Some friends and I recently decided to do some battlegrounds together. Not being on the same servers, we had to create newbies and do the grind to 19. We’ll probably be stuck with WSG, and AV (much less Arena) is pretty much out of the question for us.
Anyway, this drove me to try out the Fury beta recently. Fury is getting a fair dose of hype as an upcoming fantasy MMO focusing exclusively on PvP. You’ve got standard PvP scenarios — free-for-all, team deathmatch, and CTF, with third-person WoW-style fantasy combat. There is not a persistent world, but there is persistent character advancement with skill trees you advance in to customize your character. Battleground-style PvP without the grind! Sounds great, right?
I was surprised that I got bored of it fairly quickly, and it wasn’t until I was writing this that I realized why: Fury isn’t an MMO at all.
The game is essentially contemporary fantasy PvP (e.g. WoW, DaOC, etc.) combined with Diablo-style character persistence (your stats, gear, rank, etc. accumulate over time). That’s it. You log into a lobby area, group up with some other players, and off you go to your own little PvP instance, an experience much like Battle.net or XBox Live. Fury’s lobby interface is “in-game” — you are in a 3-D room with other avatars, rather than using a 2-D Battle.net-style GUI. But it’s essentially the same thing.
It was interesting — since I was expecting an MMO, the absence of a persistent world made the experience feel very empty to me. In WoW, having that world outside the battlegrounds gives a sense of meaning to PvP that wouldn’t otherwise exist. You’re honing skills that can be used in non-battleground PvP, earning gear you can use outside the battelgrounds, and building relationships with people you might interact with outside the battlegrounds. The metagames are wider in scope, and deeper in complexity, when a virtual world is present. In Fury, I might beat a crew senseless in a battle, but I feel like a tree falling in the forest that nobody’s around to hear.
I’m not trying to say that Fury’s approach is strictly inferior to WoW’s. It depends what you’re looking for, and I think Fury could be great for someone who’s really just interested in the tactical skill & thrill of PvP battles. But I like feeling like I’m a part of a virtual world, and the Fury arrangement doesn’t really do it for me.