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More on Darkfall’s pacing and other issues

I made mention in yesterday’s entry and subsequent comments that I feel the pacing in Darkfall is off.  I want to expand more on why I believe this to be the case and why I feel that this is the chief cause of my issues with the game.   If you’re not interested in reading how I feel Darkfall could be better, then move along or read the notes at the end.  Oh, and if you choose to link to this post then please carry over the context in which I say something and do not twist what I have to say to make your content more interesting.

The game’s various systems, as flawed as they are, function; Albeit they function poorly at times.  I’ve mentioned before that I really like how the game’s combat feels for the most part and how it exceeded my expectations; all true.   The city building is good.  The siege system is decent, although I don’t like the 4 hour wait.  The skill system sucks but it still works all things considered.

For a game that is built around being a faster pace action oriented game, everything leads players to play at a slower pace.  I can travel from one side of the map to the other, but why would I?  There is no destination, purpose, or incentive.   Players have no reason to congregate anywhere publicly outside of their own Clan or alliance circles.  There are no regions of the map which someone would say “I need to go there to get x or y or z”.  It’s one big world of complacency.   Players aren’t encouraged to get together, they’re encouraged to stay apart.  If you’re one of the lucky ones to get a city then you have everything you need right within your own borders.

Commerce does not exist in the game.  There are a few people who still religiously spam race alliance chat selling their goods, but anyone in a clan or circle of friends has absolutely no need for any of it (Unless you need to buy mass quantities of spell reagents to macro with).   Even if there were things people would really want to by and sell, the game does not support player run cities turning into hubs of trade.  There are no player merchants or carts or ways to facilitate trade (even if it were to exist).

The entire game has become one of giant complacency.   Aventurine needs to implement neutral cities, without towers, that people would want to go to for something.  In these neutral cities and around them should be rarer resources that players will fight over or share – it’s up to the community.  Players need alternative incentives and the ability to police the server.  Lines must be drawn and the server community must be able to take over.  As it stands now, no community really exists in this game which is not good for a sandbox style.  There must be incentives for players to get out and do things.

Too much grinding and/or preparation for not enough return on the time investment is required.   The game is high stakes, but no one has anything to lose aside from their big property.  Taking that property requires (on EU1 because of the alliance situation) hundreds and hundreds of people.  The zerging nature of the game is another way in which the pacing is off.   One guild sieging something from another guild would be rare.  It’s more like ten guilds against one or ten guilds vs. ten guilds and whoever brings the most people wins.   This forces huge sieges to go down rarely; Or rather huge sieges of worth.

If the game is going to remain this way, then it’s a detriment to the part of the game that is functioning properly.  The political struggle and the actual taking of areas is the fun part.  That’s ultimately what the game boils down to.  So, if it’s going to happen rarely then we need something in the interim.  Adding the neutral cities with resources or other incentives to go after in places around the world would work, but we also need some solid PvE.  As they say, PvE builds wealth and PvP spreads it out.   I want to suggest better dungeon crawls, loot, and other PvE incentives but I think that’s beyond Aventurine’s abilities.

Bottom line:  We need stuff to do.   Yes, in sandbox games it’s all about making your own content.  However, when you’re given so little to work with you do reach a point where it becomes impossible or the pacing drags the game into the gutter.  The game just gets boring far too quickly.

Keen’s Notes: Solid ideas in Darkfall.  Unique and interesting approach.  Some good, some bad mechanics.  Malleable world.  Need more to do.  Overall poor execution across the board on implementation.   Fun?  Only sometimes.   Worth buying?  Wait for the N.A. release.  Am I still playing?  Yes.  For how long?  I don’t know.

I encourage people who comment to try and brainstorm ways in which Aventurine can fix Darkfall’s predicament, assuming you agree, or things Aventurine can add/take away to make the game better.

  • Jeremy T says:

    In a lot of ways, I think developers (in general, not just Aventurine) look to PvP as an *alternative* to content. I’m pretty sure AoC had the same basic philosophy: “Hey, just let them fight each other, it’ll be great!”

    People can knock WAR all they want (and it does have major problems), but when I play a PvP game, I want to actually be fighting somebody, and WAR at least gets that right. Good PvP doesn’t simply happen in a vacuum – the developers have to make it happen.

  • Skuishe says:

    I agree with you completely Keen. The game is really just lacking a meaningful means or reason to pvp on a smaller scale. When we started out, we kidded ourselves with the availabilities of raiding the orc lands, but I think ultimately, other than a little cheap fun that often takes hours to develop for a few minutes, there is really no incentive or reward from it.

    I think an easy first step would be just to have very few very useful resource nodes that would be in the best interests of neighboring clans to harvest as a group, or a king of the hill type location that grants some kind of bonus etc.

    The problem I think will be in that zergs are always going to have an advantage. So what kind of zone incentives can you implement that won’t attract the massive zergs to dominate them, but still be more than appealing for small groups to organize around?

    Another thing I think would help out a lot would be to unglobalize banks. Split up banks into zones, so that a player city’s bank reaches it’s adjacent wilderness banks, and the racial cities all reach each other etc. But definitely don’t let player cities reach each other or more than a 5 minute mount ride away. What will this do? Caravans! Constructable slow moving transport trucks. What will that do? Caravan raids! Couuld you imagine a situation where a clan’s caravan gets raided, and while the raiders try to move the thing back to their own bank, the clan brings people back and a long term tug of war battle ensues with a clear reward at the end. Think about the ambushes that could be set up on known roads and the use of terrain advantages to cut off the slow moving caravan. Right now open world fights are next to impossible because everyone has a mount, and those things move fast/at the same speed.

    To make something like that work, they would also have to somewhat unglobalize commonly used resources. The lack of trade comes from the fact that everyone can get just about everything in their own little area. The one thing I imagine it would be worth it to get from people outside of your immediate vicinity are clan city specific stuff, but those as of yet are neither vital enough, nor unique enough.

    Ultimately again I think you’re spot on in thinking Darkfall is the foundation of a great idea, but just simply does not have enough in it to make it a good long term solution. I hope Aventurine has a lot up their sleeves for the near and long term future!

  • Glen says:

    Any game that allows one group to bring ‘one more guy’ to a fight will end up with zergs. Its just reality. The only solution I have seen that works is instancing.

  • Wickidd says:

    I like your ideas Skuishe.

    I would like to see the costs for constructing the cities and hamlets reduced by about 50%. I also think that building warhulks and ships should be much easier than it is. At this rate, it will be months before we see naval, and siege engine combat on a regular basis; if at all.

    Darkfall is bogging itself down with way too much work, and not enough play. The risk to reward ratio really needs to be adjusted to get players into action.

    The game is still fun for me atm, but less work and more play would really help the game in the long run.

  • garumoo says:

    I was just wondering if DF had important resources available everywhere, across all lands, or whether somethigns were geographically limited. Sounds like it’s everywhere, no wonder trade is non-existent.

    If steedgrass was only available in the savannah region of the world, far far away from [wherever], and meanwhile another (different place) was the only source of iron for weapons/armor .. then there would arise a trade economy worth fighting for.

    Imagine, great battles between lightly armoured mounted barbarians and great lumbering phalanxes of storm troopers who are the masters of steel.

  • Keen says:

    Wickidd really worded it well. Darkfall is too much work and not enough play. Accessibility to all the “cool” things like Warhulks, battle ships, city sieges, etc., is too limiting.

    @Garumoo: Everything is everywhere and cities give you higher concentrations of that same resource that is everywhere. You’ve got the idea. Make resources regional, place extra rare resources in areas that LOTS of people will congregate.

  • Deigh says:

    Even if Warhulks were less costly to build, would people use them? People are successfully siegeing without them, so why would they bother? I guess they would be if cities could build defences that required a hulk, or ship cannons to take them down; but from what I understand there’s nothing in a city that can’t be overcome by a zerg of players with hammers?

    From my limited understanding of EVE, Cap Ships are not built because they look cool, they’re built because they’re mandatory for taking over territory.

  • Keen says:

    Perhaps warhulks would eliminate the need for hundreds of people. If 20-30 could use warhulks then it would be faster pace and more fun. Now that cities have gates, warhulks would make things much easier.

  • mikesaysno says:

    Hyperion and the huge alliances are what’s killing the game at this point. Right now the huge alliances are in this cold war of sorts, if it were more guild vs. guild, like it was at launch, the game would be much more fun.

    It’s retarded running into these huge battles and not having a fucking clue who you can attack because both sides are comprised of every clan on the damn server.

    Also as someone said a few comments up, the risk/reward has to be toned down. Some people scream carebear when you suggest this but it’s true. The amount of work that goes into city/hamlet construction, all the way down to gearing yourself properly for pvp, can be staggering. People now a days aren’t going to wander out when there is a very high chance you’ll lose everything that you spent a large amount of time in putting together.

  • Zorg says:

    sounds like you are ready to get back to WAR, lol; and a good timeing too, with a new patch an’ all 🙂

    http://herald.warhammeronline.com/patchnotes/index.php#_48

  • Longasc says:

    Players just cannot kill others and get killed over and over and find that all new and exciting.

    And most players just do not WANT to PvP. Just like I claim that raiding is NOT what most people actually want to do. They only THINK they do, PvP has been hyped as “fun, neverending endgame content” for years.

    It just never worked out so far. I just think that PvP games kill their own player base, no kidding! 🙂
    Strong PvP focus is the worst possible basis for a MMO, especially for those who want a virtual “world” more than a game.

  • Proximo says:

    @Zorg: Judgning from Snafzg last post on The Greenskin blog now is not the time to go back, yet ><
    He was not at all happy with the situation after the patch.

    @Longasc: You keep saying that, but how do you explain why millions of people still are playing the COD series, the Battlefield series, the Quake series, Team Fortress 2 and last but defo not least Counterstrike on a daily basis (in multiplayer ofc)?
    They are doing NOTHING but killing eachother over and over and over and over again.
    To SOME people that IS enough to keep them interested, even though you feel you need more in a MMO that does not make it the only working concept!
    Ohh want another example of a game where people do nothing but PvP ? Guild Wars. Yes it has PvE content, but they started selling PvP only versions of their game (you can make a char that starts at lvlcap and only do PvP with it) and it has sold more than the PvE version of their game.

    Hell even in WoW there are people who level a char to lvlcap to only do Arena, doing PvE only because it’s a necessary evil to get gold/mats for enchants etc.

    Again, even if YOU don’t feel like a PvP only game would bring you enough fun that does not mean it’s true for everyone else.

  • Schtee says:

    I was going to say something drawn-out and analytical, but a lot of it’s covered in the article and comments. But yes, I think it boils down to not having enough game to it. Lots of screwing around to get to it, though.

    I think you’re right: incentivising distribution of the players with varied opportunities in different places would totally help make things more interesting though.

  • Longasc says:

    Because neither of them are MMOs, Proximo.

    I prefer the idea of a virtual world MMO, if you want to go on a killing spree, you should not play a MMO.

    Forget about a MMO if all for what you need it is to be a wallpaper for a massive scale combat simulator.

  • Longasc says:

    BTW, I played Guild Wars, and you make a very good point: 90% if not more of the persistent population of GW are PvE players who rarely do more than an Alliance Battle, if at all.

    It is sad that your imagination of a MMO is stuck in combat. Now you see how mindless that is in Darkfall – and the way to improve the situation is to make the “combat” better??? It does not work, that is the problem.

    I actually would recommend Diablo 3, if it is like Diablo 2, all about combat – not really that much PvP, though, right.

    The only successful “PvP” MMO out there is EVE, and it offers more than PvP. If you played it how much else you do before you clash for a few minutes, including hours of waiting.

    And EVE has a huge carebear population too, that does not hang around in 0.0 much… take a look, EVE development over the years, things did not change much:

    http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j319/Longasc/Special/EVE-PilotsinSpace-2005-October-22.jpg

    http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j319/Longasc/Special/EVE-PilotsinSpace-2009-March-03.jpg

  • Longasc says:

    Oh my, I included a link and I am no awaiting moderation. Please wait for it, Proximo, I added some thoughts and comments regarding Guild Wars, Diablo and so on – plus some nice EVE Online pics about the distribution of the population.

  • Phandy says:

    I think there needs to be a better incentive to raid cities without the objective of actually taking the city over. Using a cities Resource Nodes simply isn’t good enough.

  • Proximo says:

    @Longasc: I think you are just misusing terms.
    MMO = Massively Multiplayer Online
    Nothing in there stats the need for a MMO game to have anything like a virtual world to explore with good lore/storyline etc. It just needs to be online and multiplayer on a massive scale (hence not limited to servers with small playercaps).
    What you are referring to is the RPG part of MMORPG, thats where a virtual world comes into play imo, and I can live without it.

    So why ain’t I playing FPS or MMOFPS then ? Well as I stated before I prefer swords and axes to guns and grenades. The minute a pure QUALITY multiplayer PvP game with a fantasy setting (hence the sword and axes) is released, I will be there trying it.

    One thing you just need to accept is that people look for different things in games. I have leveled chars in WoW only to do battlegrounds and arena with, I never EVER read a single questlog, I could not care less about the story in WoW, I just wanna PvP, nothing more nothing less.
    I don’t see why that is so hard to comprehend? 0o

  • Proximo says:

    Forgot to add:
    I actually quit playing WoW because it forced me into doing PvE content to keep up with the PvP. You can’t PvP at a competitive level unless you have good enchants and gems for your gear, and gold/mats for that is found in PvE.

    That said I can enjoy PvE as a break from PvP, but I don’t want it to interfere with or be required for me to PvP.

  • Longasc says:

    I do not want to question your preferences and tastes. I am sorry if you felt this way. What you want is absolutely OK.

    You want a massive online battle between lots of people, with swords and axes. This is great, I would like that, too. I would also like a medieval setting siege and assault the besieged city and so on! I actually hoped for something like that in Age of Conan, but this game did not deliver either. Mount & Blade is an offline game, but delivers something close to that, but a multiplayer expansion is soon to be released, FYI, maybe you will like this game.

    Back to MMO and PvO: The massive scale pvp world you described does not exist. I even doubt it will ever, as I said above.

    A huge world, tons of players, pvp everywhere – it does not work. We cannot fight permanently. This also gets stale. It would not work with a subscription model. I cannot imagine it to work in a persistant MMO setting, and we have lots of games that tried and failed at doing something like that.

    I really liked Novalogic’s “Joint Operations” series. It was a bit like Battlefield and Counter-Strike, but maps were larger, often huge, and there were vehicles and all that. You could log in and out whenever you wanted, take objectives, achieve a “final” victory and so on.

    Maybe this model, it was also free to play, would work better to deliver the experience you want.

    But somehow I dare to ask: Are you not asking for a virtual world to have combat/PvP in? You said “no”, but somehow I feel you still want a persistant world for PvP, not a game with map rotation, with maps of considerable huge size.

    The inclusion of PvP in decidedly PvE focused worlds is causing problems on both ends. You will have to make sure there is some balance for PvP, on the other hand you have the PvE side. Try to marry both, and you managed to marry two things that are totally different. Be ready for the inevitable divorce and people being unhappy.

    This is why I prefer a focus on PvE… OR on PvP. Try to mix both, and you please and piss off everyone at the same time.

    Just take a look at Guild Wars, two totally separate games (PvE and PvP) sharing one set of skills in there, causing lots of problems.

  • Jordan says:

    Wasn’t there supposed to be 10 or so cities that had something called “wonders” applied to them that would give every guildie belonging to that city some special powers/bonuses or something? Thought i read that, and if so that would seem to provide another good incentive for meaningfull clan battles and city sieges.

    Maybe it hasn’t been implemented yet? At any rate, this game is still in its infancy. Sea battles haven’t even started yet (to my knowledge). There’s probably still content that hasn’t even been uncovered or identified yet. I agree they do need more PvE. I’m curious why you believe that is not within AVs ability to provide? At the speed they are releasing new content just a month or so into the release i see no reason why they won’t be able to ramp up the PvE content both in the short and long term.

    At any rate, the game certainly isn’t perfect I agree. But honestly it blew me away as far as my expectations and i think the foundation is there for a potentially great game if they make the right dev decisions going forward, add PvE content etc. and ensure there are meaningfull reasons to have both small and large-scale battles raging across the map.

  • Proximo says:

    No I’m not looking for a huge persistent world to PvP in either, I could gladly queue for battleground/arena type of games from the loginscreen for that matter. The core I am looking for in a game is a SMALL scale PvP, not huge zerg fights like WAR. If they choose to add a huge persistent world to explore with crafting and stuff (fluff) then fine by me, but it’s not essential for my liking of the game.

  • Zebarmy says:

    @ Jordon

    Wonders are in, one has been built in game already.

    City buildings such as the Clan Barracks and Clan Church give passive bonuses to the owning Clan, in the form of hitpoints etc. Cities with Mines etc are also a HUGE benefit if they are managed properly, being able to churn out 2-3k of ore in under 10 minutes once a day and then setting your weaponsmiths and armoursmiths to task works well in not worrying about losing gear 🙂

    I’ve lost a city in game, and am currently host to another, I am enjoying the ebb and flow. The siege of our city was not zergy, at best there was 50 players on each side. Via diplomacy we convinced the big zergy alliances to not take a side on either attacker or defender team. We lost due to superior tactics on the behalf of the attackers.

    The game still has huge potential for me, and I believe it will be realised. Small scale PVP does and will happen.

    Now all I need is to upgrade my peice of crap 5 year old machine, so that larger scale combat doesn’t cripple me (although my client lag makes me nigh on invulnerable, albeit unable to hit anyone either…)

  • Pierre says:

    One thing that I think is lost in darkfall is the scale.

    The developers obviously had in mind people waging epic wars conquering cities from each other following the ebb and flow of battle.

    But they were thinking on a large scale, these political and military games might be played out over years of time, with some fun sieging now and again i’m sure.

    But AV never seemed to bother with the individual’s game, what are you supposed to do while you’re NOT in an epic siege? Run around and grind gold/mats from naked macro miners? Gank people? Sure it might be fun and so for a bit, but there is really no GOAL for the individual.

    In games like WoW, the individual’s goal became Gear — collecting leet epix. The big goal was conquering dungeons. Imagine having to play battlegrounds all the time in WoW – but not really gaining any special gear or rewards – only to run a dungeon once a week.

    Sure, PvP is fun. But I don’t think i should have to pay a monthly fee for that. There’s way too many games that offer PvP (for PvP’s sake) for free: TF2 is my drug of choice.

  • Keen says:

    That’s precisely it, Pierre. That’s part of the pacing problem comes in to play. The game is so focused around territory changing hands that nothing else goes on. Since the game is in a state where it takes 100’s of people to siege something, the individual (or let’s even say small group of 10-20) is lost to do nothing but wait (once they have accomplished all there is to do).

    What you’re pointing out is precisely what I’m saying. Once you run around and grind all the mats you need to max crafting then you can gank naked macro miners or newbs or do random skirmishes — but that only stays fun for about a month. Looking at my calendar it’s about that time.

    I think Darkfall’s type of territorial conflict and heavy influence on PvP is perfect but there needs to be more injected in to the emptiness.

  • Jordan says:

    Keen- why do you believe they don’t have the capability to be putting in/adding to the PvE content? I understand what you are saying and agree if they don’t do this it will certainly hurt the long-term aspirations of the game, but if they do add to the PvE this game could become really something special as more content is added for the small groups to do/fight over etc. So far i see no reason why they can’t/won’t be doing this.

  • Keen says:

    I think we have to assess what they have been able to do during this game’s development, and what they’ve done since it released. The state of the game right now looks grim. People have exploited, hacked, and all of it is still being swept under the rug by Aventurine. From what they have delivered, I can’t possibly see this company capable of developing (any time soon) the level of quality and direction PvE would need to redeem it.

  • Jordan says:

    That’s brings up another good point…how extensive is the hacking?

    I don’t get a ton of play time admittedly, but i’ve had the game over 3 weeks and i’ve yet to see a single hacker in game. I know they exist, i’ve seen the videos on Youtube…but in reading some message boards you’d think people run into hackers every 3 minutes in the game. I’ve played probably close to 10 hours and have yet to see a single hacker. I think this is one issue that, while it certainly exist, is really overblown in my experience. Having said that, i am looking forward to either moving/starting over on a new server with some of the fixes they’ve put in place to curtail the exploits.

    I’d also disagree with you on the progress they’ve made since release. I’ve been pretty impressed by the content and speed of the patches they’ve put so far into the game in the last month. A lot of balancing fixes, quests, world population adjustments…heck people begged for gates to be added, which would seem to be a fairly significant request, and 2-3 weeks later they were added in a patch. reading your blog it seems you’re not nearly as impressed. What do you find lacking in the fixes? Not fast enough? Not enough content being added? I imagine this game a year from now, if they keep up their current pace…man that’s a lot of potential content/enhancements a year down the road imo.

  • Howdy Doody says:

    I agree with pretty much everything here. The problem for me is now that I have played DF going back to WAR is harder. I played a bunch of WAR last night, and as much as I did have a great time, that feeling of danger/suspense/not knowing whats going to happen, just wasn’t there.

    I ran into an enemy archer (I’m a Squig Herder) of equal lvl out in RvR area, had a great fight but the feeling of danger wasn’t there. He almost killed me, but I got him, but there was still no real feeling of victory. No, looting all his stuff, and no feeling of knowing I just took all his stuff.

    But overall I had a great time “rolling with the fellas'” so my plan is to just switch back and forth, and hope AV gets it together.

  • Howdy Doody says:

    I agree with you Jordan, I have been pretty happy with the progress they have made considering how rough the game was at launch.

    I’ll be giving it another month or two and see how they do.

  • […] has highlighted his thoughts on the downsides of Darkfall and the summation seems to be that players aren’t taking the time to build before the blood. So the PvP / gameplay is […]

  • humwha says:

    I don’t really play darkfall but it seems like you all need trade alliances. Make a caravan, or cart that rolls from your city to your trade partner make it like a risk reward system.
    if your trade partner is far far away you get a increasing in profit upon destination.

    Not sure on currency in the game if you want to make it grindy could use monster drops or something or just strait cash. transport 50 gold to ur partner you get 70 gold or something, would lead to lot of war and a piracy dynamic.

  • TonyMcS says:

    It’s already been mentioned by a few people, but if you want PvP then play something like Team Fortress 2. If you are going to spend virtually all your time fighting, then there’s really not that much use in having a sandbox/virtual world around you. I play WoW for a variety of reasons, but PvP isn’t one of them. Even on a PvE server, I can duel(now with jousting ;-)),battleground, arena, Wintergrasp or a variety of PvP quests. All of them are occasional fun, but if I want PvP action I go FPS. WoW’s Warsong Gulch (a battleground) is a variant of 2Fort but much slower with twinks winning the day. With TF2, I log in and select and I’m part of the action rather than waiting in queues for the BG.

    PvP is also about making a difference and being just one of the footsoldiers in a massive zerg just doesn’t seem to give the same satisfaction as being a member in a smaller team. The other problem with MMO PvP is lag, perhaps a faster Internet and more powerful servers will help in the future, but throwing hundreds of people into one area is inevitably going to cause lag problems – that said WoW’s Wintergrasp seems to function quite well but rarely gets huge numbers.

    If you really want the thrill of hand-to-hand combat put boxing gloves on the Heavy, switch to the axe for the Pyro, broken bottle for the Demo, surgical saw for the Doc, baseball bat for the Scout and a wrench for the engy 😉

  • Ripper Mcgee says:

    So, in other words, the honeymoon is over. Great idea, poor execution. Fun at times, but needs work in order to attract and retain more customers. Right?

    ~Ripper

  • Chris says:

    Hey Proximo and Longasc, forgive me if I’m late to the discussion, but I’ve one MMO that might interest you guys. It’s sort of describing what I imagined Darkfall to be(if you dont mind the first person perspective). Big open world, large scale PVP, with a side emphasis on story. I think this is what I’m looking for in an MMO, and for those looking for a PVP focused MMO for large scale combat, this could be it.

    http://www.mortalonline.com/

  • wufiavelli says:

    every part of this game seems to work but sucks. The game pisses me off even more with its ability to actually have some greatness but only shoot itself in the foot with crappy design decisions.

    Its not even like bugs are the thing that is killing this game. Its crappy melee, crappy magic, crappy crafting, ok sieging, less then par pve (yeh many disagree with me on this).

  • Longasc says:

    @Chris: I already heard about this game, thanks for the link, I am reading up about it right now.

  • […] said it a month earlier, and because I represent the “big, bad, corporate MMO site.”  Keen has now said, and I quote: For a game that is built around being a faster pace action oriented game, everything leads players […]

  • DM says:

    Well keen TheMercs just used boats to raid Dusk, Oromea, Hyperion and other cities.

    Dont underestimate the real PVPers, they all will risk loosing crap for “pwnage”

    Video of real boats vs cities:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVGNsSzTcSI

    http://conqueragon.gameriot.com/videos/Darkfall-World-First-Ship-Warfare-1-of-2

    This will become the norm in a few weeks, just like warhulks.

  • Keen says:

    Correct, TheMercs will for sure. You’re aware of how they obtained all that money, right?

    Keep in mind that it’s not to say these things wont’t happen, it’s just that they won’t happen at the pace they should. They won’t happen as frequently as they should. This stuff won’t happen as much as it needs to in order for the game’s pacing to correct itself. A ship will always be a pain in the arse for any legitimate player or group of players to craft. Eventually we’ll see fleets of them, but they’ll still have taken that time to build.

  • Jordan says:

    Keen- I’m not saying this as an insult so don’t take it that way…but from what i’ve seen in reading your blog over the last month or two (and especially your last couple of blogs on Darkfall), it seems to me that as a gamer you have a mentality more in line with games like Warcraft or Wow, where there is more action more frequently and there is less preparation and work involved in getting to that action. And there is nothing wrong with that. Many people (most in fact) feel the same way. I see a lot of posts on different forums saying essentially “hey, i work enough at my real job. I don’t want to have to work in my games as well…”. I definitely understand that perspective.

    For me though, having to put in some time and work and preparation in a game makes it much more enjoyable at the end of the day because it gives those battles or other encounters more “weight”. If building those big warships was easy and every clan had them and sea battles were breaking out every 30 minutes, to me it would greatly lessen the “cool factor” of those battles when they did happen. Just the fact that you have to spend so much time/money/effort to build them i think makes them that much better to have and to see, and it makes you appreciate them that much more knowing how much work went into it.

    I’m not saying Darkfall has that balance perfected for me. But i like the work/play balance much closer to what Darkfall currently has vs. most other mmorpgs that have come out over the last…well pretty much ever since EQ. From what i can tell you appear to be a little bit more in the other camp on the work/play sliding scale in which case i’m not sure Darkfall if ever going to be the game you really want it to be, even if they fix some of the other issues (namely more PvE content).

  • Nobs says:

    Keen,
    I like your writing style but it seems to me that you are forming conclusions about games before you really let the newness wear off. Just a month ago DFO was one of the best games you’d ever played and now it’s mediocre. I’m not disagreeing with the lastest review but it does your fans a diservice being so wishy washy.

    Nobs

  • […] had a good article about travel in MMOs as did Keen and Graev although it was a by-product of his Darkfall recap. I’d suggest you check them out the next […]

  • Keen says:

    @Jordan: Fair assesment that I want faster action, and you’re fairly spot on that WoW’s pacing matches what I want. However, the gameplay doesn’t. You’ll probably not be able to believe me when I say that I actually like grinds — the group grinds though. I like dungeon crawling grinds. I like investing lots, and lots, and loooooots of time into that stuff.

    I like working towards something, but in Darkfall’s case I think it’s working towards something that ultimately is not worth it. That right there is the key. Making it worth it will make all the difference.

    @Nobs: My perspective changes, as does everyone’s as they play games for a week, then a month, then longer. When the game first launched, it was fantastic. A month down the road, it’s full of exploiters and macroers and the overall feel of the game has tanked. I think it would be more of a disservice to try and pretend that opinions do not change. Someone watching from the sidelines should know that they may enjoy the beginning of the game but not the end. In Darkfall’s case, they may like the beginning now less than I did because of the game’s current state.

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