The good times will return

As we draw closer to the release of DF:UW (which, considering AV just made DF1 free, indicates it might actually happen on Nov 20th?), the launch brings up an interesting question that has often been alluded to on blogs and forums; if a game you loved re-launched, would it still have that same magic it did the first time around, or are people really viewing those experiences through rose-tinted glasses?

If returning clans and general forum interest is any indicator, DF:UW will certainly look very similar to DF1 in terms of who you will be playing with and fighting against. Personally, I’d be shocked if the magic does not return, simply because the core formula works, and on top of that the game engine has had three years of intense beta testing to polish it.

Unlike so many other MMOs, DF’s problems were not core design flaws, but issues that can be attributed to a limited budget or poor issue focus by Aventurine. Rather than the game putting up a giant “game over” screen the minute you hit the level cap, DF suffered because different clans were driven away by different bugs (desyncs,acid pools, bloodwalls, firekicks, city defenses, AoE spam, insta-rays, etc), and as more clans left, the ones remaining lost allies or enemies to drive the game forward. One look at EVE’s long null history and the bitter hatred it has inspired for years is all the proof you need that names and history matter, and without it people are more likely to drift away.

Another example might be TAGN’s recent posts about an unofficial WoW server running vanilla WoW. Maybe it’s just me, but his posts about the early leveling experience have been the most interesting WoW-related posts I’ve read since… whenever I stopped posting about how WoW sucked because of WotLK (and the number of comments to his posts would reflect that). Wilhelm is a great writer, but his posts are also entertaining because the context is far closer to the core of what an MMO is vs the stuff you do in more modern MMOs. Posts about the 1-20 leveling experience in GW2 are mind-numbingly boring for a reason, and that reason reflects more on the games overall design than on the author (and some good ones have tried). How many MoP leveling posts have you read with interest? I can’t wait to start blogging about in-game activities in DF:UW, and I’m guessing more than a few of you are looking forward to those as well.

One of the strawmen of people saying to go back to UO if I liked it so much is that not only is current-day UO nothing like what made the original release great in terms of design, it also lacks the players that made it great. An MMO’s design determines who it attracts. There is a reason The Mittani and players like him play EVE and not GW2. And should EVE ever turn into GW2, those players will leave.

The players that made DF1 so great in its early years are back. Now assuming AV delivers on their end, and a year or so in don’t attempt to release DF2014, the good times should be here again, no glasses needed.

6 Responses to The good times will return

  1. bhagpuss says:

    The ironic thing is that if the version of WoW Wilhelm is describing so eloquently was to launch right now I’d be on it like a shot. It sounds like exactly the kind of MMO I want to play.

    That version of WoW is near-as-dammit the same version that, when it launched in 2004, I wasn’t remotely interested in trying because I felt it was too dumbed-down and easy-mode to be worth bothering with compared to the MMOs I was playing at the time.

    Two things have happened, I think: my desire to do things the “hard” way has diminished considerably while at the same time the industry’s desire to offer me anything “hard” to do has declined even further. The two curves now meet in the middle somewhere around the difficulty level of Original WoW.

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever tried darkfall, but I’ll be keeping an eye on this relaunch thing. Looks interesting.

    @bhagpuss: I’ve been saying this exact same thing since WotLK launched. Not just on a personal level, but for basically the whole target demographic of vanilla.

  3. Anonymous says:

    yes, play darkfall if you are ready for:

    1. macroing your toon for skill gains 24/7, just to keep up with everyone else (DONT WORRY YOU CAN STILL BE USEFUL EVEN IF YOU DON’T! LOLOLOL)
    2. pvp that’s relies on button mashing, bunny-hopping, circle strafing slash and hack, rampant CHEATING ala radar hack, invisbility hack, fying hack, slipping through the world, speed hack, whatever you can think of…but its the BEST PVP SYSTEM ever, according to this blog…LOL?
    3. epeeners 24/7 (you need only to read the forums to see the cesspit come alive)
    4. fugly 2001-2002 graphics
    5. the best marketing and customer support that only a soon to be bankrupt greek company can offer (without gov’t funding, this methinks is their last ditch, DESPERATE effort to get some dough)

    only fanbois expect DF:UW to be any better…

    DF:UW…i give you 1 month…

    oh, and dont count on a nov 20 launch hahaha

    bye now!

    • Sand says:

      1: they claim this is going away
      2: this too
      3: you mean like in wow? or gw2? or any other game? at least in DFUW you can kill these faggots and steal their shit.
      4: this is not a concern for people who prefer gameplay over pretty pictures and bloom.
      5: marketing represents everything wrong in the world today. not going to feel the lack of slick hype-y marketing not one bit.
      the customer service thing is a small worry, but i’m willing to trust a company with a vision and a love for the game over one with suits and :shareholders:. one will try to make a game that they would want to play. the other will try to make a skinner box that encourages addictive personalities to spend ALL THE MONEY. guess which one is which

    • hevy says:

      Holy fuck, “Anonymous”, you are a complete tard.

  4. Derrick says:

    I do hope they can somehow make melee combat awesome without circlestrafing or hopping. No critisism of DF intended here; but it’s long been an annoyance of mine in first/third person games because it’s *grossly* unrealistic.

    You simply cannot run sideways/backwards anywhere near as fast as you can run forwards, and doing so while fighting would garauntee you end up on your ass.

    I’d love to see hitting someone while they jump/strafe/etc resulting in their falling down – something to make how you move in combat more interesting and believable.

    Focus more on block mechanics and such; active combat defense instead of just running around frantically.

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