Getting better at PvP in Darkfall is usually a rather costly process, but its one everyone who really wants to improve goes through. It’s easy to go out with a veteran group to PvP and get good results (you kill people), but most of the time you won’t really be learning what it takes to get better in small scale situations, as you are more or less being carried by those around you, or you’re group gets defeated and it might be difficult to identify what you specifically did wrong. The best, but most painful way to get better at PvP in Darkfall is to go out there and fight people, and while you won’t see much success initially, you will rapidly improve.
The learning process was in full effect last night for myself and my two buddies. We were coming back to a few mob camps that we had just been farming successfully for a couple hours when I heard another player moving about. As I rode closer I heard a mount spawn, indicating the player was most likely not a friendly target. Coming over a hill I spotted the player and he was indeed an enemy, so a quick decision was made to give chase. Even though this was a 3v1 situation, all three of us were in PvE gear sets that were very suboptimal for PvP, so perhaps the decision to chase was not a good one, but you play Darkfall to PvP after all, so ultimately why not? You can always replace gear, but you can’t replace a learning experience.
The terrain was such that the enemy had no straight escape path, and so despite his head start, we eventually were able to close the distance and engage. As I was the one closest to the enemy, my basic plan was to slow him down and stall him long enough for the others to catch up, but he was game and would not engage in a mounted fight for long. As he rode ahead of me I jumped off my mount and put enough arrows into his mount to get it very close to death (if I did not suck at archery it would have gone down), and due to his attempts to dodge my arrows another group member was now close enough to engage as well. He unfortunately made the mistake of getting off his horse too close to the enemy, and the guy was smart enough to quickly jump off his wounded mount and grab my ally’s full health one. The delay however was long enough to allow my friend to fully bow down the fresh mount (unlike me he has good aim), and once on the ground we were able to catch up and fight it out.
The mount was downed near the top of a sand dune, and right behind the enemy a very powerful mob was prowling. As the enemy buffed up I arrived and started shooting some magic. Unfortunately I was using a slower-casting PvE staff, so my DPS was limited compared to my enemies, and as luck would have it the mob started casting at me rather than the enemy who was much closer. As the two focus fired me, my health dropped quickly and in a last ditch effort I spawned my mount, used the Rage ability, and tried to avoid death long enough for my friends to bring him down.
Along with the problem of my staff, our more magic-focused ally was in heavy armor for PvE, and so his best weapon was unavailable to him, and his back-up, archery, was also significantly impacted. This meant that the enemy was able to focus me without much worry for the others, and despite using Rage and dodging on a mount, he was able to not only bring me down, but then pull off a smart confusion/gank combo. He was low health now, but due to the lack of AoE magic or the ability to put heavy pressure on him, he was able to recover before engaging the others, and ultimately killing them as well long before I had time to ride back to the fight.
While on the surface it’s a bit embarrassing to lose a 3v1, it was certainly a great learning experience and brings us one step closer to really feeling comfortable in small-scale PvP situations. I’m still adjusting to my now more magic-focused character, while the others are still fairly new to many aspects of PvP such as mounted combat, keeping pressure on an opponent, and how to juggle being aggressive while keeping your own vitals high. It’s that meta-complexity however that really makes Darkfall PvP so enjoyable and such a huge rush. It would have felt great to bring down a veteran PvPer, even 3v1, and the defeat is just more motivation to improve our play.
Edit: Ugh first day fail, sorry!
When Chuck Norris gets pulled over, he lets the cop off with a warning.
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