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? 

20 responses to “When a Game Breaks Your Heart, Can You Learn to Love Again?”

  1. Not a very helpful comment, but just from the outside looking in I pegged Black Desert as ArcheAge round 2, and that was before they started talking about their cash shop. Hope I am wrong, but the cynic in me speaks loudly.


    • I actually felt that way, too, which is why I never gave Black Desert a second look. But the reviews and blog posts I’m reading about it say differently. Apparently, they’re being very careful with their cash shop, and what they put in there, even to the point they aren’t putting it up at launch (from my understanding).


      I don’t really care about a cash shop in a B2P game. I rather expect it. It doesn’t even really bother me if there’s a few things people feel are pay to win.

      What DID bug me in ArcheAge was the labor system that kept me from doing what I wanted (crafting, gathering, fishing). And then the cash shop that offered me potions to unlock more labor points to do those activities for a little longer. When a game puts up a wall that actually STOPS me from playing it and tries to entice me to pay to play it, on TOP of the fact I was subbing to it, that’s when I NOPE out of there.

      As long as that’s not the case in BDO, I’m fine with it.


  2. Perhaps sandbox is what I need. Even if it does have open PvP.

    XIV has shattered me with its tanking and how hard and thankless it is. If this game is anything as pastoral as it sounds…


    • I’m sorry to hear about your tanking troubles in FFXIV. I know how tough it is, and always appreciate my hard-working tanks. 😦

      It may end up being a number of bloggers try this game out. Maybe we can get together on the same server, if so?


        • A few of us are already talking about rolling on the same server. Not sure if it will actually happen, but hey – plans. 🙂


        • I would love it if we could all be on the same server! We could carebear that game so hardcore.

          In all seriousness though, I was thinking of maybe starting a guild that focuses on farming, fishing, trade, horse breeding, etc. I want to get my bearings in the game first, but I like the idea of being in a crafter’s guild.


  3. I’m glad you’re finding my posts helpful, but I hope I’m not getting anyone’s hopes up without warrant! I didn’t experience the ArcheAge debacle and wasn’t paying attention to BD until a month or two ago so while I’m excited I don’t have a lot of unrequited expectations from years of waiting for an AAA sandbox, like so many other MMO players have had (which is really unfortunate that the market hasn’t been able to provide this for people yet!)

    I mention that because I’m invested, but not overly so. I’ve never been eagerly awaiting a sandbox, so this isn’t my Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s a unique type of MMO gameplay (and I want some change in that department!) that I think is being handled really well by both publisher and developer. And even if it launches with some blemishes, right now there’s every reason to believe that they will be addressed over time. I can be patient, I can work within an imperfect system, my expectations aren’t unrealistic (I don’t think).

    So long as someone approaches the game with a cautious optimism, especially if you were burned by AA, I think there’s a lot to enjoy here. It won’t be perfect, but it will be an incredibly different experience from anything on the AAA western market being provided but what so far has been a communicative, responsive, and understanding team. They can’t please everyone (that would require contradictory rule sets, like Wonderland the MMO) but I do believe they will make a functioning, enjoyable experience.


    • What I like best is that it’s a flat $30 for the preorder box with no sub after. So even if I pick it up and it goes sour on down the line like AA did, I won’t feel burned at that price. I gave AA way too much of my money in subs and small purchases – much more than $30.

      I also need a change in pace now and then, which is something only a sandbox can scratch. I’m not looking for perfection, and I’m willing to overlook playstyles I don’t enjoy (PvP), just as long as they don’t limit me too hard with the energy system. I care more about being able to farm/craft/trade/fish than I do about making level cap in games like these. 🙂


      • That’s how i see it, as well. I don’t even care for some “pay-to-win” elements, as long as they don’t really impact me…which, granted, is quite impossible in a pvp world. But i’m far more concerned of things like the cash shop messing with the market than i am about people being able to buy the best armor for hundreds of dollars.

        And i felt the same way- burned by Archeage, which i was expecting since 2012, of course paying the highest “Founder” option and then…well, what happened, happened. But that’s also a reason why i didn’t take a very close look at Black Desert…well, that was until Ironweakness’ posts about it. And now i can feel the excitement starting to rise…probably going for the 50€ pack.


        • Ouch! I didn’t pay a founder’s pack worth to ArcheAge, so you have my sympathy for that. I heard that the game was great during beta, and there was no reason to believe it would turn out the way it did.

          Hopefully Black Desert will mend some wounds.


  4. Oh, dear. XD

    I don’t really have any serious comments here–in spite of FFXIV’s surprising success at sometimes holding my interest, I’m not really looking into expanding into new MMO’s. I hope you can finally find what *you’re* looking for, though. 🙂

    I, on the other hand, will probably be digging into Darkest Dungeon more deeply now that it’s officially out of Beta.


  5. Depending on the timing, I may very well join you in exploring BDO when it comes out if it is truly B2P. Eri seems to think that the cash shop is flagging some probable AA shenanigans, so I’m going to wait for a week or two after release before committing.

    It could end up being a choice between that and Heavensward…

    I’m hearing great things about Camelot Unchained, being a crafter class (no fighting!) sounds more and more interesting as time goes by. Check out that info if you haven’t been following the news about it!


    • I’ve kinda glanced at Camelot Unchained, but at this point, they don’t really have a lot of things that caught my interest. Not to say that won’t change, but, for now, I’m just watching it from afar.

      I can’t see myself leaving FFXIV for Black Desert because FFXIV has proven itself pretty true (and I have too many friends and a FC there). Still, I need a break from the theme park games from time to time, which is why a Buy To Play sandbox would be just right.

      I went ahead and pre-ordered it ($30 is not a great loss), and will be blogging the release for sure. After experiencing AA, I know what to watch for and will be sure to talk about any red flags I see.


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