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Anti-Aliased: One massive agenda


So, I'll be honest, I had a completely different idea for a column this week. But reading over the comments on yesterday's launch trailer for Global Agenda got me thinking: Why is there so much ado about the nature of an MMO? Why are so many fixated on the 10 vs 10 nature of Global Agenda and not the bigger picture of what the game has to offer? Why do we scoff at the idea of 100 person instances when it was designed to give the player more flexibility?

Today, I want to play the devil's advocate, as I do in so many of my opinion columns. I want to take on the defense of Global Agenda as an MMO title, and I think I have enough evidence to prove that it's massive -- just not in the way you normally consider MMOs to be massive. And, personally, I think this is only good news for the industry at large.

If you guys wish to comment on this edition of Anti-Aliased, please comment of page 2 of the article, as always! Your comments are always well received!

10 vs. 10 is not massive

Straight up, 10 players vs. 10 players is not a massive battle experience anyway you look at it. Global Agenda may not be an MMOFPS in the terms we're use to, especially when one considers games like the open-world combat of PlanetSide or the huge conflict maps in MAG.

And, to be completely candid, I once got into an argument with the other editors over the validity of Global Agenda's status on our site. Even after playing it (and enjoying the gameplay it had to offer) I still turned to Hi-Rez Studios vice president Stew Chisam and associate producer Michal Adams and said the same thing: "So what makes it massive again?"

But I'm not writing this column to prove to you that 10 vs. 10 is a massive experience, so just get that thought right out of your mind and place it far away from your keyboard. In fact, don't even think about the FPS portion of the game. Don't focus on the little battles that will take place on Global Agenda -- instead, come with me and let's zoom out for a moment. Zoom out all the way to the zone map and take a look at the overview of how Global Agenda is played. Let's take a look at the functionality of strike teams.

But territory control and defense is massive

I'm going to try to explain this as best I can, because it's not an easy concept to get at first. It took me about 10 minutes of staring at the Global Agenda hex map and saying, "I'm still not seeing it," until finally everything clicked in my head and I understood exactly how massive Global Agenda could be.

In short, it all comes down to tactics on a massive scale. Not players -- tactics. It's like playing a big game of Risk.

Let's break it down and do some math. You always want to take 10 people into combat, right? I say this because we'll assume that the other agency will always take 10 people into battle. Now that you know that 1 strike team is almost always 10 people, think of it this way: attacking a hex or defending a hex is always 10 people. How many people do you have in your agency? 300? Well, that's a pretty big agency -- exactly the size of one PlanetSide battle. (Edit: Close to the size of one PS battle. PS now supports 133 per side, making it 399 in all.) But those 300 people will only let you conduct battles on 30 hexes at once -- if you have the resources for it.

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