Previously we covered the abysmal Life is Feudal MMO Newbie Island tutorials. Here we’ll touch on all the ways the game sets new players up for failure once they hit the mainland. The newbie experience was a frustrating mess that would send most sane players running for the refund button. However, a truly adamant MMO player is rarely sane. So, if by some miracle you’ve made it through the tutorial quests, here’s what you can expect from the rest of the game.
As explained last time, when players transfer to the main continent, Abella, all inventory items are lost. You can only take your experience points and memories with you. As such there is no reason to optimize your gear and equipment before making the leap to the real game. If you’re the type that tends to over-prepare in MMOs this is actually kinda liberating.
Armed with only the clothes on our backs, my co-op partner (husband) and I cashed in our transfer tickets and set out for the mainland. It’s worth noting that depending on which starter pack you purchased you have a finite amount of transfer tickets. If you transfer a character and then decide to restart you could end up having to buy an additional transfer ticket just to leave the newbie area.
A Whole New World
Upon our arrival in Abella we were immediately astounded by the immense size of the game world, in the worst possible way. See, rather than having a centralized newbie dropping point Life is Feudal arbitrary deposits new players along one of it’s massive coastlines. It didn’t take long for us to realize that there were starting off in very different locations.
Ordinarily I’d chalk this up to being an annoying, yet common problem with MMOs. Except that, as mentioned the world is freaking huge. We spent approximately the next two and a half hours just holding down the sprint button and avoiding the occasional wolf. For a game that relies so heavily on player cooperation, it’s baffling that they don’t give new players a common starting point so they could meet up and form alliances right away.
The Kindness of Strangers
We did eventually encounter another player, but he seemed just as confused to see us as we were to see him. In the end we all decided it was probably safer to avoid each other in case either party had any crazy ideas about suicide through combat.
I had been fortunate enough to spawn in an area with some nearby trees and resources. As such, I’d already replaced my arsenal of crafting equipment. My husband had been less lucky and spawned on a desolate beach. After 20 minutes of running he still hadn’t encountered any harvestable ground resources or seen a single tree. He did find a wolf which promptly killed him and caused him to lose his only garments. Not a stellar beginning.
Trial by Landscape
At some point my character sustained an injury to her leg. This wasn’t prompted by anything in particular as far as I could tell. I wasn’t strafing uphill or fighting livestock, just walking around leveling the terrain when I got a message that I was now wounded.
Annoyed by yet another setback in an already time devouring process I hit up Google to search for a solution. With the game being so newly released onto Early Access there isn’t a wealth of information readily available yet. I did manage to learn that my options to fix my injury were limited to either just waiting it out or finding someone with the tier 3 healing skill. Considering the only other player I’d encountered in nearly 3 hours of wandering around was also an utter noob I didn’t really have much choice in the matter.
Why Are You So Bad At Games?
Once again it felt like the game was punishing me, not for any missteps on my part, but just because it could. Because that somehow makes it more “hardcore” and “realistic.” Scanning the Steam forums it quickly becomes obvious that any complaints about the games absurd stumbling blocks are met with the dev’s catch phrase, “Life IS feudal.” It’s basically the medieval equivalent of the ever popular, “git gud” fanboy battle-cry.
I feel the need to mention that during our time with the game we did see a few burgeoning settlements. It’s not completely impossible to eventually make progress in the game. It will just take more time and effort than two players alone can realistically put in. Casual or solo players will always struggle to make any meaningful progress. This could have been mitigated by more robust in-game social features. Something to facilitate players working together, but the developers amazingly didn’t implement any.
Life is Feudal MMO gives players a massive world with no substance. Furthermore it drops them on opposite sides of the map and then penalizes them for trying to survive. Progression is a long, hard slog where only the most dedicated can hope to gain any reward for their efforts. The best anyone else can hope for is to be useful enough to one of these uber players through menial tasks that they might reward you with basic necessities.
While this proves to be an accurate depiction of life in the middle ages, it doesn’t make for fun or compelling gameplay. This makes finding any long-term enjoyment in Life is Feudal MMO entirely futile.