The endgame of Global Agenda and World of Warcraft couldn’t be more different, at least in design and content. World of Warcraft features massive bosses requiring complex strategies, attempts and learning to overcome. Most players participate in the painful (and costly) progression for the shot at additional purples. A minority group attends solely for the experience. Global Agenda features massive PvP battles that requires healthy attendance, pre-combat strategic choices and in-combat tactical decisions. Players participate mainly to defend the property of their multi-guild alliance, or expand its reach. Both titles feature lengthy, repeatable battles. However, the challenges in WoW are scripted, while Global Agenda features dynamic content due to player interaction.
The frustration sets in when you try to participate in the fun of endgame. Global Agenda suffers from the same debilitating problem that plagued early World of Warcraft players. The bar to enter endgame is too restrictive, and too dependent on being in the “proper” guild. Hi-Rez Studios attempted to head this off by allowing any player to enter Alliance versus Alliance combat. If you are in an Alliance, then you can effectively participate in AvA, regardless of level.
Disabling a level requirement raises the pool of potential players substantially, but the problem persists. I’ve been booted from a number of guilds for being “too casual,” despite members enjoying my healing capabilities. The reason for the kick is based on strike force cap and upkeep costs. I am the casual player, so I am at fault there.
What is out of my hands is the entry point for guilds to be a threat on the hex grid. Small guilds and alliances are at a severe disadvantage for numerous reasons, be it size, time commitment or funding. And without AvA, the problem snowballs. Underfunded, understaffed and under-committed groups can’t participate in all the endgame they desire. This in turn can cause the hardcore players to jump to another guild/alliance. Restarting the cycle.
Hi-Rez Studios is working on the problem, as recently seen by the addition Theft missions in patch v1.2. These AvA missions enable smaller coalitions to pick on the big guys with quick strikes, much like Robin Hood. It’s a start, but the fact remains that only a small percentage of players are getting to experience and fully enjoy all the game has to offer.
Global Agenda is currently available on Steam at a 25% discount.