Posted tagged ‘Darkfall’

PvP IS PvE

October 16, 2010

pvp

Syncaine had a really great post earlier today. We don’t tend to agree with one another much at all but his post on PvP Hotspots and what creates a good PvP atmosphere actually agrees pretty closely with mine, though with a slightly different view of the whole process.

I can’t speak for Syncaine obviously, only for what I take from his blog. He brings up the fact that you can’t expect people to just PvP in an MMO. It’s hard to put a finger on the exact reason people will spend 100 hours or more PvPing just for fun in their favorite shooter, and yet if given the exact same offer in an MMO they refuse to take it. Maybe it’s got something to do with the greater skill involved in FPSs, or perhaps it’s the early knowledge that all you are getting is PvP.

The fact remains that players in MMOs need something to encourage them to PvP. A one time reward like a sword or piece of armor isn’t going to do the trick either. You need a reason for those people to fight and keep fighting. That, I believe, is where PvE comes in.

Several companies have come out with MMOs focused on PvP heavily. Wanting to make a great PvP game is a noble goal, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that if you want your PvP game to be a success then you need to focus heavily on PvE. Many won’t believe me at first, but I think that most of us older gamers, gamers raised on Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot, would.

In Ultima Online the biggest PvP hotspots were areas with rare gathering nodes, and dungeons. Both of these were very PvE oriented areas with PvE oriented people, invaded by Griefers who were looking to destroy the easy prey and get a ton of gathered materials very easily. This led to other PvPers, the ones that actually wanted to PvP and not just screw with helpless people. These new PvPers were attracted to the area not for the loot from the miners and dungeon delvers, but from the bodies of the Griefers. The Griefers got mad that their free loot was suddenly harder to get, and in their anger they began to fight back. But the easy marks didn’t stop coming, because that is where the goods were. The Griefers kept coming thanks to the supply of prey, and the PvPers kept coming for two reasons: 1) to have fun in PvP, and 2) to defend the easy marks who were bringing ores and rare weapons and magic components to town to trade, which resupplied both the Griefers AND the PvPers.

Jump forward to Dark Age of Camelot and one of the most popular PvP areas was Darkness Falls. Like Syncaine says: “the original and constant driver for that area had nothing to do with PvP, but rather the great and varied (lvl wise) PvE…”.

When games like Warhammer tried to make a great PvP game, while leaving their PvE content as a hollow shell and separating it from the PvP, they kicked themselves before they even launched. Darkfall (speaking from an outsiders perspective) seems to have been a victim of the same thing until it’s recent expansion. They tried to create PvP hotspots by making locations to conquer, and due to their location they were desired, but they didn’t draw the PvEers in the numbers that were necessary. Once they made a PvE hotspot that was wildly desired by everyone, the PvPers came on their own.

Of course Darkfall has the problem that it never attracted PvEers in very large numbers. The majority of Darkfall players are lovers of hardcore FFA PvP. The game practically has a sign on the box saying “if you don’t want to PvP stay away.” The attitude of it’s average player doesn’t help either. In truth it just might make their entire game more enjoyable if they encourage carebears to join and get hooked on the gameplay, then get hooked on the FFA aspect. Don’t tell them that though, the very notion of a carebear enjoying their game makes them spit blood.

Darkfall Almost Has Me

October 11, 2010

I’ve tried Darkfall twice now. I haven’t stayed more than a month either time, even though there was a lot that I really liked about the game. Syncaine, with his usual snobby ‘tone’ linked to this video of a new Darkfall raid, acting as if it was exactly like a WoW raid, basically mocking those that would stupidly play any game other than Darkfall.

I can almost see someone being that snotty after watching this video. The entire thing got me hyped up and wishing I was playing Darkfall. It also made me realize something. I would LOVE a PVE focused Darkfall, with perhaps PVP only in scenarios or PVP lakes like Warhammer. Yes, I am asking for Darkfall’s Trammel. I’m not one of those people who pretends to have played Ultima, I did play Ultima. I’m not one of those people who pretends that Ultima was better before Trammel without having any experience (some people actually feel this way, being hardcore FFA PVP fans, and that is fine for them), I played both before and after Trammel.

That said I just can’t get behind a FFA full loot pvp game, and I’m finding that as time goes on any form of PVP, fighting games, MMOs, Shooters, anything PVP oriented, infuriates me with every death. I get so angry when I die, even if it’s an instant respawn game, that I’m worried that I will one day have a heart attack or aneurism due to a video game. This new information has caused me to gravitate away from these types of games, even if I do still get sucked in every now and then.

Still, a trammel server for Darkfall would be amazing, and I doubt it would hurt the current servers at all, since I think unlike UO, most people playing Darkfall right now would not switch to a no PVP server. Instead it would just bring in more players, though it would lead development to cater to the much larger PVE crowd, which would be bad for the hardcore server.

Still, I guess the only thing that makes this raid very different is that you are on a ship shooting at dragons, instead of on land shooting at dragons. Well Darkfall, I hope the raid is everything it looks like and more. Enjoy the game and the expansion, while I drool from a distance.

Where to go from here?

May 30, 2010

KingAmuroth

As I posted earlier my Prot Pally made it to Outland. He is now level 63 and I’ve gone through Ramparts, Blood Furnace and Slave Pens. I can say for sure that they made those instances easier, especially the final boss of Ramparts. Back when Burning Crusade first came out I remember pug groups wiping dozens of times on him until they gave up. If you stood in the dragons fire for more than two seconds or so you were dead, didn’t matter if you were healer, tank or DPS. Add to that the fact that it is really two bosses, and you have no drinking or eating time between the last trash pull and the boss, and it used to be harder to do that at the appropriate level that it was to do some Heroic Dungeons later on.

Now though I don’t even move out of the fire. Neither does my wife. We kill both bosses easily and her renew keeps anyone in the fire at full health. Let’s be clear though, I don’t think that this change is a bad thing. The simple fact was that very few pugs of the right level beat that boss. Like the Crystal Entity in Star Trek Online it simply requires far too much coordination to expect out of a pug group. Content like that is great for heroics or level cap dungeons or raids, but let’s keep the insta-death stuff out of the lowbie pug area.

DKFlying

On another note I got my Death Knight’s Mining and Herbalism to 300 by traveling all over Azeroth. My Death Knight is basically my bank alt, since he starts with nice bags and some money, plus an epic mount. I’m also using him to help out my Pally, who is Blacksmithing/Enchanting. One of us HAD to go enchanting since we were running all these instances, so I did. The wife went Jewelcrafting/Mining but I don’t like to take her ore.

On  a final note my “free month” for both EverQuest II and Fallen Earth are up and I’ve got some decisions to make. Out of those two I would probably still with Fallen Earth, but those are not the only two options. I already own Age of Conan and I’m thinking about resubbing for a month just to see how far it’s come and if it’s for me. I’m playing through the endless Tortage trial now to see if I even feel like coming back. The graphics of the world are still as amazing as I remember, but at least for me the character textures seem…poor. Especially where the neck meets the body.

Of course there is also Vanguard (Now available through Steam) though I would have to buy that one before I could play it. Finally (and the one I’m leaning more toward) is DarkFall. I had a blast during my two week welcome back period and I’ve really missed the whole “skill based” system. I’m not a fool though. I know there are “levels” whether the game wants to call them that or not. You cannot really help as a newbie. Sure you can be a distraction, but I could do that in WoW at level 1 if I wanted, doesn’t mean it’s really participating. I’d have a several month grind until I could really enjoy the game as intended, but they are changing the health and a few other things soon that would help that.

At the moment I am leading toward DarkFall, but nothing is set in stone. I’ll finish Tortage at least once and then figure out what I want to do. Wish me luck.

A Quick Response to the Hardcore

May 4, 2010

Syncaine over at Hardcore Casual had this to say on people who try Sandbox games. I’ve been known on this blog to defend so called “Theme Park” players and I’m about to do it again, in a very short post.

The gist of the post is that he believes: No one who doesn’t immediately understand a Sandbox games, no matter if they have played one or not, should ever play a Sandbox game. They give nothing to the community, and there is no way in which they could learn to do so. Sure, he’s bashing Tobold the entire time, but he’s also speaking in general terms.

His argument falls apart when he starts calling anything that isn’t his definition of hardcore a kids game. I understand what he’s trying to say, that games like WoW can be played by small children just as easily as by grown men. On the opposite side of that children would probably be bored and frustrated by a game like EVE, much like if they were asked to balance a checkbook.

Lastly I’d just like to say that, if I wanted to get into the game, I would hope there were people out there who were more friendly. I wouldn’t think anything (until this) about going out to 0.0 space on the way to some secure trading station somewhere because it was quicker. I’d like to think that when I was destroyed and I asked the guy why, instead of a “LAWL L2P NOOBSAUCE!” I might get a “You see, this is my Corporations sector of space and we can’t let anyone in, because you might be a spy for the competition. If you would like access please whisper _____.” That would make me nod, give me valuable information, and I would continue playing.

If every time I went anywhere I got ganked and all I heard from anyone was the first quote…well I’d quit. There’s no reason to actively try and keep people from subbing to the game. At least not that I can see.

Game Updates!

April 29, 2010

I’ve been playing many a game lately. These are a few updates from some of them.

BurningTires1 

I’ve been playing mostly Fallen Earth lately and I’ve finally made my ATV Key. The way mounts work is you craft a key, but when you use that key it spawns the mount in the world. It can NEVER again be mailed, or put back into your bags or the bank. You can only stable/garage it, and you can only have one active and in the world at a time.

I have not used my ATV Key, as it was a requirement to research Motorcycle building. I’ve since researched and learned that, and I’m on my way to making my first Motorcycle key. I’ll keep that one around until I can make a Cargo Motorcycle, since that’ll be the first thing that has more storage than my horse. Not to mention I got a free regular Motorcycle from the Clan I joined, which is really nice.

My character, Connor Toth, is a melee crafter with healing capabilities. I haven’t grouped yet, but at level 14 I’m about the right level to get a group together for Kingman Prison. It’s not an instance in the classical World of Warcraft style from what I understand, but I’m looking forward to getting it done and getting some AP for it.

Darkfall1

Darkfall is having a welcome back special, a free 14 day’s for anyone who had an account. I read about it on Hardcore Casual and just as I thought “Maybe I should give it another try” I got an email from them. Now when I played (See not very long) it was back when the game only had an EU server, my internet sucked, and my PC couldn’t really handle it. I switched my EU account for an NA account free of charge and created a character. I’m still not sure what the race is called, but if any game allows me to be a Werewolf, the only thing I would ever choose over that would be a rat person. So naturally I am the games Werewolf-ish race.

Sadly, because of the age of my account, I do not have the newbie protection. Luckily, after eight hours in the game, I haven’t died to a player yet. I HAVE died to several goblins, especially those damn Goblin Shaman. I’ve followed the tutorial video’s that are linked to on Hardcore Casual and it’s been a blessing. I’ve since abandoned following it, and I’m getting most of the low level quests, but I doubt I would have been able to get my bearings without those videos.

I’ve made a lot of progress, having gotten an OK set of armor, a two handed sword from the vendor, a really nice quest bow that has allowed me to start three shotting Goblin Scouts, and a magic staff. Well, many of the staffs, which I keep in the bank.

I’ll make another full post about Darkfall at a later date, but I’m having a blast so far. I’ve run and escaped from several decked out players so far, and the adrenaline rush of just fighting a newbie area goblin is such a strange feeling that I can’t help but log in and keep going. I’m also a simple steedleaf (I think that’s the name) away from getting my first mount, which will be kept in the bank until I can get a few more mounts.

LOTRO1

I haven’t mentioned LOTRO much since me and the wife resubbed to WoW, but we’ll be back in Middle Earth this weekend! We’re going to hopefully turn in our tokens to get our Spring Horses and maybe get a couple of levels and enjoy the festivities. The wife is really looking forward to it. She hasn’t had much time to play games lately, so she’s itching for an MMO fix.

That’s it for now, expect more on Darkfall tomorrow. And Fallen Earth.

Sandbox means Boring

April 15, 2010

400px-Sandbox

That looks boring as hell

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that I don’t dislike games because they are sandbox games, take Fallen Earth and Ultima Online as examples. In general I dislike sandbox games due to other factors such as boring combat (Darkfall, EVE) or horrid grinding being required (Darkfall, EVE). I think however that I have discovered another reason I don’t like most sandbox games, and it’s not the elitism that leaks out of those that play them like a festering wound (not today anyway), it’s the fact that most companies, and indeed most players, seem to think that sandbox means boring.

I constantly see blogs about how people just don’t understand this sandbox game or that one. About how, if you want to have fun, you need to find something and use your imagination in order to get any enjoyment out of it. They then berate people for saying that they got bored when that person obviously just wasn’t working at it.

At some point developers and player sat around and decided that in order for a game to be sandbox it needed to have mobs, pvp, a skill system and absolutely nothing to do unless you make it happen. If this is the case why not just open up MS Paint and make something happen. If you try hard enough you WILL have fun, you just have to put in time and effort.

I think something that needs to happen to really help the sandbox genre, at least in my opinion, is for the genre and it’s players to get over itself. Would it ruin Darkfall to have more quests? Surely players would cry foul and say that their favorite sandbox was ruined because they had to go from one place to another, even though NOTHING was changed except the addition of 1000’s more quests. Would it ruin Ultima Online to have a Dungeons and Dragons Online type of immersive, interactive dungeon? How about 30 of them sprinkled throughout the game?

I’m not saying you need to FORCE people to do certain quests or go to certain dungeons, but give me some story and some developer created things to do and perhaps I wouldn’t be sitting around looking for stuff to do 90% of the time I am playing. If there were as many quests in Darkfall as there are in World of Warcraft it wouldn’t take anything away from that game, other than giving people a little direction if they CHOOSE to take it.

Instead sandbox players and developers sit back and grin, thinking about how much better they are than your average MMO player because they have to make their own fun. Sounds more like a failure on the part of the developer to me with the fanbase continuing to support the product just because they are fans.

It’s a wonder that I like some sandbox games. What usually does it is getting lucky and finding that sweet spot, that perfect moment where you experience all the game can be and then spend the rest of your game time pining for it. Kinda like heroin I hear.

Raptr Forum Signature

An Ultima Online Experiment

March 27, 2010

UO

I played Ultima Online back before Trammel, continued playing after it came out and didn’t leave it until Final Fantasy XI came out, which i played until World of Warcraft came out. I went back when Ultima Online released it’s Kingdom Reborn expansion pack, which was a terrible mess. The updated “3D” style graphics caused the world to look more cluttered than it had before and the newbie starting quests were broken  and it was impossible to complete it.

Jump forward to today when I downloaded and installed the 14 day trial for Ultima Online. I got the new Stygian Abyss client and decided to see what kind of improvements they had brought to UO, if any. It turned out that they did a really great job, at least in the newbie starting quest area. There were many NPCs with quests once I got to New Haven, the starting town, and they ranged from getting my skills up (basically to teach you what you need to do) to crafting or escorting.

The biggest problem with the game right now isn’t even the graphics, which is what I thought it would be. It’s not even the UI which has received many great enhancements. It’s the sound. From the brutally loud and annoying walking noise that accompanies you everywhere you go (unless you turn off the walking noise completely…) or the seemingly four second music clip that seems to repeat over and over. Granted I’ve only played for a few minutes and I intend to give it a thorough playing before I give up on it. I have such fond memories of my time in Brittania that I am really tempted to resub, especially after the little I played today. But I’ll give it the full two weeks and see what’s what.

Makes me want to give Darkfall a try. If only they had a carebare server.