E3 2011 - Catching Up with Heaven & Hell
Faxion is a Free to Play, PVP-dominated game set in Limbo. The plane between Heaven and Hell, not the Caribbean dance set to island rhythms with an ever-increasingly lowered bar. Players in Faxion have the choice to side with the powers of Heaven or Hell. There are three main classes to choose from, Fighter, Mage, and Healer (each side has its own title for these classes). Unlike many existing games, Faxion allows players to select abilities from any of the three classes. If your goal is to create a heavily armored fighter who can happen to hurl a few fireballs, that is certainly an option. It all comes down to how you want to spend you skill points. During E3 I had the opportunity to speak with Michael Madden of UTV Ignition Games to discuss the current state of Faxion and some upcoming plans for the game.
Since its launch the development team has been focusing closely on player behavior. Through data collection, they are no longer put in the position of guessing or estimating what content players enjoy or find necessary. Watching the community as they play has given them a great insight to players needs. Players' actions speak louder than words. Watching these as well reviewing concerns spouted on forums has added in creating some improvements to gameplay. One such improvement was to add some convenience for players’ movement within the game. To that end a quick travel system has been instituted. Once a player has traveled to an area of the world, a portal will transport them there for future visits. Faxion's goal is not pull players from the current games they are immersed in. Rather they seek to give players an additional alternative. In their opinion most games do not offer the intense PVP experience found in Faxion. There is an open world PVP environment where you can attack any player of any level. There is an amount of PVE as well, to allow players to learn and grow a bit before being thrust into the kill or be killed action.
A recurring motto of the team is “Play the game, not the Grind”. Players have the ability to advance their characters skills while offline. Each in game skill consists of ten ranks. Each Rank takes ten hour to complete, regardless of whether you are in or out of game. If you have the time, Faxion is a completely free to play game that does not require any additional money to succeed. However if you have some of those pesky impediments to gaming in your way such as school, work, or a significant other, Faxion does offer an alternative. No F2P game would be complete without some sort of currency system, in this case Tokens. Tokens can be used for item purchases as well as accelerating skill progression. Each token can knock off one hour of skill advancement. And since some skills take a long time to learn, it may be of your best financial interest to just wait it out.
A thought that cannot be stressed enough is “you can't buy victory” within the game. While many hardcore players view the use of tokens as a way of bypassing hard work, they are in fact a way to assist those with less time to play. There is no tangible advancement that they provide as opposed to other F2P games. For example, if an item drops of a particular mob and you don't have fifteen hours to dedicated to camping it, purchasing it is an option. There is no statistical advantage. It's time versus money. If you have the time, you don't need to spend the money.
Holy Wars is planned to be a content push and not an expansion. Guilds will be able own and manage their own churches. Simply managing your own church is not enough though, as guilds will be able to attack and destroy opposing churches. A huge guild overhaul is planned as well. Guilds will have the ability to grow almost like a character, with their own attributes and ability sheet. Some special guild abilities will be special buffs or specific vendors for guild members. While there is no time frame for Holy Wars, it is actively being pursued.
The developers are aware of issues that exist within the game and are actively pursuing methods to correct these issues. Improving performance is a priority for the team. Faxion is trying to break the F2P mindset that exists. While the majority of Western players equate F2P games with the Eastern F2P games model, Faxion is attempting to bring a Western sensibility to the F2P Market. There is a stigma that comes with many of the F2P games that cash equals superiority, and these guys are trying to break that mold. Dominance is not dictated solely on the size of your wallet. That's not to say that cash doesn’t play into the game at all. In Faxion it is solely geared to save time for mundane tasks, and allow players to get into content quicker or catch up with others. All players (whether paying or not) will get to the same point: it's just a matter of today rather than tomorrow. The team keeps expanding and is completely dedicated to moving Faxion forward. Already playing Faxion? Share your thoughts with your fellow readers.