How Player-Driven is AoC?

Hi, I'm new to the forums and have been looking into this game for two weeks or so. I've been impressed but do question a few things. In fact, when talking to others about the game I tend to say "It sounds either really great or like I wouldn't enjoy it at all." But I'm leaning towards really great.

To explain where I'm coming from before I get to my question, I have been waiting since my first MMO action to find a game where the world felt impacted by my choices and actions. I'm sure most people here would agree with me when I say that I am so sick of doing a quest to save the town and then the next guy has to save it too and it's like I have to pretend I actually changed something. It is very unsatisfying and keeps me from feeling connected to the game beyond earning the xp and gold.

I've been following CoE because it is looking for a world built by the players. I've been feeling turned off towards it lately because of a rather hateful community that is full of nerd-drama and because the developers seem to lack a plan to execute their ideas. Everything seems to be a good concept but with no practical implementation.

To me, AoC is a simpler version trying to accomplish the same thing in a very different way. CoE wants the players to build the world for the most part, and AoC is pushing a player driven world as well. My question is this:

To what extent is this game really player driven?

The node system is cool, but are we really impacting the world beyond passively telling npcs where to set up shop? It seems like the towns we build are prefab and appear on their own rather than players designing or running them. This game is taking a theme park approach to sandbox MMOs, which sounds great because we are ensured content, but I am left wondering if the game is player driven or if we just make a small impact between servers by passively choosing which content is unlocked and the location of our settlements.

What insights can you share and how important is this to you?


  • So the design philosophy is similar to sandbox games like CoE with the difference being they want to give the game a little more structure and the players guidance. Instead of just having an open world and saying you can do anything they want to show players different paths they can choose. They are trying to solve the problem of these games being so open ended that players are overwhelmed and don't know what to do.

    They have a blog up where they talk about a life with consequences where player interaction is going to change the environment. The node video that comes out monday will hopefully explain a lot of the choices we will have as players and what those choices will do.

    Here is proxy's video on nodes.
  • I have read their blog posts and like what I've seen, I will reread that one to see if I've missed something. It's great news that we're getting a blog post and I appreciate their transparency by actually announcing upcoming videos like that.
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