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Before playing, like most of us I watched many Youtubes of DFUW. Several were even 1080p. I'll admit the game looked ugly but I'm in it for gameplay so I purchased it anyway.
What I got to my surprise is the best looking mmo I had ever played !
Years ago, Vanguard was known for its amazing graphics ( for it's time ). It had Shinny sparkling leafs on its trees and a far long draw distance. That was it, nothing else. Characters were plastic, shore lines looked like they were made with a straight edge ruler, Rocks that seemed to float above the ground and buildings that were not even square. Just a 3D mess like EQ2.
Since then every mmo that preceded looked better but something was wrong anyway. Now, like most of us this is where personal preference comes in. You know, you just can't put your finger on the problem but something irritates us in some way.
In my personal opinion, LOTRO for it's day and now GuildWars 2 are some of the better ones. However their is something about GuildWars 2 that still pisses me off. Not sure what, maybe a glow around my screen that's hard to explain. I'm just not sure.
Now about Darkfall UW :
It's better than I expected, I normally done even care. BUT it's has the best graphics of any mmo I had played.
-Close up viewing graphics
-Open seamless world
World graphics have beautiful sparkling trees and bushes, and logs to hide behind for PvP. PvE encampments that are as perfect from a distance and better as you approach them. And best of all every one is build completely different making exploring a great experience. At times I would find myself deep in a valley looking for a path to get myself out of a venerable jagged cliff sided area only to find myself in a lush forest area with lots of cover a few minutes later.
The game has a night and day cycle with a beautiful Sun that cast perfect shadows and stars and planets at night.
Close up, like Skyrim you can pan down and look at an apple on a table and it would really look like an apple.
Draw distance is the best ever. Much better than Vanguard had ever done. I could spot players from a mile away. This is good and bad as they can see me too.
Animation, at times pve mobs would look at you with a freaky look before attacking. Kind of scary.
I'll end with this :
The world is designed to hide at times and sneak up on others too. Sound of mounts, running on hard ground and harvesting could easly give you away, so you have to be carefull.
My first week I had to make it across the map to get close to my clans capitol city. On TS voice chat my guild was listening in on my adventure to make it across with such low prowess. I was told to walk slow and hide when needed. Not taking this advice I never realized how much of a target I was and how stealth I could have been. Sure enuff, I seen two riders on mounts making it across a ridge quite far away. I was in the open. Yep, one spotted me from a mile away and without mercy ganked me. My guild was disappointed as they were cheering me on in my journey only for it to fail.
Twice on my next try I had an encounter. First rule, I walked not to make noise, second I hid in my environment. One occasion I circled around a large rock as a passer by went right pass me and the second time after being spotted I put myself in a bush and did not move, he was less than 10 feet away and could not see me. He sensed that I was still in the area and spent five minutes searching until he gave up.........Anyway I made my destination and it took over an hour. It may not sound like much but this was an adventure if you were there !.....
No Gold, no XP, but a compleated goal....something to remember. THIS TYPE OF STUFF MAKES THIS GAME A REAL MMO !