Update, January 29: This article was originally posted on January 26. Soon after, Keen Games replied on Twitter with the following:
This confirms that the game's developer intends to change how quest progression works during Enshrouded's early access period. Original story follows.
Original story: Enshrouded is in its early access period, and while it's got some refinements to make to its formula, it looks like it's doing well for itself. At the time of writing, the game's rated "Very Positive" on Steam—though early days aren't necessarily a sign of the future.
As spotted by our friends over at Gamesradar, however, one big crease needs ironing out: If one person progresses a quest on your server, it progresses that quest for everybody.
Not only has this spawned several large discussion threads on the game's official subreddit (where one player writes that it "killed the game for my friend group") it's also one of the most requested features on the game's feedback board by far, approaching 5,000 votes.
It's not hard to see why. Enshrouded's main selling point is that it melds the more classical RPG stuff with the survival genre's sense of making permanent marks in a big open world. That kinda gets cut off at the knees if everyone has to be doing all of the quests at the same time in order to experience them.
In every multiplayer survival game I've ever played, people tend to fall into different roles really quickly—for instance, if I'm playing Minecraft, I like to dig holes and go get resources for everybody else.
But I get the sense that anyone playing Enshrouded will want to find their own specialised role and enjoy the RPG part of the game. I cannot imagine the sheer amount of buzzkill involved in the realisation that, if anyone wants to go out and explore, they have to get their 15 other buds to put down their axes and come along.
What's more, it seems like other features such as fire altars have a server-wide limit. Fire altars allow you to mark a spot to build a base around—and while you can unlock more of them, I cannot imagine the sheer chaos involved between over a dozen people trying to pick a good spot to start building. Hope you like sharing! It's mandatory.
In fairness, this is exactly what an early access period is for. Developer Keen Games gets to discover that this core design philosophy is a no-go right now, instead of at a time where it's built a whole series of systems around the assumption that people will be fine with it. It'll be interesting to see what the compromise is in the future—perhaps even an optional server setting that takes advantage of the way the survival genre works.