When a Game Breaks Your Heart, Can You Learn to Love Again?

Okay, an over-dramatic title for a post about a game that really let me down… and trying to make the choice on whether to finally rebound from that broken experience. The game that broke my heart? Of course, I’m talking about ArcheAge.

ArcheAge should have been everything I wanted in a sandbox game. It had houses and farms and fishing and boats and sailing and crafting and gathering and trade routes and PVP … wait. No, I overlooked the PVP to do the rest of the things I really wanted to do. Which was sandbox carebear style!

I was so, very proud of my little farm that I built up with my own two hands. I loved the whole idea of jury duty. I was so excited when I was able to not only earn my scarecrow farm, but find a rare spot to put it. I even farmed a (back then rare) thunderstruck tree and made a bunch of gold on accident.

But then, the reality of the game set in. I knew from the start that F2P wasn’t sustainable for anyone who wanted to actually… do things… in the game due to the constrictive labor system. I saw that holiday events were almost completely cash-shop based, which is a huge bummer for someone like me who enjoys in game holiday events. My account got all screwed up on renewal and it cost me a lot of labor, which I horded more than gold. And then the game just got more and more money hungry until the point I had to say goodbye just on the ethics of the thing. I couldn’t keep championing a game that became nothing more than a front for the cash shop.

So I gave away the farm I built so lovingly (it broke my heart) and I quit the game, never looking back.

But now a new sandbox game has come along and I’m feeling gunshy.

Of course, I’ve heard about Black Desert for a while – especially the amazing character creator. But being caught up in FFXIV most of last year, I haven’t really had eyes to look at other games at all. I probably wouldn’t have given this a second glace if it wasn’t for Ironweakness’ posts at Waiting for Rez. Even then, I dismissed Black Desert at first, after hearing about the PvP-centric end game and the restore-over-time points system that sounded too much like the labor system of ArcheAge.

But then this post came along, and I blame this conflict within me all on Ironweakness (no, really, thank you).  This… this sounded like the sandbox game that I wanted in ArcheAge but didn’t get. This… this could be… the game that has the features that I’ve been looking for.

  • Buy to Play with no Sub
  • Instanced housing (no land rushes)
  • PvP which might not be a gankfest for those who don’t want to participate
  • Horse taming! (Won me over)
  • Crafting, gathering, fishing, boats, trading, etc

And while there is an energy system, everything I read about it says that it’s only restrictive in the early levels. Considering FFXIV will probably remain my main MMO, I can’t see myself spending all hours of the day sucking down energy anyhow. And the B2P model with no sub works perfectly for a side sandbox MMO… because no game with a sub has been able to last long with me when I’m still paying a sub for FFXIV.

I’ve done a lot of research, and find myself nodding to most of what I read in approval. I even have a class that interests me (Tamer). Needless to say, this sounds great to me, but I’m still hesitant.

I’m in the middle of trying to download the character creator that just came out yesterday – my net was super slow last night, so it was a no go. Once I get around to looking at the character options, I’ll probably have a more solid feel for the art style. I’ve watched videos and really did like how the world looked and the characters moved. I also loved the horse animations (which is super important for me).

If I do buy into a pre-order, it’ll be the lowest price pack, though. I don’t want to spoil the feeling of launch by having played beta like I did with ArcheAge. I also don’t want the more expensive pack because they give you a tier 3 horse. I know it sounds funny – I’m usually the first to jump at a cool mount. But with horse taming in game, one of my interests and goals is to catch and tame my own… so I don’t want the game handing me one! 🙂

Goals! They’re important. And if I’m already making goals for a game I don’t own…. well… I guess that means I’ve almost talked myself into getting it.

Anyone else had trouble trusting a new game after being burned? Anyone have experience with Black Desert they can offer?