I love when Aventurine does ‘small’ patches and we get this.
As has been the trend for some time now, this patch is a good mix of new/casual player help (no mob decap) with ‘end-game’ changes like the Sea Fortress adjustment. With overall improvements like visual updates to mobs/structures/spells and more targeted ‘wildlife’ like city cats and dogs, plus long-overdue bug fixes like water logging, the patch is a very nice overall addition. Add in some needed balance items like rare ores from iron nodes, the AoE magic change (which is stupid huge in terms of PvP impact and bringing back a higher focus on player skill vs character development), the nerf to mounted combat, the buff to ray spells; it’s hard to not find at least a few items to make everyone happy.
Best of all though is that Aventurine is clearly listening to the player base when considering changes, while at the same time applying a solid filter to (so far) stay clear of the more radical, unproven, and at times simply crazy suggestions. While I don’t doubt veteran players have far more experience with the ins-and-outs of DarkFall than the devs, at the end of the day those veteran players are just that, players, and while their suggestions and input should be considered and valued, it would be a terrible mistake to follow them blindly, especially the small but overly vocal top-end crowd. It sounds simple, but far too many developers get this balance all wrong, either listening too much or too little.
So far Aventurine seems right on point (assuming of course the patch is as solid in-game as it is on paper, which is a rather large assumption), both when making adjustments aimed at current players, and also in shaping Darkfall into something that will appeal to more and more players as time goes on. The game has an established base of followers, that after an initial spike and dropoff has been slowly building, and updates like this, along with the expansions, just add fuel to that fire. AV is doing a solid job mimicking the CCP model, and in terms of long-term MMO growth, they could not have picked a better studio to follow.
Bonus Chuck-o-the-day: Chuck Norris doesn’t have a ctrl key on his keyboard because Chuck Norris is always in control.
(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.)