I’ve been bound to VAMP’s city of Dagamyr (near the center of the map) for a few weeks now, mainly due to its ideal local PvE. Between Shadow Knights that drop Full Plate, Blood Knights that drop a ton of gold, and Grey Orcs for melee/archery grinding, it’s just a great spot for me. Unfortunately most of Inquisition is bound in Talpec up on Yssam, which makes getting together for group PvP rather tough. The recent placement of Megummi’s villa has been a huge plus, but last night he was not around and so I went out solo to see what trouble I could find.
Solo PvP for me is a bit tricky, as I’m not a total noob but don’t have the type of character or player skills to take down anyone I come across. At the same time I don’t intend to just roam the starter towns looking for naked gatherers, so I was unsure just how successful such a trip would be. This is further complicated by the fact that in order for me to be effective, I have to go out in decent gear (rather than just junk armor and regs to spam spells), and my bank can only take so many hits before it starts looking a bit barren.
But out I went, and I ended up having a really great time. I went west out of Dag and into Maharim (wolf) lands, knowing the area well from my time living there on the EU server. At first I only ran across a few under-geared players running to who know where, and they made easy prey for a mounted player. My general philosophy about killing/looting players goes like this: If you have a name I don’t like (baby eater, lulz dood, Legolazz), I will kill and dry loot you regardless of how new you might appear. If you react/play like a new player but fight back, and don’t have a stupid name, I’ll only loot things of actual value to me (regs, arrows, food), leave the rest of your stuff on your corpse and message you letting you know to go back and get it. If you seem like an equal-skilled character, I loot what I want (sometimes I vendor sell stuff, sometimes I’m too lazy to pick it all up).
After a few easy and uneventful kills, the sounds of combat came from a known grinding location (hivekin queen), and so I dismounted and crept up to do some scouting. Just as I neared the top of a hill, I saw a single player swimming away from the hivekin queen island and towards my general location. Loading up my greatsword power attack, I waited until he was just coming out of the water to charge down at him, and before he could react my power attack landed (it’s a forward thrust that is tough to land on a moving target), with more swings coming as he turned to run.
He spawned his mount just ahead of him, but at this point I had landed a good 3-4 back shots and his HP was around 30%. As he got on his mount, I pulled out my bow and started shooting. Initially my goal was to shoot him off his mount, but as he gained some distance more of my shots hit his mount than him (I’m not exactly pro at archery), and I then decided to just bring his mount down and finish him on foot. With his mount at 25%, he turned and charged me, getting a mounted hit in before his mount went down.
With both of us on the ground again, he pulled out his staff and began casting conversion spells to try and recover (mana to stam, stam to health), and while I was able to land a few archery shots, I sadly missed too many to finish him here, and instead he was able to start jump-casting fireballs to kite me. A few times the fireballs would send me towards him if I timed my jump correctly, and this actually allowed me to get in a few melee hits as he ran. I made another mistake here in attempting to chase him with a melee weapon, rather than just continuing to use archery. I’m far more comfortable in melee, and my thought process was that if I continued to miss archery shots, my early advantage would fade as he recovered.
With my own health around 50%, he must have been running low on mana, because he stopped fire kiting and instead went in for some melee. He was wearing full bone armor and I was in a mix of scale/plate, and he quickly realized I had the advantage here. After getting him once again to around 20%, he ran and transferred some more, which prompted me to do the same. I also noticed my stamina was getting critically low at this point (around 20%), and so I spawned my mount to try and finish him that way.
Initially it went well, as I was able to land a few hits and he was trying to bow/melee the mount down. The problem from my perspective was that while my stamina continued to go down, he would occasionally cast transfers, and I felt that shortly I would hit zero stamina and I would be a sitting duck. After a bad string of mounted-attack misses, I made the decision to get off my mount near him and cast some transfers, as my stamina was around 5% or so. As expected, he got on my mount and started attacking me, but I was able to get a few archery shots at him on the mount before outright killing it (yup, I killed my own mount).
But bringing down the mount used up the last of my stamina, and my hp was also at 25%. I tried to scramble and buy some time to recover, but he got into melee range and shortly brought me down. After a good 10-15 minutes, I finally took a breath.
I messaged him “good fight”, and we talked a bit. As it turns out, he was basically out of stamina a few times that fight, and had I pressed him at any of the key moments, I would have taken him down. In particular, when I got off my mount he was one hit away from zero stamina, and rather than trying to recover at that point, I really should have continued to press. In retrospect the worst that would have happened is my mount being killed from under me, and I could have tried to recover then. I also realized that I did not have a food buff (a huge bonus to stamina and hp regen) going for more than 50% of that fight, which would have easily turned the tide for me.
Yet even though I lost the fight, I felt great. I know I made some mistakes, but I also realized I was a much better player now than a few months back, and that as long as I keep my cool and remember all the little things that are key to DarkFall combat (food, keeping your stamina high, knowing when to press/recover), I can hold my own against decent players. This guy was no powerhouse, but he was no noob either.
I re-geared for another trip, and this one was a bit more fruitful while also being very entertaining. I ended up taking down two fully geared players in separate one on ones, killed my share of gatherers for a nice horde of materials, and managed to escape a 3v1 ambush that I ran into with just a sliver of mount health remaining.
I also had a funny conversation after killing a new player out at a mob spawn. I did my usual message about his gear, and he went on to ask a bunch of questions on how to improve and avoid future gankings. The funny part was how surprised he seemed at the options available to him, and how little of DarkFall he had explored to that point. He was trying to play DarkFall like a themepark, focusing on questing and not really planning ahead, assuming he would just ‘level up’ as he went. I pointed him towards NEW, and he seemed genuinely grateful about that and all the advice. Funny what ganking someone can bring.
Bonus: Here is a great little humor video from the DarkFall video contest. It’s a really great use of animations, lighting, editing, and coordination. Enjoy!
(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.)