The Problem with Palia

Posted on October 31, 2023 by Aywren

Palia is a cozy life-sim MMO game that’s currently in open beta. I did join back during the very tail end of closed beta because it sure sounds like the kind of game that I would absolutely love.

It has all the life-sim type activities – housing, farming, fishing, gathering, crafting. It has an appealing (to me) art style. It has a cast of NPCs that seem fairly unique and memorable. And while the story isn’t the strongest I’ve experienced, it does have a main story in which your character – a human – is a rarity in this world.

So why is it that with all these elements, mixed up with an MMO, the game just doesn’t seem to stick to me? I’ll pick it up and play a little bit for a day or two, make a tiny bit of progress, and just fade out of it in a very short time. While I’ve been playing on and off for a few months, I really haven’t pushed very far into progression or story.

The first wall I hit was when the tutorial of the game sent me to pick up a recipe and I realized just how much gold all of this was going to cost. Seeing that gold had never been a factor before this, and I had little next to none, I was then in the position where I had to work at redundant activities to earn the gold and make progress.

I did eventually finish putting down my first little house. But each time I came to check in, there was some event going on that required… you guessed it – a bunch of gold for things. Gold that I still didn’t have.

For example, I logged in at the promise of neat Halloween decorations for my plot. Only to find out that yes… all of this required gold to buy. When I say gold, I mean 700-something just for a single jack-o-lantern for my front step and 2.5K for the wallpaper I wanted.

Now, I’m sure some players who are much further in than I am probably have the gold to fork over for this. I don’t. I sat and grinded out gathering and fishing to get these two items. I’m now broke, and if I want to progress, I’ll have to continue to grind out stuff to buy the recipes that I did not buy because I wanted event decorations instead.

If you’re a Palia player who knows a better way of earning gold than just selling all the farming produce (I don’t farm a whole lot as that’s time-based), gathering, fishing or hunting spoils, please let me know. That’s all I’ve figured, and in seeing online “guides,” that’s what they say to do, too.

Because Palia is a MMO game, you are in contest for some of the materials – such as mining nodes, trees and animals to hunt. So that’s another element that you don’t usually run into in a single player life sim. I thought that I’d enjoy the MMO element, but so far, since housing is instanced, all I’ve seen it do is limit resources in this way. I’m sure there’s group stuff to do and ways players can help each other, I just haven’t gotten to a point to see it.

I do know they put a LOT of the best cosmetic stuff in the cash shop (a lot of MMOs do), but I haven’t even been tempted to look there since my play time is so sporadic as it is. I’ve heard some disgruntlement about this, however. I’m not sure where the game stands with that currently.

This is in no way to say that I think Palia is a bad game. Just that I keep bouncing off of it when I’d had expected to be drawn in. I keep trying to come back and work at it again… but that’s the problem. For a cozy game, it sure seems like a lot of work for so little gold. Maybe if I plug away at it and focus hard on specific progress, I’ll eventually warm up to it?

I know these are housing add-ons, but how am I supposed to make that kind of gold?

Again, if you’ve found the fun in Palia that I’ve been missing, please let me know! Or, if you’ve played it and feel the same as I have, let me know that, too!

I’d like to like Palia. However, if this is the whole game loop and I’m not missing anything, I’d also like to know that. I’d prefer to put it aside for good rather than put too much more time into something that just doesn’t spark excitement for me.

*|* {October} *|* {2023} *|* {MMORPGs} *|*