view of a naked newbie.
I’ll admit it. Darkfall
game unlike anything I’ve ever played in the MMO space. After
coming off of another recent stint with href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/38"
I felt primed and
ready for some challenging, old school, hardcore MMO action.
And I got what I asked for. The developers of
style="font-style: italic;">Darkfall toss you
world with a few simple instructions - basically a multi-step tutorial
- then they set you free to make your way around the continents. The
first time I logged into the game, I felt
like I was a new MMO player all over again. I was wet behind the ears,
my skin color was green (alright red and furry), and my eyes hurt from
squinting to see all of the unknown details in my UI. style="font-style: italic;">Little
is explained up front, and even looking into the "Help" menu reveals
only a few scant details about the game. To make matters worse, I
hadn't explored any of the "Here's what to do in style="font-style: italic;">Darkfall" threads
the official forums. Much like the early days of href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/" target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">EVE Online,
aren't prepared or at least slightly invested in the world of style="font-style: italic;">Darkfall,
you may be in for a hard beginning experience.
The first quest that I participated in was a giant splash of cold water
in the face. While the first questgiver in my home area was directly in
front of me (a common practice in modern MMOs), I couldn't find the
destination that she wanted me to go towards. With inexorably slow
walking, I began exploring the areas around my city. After twenty
minutes of searching, I eventually found my destination.
"Whoa," I thought to myself as I stared at my Mahirim warrior. "What
have I gotten myself into?"
Thankfully, it's my job to stick with a
game for more than twenty
minutes, or I might have simply tossed in the towel with style="font-style: italic;">Darkfall and
called it quits. People just don't have the time of day anymore to
spend hours trying to figure out how to get to particular
area in a game. Once I'd found my goblins, I immediately went into
"combat mode" by pressing "r" and began running around wacking little
green men with my two-handed sword. To be honest, I found the combat to
be fun, if not the most inventive system ever created for MMOs. Lag
wasn't ever a problem, but I soon found my frustrations to be with
The world in
Darkfall is absolutely beautiful.
If you die in Darkfall,
you leave behind all of your equipment, much
like what players were used to in EverQuest
or Ultima Online.
you also leave all of your loot behind as well. Anything that you may
have been storing in your backpack, and that includes quest items, is
fair game to anyone that happens to run by and click on your tombstone.
While this isn't news to anyone that's been following style="font-style: italic;">Darkfall, I
really didn't think it was going to be an issue until I happened to die
with a load of quest items stored in my bag.
"Ah crap," I muttered at my monitor, and I immediately began hauling
ass back to my tombstone, hopeful that no one had stumbled upon the
tombstone with a PC name on it. Of course, on my way there I run into
more goblins waving and shaking their spears at me. My second death of
the day came quickly after the first. Somehow, I actually managed to
find my first corpse, which had most of
the items still on it. Everything except for a) my money and b) the
four axes I was trying to collect for my initial quest. The other
player must have been feeling generous, but the removal of my quest
axes made me fume.
But it was at that point I realized that
not a "questing"
game. It's not a game where grinding out the quests from NPCs if the
objective. On the contrary, Darkfall
is much more akin to a game like
Your destiny isn't set by a group of developers, nor is it
limited by some yet unknown mechanic. Your actions are what set you
apart in Darkfall. Not only is there a whole host of political and
siege options in the game for higher end players, but gamers are also
encouraged to stray off of the beaten path.
Don't be so
busy taking screenshots that you don't see an enemy riding you down on
a war sheep. GANKED!
And also like EVE Online,
guilds and alliances form the backbone of the
higher end engagements in
Darkfall. While solo players can certainly
entertain themselves by wandering around the world looking for monsters
or other lone adventurers to fight, most players will probably try to
join a guild to experience some of the siege warfare and politics that
are intrinsic to the game's foundations. These tight knit communities
will certainly be looking for more adventurers as the game continues to
gain popularity throughout the West. Every guild needs
legions of players to defend and attack their enemies, so if you're
eager to join a competitive guild, the time is now.
That said, Darkfall
isn’t without its bugs and design flaws.
The magic and combat systems are fun for the first few days, then you
soon realize that you have only four abilities as a melee combatant and
a very limited number of spells as a magic wielder. The skills that
your character accumulates pop at every 25 skill points – so
25, 50, 75, 100 – and before that mark you won’t
have ANY increase to your actual in-game sword/magic slinging. So when
you encounter another player, especially one that's riding some sort of
mount, I'd advise turning and hauling ass and hope he doesn't see you.
Or else you'll end up like my inadvertent screenshot: Ganked.
However, the concept of a “sandbox” game still
exists in Darkfall,
even with its flaws. On my initial foray into
the world of Darkfall,
it was readily apparent that my character was
never on rails. Not once did I feel like I was being directed to a
location. For better or worse, I was shoved out into the wilderness and
left to fend for myself. At some point, I felt confident enough to go
explore my surroundings and really try to get a feel for my
surroundings. What I found was a world that's full of beauty and
danger; one that surprises as often than it frustrates.While style="font-style: italic;">Darkfall
may be "hard," it certainly isn't impossible. Gamers that are looking
for a challenge or want to stray away from the theme park mode of style="font-style: italic;"> href="http://wow.tentonhammer.com/" target="_blank">World
of Warcraft need look no further than style="font-style: italic;">Darkfall. Even if
to stay with WoW, make sure you keep an eye on style="font-style: italic;">Darkfall and the
numerous games that are set to come out in the next few years that are
taking a similar path to this PvP adventure, albeit with a bit more
money and support behind their development teams.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Darkfall: Unholy Wars Game Page.