As frequent readers here know, one of the reasons I greatly prefer a sandbox MMO over a themepark is the amount of control players have in shaping their game and the world around them. While that control is a double edged sword (EVE University vs Goonswarm), I’ll take that risk over a foam sword (themepark) any day of the week.
And much like EVE Online has the player-created and run EVE University to guide new players, DarkFall on the NA server now has NEW. Similar in idea to its Ultima Online Siege Perilous forefather, the idea behind NEW is to give young DarkFall players a chance to learn about the game without getting constantly rolled while trying to solo kill goblins. It is, in a good way, UO’s Trammel. In a good way because its player controlled, it’s not absolute (30 day time limit until players are kicked from NEW), and other players are free to raid NEW’s city of Hammerdale (Yes, Apollo’s old city. In a way we did our part by building it up for all the new guys. At least that’s our story damnit!).
It’s those raiders that, IMO, will really draw those younger players into DarkFall. They will see PvP firsthand, and assuming NEW grows to a reasonable size, they won’t always be sitting ducks. Add in the fact that many of the server’s biggest alliances support the idea, and Hammerdale itself is perhaps the safest city in the game in terms of being taken in a siege, which will help to prevent the previously common ‘city loss ragequit’. And with the city being a well-known location for player activity, that will just make it a natural hotspot, be it for PvE, trade, or PvP. All of these factors added together create an almost perfect environment to show the best of DarkFall, and that’s exactly what you need to get those MMO hooks into someone. Now about that free trial Aventurine…
edit: Oh and speaking of AV, good job for quickly making the NEW thread a sticky and writing a Spotlight piece about it as well. That shows everyone they are paying attention to what is happening in their game, and that they clearly support such player-driven ideas. Also in the Spotlight a few days back was a player-run Bounty Hunter event. Between this and the hints of GM-run events, I’m feeling good about AV’s involvement in DarkFall beyond just adding more stuff and tweaking balance.