Each Spotlight post on the DarkFall forums about the upcoming expansion (it’s now officially an expansion in my mind, given the bat-shit crazy amount of stuff included. I know MMO games with shorter feature lists than what has been mentioned for this expansion) reminds me that I really, really need to finish Dragon Age before it’s released, because something tells me I won’t be doing anything outside of DarkFall for a long, long time.
Yesterday the Spotlight was about the upcoming changes to melee and archery combat, with both seemingly getting multiple abilities and features. I think many expected 1-2 changes rather than the somewhat extensive (and incomplete mind you) stuff talked about in the post. I’d love to speculate how it will all play out once live, but it’s so much stuff I honestly have no clue. Will melee dominate? Will archery require a totally different approach? Will magic still be OP, niche, or useless? No one really knows, but what is very clear to everyone is that come the expansion, combat in DarkFall is going to look and play very differently. I’m cautiously optimistic here given the success of the previous expansion, and with Aventurine’s core delivery of DarkFall overall.
Today’s Spotlight hit far closer to home for me. It details the new player vendors, and I’m honestly blown away. This is, almost to a T, the UO player vendor system, and that’s EXACTLY what I was hoping for. When player vendors in DarkFall were first mentioned, I half-heartedly wished for UO vendors, but the realist part of me knew it would be something different ‘just because’, so I’m overjoyed that it’s not. I spent countless hours in UO around my vendor: restocking him, crafting new things to sell, checking on prices, talking to shoppers. To me the vendor was an almost endless catalyst of content, and I have little doubt the DF version will deliver as well. My only concern is actually getting one, as currently owning a house in DarkFall is an expensive venture, but with vendors, that’s just more motivation to gather the required gold and further pursue my crafting skills.
On top of vendors, the post also mentions that a new style of house, a keep, is being added. The keep will be bigger than a large villa, and allow (once finished) up to ten people to bind to it. Can you say mini-hamlet in a village? With house-based local banking, a player vendor, and small clan binding capability, the keep will be the perfect addition for smaller groups of friends to have a home of their own to operate out of.
I’ve said since day-one that DarkFall has a rock solid base for a sandbox game, with by far the best combat system in any MMO and a huge, beautifully constructed world. And it’s that solid base that allows Aventurine to focus on expanding the game in ways that are both unexpected and yet demanded. Each addition has truly been a step forward for the game and not the usual ‘one step forward, two steps back’ patching that other MMOs at times suffer from. It still has its flaws, and it will NEVER be a game for most, but you can’t argue it’s already delivered a great gaming experience for those interested in what it offers, and that experience is only going to get better as time goes on.