Many of you probably saw my “hands-on with Darkfall” preview/review on Massively.com, which attempted to sum up my journey with the game, including both the positive and negative aspects of the upcoming PvP-centric MMO.
While I tried to get everything I could into that article, I really felt that my main opinion of the game was too harsh for mainstream media. And it’s not because I don’t like PvP (I enjoy it very much) or because I’m a carebear (I made 3 characters, one ended up being an outlaw just so I could try the outlaw system) but because the game just ends up getting dull.
People talk about how “once you get into PvP with this game, it never gets dull.” Well, um, yes it does. It gets dull really quickly. When you have to run 10 minutes to find someone, kill them, enjoy the kill, and then run another 10 minutes to find another person, there’s a problem with that.
When fights boil down to who can run in the most awkward patterns and click the mouse button the fastest… yes, there’s a problem with that.
The problem is that there is nothing to do in this game BESIDES PvP. Sure, PvP can be fun, and I know that. I killed a few people, got revenge on a few murderers, and I really did enjoy the taste I got of the PvP. But a game cannot solely be about PvP, otherwise it will quickly become predictable.
Cities are one of Darkfall’s attempts to make PvP unpredictable, and it was a good idea at the time. Being able to go out and capture a city, build it up, and then defend it is a neat idea. But here’s the part where it all falls apart — why should I build the city?
Owning a city, as I said, gives no tangible benefits past a new spawn point and being able to PK anyone in your city and not get caught by guards (because you own the guards). These aren’t like EVE’s starbases, which can be upgraded to produce new products, or used to mine moons for really rare components. They can’t be used to levy taxes or control townspeople like Lineage II. They don’t open access to dungeons like Atlantica Online.
Darkfall’s cities are boring, mundane, pieces of stone that make you a gigantic target. Going to the trouble of building one is just too much trouble for so little gain.
Oh, and when I talk about quests and the poor questing system of Darkfall, I’m not trying to be a damn carebear and relegate myself to controlled storylines. I’m trying to find reward in going out and exploring the world. I’m trying to give people that incentive to go out and risk things, because that provides LOADS more opportunity for PvP. They create places where you know players will be, and where you know you can attack to gain new loot and gear. PvPers, don’t call me a carebear when I’m looking out for your style of gameplay.
Right now, running around in the wilderness is exactly that — running around the wilderness. It’s boring unless you get into PvP, and PvP can’t stay exciting and fresh forever when you get sent so far away or have the trouble of finding someone to thrash. Battles will quickly end, opponents will quickly find themselves humiliated and leave because they don’t want to spend hours of their time attempting to work back to where they once were, and then you’ll be standing alone, the king of nothing and opponent to no one.
These aren’t unfixable problems. Patch in a few things, take a look at spawn times and estimated run times, and you can even things out. But until that happens… Darkfall can surmised in a few sentences.
Kill friend. Grab stuff. Repeat until you get bored and go play Team Fortress 2.
Don’t bitch and say I’m wrong. Once you play the game for too long, you’ll know it.