It actually came as quite a surprise to open up the inbox and see all the emails you guys sent me about the North American Darkfall server announcement. The K&G Forums were also buzzing with people talking about coming back to the game after being gone for a couple months. The NA Server is being seen as a “second chance” for the game and a chance for not only everyone to have a fresh start but for Aventurine to get it right this time. Had Darkfall launched today it would be in way better shape. It’s a true testament to launching a game when it is “ready” and not a moment before. It’s the same with Warhammer Online (which would have seen easily 2x the numbers and retention rate) and, well, nearly every other MMORPG ever to launch. Some just hit closer to the mark than others, and Darkfall was a long shot that missed.
Since this is a huge opportunity to Aventurine to launch successfully in the global market, we need to evaluate how they’re going to go about correcting their previous mistakes and prevent current ones from plaguing a fresh start. It’s crucial that the tainted exploiters, hackers, and trash from EU-1 stay out of not only NA-1 but additional new servers.
“Character transfer/cloning will become available with a significant delay (months) and possible further restrictions. This concerns only the characters without any of their possessions. More on this at a later date.”
The wording here can be manipulated to mean probably a dozen different things – shocker that MMO devs are spin masters! – but let’s assume that it means server transfers will be available but not for several months after launch and only characters without gear/possessions. I’m opposed to character transfers at all. I think it should be a true relaunch and leave everything behind. But, I’m probably in the minority. Prohibiting transfers for a significant period of time would allow fresh starts to catch up. Technically Darkfall has only been out three or so months and I would think that “significant” would be at least this long. That’s no too bad and given Aventurine’s likely direction (making skilling up easier) it should be even better.
As for Darkfall’s future, Aventurine has a nice long list of things to look forward to. I’d list them all, but I think I can sum it up by saying: “We plan to improve the game entirely”. I’m most interested in how they plan to substantially improve PvE and the economy and add more content. Darkfall’s sandbox nature suffers from being too much box without enough sand. You make your own content in a game like Darkfall, but the line is definitely drawn at a point where the player’s hands are tied. Improve the dungeons. Improve itemization. Heck I could go on for pages about how Aventurine could improve the game but I would rather hear it straight from them.
It should be an interesting next few months for Darkfallers.