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Darkfall Hands-On Preview: The Rise of the Ninja (Looter)

Posted Wed, Feb 25, 2009 by Dalmarus

Freedom. It was the one thing you heard about any time someone asked about the ideological premise of Darkfall. The game was built on the promise of freedom.

I think Darkfall has delivered on that promise. Unfortunately, freedom comes with a price, and no matter how you try to finagle your way around it, someone always has to pay the piper. There are some things that drive me crazy in the game, yet others are done exactly right. It makes for an interesting dynamic, perhaps even more so when it comes from a carebear like me.

Framerates should improve for everyone.

Through all of this, it's only fair to bear in mind that the game is still technically in a beta phase. I believe the server is still running in debug mode as well, so while I had no performance problems (I am running a beast of a system), other players may find themselves running much smoother when the game launches tomorrow.

After a reasonably sized download (I'm sorry folks, but 9GB for a modern day MMO is not that big), and some subsequent patching, I was more excited than a kid in an arcade to finally hop in the game we've been hearing so much about. After sitting in a queue for awhile I finally got in and created my first character.

I can sum up my favorite thing about Darkfall in one brief sentence. You and your target move during combat. Until I started playing Darkfall, I really never gave the idea much thought, but looking back now, the mobs in virtually every other game I play are generally static, at least until they get below 20% health and begin to run away. If that's what you expect out of Darkfall's combat, you couldn't be more wrong... and I bet you'll love the fact.

Combat is by no means perfect. Targets will glitch out as you’re running and reappear behind you, some will freeze up while you both stand there and swing on each other for five minutes, tombstones don't always appear where the mob dies, etc. There are definitely some minor gripes I have with the combat in the game, but for all its faults, it gets one thing absolutely correct - immersion. I can't tell you the last time I was that focused during a battle in an MMOG. Maybe during some particularly large or difficult fights I have been in, but in this instance, I'm talking about battling a goblin. Don't bother cleaning the wax out of your ears, because you heard me correctly. I, Dalmarus, was entirely focused while battling a lowly goblin. Pretty scary, huh?

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