MMOments: Defiance DLC #5

2014-05-06_00004

Arktech Revolution is the fifth and final DLC installment for Defiance’s first season pass, and one that I welcome with open arms. It’s been a month since this DLC launched and a few people speculated that the sudden lack of a review here at MMO Fallout was me signaling that I was done with the game after my previous reviews. This is not the case. As it stands, Arktech Revolution is more about quality of life improvements over all else, I wanted to be completely sure that I took enough time to fully digest what had changed to understand how it affects day to day gameplay.

First off, let me thank Trion Worlds for fixing what I consider to be the most poorly executed update in Defiance’s short history. Several DLC’s ago, Trion introduced stims and spikes, as well as consumable grenades to Defiance. The concept was great, you had stims that boosted power/defense/healing as well as spikes that granted an area of effect boost that restored ammo, increased damage, etc. The implementation left a lot to be desired, as replenishing your stockpile of stims/spikes was entirely dependent on either going to a merchant or hoping that the correct type was dropped. With Arktech Revolution, enemies drop generic refills for stims, spikes, and grenades that make it much harder to run out in the middle of an invasion.

It is also possible to gain experience on weapons that have already been mastered. This sounds like a small update, but it means a lot when you previously would have to decide in the middle of a battle whether to switch to a new weapon or continue on at the cost of not making any progress. The armor nodes are interesting, but I haven’t noticed much of an effect on the overall experience.

2014-05-07_00009

The boost to both the EGO level cap and enemy abilities has made the game very difficult for new players and veterans alike. Where the game was often times far too easy before, has now become difficult to the point of impossible in certain settings. For instance, I took part in a Volge invasion that rather quickly capped out at the highest difficulty and began spawning top-tier Volge mobs. Many of us couldn’t even make a dent in their armor, which isn’t so much difficult as it is frustrating when you have ten of them spawning in the same area.

Looking back, Defiance is an infinitely better game than it was when it launched one year ago. Ignoring the fact that the game can be purchased for pennies on the dollar nowadays, Defiance is set to go free to play next month on PC with the console versions to follow. The game still has many more improvements to make, like how the world feels so cramped with all of the events going on at any given time. According to forum posts, Trion plans on increasing the size of the game world following the introduction of free to play.

Overall, though, if you were to bottle up all of the paid features from the first five DLC packages and put them up for $30, would it be worth it? I’d like to say so. With the second season of Defiance coming this summer and more tie-in missions on their way, I’m looking forward to what Defiance has to offer for the future.

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