I played a little more Dawntide (I can’t explain why, other than that I’m a sucker for sandboxes I guess), and while I still would not recommend it to most people, I have seen a few noteworthy things.
The combat is still terrible, but at least now I have figured out that it’s terrible because it’s an unresponsive button-mash system rather than an unresponsive, super slow, wtf-do-something system. That overhaul better be good…
Graphically the game is also meh. It’s like playing Darkfall on low settings, and Darkfall is not exactly setting the world on fire in terms of visuals (although personally I think DF looks pretty damn good for what it does and who made it). That said, there are some nice graphical touches. For instance, when you are out harvesting lumber, you actually turn a tree into a stump, and when that tree disappears (no falling animation, which is pretty weak) the lighting around the area is altered based on the loss of the tree. It’s actually fun to clear out a small forest and turn the area into a large patch of stumps.
Speaking of harvesting, along with the tree chopping, mining is also better than other games. You first must find an area with a resource using a search skill, and once you find a resource, you can mine right there for however long that resource holds (it gives you a quantity when you first find it). The closer you search to the source, the larger the pool. One of the first bits of advice I got was to head to a cave to mine some copper, and this whole system felt better than chasing from shiny node to shiny node over and over.
Crafting itself is solid. Nothing that really jumps out at me, but solid.
Character progression also has a small tweak. It’s a skill-based system, so the more you use a skill, the higher it goes, up to 100, and there is a total skill cap of 700. The tweak is that as you use a skill, you also gain XP in that skill, which slowly over time (16hrs I believe) converts into skill points. This is significant because it puts somewhat of a soft-cap on how hard you can grind out a skill in a day, while on the other hand it allows for smoother, more gradual gains for more casual players. I like it.
Ultimately I still think Dawntide has a ways to go, but it does have some interesting things going for it, and might be something to keep an eye on. I don’t think it will be where it needs to be come its planned October release, but you never know when that ‘miracle’ patch might hit.
Ah, Interesting, I’ve heard the name but never really looked into it.
Those perks you talk about seem interesting enough to give the game a chance. I’m installing the beta right now.
I’ve always hoped for a daily curbing of leveling. It is something I hoped to see in DF to help fight Macroing.
For the tree falling animation,I suggest looking into Xsyon. (www.xsyon.com)
It’s a very interesting sandbox concept in a unique setting and has implemented full on terraforming.
Funny enough, they are also working on a revamp of the combat system, they are implementing one very close to mount and blade and seem to be succeeding.
I did buy the game, however I’m not playing it. My copy gave me access to the beta and I played non stop for a week (my money’s worth of fun) but I’ve lost interest for lack of ongoing action. I consider I’ve sponsored a great project that will push the genre forward.
All these new games trying to make a sandbox focused on features other than the combat system, while Darkfall did the exact opposite and is now lacking sandboxiness but has a fun combat system.
I’m starting to believe they did the correct choice.