DF:UW – Levy

Just as ESO went live, AV released a major update to Darkfall: Unholy Wars that included a new Area of Influence (AoI) system and a levy system. I’ve talked about the current flaws in the AoI system, but even flawed its better than the nothing we had before, and activity in-game reflects this, with clans sieging and realigning to create beneficial kingdoms.

The levy system works like this: whenever you kill a mob or harvest a resource in a holding’s AoI (yours or anyone else’s), the item/resource has a chance to be copied into the local levy container. The higher the value of the item, the higher the chance it is copied. Once the levy container is full, anyone can go empty it using a special item plus ‘ammo’. The levy container and how close to full it is is visible on the world map.

What’s great about levy is the depth and details of the system. For instance, it has made higher-tier mobs more valuable because their loot has a better chance of making it into the levy container compared to lesser mobs with lower-value drops. Killing the red dragon can fill a levy almost 10%, because he really only drops top-quality loot, while an activity like harvesting a regular iron node fills the levy very slowly due to very low chance of iron and rust making it into levy.

It’s also a great motivational tool for players. Say a group goes out to farm mobs for prowess/wealth in their AoI, and towards the end of their normal farming time they see that the local levy is 85% full. Prior to levy, they would be done farming. With levy, they will very likely farm a bit more to fill the levy to 100% and then go claim it. PvP might happen, it might not. The levy might have copied multiple great drops like a large treasure map, maybe it didn’t copy any. The unknown is part of the fun, and makes the entire thing far less formulaic.

Another example: You log in to see a nearby enemy levy is at 90%. If you see it ticks up to 91%, you know someone is farming something in that AoI. Go PvP if you want. If you don’t see it tick up, odds are good that someone left it like that; go do some quick farming in the AoI and collect the levy. PvP might find you; the 90% might also be a trap to lure you in.

The levy system is a good example of a sandbox system. It has its direct, obvious purpose (loot), but it also introduces more player-based, emergent gameplay as well. More stuff like this AV.

#DFUW #Darkfall

7 Responses to DF:UW – Levy

  1. Ben says:

    Haven’t tried DF:UW … is it (a) fun to play, and (b) possible to catch up at this point?

    • SynCaine says:

      Did you play DF1? If so, I think DF:UW is a better version of DF1 right now.

      If you didn’t, hard to say. I mean, I think it’s a ton of fun.

      B is easy, it’s absolutely possible to catch up. In a month of decent play (20hrs week or so) you will be 1v1 PvP viable (and long before that you can contribute to group PvP), and have enough ‘stuff’ as well. Beyond that it’s up to you.

      Joining a clan is, as always, the best way to go about it.

    • sid6.7 says:

      (a) Less fun than it was even a few months ago due to diminishing population. But yes, it’s a fun game and nothing else like it exists. That’s why the core population continues to flirt with playing/leaving. Bottom line — if you’ve never played, it’s a great game and worth the price of at least a 6 month subscription.

      (b) Catching up is very easy. You need around 45k prowess to be PvP viable and with the right approach, you can hit that within a couple of weeks. At first Prowess is earned quickly, then it slows down. There are four primary roles, at a little bit more than 100k, you can have one of the roles maxxed out and by ~300k, you can have all four more or less maxxed.

      This second point, what I call the effective 100k/300k caps is one of the problem areas for DFUW. Combined with a lack of diversity in the types of gear, there isn’t much motivation to continue with any sort of character development.

      The sieging meta-game is a blast even at cap, but without the in-between ‘character development’ sort of stuff — it feels like there is a lack of things to do. They are trying to address this with the patches, but IMO, it’s too little too late for most people.

      This isn’t incredibly obvious to the achiever types who haven’t hit the 300k cap yet (and that takes some time!) but once people hit it — even the hardcore guys start to question their motivation.

  2. A concerned Minmatar says:

    How will this affect the economy? My instinct says it will devalue items further, but I don’t know DF very well yet.

  3. coppertopper says:

    At long last, I think my mmo malaise has peaked and will give DF a shot.

  4. Lev says:

    The game needs some sort of a free trial, 3-4 days would be enough to see if it’s worth the high initial cost of commitment … not worth plunging in blindly with all the other interesting MMOs out there/coming out at the moment…

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