Love Thy Neighbor
Where ATitD really shines is in the community driven play, like so many games in this genre, to really get the most out of the game it becomes imperative to find a group of players keen and ambitious in the goals of the game. Fortunately this isn't hard to find as most regions, of the enormous playing terrain, are usually driven by a number of players. The event that mostly takes place is one of the Dig. This is when a number of players get together with a mountain of slate shovels and start going to town on a patch of land. I honestly can say that from raids in EverQuest 1 to grand PvP battles in Warhammer Online, digging in ATitD is one of the most inexplicably enjoyable events you can participate in, aside from clicking dig every so often, it becomes an event of good natured humor and chat, food and equipment is passed around freely and finally the prize of stone is divided between all.
While A Tale in the Desert has some major faults it is very hard not to love what developers eGenesis have created, it has several fresh and innovative concepts and as such deserves to be celebrated. One of the more intriguing concepts of the games is the fact players can pass legislation in the game. A player can come up with an idea to make the game better and can send this to the polls for the rest of the populations vote. This is a very interesting concept and while it mainly extends to how long abandoned settlements can stand for, it is very exciting to see how open to suggestion the developer is.
The Inevitable Flaws
A Tale in the Desert is a game that you will either love or hate, its slow natured and craft centric gameplay will either sway you one way or another and for those interested and excited by its game play, herein lies a titles that will really grab hold of your spare time. Unfortunately however for all its fresh ideas, the eGenesis game really lacks in an overall goal or point. While the idea of the game has goals to achieve you cannot help but escape the feeling that there is a lack of things to do after a certain point. The game becomes driven by a hardcore few who are willing to throw countless hours into making certain materials. This becomes a problem also as the further technology advances the more finicky certain materials become to produce, take for instance charcoal, this is a fairly common material but is an absolute nightmare to create and will have you reaching for the exit button after a while. As much as ATitD is an entertaining game, there comes a point where progression takes a real halt and the only way to carry on is by finding likeminded players with a lot of spare time on their hands.
A problem with A Tale in the Desert is that it is developed with driven and active players in mind, as such I was lucky to find a region likeminded with the aims of the game but this is not always the case. Trials, tests and university technologies simply cannot be progressed without the involvement of several players and a level of dedication. As it stands ATitD isn't too sparsely populated but it isn't exactly bustling either, the various facets of the game are difficult to achieve and given a lull in player activity, the game can feel very lonely and bereft of advancement.
As the game reviews no combat it is difficult to see how player versus player can be achieved, while it doesn't exist as such, there is an element of it. A region is basically a name portion of land in Ancient Egypt; each one reviews its own set of schools and universities and as such has its own progression of skills and equipment. What this means is that certain regions are more technology advanced than others, it creates a sort of race between each place to be bigger and better. Players crossing borders are often reported and reprimanded by players annoyed at their technology stealing ways. While there is no bloody conflict, it is amusing to find such conflict between regions in the game; it is just one of the many charms of the desert.
A Tale in the Desert is an very good and refreshing game for the genre, while it does have some major flaws it will keep your attention for some time if it suites your taste. The game is essential a player driven experience, for the goals you try to obtain through to the changes in the game you wish to implement, eGenesis have created something truly unique. While it may be a little uninteresting to look and the overall goal of the game is extremely community driven, A Tale in the Desert is surely one to try.
| Community Driven Gameplay
Completely Player Driven
Refreshing and Different from Other Games
| Advancement Difficult at One Point Without Serious Work
Community Driven Gameplay
Needs more to Capture Interest Long Term