[S4] and AP: The Astronomical Power

I’ve played this game since before Patch 10 came around (don’t get me started on that) and even after going through all the downgrades and everything, I was actually thinking about buying some AP at some point. Not a whole truckload of them but just to support the game with my 2 cents (or pennies in Britain) because I really liked S4 (and I still do). 3+ years later, I still have yet to spend a single coin from my wallet on this game.

What stopped me from buying AP? You get unique SETs and more PEN and (especially) the AP STATS. The +12% shirt, the +11% Force Pack, etc. but those were one of the reasons why I didn’t buy AP. And here are the rest:

1. The sheer unbalance in gameplay.

In any online games, there are many benefits that come with paying money to them. Cash items are usually better in terms of looks, power and items. And I believe it should be like that… but not for a PVP game. I’m fine with getting more ‘style’. I’m fine with getting more PEN or EXP or something. What I wasn’t fine with was getting higher stats. It was ridiculous, seeing the difference in power between PEN and AP. After S4 started releasing much more powerful AP gear, I was starting to die a lot faster and a lot easier than I could possibly imagine. “How did that guy kill me in 2 shots?” “When did my HP get so low?” “Since when did I start to feel so vulnerable?” The entire gameplay in general just became a lot more difficult… and a lot less enjoyable.

Now don’t get me wrong here: I like fighting better and more diverse opponents. Skill can be learned by experiencing and observing. But AP was different. It didn’t matter whether I observed them or not. There simply was no counter to AP. I still got better but it wasn’t in the way I wanted to. The competitiveness in S4 became a joke to me. Skill still played a part but now it was also more about the gear. This disgusted me.

These days, I play a mix of Unlimited and SO mode but when I play Unlimited, I only play in DM, Captain and Siege as a healer because that was the most effective way for me to help the team without getting into fights. I avoided fights as much as possible and when I did fight, I mainly wallshoot, fight a nearly dead guy or use a melee because I had to get out of the fight without getting hit even once. Wallshooting gave me cover, a nearly dead guy became a dead guy before being able to put a bullet on me and melee weapons prevented people from shooting me while I was hitting them. This method proved to be effective but it always left me with a slight feeling of nostalgia when I use to be the one attacking head on. It was when I didn’t have to worry about getting killed in 2 hits or 2 seconds.

(I’m sure Harakiry would say “get a SHIELD” but I like to save PEN and use the permanent skills I’ve got from Pre-Patch 10 and HP+15).

SO was different. They still killed me in 2 hits (even in 1 hit actually) but I was able to win fights without even getting hurt at all a lot easier. AP didn’t decrease delays. AP didn’t let you ignore hits. It increased movement speed but I got used to that very quickly. The simplest way to explain would be: no matter how strong their attacks were, as long as they couldn’t hit me, it was the same whether they had AP or not. And unlike in gun fights, they couldn’t hurt me while I was hurting them (ha).

In short, I didn’t want to make others feel the unbalance of AP. Using what I deem to be clearly OP AND not accessible to all wasn’t my thing.

2. The ‘style’

This one doesn’t require as much explanation since it’s simple. I didn’t like the looks. Most of the AP SETs, in my most honest opinion, looked crap even by my standards. The FP weapons didn’t look too bad but getting them for the looks was obviously not worth it. When I play games, I play games mainly for the gameplay. Other things such as looks, graphic, story are different matters.

3. Support

You may ask: “If you really want to support the game, you could just buy AP and not use it on G-Caps for stats”. But, if I bought AP right now, I would be approving their current scheme of selling OP SETs. I would be saying “I can see the game is unbalanced but it’s alright! Because now I’m at the powerful side so there is no problem with the game at all!” and it would be going against everything I stand for (not that means much to anyone).

These are the reasons why I didn’t buy AP and why I don’t intend to buy AP in the future until a solution comes around but I honestly can’t see that happening. Please do note that I am not insulting the AP players but rather the developers for making an unbalanced cash shop. In a competitive game, there shouldn’t even be more powerful stats in the first place since it’s a test of skill but that’s just how I feel. I wonder if there is anyone who feels the same, AP buyer or not.

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13 Responses to [S4] and AP: The Astronomical Power

  1. Skia says:

    I can easily play better than a high percentage of the users who use AP and I have to admit I am pretty bad.

    Things are hard when I counter someone with moderate skill, but in those cases I just try to avoid them or die in style.

    • Pleasance says:

      Die in ‘style’? Teach me.

      • Skia says:

        An example from yesterday:

        I had to face an AP user who I knew would eventually kill me. Instead of trying to reduce his HP to half before I die I decided to kill his two teammates that were with him.

  2. Reivalt Geriant says:

    “But AP was different. It didn’t matter whether I observed them or not.”
    ^ Truer words have never been spoken.

    I have held off on AP for a long time, but ended up recharging from time to time over a year ago. This was because I wanted the Officer Line costume for its looks, and Shark SMG for its looks / stats. I stopped frequent recharging before I hit the €100 cap and after they decreased the chances even further. I rarely buy AP these days, and if I do it’s either:

    1) To pay out an event reward from the blog.
    2) Gift to a good friend I’ve been playing with for a while.
    3) Get a +0 perm.pet from <15 pet capsules. Pets are the only thing still somehow worthwhile for me.

    I do not have a premium SET, but I do run triple Gun FPs on my DM char. I decided to settle for focusing on my 3 favourite weapons that I have used since day #1, enchant those and just fumbi the rest to wear.

    Besides that, well-written article. Interesting and entertaining, keep up the good work.

  3. .ProtoStyle says:

    “But AP was different. It didn’t matter whether I observed them or not.”
    Well written.

    Interesting and entertaining article overall. Making me proud son.

  4. AxlStream says:

    Call me old fashioned but to me AP is there to compensate for an aspect of all MMOs that got left behind for S4. Getting stronger just by playing. Sure, S4 is mostly PvP and having a cash shop makes things imbalanced pretty quickly, but in this day of being rank 63, I find it more and more boring to pull off all the big moves to deal with let’s say a rookie or an amateur. AP just allows me to quickly dispose of the scraps to find the real challenge.

    Sure, I could just PLAY better but it annoys me to actually apply myself to dispatch someone really worse than me. I’d rather just take them out quickly and probably in the cheapest way possible.

    In the words of a wise gamer : Big moves are for the big boys.

    • Pleasance says:

      Why would you need to pull out the big moves on ‘scraps’ in the first place (PEN or AP)? In SO, you will just be hitting them a couple more times with the same tactic you use with AP (unless you are using attacks which are unsafe on hit).

      • AxlStream says:

        Of course, why should I ever need those moves if I’m fighting the lowest of the low. Thing is, with the premium outfits given and the nasty habit of the new players to fumbi weapons straight away, any spammer is a considerable threat, although not a major one. My AP simply allows me to take the edge off of him in the event of being victim to an unexpected back attack.

        Sure I could go without AP, I’d still be just as good but I’d get bored of the efforts being deployed to just survive while in AP I just focus on the fun aspect of a match which is killing.

      • Pleasance says:

        In that case, do you fight the ones who you deem ‘good enough’ with PEN? Not that you have to or anything.

      • AxlStream says:

        If they want me to fight them with PEN, I will oblige. Although if they are “good enough” they usually have AP themselves or just don’t care about it.

  5. Harakiry says:

    Nope, Harakiry would actually say “get a Shield AND Wallshoot”.

    That is a very good post that you came up with. I share all your 3 points and also a 4th: they are overpriced. I’m not entirely sure but I’ve heard that AP prices were doubled at some point, all of a sudden.

  6. ahmedmax says:

    i need ap free 50.000 ap

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