Today Aventurine is releasing their class removal, combat overhaul update to Darkfall: Unholy Wars.
If the next few weeks aren’t a complete balance cluster, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Worst-case here IMO is that a build that completely trivializes PvE is left unchecked for weeks and further sends the economy into the toilet. I fully expect cheese builds/combos to rule the day for a while as well.
If combat diversity goes up and more skills are used tomorrow than yesterday, I’ll be shocked. MMO history has shown that the more ‘freedom’ you give players related to character options, the more players will gravitate towards a FOTM build while avoiding false-choice options. A game being focused around PvP means you either adapt or perish (bonus point if you get that reference), so ‘doesn’t work as well but it’s fun’ builds reduce you to a loot piñata.
Ultimately however if the game is more fun to more people and the population increases and is able to sustain/grow, that’s all that matters. We’ll know the answer to that in a few months. The ‘new’ AV, if IMO a bit misguided, at least seems very committed to making the game work and putting in the time to make that happen, unlike what they have done in previous years. Hopefully that’s rewarded, and today’s major gamble works out for them.
Edit: Just noticed an item shop (prowess reset and name change currently) is also included. Yay…
Giving players freedom works as long as the freedom is to make real choices – i.e. every build has a counter, you can’t be strong in everything. If there is one build to rule them all then yeah, players will gravitate to it. If there isn’t… then the loudmouth halfwits on the forums will still proclaim one build to be ‘the best’ and pour scorn on it until someone with a counter build rips them a new one, then they’ll leap on to that as the new FOTM build and the cycle will continue.