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Forever Fantasy: Can Darkfall Become a Legend?

Posted Thu, Feb 19, 2009 by Dalmarus


What do a completely open world, the ability to kill fellow players anywhere, and a "true" looting system all have in common? They're concepts that MMO players across the Internet have been clamoring for since the dawn of time. Alright, maybe not that long, but anyone that's spent any amount of time in the innumerable MMOG forums around can testify to the fact that we've been hearing the cry for this type of world for more years than we care to contemplate. It's a tall order, but if the team at Aventurine S.A. can actually pull this off, they stand the chance of becoming living legends.

Why don't I have armor like his?

Good or bad, the first thing many players will notice about Darkfall is the complete lack of levels. Everything about your character is skill-based. With literally hundreds of skills to choose from and the ability to max out almost 95% of them (some are apparently restricted by race), a player could literally spend years playing the game before maxing their character out. On the surface, it's an extremely exciting idea.

How many times have you started a character in your favorite MMOG, only to later decide it's not quite what you wanted, so you start up another character from scratch? We've all done it at least once (with most of us doing it far more than that), but that doesn't mean we liked it. This process of trial and error can soon lead to burnout and frustration.

Imagine a game where you can start out swinging a longsword, later pick up a bow, and even later decide your character needs a little magic to flesh it out? If the tales are true, Darkfall is that game. The pen and paper geeks among us have all created their own special classes for at least one homegrown D&D campaign in the past. With the staggering number of skills and magic spells purportedly available in Darkfall, there's no reason you can't create it. For this single reason alone, I have to admit that I'm more than a little intrigued (and excited) about Darkfall's upcoming release. There are plenty of other reasons for players to be thrilled (or terrified) of Darkfall though.

That's a seriously cool looking mount!

There's a phrase that's been popular among men ever since humans had the ability to produce speech: "Put up or shut up." I'm making this challenge to every last PvPer out there that has bombarded every damn forum community I've ever been a part of. For years, I've listened to you mouth off about how the PvP in game X sucks because you can't loot fellow players, you're not allowed to be a tool and gank some newb in a town, combat doesn't involve any skills or reflexes and the list goes on and on.

Unless a small group of players have been creating a million accounts and wasting their lives spewing the same crap over and over instead of getting a life, you're morally obligated to at least give Darkfall a try when it comes out. You heard me. I didn't stutter. There should be more than enough of you out there to support a small company like Aventurine in their efforts. This is your chance to acknowledge a game that tries to break the stagnant mold cast by the juggernaut called World of Warcraft

While it may appeal to the above mentioned crowd, the concept of being able to loot other players has me a bit concerned. When you come right down to it, I'm a loot whore. This doesn't mean I'm not fair in sharing, helping others, or greedy, it just means that once I get a hold of a coveted piece of equipment, I treasure it like that tacky ring Golem never quit yammering to himself about.

Where's the dwarf hiding his step ladder?

From what I understand, items in the game will be less important than skill amounts, but what if you had a gazillion skill points and you finally came across the equivalent of Elric's Stormbringer? In one-on-one combat, you'd probably be just fine. When you get ambushed by that pack of asshats though, how are you supposed to get it back? Where's your justice then? I don't know, so Darkfall fans need to enlighten me on the subject.

In concept, Darkfall has some fascinating ideas... ideas that call out to the old-school player in me. I can't deny this. I am concerned about how an uncoordinated anti-twitch gamer like myself might fare. What little has been leaked about the combat in Darkfall suggests that players with fast reflexes and an inherent knowledge of FPS combat styles will have an advantage over us less fortunate, but that the advantage will not be that big. This might be true when it comes to melee warfare, but from what I've read/seen, those using a bow or magic had better be pretty damned accurate or your going to find yourself spitting out steel. 

Players have been crying for this type of game. Now's your chance to show some support. Are you tired of the WoW clones out there? Are you tired of always having that feeling of "been there, done that" come over you after you've played a game for a couple of days? Until a concept truly different from WoW takes a stand and proves itself successful, we are completely doomed to trudge through the same game mechanics we've used for years. This is Darkfall's chance to make it or break it. This is your time to take that same chance on them. If you don't, I'll turn a deaf ear to every single complaint about how companies keep churning out the same old thing.

Put up or shut up. It's that simple. Agree with me? Think I'm full of crap? Let me know by sending me an email or posting on the forums. Either way, make sure you keep reading Fantasy Forever.


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