Taking the Crusade of the Miserable on tour

In an effort to bring our Crusade of the Miserable to distant lands, six Inquisition members set out last night on a trip across the world to visit the humans. No one in our group had ever gone that far out, and we more or less assumed we were going on a death march, but ended up actually having a good bit of success.

Riding from the north-west corner of the main continent, we more or less rode in a straight line to the human capital, crossing perhaps 80% of the main land mass west to east, which took us close to an hour mounted. Along the way we ran across various interesting mob camps (Obsidian Golems, some mutant wolf things, undead, various goblin camps), and we also crossed the very center of the map (the big black space). A giant crater is located at the VERY center of the map, and at the bottom a rather large (even from our distance) dragon makes his patrol route. We got just close enough to draw agro and see the beast start towards us. Not wanting our little adventure to end early, we turned and ran like little girls. Perhaps a future guild trip might be in order, but I doubt our little six man group would have done much. That black center does have a very cool ‘evil’ feel to it, like something just went horribly wrong and now the land and everything around it is suffering. The fact that a mob could kill your mount and then you if it gets the jump on you also helps with the whole dread thing.

Once we got to the other side, and started making our way closer to human civilization, we got a bit more serious and started looking for victims. One always-reliable source is the starting area goblin spawns. Easy to kill and control, the goblin spots are almost always a hotspot for activity in any starting area. As we rode closer, the familiar sounds of combat could be heard, and we crept up to have a look.

The camp itself was down a cliff from our location, with two humans fighting some goblins in a walled fort. We were literally in the perfect spot, as we were overlooking the fighting while those below us had no clue we were watching. In a coordinated effort, all six of us dropped down around the two humans and started hacking. They split and ran into the water nearby, and we made the choice to stick together and follow one rather than split up in unfamiliar territory. Not knowing the location of guard towers can result in a quick death. After a short chase, the human went down and the looting began. In a brief bit of comedy, our victim simply asked “why” in public chat. Various answers were offered, but the fact that the guy had a loaded backpack of loot was answer enough.

Welcome to DarkFall little buddy, see you again real soon.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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37 Responses to Taking the Crusade of the Miserable on tour

  1. mbp says:

    Hi Syncaine, one thing missing from your Darkfall posts is hilarious tales of your various defeats at the hands of dastardly foes. For every victory there must surely be a loser and so far it seems we are only hearing one side of the story.

  2. syncaine says:

    I don’t die!

    No I’ve mentioned trips gone wrong (the 2nd troll hunt for example, the first men-at-arms dungeon trip being ganked) But I’ll be honest, our guild has far more success than failure, especially when we go out as a group. I’ve yet to be part of an all-out slaughter on our part, but when it happens (and it will), hopefully it makes an interesting enough story to blog about.

  3. Paragus says:

    He doesn’t die because he travels in good company! ;)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love PvP.. but what you just described was 6 people zerging one person. Not your traditional zerg perhaps but the poor bloke that had 6 people assist train him will have seen it as a zerg.

    I fail to see where the PvP/skill is in that?

    I was tempted to try DF but at some point people will form alliances that grow so large it will push any smaller guilds aside forcing them to either join up or face a never ending zerg of players looking for the easy win.

    I guess it doesnt matter the game.. players will always follow the path of least resistance.

    Ironic that the guy that dislikes carebear PvP takes on 1 person with 5 people behind him. The very definition of hand-holding PvP

  5. Beau says:

    If you have 6 care bears though, they make a full force of Elite Killers!

    Well, at least to the guy that got taken down by 6 guys.


  6. Pierre says:


    It’s not about E-Sport pvp skillz. It’s about a brutal, unforgiving world of chaos where you stack the odds in your favor as much as you can.

    Fair fight? Skills? If i want to show skills in a fair fight, I’d play Chess or SF4. This game isn’t about that, if you go into this game thinking it will be you will be most sorely disappointed.

  7. Argon says:

    How do people find guilds in this game, if apparently people just cut down anybody they don’t know?

  8. syncaine says:

    The game actually has a handy build-in guild search. It currently runs at 14.4 speed, so it’s a bit of a pain to use, but it’s there. Or you can just do what you do in all other MMOs, search a forum or ask around. A quick search will show what is going on in Agon, and which side you may want to join.

  9. Werit says:

    Hunting in the starting areas? That is pretty weak Syn… come back with a story about you guys taking on the dragon :)

  10. ravious says:

    Yeah, I must say… your stories are good, but really hunting the starting areas? Hopefully next time you take on a human guild or something…

  11. syncaine says:

    ‘Starting areas’ in DF is a bit different than starting areas in other MMOs, not to mention the concept of ‘lowbie’ players. Tough to really describe for those who have not played it, but it’s not like we zoned into an area only populated by level 1 players to slaughter them in their helplessness.

    That said, obviously the post is not about how awesome we are because we managed to gank someone 6v1 on mounts. It was about using terrain in an interesting manner, general layout knowledge, and the journey itself. After an hour of riding with your head on a swivel, it’s nice to take a break. Not to mention the night ended with a large human group chasing us out, also near the starting area and featuring players who were certainly NOT new to the game.

  12. Diametrix says:

    How similar is Darkfall PVP to EVE PVP?

    It sounds somewhat equivalent to Low Sec pirates. You don’t come to a gun fight w/ a knife…you come with an artillary battalion! There are no fair fights, you find every advantage you can and exploit it. And numbers of combatants count way more than skill levels.

    Is the environment similar to LoSec or 0.0?

  13. syncaine says:

    It’s a bit similar, maybe, but skill factors in far more than in EVE because of how ship power works. You are not going to take down a carrier with frigates no matter how skilled you are, while in DF someone in noob gear can take someone in plate down 1v1 (the plate helps of course), and 4v1 the guy in plate is screwed.

    Once you get beyond the 10v10 or so realm, coordination of your overall force becomes the biggest factor, since without name tags above everyone knowing where to swing is as important as how hard your swing hits.

  14. Beau says:

    I think you guys are confusing tactics with numbers.

    Let’s clarify. Syn is talking about several people killing one. Ganking…something he said was not rampant in PvP…until the players get bored.

    He is not talking about one player going up to another and fighting another. He is talking about a bunch of his guildies running after someone, killing them, taking their stuff and then giving “various answers,” I’m sure all of which were NOT smack talk.

    (Funny how a “hard-core” game allows you to talk to someone you cannot even see. Must be noob magic.)


  15. Diametrix says:

    Reading some of what Syn has posted about DarkFall thus far and considering what some of the implications of large group combat must be:

    I wonder if you will develop some tactical drills as a group. Like a four man pod that sticks together and trains movement and attack drills. Then with two or three of these pods working on a battlefield you might need uniforms or flags or some other identifying thing (polearms!?) to rapidly visually distinguish who to stab.

    Is Darkfall in beta? How long before release do you think?

  16. syncaine says:

    Wait what… ganking is not rampant in PvP? When exactly did I say that, and what would being bored have to do with it?

    If I wanted a perfectly balanced fight, I’ll set up a guild event to do it. If I go out to PvP, I bring friends. At what point in the history of warfare has one side said “Ok, we are bringing 100 guys, please only bring 100 as well, so we can keep things fair”.

    We had six, we felt comfortable engaging another group of 5 or less. Why would we voluntarily throw ourselves into a situation that did not favor us?

    @Diametrix: The game is live, although sales are limited. As for tactics, that’s already well underway.

  17. Squirrt says:

    3 on 1 that turns into a 6 on 1 hardly seems like the ultimate in hard core PvP, seems more like a gank fest. You say that a guy in Plate can be taken down by a guy in newbie gear, but lets hypothesize. Say you have 2 guys PvEing and 3 guys jumping them all 5 in about equal gear. If the two PvEers are superb players and decide to stick it out and fight and the 3 guys jumping them are just average what chance do the 2 PvEers have in winning without one death. What if the situation was the same but the odds were 2 to 1. 4 Gankers and 2 PvEers.

    Because what you describe above does not sound like Darkfall is a great game of skill and tactics but more one of who has the most friends in a fight.

    It also appears that very few large battles will ever take place due to the possible large losses that could be incurred. Does Darkfall have at least a guild tabard or guild badge that your fellow guildies can wear to signify that they are a friend instead of a foe?

    Last question, if your group had been wiped would you have had to travel 1+ hours back to the human lands to get your corpse?

    I enjoyed the description of the dragon comet cannon.

  18. Bonedead says:

    I’m pretty sure most guilds with a city or hamlet have made multiple trips to starting cities. I know my guild would pretty much farm the Alfar starting area and before I left we were beginning to farm smaller guilds hamlets. There is always a bigger fish, so you better get as big as you can as fast as you can so you have a chance of surviving.

    It’s just the way the game is. I got ganked by 3 unguilded guys in the starting city. I killed a guy who was killing the same mobs as me when we both went behind a tree to rest (probably the most common kill for new players). That is Darkfall.

    I don’t get why people can’t accept that, especially those who aren’t even playing/won’t be playing.

  19. Paragus says:

    Bonedead, what guild do you run with?

  20. Bonedead says:

    I was a member of Murder Herd before I was asked to stop neglecting my spouse.

  21. syncaine says:

    Good questions Squirrt.

    In the 2v3, the 2 could easily beat the 3. Easily. Even in our situation last night, if the two had jumped into the water and then proceeded to put up a fight, they might have been able to kill a mount or two before going down, or just chase us off. If we had lower skilled players, and they were really good, they might have been able to take us 2v6, it’s possible.

    When our group went to the trolls, we had 10, and fought 4-5 enemies, they killed 2 of us and we ran before coming back to get them. We lost the two and had to run because we were unorganized and hitting each other more than hitting the enemy.

    As for large battles, plenty have taken place already (200+ per side), and this weekend will no doubt be full of them. No guild tabard right now, you generally can’t tell who is who without actually putting the crosshair over them.

    Had anyone been killed (not just knocked down to bleed), they would have been back in our area, an hour away. The real danger is that insta-death can sometimes happen instead of going into bleed mode, hence us running from the dragon. Had we all wiped, there would be no point in going back, our corpses would have long been looted.

  22. Kanthalos says:

    The thing that intrigues me most about Darkfall is not so much the PvP, but the exploration aspect of the game. It really reminds me of Asheron’s Call, particularly the first time I went into the Direlands if any of you played. It will be interesting to see whether exploring will generate excitement and fear the way it does now several months into release or whether your sense of excitement will be reserved only to PvP encounters.

  23. Tallon says:

    ‘why’ hehe, the cry of the carebear :)

  24. Pierre says:

    I’m a bit confused with people’s definition of “hardcore”. Until we have an unambiguous use for that word (never), stop flinging it around like some fucking end-all to discussions.

    When you’re talking “skill” in Darkfall, it’s NOT about “knowing combos”/”Exploit Weaknesses”/”react to opponents move” like in SF4 as much as it is what you do before and after the fight.

    Some factors that would be included in “Skill” in darkfall.
    – Where you go to fight
    – Height advantage (people seldom look up)
    – Choosing who to fight
    – Waiting for an opportune moment (opponent low on health, not looking your way, fighting a mob)
    – Numbers advantage.

    It seems people have an opinion that to be “hardcore” you play street fighter-online, where it’s one vs one equal level of health in a box? Go back to play Wow Arenacraft for fucks sake.

    “I thought it was about skill, but you just zerged me”. Yeah, i “zerged” your face off too. Sorry, it’s a skill to bring 5 people together to gank you. And I’m sorry you lack the skill to bring some friends together to fight us off.

  25. Diametrix says:

    Well said, Pierre.

    It’s a box; think outside of it or get buried in it. Your choice.

  26. Bonedead says:

    Pierre I’m curious if you’ve played Darkfall or if you’re talking out of your ass.

  27. Pierre says:

    always 50/50. it makes the better comments.

  28. Beau says:

    I’m a little confused as to who Pierre is talking to.

    Either way, I THINK he is saying that proper skill equals knowledge. There is a difference. Knowledge can’t get you anywhere without the ability. The ability is skill.

    Having said that, playing the hardest video game in the world takes nowhere near the skill of say, most of real life. By that argument, I have a lot of skill in walking my dog. I am a level 1 billion dog walker.
    That’s not making fun, just calling it what it is. I would hope that playing these video games, getting more “skillful” would actually bring you something in real life, but it doesn’t. If anything, it tends to make you a bit more top-heavy and thus LESS graceful. More games=less life skill.

    Now Syn, I ain’t going to go and quote every half-hidden comments you made to somehow illustrate that DF or PVP in general are not gank-fests. Despite that, you are now claiming that it IS a gank fest? Here’s what you just said: “Wait what… ganking is not rampant in PvP? When exactly did I say that,” …that means that you are saying that it IS rampant. Just for the record, and thank you for saying I am right. Remember, I am ALWAYS right. ALWAYS.

    I have always maintained that these type of games are mainly frequented by young white males. I have also always maintained that players for any new PVP game talk about the wonders of how it is NOT a gank-fest, just to grow bored enough to start ganking anyone they see.

    Notice again that I am not saying that it is BAD, EVIL or SCARY. Notice, Syn (before you say it) that I do not play WoW now, or ever have in the past NEARLY as much as you, and I have pvp’ed enough to know how it goes. I am attaching WoW to this comment just to cut you off at the pass and call me a WoW tourist. Your blog mentions WoW more than my blog.

    Just admit what it is..a few moments where you and your guildies have some fun, followed by killing people. It is, essentially, an FPS game. Hell, PlanetSide has more strategy it seems to me.

    I’ll see what it’s like when I play it, though. Maybe all my buddies that have played it are wrong in their reviews: it is not a sub-par PVE game tacked on to a sub-par PVP game.


  29. Squirrt says:

    @Pierre I too find it interesting what people find Hardcore. You obviously think that attacking an opponent at 10% health or with 5 to 1 odds is the definition of hard core. Why don’t you just put a big red ” I WIN” button on your keyboard. If Darkfall was a game where the players had levels and the levels made a significant difference in the amount of damage you do and take than I might agree with your statements above. But from reading Syncaine’s posts it is not.

    I play a Squig Herder in Warhammer, last night I was hiding behind a tree outside of the Order War Camp in Reikland waiting for prey. A 40 Witch Hunter rode by and I knocked him off his horse and proceeded to engage him. When he was at about 15% health I lv40 Warrior Priest showed up and engaged. I finished off the WH and then started to attack the WP. When the WP was at about 30% health a LV33 Engineer showed up and engaged also. I managed to finish off the WP and then engaged the Engineer. I was about 50% health at this time and had already taken a health pot. When the Engineer was at about 25% health I was jumped by the Witch Hunter I had killed earlier from stealth. I managed to finish off the Engineer before I was killed. It was intense, fun and thrilling.

    I have had similar experiences, but instead of just one warrior priest showing up while I am fighting a whole war band shows up and I die rather quickly.

    According to your definition above the War Band is HARDCORE…???

    For me, in a game like Darkfall, the definition of Hardcore would be that no matter what equipment you have or as long as the odds are not too one side, there is still a chance you can LOOSE to the people you attack if they are a more skilled than you.

    To me Hardcore has never been about winning, but it is the loss you incur if you’re stupid or screw up.

    I just don’t see how getting jumped with 5+ to 1 odds with no real chance of getting away constitutes Hardcore. Now if I engage this group on my own that is something completely different.

    Attacking an opponent that has no chance of winning, to me, is a very strange definition of Hardcore. I guess I just see things differently than you. I prefer opponents who at least have a chance of defeating me and my friends when I attack them.

  30. syncaine says:

    I’ll throw this point out: who’s ‘fault’ is it that we found someone soloing?

    In a game like WoW/WAR, you can go out and PvE solo and be perfectly fine, so people don’t think twice about it. That’s just not the case in DarkFall, nothing is safe. Which should not be confused with ‘you can’t solo’, because you can, but it has its own set of risks/rewards. You get all the loot off a dead mob, but you also run a higher risk of getting attacked. If you bring 10 people to the goblins with you, you won’t get attacked, but you will also be splitting loot with 9 others. Risk/reward, controlled by the players.

    When our group goes out to PK, we don’t set out to ONLY fight evenly matched groups. We kill whatever we come across, and sometimes, we ourselves get killed because a bigger/better group gets the jump on us. The point is, no one stops and says “ok we died, but it was not fair, they had 2 more guys”. That kind of thinking just does not apply in DarkFall. (nor does it have anything to do with being hardcore or not, whatever that may be)

  31. Squirrt says:

    Syncaine I agree with what your saying. When our guild goes to PvP we are the same way. If we want exactly balanced battles we join a Scenario. That is not to say that we don’t try to find battles that are balanced. Which can be hard on Magnus because Order out numbers us.

    I just don’t agree that skill equates to 5 on 1 or attacking opponents that are at 10% health. That is just zerging or ganking plan and simple. Which IMO does not require much skill at all.

  32. Bonedead says:

    Level 2 million bowl (read: pole) smoker.

  33. syncaine says:

    There is little skill in killing someone 5v1, hence it’s an easy kill. But who would claim to be uber at combat because they took someone down 5v1?

    Getting yourself into a 5v1, rather than a 1v5, is a skill, just a different one than winning a 5v5. The better overall players will find ways to get into 5v1 or equivalent fights, as well as win more 5v5 fights than they lose, and avoid 1v5 situations.

    What makes DF entertaining for me, in part, is that all of the above actually matters more than in most games. I could run into 1v5 situations all day in WAR, and at the end of the day nothing has changed. That makes it more ‘casual’ or friendly to play, but for me it also takes some of the edge of, and I enjoy that edge.

  34. Squirrt says:

    Oh, I agree, though I will say a large part of getting a 5v1 vs a 1v5 has to do with a certain amount of luck.

    I have been a silent reader of you blog for some time, looking at DF with significant skeptism, to now waiting to play it when it reaches NA. Keep the stories coming.

  35. syncaine says:

    Good players make their own luck in the long run :)

  36. Swift Voyager says:

    I’ve always thought of the difference between hardcore and casual as having more to do with the level of obsessiveness of the player. To me, it’s not about whether you are 1v5 or 5v1 or 5v5, or whether it is full loot, positive sum, or zero loss. To me, a hardcore game or gamer is defined by doing things like making spreadsheets to plan or track game actions, reading forums for advice, skipping days of work to camp an enemy, turning down a hot date to play, forming guilds/clans/corporations, and spending lots of real world money on it. A casual game would be one where people may play for several hours at a time, every day of the week, but doesn’t require much thought, may not have an official forum, doesn’t interfere with real life, etc.

    When people like squirrt argue over whether DF is more hardcore than WoW, it’s like arguing over whether a bass is more of a fish than a trout, or whether the pot is blacker than the kettle if you like. Even the most casual MMO’s, like Wizard 101 for example, is 100 orders of magnitude more hardcore than Zuma or Luxor.

    My 60 year old mother plays more video game hours per week than I do, by about double. I am a hardcore gamer and she isn’t. She has never posted on a game forum, read a game help site, made notes on paper about a game, written or downloaded 3rd party apps, talked about a game at a social gathering, eagerly awaited the release of a game, etc.

    WoW is every bit as hardcore or maybe more hardcore than DF. There are people who LIVE for WoW. There are businesses formed around WoW, like gold farmers, fan sites, 3rd party app devs, merchandise vendors, etc. If you are so over-invested in your gaming hobby that you worry about whether other people call DF hardcore or not, then you need to turn off the computer and go outside more often.

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