What I REALLY meant to say regarding content.

It’s funny that in the wall of text below, I never actually got to what I originally meant with my line of “DF has had more content added in a year than WoW has in 5”. The straw man Tobold put up worked to distract me, although sadly even taken out of context I still believe DF has more ‘content’ than WoW, be it since release or overall. But my point was never that Aventurine has added more lines of code or art files in a year to DF than Blizzard has to WoW in 5. My point was that at the most very basic level of “stuff to do”, AV has added more “stuff to do” in a year than Blizzard has in 5. To me “stuff to do” = content.

And even with that, “stuff to do” needs some context. For example, I don’t put a ton of value in adding the 153rd edition of ‘kill ten rats’, this time with neon orange rats instead of neon purple ones, but I would say adding working overworld naval combat to an avatar-driven game as huge. To me the fact that DF has naval combat that is more than a gimmicky “jump in the vehicle and get a new hotbar” is more ‘content’ than all of WotLK combined. WotLK added a slew of new mob, armor, and scenery models etc, but all of those are just used to spice up the 154th edition of ‘kill ten rats’. Naval combat in DarkFall is basically a whole new game. What works in the water, or on a deck, is completely different than what works on land.

I look at things like player housing, the village system, the trade route system, the sea fortresses, the kraken, and character specialization as adding far more ‘content’ than a new set of instances that replace the previous set as ‘best in slot’ locations. WotLK added a bunch of zones/instances, just like TBC did before it. And just like TBC made all of vanilla WoW’s endgame zones/instances obsolete, so did WotLK to TBC zones/instances, and Cataclysm will do the same to WotLK. Those expansions don’t add MORE content; they just replace the endgame with a new one after a game reset (adding more levels).

Of course those new instances/zones have new graphics for all of the mobs and items, new lore written to explain the appearance of the space goats and the new ‘kill ten rat’ quests, and new abilities to spam in 1-2-1-3 fashion on those mobs, and if we are counting total content added in only that context, Blizzard wins.

I just don’t count that stuff as all that new. Sure it’s nice to see a new mob graphic or what the next raid set looks like, but once the shiny is seen, what then? How does a new gear set, that other than looking different and increasing your stats by 2% compare to something like the kraken being added? Ignore that the kraken is a new model with new animations and sounds, because that’s not the point. The kraken changes how you travel the ocean, the danger that exists, and the risk/reward of setting out in a ship. That to me is content. What was previously ‘empty’ space is now something to think about, something to consider and weigh in terms of risk/reward, and just one more random factor added to naval combat. That a kraken might show up in the middle of a naval battle is, imo, far more content than whatever a new instance brings.

The trade routes added recently are extremely simple in design. Four different locations were added to mainland Agon, you go talk to the NPC, give him some gold for a backpack, and then take that backpack to another NPC and get more gold as a reward. Very simple and nothing fancy.

In WoW this task would be completed however many times you need to earn your shiny before you would move on, bored and complaining because the content did nothing but make you pointlessly travel to grind out your shiny. In DarkFall the trade routes add a ton of ‘content’, because the four hubs become PvP hotspots, the travel involved adds attractive targets to the world, a player can set his risk level and try to make the journey, and a well organized group can use the system to earn a hefty amount of gold, albeit at a large risk. That to me is all great content, driven by Aventurines ‘simple’ addition of trade routes.

Apply similar thinking to villages, housing, player vendors, specialization, and yes, I believe Aventurine has added more content to DarkFall since release than Blizzard has to World of WarCraft in it’s five years of release.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Combat Systems, crafting, Darkfall Online, Housing, MMO design, PvP, Rant, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to What I REALLY meant to say regarding content.

  1. Draglem says:

    Hey, I am sorry I pointed out the misquote. I will leave it up to you next time :)

  2. James says:

    I give up.

  3. sid67 says:

    In the comments for your previous post, you wrote “AV creates something, and then that something is used over and over, but that does not count as content because…?

    The ‘something’ is content. The ‘used’ part is not. Why would ‘using’ content be content in itself?

    It’s player activity.

    What you are confusing is the quality of the content. The quality of content can be measured by how long a player will play that content.

    In that respect, the city siege example is BETTER content than a simple quest hub. But it’s not MORE content.

    • SynCaine says:

      If you want to call it quality, that’s fine. The point was not to argue over the definition of MORE vs BETTER, the point was that what AV has done in a year has, IMO, outclassed Blizzard in 5. Whether you want to say it’s because they added MORE, or because what they added is BETTER, I don’t care to argue.

      • Draglem says:

        Now you are just calling under question the degree of “completeness” DFO held when released and concurrency if the original “Vanilla” DFO actually stood against Vanilla WoW outright.

        Way to dedicate on your own argument.

        I will let you insert your own lulz.

        • Joseph says:

          I’m trying hard to understand what you are saying, but failing. What do you mean by ‘concurrency’ and ‘dedicate’? I’m not sure those words mean what you think they mean.

          Concurrently? Consequently? Defecate?

        • Draglem says:

          boss is over my shoulder … and quickspellcheck does more harm than good.

          *Concurrently, *Defecate

          Hope that helps.

      • sid67 says:

        The phrasing is important. After all, it’s the basis for Tobold’s entire post.

        He’s calling into question what you consider content and saying that it’s not content at all.

        The result is all this bickering about what is and is not content when YOUR point is that the quality of the content provided has an infinite amount of replay value.

        As a professional internet arguer (*grin*), my advice is to focus on why that content is better from a gameplay perspective than trying to quantify how much the amount of content each game provides.

  4. evizaer says:

    This debate does seem to be like Bierce’s definition of politics, a strife of interests dressed up as a conflict of principles. Tobold likes themeparks and doesn’t see DFO’s gameplay additions as content. Syncaine likes sandboxes and doesn’t see WoW’s gameplay additions as content. There doesn’t seem to be much substance to the argument on either side besides that.

    • sid67 says:

      If he had just left it as “I think Aventurine has done more to improve Darkfall in one year than Blizzard has in five year’s to improve WoW in five” than his whole point wouldn’t have been de-railed by this content bickering.

      By citing that it has more content, he left that comment open to interpretation by others who can QUANTIFY content and disprove that statement.

      And Tobold, rightly so, called him on using that definition poorly. I actually think Tobold did a fair job at supporting Syn’s ideas. He just wasn’t willing to call it new content.

      Syn’s point should have been that the quality and depth of DF content is far superior to anything that WoW has released in the last five years.

    • Defty says:

      evizaer. Exactly. His whole post boils down to “I like DF better than WoW”. Which is OK. But it’s the intellectual somersaults that he goes through to justify what in the end is just his personal liking that makes him so interesting as a blogger. It’s like watching a psychological train wreck in slow motion.

      • evizaer says:

        I wouldn’t even call this back-and-forth “intellectual”. Syncaine has gotten very defensive about DFO instead of actually making the points he could’ve made DIRECTLY, independent of DFO, to show that Tob’s conception of content is nonsensical.

  5. Wilhelm2451 says:

    I haven’t played Darkfall obviously, but I have to go with the line of thought that this is more a matter of “AV has added more content that SYNCAINE likes since launch than Blizz has in five years of WoW.”

    And that is a perfectly fine statement. I could live with that.

    But if you’re going to say absolute content that any player of the game might use and enjoy, you have a lot of work left to do to prove that.

    Now, some wag might make the case that WoW and Darkfall started development pretty close together, so they ought to have comparable content. Of course I would certainly never suggest such a thing!

  6. Adam says:

    It’s actually basic math –


    25 = number of retextured mobs/instances blizzard has added

    1= amount of depth to the gameplay


    in DF

    10= amount of content aventurine has added

    5 = depth of gameplay


    50 > 25

    gg carebearz

    • Stabs says:

      I’ll quote this right back at you.

      10= amount of content aventurine has added

      gg noob

      • Adam says:


        Reading comprehension with math skills together are a big win.

        Wow is 25*1=25 content score

        DarkFall is 10*5=50 content score

        you are bad

        • rulez says:

          Sorry but I have to let you fail the exam for making up random definitions for well established terms
          Better chance next time! :P

  7. Carson63000 says:

    So what you really meant by “DF has had more content added in a year than WoW has in 5” is “DF has had more content THAT I LIKE added in a year than WoW has in 5,” right?

  8. Stargazer says:

    I must say that the “basic math” stuff is a bit off, but for the fun of it, lets have a closer look.

    So you say wow has 1 amount of depth to the gameplay, and then you add that 5 is the depth of gameplay. Well by that definition you put wow at 25*1*5.

    Anyway I think that your numeric solution to the content race is rather non euclidean

    • Adam says:


      Reading comprehension with math skills together are a big win.

      Wow is 25*1=25 content score

      DarkFall is 10*5=50 content score

  9. Gemski says:

    If people like a sandbox they dont need more “content” just more activities.

    If you dont want a sandbox…then you need more code, models, textures, encounters, places, modes, etc.

  10. Stabs says:

    It’s all semantics of course but I think it’s demonstably wrong semantics.

    Darkfall’s content is open-ended which means it has more replayability. Replayability is more important than content.

    Content = that which is contained, ie stuff.

    Does WoW after 5 years of development and a bigger budget have more stuff than DF? Yes.

    Is stuff the most important thing for having fun? Only if you’re firmly stuck in the hamster-wheel playstyle or if you’re a dyed-in-the-wall explorer.

    • malakili says:

      To me its about whether or not I get a unique experience when I log in.

      You could argue that in WoW from 1-Max level that is true. Even if you are doing sort of samey quests you are going to new locations, etc.

      The problem for me is that in the end game, your goal is actually to MINIMIZE variation. You want this week to go the same as last week. Hypothetically you could get to a state where every monday is exactly the same, every tuesday, etc, and thats the *best case scenario.*

      In Darkfall, even if you are doing the same things, or having roughly the same goals, the experience will be different every time.

      To me, this is defining feature in the Theme Park/Sandbox argument, when it comes down to it, at least in terms of content.

      “Amount” of content isn’t really the point. I mean, I imagine there are a lot of people that removing the uncertainty and trying to get the same exact result each time IS kind of fun. But for me, its that uncertainty, the necessity of not letting your guard down or falling into a routine that makes the sandbox content more to my liking. For me it ends up giving me more hours of entertainment simply for this reason.

      • Stabs says:

        “To me its about whether or not I get a unique experience when I log in.”

        Oh I agree this is what is important to players.

        It it not however what the word “content” means.

        Here’s the definition:
        “1. Something contained, as in a receptacle. Often used in the plural: the contents of my desk drawer; the contents of an aerosol can.”

        Saying good features are more content than bad features just doesn’t match what the word means.

        It’s like saying bad books have shorter contents pages than good books. They don’t.

        • evizaer says:

          Too bad that dictionary definition doesn’t match up with how the word is used among gamers. There is no gaming-specific definition of the word provided, so you can’t draw specific right-or-wrong judgments out of that definition.

          The standard definition of content does not map well into games because physical content is objectively observable whereas game content requires the participation of players and varies depending on the player.

  11. Tobold says:

    My point is that this is subjective. WoW has more “stuff to do” *for me* than DF, because I like WoW and don’t like DF. DF has more “stuff to do” *for syncaine*, because he likes DF and hates WoW.

    If there is no “stuff to do” in World of Warcraft, then why are there millions of people doing stuff in WoW since 5 years?

    • RoBErTiTo says:

      Tobold, have you ever played a sandbox MMORPG for some time?

      By definition, sandbox mmos cannot run out of content while theme parks will run out of content if it is not added on a regular basis by devs.

      In my opinion, your point of view is biased by the fact that you do not enjoy (or do not have a deep knowledge of) sandbox mmos but you do like theme parks which is nothing to be ashamed of.

    • RoBErTiTo says:

      I forgot to address your last sentence: “If there is no “stuff to do” in World of Warcraft, then why are there millions of people doing stuff in WoW since 5 years?”

      Please, let’s not go there. I am sure you have plenty of intelligent arguments.

    • SynCaine says:

      If someone likes both WoW and DF, in which game do they have more options and content? Which game will they ‘burn through’ the content faster. And which game is more likely to add more ‘stuff’ sooner?

    • Anti-Stupidity League says:

      Your argument is once again that anything that sells more and anything that has more consumers must be automatically better than anything that sells less and has less consumers?

      McDonald’s must be better and must offer better consumables for its consumers than any of your local restaurants as there a lot more people going to McDonald’s than any of those other places? Really? This is your argument? A million flies can’t be wrong?

  12. Mo0rbid says:

    derp, good blog. And take this as a compliment, because I hate the concept of blogs

  13. silvertemplar says:

    Err, you two are actually bickering about SUBSTANCE and not CONTENT . Two different things. WoW got CONTENT , very linear themepark type of content, but content nonetheless.

    Something like EVE actually as far as i’m concerned got little content, but alot of SUBSTANCE. I mean if you fly around, space is space, it might have a different star/planet backdrop, but it is still pretty much space. So if you’d compare WoW vs EVE purely on “environment content”, WoW would win. However people don’t play EVE to “sight see” or “ride on rails” .

    SUBSTANCE is figuring out how to design your MMO, so you can remain in ONE SINGLE ZONE, and play the game indefinitely. You’d think this would be the ultimate MMO design, since everyone say “making new content” takes “the most of developer’s time”. So, hell, why not design a game where you don’t need to travel through a zillion different zones in the first place.

    Coming to think about it, what is with this type of design anyway? Everyone is assume to be “world travelers” in MMOs these days, maybe i’d like to just settle down in my home-town, and STAY in my home-town for once….

    • Adam says:

      By your logic (and the others saying Wow has the most “content) of attempting to not value the substance of the content.

      Eve wins.

      It has thousands of shallow starsystems with mobs (procedurally generated for the most part i believe).

      According to the value-free definition the Wow people would like then Eve wins the content war.

  14. Coppertopper says:

    If you’re still calling the combat balance tweeks and a WoW-like in game barber ‘content’, and adding a pvp objective and skinnable wildlife an ‘expansion’, then even by those definitions WoW has added metric tons more ‘content’ then Darkfall in the last 5 years.

    In fact Aventurines first year was really about adding into the game what their website fraudulently promised at release. You paid the early adopter tax, in effect you were ‘madoff’d’ by Aventurine – get over it and get back to reporting facts about the game instead of this tired furniture salesman tactic you keep falling back on.

    • SynCaine says:

      See how the examples you brought up are not the ones I brought up? Nice try though, especially with the “WoW-like” barber. News at 11, WoW invents barbers. What’s next, the WoW-like orcs and goblins?

  15. Bhagpuss says:

    If there was a prize for pointless arguments, this one would be on the final shortlist.

    You can’t even have an argument if none of the participants can even agree on the basic terms. After several days of these we still don’t have any agreement on what content actually IS, and we don’t appear likely to get any. Even if we ever did agree what the content meant, we have no meaningful way of quantifying it.

    This whole argument is basically “My dad can beat your dad”, when actually if you ever got the dads to meet they’d probably just have a beer together and swap “my kid” stories.

    • evizaer says:

      You nailed it on the head, Bhagpuss. This “argument” is nothing more than an ego-stroking contest. Real argument isn’t of interest, only what makes who appeal to their choir the srongest.

  16. Dblade says:

    I agree with your points Syncaine. I think true content is the purpose that mechanics provide, and most themepark games are limited in purpose compared to sandboxes. Thats why no matter how many mobs you add, or how many expansions you add, it will have less content because the purposes are still constricted: rush to level cap, do raids, get gear.

    I may not be keen on the content most sandboxes actually provide, but I find myself siding with you in this suprisingly.

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  18. Graktar says:

    If you’re defining “amount of content” by replayability, then I’m afraid WoW still wins. Battlegrounds and Arenas offer essentially infinite replayability, and in many ways trump the replayability of a sandbox. Is it good content? Not really, but you can essentially play it forever and unlike sandbox PvP, it’s always there.

    • malakili says:

      By this definition any multiplayer shooter has “unlimited” content.

      • sid67 says:

        You are confusing ‘content’ (i.e. the stuff) with ‘using’ the content (i.e. what you do with it).

        Replayability has more to do with quality or substance of the content that it does with the content itself.

        I would also argue that for that very same reason (quality), I don’t believe that BGs or Arenas have ‘infinite’ replayability. After all, you can only do the so many times before you get bored to death and can’t stand another match. That’s why the quality and variety of the content matters.

    • keystone says:

      “Replayability” is not how many times you can load the game, but how many times you’re *willing* to load the game.

      So you can’t say that because WoW BGs are quick and instant matches that they have infinate replayability.

      It took me a year to grow tired of WoW BGs, but it’s been 10 years and I still throughly enjoy Ultima Online PvP. So Sid67 is right, the quality *does* matter! ^^

  19. Sarz says:

    Fact of the matter is there are at least 2 perspectives on this. It boils down to sandbox fan bois and rail fan bois. There definition of content may be mutually exclusive and from the eyes of what each see as more content are and will always be different. Me, I like a mix of both. I see Syn’s point and the rest. Personally I like a balance. WoW to me is too much on the rails. Eve is too much free. Fallen Earth so far has been a good balance for ME (Caps so you get that I am not saying it applies to all but to ME…).

    Oh, looking at the last post in terms of Replayability… That applies to all games… Shit man, really? I could set up a bot and have that happen. And no… If you have no one that wants to PvP, regardless of the modis operandi, it wont occur. Why in the hell do you think WoW twinked it so much so that it became viable as means of gear progression?

  20. Sarz says:

    So maybe the question may be which had more content in terms of the client or the customer?

    One tells you what to do… The other says her is the framework, do with it what you will…

    So the latter makes me wonder why someone has not taken the Second Life vehicle and tried to make a mmo out of it… As a noob, I have no idea of the effort or the security of it all…

  21. Frank says:

    After reading these ‘content’ posts for a week, I’ve learned the following:

    Syncaine prefers DF over WoW because it has more of the ‘content’ he enjoys.

    Tobold prefers WoW over DF because it has more of the ‘content’ he enjoys.

    I don’t think we’ve accomplished much here, except maybe for a little more awareness of DF.

    Personally, I usually like WoW. Based on what I’ve read, I’d give DF a try, if there was a Mac version, but I probably wouldn’t like it as much as WoW. /shrug

  22. keystone says:

    I actually think HKO has more content than WoW or DF- refute that!

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