Lately I’ve been on a real roller-coaster ride when it comes to Skyforge. I went from not having any idea what it was, to trying it and loving it, to hating it. That took about a week, so my typical timeline!
Tonight I started loving it again. Let’s take a closer look at this affection curve and see what else was going on.
When I was initially loving Skyforge, I had no real idea what I was doing. I was learning the systems (it can be a confusing game) and sharing with my friends as we all figured things out. Everything was good.
Then the game hit a kind of critical mass in my social circles. Everyone was playing it, including my more hardcore friends. They started commenting on how easy Skyforge was (missions are ranked from Very Easy to Impossible and people were saying even the Impossible missions were quite easy), and how quickly you can rise in Prestige (the closest thing the game has to levels) and that got me to examining my own progress. And I wasn’t going very fast. So I started pushing myself. Instead of doing what seemed fun, I was doing what seemed like the most efficient way to gain Prestige. That included taking on Impossible missions, and failing miserably. Then trying Very Hard missions and still failing miserably. And Hard missions? Yup, managed to fail some of those as well.
Now here’s the thing with Skyforge. The combat is action-based. Playing a class well is going to take both know-how of how the class works, and good dexterity when it comes to dodging and stringing together combos. Enemies don’t have a level and neither do you. If you were playing World of Warcraft and you were level 20 and you tried to take on a level 25 named mob and failed, you’d say “Well, it IS 5 levels higher than me…maybe I should level up more before I try it again.” But in Skyforge when you die you don’t have that concrete indicator of your level vs the mob’s level. So you have to figure out what’s wrong. Is the mob just too hard for your character, or do you need to play your character better?
Since it’s not always clear which case you’re dealing with, you fight a boss, die, and try again. And die again. And try a third time, and die a third time. Depending on the kind of gamer you are, this might be really fun, or really frustrating. For me its really frustrating and I’ve rage-quit Skyforge a couple times in the last few days. (It doesn’t help that some of these boss fights can go on for a long time before you die and have to start all over again.)
I was about ready to quit Skyforge, but I’d spent $20 on a month of Premium Time and a sackful of RMT currency. Plus when the game was fun it was REALLY fun.
Today I said “To hell with it.” and abandoned the class I’d been working on (you only get 1 character in Skyforge but you can change classes at will) and start up a different class. I knew this would slow my advancing way down but whatever…I needed a change. Since I didn’t know how to play this class I took on really easy missions. Like “1 shot groups of mobs” easy. But y’know it was kindof fun. I learned a little bit about the class and moved to a higher difficulty area, and it was still fun. I decided to not worry about the “Story Quests” that push your progress forward the quickest, and instead do what was fun.
And I had a ball tonight. I stopped doing the single player missions (which get dead tedious after a few run-throughs) and revisited the “Regions” which are the parts of Skyforge where you’ll encounter other players in open field PvE battles. You don’t need to group to play with other players in Skyforge (though you can). Everyone that gets a hit on a mob gets credit, so groups organically form and disperse around mini-boss mobs and other more difficult content. (Hey that sounds a bit like Destiny!) This is RIGHT in my wheelhouse and my new class has the ability to buff and protect friendlies so I found myself doing some of that as well as fighting. It was a real fun night in-game tonight.
All of which is a long-winded way of me reminding myself, and maybe you, that we shouldn’t let other players dictate how we play a game. If trying to keep up with, or match the accomplishments of, friends makes the game less fun, just let them go and do their thing. If you want to get better then yes, certainly work at it, but give yourself time to build skills and don’t push yourself to where you’re starting to hate a game that you used to enjoy.
I’m glad I remembered this obvious truth before I’d given up on Skyforge altogether. Also, the game is pretty good and F2P. You should check it out! 🙂
One thought on “Play it your way”
You know what’s really frustrating to me? People who can do it (whatever it is), but cannot describe or break down or teach exactly -how- they are doing it, beyond “I dunno, I just do it” or “here, just watch a video of me doing it,” or worse, “lol, it wuz easy, I don’t know how come you can’t do it.”
To me, folks who really know what they’re doing can also break down and explain roughly what they’re doing or the tactics they’re using or what they’re keeping track of, even if execution by someone else requires a lot of personal practice.
I need to try Skyforge at some point, action combat is right up my alley.
I’m hip deep in Trove at the moment though, and encountered a somewhat similar moment. Chose Shadow Hunter as my first class, sort of a long range sniper dude, and found it very squishy and easily overwhelmed by groups of mobs charging at me. Swapped classes to Knight and Dracolyte and had wildly easier and almost ludicrous killing ease by comparison.
What… Was it an underpowered class? Not a lot was written up on it online, merely some advice about prioritizing energy regen as a stat in order to spam a control trap, while many felt it was somewhat weak and a few chuckled and said they could clear really hard content as a Shadow Hunter with no problems whatsoever.
It took further casual play for me to chance across another tactic that suddenly made it ridiculously and equivalently overpowered in my book. I’d skimmed the skill description that said “shoots through enemies and walls” without realizing what it really meant. The class had a legal wallhack. Combined with another skill that outlines enemies through the walls, I was now one and two-shotting enemies without the AI having much chance to respond at all. The tradeoff was slightly slower and methodical kills as compared with a blow-all-your-dps-and-hope-it-dies-before-you-do type of class.
Before this, I was getting my ass kicked by not knowing effective tactics for the class I was using.
Give it time, this sort of knowledge takes in-game play, experimentation and/or watching/learning from others. And I’d try to coax the ones who can do it to elaborate more on exactly -how- they’re doing so. 🙂
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