So far so good on the DarkFall twitter front, with little updates on what certain teams are working on. I’ve said this before, and it comes up again here, but Aventurine loves toying with ForumFall, with the latest example being this little line: “working on… trade route NPCs”. Come again?
Most likely the trade route NPCs are related to caravans, and that upcoming addition seems to be shaping up as some sort of roving NPC feature rather than a player-driven economic one. It sounds like instead of players using caravans to transport goods from one location to another (this would have played into local banking, another feature that is only slowly being explored), caravans instead will be traveling NPC groups. In a previous update “trade route logic” was mentioned, which again points towards caravans being NPC driven. Although perhaps a player hires a caravan, and the rest is NPC controlled?
Roaming mobs were mentioned a while back, and while everyone’s first thought was that this means monsters would be making wider sweeps, perhaps those ‘roaming mobs’ are actually merchant caravans and their guards? With DarkFall’s AI already playing better than some players, what’s to stop AV from making caravan guards act like juiced-up players defending a location? Tough mobs today are killed by leashing or other underhanded (but legal) tactics, but what if caravan guards don’t follow normal leashing rules, and are able to use knockback spells to stop you from perching, or just cycling nukes themselves to clear a perch? Make a caravan worth say, 10k in gold plus random high-end items (infernal or dragon armor, Q5 enchanted weapons), give it enough smart guards to require 10 or 20 players, make the caravan travel from one corner of the world to the other along a somewhat random path, and lets see what happens. Once attacked, allow the caravan to send out a global message for help in its current location, and you have just created a serious PvP hotspot with a sizable reward at stake.
Is that what AV is adding with caravans? Who knows, but given their track record of unexpected additions and creative methods of solving certain problems, I’m not going to rule it out.
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