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Darkfall: The 2011 Re-Review

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,649MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Aventurine's Darkfall Online has been out on the market for two years now. As is our habit, we are re-reviewing Darkfall Online in celebration of this milestone. Adam Tingle, after spending lots of time in game during the Survivor Guy series, has the 2 Year Review for your perusal. Check it out and add your comments to the mix.

Throughout the past couple of months I have been chased, beaten, robbed, murdered and taunted. A simple task such as travelling a dozen metres into the woods has left me emotionally scarred as a result of the numerous online-brigands constantly pursuing me. In reality I have become a quivering wreck: a short journey to the local shops is spent with panicking eyes, a twitchy mood, and equipped with a small blunt weapon just in case someone takes fancy of my jeans or indeed, my trainers - If someone so much as eyes my jacket, there will be panic swings.

Read Adam Tingle's Darkfall 2-Year Review.


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member

    Really good review that touches on the most important aspects of the game. It only fails to mention one thing and that is the archaic and horrible UI that will in itself turn of many people.

    If Darkfall is to be a serious contender to Eve then it has to fix the shortcomings of its UI, graphics and animation. It currently shows clearly that the game is developed by an indy company.

  • PlasmicredxPlasmicredx Strogg CityPosts: 629Member

    Thank you for this review.

    I became sad but not surprised when I was reading that the animations were bad. I for one can play ANY game with ANY graphics, but the animations as you describe did drive me crazy whenever I watched gameplay videos of Darkfall. The other thing I felt the same for was the class system. Fans of Dark Age of Camelot who are used to dosens of classes to choose from per realm will not be used to such a narrow system.

  • LukoooneLukooone SevillaPosts: 115Member Uncommon

    Biggest mistakes done by AV, developers of DFO: No skill cap and alignment system (arac clans...)

    All the rest of this game is wonderful, excelent, innovative, adrenaline-rusher, non coockie-cutter, non themepark, non on-rails-gameplay...

    Played :UO,EQ,DaoC,Lineage2,SWG,WWIIOL,EQ2,EvE,WoW,AoC,DF,RIFT,GA,TSW,Tera...
    Best imo : UO

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member

    Originally posted by Plasmicredx

    Thank you for this review.

    I became sad but not surprised when I was reading that the animations were bad. I for one can play ANY game with ANY graphics, but the animations as you describe did drive me crazy whenever I watched gameplay videos of Darkfall. The other thing I felt the same for was the class system. Fans of Dark Age of Camelot who are used to dosens of classes to choose from per realm will not be used to such a narrow system.

    Yes, it is quite ironic that a system that is supposedly to provide you with lots of choices for classes in fact only has one viable build. The do everything melee/archer/mage build.

  • LukoooneLukooone SevillaPosts: 115Member Uncommon

    melee/archer/mage/crafter/gatherer

     

    Fixed for you.

    Played :UO,EQ,DaoC,Lineage2,SWG,WWIIOL,EQ2,EvE,WoW,AoC,DF,RIFT,GA,TSW,Tera...
    Best imo : UO

  • Rockgod99Rockgod99 Manhatten, NYPosts: 4,640Member

    Sadly unlike other sandboxy type games like UO, SWG, EVE, Ryzom, & Fallen Earth,.

    Darkfall doesn't let you play naturally and progress your character through natural game play style.

    You have to skill everything for anyone to take you seriously And the peer pressure to do so just to join a clan is pathetic.

    Honestly its just bad design and AV deserves the small amount of players it has playing DF right now.

    This game could have been fantastic.

    image

    Playing: Rift, LotRO
    Waiting on: GW2, BP

  • BrifBrif Frederick, MDPosts: 529Member

    "Open loot is still to harsh for some"

     

    TYPO

  • Mad+DogMad+Dog EdinburghPosts: 656Member Uncommon

    I've been playing Darkfall since the first day.



    It is allot better than what is was and for me the full loot is a bit plus not a con.



    However the massive grind in this game puts games like Aion to shame. If they sorted this properly we would have allot more players around.



    Grind a side, best game there is right now.

    image
  • monstermmomonstermmo Glendale, CAPosts: 1,062Member
    Great review, makes me want to play it more.

    I trialed the game for a very tiny bit, i liked the world and stuff but the combat was horrible and i literally ran around for 1-2 hours doing absolutely nothing.

    I want to play a sandbox game, but id like to see one much more involving.

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  • MMO_FanMMO_Fan okc, OKPosts: 166Member

    For a game based primarily on PVP, Guilds vs Guilds and City Sieging - I would have thought it appropriate to spend more than half a day in a guild. Were you even able to launch over a wall?

  • SirBalinSirBalin Joppa, MDPosts: 1,150Member Uncommon

    I'm a little surprised to see comments about the animations, I know they had issues at launch...but I think they are pretty good now.  Dont let the animations turn you away if you havent played, they aren't bad. 

    There's no doubt that the UI sucks...the UI is so bad that you can make adjustments to it which can cause a difference on your frame rates by more than 200 FPS....thats insane.  Another con is simply that Adventuring is pathetic, they dont care about their subscribers and they take way to long to fix issues.  For example, log in bugs have not been fixed for more than a year.  Its just kind of accepted at this point.

    As far as the game itself, it is hardcore...the wow players and fast track players should stay away.  People that really enjoy an open game feel, a game that as sim as possible...Darkfall is it.  While some may hate the full loot, it really is what makes the game so intense.  You take that away, who cares about dying?  Also, I'd rather lose my loot than lose experience like in L2.

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  • worldspin85worldspin85 Bayville, NYPosts: 187Member

    Originally posted by Yamota

    Really good review that touches on the most important aspects of the game. It only fails to mention one thing and that is the archaic and horrible UI that will in itself turn of many people.

    If Darkfall is to be a serious contender to Eve then it has to fix the shortcomings of its UI, graphics and animation. It currently shows clearly that the game is developed by an indy company.


     

     to be honest idk wht everyosn probelm with the UI beside that it uses up from FPS i took me 15-30 min to get used to it when i played on EU launch. This is a greate review a great game and its only improving. And Graphics? the graphics are not bad and they even said they will be update in the next expansion.

  • MrBootsMrBoots a, ALPosts: 277Member

    The biggest turnoffs for darkfall are:

     

    1. Long repetitive grind from hell. Expect to spend 6 months minimum bashing goblins with low end weapons to get your skills up to a competitive level. There are literally hundreds of skills that you have to raise. You can't just raise fire magic. You have to grind fire magic plus all 10+ fire magic spells individually. Then you have to grind like 5+ fire magic support skills on top of that. Then you can start grinding water magic. Grinding magic isn't cheap btw. You can't make enough money while grinding to support the cost. So you have to stop grinding magic to grind gold so you can grind magic.

     

    2.  Everything is static. The game promised player built cities, and housing. What they delivered was static capturable forts and useless static housing that serves as nothing but a recall bind.

    3.  Economy that does not work.

    4. Low population.

  • RequiamerRequiamer ???Posts: 2,034Member

    This game is a refreshing breath in the mmo world, i wish i had enjoyed it more, but i didn't a second, well yes in fact, the few weeks after release were really really nice for some reasons. But after that it was just a pain, i should had macroed from day one, but refused. A game that need to be macroed or botted, hacked or whatever to be enjoyed isn't a good game in my book.

     

    Full loot is not a problem in darkfall i don't know why the OP is even mentioning it, in fact most player see it as an adventage. Thats really funny in fact, it seam like he was forced to play a game he might not even tryed during off hours. If there is a problem, it is about gear unbalance between noob and high end gear. It's a know fact in DF the noob/vet balance isn't really good, bad in fact, whatever the fanboys and the dev claim. The game was supposed to give a fair chance to all, but don't. Nobody that picked DF wanted to have a glorified Lineage 2 with half hiden win buttons, they wanted a glorified Uo when talking about gear and its relation to pvp, one of the numerous error they made. Also gear unbalance isn't the only faulty mechanism into this, but the way combat and fps is implemented which was the most critisized aspect during all the first year, but i guess all those people left now, i think i was the last crusader abandoning the battle. Damn it.

     

    The game is still good and should be played for the sake of it, it really deserve more that the average mark people give it here, just for that inovative aspect it deserve a lot more, but there is no inovation mark in the mmorpg rating list, they should really add one. DF is not even close to the game it copied in fact, the danger aspect of the game is really unique to this game. If the combat system was a little less frustrating and skillfull (i know i might get flamed all over but i don't give a shit, its well know mellee combat is a trade of blow because there is no dodge like a fps should naturally have) i would resub tomorrow.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,193Member Uncommon

    I found the community to be highly elitest which I did not like at all.  Without skill caps the game will never be anything more than a wanna be.  Heck I had far more fun in UO than in Darkfall.  Of course all just my opinion.  You should decided yourself.

  • Rockgod99Rockgod99 Manhatten, NYPosts: 4,640Member

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    I found the community to be highly elitest which I did not like at all.  Without skill caps the game will never be anything more than a wanna be.  Heck I had far more fun in UO than in Darkfall.  Of course all just my opinion.  You should decided yourself.

    The community is probably one of the worst part of the entire game.

    I've never seen such a clueless community in my life playing MMOs.

    Sure FFA full loot pvp attracts the more aggressive folk but thats not the issue.

    The issue is where these players come from.

    These arent oldschool sandbox players from UO, SWG or EVE these fucking twats come from WAR & WoW.

    No self respecting oldschool sandbox player would stand for a game that called itself a sandbox yet only had one viable skill spec...

    These guys prefer it!!! its pathetic and makes me sad that these people cal themselves both sandbox players and hardcore...

    image

    Playing: Rift, LotRO
    Waiting on: GW2, BP

  • KruulKruul Houston, TXPosts: 476Member

    I would go back if there were more people playing. My guilds roster  looks more like an obituary.When I recently went back to the game for a month I mounted from NIF to the center of the map and saw 1 player that ran like hell back to his clans city.  The game is alot of fun when there is a higher population. AV needs to do something soon to create more interest in this game or it will continue to be a ghost town.

  • SfaliaraSfaliara NV, AZPosts: 438Member

    Originally posted by worldspin85



    Originally posted by Yamota

    Really good review that touches on the most important aspects of the game. It only fails to mention one thing and that is the archaic and horrible UI that will in itself turn of many people.

    If Darkfall is to be a serious contender to Eve then it has to fix the shortcomings of its UI, graphics and animation. It currently shows clearly that the game is developed by an indy company.


     

     to be honest idk wht everyosn probelm with the UI beside that it uses up from FPS i took me 15-30 min to get used to it when i played on EU launch. This is a greate review a great game and its only improving. And Graphics? the graphics are not bad and they even said they will be update in the next expansion.


     

    It's true the UI is indeed functional and once you get used to it all is fine, however, most people that play games are not hardcore gamers but rather casual ones and I'm sure many would appreciate an attractive, stylish and sexy UI, rather one that looks like from the 2000s. With that said, Aventurine is heading in the right way, from what I read in their blog they are revamping their GUI, graphics and animations (they are working on motion capture, there are some photos of it) and everything is getting ready for their next expansion. It seems to be rather impressive and while I don't play Darkfall right now, I'm waiting for this expansion to give it a try.

  • uohaloranuohaloran ., GAPosts: 811Member

    Are there any significant reasons to not be a murderer yet?


    Originally posted by Requiamer
    just for that inovative aspect
    Which is what, exactly? From everything I saw in my three month stay, they were basically just getting ideas of old games into this generation. That's commendable, but not innovative, I think.
  • NoxSolNoxSol Austin, TXPosts: 1Member

    Darkfall is suppose to have a "relaunch" later this year and I recommend waiting to play until that time, unless one is intensely interested in a full loot PvP experience, ala, Ultima Online 1997-1999.

    The author of the article likes grinding but he's naive.  In the context of a PvP game, a long grind leads to a huge imbalance in character power, which doesn't work when anybody can kill anybody else on whim.  That doesn't mean that instant character is recommend by me; but the way things are now it takes months of heavy play, grinding, and macroing to make a competitive character; and well over a year if one plays "normally."  What the game needs is major adjustments to the character development system so that one can make a final, competitive character in around 3 months of regular play; excluding trade and crafting skills.

    Darkfall is a commercial failure primarily due to the grind, because it takes so long to develop a competitive character.  The game is top heavy with Vets, many of whom used exploits that are now closed or aren't as well known.

    Most players, besides grinding, also macro swimming, in order to raise their attribute stats, because they go up so painfully slow.  It's ridiculous that at night probably 80% of those logged into the game are just swimming AFK or casting self-buff spells using a macro AFK.

    All this has led to a game world that is empty of players.  While there are a few PvP "hot spots" around the map, it's more like team deathmatch than anything that's immersive or purposeful or lore-based.

     

    All this noted, and I could go on, Darkfall has enormous potential if the developer's adjust and fix the core issues.

    The game could easily be as popular as EVE ONLINE, so definitely watch out for its development, if you're still going to stay on the sidelines, but are attracted to the basic concepts behind it.

  • DarthRaidenDarthRaiden gdfgfPosts: 4,333Member

    Glad you re-revied Darkfall again the old rating was just plain unjustified.

     

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  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member

    There are two things in this review that I feel could have been better.

    1. The main reason I joined and still play Darkfall today is because of the warfare mechanics. Boats, cannons, seiges, 100's of players. This is the best part of the game in my view and the subject is very rarely touch on from a review standpoint but in all fainess, rarely touched on by the community as well.

    2. graphic engine is dated. However, if updating the graphics comes with a change in style I would be greatly disapointed. Oblivion has better graphics than Morrowind however Morrowinds art direction is more appealing to me. The trend in the MMO market to use the high end video technology to basically make a cartoon world more detailed is insulting to me personally. Darkfall doesnt have the best video technology but it has a much more intresting art direction in my view.

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,250Member Uncommon

    "A system of highlighting a handful of items in your equipment that will be duplicated in case of attack would be a fairly interesting concept - the murderer gets everything on your corpse while a duplicate of those items specified are kept for the victim."

    this would be exploited into oblivion...

  • xpiherxpiher Indianapolis, INPosts: 3,311Member

    should of waited until the re-launch 

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    Games:
    Currently playing:Nothing
    Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
    Past games:
    Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
    Xpiher's GW2
    GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
    Darkfall - Xpiher Duminous (NA) retired
    AoC - Xpiher (Tyranny) retired
    Warhammer - Xpiher

  • rubiconukrubiconuk NorthamptonPosts: 28Member

    Originally posted by MrBoots



    The biggest turnoffs for darkfall are:

     

    1. Long repetitive grind from hell. Expect to spend 6 months minimum bashing goblins with low end weapons to get your skills up to a competitive level. There are literally hundreds of skills that you have to raise. You can't just raise fire magic. You have to grind fire magic plus all 10+ fire magic spells individually. Then you have to grind like 5+ fire magic support skills on top of that. Then you can start grinding water magic. Grinding magic isn't cheap btw. You can't make enough money while grinding to support the cost. So you have to stop grinding magic to grind gold so you can grind magic. Pure lies. Please don't spread false information. After my 30 day free month + 14 Day trial, without playing everyday or extended periods of time, I was already killing people much stronger than me with higher playtime. Alongside 1-2 NEW friends we also managed to down Vets easily. In this time I also gained 50+ Air, 80+ Fire, 40+ Earth, 74 GS, 90+ Archery with 60 Sharpshooter etc. I also have the rank 50 nuke in fire already viable, 75+, with other spells not far behind. Also you ony bash goblins for a few hours/days. Then you will be hunting, undead dwarfs, trolls, centaurs, orcs etc or even larger mobs such as a minotaur if you have a group. Aswell as this you will not be using 'low end weapons' as if you join NEW or ask a veteran they will be happy to give you some free armor and r40 or more weapons. These weapons are also very cheap and easily affordable. As for the comment of being unable to not make money to cover the reagent cost for grinding magic have you actually played Darkfall? Here's a scenario for you when I was grinding my Fireball. I would take 100 Sulfur (400 Gold) + 100 Nacre (400 Gold) which would enable me 100 casts. By the time I had finished killing either Trolls or Dwarves with 100 Fireballs + Melee I had recooperated my 800 gold or exceeded it by a substantial amount aswell as getting huge skill increases in both Fire and Melee. If you run out of reagents before you hit the break even mark continue too melee them down or use archery. Not only will you increase your character all round you will also make a profit while your at it :D.

     

    2.  Everything is static. The game promised player built cities, and housing. What they delivered was static capturable forts and useless static housing that serves as nothing but a recall bind. if everything was dynamic people would all build in easily fortfied areas and 90% of Agon would be covered in player cities. Even though they promised it I don't think its a pressing matter imo.

    3.  Economy that does not work. Its ok and far fom 'Not working' but an AH would be an amazing addition.

    4. Low population. Lower than release yes but i see many different people all of the time whenever I travel through Agon. However, with a few tweaks by AV this could be vastly changed.


     

    If your going to try Darkfall join NEW asap as they will help you out with all of your questions aswell as group up with you to hunt or protect. The goodie bag is also a great addition to a starting character.

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