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Whelp I've been doin the DF dance since the steam sale. I wanted to take a minute to do a bit O' the first impressions.
First of I was greatly disappointed by what they did to the races. I really enjoyed the diversity and distinct design difference of the races in DF. DFUW nuked that hard. Now we has 1 body type with a few skins. Not thrilling but whatevs.
The UI, the polish, the pretty is all much much better than original DF. Original DF UI drove me crazy. This one seems a bit overdone with so many little icons, and the check box yes thing seems odd but over ll it's a huge improvement. I like the left to right move wheel toggle, and I love the mouse wheel weapon select.
The class and leveling system is still a bit confuzzling to me. I miss the prior system of "use it to level it". I'm terribly worried that I will put points where they shouldn't go and end up ruining my character since (as far as I know) we have no respec ability? Normally I pre-game a new MMO hard, but this time I wanted to jump in blind and feel it out. I went skrim because it sounded like it had some good movement. The tank sounded slow? The casters sounded too papery? Yes? No? Someone wanna volunteer to do a short class breakdown and corresponding point allocation reply for me? Yeah, that'd be great...
I digg the tutorial. It served it's purpose but it wasn't until I got out and started killing stuff that I got that good old Darkfall feeling again. The world still felt very much like DF. Every MMO needs a world constructed like DF. It just feels real, like it has weight, like it was created not copy pasted. It's so nice playing a game where foliage is legit. It has forests, real forest feeling forests! You have no idea how much I despise the lack of forestry in MMOs. It's so nice NOT to be able to see across a "zone". It's so nice to feel small again. It's so nice to feel a real sense of adventure while out looking for random chests (I love me some random chest hunting).
As for it being empty or dead or not for crafters, I saw lots of people in the beginning zones, I'd say literally half of them were harvesting or crafting. When I ventured out into the wilds I saw less people (as it should be) but still ran into enough to be ganked once (it was my fault). Most players seem eager to guide and excited to have a new DF convert. Some of the less mature annoy but those guys are in every MMO and I quickly filled up a block list just based off of global chat.
I know my perspective will change greatly as I begin to understand the game more. Right now my universe is the starter area, goblins (I love killin those guys), and some occasional chaos chest searching. Most players haven't tried to kill me other than when I was in the middle of nowhere and naked like a fool. So far I'm really enjoying my return to the DF universe (the loot/harvesting system alone makes it worth trying).