A glimpse of Darkfall’s “end-game”

This past weekend has been somewhat of a turning point for me in Darkfall in terms of seeing the side of the game that will be considered the “end-game” by those who need such a label.  In many ways, the “end-game” could be that sense or feeling of something in the game grabbing you and dragging you along , encouraging you to continue playing.  In Darkfall this feeling comes from the gameplay that surrounds the politics of a conquerable world.  Haven entered into an alliance a few days ago with a few guilds that co-own a city deep in the heart of Hyperion territory — as well as territory that is highly contested by multiple guilds for reasons unknown to me.  We entered the alliance thinking that it would be in our best interest and recently have begun to question our decision.  Although the prospects of regretting a decision like this bring with them consequences, it’s just cool to know that there are consequences.

Haven has really entered the thick of the server community.  We’re in the middle of talks with ambassadors and political officers with some of the leaders of the stronger alliance.  We’ve declared war on a clan and placed several others on our KoS list.  The fighting has really begun and the proof is in the blood of our soldiers and the enemy that can be seen across the world.  We’ve seen a few really big battles and come out on both sides as winners and losers.  We’ve also begun to learn strategies that will propel us far beyond the capabilities of our enemies (Sorry, can’t disclose!)

A few battles in particular that come to mind…

The first was two nights ago when Bartlebe and I were near the wilderness bank NE of Sandbrook.  We decided to go out looking for reds/enemy races as anti-pk’s, but with one catch:  We were naked (or wearing a few pieces of cloth/leather for looks).  We ran into a group of six Alfar/human mix from a clan called House of Uproar.  Normally this would mean our death – as it has every time we run in to 3-1 odds.  However, we retreated and let them follow us until we crossed a river.  Then we used the river to split them up and chased them down two at a time.

The second experience was during a hunt Bartlebe and I did with Drunken Beggars/SotA/Styg Hammer.  We went PvPing with them in a roaming mounted party to the Mahirim lands.  On the way there we rode through two clan hamlets and cut down all of their occupants where they stood.  We then went to some of the more populated hunting areas and deployed a cavalry/footsoldier tactic where we split our forces into groups of cavalry and foot troops.  The result was massacring everything we came against.  The best part of the evening came when our organized group came against another organized group (mix of TheMercs and some guild named Rainbow something).   Our numbers were evenly matched our our tactics the same, yet we came out on top with no death, 2 mounts lost, and all of them dead.  We looted all of their banded and scale and were totally pumped up by our success.

This is basically what the tip of the iceberg of Darkfall’s end-game is like:  Politics and PvP.  Add in the defense and sieging of Helm’s Deep style cities and the eventual addition of massive ships, warhulks (hovering siege tank things), and everything involved with people becoming more skilled and more geared.  It’s going to be epic in every sense of the over-used word and the landscape of the world changing due to political consequence will make it dynamic while avoiding becoming dull for (hopefully) a long time.  The sandbox elements are really beginning to shine.

  • truly beginning to sound epic. Now that you have been playing a while what do you think about the PvP system as opposed to what you thought when Darkfall was yet to be released?

  • The PvP system has turned out to be superb compared to what I had initially expected. I’m going to write a post comparing what I had expected and what they delivered.

    For example…

    The PvP is way better than I thought because X…
    The skill system turned out to be somewhat of a letdown because of Y…

    That sort of thing. (The above are true statements btw)

  • Since this game is begining to sound rather cut throat and revolve around guild relations and allies so much do you think it is going to be unfriendly for new players 6 months from now?

  • Yes, and no Epiny. Yes because the players who play longer will have better skills, armor, relations, etc. No because armor on a pro can be given to a person just starting out. It just all depends. If you join having friends who played to help you then it won’t be a big deal. Jumping into the game all by yourself 6 months from now would be like a guppy in a sea full of sharks.

  • Sounds like fun. One question to prove I have been paying attention: Why does crossing a river split up your enemies without splitting you guys up, i.e. How does the mechanic work?

  • Due to recent queue times, I’ve been unable to get in touch with you as I’d like. I’ll continue trying as I manage to get in game, as I want to pass a few ideas by you.

  • @Epiny

    I was commenting to my friend the other day that it would definitely be viable for him to jump in 2-3 weeks from now, and immediately join up with me and the rest of the clan in our activities, without dragging us down or feeling useless in the least. However, from a personal standpoint, you’ll wish you’d started earlier because of all the cool abilities that you wish you had skilled up. In conclusion, if you’re on the fence at this point, get started early! =)

  • I have to say I have been following your reports of your experience and have enjoyed them immensely. They have really helped me to decide whether or not to purchase this title, and believe I have decided to do that as soon as I can actually get a copy 🙂

    Look forward to getting into the world and perhaps one day applying with your clan.

  • I have a question: if/when they release a N American server, are you going to “re-roll” on that server or remain on this “euro” server?

  • I decided to buy the game based mostly on Keen’s write ups and a few other reviews (never trust one source!) I’ve been grouping with Haven, and the fun goes up exponentially upon grouping. Where before I was milling about fighting goblins and hivekin trying to up a few skills here and there, I spent all of sunday in a group downing things like Dire Zombies and Trolls. Got some nice cash flow and items to help my trade skills. I’ve heard some of the discussion about politics and there is more politics than any game I’ve played. (I didn’t get very deep into Eve). I love the game, more fun they’ve had in an MMO for a LONG time, I logged into WoW today due to the serve downtime, and I was beyond bored. To be fair, DarkFall does have some significant downsides, such as LONG Queues(supposedly getting fixed soon, tonight’s patch maybe?) and the servers were down for almost all of my play time today (I got 20 minutes, I know many people who got none).

  • Once again, nice writeup. I’m in a similar situation with my clan, we’ve got a hamlet and are beginning to exchange blows with nearby enemy hamlet raid parties. Getting into a clan and hanging out with your mates in this game put it over the top.

    If you solo and are in town for any length of time, you will begin to get bored, there is only so much you can do exploring naked and harvesting the same stuff over and over, not to mention the trips to the skeleton yard for some cash and gear. Get out of the newbie areas and into a clan and it changes everything.

  • Too bad I can never get in to play – how are you managing to get past the queue to even get play time in?

  • I’ll be getting this asap.

    I love the sandbox pvp style. I don’t like having to join a certain realm. This game sounds more and more fun!

  • Mounted raiding PvP is good stuff in DF, just the feel of running someone down on your mount is very satisfying (not to mention the nice damage bonus)

    As for getting into the game later, as long as you have a guild you will be fine. Even a day 1 newbie can get a mount and some gear handed to them and go on a PvP raid, or be part of a PvE dungeon trip. You won’t be as effective as the veterans around you, but you will still be able to contribute and benefit. Items/dungeons don’t have skill restrictions, so as long as your guild provides you with some stuff, you will be fine.

  • I’m waiting for the queue times to get sorted. I hated waiting for the 2 hour queue times WAR had at EU launch and am not making the mistake again.

  • Ya I truly am on the fence with this game. I’m giving WAR one more chance with the Choppa and playing DoW2. If those both dry up soon I’ll pick Darkfall up… assuming I can pick it up.

  • I think I’m convinced, I first started MMOs with Ultima Online and have always missed that style. One thing I am concerned with is how fun the crafting system is. I have been longing for UO style crafting for some time and hope this game follows that at least somewhat. I still might wait until the queue is down and there’s more information on a North American server.

    This has probably been answered before but what is the lag like for the Americans playing on the Europe server?

  • @Ben Jii

    Its hard to tell its a European server. For me, ping time is below 140ms for 99% of the time. Server population is high nearly round the clock, seeing as the population is split more or less evenly NA vs. EU.

  • I think starting in 6month wont be that much of a problem if you played these sort of games before.. just suck it up and keep working your way up while scouting up a clan to join to help yourself

  • A lot will depend on how much the keep developing the game. EVE is a good example of creating a world where for the most part the players control the destiny of it. The trick is to make sure you get a critical mass of players and are able to keep them. At that point PvP politics will take care of itself.

    I am still a little worried about new unsupported player as the game matures. I don’t really like the idea that survival will mean joining a clan fairly early. But we will have to wait and see.

    I like the idea that there really isn’t an “end-game.” As long as you can be productive in PvP after some initial training, then that is all that matters. Is a pack of newbs (in disposable gear) a threat to almost any single player?

    Anyway, sounds fun. Though I am not sure if I will make the time investment yet. But then I have been in a personal gaming lull 🙂

  • I call bullshit. House of uproar didnt even have 6 members in game when this was posted.