Darkfall: Time for it’s own Mittani-like situation

Long-time reads know I’ve been a fan of Darkfall since release, and to this day consider it one of the best FFA PvP MMOs out. It had a somewhat rough release, but in the first year Aventurine was quick to provide significant updates and the game seemed to be headed in a positive direction. Subscriber activity reflected this, and all seemed well.

Then Aventurine announced Darkfall 2010, which was billed as a massive update to the game. Close to an overhaul really. 2010 came and went, and the DF2010 update was renamed Arena. Then it was renamed DF2.0, and along with it came wipe/relaunch speculation.

The last patch to hit Darkfall was back in April, and the last real major update was Hellfreeze, in October of 2010. The patch that will bring an updated siege system has been coming “next week” for months now. Frank Sinatra chronicles things well on the forums, and looking over all the “coming soons” and “final testing” talk really is depressing.

It’s depressing for a number of reasons. For starters, Darkfall’s core is very solid. It does what it does well (really well, in terms of combat), it was improving greatly, and anyone who has played it longer than EG can see a ton of potential on top of that solid core. Secondly, it’s not like the virtual world genre is exploding with options right now, or will in the near future. Solo MMOs like SW:TOR are drawing all the big money, and even titles like Prime or GW2 sound PvP-lite compared to Darkfall. If Darkfall fails, you either play EVE to get your fix, or you find a new genre to enjoy.

For a while now I’ve been saying that the next updated, whatever its eventual name ends up being, is going to deliver. AV showed enough with the first three expansions, and with the core game itself, that they are capable of producing a quality release, and that they were no caving in to the latest F2P trend or dumping things down to appeal to ‘casuals’. Plus lessons learned since launch and all that.

I’m not all that confident right now. Who knows what this whole ‘partners’ thing is all about, and the delays are really just too much. Hell even the forums are depressed now. The obvious trolls have moved on, and only the diehard are left wondering wtf is really going on. It’s not even real fan anger either; it’s just this sick-puppy hanging-on kind of feeling. Not cool, not cool at all.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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15 Responses to Darkfall: Time for it’s own Mittani-like situation

  1. Max says:

    Sorry to hear that .Reminds me of my feelings for Shadowbane. A game which had the potential but it never realized it in practice.Its probably after that game I stopped really caring- its their product I either like it or move on. There is no MMO right now to please me, so I dont play them, I play the games which are fun in its own right (WoT and LoL presently), but if they stop being fun I simply move on

    Being deeply attached to one particular product or even genre imho is not very advisable unless you have direct control over it (e.g. a lead designer of a major project -and even then its questionable). It may move to the direction you dislike entirely and all you can do is hopelessly watch in despair.

    I hope for the best (GW2,Firefall) but prepared to not to shed any tears in case of dissapointment

  2. Stabs says:

    I still have an issue with the exploiting thing. I don’t want to play a hardcore pvp game where I get owned by people who skilled up afk. I don’t want to skill up afk to catch up (it feels like cheating).

    It is a pity as I was very interested in DF. Maybe DF2 will solve this.

    • Adam says:

      @Stabs @epic.Ben

      Probably you didn’t get the memo but macro’ing hasn’t been a significant part of Darkfall for 18 months or so. The meditation changes 6 months ago got rid of the remaining buff macroing.

      Very few of that first generation of players is even playing.

      At this point talking shit about Darkfall for the macroing issues is ignorant and just a low blow.

      If people want to play Darkfall this is really not a legitimate barrier.

      • epic.Ben says:

        Well, let me rephrase. I don’t feel like investing the time to try and get on a level playing field. One thing EVE always has going for it – you can fire up a sub, do some training to fly a tackler, and be “battle-ready” in a few weeks. Not cannon fodder – you can genuinely contribute to PvP that quickly.

        You’ll probably tell me the same is true of Darkfall, now :)

        • saucelah says:

          A tackler isn’t exactly battle-ready — it’s a necessary niche, but it’s a niche for cannon fodder.

          As far as I can tell, a beginner in Darkfall can contribute ranged damage even if they lack high skills, and that’s about as significant as a tackler.

          And there is at least one video out there I’ve watched of a vet in a fresh toon destroying people with skilled up characters. Personal skill trumps avatar skill in Darkfall.

          I don’t play the game and have only done a trial, but I clearly see that a beginner can contribute in Darkfall more than a beginner in Eve.

        • Adam says:


          I’m ok with people admitting they don’t want to take the time. That’s fine.

          In general there are just a huge amount of pure tactical skills and instincts that a Darkfall player needs. It’s not at all the same as learning the right corner to camp in Counterstrike.

          It’s one huge world map with unique geography, unique cities and unique players. Random adds will join the fight against one or both of the fighters. No two fights will ever be the same.

          More importantly the vet knows when to fight and when to run. When to heal and when to push. When to melee and when to range. Learn to do all this while blinded, cc’ed, mount kicked and debuffed.

          Until someone gets these Darkfall skills they are going to get rolled. This is also why a newb character controlled by a Darkfall vet can kill veteran players.

          Yes there is a 2-3x power differential of someone that has played for 3-6 months (but the difference is even more extreme in Eve). You will not die because of that.

          You will die because you are BAD.

          Until you accept that and approach the game with a spirit of learning and humility you’ll just be another future ex-Darkfall player.

          So, no, I’m not telling you you’ll be competitive as a newb. You’ll suck and die. -Maybe- you’ll want to get better.

  3. epic.Ben says:

    If it releases. Sounds dire, from the forum posts, which sucks. I’ve been keeping Darkfall in the back of my mind, because like Stabs, I’d love to get into the game. I just don’t feel like competing against people that macro’d skills up; I’d rather play something like LOL, which is instantly competitive and equally so, than spend months to try and get on “equal footing” with those folks.

    And sadly … if you want a game like Darkfall, the only other option is EVE, which I’ve done (even though I still tinker around with my toons). I guess Pereptuum is an option, but it’s totally lacking in polish.

  4. Adam says:


    I had that list of failed Aventurine promises in my mind but it was painful seeing it laid out on the page by Sinatra and Ivanhoe.

    Unfortunately it’s just the only game out there (I’m keep some toons skilling in Eve but the lack of fps just doesn’t keep me sucked in).

    For the attempts at fps mmo, Darkfall is the only one that has managed to ship a solid playable non-laggy game.

    The massive sieges with the air full of spells and arrows are just stunning in how well they work. Amazing crazy ship to ship combat. Epic land fights with awesome terrain knowledge and control. Super skilled players to fight against.

    I honestly find it shameful that people are so ignorant of how great Darkfall is at it’s best.

    I blame 3 things-
    AV for their marketing.
    The carebear passive aggressive bullshit you see in every media mention of Darkfall.
    The third thing being that we Darkfall players are apparently the biggest meanies on the interwebz.

    I’m highly skeptical of Prime/Mortal Online/Earthrise -ever- delivering anything worth playing.

    Firefall seems like it might be a competent semi-mmo fps (no outdoor pvp) that I might be able to get some of my gimp WoWbads to play.

    I’m very hopeful of Dust514 in big picture but without solid ps3move support and/or keyboard/mouse support it’s not going to fly for me.

    Darkfall 2012 I guess it is :\

  5. Kincaid says:

    Fool me once, shame on you…

  6. Paragus says:

    Frank from SUN’s post was a really stunning read, but one that needs to be out there for both the community and for AV to see just how much they talked about that has not been delivered. I think they really painted themselves into a corner now, especially in terms of the entire wipe debate.

    I hope one of the big partners they are talking too is Steam, because they really need the exposure that Steam is notorious for giving indy companies.

    Their Friday updates really need to be taken up a notch, the fact that they missed the ETA on the ETA in August and instead gave a random dungeon video and some wipe doublespeak is silly. They have had the advantage of a stagnant genre for the last few years, but that’s going to be over in the coming months. Their forums are in full revolt right now imo and justly so. I fear if they don’t get a handle on things very soon that the fate of the game will be in serious doubt.

    It’s sad because if they fail, it will serve as another in a line of examples for future devs to not try to make a game like that, which is a real shame considering what things have devolved into.

  7. bonedead says:

    Hey I know, how about you post more frequently. It’s been 5 days, cockbag!

  8. Dame says:

    Yes, their one big failure is advertising the game as an MMO while it’s more like a lobby-based shooter since the main

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