This is an edit of a post I made on a gaming forum about Darkfall Online – an open world type of MMO (massively multiplayer online) game that is in beta and just lifted their NDA which is trying to take a different approach, and in some ways a more classic approach, to this kind of online game:
I’m a fan of “sandbox” style games that are more open and have been very interested in Darkfall since I like the classless, skill-based, and raise skills through use style mechanics.
The game runs fairly well on my over two years old Mac Book Pro running Boot Camp/Windows 7, though I had to turn the graphics down a lot. Still get some “hitching” now and then, especially any time I get near water or any similar. Was crashing fairly often but after the most recent patch runs fine, even at 1440×900.
I think the graphics and animations could be better but since I still enjoy Asheron’s Call now and then it isn’t my main concern. Graphics are nice but I want solid gameplay.
The game itself has gone a bit too far into the PvP end of things I think. I understand the concept of making a hardcore MMO but you literally can’t go two steps in any of the quest locations without getting killed (or someone jumping in front of you to make you go “red”, then killing you).
I played Ultima Online from beta on so I’m not a stranger to this style game but it is really annoying when trying to figure out the game that you spend most of your time running back from spawning in town.
Maybe they will add more critter spawns soon, that would make it much easier to get a handle on the game since you could just run out in the middle of nowhere and do your thing. Like I used to in UO.
Anyway, the thing that really is bothering me is not the ganking or the amount of travel and such that makes the game hardcore. Some of it is annoying, but I get the philosophy of the game.
I just wish they hadn’t made the game client work against me so much though! Everything you want to do in the game is so cumbersome it is frustrating.
For example, if I want to rest to regain health/stamina/mana, I have to do the following:
- Drag the rest skill onto my action bar (just the first time).
- Sheath my weapon.
- Hit the rest icon (with my mouse or by hitting the corresponding key).
- Hit the right mouse button if I am in “UI view” to get to “play view” (whatever they call them).
- Hit the left mouse button to actually activate the rest skill – You can’t activate a skill by clicking it in your bar or hitting the key, you have to “slot” it then hit the mouse button to use it.
Every action in the game is this complicated to some degree. This is not “hardcore”, this is bad UI design and annoying for the players.
Anyway, I’m not giving up on the game, though I did log off in frustration last night when after running back to our city I got killed by the EX-guild member who is somehow camping our city and killing everyone. Ugh.
To sum up, I like the open play style and classless/skill-based system. The graphics/animations and UI could use a lot of work especially the unnecessary complications that are part of doing anything in game and the totally open PvP will make this game of limited appeal to a lot of people. I expect there will be a lot of sales up front based on the hype, but a lot of drop-off in player counts shortly after launch depending on how they address player feedback.
I have wanted to see innovation in the MMO area for some time though so I’m hoping I’m wrong.
Some reviews/reactions I read today:
P.S. If you are playing Darkfall, don’t forget to hit “T” for overhand strikes. Less chance of accidentally hitting someone else and going red!