Initial reactions from DarkFall trial users have begun popping up. Some are positive, others are a little more negative, and still some are neutral. I find all of them interesting to read from my point of view however. There are a lot of little (and some perhaps not so little) intricacies that stick out to new players that older players simply no longer think about, and so reading these first impressions is a good way to try and get back into that mentality.
Of course the main topic for anyone new is the UI, in part because it’s so different from the standard WoW-like UI, and because it COULD be a little (or a lot) better in some areas. What’s somewhat frustrating at times is when something is called ‘broken’ when in fact it’s working perfectly fine, but due to design/balance reasons it is the way it is. Looting is the prime example of this, but many others exist as well. When the ‘why’ is so different, it’s understandable that sometimes something so different can indeed feel broken.
This can make separating the areas that DO need work (chat functionality being one major area) more difficult to filter out from the noise. It’s also tough to really worry about the UI when after a month, no DarkFall players mention it. You get use to it, it does what you need it to do, and it does not get in your way (usually) or hamper your enjoyment of the game. That’s not much help to someone new of course, and is likely the motivator for Aventurine to rework at least parts of it.
Moving past the tech issues, DarkFall is also somewhat difficult to get into for someone who has mostly (or only) known themepark MMO design. Last night I was playing with two long-time online friends, both new to DarkFall, and we went into a dungeon to do some farming. One of them more or less asked what the point of the dungeon was, like if there was a boss mob or some reason to going there beyond killing mobs. It’s a perfectly valid question, yet seems like a strange thing to ask in DarkFall.
Now the reason it seems like a strange question is because the motivational factors in DarkFall are much different than those of a themepark. The themepark will give you a very direct reason to go into a dungeon, be it a quest or a rare drop from a boss. No one goes into a WoW instance to farm the trash mobs for gold, yet that’s basically what every dungeon in DarkFall is like. Except that it’s in DarkFall, so the rules and mentality are totally different.
You don’t consider going into a dungeon in WoW to avoid PK traffic, or because the mobs respawn faster, or because if PvP does happen, you will have an easier time escaping or finding a good spot to hold the fight. And you don’t farm level 10 mobs as a level 30 in WoW because those level 10s have nice enchanting drops and still give you good skill gains. But you do in DarkFall. And until you fully switch over to that mentality, a lot of things that players do in DarkFall just seem strange.
As I questioned before, I don’t know if seven days is long enough for the average player to really switch over and to get wrapped up in what’s really happening in DarkFall. And then for many others, no length of time would help. If you like guided content, no amount of patching or expansions is going to turn DarkFall into the game for you, which is why, like always, DarkFall is indeed not for everyone.
(If I missed your post about the DF trial, please mention it in the comments)
(DarkFall-related post disclaimer/reminder. If you click the image link near the top-right of this page and buy a DarkFall account, I get paid 20% of the client cost. If you believe this taints my views and reporting on DarkFall, your opinion is wrong.)