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MechQuest Critical Analysis I: Wrong Creation Time?

Posted by The Peanut Master on December 10, 2008

The question I will be addressing in this MechQuest Critical Analysis post is: Was MechQuest created at the wrong time? Now, this is obviously a very deep and complicated question, and forces us to go back to the roots of which MechQuest was initially created. However, upon asking myself this very question and coming up with an answer (which I will iterate to you below), I found that it may be the primary reason MechQuest seems to be lagging behind in many respects. Please feel free to add your own input in the Comments section below.Here’s the short answer: Yes.

Here’s the long answer: To determine an answer to this intense question, we must go back to the time in which MechQuest was initially created, and look at it in retrospect to what was happening around AE and their games. There are really two main aspects we need to examine: DragonFable and AdventureQuest Worlds.

First, DragonFable. At the time MechQuest came out it was striving to become DragonFable’s futuristic counterpart. DragonFable had been enjoying a recent surge of popularity, and it was at this time that DragonFable really took the edge over AdventureQuest in overall player popularity. It has expanded much over the past few months and was moving higher as ever, and it sure didn’t help that Artix was heading the show (and was also writing Design Notes post then as well). DragonFable was on its way to bigger and better things, and was at the best it had ever been.

Think about that. DragonFable was so successful, why not run the wave up and really make it an incredible game to compete with the best RPGs? Why stunt its growth for a new game that is virtually a carbon copy of DragonFable, only with a different theme? Why shift the focus of AE from what was poised to go through the roof? Why remove resources from such a fantastic game? Why? So many whys, not a lot of answers. MechQuest was definitely created because AE felt that DragonFable was so successful that they could create a new game, when in retrospect it turned out that AE was not indeed ready to make another RPG, especially in light of AE’s true focus at the time, AdventureQuest Worlds.

While DragonFable provides plenty enough evidence that creating MechQuest at the time seemed a foolish and rash decision, AdventureQuest Worlds was in its early stages of development/conception. Think back to the time when MechQuest’s Gamma release came out… back in early October. At the end of year, in Artix’s end-of-year post, he mentioned how they had recently purchased multiplayer technology. This means that they had entertained and progressed the idea of creating a multiplayer game, and had already acted on it and purchased the technology, in addition to no doubt tinkering around with it for a bit.

This no doubt was at the center of AE’s mind, right as MechQuest was entering its infant stages, most definitely its most important stage of the game’s career. When a new game is created, it requires the utmost attention to make sure it grows according to plan and so that nothing gets out of hand. A game’s infant stages are incredibly important and need constant attention and care to ensure steady progress. But what was really happening behind the scenes as MechQuest was being created? Well, AE was surely thinking of bigger and better things: An MMO. This is a big no-no, and its effects are finally being realized, as MechQuest is encountering numerous issues with the core mechanics of the game that could have been avoided had AE devoted its full attention to the game and not on AQWorlds. AE has a tendency to plow forward with no regard to what should really be happening (and this will be addressed in detail in a future post), and this was represented very well in this situation.

Think of MechQuest as the middle child. The first-born was DragonFable; the creme of the crop, the true love, the head honcho. AQWorlds was the third-born/last-born; the next big thing, the refined version of previous attempts, the big attention-getter. MechQuest? Oh, just the middle child, nothing special, keep moving, nothing to see here. AE never had their hearts truly in MechQuest, and just as it seemed like it might be gaining steam, Artix abandoned it (in exchange for intense development of AQWorlds, as we would find out), and MechQuest didn’t look so hot anymore. This may very well be attributed to a bad creation time decision by AE, stunting DragonFable’s growth for a near duplicate while also looking ahead to the future and an MMO.


20 Responses to “MechQuest Critical Analysis I: Wrong Creation Time?”

  1. Lemmy said


  2. Brytz said

    Why do you think that peanut. Mechquest could have been heaps worse.

  3. alabamapitty said

    I… I have to agree. If MQ had not been released, then DF would have continued to soar. Look at MQ folks. Same engine, same basic plot, almost the same NPC’s for goodness sakes! What Peanut is not saying, I am fairly certain, is that MQ needs to stop. I think he is saying, rather, that AE needs to take steps to prevent it falling behind the other games, particularly AQW. MQ should have been released earlier, if that is possible, or AQW should have been held off until they could see the ramifications of releasing it. MQ definitely needs something to give it an edge over the competition. Whatever that may be.

  4. adam said

    mechquest needs a proper members only area like a huge spacestation sort of like the club house in aqw which cud be used to test new ideas for all ae games.possibly even an mmo area!
    by the way sorry for the stupidly random comments my little bro went on my laptop on ruined all my ae acconts he gave my mq character a huge afro and wasted my cash on noobish mechs!

  5. adam said

    he makes me sooooooooo mad!

  6. Seriyu said

    To be honest, I don’t really agree. I’m enjoying MQ, it’s not the best it could be, but it’s still a fine game. Maybe it’s because I haven’t played DF much and the walk around hasn’t been worn out.

    I really don’t see the problem. Growth will be limited for a time but even if so, the fact that they’re listening to the players is a good thing.

    And MQ was based off of a game Artix had intended to make after AQ called “Battlemech” waaaaaay back when AQ had just recently started.

    He may have felt compelled to make it, since he kept the site up the entire time and eventually used the domain for mechquest, he may have not been happy on how it turned out (Highly unlikely, because he was heading development for a time)

    It may be that he felt pushed to do the whole “themed mechs” thing. Battlemech looked significantly more military, and was actually in 3d

    Whereas now we have giant wizard and rogue mechs wandering around. Development could’ve went in the wrong direction.

  7. Brytz said

    Look on the bright side. Mechquest had a good start with that prologue ship. Also I still think MQ is better than AQW just due to the fact that AQW has way more bugs than MQ. Bugs mess up the game and also the upgrading price is a rip off of how much upgrade content is not what you pay for. MQ also has guns and I love guns.

  8. To everyone disagreeing with my point that MechQuest hasn’t turned out so hot: That was not at all the point I was trying to make. Yes, MechQuest has some issues (and this post was meant as a predecessor to those issues, which I will make clear in future posts). However, I will never say that MechQuest turned out bad or that it isn’t a great game. It truly is. The job Warlic has done seemingly single-handedly on MechQuest can be called nothing short of miraculous, and the way they respond to player feedback is unmatched, even in AE’s other games.

    MechQuest is an awesome game and it still has a ton of potential. And that was absolutely positively not the point of the post. What I was trying to convey was that MechQuest’s wrong creation time may have contributed to some issues with the game at this point, and that maybe if AE had considered more clearly if making the game at the point they did was not as smart an idea as it seemed to be at the time.

  9. Arikromus (Cyouni) said

    I have to agree.

    If you look at it, AQW is incredibly hyped. Why? It’s the first AE-made Flash MMO.

    This leads to a lack of development on the other games, particularly MQ, as it was still in the Gamma stage at that point. This leads to a lot less deep thought on the eventual ramifications of certain releases.

    This leads to current issues.

  10. Seriyu said

    Ah, I misunderstood, yes I can follow that logic.

  11. I think that MQ is a great game, but it is the low amount of consistent players that is truly the problem.

  12. The thing is, all DF players really did love MQ to begin with. I remember everybody talking about how fun the shuttle was, myself included. But then MQ got on a regular release schedule, and DF’s fan base was lost a bit. This also happened with AQW. I’ll bet a good bit of constant AQW-players used to always play another game and now do not.

  13. Zeke said

    DF was doing great. However, it was at that time that DF started to get repetitive. Even I quit around the time MQ was released.

    MQ took DF as a base, then improved upon it. Think of MQ as an upgrade; not just in theme, but also the entire engine.

    With MQ under their belt, they now can literally use elements of MQ that wouldn’t have existed if MQ had not (Such as equippable weapons with cooldown, essentially like interchangeable skills)

    Just think: With that advancement, combining elements from both games would be a piece of cake. AE could have not just 1, but 2 amazing RPGs.

    Just my thoughts.


  14. Interesting thoughts Zeke. Although there are a ton of players out there who would care to disagree immensely that MechQuest improved upon DragonFable and works as an upgrade to it. A LOT of players.

  15. ZamuelNow said

    I’ll attempt to answer this topic’s question with another question: Did AQW have the wrong creation time? Dwell on that one for a bit…

  16. I happen to think that’s a no-brainer “Yes” as well, since I don’t think AE ever realized what it truly takes to create and maintain a full-scale MMORPG, but the fact that they went ahead and did it anyways influences whether MechQuest was created at the wrong time as well.

  17. RedX125 said

    I think they are just juggling one too many games. It was fine until Adventure Quest Worlds came in. I really don’t like AQW anyway.Either that or they need more employers.

  18. St. Jason said

    The proper comparison is not DF and MQ, but MQ and AQW…

    Consider how long MQ was in beta. Almost a year. It just fairly recently went gamma.
    Consider how long AQW was in beta. A couple of months. And you can’t say that they took the engine from another game, like Dragonfable, or that a MMO is less complex. Had the dumped the resources and work that went into AQW into MQ, then MQ would be astounding, caught up, and no where as uneven as it is now (How long did it take for them to rebalance mech prices again? How long are they going to ignore the weapons prices issue?)

    Simply put, MechQuest is Walric’s pet project. If he threw in the towel, then the game would probably be pulled overnight.

    I’m halfway thinking that AE should pull some of their older games. AQ has been promised the sweep for years now. I’ll believe it when it actually happens. MechQuest they should shelve until they actually decide to put the effort it deserves into it.

  19. StarHunter5 said

    I started playing DragonFable first and I still enjoy play it.
    I tried Adventure Quest and could never get into it.
    I play MechQuest about as much as Dragon Fable.
    I did try Adventure Quest Worlds, however at this time
    they seem to concentrate to much on looks and not on
    substance [the weapons are the same and cloak and helmits
    and such have no effect]
    and now they are starting Warpforce
    [an Adventure Quest in Space].
    I think I will stick with DragonFable and MechQuest!

  20. mechquestlord said

    actually peanutmaster i think it was created a the perfect time because i started playing it an exact year after it was made. my id for pvp is 6453753. note to people with ngs. there are currently CORRUPTED MECHA AVALIABLE!!!!!!!!!!!! also the colector edition gears games mecha are avaliable! get one now. ps the corrupted mechs look scary cause mystraven corrupted and wolfblade corrupted take the other houses role(i think) witch is awesome

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