How character transfers will effect DarkFall’s NA and EU servers.

With EU to NA server transfers coming (hopefully) sometime this month in DarkFall, there are some who are worried about population and balance being ruined on both servers. Some fear EU will become under-populated, while those on the NA server fear that everyone coming from EU is going to be a maxed-out character.

The EU server population worry is certainly valid, as it’s difficult to judge exactly how many players will transfer and what Aventurine’s plans are to replace those leaving. As it has been noted many times, Aventurine has yet to really market DarkFall beyond a few banner ads, and perhaps they are waiting for this coming expansion to roll something out. I’m not sure if a trial would be possible (although if EVE can do it, DF should be as well), but certainly many are at least interested in giving this unique game a shot, yet are currently unwilling to drop $50 on something so different. DarkFall is not a game for everyone, but at the same time it does have a lot to offer; things that might surprise people who don’t think they fit the description of a typical DF player.

Free trial aside, overall marketing for DF needs to increase. If you check meta-critic the game still only has two reviews, and while another Ed Zitron hackjob is clearly something AV wants to avoid, the game in its current state should garner reasonable attention. It’s not a pretty polished fairy with wings, but anyone who gets beyond character creation will be able to see that DF is more than just a Counterstrike knife fight with a subscription fee. And while DarkFall made a lot of noise when it was released on blogs and other very MMO-focused sites, it’s still something even most MMO fans know nothing about. How many GW or WoW PvP players log in each day wishing they had something more behind their actions, or how many players are out there wanting nothing more than to be a guild crafter who matters? DarkFall certainly captured those who were looking for a 3D version of UO, but now it’s time to expand and reach other potential fans. Assuming Aventurine puts something together, both the EU and NA servers will be fine regarding population.

As for the NA server being flooded with maxed-out EU players, it’s not going to happen. While ridiculously powerful players make a lot of noise on the forums, even on EU they are the exception rather than the norm. Yes certain clans (Apollo included) will get a few jacked-up members with some seriously developed character (70+ stats, 350+ HP), but just like on NA today, most people reach a competent level with their character and then focus more on PLAYING the game rather than building up their skills/stats. The average on EU will be higher simply based on time, but even 10-15 stat points don’t create a huge power imbalance. Add to this that many EU-based characters have been in hibernation waiting for transfer, and NA has little to worry about. The power balance has far more to do with magic being the dominant combat choice than with length of character development. Things will certainly be different come transfers, but that will have more to do with political shifts as different alliances gain more members or become more active than with the few 100 stat characters coming over.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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11 Responses to How character transfers will effect DarkFall’s NA and EU servers.

  1. WyldKard says:

    Regarding marketing/growth, the single-platform model is definitely going to work against Adventurine. In this day and age, it’s not just the big players like Blizzard and Mythic who should be thinking about Mac ports, but the niche developers too, who could easily grow their numbers beyond the pure-PC crowd. CCP acknowledged the issue with a Mac EVE port, as has Mythic, but arguably, both happened too late in the game (no pun intended).

  2. Ateve says:

    On the whole marketing/growth of Darkfall, I’ve only heard of it from reading blogs. They haven’t tried to sell it but really it could be a smart approach that they won’t market it until they have the initial bugs worked out and some polish.

    Another problem is that every review/blog I’ve read is really polarized. Ppl love the game or they hate it and I’ve read good and bad things. I’m not willing to fork out the money for a box game and a month of time on something I don’t know if I’m going to like. A free 10 day trial would be awesome.

    • syncaine says:

      That’s exactly why DF would benefit more than most games from a trial. There are so many Ed Zitron-like takes on DarkFall from people who read a forum (one which most of the posts are also done by Ed Zitrons), that I don’t really blame people for being cautions.

  3. Crito says:

    From the forums, the balance issue is disturbing. It looks worse than a simple FoTM, as if there is really only one way to play and win. (Winning in this case is killing other people quickly and not dying, a goal that is vital for a pvp-oriented game.) Is the magic really that bad-ass?

    • Scrung says:

      Pretty much, if you are really good with archery you have a chance as well.

      That’s why I quit, I spent all my time getting magic only to be bored with the combat after I had what I needed (in large and small battles)

    • syncaine says:

      In a 1v1 or small group, magic is a good but not ultimate option. Archery hits will do more single target damage, and melee combat actually happens, where a staff user will get torn up by melee if they don’t switch. The biggest bonus magic offers in those situations is that it’s easier to hit someone with an AoE than with an arrow. You can ‘miss’ a spell and the splash will still cause damage.

      In large scale (siege) combat, magic dominates because of the high-ranked AoE spells people can cycle through. You fire your rank90 fire AoE, and while it’s on cooldown you fire you rank90 earth AoE, then your rank100 Air (or whatever). It takes some time to get three+ magic schools that high, but once you have that you gain a large advantage in large scale combat. That is the big issue in DF currently, as the AoE spells remove most of the player skill of aiming, and they end fights too quickly (4-5 players all dropping an AoE on one area = insta kill).

      On top of all that, magic buffs are very powerful and magic healing is the only real viable source of healing (pots can’t keep up). That causes most players to wear bone armor, because it offers decent protection and does not hinder magic. If you wear scale+, it hinders your magic and so even if you are an archery, you can’t heal as effectively.

      Does magic ruin the game? No, but it does make mass combat a hell of a lot less fun, and it currently limits player options to bone armor and lots of reagents. I’d be shocked if the October expansion does not include some nerfs to magic, beyond just the archery specialization of mage-killer.

  4. Crito says:

    Disclaimer

    I thought this site could handle the question honestly. I don’t mean to cause a riot. (Nothing against Scrung’s response)

  5. Anonymous says:

    *affect

  6. n0th says:

    “but anyone who gets beyond character creation will be able to see that DF is more than just a Counterstrike knife fight with a subscription fee.”
    Care to elaborate a bit more on this? Obviously i dont see the whole picture just from reading blog posts and watching PvP videos.
    But the perception for an “outsider” (and no way i’m trying DF before there is a free trial) is exactly like you stated. Basically CS knife/bow mod on a large map with near-zero character immersion. People who bothered to do the PvE grind (aka makro skills up, farm mats etc.) have an advantage which less advanced players cant overcome with teamplay and “skill” (as in: aiming, movement etc.).

    • syncaine says:

      Player skill can certainly overcome character skill, more so than perhaps any MMO (see my reply above why magic is an issue related to this), and good teamplay is basically king when it comes to group or large-scale combat. If your group can coordinate well, you will dominate.

      Beyond that, while PvP combat is the focus, most days in DarkFall are not log in, PvP, log out (unles that’s all you want to do that day). It depends on the player or clan, but group PvE happens, solo PvE, crafting, gathering, trade, politics. Like UO before it, DarkFall really is a virtual world rather than a point-to-point themepark. What you do inside that world is determined more by the player (and players around you) than any strict ‘progression path’.

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