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Reader Comments (32)

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 1:39PM blackcat7k said

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Now THIS is what players need to hear about. This is a proper write up and an accurate description of what players will feel when they come into DF. I’ll wait until the second installment to how the rest of this play session went before adding my 2 cents.

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 2:39PM Birk said

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This is a fantastic impression-piece, Jef. Maybe you should consider a weekly Darkfall column?

You've genuinely peaked my interest. I was intent on playing this game last year, (even downloaded the trial), but never ended up paying the 1$ it cost because I heard some nonsense about having to auto-run or auto-swim while you were at work in order to be competitive. (Raising your stamina, or health or something)

Is this still a truth?

-Birk

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 3:04PM Jef Reahard said

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@Birk

I guess it depends what you consider competitive. The reality is that a lot of people do afk swim and make use of macros to counteract the considerable skill grind. I'm not of a high enough level to comment on what exactly it takes to survive a 1v1 encounter with a vet (if that's your definition of competitive).

Crafting and harvesting can similarly be accomplished while semi-afk (but you'll probably come back to a dead avatar and empty bags if you really afk it). I'll be touching on that in an upcoming installment.

The fact that people do it doesn't detract from my personal enjoyment at all, but then again I'm not an uber-competitive player, nor am I the type that has to max out every single stat to enjoy a character. My alt is crafting/harvesting focused, for example, while my public/column main is basically concentrating on spell-casting (or maybe greatswords, I'm having a hard time deciding, lol).

A lot of the great PvPers seem to be jack-of-all-trade types, and from what I've been able to grok in a week, that does take a very long time to achieve, whether it's via normal skill gain as you play or afk-grinding.
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Posted: Nov 24th 2010 6:37PM covertAHhps said

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@Birk AFK-swim does raise your HP and quickness very fast if you are new but the gains are diminishing so swimming your way to 110 STR/VIT/QUI is a really stupid idea and takes wayyy too long. Getting 100 Quickness can be done in a few months of swim or you could just play the game as intended and it will come in about twice that time. Quickness is the biggest benefit from swimming but it raises with everything that you do from walking to riding a mount so it goes up pretty fast on its own if you are an active player (20-30 hours a week). You do not need to macro or AFK do anything if you don't want to but for your first couple months, it would help you a lot to occasionally swim AFK when you can but later on it doesn't really matter unless you are willing to leave your computer running all night to get the same gains that you can get from chopping down a couple trees.

I actually stopped grinding completely almost a year ago and never really did in the first place. At first I was screwed but they made adjustments to the game like adding melee/archery specs and reducing the grind when killing mobs by 6 times so managed to do fine in the long run.

Most PVP that I come across I win, and I play solo or with my GF mostly so am very used to being outnumbered and out-skilled. My character is faaar from developed and have been playing for almost 2 years BUT I AM NOT WILLING TO GRIND. The only grinding that I did was for witchesbrew it seems like (which was only like 6 hours) . .. oh yeah and I parried brownies a few times for ignore pain (probably 12 hours total because I was a noob and used to think that rigor was important).

You can win PVP from day one if you group with friends and practice PVP often for the most part (as long as you learn from mistakes).

AFK swimming does help out a new player a lot though. Hopefully they fix this soon so people never feel like they have to leave their computers on.

To be perfectly honest, I have grinded more in every other FFA PVP game that I have ever played because of how unbalanced most games are that have classes (patch comes out that makes one class totally OP so I end up rerolling and grinding through the same crap all over again to be ahead . .. so glad I will never have to worry about this in Darkfall). I AFK swam when I could in Darkfall when I was new but the gains soon become pathetic and no longer worth doing in my book when you become more developed. I macroed on my first character and became so bored that I almost quit the game. When I rerolled I did not macro ever and ended up having a lot more fun and winning a lot more fights.
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Posted: Nov 24th 2010 6:54PM covertAHhps said

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@Jef Reahard I do know pretty much exactly how long it takes to macro your way up to becoming 'viable' because my brother did it and many of my friends did as well. I did not and win more than half of the duels we have even though they are way ahead of me because while they were busy exploiting and macroing, I was playing the game as intended and have a hell of a lot more practice so can usually beat their ass pretty easily.

Great thing that noobs need to know is that you reach 75 in a skill pretty fast by just playing (especially with PVE!) and that the grind that most people complain about is getting from 75 to 100 even though there isn't that much of a difference in how much it will help your character win PVP.

Was your name umm Deep Throsomething on NA after launch? Curious who you were because I bet I knew you since you were Human and crafted lots.

My GF needs to kill some puppies for one of her quests so maybe well get lucky and cross paths soon. lol sorry im typing lots because I am anxious to play but am waiting for a replacement keyboard to arrive in the mail because I spilt beer and ruined my other one.
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Posted: Nov 24th 2010 7:12PM Jef Reahard said

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@covertAHhps

Yeah, it seems like (from my low skill perch at least) that I'll be fine with just playing and enjoying the game and skilling up almost as an afterthought. I've never enjoyed grinding to max level in any MMO, and Darkfall is great because that happens in the background and I don't have to look at an XP bar all the time.

That wasn't my character name. I'll refrain from posting it here until after the column run is finished, but I actually started about a week after the February launch on EU-1, then transferred to NA-1 in July or whenever it was that they finally enabled transfers, I forget exactly.

I didn't sell my wares much, and in fact the only folks I really talked to were those who ganked me while harvesting around Monkfield, lol.
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Posted: Nov 24th 2010 3:24PM Strite said

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Fantastic write up man, I played Darkfall briefly for about a month this time last year then had to unsub with it being so close to xmas as I just didn't have the time to play it. It was one of the best MMO experiences i've ever had, matched only by EVE IMO.

I remember joining NEW and, just like you, getting killed within sight of Hammerdale, then after leaving new and riding half way across Agon, avoiding groups of players also on mounts and being chased by one paticularly persistent group who, luckily for me, eventually gave up and let me be on my way XD

It's a game i've been thinking of returning to for some time and, after reading this write up i've taken the plunge and just treat myself to a three month sub, i've downloaded the client and it's not patching and I honestly cannot wait to get back in-game, thanks Jef!

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 3:44PM Kimoshu said

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Glad that you had a blast in your first week Jef! NEW on NA tries to do events like this all the time with going out on kraken runs, fighting high end mobs with new players and doing PvP runs. The kraken is a very neat mob to fight in Darkfall as it is one of few that truly require a group to kill so it's very enjoyable to be a part of taking down the massive squid ^_^.

In the last few months there's definitely been a shift in the community with many players taking on roles of helping new players along into the game and playing defender type roles in the starting lands. More and more the public forums are filled with posts of "New player to the game, loving it!" and "NEWB REVIEW" as well as players advocating helping out newbs and clans starting initiatives to give new and solo players a place to live and meet other newbies.

In the past month especially we've seen some really neat events/initiatives such as: a giant racial war organized on the NA server, "Help a newb week", the creation of the "Sanctuary" clan for newer and solo players to use with shared bank access and a nice little community and lastly a "Protectorate" idea by Lux Arcana on the EU server to create and patrol a Kingdom they are setting up to get away from the owning holdings all over the map approach that most have and help newer clans get started.

There's also a lot more information being shared around and a giant book of game knowledge was recently started as a project by Pro Bot from the NA server. This once complete is meant to serve as a guidebook to leveling and making a viable character without the use of afk skilling, giving you everything you need to level efficiently and guides for everything from leveling alchemy to perfecting your fireball jumpshot.

The community is really doing neat things lately around Darkfall and it's great to see more of the server getting involved in making awesome events, helping newbies get on their feet in the brutal world of Darkfall and trying new things to play in the sand that we have in the game.

Looking forward to the next installment and hope that people will start to realize that there's not only douchebags in Darkfall, there's a few nice people too! ^_-

Kimoshu Grakenshalmn
EU-1

Posted: Nov 25th 2010 4:53AM acidfwd said

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Great report! Two things I didn't like about Darkfall: clunky communication and the extremely low population in some of the starter cities (EU server). It was in fact so quiet that I didn't get ganked one time after my rookie protection wore off... Apart from that, it's one of the most interesting games around if you are into raw sandbox playing.

Posted: Nov 26th 2010 8:53AM Valdamar said

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Great article. I dislike open PvP in MMOs, but you've got me intrigued about Darkfall, when about 5mins ago it was on my list of MMOs to avoid like the plague. I look forward to the next article.

Posted: Nov 29th 2010 2:56PM Jef Reahard said

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@bluntforce

Wait, there was another Darkfall shill fanboy on the Massively payroll prior to me?

Who was it, pray tell?

Posted: Dec 1st 2010 6:34PM Nnyan said

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This pretty much sounds to me like a PR recruitment piece. DF needs more players so lets put lipstick on the pig. DF IS interesting with some very unique features. Yes the looting makes PvP pretty exciting but realistically the PvP boils down to you running away. Either avoid getting killed by making it to a town or get killed. Maybe the first dozen times this was exciting after that it was just a pain and a bore.

Then of course you get the fanatics that tell you to "just go out and play and enjoy...". Hmmm... that pretty much just leads to you going out getting ganked (if you can't escape) and going back to grind whatever you lost (if you didn't bank it in time). Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

This is followed by those that tell you that you have to change your state of mind. You need to have the right attitude to enjoy the flagellation that is all too frequent. I guess they got that motivational speech from S&M for Dummies.

Then there are the minimizers who will tell you about their experiences and that they almost NEVER get griefed or ganked. How everything is rosy and just a blast. How much you can get done in 30 hours! It helps if you have experience in watching trees grow.

Then a helpful person tells you how there is grinding in every MMO, and DF is really not THAT bad...really...I got to skill 37 with my left handed fork in only 17 weeks.

Next you're told that its your choice if you're getting ganked. If no friends are around to gank them back then log out, play and alt, go read a book, play another game. Which was the best advice I heard... and here I am playing another game.

Seriously though I was really looking forward to DF after the disappointment that was Vanguard, and I really could get over the free looting and ganking IF the game didn't have so many silly time sinks.

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