DarkFall has been a very pleasant surprise so far, as I really was not expecting so many things to actually work right out of the gate, and the game to overall be so solid and fun. I was not expecting much from an indie dev launching their first MMO, and one as ambitious as DarkFall. With that said, not everything is perfect in DF land, and some things just seem silly.
For starters, skill inconsistency. You don’t get sword skill if you swing at nothing (good), yet you DO gain magic skill when you cast at nothing (bad). Allowing magic to work like this is just asking people to macro it, like they did in 1997 with UO. Just make it gain skill when you hit something (not yourself) with magic, and at least it will be a bit harder (and more noticeable) when people try to macro it. Along that same line, what is the point of the run, sprint, and swim skills? You gain points in those skills for… running, sprinting, or swimming, regardless of when you do it. What character is NOT going to have 100 run/sprint/swim at some point? Again all you are asking for with this is people to macro the two until they hit 100. Either make it so you only gain skill when using those skills in certain situations (tough to program perhaps), or just dump them. At least a skill like riding makes more sense, since going afk on a mount is asking to get ganked (mounts can be taken, and they are costly). I’m sure more examples exist, but the basic idea is the same. Don’t have skills that can be skilled up in an easy afk manner, and make it so that a player actually has to PLAY the game to get skill gains. I realize some macro program will make this more difficult, but currently it’s just too easy.
The alignment system: Why DarkFall allows you to get positive alignment is a bit confusing. Currently the system is a -100 to 100 system, and anything below 0 turns you into a murderer (red). What this means is that you can go fight the enemy races, build alignment up to 100, and then kill a whole bunch of same-race players without going red. That does not seem like it’s working as intended. Allow players to build up 1-2 free kills through alignment, sure, but not 100 points worth, that just encourages abusing the system. It’s good that players are always more wary of other races than their own, that gives the world some flavor, but allowing alignment to go so high into the positive range just goes against this setup.
City issues: Currently anyone can run into your city and damage your buildings if they have a siege hammer or other city attack weapon. They can do this outside of the official siege system, which creates specific attack and defend windows for both sides. Why can a city be burned down to the clan stone without the enemy ever actually declaring a siege? Especially since cities don’t have NPC defenders, or even a way to keep players outside the walls (DF does not allow you to close your city off from the outside afaik). Make the city immune to attack unless declare on, simple. And while we are fixing that, allow the owner of the city to determine who has access to the bank in the city. It’s a bit ridiculous right now that the enemy can enter your city naked and use your OWN bank to pull their gear out and start hacking away. Silly at best, gamebreaking at worse (and in DF, worse is the norm).
Player identification: Currently any player of your own race shows up blue to you, even if your guild is at war with that player’s particular guild. Since DF is all about guilds, it’s not uncommon to be at war or in bad standing with a slew of guilds, and it’s difficult to keep track of all the small randomly named guilds. The problem is that you CAN attack that player without an alignment hit, since you are at war with them, but the game still shows them as blue to you. Dumb. Negative standing, be it racial, guild, or personal, should always supersede other factors. If I can attack a player without an alignment hit for whatever reason, show them gray or red (if I’m at war), not blue.
Item rank inconsistency: Weapons have a rank characteristic, which is a basic indicator of its power. Rank 10 is better than rank 20, etc. Armor does not have a rank characteristic, so in order to determine if banded armor is better than chain, you have to compare all 10 or so defense stats. Same goes for shields, no rank characteristic. Why? Granted it just take a bit more time to compare the two, but if you give weapons a rank, why not armor/shields?
I’m sure there is a bunch more, but those are just some of the issues that jump out at me right now. On the plus side, the queue/lag issue has been temporarily fixed (until more tourists arrive anyway), so progress is being made. Now we will have to see how quickly Aventurine goes after more core issues. Hopefully they don’t patch at the breakneck pace of the market leader, or I’ll have to wait over a year and pay $35 more for basic additions.