DarkFall: Might as well call it a WoW-clone now.

I noticed two disturbing signs of ‘polish’ in DarkFall last night. First, the tooltip for starter weapons now indicates you won’t gain skill ups while using them. Second, when you now link a magic item in trade chat, it not only correctly displays as said enchanted item, but also shows the enchant benefit/strength.

So now not only is skill gain more reasonable, the world spawns random chests to find for the chance at great rewards, PvE is better balanced and more populated, title quests give you some long-term goals to go after, but now we are getting tooltip fixes and item linking enhancements?

What’s next, Trammel or an instanced newbie starting area…?

DarkFall is getting soft.

45 Responses to DarkFall: Might as well call it a WoW-clone now.

  1. Xyloxan says:

    “DarkFall is getting soft.”

    Or, Aventurine realized that hard-core PvP player base is not large enough to sustain their (i.e., AV) business model and they want to move a little towards mainstream. Unless it’s really distracting you I would say those are signs of polish not “polish” – as you call it.

    • syncaine says:

      Sorry, I seem to have left off the /sarcasm tag…

      • Xyloxan says:

        No need syn, I forgot mine too…

        On the other hand, would you consider simplifying say self-healing from three keystrokes to two keystrokes an improvement or WoW-like retardation? Honestly, I hate losing fights just because my finger motor skills are not what they used to be.

      • syncaine says:

        Assuming you have a sword equipped and not drawn, here is what you currently do to cast heal.

        1: Equip staff (assuming you have it in your hotbar, that’s one key press)
        2: Draw staff (hit R)
        3: Select spell (assuming you have the spell on the same hotbar, one key press)
        4: Left-click to start casting

        The only step I could see improving is to give an option to pre-load a spell on a staff, which would shorten the process by one key-stroke for that one spell only. Useful I guess, but not something I’d really care AV spend time on tbh.

        Everything else is tied to design decisions rather than a ‘bad’ UI, and I’m perfectly fine with how it is now.

      • Hehe yeah was going to say :)

  2. Andrew says:

    Clearly it’s time to force players to re-re-purchase the game again. Can’t pander to the players too much.

  3. Coppertopper says:

    You call that polish? Well I’m not signing up until they have daily quests and a long ass faction grind.

  4. ravious says:

    Fallen Earth is coming, how can Darkfall possibly maintain being the grittiest game out there. This is seriously a slap in the face.

  5. Julian says:

    “1: Equip staff (assuming you have it in your hotbar, that’s one key press)
    2: Draw staff (hit R)
    3: Select spell (assuming you have the spell on the same hotbar, one key press)
    4: Left-click to start casting”

    I’d like to know just one thing: How does this truly improve on a one action system? Or in other words, what spectacular thing are we gaining from these four actions that a one or two actions system can’t do?

    • syncaine says:

      How would a one-action system work? If I have a sword equipped, and I click the heal hotkey, what happens? Does it just pick whichever staff is in my bag, equip it, draw it, and cast? Because the type of staff matters, and smart players bring more than one. After it casts heal, does it switch back to my sword? Keep the staff drawn and equipped? If I click the sword hotkey, does the game pick a shield for me? Does it draw the sword automatically? What if I’m just looking to equip the sword, and spawn my mount to get on and use said sword later?

      • Julian says:

        How would a one-action system work? Examples abound. I’m not being patronizing. At all. But it’s a simple as press the appropriate key and the spell/heal/action goes off?

        If you need to use different weapons for different results you could bind hotkeys to swap.

        I guess as much as I try I fail to see the point in the design going out of its way like this to differentiate between “equipping” and “drawing” on one hand, and “selecting spell” and “left-click to cast” on the other. I think it’s too fine a distinction to make, and it probably should have been way abstracted. It’s too cumbersome and complicated.

        I’ll ask again. What can this system do that others can’t do in less actions? Why can’t the casting start automatically also mean a draw? What’s the point of drawing without casting? Why is there a need to select the spell and then do another action cast? Why can’t those two be condensed in one action? What’s the point of selecting a spell and not casting it?

        What is gained from all this complication? What does this do that other, simpler systems don’t do?

      • Loire says:

        Julian,

        Lets put it this way.

        Step 1) Select staff. There will be multiple staffs in your bag so the game can just assume which staff to pull when you select heal

        Step 2) Draw staff (the only truly unnecessary step)

        Step 3)Select spell.(there are multiple spells, should the game just assume you want mana missile vs heal self?)

        Step 4) Click to launch. (In a game where you HAVE TO AIM YOURSELF holding a spell is important. Admittedly when you select heal self you probably want to launch it immediately but otherwise every other spell you pre load while aiming for your target. Why would they change the system for a single spell?)

      • syncaine says:

        To add to what Loire said, if you remove the ‘drawn’ ‘not drawn’ states, you give up the ability to tell an opponent is likely to spawn a mount because he just sheathed his weapon in combat. You lose that it takes time to sheath and unsheathe when you go to loot a corpse in the middle of combat, and you lose that the captain of a boat can’t have a weapon drawn when controlling the ship, and if he is jumped his reaction will be slower. You lose that someone with a weapon out can’t use a bank, a mount, or any other ‘use’ function.

        If you remove the system of ‘loading’ a spell, and just make it cast whenever you hit the hotkey (like in WoW/WAR), you now force someone to hold down that hotkey rather than the mouse button to hold a spell or arrow (which is huge in PvP)

        If you remove the process of switching from a bow to a staff taking time, you can’t adjust what you do as well in PvP. Right now if I see someone switching from a weapon to a staff, I know they can’t parry or swing at me, so rushing into them and swinging away is far easier/safer than it would be when they have a shield out, and can parry at any point.

        Again, it’s tough to go over every situation with someone who has not played the game, but it’s just incorrect to believe that to heal in DF it takes 4 clicks because of a bad UI, rather than intended design. If you are use to one-click healing, it might seem cumbersome, but when you actual get into it and think on the why, those ‘issues’ start to makes a bit more sense.

  6. NBarnes says:

    Am I the only person sitting here thinking that what DF clearly needs, to control tank-mages, is to make switching weapons in combat take five seconds or so?

    • syncaine says:

      The type of armor affects your spell efficiency. Wearing full plate means your spells won’t hit nearly as hard as someone in leather or a robe (although currently this penalty needs to be increased, as you can still run around in full banded and, with decent skills, not have your magic hurt too badly)

      • João Carlos says:

        Well, the reason why we currently have tank-mages is because the encumberance penalty is too much low. The encumberance will hit your spells two ways: lower the damage of the spell and make the rate of spell failure higher. Encumberance too affect arrow damamge, so it too affect archers.

        However, there are a spell at Greater Magic, named Unburden, that lower that magic encumberance. With otehr skill that lower encumberance more, a mage or an archer don’t have any penalty for use full plate.

        IMHO, they don’t need creat a skill cap for separate specific classes at DFO (mages and fighters and archers, for example). They just need increase the encumberance for use heavy armor and/or lower the effects of Unburden spell. If well balanced that change can bring to the game specialized mages (using cloth and padded armors or robes), archers (using leather and bone armor) and fighers (using metal armor). The advantage is that a player can skill up any one that roles because there is not a skill cap, but it need change gear if want to try a diferent role.

        Other sugestion I can make is that they create recipes for craft gear specific for crafters (for example, a robe of armorsmith, with bonus for the skill armorsmith), so crafters will tend to use that gear.

        They too need return teh opposing schools of magic to be effect. so, if someone get the fire school it cannot get the water school. Teh specialized mages will return. Currently we have mages learning all schools of magic.

        If they implement that it is easy see how they can obtain “classes” in game, with no sjill cap. They just will need chage gear.

  7. Ed Zitron says:

    8/10
    — Eurogamer

  8. Are you still looking for an NA-1 guild Syncaine?

  9. evizaer says:

    Ah. More Darkfall features that you’d expect professionally developed MMOs released in the past five years to have.

    Oh… But I’m missing something. If a game is PvP-centric, it automatically gets a pass on any
    criticism regarding interface or core design. The interface of a game is a completely auxiliary carebear feature–simply a crutch for retards and newbs.

    • syncaine says:

      How’s WoWs housing? How are those random spawn chests of actual value? That Arena sure is some great PvP huh? Oh and man, that WoW weather system is just awesome, as is the zoneless world… Good point though.

    • evizaer says:

      Did I mention WoW? I was talking about MMOs developed in the last five years. “Meaningful PvP” doesn’t do anything for me if the game looks like it was coded by eight-year-olds at a computer camp for the learning disabled.

      It’s hard for a game to be fun to play if it’s not easy to use. Most people aren’t going to have their heads so immersed in their own urine that they can gleefully wade through the ridiculous interface and extreme lack of polish throughout Darkfall to get to the crunchy nougat-filled PvP interior. I play niche games that are difficult to learn, but I don’t go around acting like I’m superior to everyone because I’m “hardcore” for doing it.

      I’m tired of PvPers patting themselves on the back about playing Darkfall.

      (Yes, these two posts are full of hyperbole and some sarcasm. It doesn’t change the fact that in a broader context DFO was a pretty woeful game for the amount of time it took to put together.)

      • syncaine says:

        While I don’t have any experience with that type of camp, I’ll take your word for it. As for easy to use, I find playing DF plenty easy 99% of the time (the journal and clan pages are terrible). The ones with the issues seem to be forum warriors and character-creation experts, which like AV, I’m not all that concerned with.

      • Bonedead says:

        Man this Rainbow Six FPS is so much slower than CS. Why can’t I just constantly run around and jump and shoot and not have any problems? Damn those designers making things take longer to do and require more thinking!

  10. Beau Turkey says:

    I am not sure if Syn is making fun of his self and what he will be saying when he gets tired of Darkfall (for the third time), or making fun of people that make fun of people that say stuff like “…this game is hardcore..” (although he says uses the term) which is again himself, or making fun of the fact that the lines between “hardcore” and “wussy” are not so solid, or people who say “WoW-Clone” which, once again would indicate himself…
    ..maybe this is some kind of breakdown we are witnessing! :)

    Beau

    • Loire says:

      When did he get tired the first time? When it was announced a North American server is about to be launched and all his work from that point forward would be for nothing until the server was released?

      Fine, when did he get tired of the game the second time?
      Mathematics must not be your forté.

  11. Julian says:

    I can’t reply anymore (and if I could it’d be very narrow anyway I imagine :) ) so I’ll carry on here.

    Guys, your points are well taken and I appreciate the explanations, but I still don’t see the main question answered.

    Let’s see what we got:

    – Weapon selection. This is a minor point. I imagine one could just bind hotkeys to things and be done with it. Not an issue. I assume (not having played the game) than an equipped weapon stays “equipped” until replaced with another one and there isn’t a process of “equipping” it again upon entering a new combat state. But if you tell me that, no, you have to “equip” your weapon every time you want to have fight, yeah that’d be more problematic.

    – Drawing/Sheathing: From what I understand reading your explanations, the only point of this is to allow a brief moment of increased vulnerability? A small window to attack with better odds? I think the fact that you can’t do some things while unsheated is more of a consequence than a point. But I ask, is this really necessary? Mounts? Other games manage just fine by having an induction to mount summon in which the player can’t do anything else. No sheathing involved at all.

    This point to me seems like the design is attempting to be realistic when there truly is no need, because things like these have been abstracted long ago, and for very good reasons. To me, putting an extra step in the combat flow just to have small windows of increased vulnerability does not seem like a balanced equation. They don’t have the same cost. There are better ways.

    – Selecting and launching: If I understand you correctly you’re describing a decidedly more FPS system, but even with FPS’s we’ve had mouse wheel control of weapons selection since Rise of the Triad pretty much. Can I use the mouse wheel to move back and forth through spell/weapon selections like that? If not, why not?

    —-

    Again I have to ask: What does this do that simpler system can’t? So far the only thing of note I’ve seen is that by forcing people to draw and sheathe you introduce little windows in the flow, but other systems manage this as well without extra steps for drawing and such into the picture. And even this is a minor point.

    • syncaine says:

      Weapon selection is not a minor point because of the diversity of weapons in DF (there are perhaps 8 different rank 0 staffs for instance), and because of how often you gain/lose/change what you have. This is not WoW where once you pick up an epic staff, you use that until the next raiding instance before you upgrade, and then use that one 100% of the time. So unless I want my DF UI to look like a WoW raiding UI, I can’t hotkey bind every possible weapon, plus every possible spell, plus every possible action/skill, without going 4-5 hotbars deep. I’ll take an extra click over that any day. The weapon stays equipped until you switch or it breaks.

      Explaining how sheathed/unsheathed works to someone who has not played it is tough, but believe me that removing it would be terrible for PvP balance. What you view as minor points can make/break a fight, or be the difference between a players successful escape and death. The looting while sheathed is the biggest reason, and even if that was the ONLY reason, it would still be worthwhile to keep.

      As for launching, I think we are talking about two different things. In RotT (or most other FPS) pre-casting is not required/needed, in DF it’s huge for both archery and magic. Again how would this work if I remove the ability to ‘queue up’ a spell before using it? How would the mouse wheel scroll through spells or weapons? Would it scroll through every weapon I have in my bag, which might be 50 goblin axes, all with different durability? Would it be all X of spells that I have, 75% of which I don’t use often in combat? How do I select whether to scroll through spells or weapons (or armor for that matter)?

      If anything, your suggestions are either increasing the length to get what I want, or removing key systems that are not in the game for realism, but for PvP combat balance. Given that DF’s combat is so different even from games like UO, let alone WoW, it’s very tough to go over the details of the system when someone has not experienced it themselves.

      • evizaer says:

        All of this explanation goes further to show how DFO is poorly designed. They could have actually made an appropriate UI for their “revolutionary” combat system instead of hastily jamming a relatively standard hotbar UI over a system that is not built for such a UI to be efficient.

        I can think of a way to make DFO’s combat interface work, but it’d take some serious typing to explain and I don’t want to bore you if you don’t care.

      • syncaine says:

        Have you actually played the game? Because if not, your method is likely just a waste of time. Feel free to type it up if you want though.

      • evizaer says:

        Why would I pay $50+ to play a game that I see basic flaws in without even playing? I love the idea of darkfall, but the execution is just too poor as far as I’ve seen and read (and I’ve gone out of my way to see and read good things about the game, although that can be difficult considering the press this game has gotten).

        I don’t think that I need to play the game to see how the system works. I think I have a feasible understanding of how it works–it can’t be that complicated to wrap your head around if you’ve played a game that has sheathing/unsheathing as well as different skill types. The problem isn’t that the system is conceptually hard, but instead that the interface is awkward.

        A workable system would involve multiple tiers of hotkeys. I think you’d either have two or three.

        Tier 1: Weapon
        Tier 2: Ability

        or

        Tier 1: Weapon Type (melee, ranged, staff)
        Tier 2: Weapon
        Tier 3: Ability

        You can navigate the tiers and execute abilities by using number keys and modifier keys.

        Assuming you have no weapon equipped (and your unarmed “weapon” is sheathed), you press the number of the weapon you want to use, which equips that weapon and unsheathes it (you can hold alt while pressing the number to equip but not unsheathe). Now you can select an ability to use with the unsheathed item, and these abilities can be configured per weapon (per individual weapon or per weapon kind–sword, axe, spear, etc). To go back to the weapon selection tier, press “`” after which you can press a different number to change weapons, sheathing the old one and unsheathing the new one.

        So, to cast an offensive spell, for instance, you would have a pattern of keypresses like this:
        2 (unsheathe staff) 1 (cast spell)

        or

        2 (offensive magic) 1 (unsheathe staff) 1 (cast spell).

        To sheathe your sword and draw your staff, it’d be like: ` (up one tier) 2 (draw staff).

        You should be able to customize each tier of hotkeys. There would have to be some way of copying hotbars from one weapon to another to save time.

        At most, you’re looking at four keystrokes to unsheathe an old weapon, bring out a new one, and execute an ability. Most of the time, you’ll need three keypresses, and the sequencing won’t be awkward at all. With cooldowns and casting times as they are, the bottleneck will not be in juggling your weapons and abilities.

      • syncaine says:

        So not only are we adding the need to hit ` and alt+key to perform what the UI does now, but I would also have to hold down a hotkey to keep an arrow or spell loaded? All to what, save a keystroke sometimes?

        While reading about a game can give you some idea of its general design, it’s tough to rework it’s UI without having played it.

    • evizaer says:

      Huh? You don’t need to hold keys down. You just press the appropriate one and your hotbar changes to the next tier, or you can press ` and bring yourself back one tier to change weapons. It requires no mouse clicking or hunting around the UI.

      • syncaine says:

        Currently to use magic/weapons/bows, you click (or click-hold) to fire/attack/shoot. If you move that functionality to the hotbar, you now have to hold down the hotbar key to mimic this.

  12. Beau says:

    “Fine, when did he get tired of the game the second time?
    Mathematics must not be your forté.”

    Oops, maybe you are correct. I was way off.

    You’ll forgive me, he goes back and forth. Hard to keep track. You gotta’ admit that by the time this world ends, he more than likely would have grown tired at LEAST several times.

    Beau

    • syncaine says:

      That would have required a first time though…

      I was playing LESS when NA-1 was announced, as were most of the current NA-1 players on EU, but my account never went inactive, and I still logged in every week for some PvP. Inq as a guild debated going to NA-1, and from the first post on it I was in favor of moving after learning what the expansion included. Now having seen the expansion in action, it just further reinforces that decision.

  13. Matt says:

    I’m curious, Syncaine. You mentioned that you keep a variety of similar weapons in your inventory, such as multiple staffs. Do each of those weapons serve different purposes? If so, do you normally have the occasion to use more than one of a particular type of weapon during any single encounter?

    • syncaine says:

      Yup, each has a different purpose. For instance, I use rank 0 staffs with a high durability (meaning they are usually crafted) when trying to skill up magic on simple mobs like goblins. I’ll use a Darkstaff (slower cast, more power) for healing or PvP when casting speed is not key, otherwise I’ll use a normal-speed staff, the rank depending on what we are doing. If it’s ‘serious business’ PvP like a siege, it will be my highest ranked stuff, likely enchanted. If it’s just a PvP trip with a few people, it will be some mid-ranked stuff. Same applies for weapons and armor as well. I won’t bring out the full plate to bash goblins, or wear my PvP armor (which is usually good stuff, but lower durability) for PvE. For PvE I generally use the lowest rank, highest durability stuff I can while still being successful. If we are putting together a 10 man run into a tough dungeon, scale or even plate might be needed, along with higher-rank weapons.

      And this is DarkFall, so just because we set out to PvE does not mean PvP won’t find us, so you have to be ready for that as well.

      And of course, all of this is dependent on how ‘rich’ I am at the time. If I have 10 sets of scale, I’ll use them more freely than if I only had one. So what I consider ‘mid-rank’ now might be high-end later, or vice versa.

  14. Bonedead says:

    I DONT UNDERSTAND

  15. Dblade says:

    These are two interface changes which pretty much mention things that already exist in game, one of which is on a starter weapon for newbies. The other, from what you said, now “correctly” displays stats?

    Overreacting much?

  16. Beau says:

    I keed you Syn, just yankin’ ya chain.

    You gotta’ admit that us gamers tend to have love/hate relationships with some of our games, though. Shoot, I do it with Ryzom a bunch, definitely Vanguard.

    Beau

    • syncaine says:

      Only natural really. Anything you put as much time into as playing an MMO full time, and you are bound to care one way or the other. Plus, who wants to read a blog where the author thinks everything is ‘nice’?

  17. evizaer says:

    MMO punditry also suffers because people don’t have the time to play enough MMOs to have a valid opinion of most of what they’re talking about. To get to know one game enough to be a credible source takes hundreds of hours of playtime–it’s an impossible task to be a resource on more than a couple of games unless you have a LOT of free time or if you team blog.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 183 other followers

%d bloggers like this: