Monday, October 26, 2009

Eldergoth Alganon Review

Carson 63000 from Eldergoth has posted a great review of Alganon, to which I have not much to add, except some personal history:

In March 2009 I was asked by Quest Online whether I would be willing to play the closed Alganon beta and give them some feedback, basically unpaid consulting work. I agreed, played the closed beta for a while and came back with exactly the same conclusions that Carson lists in his review: Alganon is a badly done clone of WoW, with very few unique selling points, and lots of bugs. There are other games, notably Runes of Magic, who do a better job of copying World of Warcraft, and which are Free2Play. I can't imagine anyone wanting to pay a monthly fee for Alganon if even just playing the completely free part of RoM is much better. I advised the guys from Quest Online to make some radical changes, for example making the combat system much different from WoW's, to have some distinguishing feature. Apparently they didn't listen.

I have the greatest respect for small game companies trying to survive in a harsh world of corporate giants. But making inferior clones of the games from corporate giants and then charging the same monthly fee for it is a strategy that is doomed to failure. The role of the small game company is to make games like Brice or World of Goo, which are innovative, even if they weren't made with a multi-million dollar budget. In MMORPGs their role is to provide niche games that do things radically different than the mainstream games. Look at A Tale in the Desert from eGenesis, Puzzle Pirates from Three Rings Design, or even at Darkfall from Aventurine (if you are into S&M and PvP) if you want to see how a small game company can make a successful MMORPG. Alganon is just plain bad.

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