DarkFall: The voice of the vets and the sign of the noobs

It’s time to cover a few recent developments in DarkFall. The first is a rather excellent bit of work done by the community that can be found here. The website is a collection of ideas and changes the veterans of DarkFall compiled to help improve the game. While I don’t fully agree with everything suggested (that might be a future post), the amount of thoughts and effort that went into this should be commended. I can’t recall another community that has gone to such great length to try and improve a game, so hats off to Keno Lair and everyone else who contributed.

Speaking of improvements, the latest patch added the new player protection system to DarkFall, which includes a visual indicator above a new players head in-game. I’ve talked before why such a system is a great addition, but I just recently (thanks to questing again in human lands) came across such a new player for the first time last night as I was crossing a starting area. I saw said player fighting goblins in some starter quest gear, but he was still swinging the bound newbie sword that you can’t skill up with. Thanks to the new player indicator, I knew the guy must be new, so I stopped for a moment to ask if he had another sword to use. After a brief pause (new player fiddling with the UI) he replied back that he did not, and so I told him to open trade with me (more UI fiddling delay) and gave him a spare 2h sword I just happened to have on me (forgot to bank it) that should make killing goblins a little easier for him.

On the forums other players have reported hanging out in the starter towns with ‘new player kits’ to hand out, and this is all made possible thanks to the new indicator. Before, you never knew who exactly was new, as the starter towns are also places to conduct trades or of course PvP. Now that it’s much easier to identify a truly new player, it makes helping them out that much easier. Nice little bonus for new players, and something that should make the transition into DarkFall a little smoother for many.

On the topic of new players, there seem to be a lot of them coming into DarkFall. Riding through human lands I noticed that not only are the starter and ‘secondary’ NPC towns populated, but I spotted a good number of obviously newish players farming local mobs. And as always, the city of Hammerdale owned by clan NEW is full of players, as is that surrounding area. This obvious inflow of new players is somewhat contradictory to some of the forumfall grumbling about low clan/alliance activity among the elite. My only reasoning for this is that many of the elite have reach a level of character progression that is more or less ‘capped’, and those that played so hard so early are now going through a bit of burnout. Add to that a few new MMO releases of late (especially the FPS-based Global Agenda), and some of the existing issues with sieging and general ‘end-game’ PvP, and the reasons why those at the top are less active becomes clear.

From my own personal experience and that of Inquisition, we are all very active and busy trying to balance character progression and PvP activity. While my character is above average, he still has a long way to go before I feel he is ‘capped out’, and given that progress slows the higher your skills get, I’m not too worried about reaching that point anytime soon.

(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: The voice of the vets and the sign of the noobs

  1. Shawndra says:

    A new player indicator of some sort would be a great addition to any game. I know I’d love to have a big arrow above my head pointing me out when I start something new. In the games I do enjoy and play the hell out of, I’d really like to be able to tell who is new and who is just looking for a hand out.

    • Zapatero says:

      I’ve not jumped into DF for a couple of months, but an indicator seems a bit of an immersion-breaker. Eve of course allows you to check on employment record, which reveals how old a character is, which works much better on that kind of level. However with three character slots per Eve account, an apparent noob could just be a vet’s alt in disguise, unless you have access to their API key. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

      Nice little concession though. I only wish I had time to get back into the game.

  2. YelloBird says:

    Go, I love that gem in the patchnote: “One of the myths about Darkfall is that players prey on newbies. The Darkfall playerbase on average has displayed great sportsmanship and most players go out of their way to help someone starting out.”

    Doublespeak: “because our players are so newbie friendly, we have to protect our newbies from their friendliness”

    Newbie protection is great, btw … almost tempting me to try it again (sadly it seems like I would need a new account to enjoy the protection bit) :-)

    • SynCaine says:

      He did say ‘on average’, and as we all know, it just takes a few to ruin it for everyone else. The myth about DF is that everyone playing is just there to gank and lulz about it, when in fact the community as a whole is very mature (outside of ForumFall, but being an ass on ForumFall IS the whole point, and many of the worst trolls on the forums are the nicest people in-game).

      Plus the protection also helps with stuff like a new player accidental hitting another player and getting tower zapped, or wandering off too far from easy mobs, stuff like that.

  3. Adam says:

    The vet suggestions list is a mix of good/ mediocre/ really bad suggestions.

    Reduce bindstone invulnerability timers to 4 seconds? Really? Bindcamping would become so ridiculously easy this would be really bad for the game.

    Fourlegged running? Seriously NOT balance-able there are so many situations that it would be stupid Iwin or Iescape for a racial. Not sure why people are still crying about adding this.

    The village section is overly complicated.

    Buff the rewards to add non-gold items, yes to sea villages only takeable by ships (and buff rewards).

    The melee and archery section needs a lot of work. Lots of buffs in this section that would make overall damage too high and they even add in more cc (bad road to go down.)

    Overall the melee and archery fixes should be simpler – lower archer encumbrance and allow aqua and jump shot.

    Hmm maybe thats it- An archery specialization “Agile” that allows jumpshot and reduces encumbrance but removes elemental magic schools?

    Yes increase the battlemount weight.

    Mages need some kind of specialization that limits their schools and 2h use somehow as we add melee/archery specializations.

    The guild, alliance and siege changes don’t appear to improve anything for the amount of typing they did.

    Yes to stopping people from using enemy clan banks (Aventurine has agreed to that already). We’d -have- to use chaos city banks and friendly hamlets. This is one reason I don’t support their siegestone banks either. Sieging clans need to work out their logistics issues not just rely on an easy siegestone bank.

    I’m coming around on the bindkicking change though I’m not so sure with the current population that’s it not actually good in the game right now. Population pressure would possibly just solve the issue anyway.

    Overall the game is pretty fun as it is. I’d mostly like to see smaller patches and more content-wise (crafting and midlevel mobs) than what these guys are talking about.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “I can’t recall another community that has gone to such great length to try and improve a game”

    Perhaps as far as MMOs go, this is true. However, the Smash Bros. community has spent the last year-and-a-half decoding Brawl, reprogramming many of its functions, and engaging in organized balancing to a variety of ends.

  5. Mojeaux says:

    This may be the thing that tips the scales for me and moves me to try DarkFall. I’m still playing AION and having fun at it, mostly the PvP thru rifting (gets the adrenaline going!) so why not a game that is ALL about the PvP?

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