Hundreds do battle in my first Darkfall City Siege

I logged on yesterday to hear the news from our PR Officer that we (Haven) were going to participate in a massive battle with Society of the Anvil, Drunken Beggar Clan, Styzgian Hammer, and the rest of Hyperion Kingdom.  Our target was a major alliance that had formed on the continent of Yssam.  Their recent geopolitical drama put them in a really bad spot.  We had spies in their camps and people ready to backstab.  It was the perfect opportunity to launch an all-out-assult on the heart of their territory.

We formed on the NE continent of Agon in the SotA city.  Departing from there and other nearby locations I would guesstimate our numbers around 100.   We swam the ocean (Which took forever) and eventually ended up on Yssam where we rendezvoused with the Hyperion Kingdom (the guys who like to roleplay), increasing our numbers to around 150.

The plan was simple:  Sneak like ninjas through the jungle and eventually attack the Varangian Guard City.  Covenant of the Pheonix’s city had a siege declared against it by DDI, which I can only guess was the result of their alliance drama (or maybe a convenient attack, who knows.)   The attack would be two-pronged.  We sent two clans to their port and 2-3 to the front door.  The goal here was to stagger our attack and draw them to the back so that they would think our forces wanted to sneak in.  It must have worked, because when our main force came to their front door we pushed through maybe 20-30 guys and demolished all resistance until we had them sandwhiched inside their cave/city.

Once sandwiched, it was only a matter of slowly crushing them with barrages of spells and arrows.  We continued to push and corral them closer and closer to their bindstone until we had them locked down.  They offered pretty good resistance by holding up in their keep and palisades.  However, when Hyperion’s sub clans rolled in through the west and flanked the heck out of them it was all over.

Several other clans tried to show up and put a stop to our conquest such as Awful Company (They’re Goonsquad, but they were swept aside like dust in the path of a unrelenting tornado of awesomeness.  Okay, so my tales of victory are not as good as Gar’s (who actually doubles as a Bard), but I try.

We seized control of their city by way of occupation and the declaration of a siege began.  At this point it was 3am in the morning for most of our guys and the occupation was going to last another 4+ hours.  We left with an immense feeling of satisfaction with our performance during the fight.  My final score was 8 kills and dozens of assists.  Although I am mostly a heavy-melee, I got all but one of my kills (that I count anyway, since I’m not counting naked ganks) with a bow.

A few notes –

  • Turning off shadows and 3d sounds helped lag a lot.
  • Frames were ~25 for me.
  • Sever latency was not an issue for me but it was for some who were holding still and easy targets.
  • Reports did come in that it was “unplayable” for some, who crashed or had to log off to leave.

It’s pretty clear that the performance was not impeccable, but for the number of people we had it was acceptable.  I’ve never seen that number of people in a close area not lagging out in a mmorpg before, so Aventurine did something right with it all.

The mechanics of the whole thing are what do bother me.  Pushing to their stone and then declaring war meant camping and continually having to deal with naked zergs of respawning angry enemies.  Having to sit there for four hours was dumb.  We had clearly won hours ago.   I can see the plus side of having a 4 hour window, but for a hardcore game like Darkfall to be unforgiving in so many areas… giving people a window like this seems out of place.  It’s Darkfall – we’ve gone 99.999% hardcore so why not go the rest of the way?

Overall, great times were had.   Oh, and Jack in the Box Churro Bites are awesome city siege food along with a nice cold Diet Coke.

  • Sounds incredible, and thus the reason I am looking forward to purchasing darkfall. -waits patiently while I hit F5 under news section-

  • Sounds awesome….and yes, if DFO uses any kind of dynamic shadow effect in their engine its going to consume astronomical amounts of video memory. Turning them off will probably help you in any part of the game. I’d be interested to hear what kind of system specs/ISP/in game settings the folks that found the seige “unplayable” were running. I remember that I found WAR seiges unplayable, but my system was 5 years old at the time. Bottom line, can DFO run minimum in game graphics in a playable state during city seiges provided players meet a minimum system spec of 2 gigs RAM and 1 gig video cards. Also, do the files in the Darkfall program folder require systematic cleaning? I know that when playing WoW I’ve found it very helpful to manually delete unused files from the WTF folder every few months. Anyway, great post and look forward to reading more in the future!

  • I’m curious as to what you meant by you had spies in their camps? Were there double-agents in their guild alliance, or were these just sneaky characters staying hidden? Either way it makes for high drama.

  • hmm i find it weird when a game promises great open combat with loads of people and then when it laggs people say well,there were alot of people so its bound to lagg :s
    (im not only refering to darkfall but also warhammer online)

    if te developers cant deliver they should stop promising…by the way ive played many free mmo’s that were able to deliver giant open battles without much lagg.these had way less in graphics but im talking about years ago,so the servers they ran on where also of less quality…newer games dont seem to be able to run without people lagging out 🙁

  • How long and how much resources would it take to build a city like that? If it’s a lot then I’m assuming that’s why they had the four hour time limit (so the loss wasn’t so quick). Still seems kind of excessive. Think a half hour to an hour tops would be sufficient, especially considering defenders are just respawning naked.

    Actually maybe that’s a good lesson. Ensure your forces aren’t all bound to your one home city but instead to multiple nearby areas (if possible). That way they can respawn a distance away, gear up, and charge back to try to regain control.

    BTW the swimming across an ocean in armor just doesn’t seem right. Should make it so the farther from shore you are the more stamina required. Thus it gets really slow moving way out there as you constantly have to stop and regain your energy.

  • Shame the clanstone didn’t take any damage… But It was nice to have you Haven guys with us. You should look into joining up with us at Hyperion.

  • @burnhart

    Don’t be such a cynic. We’re talking 400+ people in the same city /fighting/! This isn’t “Press 1 to nuke” fighting either. You actually have to aim to hit someone. Being able to deliver content like that, even with lag, is good. Doing it fluidly is truly impressive.

    Personally, I had most graphic options enabled at 1920×1200 resolution in window mode, and it was fine. 99% of my frustration came from the inability to tell friend from foe (and, as a result, being a bit unable to contribute).

    As an aside, my internet was being annoying that night, resetting twice during the long fight. =/

  • @Nollind

    Cities take massive amount of resources to build up. The Foundry (where we supposedly build Seige Weapons) takes 2000 modules (500k gold, 100k stone and 100k timber). That alone is quite an achievment.

    But I am in agreement with you on the extended time for seiging. It would suck putting in the amount of time/effort/roesources only to have some zerg come in and destroy that work in 15min.

    That being said the system does need some work to make it work properly.

    For those of you that haven’t seen this here’s a link to how the conquest system is “supposed” to work:

  • Seems like Darkfall just keeps getting more hardcore. I’m starting to see that you spend a lot of time traveling and less time actually fighting…how do you feel about the balance between traveling and fighting in the game Keen?

  • Traveling isn’t bad if you know where you’re going and you just go there. If you have to wait for people and gather and such it can be a pita and take forever.

  • @ Beleg why is it cynic from me to expect a game that promises 400+battles to actualy be able to run 400+battles decently?

    seems common sense to me…

    how u respond is exactly what i posted my my post for,cause people say ow its 400people using loads of different skills,yes very true and i bet it takes alot from their severs.but if they cant deliver they shouldnt promise its that simple.

    is it so wrong from me to want a game that runs smooth?

  • @Keen: “If you have to wait for people and gather and such it can be a pita and take forever”

    /me stares in Darkfall’s future, and foresees analogues of EVE’s alliance warfare logistics features. Parallel evolution can be a wonderful thing. 🙂