Oh nooz, one step towards Trammel!
Patch day for Darkfall, and with it some (on paper) interesting balance tweaks, gameplay changes, and more quests revolving around the zero lore that is Darkfall…
The biggest change, without doubt, is the increased rate of skill gain for melee/archery/magery, along with the ‘nerf’ to shooting arrows and spells at nothing to gain skill. This now puts all three combat skills on the same page in terms of skill gain, in that you actually have to use them correctly to gain skill. When put in that context, increasing the rate makes sense. While the skill-up rate was reasonable 1-50, once you hit 50+ the time needed to further increase it got a bit high, and this was most noticeable with melee skills as you could not swing at the air. With the previous removal of skill gain from starter weapons, along with removing skill gain from swinging at shielded players, raising melee skills was by far the hardest combat skill to increase. Hopefully this patch puts all three on the same page, and should overall encourage more players to go out and actually use those skills on mobs or enemy players rather than sitting around a bindstone.
On a personal note, I’m hoping Aventurine has increased the melee reach of the larger races, to help balance out the fact that they have much larger hit boxes. Fighting an Alfar as a Mahirim never felt ‘right’, so hopefully this change closes that balance gap.
You can now zoom in on the map, which makes it actually useful. The odd thing all along is that you could actually already do this; you just had to do it through the slow loading journal. This is a nice addition, and hopefully the functionality mirrors that of the journal zoom.
The rest I’ll have to see in action to really comment on. Magic looks like it got some serious buffs (much needed), I’m hoping this patch finally kills the ‘out of memory’ issue for good, and I’m curious what changes have been made to crafting. (auto-crafting hopefully) Sadly no changes to siege mechanics, but perhaps Aventurine is working on a larger overhaul, rather than planning to make small changes. More on all this once I’ve had a weekend with it I’m sure.
IMO the best change is:
“Clan Mines/Quarries/Groves/etc now start out at 25% capacity and their regrowth rate has been increased ”
This should encourage more small scale PvP, guilds raiding to control enemy resources.
I think the best change is skills only being gained for hitting valid opponents. This will to a large part take care of the afk macro’ers. However, with the changes to making skilling up faster I wonder if everyone will become a plate-mage too quickly. I really hope they would’ve implemented a soft cap along with this change and and this game would be one large step closer to balanced.
Although I must say the rate of improvements and patching and fixes to problems from AV has been impressive, considering the game has only been out for two months.
By comparison, two months into AoC’s launch and the game would still crash every couple of hours.
My baseless theory is they are making all these changes planning for a server reset, launching NA-1 at the same time, officially making the game available and easy to find/buy, and adding some form of a skill cap at that point as well.
It would be a crazy move by an MMO dev, but this is Aventurine after all, and if they have shown us anything, it’s that they are willing to do seemingly crazy things for the overall good of DarkFall.