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I've been in beta only for a couple of weeks, but this is not my first beta so I believe I am able to provide a decent review of this one.
I will try to make a review as unbiased as possible, because I don't want people buying this game and being disappointed.
Only certain people should buy this game (more to follow).
But keep in mind that it is my opinion, and I might have missed few things, in which case I will get corrected by more experienced testers.
Just to make it clear, I want Darkfall to succeed but...............there are some buts.
First of all I have to say that Darkfall is not Dark and Light (DnL) by any means, so I am sad to disappoint the haters, but the game exists and it is in fairly good shape, compared to other over hyped and over funded crap.
Unfortunately DF is not what you will call a complete MMORPG either, so haters will have also reasons to cheer.
In my honest opinion DF is more or less at the same point AoC was at release, the PvE content of both games is lacking big time.
Aventurine didn't have the time to fill the world with mobs and quests.
But there is a big difference between DF, AoC and maybe Vanguard.
DF client is solid as a rock, in 2 weeks I never ever crashed, and feedbacks by other testers confirm my point.
So AV won't have to spend 1 year to fix a crappy client, and they can concentrate in implementing content only and balancing the game.
Before I get started with the detailed review per sections, I just want to make a bold statemet: Darkfall is not by any means a game for everyone, just to give you some reference DF is a mix between Ultima Online and Shadowbane, so if you tried one of those 2 games and didn't like them, you won't like DF.
If you are or were a fan of those 2 you will probably like DF.
So let's start with the review:
It never crashes, I tested around 20 MMORPG, this one is the best I tested, Aventurine wasn't lieing on that, well done AV.
-THE WORLD: Excellent
The world is beautiful, it is big and there are some very nice point of interests, detailed and well made.
Unfortunately there is a lot of empty space between those point of interest, but the world is big so it should be obvious.
Another good thing about the world is the fact that it looks handmade not randomly created like in some recent MMOs.
If you are an exploreryou will love Agon
-THE PVP: Good
The PVP mechanics need to be adjusted and balanced a bit, but as it is now is already good fun.
I am in favour to permanently mark as criminal players who kill their own race, but that's my opinion.
Archery is a bit too overpowered at low levels while Magic is underpowered, not sure what will happen when you advance with the skills.
Rogue system needs to be adjusted IMO.
But the good thing about DF is that by not having levels, 1 to 1 fights are always very close
FPS style nothing revolutionary, some will hate it some will love it.
It is not as straight forward as in AAA MMOs, but if you played Morrowind and Oblivion you will be able to appreciate DF too.
Yes it is a "left click" spam fest, in that sense is not really innovative, but the fact you have to chase and constantly aim the mobs add to the experience.
Do not expect anything out of this world, but mobs will move around and dodge your hits, they will also run away when they are low in HP.
Mobs who use magic are particularly difficult to beat, they move around constantly, they will drop the nuke and then move away.
Only thing I don't really like is the fact that mobs can see you from miles away, for me this ruins a bit the thrills of sneaking around, I hope they will adjust that.
Decently made, not too tedious, and the fact that the economy is driven by crafters is a plus.
Generally is good fun and viable by anyone, even people who never crafted
At the moment crafting costs quite a lot and testers complains the items they made costs too much and they are difficult to sell, AV should adjust the costs of crafting in particular at low level.
Also gathering can be a bit tedious, need to be more fun.
Some testers score crafting low, but to me crafting should be for real crafters not everyone, hence it needs to cost a lot to reach the highest level and it needs to take time.
That's why I score it high.
If I say that crafting is viable for everyone I only mean that it is easy to get into it, I don't mean that it is nt time consuming, because it is.
-FULL LOOT: Good
Yes it is annoying to lose your stuff but after you play for a while you will understand that you will loot as much as you lose, and in truth there is very few items you really cannot affort to lose.
So even if you lose all of your precious stuff, you just need a plate run or a gank run with your guild to rebuild your equipment.
Not a big deal
-SKILL BASED GAME: Good
Nothing better than not having to watch the level bar while you play.
In fact you can only concentrate on playing and forget about leveling.
I missed that feeling.
*THE UGLY (Acceptable features which should be better)*
Animations are very basic, if you are used to WoW you will be gutted by this, but if you played older MMOs you won't notice it too much.
There is no body customisation as in AoC, but the face customisation is pretty decent.
No you can't morph the different parts of your face either, but there are loads of tattoos, hairstyles and accessories to give you lots of different appearances, the Orc ones are the best IMO, you can get seriouas badass faces
The UI looks pretty plain, but it is very functional, you can move them around as you wish, resize them, and I find the right click of the mouse quite useful to recall all the open windows.
I believe Aventurine will make a more pretty UI in the future but that's not a priority atm (see the BAD)
Although the world gives a good feeling about it (the art style is good), generally graphics could be much better, in particular the characters model and armors.
They are not consistent, some are very well done some are pretty average and quite dated, yet graphics are better than most MMOs, but definetly could be improved.
Generally is actually quite good, but being a PvPgame you get the occasional lag spike which can be quite annoying when fighting an opponent.
Nothing too bad though (didn't tested the sieges though)
-MAGIC TREE: Acceptable
Many believe that the Magic at lower level (lesser magic) is not very effective.
Not many people reached high level in magic to tell if this changes at higher levels.
Can be improved.
-PVE CONTENT: Disappointing
Apart from crafting there is little else, you basically have to PvP or craft in this game............alternatevly you can grind Goblins, which isn't what I call PVE content
Very few, and uninteresting, although the rewards are fairly decent.
Also they are not repeatable
-MOB POPULATION: Poor
At the moments mobs spawns only in designated point of interest which are constantly camped.
Very difficult to find mobs anywhere else.
AV needs to put many more mobs in Agon, I am not talking about 1 every metre like in WoW and WAR, but surely they need more, at the moment Agon is underpopulated.
-LACK OF BOSSES
The PVE consist in grinding normal mobs.
No Bosses who drop phat loot, so no real reason to group at all except for ganking and the occasional plate run.
I believe what makes part of the PVE experience is killing the final Boss after clearing all the trash, since this element is missing, I believe PVE is missing a big chunk of fun.
Killing a Boss is for PVE what conquering a fortress is for PVP...........hope that makes sense
Well not existent.
I know it is fluff, but to complete the beautiful world you need some wildlife too.
At the moment the world seems quite empty.
-LACK OF NPCS: Poor
Well in Agon there are only the essential NPCs, the ones that give you quests and the vendors, nothing else.
Cities and villages feels quite dead because of this.
Need to be addressed.
What I didn't try: Sieges and Boat Building and City Building (apparently they are in game though, many beta testers gave several feedbacks about it)
This is simple.
This game is not for everyone, at the moment is just for few.
If you are an hardcore PVPer this game is certainly for you, the game at launch will be ready for PvPers to enjoy the world of Agon.
If you like also PVE though, you should NOT buy this game.
DF at launch will have very few things to do for PVE players................unless you are a crafter of course.
DF is also a long term game, so if you are for instant gratification you will get bored pretty soon.
Personally I think Aventurine should have delayed the game 2 more months, which would have give them the chance to develope much more PVE content.
They only had to add more mobs, more lore, more quests and more wildlife, the game doesn't need anything else.
As it is, this game can only be enjoyed by hardcore PVPers, in the end was the original target audiance.
But if AV had waited few more months this game would have had the chance to attract a more wider type of player
As I said at the moment DF is a mix of UO and Shadowbane, unfortunately it misses another element........the PVE of SWG pre-cu (although crafting is fairly good).
If AV could implement this last element, DF will have much more potential, then it has at the moment.
Lastly I would like to congratulate Aventurine, yes the game is not entirely complete, but considering the little resources they had, compared to AoC, WAR and Vanguard they did a pretty good job, in particular they could teach Mythic, Funcom and some others how to code a client.