Darkfall: Meditation thoughts + next patch

It would seem that I picked a great time to get back into Darkfall, as this update mentions a lot of rather exciting things, chief among them fixes to clan warfare and the expanding of the meditation (offline skilling) system. We will see tomorrow exactly what the patch brings, but last weeks was a welcome surprise, and I’m guessing we will see more of the same tomorrow. Plus it sounds like DF2010 (or whatever it gets renamed to) is shaping up well, so hopefully we see it in Q1 2011.

Having experienced the meditation system first-hand now, I can see the direction Aventurine is taking it, and it makes a lot of sense. Rather than having it be a total character progression system like in EVE, Darkfall’s system is more supplemental. Ultimately (once you can use it for stats and more skills) players will log in and do whatever they enjoy doing, be it PvP, PvE, gathering, or crafting, and then they will be able to set up meditation to either compliment what they are doing, or fill in the gaps of their character.

So say you enjoy PvE with your clan, but you find yourself always using melee and archery, so your magic skills and Int are falling behind. Meditate to get a few spells, then work those into your PvE trips. Without meditation, for some schools you would have to cast spells you had no interest in just to skill up the school itself, and this largely contributed to many feeling like they were ‘grinding’ rather than playing. Character development is a key characteristic of any good MMO, but in Darkfall too often the path to where you wanted to go was filled with poor choices. Meditation cleans this issue up rather nicely.

With diminishing returns, the system excels at getting you to a happy point, but is very costly if you expect it to do everything for you. In a way, this solves the EVE-offline ‘problem’ (if you consider people paying you NOT to play a problem…), because short of buying gold, you won’t be able to sustain simply logging in to set up meditation. Plus those who actively play will progress faster, another common criticism of EVE.

I’m also hopeful that the siege-related changes put an end to alt-clan sieges and other tactics that ‘cheapened’ the whole experience. Considering that a good siege in Darkfall is about as much fun as you can have in an MMO (fact, not opinion), putting an end to loopholes that ultimately lead to players NOT fighting over property is much needed. Sometimes it’s great to give players freedom, but sometimes, it’s necessary to set some baseline rules. In this case, it’s very much the latter.

Much more on all of this as the patch notes are released and I experience things more in-game.

(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.)

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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5 Responses to Darkfall: Meditation thoughts + next patch

  1. Billy Hicks says:

    Its going to be really really interesting to see what happens when they get rid of the one siege per clan rule.

    Just now there are some smallish elite clans who own a ton of holdings because they can always defend the one under attack. What are they going to do though when 4 small clans decide to attack 4 of their holdings at the same time?

  2. Adam says:

    These look like great changes.

    Sieging –

    I’m interested to see what their first attempt at solving the onemanclan siege issue will be.

    To me its not solvable without solving the “what is an active clan” question. Sieging should be tied to the clans actual pvp/pve activity level in the game. The current activity stats from the political map are pretty weird.

    I actually think it would be great if a clans hold on a city could decay if they went inactive. Similarly if a clan does go inactive as a group, it should takes some weeks of active playing to be ready to siege again.

    Meditation vs macroing –

    Overall I like this direction a lot. I think being able to supplement your skilling with meditation is great especially when you don’t have a useful spell in that school that can level.

    I think pretty much every buff and debuff should be added to meditation. Those are the spells that its just patently ridiculous to level “straight”. In the real game, you simply don’t have the need or desire to cast buffs and debuffs at nearly the level you do killing mobs with offensive spells and archery/melee.

    This would, overnight, take out the single biggest piece of idiot macroing that I’ve seen in the game.

    Just a thought but with meditation in place at that level you could even add daily diminishing returns for some of the “in game” skilling.

    The one huge downside to adding meditation is that it could remove those fat kills of afk macroers in clan cities.

    Love it or hate it, the loot from these macroers is a MAJOR driver of city raiding…

    Somebody posted the idea of clan cities having one building where something like meditation occurred with in game mechanics. The idea being you go in the room loaded with all the reagents that you would need for the nights skilling but that the meditation station you were using consumed them and not your macroing.

    This would make city raiding still interesting and lucrative and give clans incentive to keep people awake and protecting their clanmates.

  3. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    Hmm, I think I am finally give Darkfall a try. Hell, I might just buy it give it at least the first month, no reason not to right!

    • xXJayeDuBXx says:

      You know, it would be good for me to proof read before posting. Oh well I think everyone gets the idea.

      • SynCaine says:

        Now is a good time, but I think Q1 (hopefully) will bring a lot of new player changes as well. Is it good now? I think so. Is it going to get better ‘soon’? Sounds like it.

        You can always do the free trial, see how you feel overall after it, and decide then.

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