Friday, September 27, 2019

Out Of The Ashes Rises...A Lame Duck: Ashes of Creation

I said I wanted to do more short posts. Here's a really short one.

Ashes of Creation, the increasingly controversial would-be AAA MMORPG, which I kickstarted both for myself and for Mrs Bhagpuss in some barely-remembered epoch of geological time, just launched its Battle Royale spin-off/combat test bed on Steam. It's called called, not inappropriately as it turns out, "Ashes of Creation Apocalypse".

Developers Intrepid already tested the BR mode a while back, of course. I played and wrote about it almost exactly a year ago. Back then it was an invitation only stress test but it made a reappearance earlier this year as a limited-time open beta. Now it's listed as F2P Early Access and looks to be hanging around semi-permanently.

I thought it would be easy enough to jump in, play a couple of rounds, take some screenshots and bang together a post about it and so it seemed it wouldbe...for about ten minutes. The download went quickly and smoothly as did the installation. I had my AoC login details to hand and they worked. Well, they worked to log into my account on the website. For the game, not so much. The login screen for the game itself just made a pffffttt noise when I entered the password and then sat there, looking at me blankly.

I'm fairly sure I know why this is. When I was installing the thing, which is published in Europe by, my firewall popped up two warnings. I chose not to override them. Not that I don't trust, who also publish Allods, which I've played via their portal many times but...

If I was more interested in the AoC BR (it's all abbreviations this morning, isn't it?) I'd fiddle about with permissions and settings and such until I got it to work. Apparently gettng in to the thing is quite a common problem. Well, so I read on someone's blog that I now can't find. I thought it was at Kabalyero's but that's just talking about how badly the game runs when you do get it to run.

Steam reviews are a bombsite right now although there are fewer than two hundred so far. Not unexpectedly, most are peeved that Intrepid are wasting time on a Battle Royale spin-off at all, rather than focusing on the long-overdue MMORPG they paid for, which, according to the official release schedule, is stil in "alpha-0", whatever that means.

The other big complaint is that this Early Access fragment of a game not only has a fully-functioning cash shop but that it's a highly aggressive one at that:

I don't have much - or really any - interest in playing a Battle Royale right now, let alone in jumping through hoops to get an unfinished one to run. I have enough to be going on with trying to get Riders of Icarus to patch. (Still not working after a month).

I've also all but lost interest in Ashes of Creation as an MMORPG. If Intrepid ever do get as far as beta, for which my Kickstarter qualifies me, no doubt I'll try it but it looks increasingly like a half-assed hybrid of Black Desert Online and EQNext, which really wouldn't be anything I'd be looking for even if they could pull it off.

WoW Classic has pretty much convinced me that what I do want is a new, old-school, diku-MUD inspired MMORPG. About the only one out there is Pantheon and the way things are going I'd bet on Brad's team to hit some kind of buy-in closed beta before my AoC account gets flagged for anything similar.

And I'd happily pay Brad a hundred dollars or so for access to a working, persistent beta. At least I'd know I was getting some kind of game access for my money that way, not just throwing it down a hole or paying for some entirely different kind of game, one I never wanted.


  1. Hm, this all doesn't sound very promising indeed.

    By now I'm really glad that I stopped supporting any kind of crowdfunding for MMORPGs after The Repopulation...happened...
    When a game's done, or at least somewhat close to being done, and I like what I see, THEN I might take out my wallet.

    By the way, I don't think this post actually qualifies as "really short". ;-)

    1. Hehe! Turned out I had more to say about it than I thought I did. It is "short" by my standards, though. Just not "really short".

  2. Fortunately, for me at least, by the time Ashes of Creation rolled around I had decided that crowdfunding MMOPRGs was a suckers game. Star Citizen is a joke, Camelot Unchained might be in some sort of beta, Shroud of the Avatar ended up being so awkwardly cantankerous that I lost interest in what got delivered eventually, and I cannot really tell what state Pantheon really is. Project: Gorgon is playable I guess. Good on that one.

    So by the time Ashes showed up asking for money I was pretty sour on the idea. Crowd funding is good for some projects, but no MMORPGs. I'll pay when the projects are done and we can see what they really are. Because that is the real problem. I get that everything takes longer than expected. But the vision sold to people to get money out of them doesn't seem to quite align with what eventually gets delivered.

    1. Yes, I've stopped now. The main reason I did it for the few I funded was as a kind of pre-order. I was happy to pay the price of the game for beta access and a copy of the game when it launched. I stil would be - if I believed the game's were ever going to get that far.

      Also, it's become apparent that if you do want to jump in when an actual, playable beta arrives, you'll be able to buy an Early Access Pack for a few dollars more than the Kickstar pledge you'd have taken for the same privelege. Makes a lot more sense just to wait for that and pay 10-20% more for something that's actually available and playable.

  3. Count me amongst the crowd of people irritated by the amount of developer attention the BR is getting. And that was even before I knew about this thing carrying a big ol' cash shop with it. *sigh*

    AoC has been the last MMO I've got behind in crowdfunding. And I think it's likely to stay that way. I didn't jump in on the DAoC remake, or the Ultima thingo, or many of the others so I guess for me this became my learning one.

    I was gifted a backing slot on Crowfall though some years ago, so every so often I take a look at that. They also went the BR route, but it never seemed as fully fleshed out (nor intended to be) as what AoC are chasing here.

    Pantheon I'm certainly keeping my eye on though. Vanguard is probably one of the MMOs I'm most sad to have seen closed down that I played the least. During it's beta I didn't have a PC remotely capable of running it -- by the time I went back to try it again much later in its life, it was already a ghost town.

    1. I got an email from Intrepid this morning with copious details about how to overcome login issues so I guess it's even more of a common problem than I thought. I might see if I can get it running but i have a lot of more interesting things to occupy my time right now.

      Vanguard is my second-favorite MMORPG of all time after EverQuest, which is hardly surprising because it's the real sequel to that game. If they'd had maybe another 12-18 months to polish it before release (or a good project manager throughout instead of ideas man Brad trying to wear all the hats) it could have been a solid success. I'm hoping lessons have been learned and Pantheon avoids the disasters that befell Vanguard.

      There's a really excellent emulator for Vanguard if you want to take a look but it is stil a ghost town - usually 3-5 people on when I log in. The world is beautiful and strange enough to explore alone, though.


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