I have been following ECO for some time now and wishing it would come out on Steam quicker...but I am not that patient and REALLY want to play it.
Question I have is whether it is actually worth $40.00 / £30.00 at the moment? I can appreciate that the game, like all beta /alpha games are constantly evolving but I don't (I lie, I fear my wife will cut my testicles off) if I purchase it, regret the decision and never play it again.
Your honest opinions would be greatly appreciated!
Well .. honest opinion on my side.. well it depends. The way i buy game it is worth, i see my self as an investor and therefore i can pay a higher price like the current price. But of course the game is still in a very early stage and i fear that people might by and think "well that's not what i expected" and never play it again. That is also the reason why this game is not on steam yet. Lots of stuff in missing, not working as intended and allot of bugs every where, its basically still in a very early stage. But from beta 3 to 4 it is slowly starting to form in to a game that is slowly and steady getting closer to the goal for the masses.
So the above is more why not to buy it right now, so why would people buy it right now ? Well its because you are sort of an investor, its always risky but you can help to develop the game with your founds, your feedback and you show how much interest is in this kind of a game. Every current backer is here to help shaping the future of this game! John the ceo really has his heart in this and loves every idea and feedback. I know he would love have even more feedback, and he values every single feedback and ideas he gets from the community!
So it really depends on you, what you wish and what you think! There are many upsides and downsides. The downside is that this is still an early game and you might not get right away what you wish for since its still in heavy development with many core systems far from finished. On the other side every one can contribute help to shape this game with there feedback, helping on the wiki. People can start making mods with very good support from the devs them selv. Or with a higher tier like the dev tier people can even help make the game buy coding and bug fixing the source code it self (and that is VERY unusual to be able to do and even have access to it on a commercial game)
So at this state its hard do answer your question if you think if its worth, that really depends on the view of each person. In my eyes it is , because i can be part of something great, and help to make it great! and that alone is worth the 175$ i payed on kickstarter. The same way i see it was worth backing star citizen with 800$ over the years to give people a chance and help to try to make something special and great, even though there is always a chance it could backfire ( star citizen can still backfire if you believe all the trolls that complain about they dont have founds to keep on making that game and will run away with all backer money, something i still feel is total garbage).
I hope that answers your question.
(disclaimer i might remember john statement below wrong)
Also i remember a thing john said on why the game is so high price right now (compared to other games that start out very cheap and go higher while this game will go down in price later when it is closing to release) if i remember right he said that he does not want the big masses that buy the game, complain about it state and then instantly request a refund (like the internet people are always doing) He really just wants active people right now helping supporting the game, refunds take allot of time away from the development, so the high price is both to scare away people and you are giving the little extra to help, and show your interest and you believe in his idea. I also know that for right now he has founding until next year from US education system because they also like the idea of this game ( i think they got around 800 000 $ (and that's allot of money))
(disclaimer i might remember the above wrong)
Can't say much more than what's already been said. It really is going to depend on your reason for wanting to buy into an alpha (or beta) game. Are you investing into the direction of the game as described earlier, or do you want to just play because it looks interesting?
If you are looking at investing because you like the concept and want to help out, I say go for it. Help break things, give suggestions and proofread code. I waited until just before alpha 4 to make my investment. I liked where the game was headed (and is heading) and the plan for where it's going (plans so that players have a larger impact to the game environment) and that there was the US grant money helped my decision making as an investment rather than as a current game. I don't have dev tier access at this time, but one of my teammates does so we've discussed what we've found in code to decide if something is a bug or just hasn't been defined yet.
If you are in just for the sake of playing, then you may wish to wait. As mentioned, it's in heavy development with core systems still being worked on. In regards to game length, 3 people as a close team is able to get to the current endgame within 7-10 days in alpha 4.2, which includes some delays due to bugs. Speaking of, there could also be bugs that really impact the game from being played. We had a plant growth issue with 4.2 that had to be hotfixed but still leaves some annoying impact on game servers where there wasn't a full server reset. Plus with the frequency of major updates, which is a good thing as it does mean active work, this means with major releases, the world is reset. This means deleting the world and all the work that the players had done and creating a new one so that players start from scratch. Things like the bug or the server resets would be enough to cause negative reviews and refund requests if the game was for the masses. Large scale negative or even mixed reviews can have a significant impact on a game's sales.
There are also people who invest early on and simply don't play it for a while. I've seen a few people join the server and say that they haven't tried since earlier in the alpha and wanted to see what it was like currently with the changes from X version.
...so... it depends.
"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad." -Shigeru Miyamoto
Another aspect to consider is that because of the grant from the dept of education (among other reasons) it's very unlikely this will be vaporware. If they don't deliver, they would be in serious hot water with the US federal government, so it's pretty safe to say SLG is serious about the game! Even if you buy it now and are unsatisfied, you could leave it alone and come back in a few months when it's more complete.
Thank you guys!
I wasn't expecting such a comprehensive response and it does help greatly! I probably would say my purchase would be just for the sake of playing only because I generally don't have that much time as I used to but I can appreciate that the game will inevitably evolve - Gone are the days that I taught myself how to create addons for Operation Flashpoint and Arma and, of course, my daugher and I funded Minecraft early days! I am sure that given I am fortunate enough to be able to have an hour or two a day to play any sort of game, I could see myself getting more involved with discussions and feedback...who knows...
I shall give it more thought but in the meantime, I may need to limit my spending as I am currently negotiating a new camera with the Mrs!
Thanks again for your thoughts.