Before that headline gets me in trouble I’d like to qualify it. No, come back up here. Stay away from the comments section until I’ve had my say, please.
This article is not claiming that Forsaken World is better than WoW, or even vice versa. Or throwing fresh fuel on the always charring embers of F2P vs. subscription business model holy war. This article is simply stating intriguing features that Perfect World Entertainment has implemented in its upcoming F2P MMORPG (which “releases” tomorrow, March 9, 2011). All but the last two have been personally experienced. Some are innovative, some are no-brainers and some are quality-of-life additions. All deserve to be heralded.
- Inventory management – Sick of having your quest items mixed in with normal items? Or vendor trash displacing your carefully organized gear sets? PWE devised the clever notion to give players the ability to sort or search their inventory out of the box. No addons required.
- Search for an NPC – The map in Forsaken World is busy, hitting players with an overwhelming amount of information. To clear out the riff-raff, simply search for any NPC. I’d like the feature to be restricted to “discovered” NPCs – either personally, or being told their whereabouts – but I’ll settle for the capability given.
- New Player Experience – Ronix wrote a fantastic post on the opening experience. Read it. It should cause a lot more than 30% of players to progress past level 10.
- Encyclopedia/Achievement System – You’ve spent hours, neigh, days, weeks, perhaps even months in an MMORPG. Don’t you want to know exactly what you’ve accomplished? Forsaken World will allow players to revisit their adventures by reading through a personal encyclopedia. The avatar history was pretty wonky in Closed Beta – entries not loading – but the idea is a good implementation of WAR’s best feature, and beats the hell out of a collection of meaningless points, but it has those too.
- Be a Professional Professional – Numerous titles tack on crafting as an extra incentive to the leveling process. Just an extra object to collect and mutate. Occasionally, they may even be profitable. Forsaken World challenges you to master ten jobs! Yes, you can do all ten, given dedication, time and resources. There’s your typical cook or botanist, the odd social butterfly, down to the a fancy bartering vocation. Any of which can dramatically alter your character’s standing in a guild or zealot (see below) setting.
- There Will be Gods – Few games allow a player to be immortalized in the annuls of history. Forsaken World will be one of them. Building on the lasting feature of The Matrix Online, ten players (per server) that excel at completing grueling requirements – currently unknown – will become revered as Gods. These toons will be given advanced powers and the ability to bestow some on followers that have been converted to their cause. The guild-alternative feature is reportedly going to enable this group of characters to change the game.
- Server Progression – Being a huge part of unlocking Ahn’Qiraj on my WoW server is a memory I’ll never forget. Watching the gates finally open is forever ingrained in my squishy pink stuff. Blizzard found server-based progression difficult to design and implement and has since abandoned, or at least toned down, the idea. Along with Server vs. Server conflicts, Forsaken World will have server progression as an on-going element to the title.
- Point-and-click Navigation – Forsaken World – really all PWE games – is perfect for casual, even AFK, play and advancement. The engine comes with a built in GPS and rather smart pathfinding which enables characters to automatically travel to a destination, be it a location of mobs, sparkly to click or an NPC. The feature is trollbait, but definitely worth mentioning.
Okay, now you can head to the comments.