Double siege night in DarkFall

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.)

10 Responses to Double siege night in DarkFall

  1. Werit says:

    I was pretty doubtful about WAR’s performance improving until it actually did. I’d say there is hope :)

    • SynCaine says:

      Considering performance WAS good prior to the expansion, I’m sure eventually it’s going to get resolved. I’d just prefer ‘eventually’ to be next week rather than next month.

  2. Diametrix says:

    Good Read and thanks for the after action report. A better insight, I’m sure, than the drivel posted on DF forums.

    Reading what you posted about the financial/personal asset & wealth impact of a such a large seige is very interesting. I agree, if one large conflict eats up a significant percentage of your networth…that’s hard to deal with.

    I agree that AV needs to improve the functionality. In the interim small scale engagements will be the norm. I remember you advocating this earlier in your DF play.

    Seems like AV may already recognize the bandwidth limitations considering the expansions’ changes to Seiges. It is more difficult and takes longer to organize and impelement a full seige these days.

    Maybe they could design a warfare mechanic that isn’t on the full seige scale but is more involved than single group raids. That might fill the gap until they can upgrade hardware and functionality.

    • SynCaine says:

      A good suggestion I saw on the forums is to use node reinforcement like EVE does. If it’s technically possible, it should be easy for AV to do given the 22 hour waiting period for a siege, and the fact that the battle really never moves beyond that set location. Same goes for Sea Fortress battles, since they are on a set 3 day timer.

      But yea, a siege like that is just crazy expensive, both personally and for a clan/alliance. VAMP used 3 sets of nexus entrance/exits, I know NEM used at least one, all types of cannons were used, everyone in VAMP had 1-2 marked runestones used, the countless mounts/regs/armor/weaps used/lost etc. The total cost of it all is just astounding.

      I use to think the alliance banking the 50k+ off the fire dragon was a large amount, but seeing a siege like that, it’s almost required just to stay funded. That’s what makes DF great though, it’s not just about PvP skill or who has higher stats. It’s being able to fund, manage, and coordinate a massive war machine better than your opponents, all while maintaining some form of diplomatic relations.

      • Adam says:

        Hmm I’m not familiar with the Eve system.

        My thought would be to move the siege stones to 1 or imo 2 of the nearest villages (yes house binds would add some ninjaness :) ).

        It would break up the forces to defend/attack the siege stones. Hopefully this forces enough people off of directly on top of the city.

        It would also add a nice level of tactical control required of the forces attacking and defending.

        I would kind of like it if it was something like –

        siege declared (prob still leave the 24 hours notification)
        2 stones in 2 diff villages must be defended for 2-6 hours. If they are defended by attackers they get a long window if 1 lost a short window and if both lost the siege ends.
        siege open on property for 2-3 hours (siege stones are of course still vulnerable)

        Something like that to make the siegers have to stay on their toes and keep it dynamic.

        Relics with good buffs we could steal from each other outside of sieging would really add a layer as well. I’d probably make these reasonably easy to steal with no timers or anything but add an encumbered walking character having to carry it. Best would be 3 people encumbered and truly carrying something…

      • Dblade says:

        Node reinforcement seems to have its own problems, mostly the improbability of players scheduling combat, and the problem that they will bring too much to a battle anyways. I’m not sure what can solve it except designing forts or battles not to need or have the potential to bring numbers that can crash players out of it.

        • SynCaine says:

          The scheduling issue is somewhat ‘solved’ in DF because there is a 22 hour waiting period between declaring a siege and the time players actually show up. Usually this means there is a server downtime between the declaration and the actual battle.

          The thing is, huge battles in DF are when the game is at its best, UNLESS it’s a lag slideshow and you keep getting booted. Prior to CtS it was possible to have a battle the size of last night and enjoy it, but something they added with CtS borked that.

        • Dblade says:

          That’s interesting because a lot of the 0.0 players in EVE say the same, even up to the most recent expansion borking the past battles.

  3. Adam says:

    On another note-

    Yes I’ve been hearing a few “out of virtual address space” crashes in vent lately and it happened to me once at the siege last night.

    Great siege though. I was positioned slightly off to the side watching push up that mountain south of Kvitstein at you guys in Vam-esis.

    It was really spectacular seeing the spell battles from across the valley. The stream of players running up the ridgeline at your position…one of the most amazing sights in a video game… this game is so much the best game ever and people just don’t get it.

    The last push you guys made into Kvitstein was a good time but I was forced down to 1600×1200 and no shadows with the peons ;)

    Vam-esis made us all very happy. There was almost zero loot discipline given the collection of guilds that were fighting.

    The lootwhores in guild were screeching with joy for hours from your super geared doods, it was so laugably vile I had to leave that channel… thanks though.

    • SynCaine says:

      The amount of combat looting by both sides was crazy, but when everything is so lagged it almost does not matter, which is sad.

      I think something might be up with my system though, because turning off shadows and post processor effects did nothing for my FPS, which is borderline impossible. As much as I hate screwing with hardware, it seem I’ll have to do some of that tonight.

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