I played one of the alphas, and was thoroughly impressed by the game. The sense of danger, the fact that you had to use proximity voice comms to communicate intent to others nearby who also was sizing you up because you were both potentially threats to each other. I didn't know anyone before playing the game, but I talk and communicate with people as a part of the gameplay.
It was like Rust in the early game, and then turned into roleplaying just existing in a dangerous world. People would kill you for stuff, but you could be tactical and choose to engage or run away. I didn't experience any early game hunting by others, but I did hear about the issue at some point. I went down to the shore areas and started making sure the new players were safe for a bit. Roleplayed the new player police, told them they were safe. At some point it didn't matter if there was a group of griefers, I would just use crappier gear and fight them and hold them off for a bit, until the little turtle made it to a safer zone.
I joined a company, which was super easy to do despite not knowing anyone in the game. The proximity voice chat and communication in the game was top notch. We had a fort, stockpiled our stuff. Was wary venturing a certain direction because there was a hostile company in a fort that way. There be danger. We had a few scraps against them, but mostly we were concentrating on just living.
I think I had one group that hunted me down because I ventured alone. From then, I had to weigh the risk of venturing alone and it's convenience, or sticking with the company. It was alpha so I mostly just ventured out alone and explored the world, but if the game persisted like this, I would have the security of finding that home and fort, and potentially defending it. There were better forts in more dangerous and higher level areas, with better resources, but you had to fight for them.
I managed to play the beta for a bit. None of this exists any more, apparently. It appears there is little motivation for a player killing you. They get nothing, other than causing you a bit of inconvenience. There is some territory control. There is some weird global buff meta-game based on the territory you control. The fort game seems to have sort of been kept around, but seems to serve little purpose. There is instanced housing in the game now. The systems both became more numerous, but seemingly more mundane.
It's now mostly about fighting computer controlled monsters, in fact I see that the best gear is from these raids against the AI. Which makes crafting mostly pointless. Not much left of the sandbox that the game originally promised.
The gameplay loop is now to kill AI to get gear, and some forays into the player driven competition. So quite typical fare. There are lots of instanced human battle modes now as well. Sounds like it just turned into another loot based coop adventure game, with some of the vestigial parts still there. Not much of the open world sandbox and emergent gameplay from before. I'm trying to figure out what this game actually is. I see conversations about the combat as a whole, but what about the world should I care about?
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