'Sandstorm' Expansion Phase 2 Hits Global Agenda Today

By Garnett Lee, Jul 22, 2010 6:00pm PDT Massively multiplayer online shooter Global Agenda continues its summer "Sandstorm" expansion with the launch of phase 2 today. The new content includes the "Sonoran Desert Zone" which introduces the more free adventuring style play typically found in MMORPGs. I played some in this area at E3 and it had a comfortably familiar pace of exploring, talking to NPC for quests, and fighting random enemies around the area. This zone in particular is designed for early in the game with a character level range of 5 to 15. Similar zones for higher level characters are in the works for future expansions.

Also in phase 2 of the Sandstorm expansion (from their press release):

  • CONSUMABLES: Players may now craft Consumable items that can be used once while in a combat mission to give a short-term boost. Once used, that item is consumed. In order to equip a consumable, you must have a Consumable in your inventory, and fill the Consumable slot on your Equip screen. Only one consumable may be equipped at a time.
  • SALVAGE: Weapons and Armor that you do not desire to keep may be salvaged by clicking the Salvage button while the item is selected on your Inventory menu. When a weapon or armor piece is salvaged, you will receive a component loot drop put into your inventory (many of the components gained through salvage are useful when crafting consumables).
As part of the game's recent move to drop subscription plans, everyone gets the Sandstorm expansion for free. Under their new revenue plans, future expansions will be sold individually instead of being included as a benefit of subscribing. One or two expansions are planned per year with the next targeted for the end of the year.

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  • The majority of the expansion content is for lowbies. Most players are 30+. Hell, most have at least 1 toon thats level 50. The defense raid game is the main new feature for the high level folks. Its awesome, but they make it so difficult to play it. At random, usually once or twice an hour tops, an alarm will sound. At this point you can queue up for a defense raid. You've got about 30 seconds to act. You must be in the dome (city) to hear the alarm. You cannot play another game mode and wait for the alarm. If your buddy who is chillin in the city tells you about about the alarm sounding while you are playing a game of mercenary or special ops, you cannot leave the game and return to the city to queue for defense raid. Its fucking fucked.

    Imagine playing a shooter where you can only play your favorite game type once an hour. The rest of the time you wait simply around for the opportunity to play. Sounds like a blast, eh?

    Granted, this is a FREE expansion. It took 5 months since launch to get it out the door. In the game's current state, I cant imagine many people waiting another 4-5 months for the next one. The ride to the top is fun, but once you get there, it gets stale really quick.