Why I Gave up on Swords of Legends Online
“Go kill yourself.”
Those three words left Mrs Stix in tears. Broken. She wanted to quit the game – a game she had dedicated weeks to. She wanted to quit social media. She wanted to distance herself entirely from everyone online because of how hurt she was.
Sure, she knew there were some people out there that hated me. Me, not her. Because I made a claim they disagreed with about a game they like. Because they didn’t win a giveaway. Because they don’t like some of my titles.
Yet never had she felt a sting like that in all of her years in gaming. This forced her to change her name in-game and go incognito henceforth, to avoid these kinds of people. But we’ll talk about that in a little more detail in a minute.
So, I took part in every test phase for Swords of Legends Online.
I genuinely thought the game had a lot of potential. Gameforge promised that the game would be free of pay-to-win. That the cash shop would be fair. That players wouldn’t be capable of purchasing an advantage over one another. And you know what? They held true to that.
Swords of Legends Online ended up being exactly what they promised all of us, yet at the same time, population numbers for the game have been in a steady state of decline ever since it launched.
And let me stop you there. Yes, that is the ultimate fate of 99% of MMOs. There’s no denying that. But as of right now, there are 670 concurrent players via Steam, with a 24-hour peak of 1,450.
Granted, this is specifically pertaining to the Steam playerbase. Some players play through the Gameforge launcher as well. Yet even if we say there’s an equal split between platforms, this is proof that SOLO, in the span of 3-months, has lost 93% of its active daily players. Ninety. Three. Percent.
You might be wondering why that is, especially given that players should’ve been flocking to the game in droves, right?
Well, on the one hand, I noticed that unlike companies like Amazon with New World, or Square with Final Fantasy XIV, or, heck, even Nexon with Mabinogi and V4, Gameforge never really marketed their game to their influencers’ respective communities.
The number of high-profile MMO Youtuber’s and even streamers seemed to for the most part ignore SOLO. Sure, we did a couple videos on the game, but that was because Mrs Stix and I were genuinely impressed with certain aspects of it and were enjoying our time within it.
But after the first what, 48 hours? The game had all but been forgotten. A new decent-quality MMO release, forgotten faster than it released. And since then, Gameforge have done absolutely nothing to market the game, aiding in its.. well, rather rapid decline.
But even without regular marketing, without paying to advertise it, if the game was good, positive word of mouth would have spread, and that alone would’ve triggered a chain influx of new players joining.
Yet it didn’t. Nobody talked about it. Nobody encouraged other players to join. And the MMO has sunk into obscurity in 3 months.
One of the reasons I noticed people don’t seem to recommend the game is due to the community.
Yes, there are plenty of toxic communities out there. Communities like League. Like WoW. Online communities are some of the worst. They bring out these horrible sides of people that they wouldn’t dare show face-to-face. But anonymity all but encourages this type of behavior.
Let me give you 2 examples of this.
Mrs Stix regularly raids in SOLO. She does the most competitive type of content she can. Yet when new content is released – heck, even content that is multiple weeks old, has players joining, wiping, and then proceeding to instantly leave.
These ragequitters scold everyone else. They project the blame on to everyone else, fabricating drama out of their own inept abilities and then quit. This forces players to sit there waiting for new players to join. Or, worst case scenario, has players begin blaming one another and the group disbands.
This happens all too often. Instead of the community working through what they did wrong, instead of explaining a mechanic they’re failing to correctly do, they lash out. I cannot begin to express how much of a common occurrence this is, and it just makes the entire experience… something you end up wanting to avoid.
It’s either filled with drama, or it’s a waste of time. Granted this is much easier to avoid if you have an active guild or group of friends. But let’s be real… with a thousand, maybe two thousand players online, that’s unlikely.
The second example is what happened to Mrs Stix during the first month of the game’s life.
As I noted, we were avid fans of the game. We did, what? 3? 4 videos on SOLO within its first month. Each video went on to garner 50,000 to 100,000 views each. So the community knew who we were. They knew our names in-game.
Mrs Stix was looking to run a dungeon one day, when someone recognized her. They mentioned how they watch our videos and were ecstatic to get to meet and play with her in-game. Mrs Stix was happy to play with someone that enjoyed her SOLO videos, so she responded, confirming she was indeed who the player thought she was.
And that’s when someone interjected, and began to unabashedly attack her. Criticizing her. Her videos. The channel. Our streams. Me. Everything they possibly could to bring her down. Naturally, with SOLO’s community being the toxic cesspool it is, other players joined in and began to barrage her with personal attacks.
Not only in the public chat, but also through DMs. With, once again, people DMing her things like what I mentioned at the beginning of all of this.
Never had I experienced such a vile show of… Humanity, if you can even call it that, before in my life. Mrs Stix has done nothing on the channel but push out informative, well written content. She does maybe 2 or 3 videos per year, on topics that she feels passionately about.
And they had the audacity to attack her? Regardless, she went on to report the players that were sending those messages. So did other players in-game that were attempting to defend her. Some of these players ended up being mass-reported. And weeks later, Gameforge still had done absolutely nothing to them.
The players were allowed to send those types of messages in-game without repercussions. And that’s one of the main examples of toxicity in the game – toxicity within the community.
And that further leads me to another reason that this has been failing as severely as it has been: Gameforge, their handling of the game, support, and communication.
I’m not sure why, but they seem so “hands off” with this game. Sure, content has been flowing. Kudos to them for that. But… announcements for content are abrupt – are sudden. They don’t reply to support tickets. They don’t even enforce bans, which we saw first-hand.
I was shocked, and even slightly appalled at how poorly they’ve handled this game’s launch and continued development.
And with their recent announcement that Kingdom Under Fire 2 is shutting down, their recent loss of SoulWorker – which I might add has done significantly better without them. I daresay it’s only a matter of time until this game bites the dust in much the same way.
But this is why I gave up on Swords of Legends Online. I have plans of doing an “Is Swords of Legends Worth Playing in 2021?” video sometime soon, from Mrs Stix’s perspective, as she’s been obtaining some footage via our streams.
But I won’t ever go back to SOLO, and while she’s still actively playing.. she’s since changed her name once more after obtaining the footage we needed to avoid this type of situation from happening again in the future.
And honestly, we haven’t had this happen in any other MMO we play. Guild Wars 2. WoW. Final Fantasy XIV. Just Swords of Legends. And we’ve been playing the 3 aforementioned titles for years.