Warm In The Shadows: Darkfall Interview

By Kieron Gillen on June 28th, 2010 at 6:42 pm.


It’s a year since we last really seriously looked at Darkfall. It’s a year which has seen the game released in North America, continue its expansion and has recently opened its gates to the world with a 14-day free trial. We thought it was time to speak to the Darkfall team about what they’ve been up to, their aims and the big misapprehensions about their game. Tasos Flambouras agreed, and after gathering to discuss matters with Producers Claus Grovdal and Kjetil Helland, returned with answers…

RPS: Starting from the most recent news – you’ve just started offering a 14 day trial. Can you explain the thinking behind it? Why was now the right time? Why not before?

Tasos Flambouras: We’re obviously doing it to make it easier for new players to try Darkfall out, and easier for existing players to recommend the game. We also have improved the overall game and newbie experience quite a bit so this is a good time, but it’s not the reason we didn’t have the trial before.

We wish we could have had a free trial earlier. However we wanted to have done as much as we could to protect the existing player base before we offered it. Our trial doesn’t take place on a secluded island or on a separate world; it’s the full game so a free trial was a concern in a competitive game like Darkfall. We had to do lot of work before enabling the free trial to ensure there would be no incidents of trial accounts interfering with the subscriber experience.

We tested the waters with our 1euro/dollar trial, where you had to pay a symbolic price to try Darkfall and it went very well. We’re very happy with the way our free trial is going too.

RPS: You grab someone in the pub and have to explain Darkfall to them in a couple of sentences. How would you do it?

Tasos Flambouras: It’s a big game, and you can’t really sum it up efficiently without sounding like an advert. Still, if I were to explain Darkfall to a friend of mine in a couple of sentences this is probably how I would do it:

Darkfall is an MMOG with real-time FPS gameplay, skills rather than levels, full loot, an alignment system, the largest battles ever, clan warfare, sieges, mounted combat, naval battles, and you can actually do more things in this game than you can in any other MMOG. It’s not for everyone, but those that enjoy it swear by it and often mention that it’s the most fun they’ve had in any game.

RPS: What’s been the biggest changes in Darkfall recently? The majority of our readers will be familiar with Darkfall around the time of the coverage at the mid-point last year. How has the game grown since?

Tasos Flambouras: We’ve had two large free expansions and more than thirty content patches since then. The biggest changes have happened gradually with the exception of the total revamp of the siege / conquest system. We did that because we felt we could do it better and we believe we’ve improved it significantly.

We added player housing that we’ve kept adding features to and have incorporated it into the Village System, where clans fight to control each village.

Through a series of changes we’ve balanced PvP playstyles in a meaningful way, we balanced mounted combat, and we introduced several large PvP elements like Sea Fortresses and villages, and we also added trade routes which aside from giving another PvP opportunity, also help boost the economy.

We’ve slowly started differentiating Darkfall’s races. This is a major project and quite the balancing act. We’ve added character specializations, which are leading to Darkfall’s prestige classes, a deep character specialization system, and major upcoming Darkfall feature.

We’ve done a lot of work on character progression, making it less tedious. We’ve made it much easier for new players to catch up to veterans, at the same time making new players more viable. Brand new players now also have 12 gameplay hours of protection from attacks which is ample time for them to learn the basics.

We’ve added a lot more naval content, like more ships, we’ve made the ships more accessible by making the materials needed to craft them cheaper and more common. We’ve added Sea Villages, Sea Fortresses and sea monsters.

We’ve introduced dynamic lore events where players or clans not only become part of the lore and the world events, but they can change the actual course of events, the history and the future of the game.

All the things I mention above are all being improved continuously, we don’t mean to sound as if we’ve solved everything or that we’re satisfied. We never are.

Also, as cliché as this may sound: the best is yet to come. We have another free expansion coming soon, and what we’ve code-named Darkfall 2010 towards the end of the year, our largest post-release project to date.

RPS: Describe your ideal player. Do you have an ideal player? I kind of feel you do. While many developers seem to design to be malleable to players, it strikes me that Darkfall is a game which demands the players to be malleable.

Tasos Flambouras: We keep saying that Darkfall isn’t for everyone but that’s unfair to the work we’ve been doing to make it more appealing to a wider base without compromising what we feel makes the game special. We don’t really have an ideal player, but the players who would get the most out of Darkfall are intelligent players that enjoy freedom, action, more options, more challenges, don’t need or want constant hand-holding, don’t need constant direction by the game, and can look past the first few hours of trying to learn the ropes.

When you play any MMOG, you’re making an investment, these are not casual games and they continuously evolve. The potential of the game is very important. Our most loyal players are ones that can appreciate the work we’ve been doing since release, and see not only what we have to offer today, but also what’s coming in the future, and what’s possible.

Some of the game’s most vocal critics have multiple accounts on both servers and have been playing Darkfall since day one. There’s a lot of passion surrounding this game, and this is very much true with the fans of the game. It’s almost as if they don’t accept that we created Darkfall and that we know what we’re doing, but that it’s their game and they’ve entrusted it to us. And you know what, they’re actually right. It is their game and we take our responsibilities towards them very seriously because without them, there is no game.

RPS: Can we talk about the fundamentals for a second? What’s the core of the game for you? As in, what do you think is the absolute core philosophically with Darkfall which everything else grows out of?

Tasos Flambouras: If we have to choose one, we all agree on player freedom. It’s what we continuously strive for and it guides everything we do. The amount of things you can do, the freedom to develop your character any way you want, freedom in movement, no artificial barriers, no zones, no instances, as little gameplay restrictions as possible, no prerequisites or limitations before you can start having fun.

We think that our answer to the next question also applies to this one…

RPS: The MMO – like any genre – changes over time. What do you think changed in the 6 years you took to make it? How has it changed since your launch? How do you think it’s going to change in the near future? Or do you consider Darkfall a singular proposition which exists more to one side?

Tasos Flambouras: It’s pretty amazing to us how little the MMO genre has changed over time. It seems to be the same successful basic recipe with little variation. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good games, but they don’t really bring many new things to the table. Everyone wanted to make the Everquest killer and now they want to make the World of Warcraft killer. To do that they probably have to make a variation on the theme rather than innovate and dare to be different. It’s too risky to try new things in a long development cycle and most of the major development efforts are very conservative. One of the very few things we’ve seen change is PvP finally entering the MMO mainstream. When we started out PvP was something you almost had to apologize for offering. We would get hate-mail about it. Now everyone wants to attach some PvP element to their game because there’s obviously a market for it.

When we started designing Darkfall we looked at it from a player perspective, and we were actual players and had invested heavily in the games we were playing, not just developers checking out other games. We started asking a lot of questions:. Why can’t we do this or that? Why don’t they do it this way, questions players ask of their games every day. We set out to answer these questions, learn from the mistakes other games had made, and to actually make our wish list game.

Of course Darkfall is very different, we went off in a different direction and we keep following the wishlist, adding to it, and we’ve been listening to our community and playerbase very carefully. We made mistakes because we tried a lot of new things but we’re constantly learning from our experience. The monumental effort that went into making Darkfall is dwarfed by the effort that is going into its evolution. We’re not just supporting the game, we’re engaged in full-blown game development.

I’m not trying to suggest that we’re doing things better or that we try harder. What I’m saying is that we took a lot of risks in an effort to make an innovative game and we keep taking these risks by staying true to course. Whether what we did pushes the genre any further, only time will tell. In the meanwhile we have players of ours leaving Darkfall for the next big thing, and shortly after returning to our game because, so far, they can’t get what we offer anywhere else. We’re not talking about millions of players here but the fact that we’ve actually launched this game and it’s successful to the point that we can continue doing what we love, makes us successful. Who knows what we could have accomplished with more resources, but we’re grateful for what we have right now.

RPS: What’s the biggest misapprehension about Darkfall?

Tasos Flambouras: Darkfall is not the strictly hardcore game it’s made out to be. We have numerous casual players who enjoy the game as much or even more than the hardcore players. We were also surprised to find a healthy population of role-players during our events. For reference, our average player age is 27.

New players are also generally amazed that there’s so much good will towards them in-game and they are helped a lot more often than they are attacked. There exists a perception about the game that is very flawed and probably has to do more with some forum experiences rather than actual in-game experiences.

RPS: Okay – this is the thing which confuses me about many MMOs, and PvP MMOs with a unique end-game most of all. The best things about Darkfall are things like the Sieges and ship warfare and similar. They’re stuff which you have to go through the early game to get to. Why not bring some of this stuff forward? Is there a necessary part of the design which demands a character starts virtually powerless?

Tasos Flambouras: The same thing confuses us about MMOs and this is why we didn’t make Darkfall that way. Take a brand new character, have him learn the basics for a few hours, join a guild, and go participate in a massive battle, a naval battle, or a siege. It is conceivable that by his actions, he could become the MVP for his side. A new character in Darkfall can go anywhere without restriction, he can use any equipment, man cannons, warhulks, sail the largest ship, resurrect or finish off any incapacitated player, scout, use a mount, deter with his presence (nobody knows you’re a newb), destroy a structure, capture a village, a city etc. Take a group of 10 new characters in Darkfall: they can fend off and even kill a veteran. Take as many new characters as you like in most other MMOs and they can’t even make a dent on one high level character.

Starting characters in Darkfall are far from being powerless. I believe that they’re probably the most powerful starting characters in any MMO with character progression.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

Darkfall is available to play now, complete with a free 14-day trial.

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93 Comments »

  1. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    @KG
    Son., I’m disappoint…where’s the Warm In The Shadows video? :(

  2. jake says:

    Its more like 3-4 new characters with basic gameplay experience to kill a decent vet. not 10. lul…

    • Tei says:

      I think he compared his games to the others where a difference of 2 levels can make so any attemp to hit a high level player will result on a serie of miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, ,miss…
      Other games work with instances for PvP, so these games artificially limit the number of players to stuff like 32vs32, so.. of course… you want the best of the best players, a newbie will never get-in. Since Darkfall don’t do that, any extra body helps.

      …Realistically, a newbie will be killing gobs for a looooong time.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      @Tei: They’ve upped character skill gain speed significantly, you now progress in the mob food chain much faster. They also upped the hit point amount you get at low stat lvl, therefore reducing the gap between new and older players, while facilitating low level experience in pve.

  3. Freud says:

    Darkfall (and every other MMO) can’t really win with me. I am destroyed by that-we-do-not-speak-of, an addiction I broke years ago.

    So basically for me there are only two kinds of MMOs:

    a) one that mainly consists of repetitive and boring stuff.
    b) one that is awesome and will swallow my soul and life.

    Neither is acceptable to me since I kinda want my soul and life unswallowed and I don’t like boring stuff. So you can take your ‘first hit’ free trial and keep it, Mr Dealer.

    • Jake says:

      So maybe developers are purposefully aiming for mediocrity to target the ex-WoW junkies.

      Personally I have no interest in PvP based MMOs. The interview mentions that PvP has entered the MMO mainstream – has it? It generally just feels tacked on, unbalanced or generally less rewarding than PvP in games that are designed from the ground up for PvP. Although actually I don’t know how many players need to be involved for a game to count as an MMO, maybe Battlefield counts.

      However, I do admire the way that dwarf has invested more in his codpiece than his helmet.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Jake: I don’t know about you, but I do like pvp. Not everywhere, all the time, perhaps, but more similar to the warband action in Mount and Blade RPS has attempted. Facing a dangerous foe you might be able to beat is great fun. Even better when there’s more on both sides. Better when there’s a lot of variables like terrain and tactics.

      Far more exciting than facing an npc you know you can’t or have a very slim chance of defeating and even if you do.. it’s more like a trick or a fluke of chance from the RNG. I really liked the sieges in Warhammer Online and the good battles in Alterac Valley or in the open world in World of Warcraft.. shame is I rarely experienced either and esecially the latter require luck or planning from both sides.

      And it’s not as if I pvp all the time when I play an MMO. I like to quest, drive through a storyline and explore the land.

    • Jake says:

      I don’t think Mount and Blade counts as an MMO does it? I have no idea. I’m just curious about the statement that PvP is entering the MMO mainstream showing there is demand for it – have some games done it well recently? I was under the impression it was usually quite awkward to fit both PvE and PvP in one game.

    • malkav11 says:

      I think there’s quite possibly more demand for PvP than before, partly because the MMO market is larger, partly because WoW figured out a way to cage it off into its own little thing even on PvE servers. I don’t think there’s more appetite for PvP-focused MMOs, but that may be my bias talking, as I personally have no desire to even have PvP in my favored MMO(s), much less have it be the focus.

  4. PleasingFungus says:

    First sentence: “It’s a year since Darkfall we last really seriously looked at Darkfall…”

    Also, “sea villages”?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      No, that’s what he said. Villages on the sea? Villages on the coast? Who can tell, but they sound awesome.

      KG

    • Meneth says:

      They’re capture-able villages on small islands.

    • bambata says:

      They’re coastal villages and villages on islands that can be captured using ships. It’s part of the naval content for one of the Darkfall expansions. Player housing is also part of land villages which go vulnerable ever so often. Clans can capture and control them for a while and earn an income. It’s a nice little strategic and pvp element.

  5. Batolemaeus says:

    ” the largest battles ever”

    Uh. No.

    • Thranx says:

      They could technically be the largest battles ever since there’s no real cap on the number of dudes in an area. This is technically true of any non-instanced open PvP game. SWG, EQ PvP servers, WhateverBane (name escapes me), Eve. You’re not playing a structure PvP event in an instance, you could have the entire server pop raging against each other if the hardware (server and client) could handle it. I was playing in the early days of NA and saw some pretty huge raids happen. Over a hundered to be sure. Compared to most modern MMOs (WoW, AoC, EQ2) that is quite massive.

      No, I have not witnessed Eve sized PvP events (which I hear can approach or surpass 300), but the nice thing about DF is that you’re not plopped in an instance with 16 vs 16. It’s open world, un-instanced love.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      *cough*Shadowbane*cough*

    • The Great Wayne says:

      About EvE, you’d be closer from the truth with 1k+ battles. Been in some of those myself over the course of the years.

  6. Metalfish says:

    Very polite to guy who tried to do a number on a mate of yours* -I’m impressed.

    *Was Ziltron a mate of yours?

  7. Cyndane says:

    Uh, yes. Have you ever been in a battle with more then 500 people in total fighting eachother? I think the record of now was a siege consisting of a little over 2000 different players fighting. What other MMO has that?

    Ofcourse the most common battles are with just 10-20 guys, or little groups, but there áre large battles, larger then any MMO I’ve seen so far.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Actually largest battles in an MMO winner must go to EvE. But it’s a genre of it’s own, and DF probably wins the contest of the biggest player battles among the regular mmorpgs (there tend to be big, big naval battles these days).

  8. someredguy says:

    This is the best game that I have ever played by far . ..!

    Looking forward to DF2010

  9. devios says:

    This game is amazing. Can’t believe I played a game like WOW for 4 years what a shit hole. The thrill is amazing there is actually risk when you go out to hunt. The sieges are insane. A++++++

    Most carebears will not last more than a week in it. I can hear the cries now once they lose their first sword. lol

    great game!!!

  10. Jad says:

    real-time FPS gameplay

    So, I knew very little about Darkfall prior to interview, but this has gotten my attention. I’ve largely ignored MMO’s, as I am somewhat more of a FPS player, and even the RPGs I like are not of the models that most MMORPG’s appear to be based on — the click-and-wait, abilities cool-down meter-watching style. I prefer either full turn-based RPGs or more action-oriented, direct-control stuff like Morrowind or Fallout 3.

    So … how good are the controls? How true to FPSs conventions is it? How would you compare it to other FPS-RPG hybrids? Is it Morrowind, with substantial dice-rolling in the background? Deus Ex, with its a bullet-is-a-bullet FPSs damage system but aiming is leveled up? Or is actually a full, real Quake/Half-Life/Bioshock FPS?

    And, now reading the old Kieron Eurogamer review, it looks like the answer to all my questions is “no”. More action-y than most MMOs, yet less than even Morrowind. Am I wrong in this reading? Has this changed in the last year?

    *Sigh*. Someday, somebody will make a STALKER MMO. And then you folks will never see me again.

    • Germanclan says:

      The game’s seen great improvements, has a steep learning curve still, though things are MUCH better today than they were 6 months ago. If you can hang in there a couple of days to get the hang of it, you’ll either love it or hate it. Either way, it’s worth the try because if you love it, it”s like the devs say, it could be the best MMO experience you’ve ever had.

      Controls have improved a bit, I hear they’re redoing them completely though.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      I wouldn’t say its less than morrowind. Appart from the view switching to third person for melee (which is kinda practical when you’re fighting with 40 other people), it’s right on par with the elder scrolls games imho. I’d even go up to say that’s it’s far more fast paced than elder scrolls. Example below:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQRf1zSTXzQ&hd=1

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Just been watching it again. For the info, the white bright screen appearing from time to time isn’t video edition effect, it’s a blinding spell.

  11. thebigJ_A says:

    Eve?

  12. Germanclan says:

    Nice interview, good questions, good answers. I agree with the slow progress of the MMO genre, and it’s a sad thing. I hope we see more efforts like Darkfall in the future.

  13. DigitalSignalX says:

    I love PVP too, and gave 4 years of my life and a major portion of my muscle mass to atrophy while playing Lineage II, but I find the system in darkfall too penalizing. A Perm Death system in a MMO simply doesn’t give you a long term viability imho. It does make PvE much more challenging and intense, but in PvP where you are very rarely in 1v1 fights, It becomes this Diablo-esque rush to lvl, gank or get ganked, rinse repeat gimmick.

    • Germanclan says:

      hmm, it’s not perm death though. It’s full loot. Characters in DF live a lot longer than other MMO characters on average. The skill based system makes it so you never have to re-roll.

  14. adam says:

    @Jad

    It’s an actual FPS… little to no dicerolling whatsoever. Resistances are calculated from the types of armor you are wearing etc.

    Dodging involved dodging the actual spells, melee or arrows. Distance from AOE affects damage. You can move around terrain/los to avoid arrows and splash damage. There are some short range instant cast rays.

    Battles involve literally hundreds or thousands (in large sieges) of live objects (ie players spells cannonballs and arrows) flying around the screen that must be dodged in real time.

    The lag and sync on this game are fabulous. It’s an embarrassment to the AAA titles that Darkfall can do so well serving the netcode for all of this when they don’t even attempt this. I include straight FPS games in this as they limit themselves to 32×32 even at their top end.

    • Marcin says:

      Does armor actually do something now? I seem to recall early on everyone was fighting naked because armor didn’t do anything and you were at risk of losing it due to full loot.

      The video linked looks less crude than I expected. I may have to give the trial a shot.

    • Kelron says:

      See my reply below, equipment is important from what I’ve seen.

  15. Kelron says:

    I somewhat disagree on the last point. Older players are significantly more powerful than new ones because of the way the combat works – every character needs to have some melee skill and some magic skill to be competitive. Although people can and do specialise, the difference between characters is not as distinct as different ship classes in EVE, for example. Darkfall has no role in fights that a relatively new player can fulfill as well as a veteran.

    On the other hand, the way equipment is handled is great. A decent set of armour is fairly cheap, and it’s easy enough for new players to obtain something roughly equivalent to what an old player may be using, as there are no level or stat requirements. There is rare and expensive equipment, but the cost seems to increase exponentially beyond the point of being worth using for all but the richest players.

    I’ve been playing a week or two now, my combat skills are poor because I’ve spent most of my time crafting, but getting better equipment is effective enough that I feel I can be helpful in a group, even if I wouldn’t stand a chance 1v1. I joined the NEW Clan, set up to help new players. Highlight so far was 9 of us hunting krakens as big as our ship was.

  16. Coriolis says:

    The problem I have with these “you can loose stuff in pvp” games (like eve and POTBS) is that a) it leads to having to grind alot to replace stuff, but more importantly b) it leads to boring fights where one side dominates since most people run from more-or-less even fights. Having huge death penalties can be great for PVE (speaking as a D2 HC addict), since in PVE you can get good enough to not ever lose, but in PVP the only way to not lose is to never fight anyone better then you – which is boring.

    Now since this is full loot as opposed to losing your ship, I suppose nothing is “lost” in death, so I’m guessing you don’t have to grind that much once you get decent at pvp – I imagine stuff just gets circulated around as the winner sells it. But do you get challenging fights or is it mostly steamrolling, like most open-world PVP?

    • Tei says:

      In my short experience with Darkfall. You have more options.
      - You can fight naked. It use to be the prefered option wen you probably will lose.
      - You can gear yourself with crash vendor stuff. Since there don’t seems to be limits in the Darkfall bank store, you have *LOTS* of these things around. If not, kill a few gobs.
      - Wellcome to Las Vegas, Baby. You can lose all your items, but you can also get some items from other players. My main source for really good gear was high level characters, and I am very poor at pvp.

    • Freud says:

      That players resort to fighting naked/with vendor gear is the main reason full loot pvp is a horrible design decision.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Actually fighting naked will not take you anywhere against anyone but the most terrible/naked players, and vendor stuff doesn’t include the best stuff, not the best quality either for what is for sale, nor does it propose enchanted gear.

      DF, by it’s design requiring actual “skill”, although the term seems to be used a bit too loosely these days, make it so you can actually win fights while outnumbered if you outplay your opponent. Plus, it’s kinda hard to escape if you got a competent player on your heels, considering you can kill mounts under the player’s ass.

  17. Guildenstern says:

    And once again we get a reminder of how unpleasant darkfall players are. Thanks.

  18. Dmo says:

    Assuming the vendor gear isn’t the typical trash I don’t see why full loot is bad design?

    Like any part of any game ever: if it’s balanced well it’s good design.

    • Freud says:

      If the game enforces a consequence (losing your stuff) that players don’t accept, which leads to them looking for immersion breaking ways of avoid that consequence (wearing vendor stuff or nothing), it is bad design.

      Having not played Darkfall I have no way of telling if it is only 1% resorting to that thing. If so, it doesn’t matter much. However if a large portion do, it is a broken part of the game enforced by design fundamentalism. Which is even stranger when they pat themselves on the back for being skillful hardcore players and care bears won’t last a week in the game. I wouldn’t if I kept running into naked people.

    • Dmo says:

      I get why it can lead be bad design, but you’re pulling a rather unfair Ebert harrumphing up this thread without the requisite leg work.

      If we don’t take risks as players while allowing for failure why should big name companies follow suit?

    • The Great Wayne says:

      @Freud and Guildenstern:

      Don’t get over reactive and jump to conclusion because there’s one kid making a childish reaction about “carebears”. You know it isn’t fair, as you’ll always have a portion of those guys on every multiplayer game out there, and they are always the most vocal on auxiliary web medias (as Tasos points out in the interview). DF population is no better nor worse than those I’ve played with for years in EvE, if it rings some bells: there are nice guys, bad guys, griefers, carebears, Goons, righteous dudes and sly bastards, etc.

      I close the parenthesis.

      Freud, the system is as logical and simple as it comes: you can fight in trash gear, you can fight naked, but a better geared player will be more efficient, although taking more risks because he’s obviously bringing more expensive assets to the fight.
      It’s like in EvE, you can fight in tech 1 frigate and lose next to nothing with assurance, but you’ll be more efficient in more expensive ship/fit.

      In a competitive PvP environment, every bonus count. The good thing is that in DF stuff isn’t the alpha and the omega of a successful pvper. Plus gear isn’t that hard to come by, you don’t spend your whole playing time farming for stuff, especially since you can grab some off the dead grasp of your ennemies.

    • Guildenstern says:

      So? Both EVE and Darkfall are designed to cater to sociopathic scum.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Well, considering that EvE got, with public knowledge of that fact, the most mature playerbase around the mmo world I wouldn’t go this route. DF also got a quite high average player age. I think it’s part of what it takes to actually enjoy those types of games and not go on an endless nerdrage when you get beaten to a pulp.

      The fact that you’d jump on any occasion to bash certain games community and ignore the mediocrity of other playerbases, like WoW’s, has nothing to do with the games, it just proves a certain bias.

    • Guildenstern says:

      Goons are really mature, yes.

    • Josh W says:

      Fighting naked shouldn’t have to break your immersion, celts did it quite a lot!

  19. Adam says:

    @everyone talking about the full loot.

    You shift how you think of loot and gear very substantially in Darkfall.

    It’s really more like a RealTimeStrategy game in the sense that the gathering,crafting,buying/selling/, looting and losing is all about resources in and resources out.

    Darkfall has a heavy resource management game in keeping yourself and your clanmates in high quality gear so you can beat the opposition, farm the tough mobs and keep your city.

  20. Coriolis says:

    Penalizing death in pve is fine – in pve you can get better at beating stuff until you don’t die even at the hard parts, and then you’re done with the game basically.

    For pvp however, if you’re not dying, it means you’re fighting against people much weaker then you. Which is boring. WoW provides a good example of the difference – when playing in battlegrounds/world pvp all you care about is winning, so before arenas came about, many people tried to avoid fighting tougher fights (i.e. guild vs. guild groups), and it was very boring. In the arena however, you only gain when you fight people that are about as good or better then you, and you are automatically matched against such teams so there is a constant challenge to pvp. Which is alot more interesting then either steamrolling or getting steamrolled.

    This constant challenge is what tends to get lost in games that penalize losing too much, as people actively avoid fighting an even fight. But in Darkfall, since stuff isn’t actually lost, as in removed from the game, perhaps it’s not too bad and you’re not spending most of your time grinding instead of pvping. That’s what I was wondering.

  21. Caer says:

    Darkfall is a great game, too bad these greeks dont have moneh to advertise it propely =)

    I think most ppl dont know it, or are misinformed about it, when it’s probably what every PvP lover wants from a MMO (or atleast it is for me)..!

  22. Thranx says:

    The Great Wayne, I hope you’re right. I’d like to come back and play, because DF was a fantastic experience, but the biggest downer was the time for skill gains once you get past the first tier of stuff. it was rough going, and dispite what the dev stated in this interview… you die at the hands of players alot while simply grinding mobs.

    Side note : the crafting was quite good, and I’m a sucker for good crafting. (playing Fallen Earth… craft swoon!)

    I’ll probably come back and play at some point, but I’d really love to see them do a come back weekend kinda thing like many of the others do from time-to-time.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Did you change mail adress ? Because they offered a 14 days come back for vets a few weeks ago. You can also use the trial tho to see by yourself if it’s worth reactivating :)

      Actually, skill gains are far easier than before (x4 for magic on mobs, x2 for melee/archery iirc, it’s been a while), and they changed the HP formula so that you gain more at low stats lvl, so newbies tend to gain a lot early on but it slows down at high lvls.

  23. Smithy says:

    Check youtube vids, lots of them there.
    darkfall accelerated character development guide is best player created how to start playing series yet.
    and you cant go past umberto finito for some cool pvp vids.

    One thing however, this game is not for children.
    There is almost zero regard for language restrictions and total merciless brutality when it comes to making your enemies rage log.
    As stated, its not for everyone.

  24. bambata says:

    They’re coastal villages and villages on islands that can be captured using ships. It’s part of the naval content for one of the Darkfall expansions. Player housing is also part of land villages which go vulnerable ever so often. Clans can capture and control them for a while and earn an income. It’s a nice little strategic and pvp element.

  25. dave says:

    Guildenstern says:
    June 29, 2010 at 8:03 am

    So? Both EVE and Darkfall are designed to cater to sociopathic scum.

    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

  26. Ragemaster says:

    Dave and Guildenstern, you are both pretty ignorant. Calling PVPers “physiological sociopath type people” is just as ignorant as If i were to call you a worthless lazy uneducated person that lives on government welfare programs not because you actually do, but because you play some pve game that obviously holds your hand every step of the way. Clearly who you are in a game must reflect your character in real life, right?

    I enjoy games to compete and crush other players. You enjoy games that may involve cooperation and beating scripted encounters. We each have our own likes and dislikes so why bash the other side on a personal level?

    Oh, and get your facts straight about eve online before you spout nonsense please. Your entitled to your opinion, but uninformed opinion just makes you look like a fool. I played eve for over 5 years, so I know what I am talking about.

    There is a large number of these PVE type players in eve despite its hardcore nature. In fact log on any point during the day you can see ingame where the highest concentration of players are. Where are most of the players in the game at any giving point in time? Yeah, thats right high-sec. also known as safe space. There are more PVE players in eve than hardcore pvpers, so I find your baseless accusations rather niave and immature.

    Feel free to contact message me on mmorpg.com I will be more than happy to discuss pve/pvp matters with you in an intellectual and respectful matter in an open forum.

    However I detected a fair bit of rage and bias in both of your comments, so if you reject my request I will not feel too saddened. In the meantime, I will have fun playing my games, I do hope you enjoy yours.

    Regards
    Ragemaster

    • Guildenstern says:

      So tell me, which Eve story is the one everyone has heard about? The one that’s constantly brought up as most awesome thing ever by its players? Oh yeah, it’s the story about how members of one corp have infiltrated another, gained trust through months-long scam, and finally stole all their stuff and destroyed everything they have achieved. QED.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      And ?

      This is part of the game. It’s a sandbox: guys playing how they want with the tools/toys they’ve been given.

      First you got the facts all wrong but I’ll not go over the whole story again. Said players (BoB) had went to lengths before to do the same to their ennemies, exploiting every flaw and every occasion to destroy them. Goonfleet just succeeded and dealt the last blow.

      The fact that you don’t like this type of game is fair and good, everyone is entitled to its own tastes and opinions, but don’t go judging what you can’t understand.

    • Guildenstern says:

      No, I was talking about that: http://eve.klaki.net/heist/

      And yes, you have to be duplicitous and sociopathic to engage in this kind of behavior. Do you really expect me to believe that those people who did all that just to hurt someone in a freaking pointless game won’t backstab their coworkers for the sake of promotion, won’t cheat on their spouse or hurt people in a million other ways? Bullshit, of course they will.

    • Poltergeist says:

      Guildenstern, you should definitely check out The story of the professor who received death threats playing CoH before you continue your inane ramblings about sociopaths. Turns out, the real sociopaths were the carebears.

    • Guildenstern says:

      So this professor behaved like a typical pvp douchebag in a game whos community didn’t appreciate it and finally drove someone to say something harsh to him? Wow, what a deep research.

    • Guildenstern says:

      Oh that’s just rich, check out first and second message from “mellas” on this page of the comments to your artice. Great example of how one’s attitude in games is connected to their real life values.

    • dave says:

      I’m the CEO of the RPS corp in Eve. Succesful troll is succesful

    • Guildenstern says:

      I’m not trying to get a rise out of anybody, just saying what I think. Having this “discussion” is making me sick to my stomach, but I just can’t let smarmy “carebear” comments coming from griefing twits pass.

    • Guildenstern says:

      Ok then, can you answer one question: when you have a game where dying is a major setback and that has FFA pvp in which you can get ambushed and have no way of escaping, what do you think those features are for, and who are they for?

    • dave says:

      Everyone you cretin. Your not prohibited from doing the same yourself. Classic “i fail at games and try to justify it” whine spotted.

    • Guildenstern says:

      Way to miss a point. If I wanted to do the same I would be a griefer myself.

    • Kelron says:

      So do you still call it griefing when it’s something that’s been designed into the rules of the game?

      I know plenty of people in EVE who don’t go looking for fights but love the excitement and challenge created by the threat of attack. You do get players who will kill people specifically to try and upset them, but in my experience they’re a minority.

      I spent a year or so in EVE in a corp with 2 friends declaring war on larger corps. We made money from this, it was fun and challenging fighting with 3 people against corps many times larger. Most of them played along with it as part of the game – either they hid, or paid us to leave, or they fought back. Some of them were even friendly, and a couple of them hired us as mercenaries later.

      Yet we’d always come across people who would spew torrents of hate at us for no reason, usually accompanied by amateur psychology explaining how we were internet bullies because we were abused by our parents. Admittedly they had provocation in that we attacked them, but we attacked them within the rules of the game with no malice involved, and those same rules gave them plenty of options for dealing with or avoiding us. If I can say this without being hypocritical, they came across like kids throwing a tantrum. We were playing by the rules of the game, they didn’t like those rules so they got upset.

    • Guildenstern says:

      Sure I’ll call it griefing. The fact that designers actually go along with this just makes it worse.

    • Kelron says:

      I held off from saying this at first, but perhaps you’d be better off finding a game more to your tastes, rather than crusading against one that clearly isn’t. EVE is a successful – if niche – game, so clearly many people enjoy the way it’s been designed. From my experience I can tell you that plenty of these players do not engage in anything you could call griefing, whether you choose to believe it or not is up to you.

      Games have been encouraging players to screw over other players in order to win for years, long before anything like EVE existed. You clearly dislike this style of play, but it doesn’t indicate a flaw in the design and doesn’t give you an excuse to label every player a sociopath.

    • Guildenstern says:

      I haven’t actually been a victim of griefing in any games I’ve played, if that’s what you think. I just oppose it on principle.

  27. ThePeanutBaron says:

    Why is it not for windows 7, I really wanted to try this game out but then I found out its only for vista or xp.

  28. Azdul says:

    It works on Windows 7 just like it works on Vista – you just need to install DirectX 9.

  29. Brian P says:

    This is my problem with them saying players have so much “freedom”

    I honestly have not played the game, but everything I’ve read (guides, impressions, etc…) seem to indicate there’s a fairly “cookie cutter” path that all player take to be viable. This is not appealing at all to me.
    Also unappealing to new players in general, as time goes on, the amount of time required to become viable gets longer and longer.

    That, combined with the foul attitude the community seems to have with the, “We like Darkfall, therefore we’re hardcore! People who don’t like it are gay!” that was sort of built in with Adventurine’s marketing spin a la “Darkfall is so hardcore that we don’t even care if carebears like it or not…” makes for a very unattractive perspective play experience.
    Funny to see them backpeddling on their earlier

    • Harlander says:

      I do remember that kind of thing from the Mortal Online forums. And they used “it’s a hardcore game” as an excuse for things it doesn’t begin to justify – like the sluggish interface, or lack of varied paths for new characters. (When the guys making MO said ‘beta’, they meant it, I’ll give them that)

      There was a bit of an antagonistic attitude… not shared by everyone, I hasten to add.

      “Go back to WoW” was their favoured derision.

  30. adam says:

    @everyone taking issue with Darkfall players attitudes

    Try to keep in mind that Darkfall has a very unique play environment that is created by very unique rules. The vast majority of you have never played a game like it.

    You may think that your shooting from the hip observations about what Darkfall IS or SHOULD DO are amazingly smart and incisive.

    Darkfall players constantly hear this from people that have never played the game, will never play the game, would never play a game like it.

    Most of the criticisms boil down to things like –

    “you shouldn’t allow pvp”, “you shouldn’t allow looting”, “you should have classes” etc. etc.

    If you actually interested and engaged with the game you would realize that these things are fundamental to the gameplay of Darkfall. Asking for these to change are like asking for Coke to be like Seven-Up instead.

    Suggesting radical changes to core mechanics will doing a driveby comment on the internet are generally met with the scorn. Are you really surprised if you step back a bit?

  31. dave says:

    Guildenstern says:
    June 30, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Way to miss a point. If I wanted to do the same I would be a griefer myself

    -Way to fail at making a coherent argument. You are the typical example of a guy who starts a game and then posits a massive gameplay change to fit what you consider to be the “right way”. Either HTFU or GB2WOW. Darkfall is Darkfall and Eve is Eve if you dont like the gameplay mechanics then bugger off, nobody is going to miss you because bizzarely some of us like the cuthroat mechanics of such games.

    http://www.hellokittyonline.com/index.php

    have a bash at that and save us from your pontificating

    • Guildenstern says:

      I’m not proposing any gameplay changes to them, I just think it’s a bad thing they exists, period.

    • adam says:

      @Guildenstern

      “”"I’m not proposing any gameplay changes to them, I just think it’s a bad thing they exists, period.”"”

      Good thing you have no say in telling other people what games they should be allowed to play.

    • Psychopomp says:

      I have never in my life griefed or ganked anyone in EVE, and I think EVE would be incredibly boring if such behavior weren’t allowed.

      They’re not a bad thing, EVE just isn’t for you.

    • jalf says:

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can’t recall ever being griefed in Eve.

      Killed, yes, shot to pieces, often, tricked and robbed, yeah, but griefed? Not that I can recall.
      A lot of people have been unpleasant to me in the game, but never just to get a rise out of me. *That* would’ve been griefing.

      Instead people do it in the hope of valuable loot, or because I’m trying to get through a place they’re blockading or because I screwed up in any of a million ways. Tough luck, but it’s not griefing.

      The same with that old Eve story, is that griefing? Did the victims feel griefed? I’m sure they were angry that they lost so much, but that’s not griefing. It’s griefing if you harrass someone just to get a kick out of it, if you play only to make others miserable. And that wasn’t the case in any of those big Eve “metagame” stories.

      There was a lot more at play in that story. If you’re one of the big, powerful corporations, you have enemies. Enemies with a reason to fight you. It’s not griefing if they do try to fight you then. Not even if they do it in creative ways, as long as it’s in the spirit of the game.

      In Eve, everyone’s in on it. Everyone knows the rules, **especially** big top corporations. They know damn well that people are going to infiltrate their ranks, trick them inside and out of the game, that they’re going to get attacked in force when they least expect it and all that.

      Great example of how one’s attitude in games is connected to their real life values

      The plural of anecdote is not data. Two comments on an internet forum are hardly representative for a group of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people, are they?

      You’re right about the CoH “research” story. *That* was griefing. Violating the spirit of the game and playing specifically to harrass random players.

      And it’s totally incomparable to Eve.

      Plenty of games are based around deceit. The same is true for card games or board games. Are you automatically a griefer if you play those?

      There is a huge difference between PvP (or just competitive play in general) and griefing.
      I can’t speak for Darkfall, but in Eve, griefing isn’t really the issue. It’s still a harsh game in many ways, sure, but it’s not some kind of griefers haven.

      And it is pretty narrow-minded to say that game designers should not allow such behavior to exist *at all*. A much more interesting way to look at it is to see how such behavior can be harnessed to provide an experience that is more than just griefing.

      WoW will never achieve that. They’ve gone a route where being “creative” with the rules is considered cheating, and where really the main driving factor for PvP’ers *is* just random killing. In WoW, PvP-heavy playing styles will always border on griefing. Because hey, why else would you do it?

      In Eve, people don’t PvP just because they want to kill someone. They do it because it ties into a complex system of game mechanics meaning that there are *reasons* to fight someone. And there are reasons to avoid fighting others. Reasons to leave some people alone. And reason to fear some.

  32. Jakkar says:

    This is not true D: The game is a wonderful concept, but the players, THE PLAYERS ARE HELLSPAWN TIMES FIVE D:

    Expect to be raped forever, in entirely new holes, the moment you log on. For me, I just spent too much time unreasonably paranoid or dead because the world was irrationally and illogically violent. It was like living 28 days later, but with chatspeak and platemail.

  33. Aro2220 says:

    In this game you need to find the right group of players. Strength in numbers.

    But he’s right, a newbie can do a lot of damage even without any character skill. One scout (or even a spy) can do a lot more damage than than even the toughest player on the server.

    And a lot of your skill is down to you and your setup, not your character skills. One of my friends had the most amazing aim with a bow and even though his character skills were little more than a month old, he could take down most veterans just by being quick and persistant and having excellent strategy.

    The game is far from perfect…but I have the money to play any video game on the market and have played thousands upon thousands of video games over my gaming life…and Darkfall is certainly something you don’t want to miss.

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