DF:UW – Newbie perspective

My guess is most of you did not catch MJ from Massively live streaming a little over an hour of her DF:UW experience a few days ago. It’s not exactly appointment viewing given the length, but it’s actually rather interesting from a “my god, that’s how people approach this game” perspective.

In terms of attitude I think MJ is in a good place. She knows she is playing something a bit out of her league, but rather than just slogging through it she is making the most of her time and actually going out and finding the fun. I think way too many gamers today just stand still and expect the fun to find them, and that’s just not how something like DF:UW works, so good on her for that.

But yikes is she bad. And I don’t just mean “lulz that aim” bad, but just from a basic gaming standpoint bad. When fighting ogres she continually uses exploding arrow at point blank range, hurting herself. Now yes, in most MMOs you can’t hurt yourself with your own AOE, so it’s forgivable to initially make the mistake. But not noticing you are taking damage after the 10th time? Or even picking up on the fact that the ‘hit sound’ when you land a shot is exactly that and tells you whether you connected or not (during the video she assumes she missed a few times, even though the ‘hit’ sound played). It makes me wonder if she is the exception, or a representative of the average gamer?

Learning how to play the game aside (and she will hopefully learn a lot once she joins a clan), it was also interesting to see how she viewed different situations. At one point a party member spawns a mount for her to ride, but she misses that in chat (forgivable given DF:UW chat system), and spends a few minutes wondering if she should take the mount or not, as perhaps a potential thief might dance back and forth deciding whether to steal something. It’s a funny situation, given how common mounts are and that you can, of course, always get off and give the mount to someone else.

The same goes for looting items and such. She loots a few pieces of gear off the ogres, yet does not equip them. Even the bows she receives from her party members she does not correctly equip until (accidentally) later. Small things, but again an interesting look into how others play the game. From a dev’s perspective, do you try to help someone like MJ have an easier time with the game, or do you go to the other extreme and address top 5% player concerns about class balance and UI micro-tweaking? In many ways it’s an impossible decision.

Between the actions in the video and MJs commentary on them, I think the biggest thing the video shows is just how different DF:UW is compared to what many view as a ‘normal’ MMO (WoW basically). And I don’t mean different on the large scale, like full loot PvP and such, but the thousands of little things that add up. As someone who has been around such games for many years, a lot of the differences in DF:UW are normal to me, and hence I have troubling seeing how anyone could look at some of the details and come to the wrong conclusion. MJ’s video did a really good job of bringing such things to the forefront for me.

Looking forward to see the progress she makes once she has some clan support. Should be interesting, and a great example of why joining a clan in DF:UW is a basic requirement for anyone new to the game.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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18 Responses to DF:UW – Newbie perspective

  1. wartzilla says:

    People do dumb shit in Eve all the time.

    Without hand-holding hisec newbies will go for years fitting mission loot to their Drakes and Ravens, thinking it’s the way to go.

  2. Rammstein says:

    I remember not understanding how to equip items correctly in Bard’s Tale 1, and dying horribly to low level monsters for around an hour. Of course, I was 7 years old at the time.

    Of course, playing like a 7 year old probably involves having more fun than playing like a jaded bittervet; so perhaps we are making a problem out of something which is not actually a problem, here.

    • Matt says:

      WoW was certainly a lot more fun when I had little idea what was going on or what I was doing. I’m starting to think that it is necessary, in order to actually have fun with a game, to refuse to read FAQs/guides/walkthroughs lest you min-max the fun right out of that thing. MMOs are naturally competitive, which only makes this worse.

  3. Mekhios says:

    Does DF2.0 offer some sort of ingame tutorial? I remember I was very confused when I first started playing DF1.

    Also not surprising the author finds the game difficult if she has mainly played standard MMO’s. Darkfall is really more of an FPS with MMO elements.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So, the fact that I killed myself repeatedly with a rocket launcher on Doom 3/Unreal tournament/whatever just because i wanted to frag my oponents (used to play on lan in same room) with one, point blank just to make fun of them, does not makes me an idiot, it makes me just a bit clueless?, because you know, its cool and totally safe to use explosives near you, it just destroys whatever you want, not any of your body parts right?

  5. Vett says:

    Playing in a clan is almost a prerequisite to enjoy the game. I can’t see how solo play would work well. Too bad there isn’t a clan like NEW around anymore.

  6. sid6.7 says:

    I don’t think a complete lack of common sense is what I would call normal behavior for the “average” gamer. And that’s all I can really say without coming off as a complete sexist…

    • Steamponse says:

      Why not, I would. Usually when people talk about intuitive controls in games they really mean “controls that are exactly like every other game in the same genre”.

    • Henny says:

      “And that’s all I can really say without coming off as a complete sexist…”

      Too late.

    • Rammstein says:

      “And that’s all I can really say without coming off as a complete sexist…”

      too late.

    • sid6.7 says:

      @Steamponse: I guess I see a distinction between “average gamer” and someone who’s only game experience is one or two very similar MMOs.

      I didn’t want to go deep into the sexist thing, but basically, I think you can draw an even bigger distinction between the average male gamer and the average female gamer.

      I don’t necessarily mean from a skill set perspective, but from an overall gaming perspective.

      I believe most males lean towards “action” style games and have broader experience across multiple genres. It’s rare to find a male gamer who hasn’t at least tried most genres.

      Female gamers, on the other hang, tend to prefer more strategic / micro-management type games and don’t always have the interest to explore games outside of a genre.

      That’s not to say one can’t like the other — but, on average — I feel that’s accurate. Everyone’s an individual and I’m sure everyone knows some exception to the rule. But just because a deviation exists, it doesn’t change the trend.

      Now, I also think it’s safe to assume that most ‘gamers’ are male. If you combine this with the above trend, then the “average gamer” has broader experience than the female gamer and a greater familiarity with “action” style games.

      • Rammstein says:

        “Now, I also think it’s safe to assume that most ‘gamers’ are male.”

        “Forty-seven percent of all players are women, and women over 18 years of age are one of the industry’s fastest growing demographics.”–from http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp

        Perhaps you should re-examine the rest of your assumptions, as well.

        • SynCaine says:

          Lot of Farmville in those numbers. I think it’s safe to say the MMO population, and especially the DF population, is rather heavily dominated by males.

        • Rammstein says:

          That is certainly true, although as he didn’t say MMO-gamer, but just gamer, I’m not sure what the relevance is.

  7. Damion says:

    Im still a noob and i played for a while….

  8. Archibald Fletcher says:

    Anyone know how long I have to wait to be able to post on DF forums? Just registered. Trying to find out of my old laptop will run DF:UH.

    (Core Duo 2.4 Ghz, 4 GB, GeForce 9400 M

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