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Defiance Diary Episode #7: Verdant Ridge

23. June, 2013Tags: Defiance, Defiance Diary, MMO Blog

Defiance Verdant Ridge gameplayHaving played shooters for over 20 years, I have developed a playing style that is more traditional and less open to changes in the genre. I have my own set of rules that either draws me into or pushes me away from a game. Last year, I enjoyed playing Firefall and Blacklight Retribution and maybe a few other shooter MMOs. In 2013, I liked two shooters mainly; Defiance and Soldier Front 2. Keep in mind, I am talking specifically about MMOs. Today, in this new episode of Defiance, I ‘d like to talk about the things that makes me like Defiance more than other shooters.

The Plague

Last week in Defiance Diary, as one of the thousands of arkhunters, I tried to help stop the Plague from spreading into the town of Defiance. We didn’t know what the TV Show was going to bring until last Monday. The Plague had already hit the town and if it wasn’t for Lawkeeper Nolan and Connor’s last minute effort, entire town including the mayor would have been dead. (Don’t tell me you didn’t see the latest episode, in that case, sorry for the spoiler!)

While The Plague was an update I have been looking forward to playing, I couldn’t enjoy it to the max. One reason; I couldn’t play the game as much as I’d want to. Secondly, the Cronkhite Bunker bug was frustrating, it forced me to repeat the same map 6-7 times. Everytime I ran into the bug, I had to take a break from the game. Maybe for hours, maybe for a couple of days…

Verdant Ridge Raiders in Defiance

Patience with shooters, and Defiance

If I’m going to talk about my playing style, I shall admit this first.  In years, I have become less patient with games. It's really a weakness if you want to become competitive in games. (And forget about grinding if you don't have patience!) The good old times of Amiga and early days of PC gaming, we were all used to repeating same content. The days when we couldn't save our game progress, everytime we wanted to play a game, we'd start from scratch. (Frightened yet?) Repeating was not something to complain about as it was a natural part of gaming. In time, I have lost that patience. (you can call it old age too, no problem!) Today, when I pick up a shooter, there are some elements I dig, that I look for. When I don’t find them in game, I get cold feet. Sure, when you need to review a game, this is not an option but it still affects your first impression. Can anyone argue that first impression doesn’t count? It does.

animals in Defiance

I'm not eating that!

With Defiance, this (first impression) has been positive since the get-go. Since the Early Beta days, I have always had a good feeling about this game. So what was the key element, the really vital ingredient that striked me in Defiance? I have been thinking about this for a while. Was it the TV Show? Sure, it has been one of the catalyzers, but it wasn’t the biggest factor. I think, the biggest factor has always been the smooth gameplay. I know it’s a broad term .Smooth gameplay. Let me try to explain why I think Defiance plays so smooth.

Vital ingredients for a better game

What makes a shooter game better? Let's take a look at Defiance. First, the engine is well balanced, you rarely get frame drops, the early-day server issues have been eliminated to a minimum level, you barely feel latency. Animations are crisp and response (controller) time is almost perfect. Everytime you make a turn or perform a dive roll, you know your character is not going to let you down. But that’s not all about the technical aspects of the game.

Defiance - sniping at Verdant Ridge

What makes Defiance gameplay smoother

I am also talking about gameplay smoothness in Defiance, the main missions, side missions and challenges… Events like Arkfalls or a Scrapper Uprising, they are all so well placed and timed, you never get bored. Play solo, or group up, whatever you want, it works. If I had to explain the time I spend playing Defiance; It is like a train loaded with action packed content and the train doesn’t stop every minute, and when it does, you can simply jump on the next train at the station. One content goes, the other one comes right away. It just goes on and on. There has not been a single moment when I'm playing Defiance, that I felt bored. Whenever a mission is over, or when I think it’s not what I am looking for, I can quickly leave it or dive into the next one. This kind of smoothness (fluent) is what makes you keep playing.

Verdant Ridge

The developers have also got the level toughness/difficulty right that it is neither intimidating nor too easy. When you are a low level player, you won’t stop playing because a map is too difficult, and when you are stronger, you will always find something that’s challenging enough to make you keep pushing harder and playing more.

Do we have to have a plan? Defiance Gameplay and Diversity

I don’t know about you but there are times I tend to stray away from the linear path of a game. I don’t always enjoy going on with the storyline missions and I just want to do random stuff, shoot things, practice a little, test a new gun or a new mod. Therein comes the numerous side missions in Defiance. In this week’s episode, you’re watching me enter the Verdant Ridge, soon after I left the Cronkhite Bunker. I had no intention of proceeding with the main mission and I was looking forward to testing my new rewards. Verdant Ridge was the ideal place to do that. Verdan Ridge is like a raider camp where raiders are farming. A couple of watchtowers, some guards outside the camp, and inside the camp, farm animals and a bunch of raiders. This kind of places in Defiance are ideal if you are just looking to shoot things and practica a little while you earn some experience.  There is no time limit, no rush, no real threat but just pure shooting action that’s going to improve your targeting skills. Have fun! Next week in Defiance diary, we’re going to be looking at Weapon Modding in Defiance and a Scrapper Uprising event. Until then, stay Defiant!

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