Darkfall Online nowadays
I haven’t really had time to post here lately, I’ll try to improve on that. Anyway, Darkfall Online. As I posted quite a bit on this game before it came out, I feel somehow obliged to say at least something about it. As you might have guessed, I haven’t bought it and I still haven’t played it. I also don’t think I will. That’s not because I think it isn’t a game for me or something, but just because I don’t have time for a MMO at the moment.
Anyway. The game did launch and it seems players are having fun with it. What is particularly interesting is that Adventurine limits the ammount of people that are being able to buy and play the game and that they’ve kept it just at a single server so far. It is weird, but it also makes sense. This sort of slow launch prevents a huge ammount of players rushing in for 1-6 months and then leaving a lot of empty servers as what happened in Age of Conan and Warhammer Online. I do doubt it is commercially a wise move though. They do seem to consider opening a second NA server, but I would say that this sort of game is just much better when it remains unsharded, so stories remain unique and groups of people can’t server-hop leading to server populations being small enough to be dominated by a single group as what happened in Shadowbane.
The political landscape seems to have developed in Darkfall Online and the stories and drama surrounding it seem rather intriguing. Just like with EVE Online, it shows that sandbox MMOs allow players to create the story and drama which will always be more interesting than anything produced and imposed by developers. Here’s a nice large map which shows what’s going on (probably out-dated already) and here are some writings on the alliances. It does seem to lead to a 2-side server-wide conflict, similar to the Great War in EVE Online. Battles seem to continue running with over 100 people involved, which is quite astonishing and suprisingly well-done by Adventurine. In general the game seems to be pretty alright, although certainly not for everyone. I suggest reading Hardcore Casual and Keen and Graev if you’re interested on how the game is. The biggest miss to me personally, without having played the game, seems to be the lack of a /say channel and that it’s all just in /public. It kind of makes the game a lot less immersive than it could’ve been I’d say, you should be able to shout at your victim just before you execute him, using the Public channel for that just seems wrong.