Good video here from TheMercs showing solid group tactics and how to string out a much larger force. Also love that voice comms are included in the video, as it gives a much better view into how such a group operates and what it takes to PvP at a high level.
Darkfall: Unholy Wars takes place (I believe) 200 years after the events of Darkfall. Aventurine hasn’t done a lot with the lore, but in-game some areas reflect this more than others. The location of today’s story, the city of Aradoth, is a prime example of the change.
Right as I logged on a few members of NOX were attacking our city of Kvit. I don’t know how many they killed, but as a response force was gathering they left. Once our force was gathered, and being eager to engage in some PvP, we decided to head over to the home of NOX, the city of Aradoth.
In DF1 Aradoth was a very popular city for a number of reasons. It was a city with a mine, it was centrally located, and it was highly defensible since it was located inside of a mountain and accessibly only through winding cave tunnels. In DF:UW, the city itself is now outside, next to the mountain.
As we rode up to the city, we could hear the sounds of combat, which we correctly assumed was dueling. Our force crept right up to the city zone line, surveyed the situation, and picked the right time to rush in and murder the occupants.
The initial surprise of the attack worked, and we brought down a good number of them quickly, with only three fleeing. Two fled out of the city to the east, and one fled into a mountain tunnel. The group pursuing the target into the tunnel quickly lost him, and then one of them had trouble finding his way back out. Meanwhile, the rest of us chased down one of the two that fled east.
The splitting of our force, along with some general miscommunication, resulted in one of our numbers going down in the city, which forced all of us to re-enter and deal with the naked mob that we had created. That however was successful, and we were able to recover the fallen’s gear bag and get everyone out of the city.
We rolled to a nearby chaos stone to resupply and bank some loot. While at this stone a local informed us of a group farming nearby that had killed him, so we followed him to the spot and killed his killers (while he amusingly yelled “revenge” in area chat).
At this point we had the option to either return home, or head back to Aradoth, where we knew a response force was gathering. Picking action over pixels, we went back to Aradoth.
We again swept into the city and killed those around the bank, and yet again one player fled into the mountain. This time however we all followed inside.
What’s really cool about the mountain is it now contains the ruins of old Aradoth, right down to the location of buildings the old city had and the layout of some of its tunnels, which was very nostalgic for me having spent a good amount of time in that city in DF1.
A new addition however was a second exit from the tunnels, which the one enemy player used to get out. The exit (from what I saw, which was brief) appears to be a narrow gap among some rocks that you need to climb up on. One of our players found it, the rest of us did not. Unfortunately for the one player, he jumped right into the full NOX response force, which quickly brought him down. They then started attacking the rest of us, and the call was made to retreat back into a larger room before fighting.
We ran back and hid amongst the ruins, waiting for the enemy to run by. They did, and once five or so were in the room, we jumped out and attacked. Initially the battle was going in our favor, and I personally chased around a primalist to keep him from healing others. However as the fight dragged on, more and more NOX members spilled into the area, and we were eventually overwhelmed. I went from chasing one primalist to dodging 3-4 warriors all swinging at me. All but two of us went down.
The two that survived did so thanks to the rubble in the tunnels, as they were able to hide long enough for the enemy to clean the field and move out. Once they did, they were able to recall home.
Not a fully successful return to Aradoth, but a lot of fun.
Last night there were multiple large sieges not involving OTG, and since our clan had no formal plans to attend, I made my way down to the area to do some good old scroaching.
For non-Darkfall players, scroaching is basically attending a siege as a neutral third party and picking off anyone you see, while also trying to grab as much loot as possible. It’s an evolution of the word roach (though I can’t recall why it went from roach to scroach, someone in the comments help me out)
Since I was solo, I focused more on the looting part than the fighting, and set out with some basic gear and a mount. Once I arrived at the scene of the first battle, I dismounted and crept from tree to tree, doing my best to not get noticed as I moved towards the closest gravestone. At each gravestone, I looted anything of value before ducking back into the shadows. After five graves I was close to being overloaded, and rather than push things further I rode off to bank my spoils. Round one was a massive success!
I returned to find that the battle had ended and the winning side was cleaning up the battlefield. Since I had little to lose, I took a chance and ran in, hoping people would assume I was an ally. That didn’t work, and shortly I had a small mob on me and was killed. Round two not so good.
A second city was also sieged that night, and since I still had time before our scheduled PvP practice, I again set out to see what I could loot. This city was on the coast with a lot of water surrounding it, and I was able to swim out to a little island with a good view and watched the battle unfold.
Making a judgment call on when the battle was at its peak, I swam across to the closest grave and again began the looting. I then made the mistake of killing a disconnected player (the allure of plate was too strong…), which drew the attention of a mage in the area, who started throwing fireballs at me. I ran towards the water and lost the mage, but sadly the island I swam to had a group of five waiting and I was brought down. Greed kills indeed.
Scroaching is far from an honorable act, but its part of Darkfall tradition and a good change of pace from normal PvE/PvP. Its low risk (other than time), high reward, allows you to see larger PvP battles play out, and gives you a bit of a rush as you sneak around and try to avoid any attention.
Tonight OTG has our own siege, and I’m sure random scroachers will be in attendance.
My guess is most of you did not catch MJ from Massively live streaming a little over an hour of her DF:UW experience a few days ago. It’s not exactly appointment viewing given the length, but it’s actually rather interesting from a “my god, that’s how people approach this game” perspective.
In terms of attitude I think MJ is in a good place. She knows she is playing something a bit out of her league, but rather than just slogging through it she is making the most of her time and actually going out and finding the fun. I think way too many gamers today just stand still and expect the fun to find them, and that’s just not how something like DF:UW works, so good on her for that.
But yikes is she bad. And I don’t just mean “lulz that aim” bad, but just from a basic gaming standpoint bad. When fighting ogres she continually uses exploding arrow at point blank range, hurting herself. Now yes, in most MMOs you can’t hurt yourself with your own AOE, so it’s forgivable to initially make the mistake. But not noticing you are taking damage after the 10th time? Or even picking up on the fact that the ‘hit sound’ when you land a shot is exactly that and tells you whether you connected or not (during the video she assumes she missed a few times, even though the ‘hit’ sound played). It makes me wonder if she is the exception, or a representative of the average gamer?
Learning how to play the game aside (and she will hopefully learn a lot once she joins a clan), it was also interesting to see how she viewed different situations. At one point a party member spawns a mount for her to ride, but she misses that in chat (forgivable given DF:UW chat system), and spends a few minutes wondering if she should take the mount or not, as perhaps a potential thief might dance back and forth deciding whether to steal something. It’s a funny situation, given how common mounts are and that you can, of course, always get off and give the mount to someone else.
The same goes for looting items and such. She loots a few pieces of gear off the ogres, yet does not equip them. Even the bows she receives from her party members she does not correctly equip until (accidentally) later. Small things, but again an interesting look into how others play the game. From a dev’s perspective, do you try to help someone like MJ have an easier time with the game, or do you go to the other extreme and address top 5% player concerns about class balance and UI micro-tweaking? In many ways it’s an impossible decision.
Between the actions in the video and MJs commentary on them, I think the biggest thing the video shows is just how different DF:UW is compared to what many view as a ‘normal’ MMO (WoW basically). And I don’t mean different on the large scale, like full loot PvP and such, but the thousands of little things that add up. As someone who has been around such games for many years, a lot of the differences in DF:UW are normal to me, and hence I have troubling seeing how anyone could look at some of the details and come to the wrong conclusion. MJ’s video did a really good job of bringing such things to the forefront for me.
Looking forward to see the progress she makes once she has some clan support. Should be interesting, and a great example of why joining a clan in DF:UW is a basic requirement for anyone new to the game.
Last night OTG had a siege against The Empire for their hamlet of Alden Enak (AE), located just south of our city of Kvit.
The nice thing about this siege was that the numbers, gear, and player skill were about as even as you are likely to find in Darkfall, resulting in multiple battles in a few locations rather than one steamrolling.
The unfortunate part was that on our end, we had a lot of crashing, which we believe is tied to using Mumble instead of TS3 or Vent. In each battle a good 20-30% of our force would randomly crash, which not only reduced our overall fighting numbers, but caused havoc for communication and organization. It did not appear that The Empire clan members were crashing nearly as often, which is good once we correct the Mumble issue, but bad for trying to win that particular siege.
For me personally, a few crashes aside, performance was excellent. I kept my game maxed out at 1900×1200 and never had my FPS dip below 60 or my ping go over 70, even though at the peak of combat we had over 100 total players fighting it out.
On to the fighting itself!
Right as I got home and was preparing to log on, Empire was raiding Kvit and blew up our bank. After they cleared out, we formed up a group of about 20, got on a boat, and sailed around for a sneak attack on their hamlet. The idea was to kill who they had before the siege went live, and hopefully hold the hamlet itself so they could not use it as a rally point.
The boat ride itself was uneventful, and we snuck up on the hamlet without incident. They had around 20 players as well, some right at the bank and others spread around the hamlet grounds. Our initial charge took down a few, but they quickly rallied to some high ground and counter-pushed. One warrior in particular, sporting Dread Plate (second-best warrior armor), was incredible disruptive and took a few of us down. After a few back and forth pushes, we lost too many and had to retreat back to our city.
After both sides gained some more members, a scout reported Empire was heading into our city. We decided to retreat up the lift we have in Kvit (the city itself is inside a mountain with three large cave entrances. A lift runs to the top of the mountain through a hole in the ceiling. There is also a path up the side of the mountain that leads to the top area). Once at the top, we waited for the enemy to follow us up, and planned to AoE the lift as it came up.
The plan initially worked, but once we started AoE’ing those on the lift, they jumped off, and we made the tactical mistake of getting on the lift ourselves and taking it back down into the city. The enemy was able to AoE us as the lift reached the bottom, and our general disorganization lead to a rather quick defeat (I crashed right as the lift hit the ground, so missed the fighting, and once back inside had to sneak my way out of the city). Though we did take down a few, overall we got wiped and they were able to loot most of our graves and ride back out of our city.
The final major battle occurred again at our city. Empire again made a push, but this time we were more organized and held them at the southern cave entrance. The choke point where a city gate can be built (we have not built the walls yet) was AoE’ed heavily by both sides, and the first push from the Empire was turned back as they lost half a dozen fighters, with the rest falling back outside to regroup.
However the second pushed got them through the choke point, and while we held for a while further inside, ultimately we again were overwhelmed and defeated.
It was only after this battle that the siege officially went live with our siege stones becoming vulnerable. At this point however moral was pretty low, people were low on gear bags, and we never reformed to defend the stones. Empire took them down quickly, and the siege ended with them retaining their hamlet.
Crashing aside, it was a very fun night, and while initially OTG was a bit down, identifying the Mumble-based crashing and getting on TS3/Vent will mean next time we don’t have to deal with the technical issues getting in the way.