Thursday, 28 May 2015

Radio Silence

Just a Note.

Things have been quiet lately. Not to worry, I'm still alive. This blog will still be an archive of my written works that are too long for the newer social media.

If you want to get in touch with me, look on my Twitter or Tumblr, or the Contact Page link in the header.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Focus and Continuity in AQWorlds.

Note: This was not written by me, but by another user of AQWorlds. I am simply rehosting their opinions with permission. The only changes I have made are spelling and formatting.

Author: Ergotth of Battleon Forums.
This is a little critique I have for AE regarding the direction AQW is going: all over the place and nowhere at the same time (Warning, this is a looooong text).

Something I noticed more or less during the Spam Chaos Lord saga is that AE is not keeping the focus of its storyline. They want to keep throwing us so many random plot lines and events clashing with the current plot line that sometimes, between two events of the same plot, we have to wait a whole month to get back to where we stopped.

The Chaos Lord finale was a prime example of this, we kicked Drakath in July, Lore crumbled to dust, and we were about to meet the Loremasters. It took us December to get back with the Mother of all Monsters…and nowhere near where we stopped! What happened inside the Loremaster's temple? How did we get in the frozen wasteland? And why did it take 5 months frolicking in places that shouldn't even exist anymore to get back to the Mother of all Monsters saga, without even proper continuity?

And then we have 3 releases in the frozen wasteland, some nice quests, cutscenes, etc.. We finished it with an interesting note of two powerful villains getting closer than we wish they would... only to follow it in a different place from where we stopped again! Alas, in a place that shouldn't exist.

Lore's Geography
Northpointe shouldn't exist anymore, Lore itself crumbled to pieces, places like Battleon, Shadowfall, Arcangrove, etc are either sinking to the bottom of the ocean, shattered to pieces or isolated islands of destruction. If you guys had to emphasize so much the idea that Lore was literally falling apart (and I'm quoting a cutscene when I say "falling apart"), please give us a new map like you promised.

No need to make a new MAP, but at least make the rooms unrelated to the old Lore, like the Frozen Wasteland, it was a perfect scenario. At the same time, you should also make it very clear that Lore was scattered like a broken egg. Which was a very overwhelming plot device if you ask me, quite a bold move on the story. But you guys also need responsibility with this promise, because it meant a huge change in the map of AQWorlds that is yet to be seen. And speaking of the Frozen Wasteland, I don't think we had to leave that place yet. Don't be afraid to keep us in the same map for more than 3 releases in a row. it also helps the artist who makes the scenarios (J6, I believe) so he can easily keep what he was working on without having to jump from different themes so erratically.

Also, if you guys still can't part with some old areas, make some excuse to fit in, like, the area survived the destruction, or that room is all that's left of the whole area. Make some key points of the map as beacons in that sea of chaos (lower-case c "chaos"). So as much as Lore was destroyed, we get some places that survived somehow, like the places we saw in the Loremaster Temple release, what was left of Dwarfhold, what was left of Arcangrove, and so on...

And now we have yet another remake of the tutorial... Couldn't it just wait a little? The old tutorial was already explaining and introducing us to AQW pretty much fine on its own. Why can't some things wait? Please AE, make an engaging and coherent plot, a storyline that keep us eager to see the end, a continuous saga that wont be interrupted for so much time until we forget what we were doing. I liked how AQW was back a few years, with a whole story in a row, consistent and fluid, no unnecessary interruptions. However, I consider those seasonal events like Friday the 13th, Mogloween, staff birthdays, etc. necessary, they can't wait indeed).

The storyline in AQWorlds takes YEARS to be fulfilled, it's a long, complex story, BUT... it's split into smaller stories that converge in the end. The Chaos Lord saga was split into 13 parts and other related side events. Between the Chaos Lords' sagas, we had free time. Doomwood happened, Xan happened, Etherstorm happened. That is a good flowchart to follow. Try to keep the small parts of the storyline fluent and with short interruptions, so when they are finished, we can rest and enjoy some free time before the next adventure knocks on our door.

I know you guys have A LOT of brilliant ideas, but give it order, or else AQW will fall into literal chaos.

I suggest that every time you fine lads start a saga, consider the time it takes to make each part, try to avoid taking over 2 weeks to continue the story, and, if possible, avoid clashing the events. I would reccommend planning the order of some releases as a whole month plan.

Considering how a month has just 4 releases, 2-3 months sounds reasonable to just place the releases in order, you know, a flowchart, a pipeline. Something to place the releases in a line, take a step back and look at the order they have, and see which ones can change place with others. Sometimes it feels like the releases are planned looking forward but never looking back to analyze the trail they left.

I also have a few reminders of what was promised to us and so far, not a clue where they are going:
-last stone of Battleon: still about to turn into "something".
-Doomwood VS Grimskull: Grimskull was BRILLIANT, the dungeon was fun and the NPC was hilarious, we re all eager to see more of it (and make sure to explain us why Doomwood still exists when *ahem* Lore doesn't anymore).
-Descending into hell to get Dage's soul, promised after his birthday challenge boss fight, which specified that after the Chaos Lord saga finale, we would have this saga.
-The Scorned saga. We are still waiting to enter Dage's court.

I think it sounds a little harsh, but I'm speaking with a very sincere, worried and helpful intention. I see AQW losing some players, I can look at the servers and see how empty they get with time. Some players are quitting AQW, I'm not renewing my membership, because I feel like AQWorlds is becoming a pipe dream and its not captivating me as much as Dragonfable and AQ.

I don't want to see AQWorlds end up empty and deserted. I grew with it, alpha-tested it and saw with a very close eye every bit of development it had. I hold so many precious memories of playing... and this game has POTENTIAL, I tell ya. It is just veering off its direction a bit, so you must put it back on track. It's not a U-turn, just a few steps back to see your path, and keep your eyes on your surroundings. And most important, learn from the past. See what you did so you can plan what you will do, what you promised, what you must fulfill, what can wait, and what must be done immediately.

Battle On