Paeroka’s Ponderings: Defiance 2050

Paeroka's Ponderings featured image for columnI had originally planned to write about my impressions of the Defiance 2050 beta, but for several reasons, I have not been playing it enough to warrant a whole and substantial blog post about it. During the first beta weekend it was mainly due to pain in my hand. Defiance, thankfully, is a game that doesn’t need many buttons. After putting aim and shoot away from the mouse and onto keys 1 and 2, I’ve had a blast playing Defiance. Yes, Defiance – not Defiance 2050.

The main question that’s in my head when I think about Defiance 2050 is: Why?

I knew that Trion did not make a whole new game with Defiance 2050. One huge reason and benefit of switching to Defiance 2050 is that instead of PS3 and XBOX 360, PS4 and XBox One will be supported! PC players just need to “tag along” here. I think that they instead wanted to change the “basis” the game stands on and I assume they made it so they can make new content more easily and to get rid of some bloated features. The new skill tree looks much cleaner and more streamlined, for example! But this could be an illusion due to dividing the skill trees into individual classes instead of having everything visible at once. I am also not sure if you’ll be able to mix and match like you are now afterwards. But if you won’t, maybe this is easier to balance?

Gameplay-wise, the time in the game changes from 2046 to 2050 – hence, the new name. I haven’t noticed many changes in the beginning of the game. The tutorial seems to be identical, but apparently, there’s now mutants instead of hellbugs… I thought it had been mutants before as well, but my memory may be wrong here. It’s been too long since I last played through the tutorial. But why should I spend my time playing beta and re-experiencing everything I’ve already seen when I can also play Defiance and maybe unlock a few pursuits (“achievements” in other games) which will hopefully give me enough Valor to buy stuff I have in the current Defiance?

Here’s the thing: I bought Defiance. I own Defiance. I have my character, my inventory slots, my extra loadout slots (which will transfer to Defiance 2050, at least), several special skins and vehicles. Defiance 2050 will be a “free to play”-game and I will have nothing there except for the character slots and loadout slots which will carry over and Valor which will maybe get me some of what I have right now. I will have to buy inventory slots again. They promise to make them cheap with Valor. But will I get enough Valor to get all the skins, vehicles and inventory slots that I currently own? I will have to start all over with a new character, after all. Defiance will not go offline, so I could just continue playing there, but will Trion develop new content for both, Defiance and Defiance 2050? They promised not to turn off Defiance, but I think the chances of them maintaining two games and offering new content for them both are very very slim.

To add something positive to this ranting post: The new inventory is definitely an improvement if you ask me! It can be seen on the left screenshot, the “old” inventory is on the right. The categories make it much easier to find something!

One odd thing with me and Defiance is that once I play it, I love it and I can’t get enough of racing through the world, hunting hellbugs and mutants. But once I’ve left the game, I easily forget it even exists. There’s something that doesn’t “stick” and doesn’t make me say “I want to play Defiance tonight!”. I can’t even tell you why that is. This also means that I have not invested as much time as I could have – or even would have liked to, considering I really enjoy playing Defiance! But if I already feel anxious about losing stuff (and it does feel like that), then what is it like for the other “veterans” who have invested much more time (and money)? It’s always risky to do such a restart. Secret World did it with their Secret World Legends. In that case, however, I had never really gotten into the Secret World and the restart as a new game gave me the chance to do so.

We often fear new things and want to stick with what we have and feel familiar with. So I think there needs to be a lot of communication from Trion, especially for the veterans of the game. They make up the active player base, after all. New players will come and try out the game, but the ones that have been around for years are the ones emotionally invested. They have their friends here and the world they feel familiar with. Trion does have their Twitch streams and they’re trying, but the information of what the Valor program is and what we will get from it is still a little too vague and I only found all relevant information available after using Google. Trion does have a FAQ, but it should be updated whenever they have more information available!

Other than that, I’m a bit at a loss here. When Funcom announced that they would reintroduce the game as Secret World Legends and when I watched their streams talking about the changes and the game, I got excited. With Defiance, I’m not. And I can’t even tell you why that is or what is the difference that makes me feel more anxious here. I assume one reason could be that I’d never gotten into Secret World, but I did feel like I’d gotten into Defiance. So while I didn’t lose anything in the former, I could lose something in the latter – especially these pretty pretty skins and vehicles! Only time will tell how the transition goes, but at least, I’m not alone wondering what’s new with Defiance 2050.

I regularly have rants and ramblings in my mind, but never really know if I should post them, so “Paeroka’s Ponderings” is where I will try to give these rants a place. Sometimes they will make sense, sometimes they won’t.

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