DarkFall: AV Q&A, and some player vendor impressions

Two DarkFall items for today. First up, there is an extensive Q&A up at MMORPG.com about DarkFall from Paragus Rants. The questions where all submitted by players on the DF forums, and surprisingly all questions that followed the rules were at least addressed by Aventurine.

As always some questions got the ol’ “we have plans for that”, “we are working on that”, “that’s been discussed”, but there is also a lot of good information contained as well. Between doubling the number of items in the game (which includes greatly expanding crafting options), adding DX11 support, armor dyes, scavenging (breaking down items into raw mats), and what sounds like a UI overhaul, 2010 will be a busy year for DF players. The big unknown out of all of this of course is WHEN any of this will happen. The plan is to release something called DarkFall 2010 (hopefully not the final name), but hopefully that’s more February/March 2010 and not November 2010. Regardless, the Q&A offers up a lot of information and insight behind some of the ‘why’ in DF, and is definitely worth a read.

The second item I wanted to talk about is my updated impressions on player vendors, having now seen a few of them in villages and with the community having some time to get things rolling. The good news is that player vendors show up on your minimap when you are close, making them easier to spot when passing by a village. They also look great, with the little old man pacing back and forth in his booth. He also has a few funny things to say to you in public chat as you inspect his inventory and make purchases. Player vendor deeds also seem to finally be dropping in price, and I’m seeing more and more of them in the villages I come across.

There are a few issues however, chief among them the inability to see the full details of an item you are about to buy. Currently the only information available is the item’s name and short description, meaning you can’t see the items actual stats or durability. Since crafted items can vary in power (especially transmuted weapons), and with durability being such a key aspect in value, buying something ‘blind’ off a vendor is currently very risky. Players who are serious about running a reputable vendor will only sell quality goods, but any random player could put an item with one durability left on his vendor and charge full price, hoping to scam some unsuspecting buyer.

There is also the more general issue of a player actually using his vendor. I’ve come across a few now that are empty, which makes them seem like a waste of space, and might discourage players from checking the inventory of other vendors. Players who are truly serious in running a vendor have made forum posts to inform buyers of their location, inventory, and future goals, but as we all know only a percentage of your player base reads the forums, and player vendors should be something that is useful to all players in Agon.

A member of Inquisition was recently lucky enough to find a Villa house deed, and assuming we can find a decent spot to place it, perhaps I’ll attempt to buy my own vendor deed and run a shop myself. I currently have enough gold to buy one at a reasonable price, and my crafting skills are high enough that I could offer some decent items for sale. The other option would be to purchase a house myself, and I came close to buying a cottage with a vendor already placed just last week, although sadly the final price was beyond what I could afford. I’m certainly in the market however, and I always keep my eye on the trade channel hoping to spot a deal.

Certainly more on housing and player vendors as the opportunities present themselves.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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18 Responses to DarkFall: AV Q&A, and some player vendor impressions

  1. Zensun says:

    “There are a few issues however, chief among them the inability to see the full details of an item you are about to buy…. any random player could put an item with one durability left on his vendor and charge full price, hoping to scam some unsuspecting buyer.”

    Hmm… I’m not sure that’s a bad thing… kind of fits in with the pvp of the game… ‘buyer beware’ and all that. It means rep really is important when selling on vendors and someone that regularly scams isn’t going to get the demand for goods that a reputable dealer will.

    • SynCaine says:

      Yea the scam aspect is perhaps not the biggest part, but the reputable sellers having to use different titles and such to describe what they are selling is silly. Plus creative scammers will come up with better ways to get what they need beyond just listing low dura items on a vendor :)

  2. Adam says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens with player vendors going forward.

    It occurred to me when I placed my house that I might “rent” the vendor spot to someone. Do you know the mechanic yet? Could a houseguest run the vendor or would it have to be the owner?

    This brings up an associated point in regards to the drop rates.

    It’s pretty frustrating to have almost noone (ie me) having safes. I can see why they would do it the way they have but the slow trickle of house items is a bit disappointing.

    I’m very much looking forward to the craftable house items etc they alluded to. Having a set of things people could work towards vs random drop in our houses would be really nice.

    One thought I had was craftable heads from pve mobs.

    Be good to find a list of items that went into ultima online and starwars galaxies houses for inspiration.

    • SynCaine says:

      That’s my biggest question about vendors, can only the owner run one, or can a house guest run it as well. If it’s only the owner, then my plan for having a vendor on the clan mates villa won’t work.

  3. Der Nachbar says:

    I’m a bit sceptical about player vendors in DF from my perspective as an onlooker.

    1. As far as I know, player vendors can only be set up at player houses/hamlets, which are basically spread all over the huge world of Agon. So basically they won’t be sought out by players willingly to buy certain items, but rather stumbled upon without the intention. That is, unless you have a well reputation.

    2. As they are out in the wild, and not protected by the famous Zap-Zap-Towers, who is willing to buy expensive items in the outlands, risking to be killed by the shop-owner himself, his accomplice or a random bypasser.
    I heard Aventurine talking about the possibility to set up vendors in big cities with the upcoming next expansion, which makes far more sense to me.

    3. The missing information sounds not like intented to me. Can you read those stats in the normal trade window ? Well i can’t come up with a reason to hide these. Certainly not to foster pvp by giving scammers good tools to work with ? ^^

    Darkfall is missing local ressources and banks to have a proper foundation for a healthy economy, imho.
    At least vendors and much desired items like dyes are going to inject some vitality into it .. soon.

    • SynCaine says:

      1: Correct, you can only have a vendor at a player owned house in a village (not hamlet, those are smaller player owned cities). The reputation part is also correct, and that part is ‘working as intended’ IMO.

      2: Buying is certainly a bit risky, but then so is direct player trading, even in a player city with zap towers. Zero risk is just not DarkFall.

      3: Forums seem to think the missing info is a bug, hopefully fixed soon.

      Local banking is DF endless debate, with small hints from AV about it, but no real solid “it’s going to happen” confirmation. I’m for it.

      • Der Nachbar says:

        I can’t help it, but i don’t see the reason why they tried to go local banking with player houses at all. Local banking is not a system you can just add partially to an established global banking system and hope it brings the benefits of a full localized version in the first place.
        What advantage is there, to have a small private stash out in the wilds compared to more global bank slots ? They missed that train and can’t just turn back, especially not in a half-assed way.

        And talking about zero risk, does nekkid zerging and traveling still exist ? Guess it wouldn’t if they took decisions as ‘hardcore’ as they presented themselves ^^

        Darkfall sure sounds nice, especially if you present its moments of glory in your blog here. But some decisions in the foundation of the game still turn me off. I guess, I’ll stick with the upcoming Mount&Blade Expansion to have some medieval action. Though, without the MMO. Meanwhile, I will hope for a miracle Mortal Online patch or visit that game in some months, if it really releases soon.
        Btw, why is it, that you don’t seem to be interested in that game at all ? Or am I getting the wrong impression here ?

        • SynCaine says:

          MO: If the game survives its first month of release I’ll be surprised. It’s too bad, but its looking very grim for that game.

          Back to DF, naked travel exists unchanged, I never saw it as an issue. The ‘risk’ is that if you cross someone, you will likely to back to your bind stone without being able to fight back.

          Naked zerging is limited to city defense during a siege, when a defender dies and is bound to that city. Disabling buildings lowers the number of binds, which reduces the number of naked defenders. Honestly though, I don’t view it as an issue, as a naked player vs someone geared is just a HUGE power difference because of the nerf to starter weapons and the increased damage a naked takes. I have not seen either topic brought up as an issue in the game for some time, similar to blood walls.

          About banking, they COULD still go to local banking, and other than a big player adjustment, it would not require a ton of work dev side, at least on the surface. Housing is the first step in local banking, so while it looks limited/silly at the moment, I think once the system is more fleshed out (similar to how specialization started), it might look more practical. Hard to tell atm though.

          And like I’ve said before, part of covering a sandbox game is what I write IS the highlights for the most part, because post after post of “I traveled for 20 minutes, banked, mined some ore, did a trade, logged off” would bore everyone. The ‘issue’ is that those highlights are (IMO) a bit brighter when compared to a themepark.

        • Adam says:

          @DerNachbar

          You seem like you are intellectualizing the perfect game too much?

          Your questions are interesting and valid but bigger picture? Just play the game.

          This is the game that is here now.

          Who knows how long Darkfall will be available?

          There are a lot of people that are not able to play ANY of these types of game.

          Adding Mortal Online and Earthrise may in fact RUIN all three of these games, because the larger subscriber pool is too small to sustain more than one.

          There are a lot of people that say they want to play these types of openworld games but very few that are actually willing to play.

          Give Darkfall a try. It’s truly one of the most amazing games I’ve ever played.

        • Der Nachbar says:

          @Adam
          Yeah, I probably do ^^
          Well, I started working as a game designer some months ago, so once the novelty and naive and idealistic illusions will fall off of me, I’ll produce some wacky facebook games and leave the ideal sandbox-mmo theory be. But not yet ^^

          Do you think that the time investment needed to keep you entertained and involved in DF is overall bigger then in your typical themepark ?

        • SynCaine says:

          Yes and no on the time thing, it just depends on the type of player you are. If you are hyper competative, and the idea of others being better bothers you, then yea, you need to play more than a themepark because there is more ‘stuff’ to develop in DF, and it just takes longer.

          But if you accept that playing casually means you won’t be able to take someone 1v1 most of the time, and that you will miss out on a random siege or event, and you are cool with just doing whatever is happening when you log on, then no. No because you don’t need to ‘keep up’ in order to play with your clan, no because you don’t need to ‘gear up’ in order to attend an event (unlike a raid), and no because eventually, you WILL hit the same skill/stat cap as other players, it will just take you longer.

      • bonedead says:

        In response to #2- True story! I almost got killed in a newb town recently while I was smelting iron ingots. One of the SGs of Terrorize was trying to recruit at the newb town and almost killed me. I talked a lot of trash after that because fuck him, now I’m in BOA and apparently Terrorize is in the same alliance. I don’t think I’ll ever like those mfkers though.

  4. Billy Hicks says:

    From the Q&A

    “We’re also planning on Clan Vendors. We’re planning on player/clan vendors in capitals and possibly in clan cities. You need to compete to secure a vendor spot in a capital, or you need to earn one.”

    Seems to me that player vendors were just the first step. They wanted to test the mechanics out in a small way and also give villages an extra reason to have people visit (along with Keeps). The economy looks like it will improve a lot this year.

    I think the player vendors were a little like the very first spell specialisation skills. They implemented a few to test the mechanics. In expansion 2 they added a load more for Archery and Melee. They have said we can also expect a load more soon.

    It seems AV like to introduce new mechanics in a small way. Let them settle, fix the bugs then expand. Seems smart to me.

  5. High Plains Drifter says:

    I am newly back in to Dark Fall in NA – (was an early Europe subscriber) – I have just spawned in. Where is everyone ? I am in Idawoll and in the 3 times I have logged in there no more than 3 people in town. Are there way fewer people on the NA server than in Europe?

    Any suggesions for a moderate size clan to apply to would be appreciated.

    • SynCaine says:

      I’m not sure where Idawoll is, dwarflands? Human starter and secondary NPC cities generally have between 5-15 people running around at prime time, and major player cities like Talpec will generally have 20-30ish. In off hours the population is low now, because of the lack of a mixed community (before you had both EU and NA players on one server, so there were two ‘prime times’).

      As for clans, I’m not really sure, depends what you are looking to do. I know the clan recruitment section of the forums has a good number of posts from clans looking for more people.

  6. Zach Sebag says:

    I am glad to see Darkfall as come along since the release. To be completely honest, I did not think they would still be adding significant features this far along after launch, mainly due to money.

    I have not played DarkFall yet, but it seems like they have done a good job with what they have.

  7. keystone says:

    I just resubbed the other night, and it’s nice coming back to a character with some skills already built up and previous knowledge of the game. I saw you looking for a house w/ vendor in trade chat the other night; let me know when you get that setup and I’ll buy my armor from you. It’s nice to see Inq came back to Darkfall; I hope you don’t use the, “I told you so” line too much with them, heh.

    Did all of the guild come back from Aion?

    • SynCaine says:

      Most of the clans core is back, and I think the more we play, the more likely others will return as well. But we have a solid crew right now. I don’t believe anyone is still playing Aion.

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