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Yes full loot blah blah. In Skyrim you always have more armor than you know what to do with. In Skyrim you end up leaving armor on corpses constantly just because it's not worth the bag weight to carry it away. Darkfall too!
Check out these similarities:
Full loot: Every time you kill something, you can loot it's entire bag, not just a coin or something stupid like that. Sure you end up leaving a lot of stuff on corpses, but you did in Skyrim too right?
Open world, with a couple instances.
Free Progression: Stay with me, in Darkfall, instead of earning levels, you earn "Prowess Points" some achievements (kill 160 of this type of mob (humanoid etc), craft an entire cloth set, ETC) give a nice batch of prowess points, most beginner monsters give 1 or 2 points, harder monsters give more and more and more. - Instead of leveling up, you spend your on skills. You can put them into a harvesting skill, a weapon skill, a magic spell, your STRENGTH or INTELLIGENCE. As you level up a skill with prowess points, the next level of the skill slowly increases in cost, not steeply, but consistently. - Not a grinder? No big deal, run around and do things you want to do, trivial tasks give small amounts of prowess too. Using harvesting skills, crafting skills, fishing, boating, all give prowess.
Any Gear Any Time: If I'm a magic user, sure I can put on plate armor, I can even chase you around with a huge battle axe. I'll be somewhat limited in my performance unless I've put some points into STR and Polearms, but I could chase you with it none-the-less. Maybe even kill you. I could also pull out my Staff and start casting spells on you, the armor being worn has impacts on the weapon / spell damage. Wearing cloth armor with a 2 hander is viable, you do a lot more damage that way, but you also sacrifice your defenses - In melee range :X
Limited health pools: Players don't have 1920305 HP. I think the maximum you can have with all the available skills being combined that help HP is about 450. The game is more about learning to parry, block, and evade, than how to run in the middle of a fight and run back out when you get to 80%. If you run into the front of a fight, you're probably going to die, you only need to hope you get resurrected before someone gets brave enough to also come to the front and try to loot you.
Endless progression: I think Skyrim stopped at level 80 something because that was the level that you had 100 in everything? That's how Darkfall is, except without the levels. You could ultimately put 100 in every skill, every STAT, every craft, you can be 100 at everything. It would be an incredibly long journey to accomplish, but it is possible. You would not be almighty from this either, if you did something foolish, you'd die just like the rest of us.
"I'm going to lose everything when I die!!!"
The rule of thumb in Darkfall is to not leave town with anything that you're not willing to lose. This doesn't mean you can't wear your best armor, it just means don't wear your best armor unless you've already got a back-up set in case you lose it.
You have a bank, it has 'seemingly unlimited' capacity. Not truly unlimited, but for all intensive purposes, you can put as much crap as you want in it.
To elaborate, all items are craftable in this game. I have 5 sets of my cloth armor that I am currently wearing, along with 2 sets of 'elegant' cloth armor that is substantially more expensive because it requires more mats to craft. I don't go out alone wearing my elegant, I go out with my clan wearing it because I know if I get killed there's a strong chance I can be revived before I get ganked. I've lost a set of my elegant cloth before, and a Selentine Staff that I have 3 more of in the bank. I did not have a strong emotional reaction to the loss because I know I simply have / can create more.
There's a lot better crafted weapons, and a lot better crafted armor than the stuff I'm using, but I'm not willing to lose it, so I'm not willing to invest in it. The differences in what people are willing to lose in this game varies greatly from one player to the next. Some of the best items I own came from corpses I looted on the battlefield. Best by my standards.
GEAR DOESN'T MAKE or BREAK THE GAME. Being naked is bad, but wearing a poor set of plate armor compared to an expensive set is appropriately nerfing. You can make an informed decision about if you want to go to this giant castle siege with your best or your worst gear.
GANKFEST!!! - Kind of. I've been killed by people I had no chance against in combat, while minding my own business. I'd say a good 80% of people that have killed me appreciated my willingness to try to fight back and revived me instead of picking through my worthless gear. I've also been looted a couple of times, usually because I was farming a highly contested mob that drops an expensive crafting material regularly. I returned to my corpse and found it only looted of the material and managed to recover the rest of my gear.
The games are a lot more similar than I can sit here and explain. As a Skyrim fan, I abandoned ESO after several hours of guided questing. Skyrim had a lot of quests, but it was never the primary focus of the entire game, it was the focus of the story, but not of the game. - In MMorrowind I never even realized there was a quest until I had hundreds of hours in.
I avoided playing Darkfall because of all the bitterness about it I had seen at it's prolonged and delayed release. I really am frustrated I hadn't tried it sooner. It's got the freedom of progression only found in that terrible MMO called runescape. However it pulls it together with the graphics of a modern MMO.
PVP on Land & Sea, you can actually chop trees, refine wood and other materials. Build parts, create a siege weapon, or create a battle ship complete with cannons. You can make a fishing boat and take it out on the ocean and catch fish. You can cook the fish. If you're careless: someone can board your ship, murder you, and steal it and all it's cargo.
When you want to siege a castle, a siege stone is laid, all players are given 22 hours notice of the siege. This gives the opportunity for players to pick sides, or to decide to avoid the area. Once the siege has been won, the victorious alliance now controls the castle / town, vendors, crafting stations, and bank (common to other banks).
The gates of a town can only be opened by someone in the alliance, and the vendors / crafting stations are only usable to them. That doesn't stop a brave soul from finding a way to gain access to the city either by blasting himself over a wall, or finding a way to climb in. - He will probably get killed unless he's amazing though.
Come give the game a try if you were disappointed with Skyrim, it might not be for you, but you're only out the $15 sub fee if it isn't. The game has no box price just the sub fee, find it on Steam.