For starters, as mentioned, I've been spending the last couple of weeks playing Global Agenda.
GA is a MMO FPS. The game itself is not particularly deep. There's only one race: humans. Four classes: assault (tank or DPS), medic (healer), recon (sniping, mostly, but also EVE stealth bomber tactics), and robotics (DPS via pets). It has a very basic skill tree which you can climb super-rapidly. You can also readjust your points in the skill tree pretty much at will. The equipment selections are straight-forward with only 20 or so crafting mods of three quality levels.
- Ridiculously easy to learn with a fantastic tutorial.
- Instant-on, instant-off game-play. Have only 15 minutes to play a game? You can still play a match.
- Good mix of PvE, raids, and PvP.
- Good mix of free-to-play, or a one-time fee for fast advancement, or subscription fee for super-fast advancement.
- New players are relevant in any role within a few days of starting play.
- Everyone can play and level all four classes on one account.
- The four classes are well-balanced, and all have important roles.
- Player skill counts for a lot more than toon skill.
- Conquerable PvP map that resets itself periodically (using "seasons").
- Riddled with micro-transactions throughout.
- Limited maps at the moment.
- Obvious bugs are a little slow to get fixed.
- Botting in the form of "aim-bots."
GA is definitely not a "live to play" game like EVE is. But the learning curve is the opposite of EVE: it's so easy, it's practically a downhill slope. You can understand pretty much everything there is to understand about the game in only a few days. You log in. You decide if you want PvE or PvP. If PvE, you decide if you want solo missions, group missions, or raids. If PvP, you decide if you want skirmishes, battles, or wars. You make those selections, and you start shooting things, usually within a couple of minutes. Crafting is laughably limited in scope, as is market trading.
|One of my toons, a medic.|
The instant-on thing is what appeals to me the most. It's not like EVE, where I have to plan my evening around EVE. I can log into GA at any time day or night (even late into the night in California, heh), and there's lots of people on-line. And if I only have 15 or 30 minutes, that's fine -- it's enough time for a PvP battle or two, or a long skirmish in the skirmish area, after which I can log out. Or if I need to log out now because of something going on in the house, I can do it without worry. Solo players can either play solo or will be level-matched into a group.
Initially, the game is free to play. But that's a little misleading, since you won't get far without putting at least a little money into it. And once you decide to do that, there's MT throughout the game. I count at least four different major ways you can give the developers money. And that money can be used to buy either vanity items or in-game weapons. Still, there's almost nothing that I can find that you can get with MT that you can't get without. It just takes longer without. And there's no weapon, mod, or level in the game that's particularly overpowering in any case.
Overall, I can't see this being my new primary MMO or anything -- it's too shallow. Still, I can see myself logging in for months to come, a couple of hours here and there, if that's all I have to do a little pew-pew. And if I want to play longer, the game certainly supports that. Again, I hope the DUST guys are studying it carefully. There are definitely worse models.
In the meantime, consider the blog rebooted, since I'll have a lot to say on this topic. ;-) I might even link some GA topics back to EVE (particularly MT)...