Although it is far from our minds to harp on about this rather bad choice made, it provides us with a perfect hook for this week’s issue of our weekly Blog article. Today, we want to talk about the actual new content – if it can even be called ‘new content’ – Gala Lab has been almost flooding us with lately.
A small glimpse at the past of FlyFF updates
Before we start venting our spleens in the usual manner, we need to lay down some groundwork in order to provide the necessary context.
Every MMORPG follows the concept of progressional content at regular intervals. Players are to be kept in line in order to ensure that they are spending a lot of time ingame on a long-term basis. Optimally, they would end up spending money as well. To make this a reality, players have to be fed new content bit by bit over a timeframe spanning as long as possible.
One might not believe it today, but FlyFF once followed such a concept as well. From the launch of the US version in 2005 (and the DE version at the end of 2006) to about the beginning of the 2010s, a true content update saw the light of day every six months on average. These updates included new features, areas, dungeons, equipment, raised level-caps and much more. It is exactly these times that many players (us included) now refer to as the golden years of FlyFF.
The stagnation of FlyFF content updates
Following the FlyFF Gold Patch in 2012, everything surprisingly came to a halt. FlyFF experienced a massive drought period concerning content updates for unknown reasons. This period spanned four years, in which not a single content update saw the light of day.
The reasons for this content-lacking period leave us spectulating. We suspect, however, that Gala Lab restructured themselves over the course of these years and shifted their focus to Mobile Games. At any rate, games like ‘FlyFF Allstars’ and ‘FlyFF Legacy’ were introduced during this period. The original FlyFF version was quite literally put in second place during these four years and received – if at all – only the most minimalistic amount of attention by way of server maintenances and well-worn events.
New hope for FlyFF content updates
In August 2016 – when nobody expected it anymore – the big turnaround took place. FlyFF developer Gala Lab finally decided to grant its slightly dusty protégé more attention and surprised us proverbially with the ‘Turning Point – Part 1’ expansion.
In March 2018, Gala Lab surprised us once again by releasing another content update for FlyFF via ‘Turning Point – Part 2’. Although the Turning Point updates did not come close to previous content updates in terms of size, the impression that the developers were once again seriously and regularly spending resources on our lovely FlyFF solidified.
Recycling instead of content updates for FlyFF
The hope that came with the ‘Turning Point’ updates sadly turned out to be deceptive. The last update of this kind was published more than two years ago and, as of now, no announcements or even the smallest hints concerning new content are to be found.
Instead, we have entered a phase that has indicated spreading cancer for every MMO up until now. By now, a ‘content concept’ made up of 95% recycling is what the developers have placed their money on. Little to no energy is put into developing new content, features or similar things for FlyFF. ‘From old to new’ is the name of the game now.
The textures of old fashion sets, pets and mounts are dragged through a Photoshop filter and get implemented as new items. Re-coloured versions of regular fashion sets are not really the bad guys here, though. The truly gruesome development is something we have been experiencing for about half a year inside of events now.
Ever new and better statted fashion sets in weekly cycles
By now, we are observing a trend within events which leaves us very concerned. Gala seems to think that making statted fashion sets available in their farm events is a good idea. We are not talking about rare occurences, either. This is happening within almost every event cycle now.
Similarly alarming is the fact that these statted fashion sets keep getting better with each event. From a player’s point of view, this may come across as opaque. One would think: ‘Farmable fashion sets with bonus effects… good stuff!’
We see miscellaneous problems with this approach, though.
1. The quantity
New fashion sets with bonus effects are finding their way to the server within events every few weeks. They frequently turn out to be better than the last ones. We saw feedback on the Discord servers that had players complaining about it all becoming overwhelming and wishing for a break from these ever-present new sets. This comes as no surprise, since better sets every few weeks lead to the previous sets losing value quickly and massively.
2. Wasted financial potential
This downright ‘pressure refuelling’ of new sets leads to their financial potential remaining mostly untapped. Players are not even granted enough time to upgrade the current sets completely, since new and better sets are probably right around the corner within the next event. The relevance of the ‘Dragon King sets’ or the ‘Costumes of Kings’ suffers hugely due to the new event sets, which, in turn, may impact the sales of the publisher.
We generally think that a developer relying more and more on recycling instead of new content is usually a bad sign. Keeping in mind the old age of FlyFF, we do not necessarily condone recycling in this case, though.
What we do condone, however, is the current policy of inflationary releases of statted fashion sets. There is no reason for releasing increasingly powerful equipment if the game has been lacking content where this equipment would be necessary for a long time. That aside, the current path the developer has chosen is showing further unpleasant side effects.
What do you think about the statted fashion sets we have been receiving so excessively currently? Do you actively farm events in order to not miss a single set? Or do you actually skip some events, knowing that new and better sets will be coming in a few weeks anyway? But, more importantly… what does a Popcrank do when it is stuck in its box because the lever is jammed? Let us know in the comments!