Friday, April 1, 2011

31st Patch thoughts

A new patch has arrived and it has brought some changes, most are good and some are bad. The new fishing nets for ships are cool but the amount of loot you receive for them is just too low, classic Av style. I mean what's the point in giving a player who has managed to build a boat a damn R0 bow? It doesn't make any sense! I'm pretty sure, Av will increase it soon enough because they always do it like that. I guess they're cautious and that's a good thing but yesterday, when I looked at the fishing box and saw the Short Bow I didn't know what to do, cry or laugh.
The most controversial change is the way you go from red to blue. Now, you need to spend 1k per point and wait a day for every two points. So, if you're -60 alignment, you'll have to spend 60k over a month to get your alignment to 0. This harsh way to go back to blue magnifies the holes in the alignment system (Sea Towers, sieges with roamers or mercenaries, a blue and a red attacking you, etc...).
In a month or so, if you see a clanned blue player he is either a) someone who has not PvPed since patch (Booooh), b)someone who goes through the Chaos Church thingy (good for him) or c)someone who does acrobatics not to deliver the final blow to any blues neither ganks any blues (ergo, a bad partner for a fight("I'm dead. Oh, wait I've just killed this guy. Noone has ganked him?" "Oops, sorry, he was an ork")).
This system needs many tweaks still and I hope Av realizes that.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


In yesterday's Sea Tower Sun did it again. They used once more the exploit of spawning a ship in front of the enemy's ship (our ship in this particular case) to make it stop so they could board it. What bothers me the most is how so many people  thinks this is not an exploit when the definition is pretty clear: "An exploit, in video games, is the use of a bug or design flaw by a player to their advantage in a manner not intended by the game's designers."
First of all, IMO, this will remain an exploit until Aventurine says otherwise and it might happen, but until then, I think it's pretty obvious that Aventurine did not intend naval combat to be like that.
Surprisingly, some Sun players have said that Darkfall has many exploits and lots of players uses them. Well, I don't but in any case, this excuse sounds to me like they know it is an exploit but don't care so much.
The second excuse I've been reading a lot is that Naval Warfare is boring, chasing a ship and all but then I wonder why do they come to the Sea Tower at all. I don't find Naval Warfare boring at all and yesterday, I was looking forward to it
The worst of it all hasn't arrived yet though. Aventurine won't fix this in time and won't do anything to prevent this exploit. Then, everyone will start using it because if they don't, they're in disadvantage. Unfortunately, not everybody can spawn ships left and right, so Naval Warfare will be used less and less.
I also find it surprising how few Sun have spoken to say that they don't like this tactic. Is winnig that sweet?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hyperion is back!

As announced in this thread, Hyperion and King Mannus are back to Agon! I gotta say I'm pretty excited about it and it looks like the rest of the server is aswell. Mostly, this is a change of pace for me. I kinda needed it since my last weeks in Darkfall had been pretty dull. I was tired of soloing the same spawns and so, now i got new spawns and more chances to group up. This also means new objectives for the clan and a new status quo. Basicly, it's new stuff, what I needed the most while I wait for Darkfall Arena.
The only thing that has me worried about this is performance. Last siege (yeah, I know, no report) was kinda playable and we'll be more people for next sieges or events. I can only pray Aventurine improves it in Arena as they've been saying or earlier, even better.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Not what I'd like, again.

Yesterday, there was a new GM event in Agon. The first part of it involved some Flag Hunting and there were hints to deduce the location of each flag. That part was not a huge success, probably because there were few Flags in a big world with a lot of players and, probably too, because you only needed to claim them, not defend them or guard them, just take them and then go back to safety. The second part of the event happened in the center, below the great fortress. I was curious, so I took a scrub gear bag and I went there. GMs had spawned three GM controlled Demons but, of course, as soon as I got there, two other players, even more scrubby than me, killed me while the GM Demons were trying to hit them with fireballs, unsuccesfully. Apparently, later on, some organized groups arrived and there was a hell of a PvP session while the Demons ate popcorn.
This time around, I wasn't expecting it but I'd like to see, from time to time, enemies putting everything aside to fight the greater evil. I hope Av wasn't expecting the players to team up against the mobs because that would mean they don't understand the current status with Agon and I want to believe they do.
I still think that events are a great way to create a narrative for Darkfall and I'll keep my eye on them to see if they improve, change or adapt. Let's hope they do!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Comment on the 25th Feb. Activity Report

As usual, last activity report is bitter-sweet. You'll see there's a lot of sweetness in it but there's also many bitter things. Let's get going.
Aventurine keeps updating and improving Agon's geography and apparently, they're nearly done for real now but I'd expect to see that in the upcoming game-changing expansion and not one day before. For me, Agon's already quite pretty but "the redistribution of everything" is a key change. Right now, Yssam and Cairn are too good while Niffleheim is kinda bad. That could also mean a regionalization of resources but we shouldn't take that for granted. Tasos keeps expanding on new models, mobs, weapons and props that we've been hearing about for quite a long time. More of everything is good, there's no discussion about it but I'm more concerned on the current systems than in the supposed lack of variety in armor, weapons and mobs out there.
The alignment changes they've announced seem very cool but it looks like it won't be enough. Aventurine has said nothing about defending your clan city without going red, healing reds and stuff like that. We can just hope Aventurine will make alignment a meaningful feature.
The new GUI is a very awaited improvement and everyones is just praying so Av can improve its performance. The new tools (political map and vendor information) are also cool. BUT, no news on chat bubbles. I want to be able to cry for mercy or swear on someone's grave or just ask for some quiet conversation. Mmmm well.
Probably, the bit that has made every player happy is the fix to the player lag. Noone thought Aventurine could fix that so, if they truly do, 10 points for them!
Tasos also speaks of a new light system that looks very good even in low settings. Does that mean compulsory shadows for everyone? If that doesn't mean shitty performance, it's also great news. I really really want to sneak up from the shadows.
Besides a very vague statement about the conquest system and a mention to Quest Rewrite, there's only the new armour system to comment. There's been a lot of discussion in Forum's around what is this system going to bring to the table but nobody really knows yet. I'm not very excited about it but I guess we need to wait for more information.
The bitter part is the lack of updates or even mentions about the Prestige Classes. Have they been completely scrapped? Are they coming? Not a word since months ago. I'm hoping for a lot from those PC and well, I know I'm not the only one. A word about it would be nice, Av.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Conversations out of Forumfall

Since I was really curious about Sun's opinion on their own size but couldn't really create a thread on Forumfall because trolls and flamers siege and destroy any interesting thread, I decided to pm Frank Sinatra himself and ask him. I've edited just very little pieces to make it more readable.

Hello Frank!
I got a question that I think is shared by a good share of this community and I believe it hasn't been asnwered due to the amount of trolling and flaming this forum has. So, even if I'd like for everyone to share his opinion in a correct way, I can't really expect that so I've decided to ask you.
It looks pretty obvious that the current negative opinon on Sun comes from the size your clan+alliance has obtained. Right now, the population of EU1 isn't willing to ally up to confront you, I'm pretty sure that the reason behind it is that it doesn't really affect their actual gameplay time, maybe just a little, some sea towers and being unable to siege you without hiring. So, what are your thoughts on this?

You are welcome to relay this, I'm all for getting the chance to say anything without getting attacked . My answer to your question is that I beleive that most players need a vent for their frustrations. I kinda look at it like Aventurine allways gets blamed for not putting more sand in the box, and Sun allways gets blamed for how we play with the sand there is. So i dont really think its personal hate, but more a outlet for frustrations. Its quite insane really because Darkfall has massive flaws, but its still the best mmo ive ever played which says a lot. I think the main frustration is that this game is so full of potential, but AV simply seems to small a company to fullfill this potential, and the almost provocating slow speed that new stuff is implemented just makes it a tough love.
As for the other part of your question regarding that it doesnt really affect other players gameplay then I think you are partly right.  I agree that it's a point that people don't really gang up on us because we dont really hurt their gameplay except in few circumstances like some seatowers.
However someone always wins the seatowers, some win the diceroll (I really think the seatower loot should be placed in the capping ships strongbox to be sailed home) and some win the battles. Sometimes its us and we get massive blame, and sometimes its others and they get massive blame. The short truth is simply that those who win in a competetive game will allways get the blame.
I wrote that I only partly agreed, because I also firmly beleive that another point is essential here. Running a large guild, or a big alliance is hard work - and the administrative tools needed for this is non existant.
Its really annoying that Av wants large battles but doesnt spend time on the organisation of these large groups.
The problem is that some of the things that would be helpfull to make organising large guilds and alliances easier are also sometimes anti sandbox, ill give some examples:
-Raidgroups where each groupleader is shown on the other groupmembers maps.
-Layered banking, make a sg bank a captain bank etc. Make sure that flowign income comes to the sg bank like for villages,workbench, seatower etc.
-Tax, implement a tax to be bound to a holding, that works just like the houses except instead of loosing your house the sgs can define what to do, for example get kicked from stone and kicked from the guild.
The tax part is MASSIVE work, and so easy to solve.
-City vendors, either just have then standnig with their wares or make a warehouse with the vendors in them.
-Make groupleaders be able to kick members of the group, so stupid that you have to remake the whole group if someone is afk.
-Have a looting chat channel, where you can see what is being looted and by who and when for the whole raid.
-Let allies travel for 1 portal shard.
-Make a alliance bank that sg's have access to.
-Make a alliance tax.
-Make payment schemes possible for city protections
-Make a auction house
-make some guild achievements, for example slaying a major mob like dragons and demons will give a Guildwide buff that lasts until serverdown.
-Let raidleaders set waypoints for the whole raid in another colour than the group waypoint
-Let the beacon spell have its effect where it hits and not only if it hits a player.
-Ingame parsing of node hits on holdings
-Let the city vendors sell bags with items in it for a set price. So the alliance crafters can make full sets and sell them instead of having to buy a item at a time.
And i guess i could go on.
So to sum up, I believe people always need someone to blame and for the moment thats us because we are the strongest. In 6 months its probably someone else and thats just how it goes. As for having more larger groups, i simply think that the main deterent is that its so much work due to a severe lack of tools for organising bigger guilds and alliances, and the above points would help that part a lot. The only reason we pull it off is that we have a big group of leaders in Sun, and we are good a dividing tasks and giving each other room to take a breather when we need a break.

I agree with what you say and I'd also like to see some of the tools you mentioned (I think most of them aren't that anti-sandboxy) in this great game. I also understand that some players have chosen you to vent their frustrations because you are the most powerful force in EU1 but part of that strength comes from your sheer numbers.
What I meant to ask was if you would consider downsizing so EU1 Political Power Struggle is more balanced or to reduce that negative trend towards Sun. Maybe you'll stay like this until server population increases and balances the PPS or until enough people ally up to fight you?

We cant downsize since downsizing means throwing friends out of a guild. We are a old guild who plays several games and we obviously cant throw memebrs out due to suddenly being too many because the other clans lost people. All we can do is to disband the alliance but it wont change much since vogue isn't having that many actives. (5 at the last seatower).
We field 50-60 Suns currently in sieges, and if thats the largest force in the game, then the problem isn't us but the rest of the guilds. My point in the former post was to make it easier to handle bigger alliances or guilds, and then im sure you would see more of those.
Everyone in our guild has a Alt in Sun and some has several - you can safely dovide our numbers by 2 and we are simply not that big in my oppinion. Even if we had 80 or 100 players i dont see that as a problem since someone has to be the strongest, and compared to US1 thats not even remotely high numbers.
I might add that you are right that we would love a strong enemy. Even though people dont belive it then we would be perfectly happy living in a hamlet or a chaos city if it was because there simply were stronger forces than ours, and while we do give quite a bit away, we are not really here to be nice to anyone or to be saviours of anything.

Thanx for the answers Frank!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Toad's Tongue: Sun Overshining

Zagenda has one holding left but noone knows when or if Sun is going to siege it from them any time soon. In the meantime, the amount of hatred towards Sun seems to be increasing. Why? Well, last night they did pull a very nice tactic in the Sea Tower but the problem is not the tactic itself but the fact that with their numbers is really hard to win them. Currently, Sun has good players with really good gear plus more people than any other clan. Even more so, if any clan plans to siege a Sun holding they better have a lot of gold to hire mercs because it won't probably work any other way.
Sun members are probably enjoying this whole situation because they are winning their combats (winning is always fun even if you do close to nothing) and all this rage towards them is probably making them a closer bunch. The rest of the server is also enjoying theirselves because this game is so great but it's also a MMORPG and a lot of people doesn't like the presence of such a force that noone can take by himself.
So, what can we expect from the future? Well, Sun might downsize a bit to decrease the hate that is currently building up or enough people will decide that's it, create an even bigger alliance to take them down. If neither of this happen, well, Sun will remain the USA clan in Agon for a long time.