PVP system .. how can you pvp when no one is on?

Derek Smart is known for his abrasive responses that many Alganon players have claimed drove them away. He recently responded to criticism a few days ago saying this:

"It was basically a number of factors.

1. It was designed and developed to compete with WoW. Without the technical expertise nor the budget or marketing to actually pull it off.

2. It was released in a botched state and while still in Beta - back in Dec 2009. The "soft launch" was just done in order to soften the blow.

3. When you consider #1 and #2 above, the fact that you also had to buy ($39.99) the game and pay a monthly sub ($19) was the final blow.

Since I took over, the guys and I have been working out butts off to correct all three of the above. We did, the game is finished, is F2P and is quite a bit of fun.

OK, I'm not saying that it is the best MMO game out there or anything, but it is a fun and decent game that has been growing since the official 2.0 launch in late April 2010.

Trust me, we're not idiots; if the game didn't have potential, it would have been shutdown by now. Instead, it is still going strong though yes, we still have aways to go before we all start rejoicing."

I agree with many nay sayers who have said that you can only make a first impression once and the impression Alganon made was horrible. It is very sad to see this game still have the same bugs it had on the first day of beta. That to me shows the real answer to the question will it get better.. the answer being no.

Here is a quote from someone on the forums that I think pretty much sums it up

"Alganon, however, is kind of like eating the food out of the dumpster behind a restaurant. Most people would rather just go in and pay to have a proper dining experience and avoid eating maggots and getting food poisoning. Catch my drift?"

Sorry Alganon it's been well over a year and it still feels the same, raw, incomplete, and unsatisfying, you just never reached your full potential. I think Quest it's time to put this one to bed.

2 comments: said...

I never even heard of this game, and I play ALOT of games.

Marketing dept fail!

Wasdstomp said...

I just received this game on a pcgamer magazine cd. I was going to install it, and check it out, but you just convinced me to not even bother.