At times (or maybe just on blogs/forums) we get too focused on the type of player we expect to play a certain MMO. WoW is for carebears, LotRO is for role players, DarkFall is for hardcore PvPers, Aion is for crossdressers, etc. And while each game certainly has its target audience, WoW has its share of hardcore PvPers, DarkFall has some role players, and I’m guessing a crossdresser or two play LotRO.
The reason this came up is that last night Apollo had our first PvP training night, and the different playstyles really come out when you remove the unexpected and hectic nature of DarkFall PvP, and instead just focus on pure execution and learning from watching others. We have a solid core of what I would say are the hardcore PvP guys; the ones with above average character and player skills, the ones with a lot of PvP experience, and the ones who wipe the floor when dueling the ‘average’ player. Any guild that wants to be a factor needs these type of players; their the tip of the spear when it comes to group combat, they earn the guild respect from others, and they put fear into known enemies when they take the field. But even in a guild like Apollo, they are the minority.
Most of the 20+ players online last night were the ‘casual’ players (myself included), those who like to PvP, can hold their own against most and want to get better, but stand no chance vs the upper elite one on one. And even in our guild, we still had a few members online who sat out because they would rather focus on crafting or gathering during their time online. True honest-to-god carebears not only playing DarkFall, but playing it as a member of a major guild that’s part of a major alliance. And without that mix of players, the game would be far less interesting to play, as unlike a themepark DarkFall is less about what rides you can hop on and more about what those around you are doing. The PvP core might not interact with the gatherers regularly, but both groups are part of the guild and contribute to it both in-game and on a social level.
Could more be done to keep those not about PvP 24/7 interested and entertained, certainly. The next patch will add wandering mobs, further improvements to random rewards around the world, and generally more reasons to just go out and see what’s going on. More improvements to an already useful crafting system and some needed focus on naval combat should spice things up as well. Given the short but very successful track record for DF patches, one can only expect good things in October, be it for the hardcore PvPers or the carebears.