I guess I’ll join in on all the Darkfall hype

Seems like MMO sites are abuzz with Darkfall hype recently, especially since the NDA drop, which has me a bit flabbergasted because I still don’t see what the game has done to prove it is deserving of so much attention.

I’ll get my negative stuff out of the way first. The website looks like it was made with Flash for Dummies, circa 2000. It could possibly have the worst (zero) marketing here in North America. I honestly don’t think anyone who doesn’t follow MMO-news would even know it exists. You have to fervently scour and search through the forums for cryptic details on whether they are even looking into a North American launch. Took me like 20 minutes just to find out they don’t have a pre-order link up yet (days from release).  I can’t speak for Europe, where it’s launching first and Aventurine is based out of, but I’m hoping they’re doing a better job marketing it there. Being a hardcore pvp game, it’s going to attract the most foul, immature, and disgraceful players an MMO community can have. I’ve witnessed this first-hand in my time in Age of Conan so far. Open pvp can cause a lack players communicating and trusting each other, leading to a sense of loneliness and disconnect from a community as a whole. To go off-topic a bit, but stress the importance of a solid community in an MMORPG, as of last night, I’ve reached level 20 in Age of Conan, still on trial, and the only thing that is keeping me from dropping the $20 to just buy it, is the rotten community and sense that no on really gives a crap about anyone else.

Pessimism and negativity aside, I’m still excited to get my hands on Darkfall after all these years of reading about it and wanting to get a taste of what all the pre-trammel UO hype was all about, having missed the UO-train back in the day. I love sandbox games, I love pvp, and I love MMORPGs. Trends would tell me I would like this game, barring it has some sense of community besides the niche “hardcore” pvpers.

I’m checking the forums every day to check for the pre-order link. I’m going to attempt to join in on the European launch while they work out the details on an North America launch and find a publisher. It’s great to hear that they will be allowing EU-NA server transfers, once the game has launched in the US as well.

Despite my willingness to take a risk on pre-ordering Darkfall, I’m still going with my prediction that it will either not launch in North America or it will have Hellgate London type realization that you need to continue to pay for development, even after launch, and will be forced to cut back or be canned. It has two big red flags of MMORPG failure tagging a long with it into it’s launch: It’s a “no rules / hardcore” PVP game which is niche in itself, and it has the stigma of vaporware and negativity that has been swirling around its development and delays for years. It will be interesting to follow the next couple months, that’s for sure.

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~ by James Taylor on February 21, 2009.

2 Responses to “I guess I’ll join in on all the Darkfall hype”

  1. Great blog James.

    From looking at Darkfalls website I’m getting the feeling that Darkfall is not going to be good, it will have PvP but as usual not have any real reason to PvP except to just do it, I don’t expect anyone to understand but that’s about how I feel. Nice ideas on the surface Darkfall but it just does not seem like they are going to use all their fine ideas for anything more then run out get ganked or gank and do it again. But for what? If I’m wrong then let’s hear about how there’s some huge complex world that is fun to live in and PvP is not the only reason in its self to do anything.

  2. If you’re basing your opinion on word of mouth and the (horrible) website alone, I can totally see where you are coming from. It’s hard to fully understand Darkfall, because the website does an abysmal job at explaining anything and there is really no simple resource to use to learn the mechanics of the game.

    It’s a “hardcore” game in every nature of the word. Nothing is spoonfed to you, not even the game’s mechanics or selling point, as witnessed by their total lack of marketing and press. You have to dig through the forums, watch tons of beta videos on youtube, and read some more on the forums – to really understand why people are interested in Darkfall and why it is something to get excited about.

    Reasons I have found, that it is worth getting excited about:
    – If you love sandbox games (freedom to do whatever, not a theme park game like WoW, LOTRO, etc that holds your hand through quests and leveling)
    – If you are tired of the cookie-cutter “level and class based” MMOs and want something that is skill-based
    – If you want something that has more involved combat. Think AoC combat, but way more twitch skill involved (especially for ranged attacks)
    – etc, etc

    And to answer your question about the “point of pvp,” in a nutshell: You pvp for alignment/faction gain, you pvp to defend your clan’s city walls, you pvp to defend your life and your inventory, and well of course, you pvp for fun. There are a dozen+ more reasons one would pvp in Darkfall but those are just some that come to mind for me personally. You also pvp for the conquest and advancement of your alignment, your clan, and your city. The game is built around open pvp, so really there are more reasons TO pvp than not. While games like WoW and LOTRO are built around PVE, Darkfall is PVP. You wouldn’t ask someone in WoW, “why should i PVE.” :)

    Hope that helps some.

    If you want a great youtube video that sells darkfall better than the website could ever dream to, hit this clip up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiIY8tg2qBs&feature=channel_page

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