DarkFall: Lessons from the fall of TRA

Sunday night saw VAMP and co (the alliance either has no name, or the name changes on a daily basis, so I’ll just refer to our side as VAMP going forward) siege another TRA city on Yssam. While there was some fighting, the siege was never in question and the whole thing overall was ‘easy’. After the siege the TRA alliance called it quits and their clans went their own way, even though many still have a number of holdings (I believe TRA had a total of 17 holdings, and VAMP only took three).

First let’s break down why VAMP had so little trouble with TRA. For starters, VAMP itself is a very strong alliance. Clans like VAMP, Nemesis, and Black Shields all have some of the servers best PvPers (both from a player skill and a character development standpoint), and when combined under one alliance you create a beast of a force. So while in many fights numbers were even or perhaps in TRAs minor favor, the average VAMP members simply outclasses the average TRA member. (Which is not to say I help in this regard, considering I was one of the few VAMP members do die during the siege, getting too close to a Wall of Force bubble out of curiosity. Lesson learned, and luckily I was rezzed and was able to witness the conclusion of the siege.)

VAMP also had a spy within the TRA high command, so any time they attempted anything sneaky, we knew it was coming. The main force trying to draw us out to the north while the elite attacked from the south might have been a good plan, except we had a welcome party ready for the south group, and never really chased the north group. Spies are a part of any war, but with TRA having such lax recruiting standards overall, it was not all that difficult to get a spy inside. Beyond the tactical advantage, I imagine it must also have been very demoralizing to watch your enemy react ahead of time to your every move. When you are already outclassed, you don’t need things stacked against you.

Finally there is the experience factor. Many of the leaders in VAMP have a great deal of siege experience from playing on EU and being highly aggressive there. TRA on the other hand has been inactive when it comes to sieging on NA, and while I’m guessing they have some EU-based leadership, from our fights with them it seemed they were again outclasses in this area.

With TRA gone, VAMP will need a new target to drum up PvP (the overall point of seiging to begin with). Who that will be remains to be seen, and with the expansion set to make some radical (hopefully) changes to PvP and siege mechanics, some time will no doubt be spent just figuring everything out. The launch of the expansion is also likely to trigger a return of former players who are currently on the sidelines, so perhaps some mid-sized clans will grow, and some returning veterans may shift power around a bit.

The one thing I currently find a bit off about a siege in DarkFall is how everything plays out overall. Basically in order to start a siege, the attacker must get to the targets bindstone to use a clan shard, and usually the best way to proceed at this point is to hold the city for the four hour timer and then smash the clan stone. In essence, the owner of the city is actually attacking and trying to push those inside out, which is odd considering they own the damn thing. And currently there is little that can be done to reverse this. If you happen to catch the attackers before they get inside, the clan shard is not used and the siege never actually starts.

It will be interesting to see if this changes with the coming expansion and the 24hr ‘warning’ window before a siege, along with the new siege stones that can be used. Already players are adjusting war funds to account for siege hammers not bringing down city walls and the need to destroy them, which means more warhulks and cannons will be deployed (hopefully at a reduced cost as well). What else changes will be interesting to watch.

(DarkFall-related post disclaimer/reminder. If you click the image link near the top-right of this page and buy a DarkFall account, I get paid 20% of the client cost. If you believe this taints my views and reporting on DarkFall, your opinion is wrong.)

10 Responses to DarkFall: Lessons from the fall of TRA

  1. Toot says:

    Hey Dude, a quick note, I bought Darkfall through you site – so you should know you had at least one sale – maybe you had a lot hehe – just a note anyhow

    • SynCaine says:

      Thanks for using the link. If you have any questions about the game once in my email is just below the DF ad, feel free to use it.

  2. Dblade says:

    Its ironic though that winning and forcing an alliance to disband really doesn’t benefit anyone. Those TRA guys probably are demoralized, and your VAMP guys have nothing really to do now. If anything, sounds like it would have been better for TRA to beat you guys back, that way PvP could have been prolonged.

    I guess that’s a problem with that kind of pvp. The best fights are close ones, but there’s no way to balance them at all, so it tends to steamrollering and mismatches.

    • SynCaine says:

      TRA simply had way too many holdings that they could not defend. It’s not like VAMP went out to find the smallest, easiest target to beat on, as in some ways TRA was the biggest alliance (more holdings and more people than VAMP anyway).

      And while I’m sure some exTRA people are indeed demoralized initially, the truth is they got a catalyst to move on and establish something actually solid. VAMP has no intention of ruling all of Yssam, we just wanted to bring a little PvP to that island.

      As for our future, there are still other targets we can go after, so we won’t be hurting for PvP.

      • Dblade says:

        Depends what solid means. Does it mean “Giving a better PvP experience” or does it mean “Small enough not to be worth the bother?” Organizational issues are one thing, but if its just being outclassed and outskilled they wont be any more solid, they’ll just be fragmented enough to not be worth an extended campaign.

        I;m nto saying you guys are picking on them, it’s just that easy or onesided fights wont breed solid pvp over the long term.

        • SynCaine says:

          I agree. I’m not high up in the alliance leadership so I don’t know exactly the reasons behind attacking TRA (maybe they did just want to bully someone, but I kinda doubt it just from my time in vent with many of them), but what I do know from just being a player who follows politics a bit is that VAMP went into this knowing we outclass them 1v1, but our assumption was that in most fights it would be 50v100 or so. That part never happened because of the general stagnation of TRA and their inability to actually rally people for a fight.

          The guys high up in VAMP are more or less ‘done’ with their characters, so (IMO) their goals right now are to shake things up on NA, and to provide everyone in VAMP with fun PvP most nights. We thought TRA was going to give us that, we never expected them to throw in the towel after the third siege. At some point, server health comes into it, and luckily for everyone the guys in VAMP realize beating up on the little guy trying to come up won’t do anyone any good. If anything, they know that when your clan/alliance gets too comfortable, things start to get boring and people drift away. If every night or so something new is going down, people have a reason to keep logging in and getting better.

  3. Adam says:

    @Toot

    Play for 20 hours+ kill goblins get a feel for the game.. dont get discouraged its confusing and different.

    Join http://forums.darkfallonline.com/showthread.php?t=222400 if you are on NA-1 they help newbs. I can’t speak to the quality but its a good shot for the first 30days.

    @Dblade – Disagree. TRA was crippled and needed to be trashed. Way of the World baby. That being said there is some lame EU-1 nuthugging going on. Some of the toons that came over are way more stats and skilled and yes I’ll say it …GOOD PLAYERS. IF they all just ally with each other and shit-can NA-1 it will be lame fights for a while.

    It’s open world PVP. Zerg and counter zerging is how it all happens.

    • Dblade says:

      But will the trashing make for stronger clans and future alliances? I guess that’s my problem. I agree with you on the problem of the best PvPers clanning together.

  4. Broseph Stalin says:

    Syncaine, whats happening to SPA these days? Time constraints required me to stop playing a few months ago and I haven’t heard about my old alliance in a while.

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