DarkFall anticipation +1

I said I would not do it, but yet again I’m in “excited about an upcoming MMO” mode. This time around it’s Darkfall, and my interest has been raised by unexpected sources. As anyone with access to a gaming forum knows, the core Darkfall community is rather… aggressive in their view of the game, and that makes it tough to get solid information about the game from official sources. Hell even the developers themselves sound like uncontrolled fanboys at times, and you certainly can’t trust ‘selected’ quotes from beta testers.

While the very concept of a fantasy PvP sandbox MMO (UO basically) has always been of some appeal to me, this nicely put together beta preview over at The Noob comic really sold me. Just reading that aspects of the game function as we were led to believe, and that the game itself is playable and overall enjoyable, was very refreshing. My biggest fear for DF was not that it was vaporware, but that it would be horribly crippled by its ambition, with hundreds of little systems never meeting up to deliver a solid product (sounds a lot like a problem the current MMO I’m playing is trying to fix…)

Much like EVE, I think the MMO space needs games like Darkfall to succeed. The space needs titles to fill a niche and provide an escape from well polished foozle slaughter, to push out ideas that might be too aggressive or extreme for every Joe and Jane Casual. If the market only supports WoW and it’s clone army, it can’t possible grow and evolve constantly playing it safe.

Now it’s not hard to predict the first few months for Darkfall. An oversized initial rush by those chasing the new shiny, followed by countless “I got ganked and lost my gear, account cancelled, DF sucks” posts on blogs and forums, and hopefully finally a settling in by the 100k or so players who enjoy the style of gaming DF is aiming for. That final step will only be achieved if DF can actually deliver on its core goal, delivering a world of consequences rather than a theme park of on-rails rides, and bugs or technical difficulties don’t bring it down, which is why the above linked preview is encouraging. It goes without saying that more people will hate DF than enjoy it; let’s just hope those that would enjoy it don’t move on because of server/code problems.

16 Responses to DarkFall anticipation +1

  1. Bonedead says:

    I’m trying my damndest not to reach the point you’ve finally hit.

    I remember reading on The Noob site (possibly in that multi part preview, but maybe in the shout box thingy) that Gianna (the comic person) knows the DF devs from older games such as UO, where they were hardcore ganking bastards.

    I can’t wait to see the whines. Not the, oh man what a shitty bug, whines. The ones you mentioned, got ganked, lost my stuff, QQ, /q. I think it would be interesting what certain blogs say about it.

  2. syncaine says:

    I think whats going to happen, similar to what happened with WAR, is that people will fool themselves into thinking DF will be something other than what it is (an open PvP game). They will log in expecting to explore, craft, PvE, and all that, and while that might all be possible, the core open PvP still remains. Anyone opposed to losing everything from a gank (most MMO players now), DF is not going to work for you. People will try to bend the game into what they expected, it won’t happen, and the “I quit” will follow.

    I agree it will be interesting to watch/read.

  3. Yeebo says:

    @syncaine: i think that has been the bulk of MMO players since at least the launch of EQ, given what happened with UO subs around the time it launched.

    More on topic: I really hope that DF succeeds, and that the game is able to stabilize with a solid 100K or so subs. I totally agree that more experimental MMOs targeted at niche audiences that are needed to push the genre forward. Not just games catering to the “hardcore,” but also truly experimantal designs like Tale in the Desert, Puzzle Pirates, and Endless Forest.

    We won’t see much innovation from the industry if every innovative MMO falls on it’s face TR style. I’m hoping that DF will succeed, and send a clear message that you can innovate as long as you match your financial expectations to your probable market size. If it’s not a buggy mess at launch, I think it will do just that.

  4. syncaine says:

    Shhh, now everyone knows…

  5. Swift Voyager says:

    @Yeebo: That’s been the bulk of video game players since the start of video games. I mean, sure, someone lost in each match of “Pong” but it was zero sum loss. You didn’t actually have your paddle get smaller and smaller each time you lost a match, even after you turn off the game for a few days.

    Good take on Darkfall Syncain. I agree.

  6. Bonedead says:

    Oh my goodness. You fuckers are infecting me! Too soon! Aggghhh!

    That link is fuckin sexy man, so are those forums. Did you see that MAP?! OH EM GEE PKPKPK

  7. syncaine says:

    That’s the key, MOST users don’t look for that kind of environment (or at least, don’t think they do, but that’s another blog post), but I think enough do NOW that a game like DF can be released and get a sustainable audience, providing it’s groundwork is solid.

  8. Thallian says:

    Thanks for pointing me to this it was really nice to hear someone’s sane opinion about it after trying the game out.

  9. Thallian says:

    p.s. I hope it succeeds too

  10. skarbd says:

    I think the only thing to remember if you play Darkfall, is take it really slowly. There is really no need to rush through the content, do a couple of hours a day and limit yourself for the 1st 3 months.

    Give the developers a break and let the refine the game as you play. Just accept this is not a developer with limitness resources and set your expectations accordingly.

  11. Swift Voyager says:

    lol, right skarbd. That would be nice, and as long as we’re talking about an imaginary world, let’s have people be patient and polite to eachother when standing in line at any public place.

    There’s going to be people playing the game with no other purpose than to see how fast they can run out of new content (WoW players). I’m with you though. Let us hope that there’s enough people who enjoy the sandbox content (eve players) to keep the game alive after the initial rush of tourists.

    One good thing about a small independent company is that they are more likely to have a small budget and be capable of riding out the time it takes to become established.

  12. mm says:

    The problem with taking it slowly in an open pvp game is that others won’t. They’ll build more skill points than you and then proceed to chain-gank others with fewer skill points and a great disadvantage.

    No, in unlimited pvp, it’s the hardcores who play 40 hours a week who will succeed and then proceed to grief the casuals. DF is not for casuals who play such limited amounts.

    That’s why I’m not even considering DF. I get 15 hours a week of time to play after I take care of work, wife, and kids. I’ll stick with WAR.

    mm

  13. Bonedead says:

    When I saw the character creation I realized that this game makes me full hard.

    Usually when I see the character creation screens of a new game I get all excited and for some reason I am always initially under the impression that I’m going to be able to be free and do whatever I want as soon as I click create.

    During those first 5 minutes I am always let down, every damn time, it hurts! I don’t even realize that it is happening anymore when I play new games.

    But when I saw that character creation screen I remembered my inner desires, finally I was going to be free!

  14. shadowwar says:

    Meh.

    About sums up my feelings of DF. The general concesus I get from the various gaming blogs is the same concept as what you put forth here. Niche game, would be great for the market if a real sandbox game came out, but won’t hold the majority’s attention.

    I like skill-based games, just not sure how much I like it when you throw completely open PvP into the mix as well.

  15. Brainiac says:

    @mm

    Ehm most UO players and EVE players aren’t hardcore players either and they’re doing just fine. Besides, it has been stated by not only developers, but also leakers, that your personal skill in pvp matters a lot more than your stats. They matter, but it’s only a slight advantage. It’s more newbie friendly than other MMOs… if you can cope with the full pvp aspect of the game (gear is relatively easy to get hands on)

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