30 minutes of DarkFall

I logged in and got insta-ganked by a max level character camping the spawn point. I quit. This game is the suxzorz!

As noted yesterday, I finally got my DarkFall account and was able to play for a quick 30 minutes or so last night. I’m guessing due to all the new players entering the game, at the time I was logging on there was a 20-30 minute queue to create a character. When I went to log on right before bed the queue was gone however, and again this morning there was no queue. We will see about tonight.

Having played all of 30 minutes, I can’t exactly give a full review yet (or I guess I could if I worked for IGN), but even in 30 minutes some things just jump out at you. The interface is VERY different, even more so than going from WoW to EVE. The game basically has two modes, one ‘pointer’ mode where you have your mouse cursor, and one ‘game’ mode where you can actually move around and swing a weapon. This is toggled with the right mouse button, which becomes very natural quickly, and really is a nice way to keeps things accessible while still keeping with the spirit of DF. When you are in ‘game’ mode, most of your interface fades away, which really draws you into the world and keeps things simple. It’s as close to the difference between ‘play’ and ‘pause’ as you can get in an MMO, if that makes any sense.

As most sources actually playing the game have reported, the world truly is huge, and not in a “we have 1000 different zones” kind of way. Having the map open and running for five-ten minutes, only to have your little dot basically not move on the map is impressive. In addition to just overall size, the space actually feels like a world rather than a string of quest locations. More on this later I’m sure, as I have yet to make the trek out to our guilds town.

Graphically everything looks ‘right’ in terms of building size, trees, spacing, etc., and with everything turned up to high at 1900×1200, my FPS never dropped below 60. So far the animations don’t bother me, and while I would not call them anything close to amazing, they are not so bad as to be distracting. State-of-the-art this is not, but I also don’t feel like I jumped back a generation either. It’s perhaps medium settings Oblivion graphics but with some of the fancier lighting and physics off. Ping to the server was always 150-180 and I did not encounter any lag or other technical issues.

In the hour or so that I was actually at the computer (30 minute queue, 30 in-game), the most exciting thing happened on vent, as my guild was out exploring and ran across a rival guilds town. Just the way they were describing the situation and what happened sounded like one of those “would it not be cool if” forum posts people make when wishing for better enemy AI or whatever. Swimming down to a cave, seeing the enemy force swimming out, the chase, etc. Sounded like a good time, even if it ultimately ended in running away and one person being killed.

Oh, and the AI in the game is indeed not brain-dead. The noobie goblins will hunt and kill you if you just run in 3v1 on them, bastards… More tomorrow I’m sure, but so far so good.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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13 Responses to 30 minutes of DarkFall

  1. mm says:

    Can you comment on the world size? I keep seeing comments about how wonderfully large it is. I see comments about how people run for 45 mins to get to a mob spawn point to camp it or mount up and ride 20 mins to a point. However, I also see lots of comments about how they get from point A to B without seeing any mobs for 20 mins. Is that really good? Would you rather have a huge, desolate world or a smaller world with more mob density. It seems like the world size is just a mechanism to stretch out play time required to accomplish a goal.

    Of course, the ultimate would be to have a huge world with lots of mobs everywhere, but we can’t always get what we want. =P


  2. mm says:

    Gah! I can’t find it, but I remember one of the big criticisms of EQ2 was the large but desolate world. Seems like the new and shiny of Darkfall has distracted people from that.


  3. syncaine says:

    If the world was full of monster camps, it would be impossible to get around, and NPCs have a huge agro range compared to other MMO games.

    Just from talking to guild mates, there are actually plenty of mob camps around, they are just not always easy to spot/find. I know within 15 minutes travel from our guild town, we have 6-7 different mob camps of varying difficulty. I think the major difference is that in most MMOs every space has a specific purpose, while in DF there is space between the camps or points of interest, and if you miss those points, it feels like all you are seeing is that in-between space.

    I guess the best way to put it is like this. Think about when you drive on the highway. Rarely do you actually see small towns or points of interest, and most of the time its just trees and hills (at least here in MA). If you pull off the highway, usually you get to a small town with something in it. The world in DF is like that, and if you don’t know when to get off the highway, you can easily miss the small stuff and see nothing but trees. In other MMOs, the path is already set for you and the design makes sure you see every mob or structure that you need to. At that point, it just comes down to gamer preference on which style works best.

  4. coppertopper says:

    heheh – your intro paragraph made me lol

  5. Khardamon says:

    Syn – I’ll be interested to see what you think of how the pvp in the game plays out. I can visit with you about it on vent, but I just wonder how the pvp in Darkfall with guild towns/forts whatever will compare to what we experience in WAR.

  6. syncaine says:

    Yea I’ll talk more about it I’m sure, but already I can say it’s 100% different.

    WAR is more a ‘game’ in that you run out, fight/die, and run back. It’s great fun, but its very carefree. WAR RvR is driven around the campaign and different objectives, and not so much individual players or groups fighting to fight.

    In DF (just from seeing the combat engine and talking to guild mates), you fight to fight, because the stakes are so high. If you see a ‘red’ player, you don’t just instantly run at them and hope you take them down. Everything is just more calculated and at the same time random.

    I would love if you guys gave it a shot, I think our little core CoW group from Destro would have a blast, but I fear certain members (master) are a bit too carebear for it :)

  7. pixiestyx says:

    hummpff some of the order cows would be interested in it as well ….. :o)

  8. syncaine says:

    No carebears in DF, which includes all you whiny Order babies :)

    Seriously though that would be great, we could all FINALLY be gaming together, and not just looking at each other in different vent channels and reading forum posts made by those strange green posters.

  9. Jason says:

    Yeah. Because the one thing I enjoy in a game is being instantly killed by some drooling teenager’s character whose sole point of enjoyment is to camp spawn spots. Oh, sign me up, baby.

    You can at least pick and choose your PvP battles in War. I’ll stick to that, I think.

  10. Mikejl says:

    I like the sound of the interface. Do they have a PvE only server? I’d give it a try of they did.

  11. pixiestyx says:

    reminds me of shadowbane abit, gankers and general low lifes at the starter areas but move out form a guild and set up a city and the gankers are just a foul memory, thats when the fun really begins and community builds from

  12. Einherjer says:


    A Darkfall PVE server would be like a WoW server without quests.

  13. Bonedead says:

    Omg wow, a PvE only server.

    “Some drooling teenager who camps spawn points!”

    Man, I don’t get how people can be so yella’

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