Darkfall blog (no not this one!)

October 13, 2010

Aventurine has an official Darkfall blog up, and already it has some good content. Like with any blog, the real challenge is to keep the momentum going and survive long term, providing a steady stream of updates. This, a new Facebook page (Darkville coming soon?!?), and the twitter feed being more active, the communication side of AV has greatly improved in recent months.

Next up, on-time expansions?

Chuck-o-the-day: The world was actually flat until Chuck Norris made it curl up into a ball of fear.

(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.)


Pearls of Wisdom

October 12, 2010

From a thread about “Low Elo Hell” in League of Legends:

Bad players don’t know they are bad, that’s why they are bad, and they will continue to be bad
thus elo hell is created as an excuse.

On the other hand, if you’re a bad player and you know why you’re bad and can determine realistic ways to not do bad, then you’ll get better and stop being bad


The cost of saving a buck

October 12, 2010

I picked up Final Fantasy 2 for the iPhone not long ago and have really been enjoying it. It’s a classic RPG much like FF1 was, but for a few reasons, FF2 has so far been better. One reason is certainly the pace of the story, as FF1 really dragged and was predictable, while FF2 is moving along at a good clip and has already taken a few interesting turns. Another reason is the class-less advancement system along with how magic works. Since characters are skill+stat based, you are more or less free to develop your party however you see fit, which leads to more flexibility and ‘ownership’ of your characters. Perhaps as I get deeper into it (10hrs so far) things will slow down or get dull, but so far it’s been great.

And since I was enjoying the game, I recommended it to a buddy of mine, although I said he should wait for a sale. The game is regularly priced at 1/5th of a pony reskin ($4.99), and I picked it up when it was down to $2.99. The difference between the sale and regular price is just two bucks, which really is nothing.

Yet I’m sure Square-Enix sold a ton of FF2 copies during the sale (it’s why I bought it), and it is after all almost 50% off. But the actual dollar amount being so small, it seems silly. Why would my buddy wait weeks or months just to save the equivalent of one soda for something he is going to use for 20+ hours? Now granted, if he has others games to play, fine, wait for the sale, but in this case he does not.

Plus lets look at the alternative; how smart is it to buy a half-decent game on sale versus paying ‘full price’ and getting something good? If we are talking PC games at release, it might make sense to avoid the $50 title and pick up a Steam-sale game for $25 or less (maybe, although that still seems silly to save $25 on something over the course of dozens of hours). But something that’s either $5 or $3? Again, that seems silly, yet I had been eyeing FF2 for a bit before buying it due to the sale.

My point is that we seem to do a lot of silly things to save a few bucks at the possible expense of our enjoyment. Not that you are going to hate that $25 game (hopefully anyway), but is having just a decent experience really worth the savings when we are talking the type of time investments we make with gaming? It’s not like we are talking about seeing a 2hr movie or downgrading a single bottle of wine over dinner here.

Why is it that I’ll gladly pay $5 more per person to see a 2hr movie at the premium theater, yet wait for a month to save $2 on an iPhone game? Or better still, buy a $400 video card but then wait for a Steam sale to buy a $20 game to use it with.

Chuck-o-the-day: World records are just things Chuck Norris has not attempted yet.


Darkfall: First weekend back

October 11, 2010

I played a decent amount of Darkfall over the weekend, thought not as much as I had originally planned (damn you all-access League of Legends weekend!). I got myself situated with what’s been going on with Blood and our close friends Heroes Fate, who own a hamlet in Alfar lands and a city on Cairn. I also jumped into some PvP against some of the servers best (guess how that went?), and got a taste of some of the new PvE changes. All in all, good times, just needed more time for them.

The location of the hamlet is… interesting, as it sits right between Zealots main city of Mar Shral and Kolesh, which is owned by now-rival Covert Operations. Both clans feature some of the servers best PvP’ers, and both are known for their highly coordinated, small-group fighting styles. Needless to say, my first night back did not go very well against CO when we did a little raid on their city. Their counter-attack on the hamlet also left me on the ground bleeding in short order. But hey, that’s what you make junk PvP gear bags for, right?

The PvE trip on Cairn went well, as it seems we have a nice little farming route consisting of some Cairn Giants, a Theyril Golem, and an Erodach. With our group of 5 or 6, we only really had a bit of trouble with the Theyril Golem, and ultimately everyone walked away with a good bit of loot. I’ll have to see what I can do solo around the city, along with smaller-group stuff. I’m also very interested in checking out some of the nearby dungeons, both near Cairn and around the Alfar hamlet. Forums report that the dungeon in the Alfar lands got quite a makeover.

Definitely good to be back though, and nice to see many of the same people I played with/against either still around or also coming back. Now to dust off that PvP rust and actually start contributing…

Chuck-o-the-day: MacGyver used a paper clip, balloon, and pencil to make a building explode. Chuck Norris used his feet.

(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.)


Darkfall: Ice Dragon kill video

October 10, 2010

Hey look Darkfall ‘raiding’. To the alt-tab 1-2-1-4 machine!

Oh and the reason the first attempt failed? They did not complete enough of those ‘new’ ‘daily’ quests the last ‘patch’ added, and the overall gearscore was too low.

Hahaha.

Edit: Original forum thread, with loot screenshot.


30 minutes with Hellfreeze

October 8, 2010

I’ve only managed to log about 30 minutes or so into Darkfall since the expansion, but even in EuroGamer time I’ve seen some good things. With the upcoming weekend, I should have a much better report come Monday.

The first and most obvious change is of course the terrain overhaul. It’s certainly noticable, and in a way feels like a fog has been lifted off Agon, with everything now being very crisp and clean. It’s also one of those changes that if you don’t know exactly what to look for, you just assume it always looked like that and don’t notice the change. More before/after screenshots would have been interesting to see, but at this point it matters little. Bottom line is the game looks much better now, and the groundwork for the character model, armor updates, and DX11 effects is firmly in place.

The second, and perhaps even more important piece I noticed is an increase in my FPS, up about 20-30 depending on what was on screen. Considering the graphical improvement, that’s impressive. From scanning the forums a bit, it seems those which middle to upper level hardware have seen in increase, while those on budget PCs are reporting a performance hit. Death to toasts I say.

The final point I want to bring up is a bit more theory for now, but something I’m sure will pan out. The PvE changes, primarily the placement of high-value mobs in dungeons and away from player cities, will lead to more small-scale PvP engagements, which is something the community has been asking for. I don’t know why so many are not seeing this, but it’s not rocket science.

You won’t be bringing a raid-sized force to a dungeon to farm, but you most likely won’t be going solo either. Players know the locations of the dungeons, and checking one for activity is not very difficult. ‘Claiming’ a farming spot of high value has always lead to fighting, yet previously most of these spots were close to a player city, so whoever owned the city owned the spot. So now instead of randomly roaming the world looking for PvP, players can instead check on a few dungeons (plus villages, since those are now worth more and don’t go vulnerable as often). And since many of the dungeons are located between various player cities, I expect they will become PvP hotspots for those who live nearby.

Again, a lot more come Monday.

Chuck-o-the-day: Chuck Norris eats his birthday cake without blowing out the candles.

(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.)


What 6gigs really brings

October 7, 2010

A lot of funny things happen when a large number of people are waiting for 6gigs to download, especially when they have been waiting a good number of months to get it. It’s also interesting to watch the feeding frenzy for info from those who finish the download first versus those who have yet to log in. Clearly the difference of a few hours after months of waiting is, well, a big deal.

Seeing such a high volume of ‘instant’ feedback is also very telling. From some already being disappointed with the graphics update (without actually seeing it…), to claiming “no fair” for those who are playing now, if there is an inkling of injustice (real or otherwise), you can bet someone made a thread about it.

It’s also a safe bet that people are going to make “but what about feature X that was promised!?” threads about features that were, in fact, clearly NOT promised for this update. Those same idiots tomorrow will make a thread demanding info on what’s being developed, presumably so they can once again get themselves all confused and over-hyped.

And ultimately, online life will go on. Tomorrow cities will be sieged, mobs will be farmed, and some new FOTM tactic will be discovered, with a slew of threads to follow about “lulz fix it NOW!!!” But for today, it’s 99% ForumFall, and all its jibbering wonder.

Chuck-o-the-day: Jesus turned water into wine. Chuck Norris turned wine into a bad temper and aggravated assault.

(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.)


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