DF:UW video – Enemy perspective from the AT siege

March 11, 2014

Enjoyable watch, quality goes from average to good.

Highlights: I die towards the end. Video starts when they have both boats already in the water. Video ends right as we start turning the fight and take out the siege stones before going on to the enemy hamlet and capturing that.

Still don’t understand why they didn’t push into the hamlet once the first tower was down, but glad they didn’t.

DF:UW – Sweet peaks

March 10, 2014

I write often about the highs and lows a great MMO can take you on vs the sustained averageness of far too many MMOs today. I think in many ways that is the core difference between an MMO and all other forms of gaming; in any other genre getting a solid 15-80hr experience is seen as a successful title, while only getting 100hrs or so out of an MMO is seen as a failure, regardless of how great that 100hrs was.

Since release I’ve had my ups and downs with Darkfall: Unholy Wars. It was in possibly the worst shape I’ve seen an MMO be in beta, to the extent that all of Inquisition decided not to play the game at release. I’ve talked often about how DF:UW was intended to fix the flaws of DF1 and also build on the core (best combat in the genre), and while AV got some things right, some critical flaws remained.

At the same time, here we are in 2014, and the MMO genre still sucks overall, we still have EVE as the only title to get it ‘right’, and so many recent entries are either entirely forgettable (GW2) or hilariously bad (SW:TOR). Yet AV keeps plugging away at DF:UW, trying to improve one of the only decent sandbox titles we have, so it would be rather hypocritical of me to ignore that, especially as I have already wallet-voted for ESO, possibly yet another themepark (the ‘possibly’ is for a different post).

I noted that I resubbed when AV added gear destruction from PvP, because IMO that one changed fixed the biggest core flaw the game had; an unchecked economy. More changes are still needed, and AV doesn’t have the greatest track record in terms of delivery time, but it’s still progress in the right direction, and in the MMO genre until the servers are down, I believe you are never truly out.

The above four paragraphs is a long-winded setup for the events that happened Sunday night. (Spoiler alert: high peak incoming).

I’m currently in a clan named Last Call, which is part of the Sick Bastards alliance. I’m there because of my buddy Rynnik, who I also followed to Proxy from OTG. Hopefully Last Call doesn’t disband like Proxy did. If they do, I blame Rynnik. The clan is a great group of people, and the alliance includes many MVPs I’ve talked/argued/insulted via Forumfall. On that front, so far so good, and having a good group to play with is perhaps the most important part of enjoying yourself.

On Sunday we had some siege action. First our hamlet was sieged by a rival alliance, and we shortly after dropped a siege on their hamlet, the timers being just minutes apart.

The action started off in our hamlet, first with some small (10v10) skirmishes, later escalating into bigger action. At one point the enemy spawned a boat in the small lake near our hamlet, using the cannon to damage our zap tower. We countered with a boat of our own, and ended up sinking their ship while holding their players off long enough to get the job done.

A bit later they spawned another two boats, but this time they were able to keep us off and the boats disabled one of our towers. As this happened, they made a large push into the hamlet itself, and were able to wipe us. I thought at this point we had lost, because most of us were bound at the hamlet and regearing would have been nearly impossible with the enemy right there.

Oddly enough, they instead just looted our tombs and backed out, giving us a chance to regroup and regear. We did just that, and counter-pushed to the siege stones. Someone from our alliance dropped one of the new deployable land cannons, and through heavy fighting that went back and forth for a long stretch of time (and four gear bags for me) we held the enemy forces off long enough for that cannon to take down the siege stones, winning us the siege and ending the threat to our hamlet.

After our successful defense we rode quickly to the nearby enemy hamlet we were sieging. As we rode, we were getting updates that the enemy was trying to destroy our stones, and our defenders were badly outnumbered and just looking to buy as much time as possible. They were successful, we arrived in time, and were able to not only defend the stones but a second force was able to rush the hamlet stone and destroy that with more cannons.

2/2 on sieges that night, not bad, especially considering we had constant action for over two hours without a single technical (lag, FPS) issue.

We then took out a Frigate that I captained for the Sea Fortress, but that is a story for tomorrow.

Payday the right way, DF:UW boats, ESO beta

February 28, 2014

Random bits on a Friday.

Payday 2 received a nice free update recently, adding a new difficulty level to every heist and two new enemies, among other changes. The game continues to be another good example of how to support your game post-release, mixing DLC and free updates to keep people interested while still making money. Certainly it’s been one of the better games I’ve purchased in recent years, and is still highly recommended.

Went to a Sea Fortress recently in Darkfall. We had ten with us, and I was driving the boat. When we initially arrived we saw a few other boats fighting it out, and the hitpoints of the Sea Fortress were also dropping. We rolled the dice and tried to get the last hit on the tower, but no luck there. We then engaged one boat with cannon fire, only to eventually be swarmed by 4-5 large boats and another 3-4 smaller ships all from the same alliance. We held out for a bit, as I tried to sail the ship in such a way as to reduce the number of enemy cannons able to hit us, but eventually our boat was too damaged (slows the boat), the enemy ships caught up, and we got swarmed. Good times, and credit to the enemy for bringing so many people.

Finally, ESO beta is this weekend, and I’ve got a nice crew interested in the game. I don’t know if INQ is officially going to jump into the game, but either way I’m in and will have a guild up. Hoping to see some of the dungeon content this weekend, and maybe jump into the RvR area as well.

DF:UW – A return to siege action

February 20, 2014

I took part in my first siege since returning to DF:UW last night, and good times were had. The siege was over an ally’s hamlet, and the enemy included my old clan the Old Timers Guild, so it was fun to see and kill some old faces/names.

The siege had close to 100 players total, with our side outnumbering the attackers by a few. Scroach groups were at a minimum, and didn’t impact the siege. I didn’t experience any ping or FPS drops, everything stayed at my normal 50ping, 70FPS. Siege performance had been a hot topic on Forumfall of late, so either the last patch greatly improved things, the people complaining are playing on welfare machines, or Forumfall was once again making a mountain out of a mole hill. My guess is all of the above.

The action of the siege came in two parts. The enemy initially charged into the hamlet, and while the attack somewhat caught us off guard, the push wasn’t coordinated enough and between our numbers and the guard towers, they were repelled quickly. I was fine with this, as the brief skirmish was a nice little warm-up. Between just having returned, changing over to using the Slayer role as my secondary, switching from greatswords to polearms, and still being terrible at FPS games, an ‘easy’ fight is a-ok in my book.

The second battle happened just outside the hamlet. The enemy was stationed on top of a mountain, and as the siege stones went live, we pushed into them. We had a group of warriors on mounts flank them while our main force drew their attention from the opposite side. It worked, they broke quickly, and the cleanup commenced.

Once the enemy was dispatched, our clan group went off to search for scroach groups, and we found one not too far away. That provided the most even fight of the night, with our 7-8 taking on a similar sized group. I certainly wasn’t the deciding factor or anything close, but having warmed up I was able to at least contribute here, forcing warriors off our primalists in melee and preventing others from chasing after people with some archery.

So all in all a good night of siege and small-scale action, and a quick remember of just how great the combat really is in Darkfall. It will be interesting to return to ESO for the next beta after this refresher with DF. I suspect, much like going from DF to Skyrim in the past, that I’ll be a little disappointed. Ignorance is indeed bliss sometimes.

DF:UW – If everyone had diamonds

February 17, 2014

As previously noted, Darkfall: Unholy Wars took a huge step towards becoming a sustainable sandbox with the recent increase in gear loss from PvP. As some have asked, I don’t know if it’s enough, but it’s certainly a start, and more importantly shows that AV is serious about the game and making it something worthwhile for the long run to MMO players, rather than continuing down the path of creating an oversized, risk-free PvP arena game.

This post isn’t about analyzing the change however, as it’s much too early to do that. Instead let’s see how Forumfall is taking the news (this below is a reply to how PvE would work as a sink, since the poster suggested that would be a better solution than a sink from PvP):

Remove resources? I don’t care if resources are removed or not, you do. I want active activities like mob farming to actually be worth it. Why? Because I actually play the game. I want to see an active world, and I want contested mob spawns. Does that mean make bandits drop 50 neithal essences each? No, it doesn’t. Give us open world mobs that are actually worth farming though. The Golems would be a great start, limited amount of them in the world, and they have a fairly high respawn timer.

The above is the best of the worst, at least in terms of the content/froth ratio that runs rampant on Forumfall. It does, of course, completely fall on its face in terms of logic, and that really is the point here.

For a long time I had feared that AV was listening to Forumfall too much, and were just doing what Forumfall said it wanted. I think the above post is a nice highlight of that. The player is asking for mobs to be ‘worthwhile’, at the same time that he is saying he doesn’t care to balance how resources enter and exit the game.

Bad AV would just do what was asked, buff mobs, and a month later Forumfall would once again ask for mobs to be made ‘worthwhile’, or more likely complain that non-mob rewards are now ‘worthless’, and to buff those. This, of course, assumes there still exists anything of value, an end-point that DF:UW was rapidly approaching, with most already regularly PvP’ing in the second-best gear (r70). Once R80 is common, what then? Do a themepark-style soft-reset?

So as predicted, the usual suspects of Forumfall are throwing their hissy fit as they experience actual consequence for PvPing. What is surprising, and encouraging, is that others on Forumfall are seeing the benefits of this addition, and trying to push back the idiocy. Ultimately it doesn’t matter so long as AV continues to show a basic understand of MMO design and what’s important to keep a game going.

Furthermore, most of those currently complaining will change their tune, as AV is finally able to add more meaningful and interesting faucets to the game, and those faucets will stay relevant for longer than a week. On that front they have some good plans, and recent actions suggest they will correctly follow-through on said plans.

As for the game’s future overall, as multiple MMOs have shown in the past, a game can slowly build itself back when its core issues are fixed and things start working again. Launch is the best time to grab the most players, certainly, but especially in the MMO niche space, where DF:UW resides, players have limited quality options, and are more than willing to revisit something if they hear it has improved. If AV continues down the path they have set out on with the last update, they will be successful. Here’s hoping.

DF:UW – So you’re saying theres a chance…

February 14, 2014

Added 10% durability hit (on item Max Durability), on all equipped items when the player gets ganked.


PS: Resubbed.


Stay in school kids

February 12, 2014

A few of us have been laughing ourselves to tears over the latest ForumFall post-of-the-year entry, and someone insisted I share with the rest of the class. Fair warning, the rage is very strong here.

“You have no clue what I like because you’re simple minded, clearly. Stop saying I have no idea, when I have more of an idea than you can imagine.

My brains huge btw.

I came to this game because it was ADVERTISED as a 3d version of UO. They never attained anything CLOSE to the sandbox of UO that I fell in love with, but they eventually got the combat to the same level of fun I had in UO, so I stuck with it because of that.

Does that mean I’m narrow minded enough to say all a game needs is good combat? Not at all. That’s you being daft and trying to think you have me pegged as an elitist. Do I enjoy playing with good players more than bad ones? Of course, it’s less stressful as a leader when I can count on those under me. It’s also different mindsets.

If you’ll notice, mountains of people agree with me, people from guilds I’ve dominated, people I’ve made my enemies through trolling and forcing them to, and people that can just tell I know what I am talking about. From the combat, to the economy, to sandbox ideas, I have it all covered. Does it bug you that I know what I am talking about from every single aspect of an MMO? I wish I was a lead developer for a gaming company, because I would make the single best sandbox game on the market, alas, I don’t believe in the current schooling system in this country, and I have other ways I make money nowadays. Luckily a couple of friends of mine are making a good sandbox game, and I hope down the road I can learn enough code to actually help them carry the weight.

Maybe you just don’t like me, but you can go read my suggestion thread on how much Sand I wish was in this game, much more than you think.

This will be the last response I’ll garner to you btw, because you just started off insulting me for no fucking reason, other than your bad reading comprehension.

Darkfall COMBAT lovers, do not love Eve’s combat, at all.

That is a simple fact, and no amount of douchebaggery you spout, will change that.”


(Side notes: a minute later he would go on and post another reply to what originally sent him off the rails. Sadly I can’t claim credit for the original effort that got him going. The above treasure has me reblocked. Yes, reblocked, as he ‘blocked’ me, but then would continue to reply to my posts quoting me, and I think someone tipped him off to it. So he now claims to have ‘reblock’ me, and tries to keep the illusion up by simply direct-replying to posts without quoting them. Kid’s really smart.)

So on the plus side, Darkfall has the greatest dev-that-never-was sharing his brilliance, and believe me, it really is next-level design wisdom. Crafting unicorn hunts like you read about.

One question that we kept going back and forth on though; when someone says they are uneducated… err sorry, um… “doesn’t believe in the current schooling system”, they mean they never went to college right? And they are using that excuse as to why their genius hasn’t been recognized by the gaming industry. (Spoiler alert; college degrees don’t do much for you in the gaming industry)

No chance someone would admit to being a high school dropout on a public forum in a post about how smart they are, right? The mysteries of ForumFall.

EVE: CCP you are the worst, besides everyone else

February 7, 2014

Jester has, as always, a great post up about the reaction to the real life EVE monument CCP recently unveiled, which as his post shows, has largely been negative. EVE is famous for having lots of bitter vets, and as the only MMO to still be growing after more than a decade, many of those players truly are vets, and truly are bitter.

His post however reminded me how good EVE players have it compared to everyone else. For example take this complaint:

I think this boring and featureless statue symbolize EVE expansions.

EVE receives two free expansions every year, plus point releases between those expansions that do more for the game than what some MMOs call expansions they charge you for. Oh how I wish DF:UW got such ‘boring and featureless’ expansions. Hell, I’d take just one, or even half.

Doom and gloom fills every MMO forum. It’s what players do. The happy ones are playing, the unhappy are posting, regardless if your game is a dumpster like SW:TOR or the blueprint like EVE. That said, EVE players should take a step back once in a while and look around the genre. You really wouldn’t trade CCP for anyone else. Not the interns who gave us space goats and pandas. Not the wing factory of monthly embarrassments and flip-flopping. Not someone who burns $300m on a pillar of trash and sells you hotbars. Not the authors of the manifesto of lies. Not the ad-spam One-Ring sellers. Not the fools in white shades, or the ones to put a bullet in the head of an MMO shortly after release.

Be glad CCP runs EVE. It could be a lot, lot worse.

This is what I’m working with…

January 26, 2014

Per ForumFall:

EVE online is a hybrid theme park game with the biggest safe zone of any pvp mmo ever in existence. EVE has sandbox elements that are manifested in 0.0 space where alliances can drop permanent stations that can then be taken by warring alliances. This is very sandboxy but in truth every single member of any alliance in eve is able to utilize the massive safe zone(empire) to make as much money as they want in safety. As a player you can become rich solo, with a corp, or with an alliance in relative safety, much more so than in DFUW in its early days or now. Eve is truly only a sandbox in terms of its market, and its developers have never fucked with that, they have only ever added content. DFUW can learn from that last bit.

How can that much dumb be squeezed into one paragraph?

Edit: Above quote is from someone who played on a PvP server in EQ1 and considers that ‘real PvP’. Totally makes sense now. (And yes, this too is SOE’s fault).

Closing out 2013. 2014 predictions

December 30, 2013

2013 ends much like it began for the MMO genre, with a collective ‘meh’, and this blog overall has reflected that both in post volume and the number of posts about MMOs vs other games.

My most played MMO this year was Darkfall: Unholy Wars, and while I had a lot of fun with the title for a good number of months, right now it feels far too much like an oversized arena PvP game than a sandbox MMO. Character progression is short, top gear is trivial to horde, and if you don’t PvP for the sake of PvP, you don’t have much else to really do. I’ll see what AV does with the title in 2014, but right now I have little reason to log in.

I played some EVE online, but wormhole life is not something you can’t do without serious dedication, and I just couldn’t find the will to do that consistently. I’m currently out in low-sec with the alliance, and looking forward to jumping into some fleets there. Ultimately however I need to figure out a big-picture goal, either for myself or the corp. We’ll see if that happens in 2014.

I started 2013 playing UO:Forever with Keen and crew, and while that only lasted a few months, it was fun going back to early-days UO. Some aspects aged very well (PvE, housing, the worldly feel), others not so much (combat, PvP), and ultimately I drifted away because I had accomplished what I wanted, in large part thanks to the server setting character progression to Panda-WoW speed. A lesson that sadly the genre is still learning and trying to come to terms with.

So yea, 3 MMOs in 2013, one a sequel to a title announced in 2003, one a title launched in 2003, and one a title launched in 1997. Sums up the genre pretty accurately IMO.

Let’s look back at my 2013 predictions, shall we?

“I do believe 2013 will be the year the MMO genre figures itself out, and a clear distinction is made between games that are ‘real’ MMOs, and titles with MMO-lite qualities that we consume.”


Might as well make the same prediction for 2014. It’s going to happen eventually… right?

“EVE will reach and retain 500k subs in 2013.”

Didn’t hit 500k, but did increase to just under 400k. Edit: Yes it did. Got this one correct without even knowing it…

“SW:TOR will shut down or go skeleton crew by 2014.”

Didn’t shut down. Does sell you hotbars. Recently released a Starfox mode as the big update. 50/50?

“LotRO will directly sell you The One Ring and a chance to play Sauron.”

Skeleton crew didn’t get around to Sauron, but you can pay Turbine to skip half the game, so… 50/50?

“DF:UW will actually release and exceed the first year of DF1.”

Yes and no. Yes because it launched, the launch was solid, and the game fixed a lot of the core issues DF1 had. No because the fixed issues from DF1 exposed more core issues with the game, and those remain as 2013 draws to a close.

“GW2 will have 9 tiers of gear by the end of 2013.”

I honestly care so little about GW2 and even reading about it is terribly boring so I can’t comment on this. Has it happened? I know you can pay for high tiers of harvesting tools, but what else?

“A bunch of MMOs will have kickstarter campaigns. Few will actually make it, almost all will be meh.”

No kickstarter MMOs launched, did they? I know some got funded, others failed to reach their goal, and nothing that I saw made me go “yes, that is brilliant, take my money and do that”, so I’ll call this one a win.

On to the 2014 predictions:

EQNL will have everyone loving it the first month of release. Shortly after just about everyone will be asking “now what?” and drift away.

EQN will continue to attempt to copy/paste from my design docs, and will continue to SOE them into failure.

ESO will have a big launch, followed by a quick death (F2P). I’d like to pretend that THIS massive themepark failure will teach the industry to stop, but if SW:TOR didn’t, nothing will.

WildStar won’t suck. Just throwing a dart here, as WildStar doesn’t interest me personally, but what little I know about the dev team, I like. If they stick to their ideas/goals post-release, I can see WildStar being a solid ‘niche’ MMO. We might even be calling it “themepark done right”.

The GW2 train will continue to roll, although with less steam and more heavy-handedness towards the cash shop. Such is F2P life.

LotRO will continue to provide us with amusing stories, perhaps selling you a character 3/4th of the way into the game, or something equally dumb. 50/50 on being able to play Sauron. 75% chance you will be able to buy the One Ring in the shop.

CCP will go bankru… haha just kidding. Best MMO out will continue to play chess while the genre learns checkers. 450k subs in 2014. Edit: Since we are at 500K already and this isn’t WoW, raising this to 600k.

WoW will bounce back with the next expansion and have a strong 2014. Now that the interns are back to being interns, and the real devs are back from failing to make anything with Titan, WoW will prosper. It will also help that 2014 won’t offer it much real competition (Unless WildStar draws away a significant portion of the raiding crowd, which is a possibility). WoW will end with more subs in 2014.

Did I miss anything?


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