Category Archives: Darkfall
Rift Pet Peeves
Getting the obligatory “Love Rift and have canceled EQ2 and EVE for at least a month while I focus solely on Rift since it’s so much friggin’ fun!” out of the way. And now that that’s said, there are several things that bug me — either features missing, features badly implemented, or things I just plain don’t like. This isn’t a comprehensive list and the TL;DR version would probably be summed up as “Copied WoW when they should have copied EQ2.” And then my personal conspiracy theory that since Hartsman came from SOE and EQ2 that to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest he avoided blatantly copying the better features from EQ2 so as to not be sued or something.
Oddly, this might end up more or less sorting out for myself why I’ve always loved EQ2 yet couldn’t really get into WoW. So here we go:
Missing things are:
- Appearance Slots — C’mon, how many games have these now? I like my sets that I craft for myself and don’t want to break up the look. The “level capped rainbow look” was a running joke in EQ2 before appearance slots we re added in. Heck, even DDO has appearance armor anymore. How could any game ship without them anymore is beyond me.
- Shared Banks — You allow 6 toons per server, yet each has an individual-only bank and has to mail anything to an alt? Really? EQ2 shipped with a shared bank 6 years ago. . . I know the technology is out there. . . . .
- Guild Banks — I’m still scratching my head at how such a polished game is missing this feature. Especially since. . .you guessed it. . . EQ2 shipped with them. Sorry to harp on this EQ2 thing, but um. . .Mr. Hartsman. . . you were THERE and saw how popular these features were and ARE in that game. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
- In-combat sprint — Granted there’s really no death penalty at all, but it’s still nice to be able to sprint past a mob or 3 in a high density area after it’s aggro’d on you.
Badly implemented things are:
- The UI — It’s HUGE. I’m told there’s someplace in the settings where I can scale it down, though, so I need to look for that. Still… I’ve never cared for the WoW UI and this one is pretty much a straight copy across from it. Your party window with its massive portraits and small health bars don’t help when I’m playing a healer either.
- The mounts — for the love of god, stop making me recast it every damn time I do something. You had it right in EQ2, Scottie — make me lose the runspeed when in combat, but don’t make the frakking thing go poof and need a 2s recast just becuz a grayed-out mob looked at me funny. An option a la EQ2’s recently added “don’t show mounts just let me look like I’m running fast” wouldn’t be a bad thing to add either.
- Player Faction on the PvE servers — EQ2 got this one right too, Scott. It lets EVERYONE on the server play together. We chose a PvE server becuz we don’t want to fight the other side. If I want to play with my friends and I like my Eth while they like Dwarves, why can’t we play together? Oh right, becuz you have your stupid PvP in my PvE server too. Newsflash: People who choose PvE servers don’t want PvP. Even in “pure PvP games” like Eve and Darkfall something like 80% of all players never leave the non-PvP areas. PvP is a *niche* and shouldn’t be on every damn server including the PvE ones. And if you must keep it this way, at least let me add cross-faction friends so if someone logs on I can see that to know to switch to an alt in that faction so I can go play with them. This whole “never the twain shall meet except across the point of a sword” is utterly ridiculous on a PvE server.
There’s more, but this is long enough and I’m actually itching to log in and play so. . yeah, the negatives really don’t outweigh the positives in any way shape or form, but. .. while I’m a fanboi, I can still say that it’s not “perfect” either 😛
In Which I Make Eurogamer Review Look Extensive
So back on June 2nd, I found out that Darkfall had finally opened up a free trial. I’ve liked the screenshots I’ve seen, and since Syncaine seems to like it so much, I’ve been wanting to try it for some time, but I wasn’t willing to buy without trying and a paid trial isn’t really a trial, IMO.
So, I downloaded it. Installed it. Made a character. And in the 1st tutorial window (or maybe it was the 2nd) I was told that yeah, they know their control scheme isn’t very intuitive, but that after a couple of hours I should get used to it. I ran around the newbie area experimenting with it, learning how to keep the windows I wanted open, etc, then ran out in to the wilds to see what kind of trouble I could get into.
I found some goblins pretty quickly. Killed one, but the 2nd one ran once his health got low and found a friend. I almost killed the friend, but ended up dying. Not a big deal really, but enough to make me realize that the game was a bit more action oriented than I wanted, and since I’m already trying to divide my time between 3 other MMO’s and am feeling that 2 are getting shortchanged. . . .
Darkfall was uninstalled from my computer less than an hour after it was installed. Perhaps someday if I get bored of my other 3 games, but then perhaps not. I didn’t notice anything “wrong” with the game, and actually quite liked that that goblin ran once it looked like he was going to die. The graphics were nice, and I’m sure I could get used to the controls given enough time. It just didn’t appeal to me with how my life is currently.
Losing It All
The goblins stared me down. I was practicing using wands, which (like arrows) requires a lot of coordination in Darkfall. This is where the FPS mechanics come into play, and you have to aim. Not only do you have to aim, but the mobs (and players of course) are constantly moving around. It would just be too easy if they stood still for me.
I took aim and began my assault on a particularly feisty goblin, drool running down his chin. I was so focused on that one particular battle that I did not notice the little shorty who had run up and was hacking away at my ankles. See, FPS is in first person, of course. I could see in front of me but trying to look at multiple targets is a problem.
I died. Hit the ground like a sack of stones.
Now, I’m still under newbie protection for a few more hours (not many are left) and I wasn’t that concerned. Except my computer decided for whatever reason it was time for a life lesson. My keyboard stopped functioning at all, even after unplugging it and plugging it back in. That means there was absolutely no way for me to move to my corpse in Darkfall and retrieve my items. I didn’t really think too much of this situation at the time, I glanced at the map to get a rough idea of where my tombstone would lay, and logged out a moment so that I could restart the computer (and hope that the keyboard worked) which it did.
Logging back into game I meandered over to where I thought my corpse was. Huh. No tombstone. Interesting. I noticed that the two goblins I had killed vanished quickly, and I scoured the area looking for the slight blue tinge that marked my stone. No luck.
After a few minutes I shrugged this off. That means I lost everything that wasn’t in my personal bank. All of my gear, any food drink or potions that were in that one bag, all of my harvesting tools, all of the loot and quest updates that I had accumulated, all of it was just gone. Now, I thought the first time this happened I’d have been engaged in some bloodthirsty pvp battle and have a heroic tale to speak of, but instead it was just me versus some goblins that I couldn’t see. It doesn’t make for nearly as exciting a tale.
Was I upset? Maybe for about a fraction of a second. After all, I was wearing some quested gear that I thought was pretty neat. Losing all of my harvesting tools was a big downer. BUT. I had also been preparing for this moment. I keep all of my cash in the bank. I keep an extra set of gear and weapons in there, and I also keep all of my crafting tools in there. These are expensive (to me at least) and not something that I want to replace all of the time.
Replacing the harvesting tools was not so bad, 20g each piece. Of course now I’m running around with my second hand gear and weapons which is not nearly as nice as the quested gear I had before, but I’m confident that it won’t make too much of a difference.
I hope whichever goblin found all my stuff enjoys it.
Time of Protection Almost Over
It’s getting to the point where my newbie protection is about to drop – 25 hours of in game time later. I’m nervous and excited about this. I’m not typically a huge pvp player and I don’t imagine that will change too much. What I do enjoy is the thrill of being sneaky, and hanging out in dangerous areas or doing things that I shouldn’t be able to do while I’m trying to avoid getting killed. I have no idea how this will carry over into Darkfall, but yeah I’m excited.
In the mean time I’ve been working on my skills. I saved up enough coin to pick up a bunch of crafting, so I’ve been busy cooking, tailoring, jewelsmithing, and working on herbalism. I haven’t figured out how the market works yet or if there is one or where it may be, but that will come with time.
I haven’t managed to find a guild to call home yet although I’d like to. Since I’m more of a crafter / explorer then I am a bloodthirsty pvp sort, I hope to find a place eventually.
I’ve spent most of my time in game (aside from crafting and harvesting to work up skills) listening to channels and getting familiar with who is who. There are always “those people” – you know the sort. They talk a great deal and seek out any sort of attention they can possibly accumulate. The public channels of Darkfall brings Barrens chat to its knees crying. I’ve heard every type of insult imaginable, and then some. People can be pretty dang cruel when they’re playing as anonymous avatars in a pvp game.
I decided to pick up the game and three months of subscription for $60, which is the promotion that’s going on right now (well, it was no idea if it still is). I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can get in the game in that time. Of course with all of the other games I’m currently playing we’ll just have to see.
Once ‘newbie’ protection is over, well. Then the game begins for real.
10 Hours Later
I spent a huge chunk of time playing Darkfall yesterday and you know what? I had an amazing time. It surprised me. I’ve invested about 10 hours into the game now, and my 1 week trial ends tomorrow. I’m contemplating picking up the game for three months, as there is a limited time promotion right now where you can get the game + 3 months of subscription for $60. I am still under the ‘newbie protection’ which may change my opinion slightly, but I’m acting as though I am not.
Before I get into my own experience I have to say, last night I was able to witness something that I had never seen before in any other game I play. There is a clan called “Goon Squad” – no idea if they are related to the EVE corp. They “wardec’d” (declared war) on a clan that I only know as “New” – suddenly, my screen (wardec’s flash along the top of your screen) was spammed with 50+ other clans declaring war on Goon Squad. Apparently, if you value population, you do NOT wardec New. It was incredible. Channels went crazy. I don’t know enough about the politics to understand who either of those clans are, nor the 50+ that joined in the fight, but it was exhilarating and I felt very bad for Goon Squad even if they didn’t deserve it.
As for myself, I learned a valuable lesson. Goblin Shaman HURT, and spells are difficult to master. Or rather, aiming to cast a spell is difficult. Archery is even more difficult. I haven’t played a FPS – ever unless you count my brief stint playing duck hunt on the nintendo way back when. I died a few times, managed to run back and loot my corpse. I’ve made it a habit to drop everything except the essentials into my bank, and I keep a spare of everything in there too.
Inventory is a little odd, and for an OCD person like myself it’s not fun. There’s no real way to organize things, and item icons can overlap one another so when it comes to picking what you need out of the pile it can be very frustrating. It’s also not very packrat friendly. It does teach me to game differently, which I can appreciate.
So far I’ve focused on working up my skills while I am still under the newbie protection. I’ve been working up running, sprinting, crouching, weapons, wearing different types of armor. I’ve worked on swimming, and I’ve worked on harvesting skills which can increase things like wisdom and vitality. I’ve delved very briefly into crafting which I can already see I am going to enjoy a huge amount. I love the danger aspect to the game, and I haven’t even stepped out of the beginner lands yet.
I LOVE the fact that it is a skill based game without levels. I treat it much like EVE, except in Darkfall if you are without skills you die, simple as that. In EVE I can at least get by. The game reminds me of Fallen Earth in combat controls, and Vanguard as far as harvesting. I actually like the graphics, especially since I spend very little time ever looking at my ugly avatar. There’s a LOT of blood, which is interesting for someone who is typically not into gore. I adore the fact that I have 0 restrictions, that I can learn anything I want, and multi class as much as I want.
Community leaves much to be desired in some aspects, and in others it’s great. I received two very friendly clan invites from people who help out new players. The ‘race alliance’ channel (termed RA from now on) is absolutely horrible. A mass of epeen stroking prepubescent males (yes, I am being stereotypical here) who have nothing better to do then rag on one another. I’ve already been called a boy more times then I can count *snickers* if I ever DO join a clan and if they require vent or some such they’ll be in for a surprise.
My PvP experience so far is limited to goblins, which is fine by me. I would like to attempt to play this game ‘my way’ and enjoy what I want to do. I’m guessing I’ll lean more towards working on harvesting and crafting and then selling these items to people who are heavy into PvP. I’d love to form some alliances through this method of game play, but we shall see.
Of course, I know I’m going to get killed. I’m going to lose everything I own. However. Like EVE, I think about this game in terms of skill. Sure, I can lose everything – but I won’t lose the skills I’ve worked up. That’s what is most important to me. Not the belongings I have but the time and skills I’ve developed along the way.
It’s going to be one interesting adventure, that’s for sure.