The solution to Warhammer Online’s Open RvR problem is simple: Darkness Falls. That’s right, introduce what existed in Dark Age of Camelot into a system that is trying to mimick Dark Age of Camelot. Duh, right? Warhammer Online, back in November 2007, was delayed in order to transform the game to align closer with DAOC’s RvR but it forgot that one crucial element… the PURPOSE. Sure, city sieges are a purpose but let’s be realistic – a keep is under attack in Praag… why would I go defend if it poses no threat to our city? It’s going to take like 8 keeps, 2 fortreses, and a TON of RvR to make our capital city vulnerable. As of right now a city siege is not going to happen. So, we come back to the PURPOSE. I strongly feel that Darkness Falls provides that purpose.
What is Darkness Falls?
In April 2002 Mythic introduced Darkness Falls. The idea behind this dungeon was that only one realm at a time is owner of the dungeon and can enter through their homeland portals or relic-keeps. The realm who holds the majority of the RvR Keeps has control. Whenever another realm conquers the majority of keeps, the entrance for the opposing realms will be closed but other realm-members still in the dungeon can remain and fight to survive against monsters and members of enemy realms.
Darkness Falls entry rules (as detailed by Sanya Thomas back in the day)
1) Server comes up.
2) Whoever has the most keeps finds their portal open.
3) If there was a tie score for most keeps (two or three way tie), nobody finds the portal open.
4) If someone breaks the tie, the team with the most keeps opens the portal.
5) If the situation returns to a tie score, the portal does not close – whoever had been winning still keeps the portal.
6) If the server resets, go back to the beginning of this list. A server reset means a tie score is a tie score – the game does not remember from reboot to reboot which realm had been winning before the return to tied status. Or, to put it another way, once a portal is open, it stays open although ownership may change. The server shutting down closes the portal, and it has to be opened again.
Darkness Falls (back when I played at least) was a dark labyrinth of many halls and rooms open to all members of the realm (public dungeon). It was enormous… don’t think of it as a dungeon – as dungeons are known today – but a huge zone. It contained some of, if not all, the best loot in the game at the time. There were areas with mobs that you could grind and even deep dark pathways that lead to big bosses. The dungeon functioned on a ‘seal’ loot mechanic that players of more recent mmorpgs will be familiar with: Mobs drop seals that you turn in for loot. Simple. What was also crucial to DF’s design was that players of ALL levels could go inside and have wings/areas that they could experience, rvr, grind, farm, etc. It appealed to everyone.
It’s not the details of the dungeon itself that matter though. It’s the idea of this magnificent prize (the zone) only being available to one realm at a time based on being the current owner of the most keeps. This is precisely what Mythic is missing in Warhammer Online. Just think about it for a minute. What if they added a dungeon like Darkness Falls? People would leave scenarios and fight to take keeps. Why? Because if they don’t fight for the keep then they won’t have access to this dungeon. What’s going to happen when your keeps come under attack? You’re going to defend them because you want to retain control of the dungeon.
What would happen from all of this Open RvR? O…m…g.. a city siege might actually happen and… brace yourselves… we might actually have some Realm Pride!
People have been asking for a Darkness Falls-like dungeon for a long time – I’m one of them. But before when I was asking for one it was because I enjoyed the dungeon’s design and dynamic nature. However, now I realize how integral it is in a game like Warhammer Online and Dark Age of Camelot. It served a purpose that we all knew existed but never fully understood – until now.
Warhammer Online needs Darkness Falls now more than ever.