Last night a handful of the Knights of Mercy, attached to the Combat Wombats, jumped in to Defiance to catch up on some of the Episode Missions in preparation for the Defiance Rewind this weekend. For me, this was the first time I’d had a chance to play this game in a group rather than running around blasting stuff on my own. I have to say, the game is orders of magnitude more fun in a group, as long as the game actually lets you stay together.
For most of the night we managed to stay together. I’d done the first part of the Piper Investigation mission chain, so when the others ran to do it they phased away and I hung around waiting for them to finish. From then on we were together, through a Major Ark Fall (that bugged at the end), laying waste to Hellbugs, ERep Soldiers, and Raiders alike like a well oiled squad. That is until we hit the last mission in the Piper Investigation chain.
You can’t even start the mission if you’re in a group, so we all dropped group and picked it up. Remaining in TeamSpeak, so we could at least talk to one another, we each jumped into our own personal instance to complete the chain. It was a nightmare. I personally died at least twenty times before completing the mission. I don’t mind hard missions, but this one was insane. At one point, the spot where you respawn was right in the middle of a huge group of Hellbugs and ERep Soldiers. I’d lob a grenade at a pack of them and instantly die. But, in this way, I whittled down the mobs and got past it. Listening to my guild mates on TeamSpeak do the same thing was equally hilarious and frustrating.
This mission was difficult enough that it seemed like it was tuned for a group, yet we couldn’t do it as a group. I get the need for individual story in MMOs, and most of the time solo missions involving story are no sweat, but Defiance isn’t really that kind of MMO. Trion, why oh why do you prevent certain missions from being completed in groups? Especially ones like the last mission in the Piper Investigation chain? This kind of thing needs to be fixed. Either kick the worthless NPC, who just dies instantly anyway, out or fix it so that groups only have one of those worthless NPCs.
Despite this grouping issue, I think that Defiance Wednesdays might become a regular thing for the Knights of Mercy arm of the Combat Wombats. We had enough fun, despite the forced solo mission and the ridiculous difficulty level of it, to come back for more group action. Defiance is most definitely a game best played in a group, as long as you can stay together.