Two DarkFall PvE comments for today, the first about the Fire Dragon and the second about solo vs group farming.
Blood, living out of Ghana, has easy access to the Ruby Fire Dragon and downs him often. So often in fact, that we have affectionately named him Player Auctions, in part as a tribute to our large ForumFall fanbase. Blood is able to down PA so often because instead of clan-whoring all of his loot, the leadership has set up a simple but effective system to reward people for participating, and the whole gather/kill/loot process is done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The loot system is MMO 101 loot distribution: a leader picks a number between 1-100, everyone involved picks a number and enters it into chat at the same time, and loot is distributed based on the order of who is closest to the picked number. Prizes include crafted rank 60 and 50 weapons, as well as the items from the chest being distributed. The actual gold (which can get as high as 100k or so) goes to the clan.
PA takes a good 10+ people to down him in a reasonable (15min?) amount of time, so getting people motivated and excited to participate is key to farming such a huge source of clan income. In addition to the loot distribution system, Blood also provides crafted elemental bows, in part to help lower the cost of downing him, but also because an ice transmute bow speeds the whole process up immensely. It sounds simple, yet surprisingly few clans take these steps to not only provide entertainment for their members, but help themselves out as well.
On a related “good to farm” note, last night a buddy and I went out to farm some Tomb Scarabs that also spawn right outside of Ghana, and we were both blown away at how profitable the spawn can be if done correctly. For starters, Tomb Scarabs are somewhat unique in that they are practically immune to both magic and arrows, meaning they must be melee’ed down, but since they have 1000hp and hit deceptively hard, it would take a single character a few attempts just to down one, and that process might be dicey due to the nasty DoT they have a tendency to place on you.
If you bring two players however, one ready to melee in heavy armor and a decent weapon and the other ready to buff and heal, the Tomb Scarabs go down nice and easy, and at 300-1000 gold a pop, a spawn of three, and a quick respawn timer, the gold quickly adds up. Just last night we made a total of 10k in less than an hour just in gold alone, along with a sizable amount of gems, skinning materials, and black powder to go along with it. As a nice side bonus, since the Tomb Scarabs don’t have a ranged attack and stay in melee range once engaged, you don’t end up spending a lot of time chasing them down or getting into unfavorable situations. This is important for two reasons: one being that you are able to watch out for enemies much easier, and the other bonus being that you are able to take breaks and actually socialize while farming, making the whole thing far more enjoyable.
Our initial reaction as the gold was piling up was that Tomb Scrabs are a bit overpowered in terms of effort/gain, but on second thought they might not be. When you factor in how difficult they are to solo, that they only really drop gold and a few semi-useful enchanting mats, and that in order to down them effectively you have to not only bring out decent gear but also work well as a duo, the effort/gain ratio seems fine.
If anything, these two examples are exactly the PvE variety DF offers at times if you stop for a moment and analyze a spawn. Mobs that reward a well planned, well executed strategy by a set number of players. A third person at the scarabs would have been overkill, just like bringing 20+ to the Fire Dragon means a lower chance for loot at only a marginal increase in kill time, and since the dragon is on a long, long respawn timer, you really don’t gain much from the extra manpower. There should be optimal solo mobs (there are some), optimal duo spawns, and optimal larger group stuff. Combined with bringing the right gear, using the right utilities (buffs, debuffs), and having the player skill to pull it off (certainly not the high level you need for PvP, but not the faceroll that is typical MMO PvE), it all makes for a much more enjoyable and rewarding PvE experience, which then makes losing that gear in PvP a lot more bearable.
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