To continue the blog merger, I’ll pick up where I left off on the reset topic and how it applies to Darkfall.
It’s true that a character reset would cut millions of players from WoW, or thousands off games like LotRO or Rift. In solo-hero themeparks your character is the only ‘impact’ you make, and if that gets reset all you have ever done does indeed go *poof*.
Darkfall is different in a number of ways however. First you have the world itself, where player cities can change hands and village housing plays a part. Additionally you don’t ‘progress’ through the world like you would in a themepark. Players living on Yssam are not there because they happen to be level 40, and once they hit 50 it’s on to Cairn. If you reset, Yssam players can start in Cairn and get a different experience, while WoW players are forced to go from zone X to Y to Z all over again. Rinse repeat for ‘end-game’ content.
Another factor is player skill; in WoW a great player might level to the cap a bit faster, or take down an instance without as many wipes, but realistically the in-game character is far more important in terms of power than the player. In Darkfall player-skill matters, and once you ‘get good’, you remain better than others whether you have a fresh character or one who is maxed out. Additionally, reputations matter. Power players and clans are known by name, and those names will still mean something after a reset.
Another very important factor with Darkfall is that it’s pretty unique in the MMO space, especially when comparing games like WoW to Rift. Sure, differences exist (for now anyway), but at the end of the day one experience is very similar to the other. What game plays similar to Darkfall? Mortal Online might be the closest game, and that thing is an absolute mess. In other words, whether a wipe is something you support or don’t want, short of not playing a FFA PvP MMO anymore, you are still going to be playing Darkfall. Hell, every week is “the straw the broke the camel’s back” according to the forums, yet at the same time it’s business as usual on the clan forum and with in-game activity.
I’ve covered my I believe Darkfall needs a wipe come DF2.0, and today’s crafting update just reinforces that. You can’t rebalance the economy and how materials work when various players, through various means, have stockpiles of resources and gained skills outside of the (pretty much) completely new skill-up system. And while I do think the wipe will be interesting to watch (and more importantly, experience first-hand), it’s almost a guarantee that at the end of the day, Darkfall will be a better game for it, both in terms of population and player experience.
Now if we could only get an ETA on when it’s going to happen, and have that ETA actually stick.