Darkfall: The only option

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.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Combat Systems, crafting, Darkfall Online, Housing, MMO design. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Darkfall: The only option

  1. epic.Ben says:

    I totally agree. When I got around to trying Darkfall, macro-dudes were already so far ahead that I was put off by it. A full reset – with a better system to boot – would be the exact incentive I need for Darkfall, and I’m sure I’m not alone. I think even if they lost existing subscribers, I think they’d make it up in newbies.

    • D506 says:

      I felt exactly the same. RL permitting, a reset will definitely bring me back to Darkfall. I really hope they go through with it.

  2. Nils says:

    There were a lot of things that kept me from playing it the first time around. Among others the extremely hostile, some called it competitive, player base and the fact that Aventurine used this abysmal skill system that an idealistic 5-year old could have come up with.

    My hope is that Aventurine has learned a bit about game design and thus I actually look forward to this and play to test Darkfall for the first time. Is there actually some kind of ETA ?

  3. Let everyone keep their existing skill levels but just double the skill cap and then increase the rate of skill up at low levels so that newbies quickly catch up to the old cap.

    This has a very similar impact to a hard reset but doesn’t feel quite as much like a slap in the face to old timers.

    • Coeur-de-fer says:

      That could work, though personally, the shear number of points, in the game’s current incarnation, feels rather bloated (1-100 in swords, sword mastery, sword power attack, sword whirlwind, archery, archery passives, each of the ten magic school, each spell within each school, passive school subskills, riding, resting, jumping, sprinting, running, etc etc.). You can certainly tune it so that maxing any given thing can take the same amount of time and resources, I can see how, psychologically, this could avert some of the knee-jerk negative reaction from the less observant and more emotional, but I’d personally rather see some of the fat trimmed.

  4. Bronte says:

    You give some good arguments for a wipe makes more sense for Darkfall than it would for most themepark MMOs. God knows the WoW population would be cut in half if they all lost their precious purplies…

    That being said, you are but one player who has touted Darkfall for it’s premise and unique characteristics for some time. Do you think you reflect the majority of the opinions of Darkfall players?

  5. Phedre says:

    If my character (and everybody around me) would be reset to level one I would stop playing it. It would feel like I a weird artificial experiment/nightmare. But I would be thrilled and excited if my MMO would do “MMOX-the next generation”. The world would be reset, I get to create a new character, and dive into a whole new story with everybody around me having to find their new ways as well. Awesome!

    Phedre 2.0 will always be a poor reflection of the original. But my view is more from a RP world immersion point of view. I can imagine a competitive PVP player is more attached to the names of guilds, emenies and friends. Losing that would mean losing more than just some skill points.

  6. dargel says:

    As mostly a wow player, in every Expansion you get a very nice wipe.
    (All you gear is completely useless after you kill the first 10 pigs of the new Content then you will loot a sword twice the size of the one you were farming for months in raids, arenas and bgs).

    What is left? The gold and vanity items. Noone really cares about those too either.
    Noone complains about “resets” though.
    I dont know why especially for Darkfall everyone makes some much noise about a reset.
    It happens to all known games so that the playerbase (new and old players) can catch up at some point.

    This is a so useless debate in the DarkFall community.

    Which (DF) I have played in trial and cant wait to see 2.0.
    The peril even in wondering in the world is amazing, almost insanity!

    Great game hope it turns the new fotm cause it deserves it.

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