Bringing you up to speed on where I’m at in Darkfall

It has been a little while since I gave you all an update on where I’m at in Darkfall.  The last you all heard from me about Darkfall was about a week ago when I told you of the siege our alliance made against the Varangian Guard City on Yssam.  To sort of finish off the explanation of that siege, it ended in a timeout due to the cannons and siege hammers doing no damage to the stone.  The day after our semi-failed siege, Aventurine fixed the problem.

Haven has a Hamlet!  Every hamlet and city on EU-1, the only server, is taken.  Sieging, just now being fixed, is still shakey at best.  One of the clans in our alliance, Syzygian Hammer, had claimed a hamlet early on and decided for whatever reason that they did not need/want to build it up.  Since Haven, 50+ active strong, wanted and had the means to build it up, the Hamlet of Aldan Enak (Aventurine picked the name, not us) is now ours.

Much of the past week was dedicated towards camping mobs for money and wittling away at trees and rocks for resources.  We’re a resourceful bunch.  We managed to gather up over 30k gold, 6k stone, and 2.4k wood.   We have maxed out our hamlet, or at least we think we have, with 4 Houses, a farm, a workbench, a merchant, and a bank.  The farm allows us to harvest everything we need for food, potions, and mounts.  The houses let us bind more people to the hamlet stone, the workbench is for several crafts like Construction and Bowyer, and the merchant/bank of couse are self explanatory.

The city has a few natural barriers (rocks) that protect us from being attacked from a great distance.  The lack of walls forces us to be constantly on our guard and expecting someone to just ride in and thwack us as we bank.  Our houses act as elevated barricades and walls in a way, so we do have a decisive advantage against a mounted or ground assault.   It’s a modest place, but it’s ours and we’re happy to have it.

PvP, because of our location now, has been very active.  We’ve been attacked by people just passing by, had to chase out unwelcomed visitors, and even been attacked by players we feel traveled to us with the intent to fight us.  The vast majority of the time we end up winning all our skirmishes that happen at our Hamlet.  We’ve even taken to attacking our neighbors a bit.  Although they don’t own it now, Orks R Us were kind enough to give us Black Knight armor and all sorts of resources when we infiltrated their city with a mask task force.

As for my character, progression is going very slow.  I feel like I’ve hit a wall with him.  My Greatsword skill is 33, my 1h axe skil is 24, my 1h hammer/club is 27, my Greataxe is 24.   Raising the weapon skills isn’t providing me with any real advantage.  I feel like it takes forever to raise them and there isn’t much point.  I can wear the best armor (that I know of).  PvE is just a matter of zerging a mob and surrounding it to trap it in.  I still feel like the AI is not intelligent, it’s just programmed to spaz out.   I’m going to need the PvE in Darkfall to get a bit better or I fear that I might actually get bored in the near future.  PvP is dangerous, fun, and dynamic… but it doesn’t happen as often as I would like.  Due to the size of the land and the way the game is designed for territorial conflicts, there isn’t much of the random skirmishes you might see in other games.  People really do spread out and there aren’t any real gathering spots.  Geopolitical conflicts are the end-game right now – that’s a good thing.  Aventurine can and should add more reason for players to congregate in one area though.

  • It sounds pretty awesome. There are certainly times when I wish I was playing Darkfall, but WAR is still providing me with entertainment. Now with Mortal Online on the horizon I may wait and see how that ends up. Hopefully I can get in the beta to see for myself.

    Anyways if you do get bored (hopefully you don’t, I know you were looking forward to DFO) pop back into WAR and shoot me a tell and we can rock some small group play =).

  • Why do people complain about the AI and say they need to zerg it. If you zerg npcs mobs in any game it is going to make the pve boring.

    They probably should though give alot of the mobs area of effect spells to counter the zerging.

  • @wufiavelli

    Well, the mobs are nuts. Plainly put, a lot of them simply run around like chickens with their heads cut off. In order to hit them (at all!), you have to completely box them in, so they can’t move. So you need 4-6 melee players.

    Of course, you can use other tactics — arrows and MM spam works well too, even for spazz mobs. But box & spank seems to be the easiest and most reliable for the crazies.

    On the other hand, mobs can be down right devious at times. We were ranged attacking some Goblin Lords the other day from the outskirts of their city. After awhile, they all kinda disappeared. I crept into their city to find them huddled in the middle healing themselves back to full. Pretty smart. So it’s hit & miss, imho.

  • Just finished a night of Yssam pvp fun, good to have you Haven guys with us.
    -Realm of Kirdain (Hyperion)

  • No queue issues now after some upgrades. They’ve opened up sales again after about a week of none. They’re still selling limited copies.

  • The mobs do run around like chickens with their heads cut off, but so do players. Boxing the mobs in is a great tactic just as it is against other players. I still feel that the npc AI is good and has some random elements to them. Imo, Darkfall’s mob AI is far superior to that of WAR and WoW.

  • Yea I like the AI also. I do notice that the mobs will run away crazy, but usually not until they are either out numbered or about to die. Anytime I go against 2 or 3 AI, they come at me like a pack of wild dogs. Some kite me, some try and get in behind me. Of course this doesn’t happen that often because very rarely am I alone when fighting AI.

  • Two issues with your lack of PvP. One, you are part of the biggest alliance, so anyone entering your area knows they will have 50+ swarming them shortly. You are also based in a somewhat out-of-the-way location, making your hamlet undesirable to attack and capture (not to mention the cost of attacking Hyperion). Being close to the orc area does not help either, as they are underpopulated as a race and many have moved over to the west side of the map.

    About your skills, while it’s not confirmed, rumor has it spreading out your skills makes them go up slower overall. You should focus on 1-2 weapons instead of 4. Also, higher weapon skill increases the effectiveness of higher-ranked weapons, but does little to improve your ability with a starter weapon.

    Other hamlets/cities have other buildings to build. Ours for instance has a mage-like structure (forget the name now), along with walls and a general store. Perhaps looking around for a more suitable home might be in order?

  • @Syncaine: You should reread my post. 😛 I said, “PvP, because of our location now, has been very active.” Our Hamlet has tons of action. Heck, sometimes I want to just be left alone and can’t get it because we have so much action there. It’s great.

    Where I’m saying the PvP is lacking in volume is in the completely random skirmishes. The world is so big that it doesn’t facilitate people bumping into each other a lot (Once you’ve outgrown the newbie experience).

  • So I’m confused, is the volume of PvP lacking or is your hamlet seeing tons of action? Those seem to be contradicting statements. Or is your hamlet only seeing raid-level combat at all times?

    The world is big, so the odds of two groups bumping into each other off the more well-traveled paths is indeed rare (and even more so that both groups would actually engage). That issue can be somewhat solved by knowing the more popular spots in enemy territory, and having a solid PvP ‘ring’ to travel along. It’s a give and take though, a huge world means more empty space.

  • Two types of PvP that I’m trying to isolate.

    1) The interactive PvP that happens when people randomly cross paths in the world.

    2) The PvP that happens near and around cities.

    Let me try and input a few familiar names/places from past games to illustrate.

    Type 1 would happen near Freeport, Bree (if pvp could happen there), or Blackrock Mountain. People would be in an area with an expressed purpose because the game naturally draws them there. PvP here can be happenstance or intentional.

    Type 2 is what happens when people are headed in a certain direction with the intent upon arriving at a location or passing through an area to fight. ie. fighting in a player hamlet.

    The Key to it all:
    I’m saying that I wish the game gave people more incentive to pool together in common areas instead of incentives to spread far apart.

    Is it a byproduct of a huge world? Largely in part, yes. It’s also how the game is designed so that people squat on plots of land to protect them that adds to it.

    I don’t have much to complain about here. The PvP is great. I’m trying to express how I think it would be even better – it’s what I do.

  • @keen

    Definitely agree. In my opinion, there’s too much incentive to hole up in your hamlet/city. There should be reasons to go to racial cities — this would make alignment more important as well. (Going red right now means nothing. No change in game play in the least.) I’d like to see some incentive to go into “enemy territory” as well — e.g. dwarf retrieval quest for something near an orc city. We’ll see how things develop.

    PS: GJ pulling freeport and brm into the discussion, btw 😉

  • @Keen: Ah ok, I get what you are trying to say now. I always view the popular PvE spots (dungeons, gnoll/troll camps with the related kill quest) as those “draw players together” areas. Anytime we go to those spots, we know to keep our head on a swivel and bring some solid numbers. Other, more ‘remote’ spots are considered safer and can be tackled by smaller groups. Maybe your area just does not play out like that?

    The other factor in all this is the distance between starting locations for the different races. In a local dungeon, we don’t get random humans dropping by, as it’s way too far a walk for them. I’m guessing more near the center of the map things are a bit more dicey, but I don’t actually know.