As I attempted to write an anger toned article talking about why End of Nations and Trion Worlds just might fail I find myself having issues hating on this studio. Instead I have decided to write an ode to Trion Worlds, discussing what they are working against and why they do well.
This is to you Trion Worlds, the hardest working men in the industry.
Part 1 – Rift
Boxing Day of last year (2011) I made the claim that Rift had failed. Well this brought everyone up in arms. It may not be the most viewed article on this website, but it sure was the one that got people the most furious. I don’t believe I’ve been so heavily fact checked in my life either. As I produced source after source the value of that source continued to be brought into question to the point that with this level of university-level scrutiny, no journalist would ever be able to write an article on anything.
It should be noted that I write opinion pieces and when I make a factual claim I look for evidence to back it up. It’s kind of ah ard thing to do considering that websites close own or delete posts that were made accidentally. How many early releases have come out that were unintended because of a posting slip up?
Rift, despite my opinions on why it failed, did something MMOs have not done… survived.
The subscription model has been brought into question by the majority of the community. In the times of Ultima Online the subscription fee was needed to pay for the very expensive hosting of a server. Today server hosting is cheap and easy to do. It has come to the point that independent people maintain private servers free of charge… that’s how cheap it is.
So in a modern world where subscription fees are no longer seen as a reasonable method of payment for services, people have had to offer other solutions. Some have gone the route of free to play in which they offer microtransactions to cover their costs. This has been the most popular.
But not Trion Worlds. No Trion Worlds went the way of the subscription fee and did something that no one else did… they gave you enough experiences to make your money worthwhile. Here is how well they did… I will bash the crap out of the game… and yet want to play it. I will spend all my time hating on it, and yet want to come back.
Trion Worlds via events and non-static content have found a way to keep people getting their money’s worth for the month.
Now compare this to say the World of Warcraft model which produces far higher quality content every six-nine months. Yes, the content is better. I’m sure this hurts people to hear, yes WoW has been content. But the amount of content and stuff they have to do is far less by comparison to say, Trion, which produce a lot of it.
Trion was working for their money and continue to do so.
You can talk about the individual things about the game Rift that make it good, but when you look at that it does not even come close to the quality of almost any other MMORPG out there. I don’t want to say Rift is a good game, but nor am I saying it is a bad game. What I am saying is that Rift is mediocre and average.
If you are playing Rift the reason is simple, you get your money’s worth. The team at Trion Worlds values their subscribers and works hard to give enough content for you to do.
Oh Trion Worlds, working hard enough to blow the “you must be free to play” quotations way out of the market.
Part 2 – End of Nations
For whatever reason when I published my article on why Rift was so bad Trion Worlds made a decision that was kind of odd…. they contacted me. They invited me to become a friend and family and take part in their alphas, which I have. It was an odd decision because here is something that both Ghandi and Abraham Lincoln did.
Let me explain. When America was on the verge of a civil war Republican Abraham Lincoln needed to win an election, so he made his Vice President a Democrat who he least agreed with so that people would regard him as someone who worked down the centre. He nominated one of his greatest critics as a minister. In fact Abraham Lincoln surrounded himself by enemies. If his greatest critics were running things, then no one would have anything to complain about.
When Ghandi became the first Prime Minister of India he became it under the conflict of Pakistan and India separation. In an attempt to stop descent he made all of his ministers Pakistani so that they knew their opinions would be represented in government, unlike when India was ruled by the British.
Now of course both were assassinated…. not saying TrionNotus will be assassinated. But what I’m saying is that Trion has made the bold move of bringing heavy critics into their game building process.
Trion made the odd step of collecting the people who gave them negative reviews to their game building process instead of people who really love them. Yeah there are some people who really love them in the alpha and (now) the beta. But being in their alpha I saw so many Trion haters it was ridiculous.
What was weird was making a list of problems I had in the game and then seeing about half of them become the patched solution. Usually game developers have these sorts of events just to promote the game, it seems more obvious that Trion uses them for game development.
Here’s to you Trion, for keeping things professional and listening to the people.
Part 3 – Defiance
When Trion Worlds announced Defiance it raised a lot of questions. Here is a game partially funded by Syfy pairing up with a Syfy based television show with the purpose of eventually having the two interact. No one knows how it will work or whether it will work.
Here is a game that is an insane risk with a concept that no one really understands in a market that has not proven itself.
What is that market? Modern day MMOs. Here is a game based in the real world based in the near future and something that has not paid off. SWTOR paid off because it is Star Wars. World of Warcraft paid off because it is fantasy. But what is this game, near future?
There are many near future games, Firefly and Global Agenda are two of them. Neither are exactly blockbuster titles.
So why do it Trion Worlds?
Because Trion Worlds is willing to take the risk. Rift itself was a risk. Here is a game they made during a time when people were claiming there were too many elves in MMOs…. then they went ahead and made themselves a fantasy game.
Defiance is even riskier. Here is a game that is partnering with Syfy on the promise of a television show. Television shows go through a piloting process.
They make a single episode called the pilot and use it as a sample or test of the audience. If the audience likes it they order a season and the pilot becomes the first episode of the season. If they hate it, it doesn’t get taken and the show is cancelled. After the first season the success of it will decide whether another season is ordered.
So with this in mind it means that the future of the game is going to be based on the success of the television series. However if the game is a huge flop and the series is a success, the series will continue.
This means regardless of anything and everything the hones will be on Trion Worlds to make both (and not just one) a success. It means programming some way to watch the show from the game and means a risky and innovative way of programming.
Here’s to you Trion Worlds for taking risks!