Here’s the story you’ve all been (not so patiently) waiting for.
First of all, we again want to thank the guys at Darkfall for taking the time to give Asp a special tour. We (all) are definitely looking forward to playing the hell out of your creation!
We still have not heard back from Asp since his initial visit. We at LoD all assume he’s already suffering from Darkfall withdrawls. So I went ahead and edited up his post, and Obi had it approved by the proper Darkfall PR. We hope you get as much excitement from Asp’s write-up as we did. When we hear back from him, we will definitely try to get more info, so stay tuned for a part II.
While you’re here, feel free to check out our history section. And, be sure to drop by our forums and tell us how much you all hate us. Here ya go…
Don’t have much time to write right now because I am in some internet cafe in Athens. Here’s a few words though.
The Darkfall guys were very cool. They were not at all what I expected. Most of them were big tall guys from Norway, and a lot of them do different martial arts. The offices are nice, and they have about 20 to 30 people developing. I got a glimpse of different things people were doing while going around the desks: coding, landscape design of what seemed to be human style cities, and other stuff. The game is very real, and developers are lead by awesome people.
I wish I was a little better prepared, so some of my questions must have seemed a little stupid. First we spoke about the early days of UO and a lot of the inspiration comes from there. We spoke about all major games since then and what I liked and didn’t like about them. It was great to realize that these guys think exactly like me! Finally someone is making a game after my own heart! I am just going to mention some features everyone probably knows already, but they were kind of new to me. First of all, you can kill anyone you want (or can). Every kill gets recorded along with some details about it. You can loot everything, and you can loot any corpse. Unlimited people can be looting the same corpse simultaneously. I think its worth saying again: You can PK anyone!. You can kill their mount while they are on it. You have freedom to pretty much do anything you want and if you are skilled enough get away with it. The justice (or retribution) is in the hands of the players.
There is a lot we talked about. Like for example small guilds vs, a zerg. The way combat works in this game, I truely believe skill would be the key and 20 well coordinated capable people can take on a hundred noobs. Casual players won’t be at much of a disadvantage if they have better skills. By skills, I mean knowing how to use the terrain, your weapons, in-game objects, etc. to your advantage. With no skill, someone can have the best developed character in the game and someone with better knowledge and ability can smoke them. You won’t be able to build cities anywhere but just at key locations, which means more conflict for the limited number of city spots. This will also mean less clutter of cities like we’ve seen in other games. A band of lawless thugs and PKers can live outside with no problem. Its a completely viable way of playing. Trading will be simple. You carry your stuff on you, but if you don’t have any protection you may end up a dead trader with a lot of loot for someone. We talked about a lot more stuff too which I will write about later. (EDIT: WTF are you Asp! We want more!!!)
I played the game (a stable version they had from about a year ago). I played an Orc (of course); The best made Orc I have played… ever. The inventory screen is exactly like UO. It brought back fond memories. You know how back then you would kill someone you loot all kinds of bags? (i.e. Some neatly arranged ones or just messy thrown together ones). It certainly adds more pleasure to the kill when you get to see the time and care someone put in arranging their stuff while you’re looting it. It definitely makes the kill a more personal thing.
So first, I ran around a bit near a town on the shores to get a feel for the controls. It was pretty easy. Then I tried out equipped different armor and weapons. The Orc looked friggin’ bad ass and battle ready! The armor and weapons looked kick ass on him. I tried putting on a longer ranged weapon- I think it was a halberd. Length matters! (EDIT: “That’s what she said!”… I had to do it for ‘The Office’ fans). You could reach farther, BUT, when you swing around you can hit your own people if you’re not careful. There is friendly collision so sometimes long weapons are good, or in other situations you might want to go with shields and short sword. There will definitely be work for battle leaders; it will be crucial to organize into squads or units, choose the weapons, locations and what to do. It is very realistic. It’ll be possible to do battles like in the movie “300”, and have small number of organized people kick ass and slaughter a large number of swarming noobs. As I mentioned, the game has friendly fire, so if uncoordinated groups will end up hitting their own guildmates or possibly even healing you.
Next they showed me some sweet magic effects (from year ago mind you, which they claim is even several times better now). The effects alone make the friggin’ spell feel like a powerful thing. The eye candy was great… The ground shakes, you burn! It’s just really impressive the way they have done it. It’s very real feeling so you feel you really want to get out of the way of a fireball or the burning ground around you.
So next, we tried out the horses, and they were easy to handle. The difference from any other game I’ve played is though that you can actually fight from them! You can do some tricks specialized for just horse fighting when attacking or defending which I won’t go into details (EDIT: Damn you Asp, we want details!). But get this, you can kill the mount while the guy is on it!.!.! which I did, and it felt good, Muahaha.
Then we went to business: straight one on one fighting. An Orc with a mace and shield vs. another race spell caster. Starting close to him I had the advantage. He couldn’t get off his spells on time with me getting him from the back and the side. It was a lot of fun because it was real time collision fighting. I was very impressed, and the way the controls are, fighting felt easy and intuitive. After a few hits with my mace he was dead… And I had all his stuff! My first kill in DF.
Next we tried fighting from a ship. The ships are incredible, especially if you are into the whole pirate thing. We were on a smaller eight-gun ship, but they said the largest is huge with 50-guns! You can shoot from each canon. Here’s what’s great… The canon can be destroyed, the ship can be sunk, you can board the ship and kill, or you can just make your way to the captain who steers it and turn the guns away from your ship. You can bombard buildings or even people on the shore from the ship. It felt like I could do anything I wanted to do… in very nice looking graphics. Try to imagine large ship sinking, and everyone is scrambling from the lower levels trying to get up onto the upper decks through the small doorways or stairs to avoid drowning with the ship! This is going to be fun guys.
We talked about the economy. The best items will be crafted by people, and items can wear out or be looted. Player economy looks like is going to work pretty much like real economy with supply and demand but I won’t go into details (Edit: !!!).
I have to go, but just to finish up quickly… The game is awesome. I was pessimistic but to be honest no matter how much anyone complains about release date they will buy this game as soon as it comes out and will be the best game ever released. I do believe the release will be sometime next year. I spoke with them about beta phases and schedule, but I promised not to reveal information about dates, but I will say beta shouldn’t be too long. Anyways, thanks guys for helping set this up. I got a couple Darkfall t-shirts I will ship to you that helped. It’s a great game coming not too long from now, and now I know for sure that it is going to be completely awesome.