Good ideas poorly executed: Darkfall
Let’s get right down to it: Darkfall was a swing and a miss. The game definitely had the right idea. The sentiment of a hardcore pvp game with action influence and all the stuff about Darkfall that makes it the game it is today (I won’t list them, sorry) can be credited, as ideas, as a success. However, ideas alone do not carry the player to, or provide, an atmosphere of ‘stayability’. Darkfall’s execution, or implementation, of these ideas was a miss. The skill system, as I have said all along, is not what it could have or should have been. What should have been designed as a game with constant action, accessibility, constant territory struggles, big battles and big toys like warhulks and battleships was lost somewhere along the way.
The pacing in Darkfall is all off. As a good friend pointed out, 1 hour of fun costs 5+ hours of work. I’m not averse to earning something or working towards something, but it’s not the same thing. It takes months of macro farming to get to the point of making one battle ship. No one is going to take that one battle ship out and do anything; 1) because they can’t and 2) because they won’t risk it. It takes hundreds of people to successfully siege anything. Players would rather sit in town and spam macro mana missiles to compete against the people to exploited their weapon skills than commit to any large battle. No one is doing anything in Darkfall but sitting around! When you finally do find someone out and about wanting a struggle it’s either a completely lopsided battle with you in gear and them naked, or it’s going against someone who has exploited all their stats and skills to 100. Oddly enough, it’s like the polar opposite of Warhammer Online where everything was happening too quickly. Find the middle ground – someone – I beg you!
Why am I still playing? Couple reasons.
1.) I have friends playing and I enjoy playing with them regardless which game I’m playing.
2.) Maybe Aventurine will fix it. (LOL)
3.) When sieges do happen and people actually play the game, instead of sitting in their cities amassing skill points in a horrific skill system that resembles a vertical line, it’s fun! I feel like I sit around all day or spend hours upon hours looking for this fun. When stuff happens it rocks and I want more. Sometimes it’s easier to just sit in town because you’ll get more done than riding around the world looking for someone.
Will I keep playing? Not sure. EU-1 has gone to hell. I will leave the server in a heartbeat of the next one opening. Ideally it would be a North American server, but I’m not expecting one for another 6 years. The bottom line is that I want to play Darkfall. Still a fan here folks.
It almost feels like burnout, yet it’s not. Burnout is a personal issue, whereas this is the game’s issue. It’s like… if burnout could happen to a game instead of a player (how philosophical is that?!) It’s an issue with pacing and the game starting to collapse in on itself due to crippling issues brought on by poor execution of good ideas. Ultimately, it’s a sandbox without enough sand. Whatever that means.