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Vicarious Existence

To blog about what is going on in the MMO genre from a casual MMO player's viewpoint.

Author: UnSub

Fury-ously High Barriers to Entry

Posted by UnSub Monday November 12 2007 at 3:04AM
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I'm a little late with this, but quite frankly the launch of Fury didn't excite me much.

I wish to god that it had. An Australian-developed MMO? Lots of prizes on offer? A fast-paced fighting game with lots of power options? It sounded great on paper.

In practise, however, it wasn't that great. I alpha- and beta-tested this MMO, off and on, for several months. Although Auran did improve a number of issues, they never fixed the biggest one: Fury was a ridiculously complex game to start off in. The barriers to entry to learn - to get past the button mashing and actually learn how to compete with some cohesion - were just too high.

If you were to compare Fury to the slightly-unfair gold standard of fighting games (unfair because the two games are obviously different animals, but both share the same core - fighting) that is Street Fighter II, you can see where the flaw lies. In SFII, you have six standard attacks and a few special ones. Although it can take an age to learn the combos and get the timing right, anyone can work out what hitting heavy punch will do. SFII is easy to enter but harder to master.

Fury, on the other hand, has a huge number of powers, none of where were that easy to understand in how they worked even if you hit a target with them. All the different schools of attack, then all those different options per school, then the fact that you can learn any power (which is a great feature in my opinion but it does add to the complexity) on top of some mana classes working in different directions... I got confused very quickly, especially in situations where I'd run into combat and it was *whack* *whack* *whack* I'm dead, I respawn, oh look the other team has won the map. My Fury experience was rapidly hitting the buttons and hoping I did something that worked before I died.

Fury saw me suffer from choice paralysis and run into combat as easy meat. The barrier to entry was too high for me to learn what I needed to do and achieve the early 'feel-good' experience that would have kept me interested. There's a game coming out that occupies the same space as Fury but is a lot simpler and more fun to get into - I'll get into that on Wednesday when the NDA drops.

MMORPG.com writes:
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