The repeat of a recent ship-themed event happened last night in DarkFall, and luckily I was able to get online and check it out. Overall I had a good time, although zerging people down and then smashing everything in our path was a little much. Reading the forums, it seems the overall enjoyment of the event depended highly on which location you went to and who showed up. Some ships had a great time, others not so much. Such is life in the sandbox, although hopefully Aventurine learned a few things from this event and the next one will be a bit smoother overall.
To begin things, our group of about 50 waited on a mountain near the elf city that was to be the starting point for their Ship of the Line (SotL), and once the GM spawned it and picked up the players waiting on the dock, it sailed down the narrow channel near our mountain. As it passed, we all jumped off in an attempt to board the ship, but many, myself including, did not time the jump correctly and did not make it on board. As the ship continued to sail, those who did make it on made quick work of the players who had boarded the ship earlier. After chasing the ship for a bit in the water, and realizing it was not going to stop, we got back on shore, spawned our mounts, and rode along the coast to a chokepoint we knew the ship had to pass. Thankfully we got there ahead of the ship, and as it passed we grabbed the ropes and got ourselves aboard.
As we sailed north towards Maharim lands, we noticed an abandoned Schooner sitting in the water, and a few players jumped off the SotL to grab it and have it trail the main boat. The trip was uneventful until we got about halfway to Maharim lands and saw their GM-controlled SotL sailing towards us. A ship vs ship battle ensued, but due to our higher numbers we were able to man more of the cannons and deal more damage to the enemy SotL, slowing it down enough to get close and send in our boarding party. After some quick fighting on the enemy decks, the ship was cleared and the water was filled with tombstones.
As the other SotL was still under the enemy GM’s control, we had little choice but to sink it, and so down to the ocean bottom it went. Shortly after wrapping up that fight, we spotted an enemy-controlled Brigantine to our north, and our little SotL and Schooner fleet sped towards the enemy. The SotL, lacking forward cannons, was powerless to slow the Brig, but the Schooner has three forward-facing cannons and with their aid we were able to deal enough damage to the Brig to slow it down and eventually overtake it. Another brief battle broke out, this time in the water since the enemies jumped ship, and soon our little fleet was one Brig richer.
Unfortunately the GM then informed us that the event was over, and that he was going to sail the SotL out to sea to despawn it. Not being very happy with his choice, VAMP decided instead to sink the SotL with the Schooner. As the ship sank, the GM flew away, and the event was over.
On the plus side it was fun to see two big ships exchange cannon fire before getting close enough for a melee to break out. It was also interesting to watch a GM run such an event, even though at times he sailed the ship in some rather odd directions. Based on forum reaction it seems the skill and personality of each GM varied, with some being much better than others. I’ll also give credit to AV for not only repeating the event (since the first one went poorly on the EU server), but repeating it on both servers and avoiding the drama only repeating it on EU would have brought.
On the downside, due to both our numbers and overall character power, we never really had a good fight during the event. Had our SotL meet up with another powerhouse alliance, things would have been far more interesting. It sounded like the Human SotL had a great battle with the Alfar ship. But that’s one of the problems with a game like DarkFall, if certain things don’t line up, even a well run event might not provide a lot of excitement if the needed factors don’t line up. In our case, we brought too many players to our ship to get a good fight, while the reverse could be said for those we killed.
Still, if this event or one like it was to happen again, I would certainly attend, and even with the unbalanced fighting we got, it was a fun and different night in Agon.
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