Recently came across Alganon and its related social networking site, MyAlganon, both of which are still in development. For some reason both sites struck me as somehow “youth-aimed” to begin with, but maybe that’s just because the type is large enough to read, the pictures are bright, and I don’t have to torture myself and squint just to read articles — and for that, thinking about it, I’m grateful. 10-point white Arial on black backgrounds is rough on old eyes, so this was a refreshing change.
As to the game itself, I’ve only just started delving into the info. Bear this in mind as you read — I’m pointing at something interesting, not claiming any great knowledge just yet.
Closed beta starts relatively soon, open beta tentatively scheduled for June, with release sometime during the summer. It has some ambitious goals: “Simple Gameplay with Unlimited Growth in a massive world of immersion and interaction.” Salient points in the “About” page — I’m picking these according to my own interests, so you may find other things in there.
- Strong community focus (but hey, they can hardly say “You’re all wankers and we’re going to ignore you!”)
- Offline advancement, called “Study” (reminds me of EVE’s training system — not a bad thing at all, if it doesn’t lead to the “You don’t have X many study points trained, we don’t want you” syndrome)
- “Additionally, we improved interaction with the game world and other players via the creation of the Family and Domain Objective/Deities/Crusades systems” — I’m intrigued
- “Alganon is fun because it doesn’t demand all of your game time and allows your characters to grow, even when you’re not playing.” — I’m definitely intrigued. What, a game that recognises our real life time committments? Perish the thought.
- “Controlled Release: when Alganon Launches, only a certain number of new subscription keys will be created each month. This allows us to ensure the game doesn’t grow beyond the ability to support the players.” — eee, after Darkfall’s launch, I’m a little iffy on this one. But they’ve got time to learn from that launch if they care to. Yes, it’s better to have demand than no demand, but no, it’s not good to piss off prospective players by telling them they can’t play till October when it’s currently August. Presumably there is some method to this apparent madness.
- “The Kudos system is built for players to give positive feedback to another player.” — Excellent idea. Old cudmudgeon that I am, I see a rich vista of potential “gaming” of this system (at base: I’ll kudos your back if you’ll kudos mine, even though I have no freaking clue who you really are), but with the right checks in place this could be truly great. It’s about time we had the ability to reward people for playing well — maybe it’ll counterbalance all the whining and slanging we see on forums. Oh wait, I’m not that optimistic.
- “With the Consignment system and auction houses available in key areas, you can find and request what you need to continue crafting, without needing to go out in risky far-off areas.” — THANK YOU GOD. Not that I mind risky far-off areas, but seriously, it’s about time games — apart from a notable few — did more than pay lip-service to the idea of “full time” crafters. Any system to support full-time crafters demands a purchase order (or consignment) system. Yes, other games have had these (notably Horizons, iirc, and of course EVE), but not many.
So I’ve gone from not having heard about this 2 months ago, to being rather intrigued. I shall definitely be trying to wangle a beta spot, when they become more readily available. If you’re interested, the first steps are, if I read things right, to register on MyAlganon (link above) and to the forums — well, MyAlg and the main Alganon site, and the only place I could see to do that in the latter location was on their forums. Then again, I’m Mr Magoo when it comes to spotting things on websites. I haven’t seen a Beta App form yet – again, Mr Magoo…