This doesn't make a good game
This thought came upon me when I just got done beating Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (which for some reason the last missions is 15x harder than any other mission in the game).
I am sitting on the train, quick saving and reloading constantly after I make wrong move after wrong move and send my squadron of bombers and groups of tanks to their demise. After many restarts and mild tantrums later I finally manage to beat the mission.
So I am sitting on the train in anticipation, waiting through the ending and the credits to see what great mode or object I might have unlocked. My reward for winning? Calder. Thatís all there was.
I was confused for a moment. "Didn't the other Advance Wars have a hard mode?" I thought. Shouldn't there also be more CO's in the game? So since I beat the game I looked online and saw that the game had none of these. So I was a bit pissed of course to realize that I pretty much have no reason to play the game now except to beat the training missions to get no rewards except to boast to others saying that I have done so.
I brought these points up to my friend and told him how disappointed I was with Days of Ruin and he responded with "Well it's probably because they added online play".
Which finally brings me to the point of my post: Online play should not be a reason to leave out single player content in a game. The last Advance Wars DS had me playing for years with the ability to earn exp for your favorite CO and assign skills. Also, by giving me the ability to play the campaign on hard it made earning the various medals a whole lot easier. Now if I want to earn medals I have to play free maps and the same campaign over and that seems to be the only reason to pick up Days of Ruin again unless you want to play online.
Hellgate: London to me also seemed to fall under this category. I pre-ordered this game expecting to get a great Diablo-like single player experience. What do I receive in return? Bland story with no voice acting or good cut scenes and somewhat broken game mechanics. Eventually patches would come out but to my surprised the majority of them were geared to the online play. More content and extra gear and special dye kits if you were to play the online experience. And if you pay monthly you get better maps and all other sorts of goods.
Why? Why should those who just wanted to play the game for the grind get rewarded online while the single player community gets shafted? If this was their intention they should have just released it as a MMORPG that has a optional monthly fee.
I've seen many other games over the years that seem to use this same philosophy as well. Companies and developers seem to sacrifice features for the main game just so that the multiplayer experience can exist or for the online to be a better experience.
Although I haven't agreed with Bethesda recently on how they handled Oblivion and how Fallout 3 is looking, I respect how they say no to online/multiplayer play so that they can concentrate fully on the main game. I wish more companies would take a cue for Bethesda or just put forth the effort to make a complete game and not just skimp on some features so that they can tout an online play.