Tuesday, January 26, 2010

BigPoint's "Dark Orbit" Review: My first try at one of the new "free" MMOs

If you don't want to pay, dont play.

Me and My Peanut

I really wanted to like this game. It's a good try. It even held my attention for about a week, but in the end it's just badly designed.

I'm not going to get into the difficulties I had signing up and the poorly designed and programmed BigPoint.com home site beyond saying, "don't bother trying". Just log in through SyFy.com's gaming center.

I will take a moment to say that they've recently "upgraded" the client. The game graphics are MUCH slicker and the client itself is much less prone to lag, but the "HUD" was designed by a baboon. It's not even a HUD. A hud is supposed to be transparent so I can see the information without obscuring my view of the road, right? I mean look at that mess! It's almost impossible to click on the screen without accidentally hitting a control.

Why do so many idiots get jobs redesigning perfectly good GUIs?

Anyway... Let's talk about game play.

Free players are not going to enjoy the game. If you want to have any fun at all you'll need to drop some bucks. You need to use real money to buy "Uridium" for good equipment or you're just cannon fodder for the PKers. All told for enough equipment for a good, survivable ship you'll need at least 150,000 uridium. In real money that's about $60.00 US.

It's theoretically possible to grind up enough uridium in-game to compete, but not practically (unless you have no life at all and are willing to be bored out of your wits for several months).

The game isn't really that interesting. You gather resources. Some appear as random pickups, but mostly you accumulate them by killing aliens and salvaging the materials from the wreckage. After 20 or so hours this gets a little dry.

The big problem you're going to run into are the PKers (Pkers, or Player Killers, are players who play the game mainly to kill other players). In most MMOs there are safe areas. Nearly all games allow newbies "haven" zones where they can learn the game basics and "grind" a few levels, and most allow for the simple reality that not everyone likes PVP (Player vs. Player). This game has no safe areas at all. It's very frustrating getting killed over and over and over. Be prepared to be PK'd 2 or 3 times a day. If that doesn't sound like fun... well... it's not. In all fairness the point of the game is to make money. Getting PK'd 2 or 3 times a day will either drive you away or get you to dig into your wallet. Frankly, the folks at BigPoint don't care which. The whole point of allowing free players into the game is to give easy kills to the premium players.

Cough up a hundred bucks, buy a goliath, fill it with the best drives, weapons, shields, and "boosters" and you may have some fun. Spend another hundred bucks and add a squadron or two of battle drones and you can run with the big dawgs. Lastly, be prepared to cough up 5 bucks every now and then when you run out of money. The problem, of course, is that the game isn't worth that much money.


Vlado said...

My experience with DO is very bad. Ambiguous and faulty rules. Arrogant administrators (especially CZ/SK). Often swearwords and abuse in chat used. Instability/errors in GUI. 8-bit graphics in a new client. They took my money and then cut me off the game and user's forum.
I described my experience with DO in details here:

Urk said...

I wish I could argue in BigPoint's favor in this, but I can't. They are a god-awful bunch of speech nazis.

There is no point in engaging them at all for any reason. If you're having a problem find a way to solve it yourself. If you go to support or a moderator all your likely to get is pissed off.

The coders for this game are actually pretty good, but the server managers suck. They never properly test new code before deploying it to the server. The result is a VERY buggy game.

I still play DO from time to time, but I really don't have anything to do with the community.

Vlado said...

If you wanna share your own experience with DO and BP, join this News Group:


kev said...

Upon experience of being a DO player for some time, given credit, there are a couple of chat moderators, but yeah, all in all I got banned yesterday for saying something I KNOW I did not, because was talking with two people about the server lag, and then next thing I get a system message saying that I have been banned from the system, so I contacted bigpoint support who told me that I got banned for saying lmfao rogue.. WTF is rogue because I was not talking with him and his name does not show up in the chat log. so my experience is with a complete and utter moronic poor excuse for a chat nazi!! and yes they are too extreme with chat abbreviations. O.O

Anonymous said...

The game is made only for money nothing else,lak of save zone to farm confirm that opinion.Every player have to pay if he want to play.There is no other way in Dark Orbit.

Anonymous said...

My review to this game

I've been playing this game for 3 years 2008-2011 and I can give you a clear understanding why this game sucks.The music is boring,the quest are so dumb,there are wallet warriors,there are botters,the chat monitors are mean to users, the forums information are "null". the cash shop item totally break the game. Sure it was fun at first but in the end it end up horribile the most strongest ship can 1 hit KO a new player and those ships can invade the new areas which is even worse.Many people get their credit card information stolen!!. there are way too many problems in this game much more reason I finally quit this horrible game.

Graphics- 2/5 (-.- blue dot)
Entertainment-1/5 (if you don't spend moeny on this game)

Overall-6/20(1.5 out of 5 stars)[Avoid]

Anonymous said...

I agree with the top user but I've played this game from 2006-2008 and the old client is so much better than the new one

[Old Client Review]
Graphics-3/5 (no blue dot :D)
Sound-2/5(better than the new music)
Entertainment-3/5(not to many wallet warriors in the old version so thats good)

Overall 11/20{2.5/5} at least it was better than the new version

Anonymous said...

I agree darkorbit and bigpoint sucks what you need at this game is money and kiss admin's ass so you can be top playa i played darkorbit since old version
You have right old version is ALOT GOOD no wallet warriors but in future this game is becoming shit and dyieng

Abdul Bari Chanessra said...

Free players are not going to enjoy the game. If you want to have any fun at all you'll need to drop some bucks. You need to use real money to buy "Uridium" for good equipment or you're just cannon fodder for the PKers. free darkorbit premium

Anonymous said...

The game is fun but the game is buggy. At some point you will send in a support request. More often than not, you will get Kara Flor.

If that happens, all hope is lost. She is the soup nazi from Seinfeld. Any request, no matter how small, will be met with "it is not possible to do that". She's lying. If the support request goes on for more than a week, she'll turn it on you and say that you were trying to get away with something and she was trying to help you.

Unless it is Bigpoint's goal to drive players away from Dark Orbit, Kara Flor is the most abusive and useless online support person in the history of the world.