I came across something rather terrifying. I saw what the world would be like if WoW tourists had full control of DarkFall. Allow me to explain.
Thanks to a comment on Keen’s site, I found Ixobelle’s blog with three posts about DarkFall. To keep the background short, Ixobelle is a WoW tourist, thinking DF would be really great if it just had a little (a lot) of WoW in it. It’s this, along with flooding servers, that makes me hate WoW tourists. Not EVERYTHING has to be WoW, and believe it or not, people actually had fun in MMOs long before the space goat invasion.
Not everyone needs 24 hour hand holding and adult supervision to ensuring everyone is playing nice and fair. Not everyone needs a pop up explaining every concept of the game to them the instant they come across it. Some of us find the Special Olympics-approved handling of game design a bit boring. I’m glad it works for you, have a ball, but please stop trying to force WoW down the throat of every new MMO.
The problem is that I just keep coming back to how awesome it would be if WoW was licensable like the Unreal engine, and the Darkfall team had made a WoW mod based on this premise. Full looting of corpses, the need to drag and drop items from corpses to your own bags one at a time. Even the need to sheathe your weapon before doing so isn’t BAD, it’s just poorly implemented in Darkfall. Remove the entire BoP / BoE aspect on equipment. You could even keep the PvE game instanced… Go run SFK for some blues, but if someone tags you by the Sepulcher, they can loot all that shit off you. Make the bank have an actual purpose instead of just being ‘that one big bag you can’t carry around’. Remove nameplates, and blur faction lines. Orc on orc ganking should be an option, even if frowned on. Some mechanics would obviously need to be tuned… stealth shouldn’t be AS stealthy as it is now, or casters would just be fucked by rogues. I also like the idea that in Darkfall there ARE no classes, or even levels. You just skill up abilities as you use them, and a mage could train kidney shot after enough melee practice eventually. There’s no magical bullshit reason why I can’t put this breastplate that I just found on my character right now.
Honestly, that’s outright scary to me. A WoW mod called DarkFall would be an abomination. There is a damn good reason you can’t spin the camera around in DF, and it’s not just ‘bad design’. There is a damn good reason 90% of the world is empty, and it’s not just ‘unfinished content’. There is a damn good reason it takes time to sheath a weapon, get off/on a mount, or loot a corpse, and it’s not just ‘bad UI design’. There is a reason you are fucked when you go red solo and unprepared, and it’s not just a ‘design oversight’. There is a reason combat is not a hotskill spam fuckfest, and it’s not just because the combat is ‘unfinished’. There is a reason you don’t win a PvP fight when you basically mimic the circle jerk you see, and it’s not just ‘bad luck’. And you better believe there is a damn good reason you are not having much success playing DarkFall as if it was a WoW mod, and it has nothing to do with the game being ‘unfinished’.
Go back to WoW. Enjoy the awesome. And should you choose to venture out beyond the land of neon again, don’t be surprised that not everything is as cute and cuddly as you are use to. Or better yet, just wait for 3.1.