Thursday, June 30, 2011

Global Agenda: PvP

After some initial confusion on how to participate in Global Agenda's PvP missions, I finally got the chance to jump into some Mercenary Operations on my level 12 Assault character. I haven't given up on my Robotics character, but its a bit complicated to play correctly so I figured I would learn the game as the less-complicated Assault class.

I played through a few matches and did well (or at least I feel I did well). As I'm a "free agent" and have not paid for a Boost or Elite Agent status, I do not have a choice of match-type. I am forced into whatever match type is randomly selected for me.

Unfortunately, the game does not do a very good job of explaining what type of match the player is being placed into. The player has to know to look at the loading screen and map name to know what type of match they are entering. A smarter player may have read the Player Guide and Mission Types prior to playing the game and know what these names mean, but that's like trying to read a manual before putting your kid's Christmas presents together.

The first thing that surprised me about the PvP matches was that players of all levels are allowed in.  As a level 12 Assault, I was playing with and against level 20+ characters.  While I died plenty of times to what seemed like instant death shots, I never felt like I was completely outgunned.  My level 12 Assault was able to keep up pace just fine.

The confusion on match type and my newbness did lead me to miss the objective-based gameplay of the matches, so I focused mainly on killing the enemy.  My stats did the talking as I was able to place high in the charts for kills and damage.  I know this probably perturbs established players looking for wins/loot, but this is what happens when new players are sent to mingle with the veterans.  Also, the game is a semi first-person shooter, so it's not surprising some players (like me) will initially focus on shooting the enemy instead of chasing the objective.

I did have fun during the matches, but Global Agenda has a funny way of making me feel disappointed by pointing out that I am a Free 2 Play player and as I didn't pay I missed my chance to get prize X and Y. Oh and it points out all of the experience and currency I missed out on by not paying up.

While I certainly understand the necessity for a F2P game to make money and this is certainly a valid way to do so, I can't help that it feels like a repeated slap to the face. But whats funny is that just a few years ago while playing World of Warcraft if I had been presented with a screen at the end of a dungeon that said "Pay $5 now and you can get this EPIC item" I would have probably ponied up the dough. However, Global Agenda is no WoW and in the F2P era we are entering, loot doesn't hold much water with me when it comes down to just dishing out a credit card number.

Overall I still enjoy Global Agenda, but I'm realizing that there really isn't much that is going to hold me long term. There is certainly nothing I feel compels me to spend any money on the game. I am doing just fine as a Free Agent.

You can keep up with my screenshots from Global Agenda via my Steam profile.

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