The NA server had its busiest night to date yesterday, with VAMP/NEM (and basically the whole server) being involved in two city sieges. The first (Kvet) was our siege, the second (Mam) we were hired to help take. We failed at both.
The Kvet siege was overall rather hectic, and we were never truly able to bring one fighting force together after the initial battle that pushed us out of the city. While no one truly knows the numbers on both sides, it sure felt like we were heavily outnumbered, as anytime we would try to rally, a much larger force would show up and scatter us. There was some great fighting in and around the city, and I personally recalled back three times to try and aid the battle.
The first time back was a total waste, as I was decapped before I was even able to move, as the location of my previous logout was being heavily camped. The second time back was with a few other VAMP members, and we were able to break off and engage some enemies off to the side, but midway through that battle enemy reinforcements showed up and swarmed us. The third time back was similar to the second, as we initially held some ground only to be swarmed before we could really shore things up. We were halfway back to the city for a fourth attempt when the final siege stone was taken down and the siege ended.
The Mam fight was better/worse for a number of reasons. Initially we had an easier time establishing a force thanks to owning a hamlet close by, and this allowed us to make a solid initial push into the city, gaining control of most of it. As the siege was not live at this point, we killed who we could and moved back out to the large siege stone.
As the attack phase of the siege went live, we again pushed in and were making good progress. We dropped a few cannons to start hitting the city stone, and I believe we got it down to about 50% before we were pushed back. Mam is a fun city to fight in (I believe this is the 3rd or 4th siege in that city that I’ve been a part of) because its flat and tightly packed, given it a very ‘urban combat’ feel, great for melee. Control of various buildings (fighters guild, church, barracks) would change hands often, and ‘safe spots’ continued to shift as the battle went on. AoE magic being fixed to no longer go through walls has hada huge impact in such fighting. ID’ing targets was difficult due to the large number of clans present and the general confusion, and even once you found a target it was difficult to finish anyone before they ran back into a crowd.
Eventually however our numbers were thinned and we were not able to keep enough pressure to knock the stone down. With the enemy bound at the city and constantly respawning/regearing (the city was not fully disabled, so the enemy had a good amount of bind spots available) they were simply able to keep a larger force going in the long run. Again no one is sure on numbers, but they felt more or less even to me, at least initially.
One personal highlight from the Mam siege was when I went back for the final time and played solo ninja on the city walls. I would sneak around and hide, waiting for an enemy to face the outside. As they did, I would rush out and knock them off the wall, down to our allies who would then blast them down (hopefully anyway). As most of our force was outside, and the enemy assumed the city was secure, I was able to knock a good number of people off before finally being detected and chased down. At least that was a good and comical ending to my long (9pm to 2am) night.
Overall though I was rather disappointed/frustrated by the whole night, as technical issues caused more deaths than anything else. Between ‘out of memory’ crashing and my FPS dropping down to 4 at some points (on average I was sitting at 20ish, which is low but playable), it was just difficult to really enjoy either event. DarkFall had made good progress in this area prior to the latest expansion, as previously a 100v100+ battle was not something that would cause this many issue, but since CtS was released performance has taken a noticeable drop.
I would say more than half my deaths were the result of an ‘out of memory’ crash, and many of our members were also experiencing similar difficulties. When you are trying to pull of precision group tactics, huge lag and leaders crashing makes this impossible, and everyone fighting is reduced to a mindless zerg. I’m not saying in perfect conditions either fights result would have been different, but they would have at least been a lot more entertaining.
In total I would say I lost a good 50% of my gear/wealth, at least in pure value (I have dozens of lesser sets, but top-tier stuff is exponentially more valuable). Three sets of post-patch self-crafted Full Plate, keened r60 Greatswords, r60 bows, about a dozen mounts and jewelers etc hurts when half of it is gone because you crashed. I don’t mind losing gear in combat, hell the whole point of getting it is to use it, but nothing sours your night like losing a top set because you crashing, knowing that hours of ‘work’ farming it is gone without a single swing.
Going forward I’m not sure how optimistic everyone feels about battles on such a massive scale like this without some work from Aventurine. Pre-CtS such battles were more than possible, and the end result was always an amazing experience, but that’s just not the case right now. Smaller scale stuff is possible, and it seems like sea-based battles are good as well, but massive city sieges (which are the crown jewel of DF’s endgame) are somewhat screwed right now. Hopefully Aventurine acknowledges and addresses the issue soon. But for now, I’m off to farm the Selentine Golem and restock my bank…
(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.)