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I played DF1 for a bit, and there were some major issues that turned me off. I will also offer my solutions to said issues and reference how other games handled similar problems. I don't post often, but from my join date, you can see I've been around for a while, so I have some experience in forming these opinions(I browsed long before I joined as well).
-People associate no fast travel with "hardcore" somehow. This is simply not true. UO did travel in a pvp game right. You could move around the world quick via rune books, moon gates, and player portals. You had buc's den for murderers and lots of cities for blues. In DF, I found myself hitting auto run and checking FB for 20 minutes. I want to play a game. Not run for 20 minutes, or swim for 30, to play a game. Traveling shouldn't be as easy as GW2, but moongates and recall runes or something similar would be a huge improvement. DF had some of this, but it was far from accessible by everyone.
2) NBA style crack pvp:
-Let me explain. Most pvp encounters in DF seemed to devolve into some jumping and spinning fest that looked similar to how I imagine creating dub step would look(insert picture of cerebral palsy kid smashing forehead on keyboard). In a game that advertises "skill based pvp" I was very dissapointed. Seeing 2 kids bunny hop in circles fighting 1v1 was just... ugh. When I imagine skill my first thought goes to CS 1.6 or UO. CS involved quicking thinking, teamwork, and reflexes. UO much the same, but more personal strategy. I would love to see DF be more about thinking than spamming... any game where bunny hopping is a viable strategy I'm unable to take seriously.
3) PvE choices
-My fondest memories of UO were gathering a group of friends, a pack horse, and tackling a dungeon. Going solo was extremely dangerous with pvpers, but a successful dungeon run was very profitable. Everytime I logged onto DF I was presented with the option of grouping up and zerg pvping, grouping up and zerg pvping, grouping up and zerg pvping, solo pvping and dying from a zerg group, or exploiting mob spawns. There was nothing driving me or pushing me to want to explore and dungeon crawl. One of the greatest aspects of PvP is dungeon fights, and knowing the stakes are so much higher when you are fighting over hours worth of loot.
Am I the only one who feels this way? I love the concept of DF, and I want to support the devs. The UI and bugs didn't bother me in the least bit. Graphics don't mean anything to me. The devs build a great playground equipped with a sandbox, but forgot to give us the tools to dig in the sand with. The game just felt too much like a giant FFA, and not a world.
Heaven and Hell is debatable - Karma is not.