Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter's holydays.

I only write to announce a hiatus in this blog of mine. I'm not really keen on Christmas so every year I try to run away when this time of year comes. I guess I'll be back around 8th of January or so. In the meantime, enjoy playing Darkfall and start gathering money for the forthcoming Help Erruk Meditate Foundation. ¡Have fun!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Activity rising!

I think nobody saw that one coming. In the latest Activity Report by Tasos, many awaited changes have been already announced and some of it may come today in a new patch. Unfortunately, there's no Patch Notes yet but looking into the Report, it's easy to get some clues, so let's carry on with it.
The AR starts with massive area redesings and it seems Human lands are already done. It's nice to know that worldbuilders are still working to improve the beautiful Agon but in my opinion, it's already a great world. The bit that caught my attention is this: "clan city layouts are being scrutinized at the moment". Does this mean clan city changes, possibly somethin more dynamic or player chosen? That would be nice...
Tasos also explains some incoming additions to Meditation like more skills and, wait for it, attributes. Obviously, Tasos is not feeling the love with Meditation but hopefully, with time and few tweaks, people will start to see what do they have under their noses.
As far as the newbie experience goes, we’re going to help that along quite a bit with a total approach to character progression, an example of some of the actions we’ll be taking is increasing drop rate and frequency of attribute consumables and spell books.
I can just hope I'm lucky enough. But I know I'm not.
We got to see a demonstration of the new political map. We’ve talked about this before but we didn’t mention that the map will also mark locations of player vendors with details on what they sell.
That is a very nice addition and it will make player vendors something really meaningful. I bet Vendor Booth prices are rising as we spe... as you read and I write. Tasos can't say nothing really interesting about the new GUI yet and by now, I'm so used to the current one that I don't need many changes.
The designers are undertaking the massive task of  redesigning the newbie experience and working on a total monster classification, redistribution and localization based on the lore. This is part of an overall strategy of localizing resources.
Well, well, this is a big one. It seems like Darkfall is going the way of the regionalization but maybe they just want the resources to be localized so people need to travel more and trade more. Mob redistribution is very likely a first step and I'm eager to see where is this going.
There are alignment system changes coming as we’ve mentioned before. These are a complete approach on improving the alignment system and solving certain inherent issues surrounding it like for example a  new approach to improving alignment,  making it more meaningful with changes such as locking reds out of alliance, racial, and trade channels, adding a chaos chat open to everyone.
I certainly hope those alignment fixer are not reduced to simply being locked out of several chat tabs. Any player getting zapped by player city towers should become grey for every player in that clan so they can defend their cities without losing alignment. Or something.
There are also upcoming changes to sieging and PvP,  like addressing one man clans declaring war on everyone, the one siege limit against one clan, self sieging etc. Some of these fixes are coming in the next patches. There are more changes to improve PvP and massive battles like for example changes to spells like confusion, pungent mist and eye-rot going in tomorrow’s patch.
I believe those changes are the crown's jewels right now. "The one sige limit against one clan" and other sieging system tweaks are a very demanded feature that can change the political status of Agon. A little nerf to all those blinding spells are also great news, not only because they were a bit OP but because I don't have them yet! Jajajajajaja! Well, I was going to buy Confusion in a couple of days.
After a few ship-related changes (protection from swimmers, hell yes) and the announcement of today's patch, the last activity report of 2010 ends. Now, he can only wait for the patch notes and the servers to go online. And tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Toad's Tongue: War, war never changes...

In case somebody wonders, yes, I'm playing Fallout: New Vegas...
Today's Toad's Tongue is about the war the alliance The Chicken's Club is waging on Zagenda. Right now, Urme is not a very secure source of information since many people has been trolling it. The number of threads about it is just ridiculous so I'm not gonna name them all, you just go here and most of the threads are or end up being about it.
It's also hard to tell who's in the attacking alliance and who's not since many accusations are surging in Forumfall but I believe the main clans, the ones who started it are I Know My Chickens and Get Good. Members of this two clans and some others seem to dislike Zagenda for the siege roaming they've been doing in the past, general attitude of the clan and some personal issues with Foggen (aka Xzyzz zyXz), Supreme General of zZzZz and his way to deal with stuff. TCC is much bigger than Zagenda but less powerful character and gear-wise.
The state of the war changes depending on who you're asking but I believe Zagenda has lost a couple of holdings or so. Right now, both sides are just selfsieging; preparing for the next phase I guess. In any case, it seems this stuff is gonna last quite a bit and might bring some consecuences to both sides so, I'll try to keep an eye on it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Slaying the Demon

Yesterday, we Luxers gathered in Andruk with a single idea in mind: Killing the Demon. It has been said that the Demon is a very strong monster so 2 full groups rode to The Pall, the central dark area in Agon where the worst monsters wait for their prey. The Demon is located in a big "arena" on top of long spiral in the very center of Agon. We waited there for a while, fearing it had already been killed but finally it spawned.
The fight was a lot of fun and I even died once before I understood the mechanics behind the Demon. The best move the Demon has is the AOE it unleashes, it's amazing! Very big and powerful AOE. Apart from the that and its huge HP, the Demon is quite easy to kill once you know how to do it. After some time shooting lighting arrows at him, we finally took him down and received the Demon Key.
After getting lost a couple of times in the Central Dungeon, we finally found the Demon Chest and were able to open it but unfortunately, the gold gained was nothing special. Aventurine has created some very nice Mob encounters with the Ice Dragon and the Demon but now, the reward needs to be upped a bit. All in all, interesting and funny stuff. Also, the way Hooded Ones die is awesome!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Meditation thoughts

Well, after reading stuff like this I can say without a doubt that the new Meditation skill is a ver interesting addition to the game. It could surely be a little bit faster, cheaper and include the intensifies in one way or another (I'm pretty sure those fixes are coming while we speak) but the system works as intended. The Meditation skill is a very nice way to avoid the boring and useless grind. You will still need to level the spells but at least you won't be spending a lot of time skilling useless and unwanted spells to get those you want. Also, it's aimed at noobs and that's why vets or forumwarriors are complaining so much.
Despite that, the real issue with Meditation is not the system itself but the imposibility to compete with macroing in terms of gain and efficency. The problem is that macroing is ingame gameplay and offline skilling can never be as good as ingame skilling. Macroing is the true pain in the ass.
Despite an idea I have (diminishing experience returns over time when doing the same stuff), I realize that eliminating macroing is a very hard task to accomplish and so, reducing the Gap between vets and noobs might be the only way to make it something not really needed, and even though that, I'm sure some people would still macro.
Meditation works good and I only hope the tweak it a bit and add the intensifies and some other skills. It's actually a nice step to reduce the gap but it's still too big if you ask me. I red somewhere that 20 NEW members couldn't take a vet down in NA and that's just stupid.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'd like to be a Tibetan Monk to meditate for free!

First of all, sorry for the last few days of inactvity. There has been a big change in my RL, a good one, and I've been readjusting my shit. I hope I'm back for real now despite having Fallout New Vegas screaming for some of my game time.
Anyway, today is a patch day and a very awaited one because it includes the new and shiny Meditation skill to skill your magic schools while online. First, at forums an awful lot of people is already QQing because they believe it's too expensive and because it doesn't skill the intensifies, stats and such. The problem is right now people only knows about the whole price for maxing out any school but they don't know how many points are spent every hour or how many points you need to skill from 49 to 50 for example. That's the information that really matters.
I believe this system has been created thinking about all those lengthy grinds using slow level and useless spells to get other spells. Now, after patch, you don't need to grind Beacon to get Telekinesis if you know what I mean. Of course, you'll have to use your newly acquired and useful spell to increase your stats and intensifies but you won't be using Beacon for that long. Instead of that you'll be able grind using the spells you want to use.
I've also started to use the Meditation skill and a fairly quick overview showed that 5000 points seem to last for 24 hours aprox and you need a month to skill an elemental school from 50 to 100 so right now it seems like gold farming is more important than ever but if you play regularly enoguh you should be able to gain more gold than points are spended.
Well, all in all, this post title still aplies and we'll have to wait until someone makes proper testing to know exactly how this Meditation skill truly works. Anyway, I expect Av to lower a bit the gold cost of Meditation pretty soon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Event comentary: Dead be comin...

Yesterday evening, there was a server event involving GM controlled mobs attacking three racial capitals. The result of it was somewhat dissapointing yet fun, let me explain. My problem, I think shared with my clanmates, is that I wanted the event to be what it could be in a typical fantasy story; every ork and mahirim putting aside their grudges or problems to combat the undead hordes. But, this is Darkfall and player freedom is one of its best features and so, any player can play the event as they see fit. Another problem in this kind of events is the alignment system combined with zap towers. If you put all these together its pretty obvious that the event was not going to unfold as I pictured it.
We players didn't have an ETA on the event so a group of Luxers waited in Flaming for a long time. In that time, players were slowly coming and although some of the were orange to us, clans at war, there were no fighting. It seemed it was going down as I imagined at that time (I'm pretty sure that's what tricked me). There was even a Samurai Pizza Cat there, a clan we've been fighting a lot these days, Deltus. But someone talked to him and some kind of truce was agreed. Aero Greenduda, a known griefer appeared there and tried to create havok but he was very soon taken care of.
Then some more members of SPC came to Flaming Skull and they did attacked us. Later I talked with one of them Invictus and they didn't know nothing about the truce with Deltus. Because of that, we really didn't react upon it, we were there for the event not to fight SPC and some of our members died in the chaos. Then each and evey player there jumped over the graves and completely looted them despite being from supposed friends for the event if you know what I mean. That should have shattered my illusions but they didn't.
Finally, we regrouped in a spot far from the growing amount of players gathering around the bank and waited for the mobs. When they did come, true chaos ensued. Players unwillingly hitting other players and getting zapped, GM controlled and strong mobs hitting everything, unclanned blues ganking downed players and wardecced players rezzing other wardecced players ( ;-) at Kaputtmacha ), Lux and SPC fighting each other around the Sun Exarch... it was very funny but not what I wanted nor expected. I finally died to Invictus the more active player in Luxers killing before and during the event, lost a PvE bag but later on, managed to ninja loot a Blue Tail Runner and a Mysterious Essence, a special object dropping from that particular mobs. I still got no clue what to do with that but I hope it's cool.
When the event was over, on my way back to Andruk, I sent a tell to Invictus out of curiosity and I'm glad I did. Invictus attacked us because he could do so without getting zapped, we're at war after all, and without Luxers around, his chances to get loot increased; a perfectly valid reason! Also, Invitcus said he thought that Aventurine was looking for exactly that kind of PvE-PvP chaos but I'm not completely sure about it. As I have previously said, Agon is a too agressive world and that's gonna make it hard for Devs to tell a coherent story. Obviously, the "Dead be coming" can now be translated into a nice story with great enemies fighting together undead hordes among strangers, backstabbing and nobility included but... I don't know, I guess I'll have to wrap my head around this kind of dark and mercyless world we play in and, from now on, acknowledge that in Agon nothing happens like in fairy tails o happy fantasy stories. I guess Agon is more like Westeros than Middle-Earth and Darkfall has more in common with A Song of Ice and Fire than it has with The Lord of the Rings.
All in all, it was fun and, most importantly, something very different to what we're used to in Darkfall so I hope Aventurine keeps it up and announce another event where Mysterious Essence holders become giant dragons to kill and destroy everything in their path :-P.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Darkfall blog is active

Like hell it is! These last few days there has been a lot of posts in Darkfall Blog. There has been a Ship post spotlighting the uniqueness of ships in Darkfall, a new comic from TinyTyke and a post about trading and how to get anything you need. Also, we got to see the new Arthain models for the whole family and I gotta say it's quite impressive, those Arthain human-dogs are really scary and another community feedback post with some nice information about coming changes like: one hander and shield being more useful, ship protection against swimmers and smaller treasure maps plus some long-awaited changes like die from fall damage being discussed. All in all, very interesting reading for Darkfall players.
Also, in the Darkfall Blog has appeared some vague information of a new server event that could be part of something bigger. Dead be comin... is the "title" for the event that is supposed to happen today. I'll try to be there and report whatever happens. It might be very good fun!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The grinding need.

From time to time, I feel the need to grind something. It might be my magic, which still has a lot to go, or some crafting to be able to make my own stuff. Grinding magic is very much a serious need because I won't feel completed until I can bubble, blind and stormblast away as nearly everybody else can do. On the other hand, the crafting grind is not really a need. In my situation, with Lux Arcana Trading System and lots of friendly clannies to help me out, I only need to farm gold so I can buy whatever I need. Despite that, sometimes I feel the urge to grind Weaponsmithing, Bowyer, Alchemy or Armorsmithing so I don't need to bother Clan Merchants with all the stuff a player needs to go PvE or PvP. Also, if you can use everything to get from mobs and chests to craft your own stuff, you won't spend so much money in buying it but that's not the reason behind my urges. The reason is that I can and that I need the final crafted object, whatever it is. This two realitites makes me want to be able to do it. It's that simple. The Skill System in Darkfall promotes grinding or at least, that's how I feel about it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'll fight unitl I win... or run.

Keegar, fellow clanmate, complained the other day about how every fight ends up being a persecution and at least, he's able to run to and from someone. In Agon, a lot of people and most of the fighters have several bunnyhoping spells and they use it. The good chance to escape they provide has changed the classic: Victory or death to something less epic like Victory or Escape. Unfortunately for the less developed characters out there, me being one, when there's no chance of victory there's no chance of escape either so we still fight to the end. The ability to escape should be in Darkfall no doubt, my rant, as other times before, is about the amount of escaping spells a veteran character has. I hope prestige classes change that but somehow I doubt it. If everything remains the same I will keep saying: Freedom means nothing without choice and consecuences.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Offline Skilling revealed and Community Feedback

There's a couple of new information bits that have recently surfaced and I'd like to comment on them. The first one is an interview from ZAM and the second, a new activity report about community feedback. The most interesting part of the interview is this one:

ZAM: You recently announced that you're incorporating offline skilling for some of the “tedious” tasks. Could you tell us more about this feature and give some examples of which skills might be included?
Flambouras: This will be a work in progress. In a nutshell: players can buy meditation points and use them to raise skills while they’re offline. The skills we’re starting with are the magic schools only. Not the spells, just the schools. We’ll expand on this with frequent updates.
Magic schools offline skilling is a very good thing but now some new questions rise: Will it skill the intensify, duration and so on from the skilling school? There will be gains in INT while doing so? I think the answers to both questions is NO. I believe AV wants to make online skilling more effective than offline but that will leave macroing as the most efficent way to skill up. Anyway it will be great to skill Witchcraft and Spell Chanting.
The activity report is not full of information but it's something. The newbie experience sure needs to be improved but I hope they don't dumb the game with those simbols ! on top of quest givers. The crafting fundamental changes look good even if we don't know nothing about them, I just hope crafting becomes something more engaging than it is now.
Additionally, new trade route missions feedback and information was discussed along with future sea fortress changes, on making them go live during peak hours. Solo player combat mechanics and party mechanics were also brought up with feedback on the solo player experience and recommendations on how to make solo players more self-sufficient. Party number limits were also mentioned.
This ^ is also good news, all of it and so are mount upgrades and ship power improvements. I was very surprised to see that they call the proxy clans an exploit when siege mechanics are so flawed. What do you want us to do AV? With current server population and many clans having many holdings what else is there to do? I'm not happy either with this:
We agree that as far as alignment goes, going red is too forgiving when it needs to be more of an active decision with implications for the player.
The problem with alignment goes beyond it being too forgiving. The problem is that you can red by defending your holding while a guy healing and buffing a red can stay blue. Alignment has many issues and before tackling the penalty for being red you need to fix them.
The feasibility of player housing in or around NPC cities, or auction houses were also brought up. Feedback on the economy was presented and a lot of it is consistent with our development plans.
Does this mean that there will be player housing in or around NPC cities? And auction houses? I sure hope so. Well, something is something, uh?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sweet sweet devil

This morning I had around 9k gold in my bank and I was only thinking about farming gold. This afternoon I was lucky enough to be online when Orkula gathered a few luxers to go and take the Devil. As I hadn't seen the Devil before (and I needed the gold), I joined the group and we managed to kill two Devils before going back to Andruk to split the loot. The Devil is a hard sucker but a group of 9 took him down quite easily. The coordination needed to kill it is nothing espectacular but if each one doesn't do his part, I'm sure it can take a very long time. Despite that, I think the Devil needs a couple of unique and awesome skills so he can rock accordingly. The two hellfiends took us around 30 minutes and the reward was aprox. 35k gold plus some extras, including three maps, one of each, we haven't claimed yet. So, once again, grouping is the way to go!! I'm not completely poor anymore!
For now.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Toad's Tongue: ForumFall never changes...

The Fallout quote works really good with ForumFall and today I'm presenting a new chapter of said soapopera. Apparently, Get Good has joined The Chickens Club, an alliance founded by I Know My Chickes and Foggen, SG of zZzZz has started this thread to "discuss the epic nutcup alliance". If you read this blog from time to time, you'll know that I won't say a bad word against someone because he wants to ally with someone else. After all, that's what this game is about. Zagenda members don't like that and the thread goes on for 30 pages already and I gotta say it's pretty amazing, famous Ninogan declaring he's leaving Get Good included. My personal comment on this situation has already been explained by someone else, but I haven't found the post in a quick revisit so I can't say who did. The thing is that now, The Chickens Club has become even a greater force in Agon and that is a good thing.
According to Urme, Sun has joined Zagenda but I'm pretty sure that's the work of some useless and bored troll so I'm not taking that into account. So, now we got Zagenda, Sun, The Chickens Cub and Shadowlords as the four biggest alliances out there ("biggest" as overall, not only numbers) and I hope that 312-Alliance, Pandora and Lux Arcana can grow enough to take some of the pie from them. Having 7 big forces fighting for Agon supremacy would be awesome!! Much better that two or three, where stagnation is much easier to happen.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tasos keeps it up!

Lately, Dev communication has increased and players can't be happier about it. In the last blog post from Tasos himself, he talks about some interesting stuff.
All quests are being rewritten, more dynamic quests are going to be added, faction quests will be more helpful towards newbies and there will be more advanced quests added to the game. The events team is also preparing epic dynamic events and more lore driven events.
Quests are good because they give the player an objective when you don't have anything else to do. Of course, Tasos also hypes once more the dynamic events and lore driven events. Hopefully, they'll come soon.
The meditation feature was demonstrated to us today, it’s almost complete and should be added to the game in the next patch or shortly after that.
The meditation features is the offline skilling system for those living under a rock and it "should be added" very soon. I'm surely waiting for this new feature and hoping it will reduce the grind or at least the perception of it.
A new dynamic lighting is now working properly, we were shown a test of this in-game and it was very impressive. We expect this to be added in the next expansion after it is implemented.
Very few players have shadows on in Darkfall, at least I  don't, so this new dynamic lighting systemis not really important to me. What I'd like to hear is some like Server Optimization or whatever makes Darkfall run better on my computer. Some time ago, I was fascinated with Half Life 2 because it was a GREAT game and you couldn run it on a damn Gameboy! I'd like to see something like that in Darkfall too.
We have a sophisticated political map in the works which makes clan associations easy to explore, also it features locations for vendors, banks and other in-game resources. We saw a small demonstration of this in action and it looks really good.
About time...
Finally, we were given a demonstration of the new environmental sound system and we got to see the entire functionality of it which has so much more than a demo we had shared with the community a while back. This is a high-end, next gen, real-time surround-sound environmental sound generator which also integrates with the game music system.  Very few other games have something similar to this. During its demonstration we had a very immersive experience and we can’t wait to see this feature in-game.
I don't know what to think about it but I guess it's good news. Anyway, the really important thing about the post is the post itself. Aventurine has increased the level of communication and that's a very good thing. Hopefully, we'll never be back into the dark cave where we can only hear the Forumfall screams.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Siege Report: Banagar / Eslingar 21-11-2010

Yesterday, we had a double siege! And we won it! In the beginning, I was in the Junk tasked with destroying the Siegestones around Eslingar and keeping the enemies occupied while our main force was doing something else. The first stone went down with no problem at all but 20 enemies (or so) came to defend the second siegestone. Despite the odds, we manage to survive, ship included, until the cavalry appeared. Then we took down the second stone and, thanks to some enemy cannon we looted, we destroyed the third and last Siegestone. Eslingar, our beloved colony, was saved and so, we all moved back to Andruk to go for the second part of the siege: Banagar. After some short and very low-fps battles, my group had to go back to Andruk, take some repair shards and tools, go back to Banagar and repair the bank to take out the cannons. Some explosions later, Banagar was ours!!! Unfortunately for me, my FPS are not good enough and yesterday, there was no time to try some new tweaks.
On the bright side, Maejohl finally announced The Protectorate of Lux Arcana, a kingdom style of holding managing that  I've personally been waiting for some time now and that might bring some freshness to our gameplay. You can check the official announcemente here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dynamic Quests FTW!

In the latest post from Darkfall official blog, Laenih has uncovered a bit more the awaited Dynamic Quests. Apparently, dynamic quests will be given by NPCs and you'll have to do something depending on your race and probably other variables. The example given is about the Vargashi, a new addition to the Darkfall Lore. That race used to slave mahirims back in the day and so, while other races might help them in a certain quest, mahirim will attack them instead. It would be nice if an Alfar and a Mahirim can fight eachother while doing the same Quest from different sides.
As usual, Laenih teases us with upcoming Dynamic Quests and Dynamic Events and I sure hope we don't have to wait to long before we can see them. A dynamic world is just what Darkfall needs just as I said in my previous post about Starcraft 2. The world needs to change and those changes must affect players as they must be able to affect the world.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

OT: Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty

I'm quite a gamer and so, after the first Darkfall fever was gone, I've played other games that I haven't commented in here yet because of the blog title but I've decided to start doing it, under the Off-Topic tag.
Recently, I've finished Starcraft 2 first campaign and I've enjoyed a lot but not as much as I expected. First of all, I only play RTS for their campaigns; I enjoy RTS gameplay but it's not my favourite and multiplayer RTS are not for me. I like stories and Warcraft 3 campaing was great, so I was hoping for some more of it. Unfortunately, Wings of Liberty doesn't deliver. Maybe the campaign is too long for its own sake or maybe their saving their best moments for the Protoss and Zerg campaign but it's not as good as it could be. The lack of heroe presence in the battlefield might have something to do aswell because you could get into Arthas skin very easily but it's hard to enter Reynor's.
Despite all that, Wings of Liberty is a nice and polished game with a very nice "campaing navigator" in the Hyperion and full of different misions. Actually, it's probably my fault, you know hype is very bad.
So, what could Darkfall do to improve it's storytelling? MMORPG narrative is a hard concept but I think its basis should be: Players can influence the state of the world and the state of the world does influence the player's experience. Darkfall already does that but not a lot. Hopefully that will change with more events. We shall see.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Siege Report: Quarendel 14-11-2010

Yesterday, Lux Arcana sieged Quarendel and won. Despite the big groups of roamers, something that is kinda becoming a trend lately, we had quite a big group to confront them and whipe Acheron, previous owners of Quarendel. Again, the amount of players in a small area made my FPS drop til 10 or less and that was not nice. I guess I'll have to start thinking again about buying a new CPU.
SirTL KYE from Acheron made a thread in fourms complaining about we, being a big clan, sieging them, being a small one. As Maejohl said, we sieged Quarendel because we wanted it. I have already talked about this nutcup nonsense and the usual cries about fair fights in a game that is not about them. I've particularly like the contributions of noizex who seems to think like me and writes with sense and calm.
After this siege, I've decided to look for some small scale PvP this week, we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A New Home

Lux Arcana has moved from the icy Frostbourne to the Andruk fortress. I haven't been around for long so I don't know the place so well. Nearby, there's Quarendel which I know better but I have never been around Andruk before so I don't know the mob spawns or anything else to be honest. I bet I still can get lost in the city. That's actually good news because getting to know the city is part of the fun of acquiring it.
This one was a trade but we had Zagenda visitors so it was not boring. I expect great things from this city, a lot of PvP among other things and for the time being, it seems it will deliver.
Unfortunately, I still have a lot of grinding to do before I can run into the heat of battle as I want to do and survive it, as I still don't do. I've survived the last battles, Velmuna siege and yesterday's trade, but only because I was very careful (two or three days ago I died three times in a row). That also meant nearly no action, only some long range combat, and it wasn't as fun as Darkfall's PvP can be. I guess I need to practice my position in the battlefield. Not too far, not too close. I also need to duel more to train my 1v1 rusty skills but I don't enjoy them much.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Siege Report: Velmuna 7-11-2010

Yesterday, we had Wicked sieging Velmuna for some good fights. JohnB even made a declaration on the forums. As it should be, Lux Arcana officers took it very seriously and we had a very nice strategy for the siege. For starters, a very nice amount of luxers rode in a great Blue Tail Runner pack (as shown in the picture, not my best pic anyway) to the point where we would do battle. It was kinda far from the siegestone but cannons could still hit it thanks to some clever tagging from one group who was close to the siegestone. Meanwhile we only needed to defend a single bridge to stop the enemies to getting close to the cannons while another group was protecting them and the shooters. It all went down pretty fast.
As always, winning or losing a siege is a matter of several factors. The amount of people is one important factor but strategy is aswell and in this siege, we had a very good one. I was in the group protecting the cannons so I didn't get many action but my FPS was very low so it's ok. I hope Av improves game performance and I'm surely gonna buy a better processor as soon as I can.
More action incoming!

Friday, November 5, 2010

How Aventurine works

In today's Activity Report, posted in the Darkfall Blog Tasos give us a peak into Aventurine work process. It's not like I know what Scrum or Agile Software Development exactly means but it seems Av is using some nice and advanced tools to improve our beloved Darkfall and that's also good news! Tasos has also posted the precise activity each of the 11 teams are working on. And now, the question is: Which is your favourite team? Mine is surely team 10. I'm eager to see Agon's lore fleshed out in lots of events. I'd like to see Agon's History being guided by us, players.
On the bad side, the offline skilling system seems to be still kinda far away but patience, my padawan, it shall come.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Toad's Tongue: So much anger

Right now or very soon there's a couple of sieges that have filled near 30 pages in two days. Those post are mainly written by Get Good, Zagenda and Sun members in a very unsettling fashion. In every competetitive game I've ever played there has been some name calling and swearing in its forums or ingame itself but I think I've never seen something like Eu1 Clan Discussion and, mind you, I played non-professional football in official leagues for 12 years and I thought I had seen everything.
These last days posts aren't specially worst than any other, threads like that are common on that sub-forum. Why there is so much hatred between opposed clans in this game? As they say, it's only pixels. Some little voice in my head tells me that all that anger is just a joke, that everybody is just trolling and enjoying it but, on the other side, it feels kinda real. When someone calls someone retard, it looks like he means it. There sure are people who just enjoy the dialectic e-brawl but I can't find any sense in that because one of the basic traits of ForumFall is that it barely matters what you say, it's always hard to have a decent, clean and interesting conversation. You need to sail through many rocks to find a nice place where you can have some precise stuff discussed. Those places exist, make no mistake, but they're rarely seen in Eu1 Clan Discussion.
One of the reasons behind me wanting more politics in the game also has something to do with this. Right now, wars are fought over some shittalk in forums and I just don't like it very much. Well, one can hope this will change over time and I'd really like to see heavier moderation.
Anyway, you don't need to read all the crap and most likely it won't affect your ingame time. I just wonder, you know?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gameplay focus changing

These last few days I've barely been playing Darkfall due to Bad Company 2 but I'm already feeling inside the need for some PvP in Agon. That's right, PvP. Even if I still need to level a lot of stuff and the fact that I should do it on mobs for some effectiveness, I don't feel like doing PvE anymore. It's probably just a phase and I still want to find one of those damn treasure maps but right now, whenever I got online I just want to kill some other players.
Another thing I still would like to do and probably will tonight is to participate in clan events. As already stated, events are awesome sauce since most of the clan are ingame and playing with more people is what really makes the game fun.
I guess that soon I'll have all the weapons and upgrades unlocked in BC2 and the "game fever" will decrease a bit. It happened with Darkfall too, the first weeks I couldn't stop playing and all those sweet dings were more than a carrot to me. With time, the fever goes down and I could properly balance real life with ingame life. That's not an easy thing to do...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nutcupping and stuff, you know...

Nutcup is another shiny MMORPG concept strongly tied to politics. In Clan Discussion sub-forum there's always a thread about some clans who have nutcupped and that, my friends, is one of the worst sins in the e-bible of videogaming. Why? Well, I guess people sometimes think that every videogame should be perfectly balanced in each and every aspect so it can be a nice e-sport where you can show your true gaming skills. In most sandbox MMORPG that's just not the case, mainly because players have more freedom and options. In Darkfall city A might be easier to defend than city B but you're free to bring as many soldiers as you want to conquer it and so can do the defending side.
A nutcup is just a bad word to say alliance. Unfortunately, clans doesn't have many tools to wage war on other clans so when your target allies with 5 other clans making the victory impossible, you can't sabotage those quick allies or compromise their trade routes or whatever, the only thing you can do is go to forums and call them cowards and nutcuppers for not giving you a fair fight when Darkfall IS NOT about fair fights.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Darkfall, I'm cheating on you...

Yup and the friend I tried to pull into Darkfall is to blame, great irony! These last few days I've been playing more Bad Company 2 than Darkfall. In games, like in life, there are times where you feel like killing people with swords and other times, you want put a bullet in their foreheads. It's going to be tough to do anything else besides playing with these two games in my hard drive and I'm talking about living the real life but I'll manage. Bad Company 2 is the new shiny game so I guess I'll spend some more hours on it than in Darkfall for the next week or so but I'm not abandoning Agon now that I am enjoying myself so much.
Also, I can't help myself but to think what kind of great game a mix between Darkfall and Bad Company 2 would be. I pray Cthulhu that Aventurine next project is an MMOFPS. Oh, it would be very nice.
Anyway, this blog is not dead even if its periodicity slows a bit down.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Offline Skilling System

Yesterday, Tasos posted another of those beloved Activity Report and that one contained a very important new. Av is planning to implement an Offline Skilling System to "curbing macroing, giving newer players a better chance to close the gap, and to cut down on some of the tedious repetitive tasks that exist in the game". There already are several threads in forums about this key subject. Most of the people think it's a good adition to the game but some others fear it will empty the world because everyone would like to do offline skilling.
First of all, we still don't know how are they gonna implement this, we only know they'll "start with a small amount of skills and gradually expand it, and obviously many skills won't be included" in the beginning. Knowing how Av works, initially, the offline gain will be very little and only on several skills hard to level like melee and maybe buffs.
This seems like a very good idea and I surely hope it works but as with everything else, we'll have to wait, see and then, rant on forums.

Friday, October 29, 2010

We all like to be patched...

Today, Aventurine has reward our continous pasion with yet another patch. This one was kinda little with only fixing a bug about treasure maps (I haven't found one yet :-o); more upgrades to certain zones (Scaranibben and Thorsland are the only ones I recognize) and the inevitable Halloween theme.
Apparently, besides some Halloween weapons, now some mobs appear in player cities and we have evidence to prove it! This is a cool addition and I hope they keep it after Halloween or tweak it a bit so it can work, not only for a month, but forever. This patch has also ninja-added a new Hellfreeze loading screen. Maybe it has increased the treasure map drop rate. One can only hope. Get ingame to see the changes!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trade Routes

Yesterday, five clanmates and me did the Fangwall Trade Route. Only Trung had done it before but it was a long time ago, so we decided to do it to check it out for ourselves. We spent 4k gold each, a total of 24k gold, and started riding with our runners towards Nekaria in the other side of Agon. It was a quiet journey, we only encountered a lonely player and were zapped once by a wilderness bank tower. When we arrived at Nekaria we were given 7k, so we got a 3k reward for a full hour riding! Bad, very bad, terribad.
Yes, ok, if you do the Trade Route several times, you have an increased chance to get some special object but come on, it's hard to be motivated to do it several times if you're only getting 3k gold. So, how can Aventurine improve the Trade Routes?
1- Increase the reward: this on is a no-brainer. Nearly nobody does the Trade Route because there's a lot of stuff you can do in one hour that will grant more money and be less risky than the Trade Route. It doesn't need a very big increase, just something to make it worth while. I'll probably would add more special rewards on top of the gold; some of the objects that only drop from Chaos Chests could be given randomly as a reward in the Trade Routes.
2- Instead of saying "so hastely", the NPC at the end point should tell you the exact time that took you to do the Route and that time should be recorded so you can try to break your own records. This is just a small thing but we all know how we like to improve our performance.
3- Make riding something funny and tactical. Mounts should have an stamina bar and the ability to high stamina consuming sprints. Also, the acceleration time is way too fast now and the turning speed should be variable depending on the mount speed. I've been playing Warband and Darkfall could take some sutff from that very good game, how to handle mount riding it's one of them.

The first point will encourage more players to do the Trade Routes and the other would make them very funny to do. I just hope Aventurine has not forget about them because leaving them as they are now is condemning them to oblivion.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


From time to time, a new thread appears on the forum about this subject. Right now, you can find those about it. I think having bunnyhoping in Darkfall is a good thing because it increases the game's possibilities but I agree with those that say : "It's too easy, everybody just jumps away." Because they really do, in Frostbourne we have many lonely or small group raiders that are really hard to catch because of bunnyhoping. It has several problems, one of them is the amount of spells that you can use to bunnyhop. There's simply too many. If they were limited so no player can have them all, it would be an start. Bunnyhoping wouldn't be so useful and the player should think when to use it. The "Death from falling damage issue" is also very important here, if it were implemented players could still bunnyhop at any time but they could not do it when they are very low on health. Aventurine has said they don't want to add this precise cause of death in Darkfall so maybe, they can adjust it somehow so death from falling only applies when bunnyhoping. Within the current system, there could be a global cooldown between them but maybe it already exists (I only have shrapnel for the moment), in that case it's not enough.
The bunnyhop thing and those climbing spells are a good thing, I really think so. The problem with them is the lack of a skill, not spell, to do something similar; the amount of spells that let you do it and the fact that every player can have all of them. Having some kind of physics is great, overuse it's not.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Player Skill

Yesterday I started a thread called "How important is player skill?" with a poll included. Everybody knows that in Darkfall, player skill is an important factor in any outcome; at least, more important than many other games. Despite that, my feeling is that player skill is not important enough. The poll I did is far from perfect but its results are interesting anyway. Right now, 130 players have already voted in the poll and 43.85% thinks "Player Skill is quite important but not like gear or character skill" The second place goes for " Player Skill is the most important factor in Darkfall" with 36.92%. Clearly, as already said, we players know Darkfall is a game where player skill really matters but apparently, there's more people whou would like it to matter even more than those who think that it's important enough as it is.
I guess that most of the people who voted for the second option are players who have been playing Darkfall for some time and are still appalled by the amount of grinding they still have ahead before reaching the vet status. Yep, in a MMORPG, a complex system, most variables affect several things and the grind is a very important element in this discussion. The other two factors in play here, are Gear and Character Skill and both of them are quite grindy. The gear grind is not really bad because there aren't many parts in it, you only need to grind for armour and weapons but the Character Skill grind, what we call The Grind with caps, is just too long.
One of the best solutions in my opinion is to use the health gain system in every skill and stat in the game. Any Skill or Stat now increase faster at lower levels and its bonus or effect per point decreases at high levels. What if Darkfall combat involved the same amount of player skill than Battlefield 2? That would be great.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A nice list of features for My Perfect Darkfall

Today I've discovered a new MMORPG that's still in beta phase. This game, Xsyon, includes many features I'd like to see in My Perfect Darkfall. I'm gonna comment on some of the best with some changes to make them work with Darkfall:

Players rely heavily on natural and found resources: lumber from trees, leather from animals, grass, scrap materials and rare objects of the lost modern civilization.

-Constantly changing resources can be renewed or depleted.
-Availability dependent on season and weather conditions.
-Resources can be claimed by clans.
-A large variety of resources with individual properties. Different woods, cloths and metals have properties that affect crafted items.

Players start the game with a selected set of skills. They gain new skills by learning from other players or by uncovering knowledge in books from the past.

-Skills increase with use.
-Skills decrease over time if not used.
-Skills are affected by many external factors.
-Many actions are dependant on several skills.


-No set creature spawns or re-spawns. Animals multiply based on the current creature population.
-Creatures gain experience and power, potentially evolving into legendary beings.
-Creatures can overrun areas or be depleted.
-Creatures gravitate towards different areas based on mood and weather.
-Creatures can be tamed and ridden.
-Creatures possess realistic loot. If you see armor or a weapon on a creature you can take it. Animals can be carved up for raw materials.
-Creatures are a primary resource for crafters.
There are more features than that and I recommend taking a look at it even if it's only to dream a bit. Apparently, many of those features are not in the beta yet but the idea looks very cool.
I think Darkfall 2010 will polish everything already in-game and besides some more content, it will start to add more tools to improve Darkfall's sandbox. After Darkfall 2010 I hope Aventurine will start working towards making Agon a nice emulation of a realistic fantasy world, if you know what I mean. If Darkfall retains it's arcade/action feeling about combat and improves the rest so Agon feels like a true world, it'll become king of MMORPG.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's good to be back

Yesterday I made my way back into Frostbourne. Unfortunately, my friend Anthas has RL work to do and has been unable to log in since a week or so and I'm afraid he'w trial period will be over before can he enjoy what this game has to offer. I can only hope he can try it again sometime.
In Frostbourne everything is as usual and I'm really sorry that I miss a couple of very nice events. Clan events are always awesome and very funny. Some days ago, before I left for Long March, we did a FunHulk race and hearing everybody on vent screaming "That damn Frostwalker is tearing my FunHulk apart!" was just hilarious. One of the events I missed involved the new UseFlags in a Capture The Flag game Mordin organized. I'm always thinking about preparing some events but somehow I end up delaying it ad infinitum. I'll try to change that because playing WITH people is the best way to play. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Damn stupid players...

In Darkfall Official Forum, we see every day posts from angry players who name call or even insult the Devs because Runners have too low health, portal shards don't drop enough, travel is too easy or any other thing you can possibly imagine. Those players are so angry because of the sense of entitlement they feel towards Darkfall, their beloved game that is being destroyed by Aventurine. I can totally understand that feeling, I also feel I kinda own Darkfall but if you stop to think for a second, the rational part of your brain will tell you the truth: you don't own it, you only play it and those who really own it, know better than you. Yes, that's a hard one to swallow, Aventurine developers know what they're doing. That's why it's so sad to see player x tell Tasos he's a retard or any other insult they, imaginative players, can come up with. But this here, it's even sadder. Some Minecraft players have decided to attack the Minecraft server to force Notch, the developer (notice the absence of plural), to create more content because they think he's slacking.  For the love of God, can you even believe it? So, next time you feel the need to insult Devs (or other players for that matter) because they're not doing what you want them to do, take a step cak from the keyboard, have a deep breath and learn some programming to make your own perfect game.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Suggestion: Hang Gliding

Well, I guess I don't need to explain why I'd like to see this new "mount" implemented. Flying over Agon would be awesome and mean a lot of new options for sieges, raiding and travelling; very sandboxy!
This is how it could work: Constructing the ClothWing (BatWing, DeltaWing...) figurine would be an expensive task. To know the specific cost, we'd have to do some testing depending on the Wing "stats" (speed, health, etc...) and balance it properly. To use it, a player must spawn the Wing and press use to "ride" it. Then, the player needs to sprint towards a ledge and instead of falling to the ground the player would start gliding. The driving mechanics of the wing can be very complex or very simple and I guess Darkfall doesn't need the complex one, so the Wing could work like it does in many games (see Far Cry 2 videos below). The Wing has very low health and like funhulks, its speed decreases when its health goes down. It can be repaired with repairshards.Well, what do you think?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


When I created my character I used Lonneh because the RP I had imagined was all about being an orphan and a lonely wanderer. Even if I've done a LOT of solo, now, after having met Lux Arcana, I don't really feel like soloing. Actually I find it hard to understand why people plays solo in MMORPG; I guess if you have lots of friends in different clans and you're able to tag along whenever they do stuff, it can be bearable. But playing Darkfall for months completely alone? That doesn't make much sense to me.
Anyway, my dear friend Anthas has less time to play than I do and so, the last few days I've been playing solo again like I used to do when I started but now that I know how e-life is in an active clan, I've been bored like hell. I haven't seen much of NEW clan either so my nice intentions stated here have gone down the drain. That's why I've decided to go back to Frostbourne with Anthas. This way, when he logs in we can play together and in the meantime I'm still able to play with the rest of the clanmates.
Also, as Lahmage said, being in an active clan that prepares events every few days is really the sauce of life (Does this exist in english? :-P) and a much better way to enjoy this game.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toad's Tongue: Is life coming back?

It's been a long time since my last TT so I guess it's time for a new one. First of all, this activity report from Tasos initiated crazy speculation that forced him to write another post to explain the whole situation. Despite that, there's still threads about server wipe, new servers and the end of PvP as we know it. As I see it, the only new server coming will be the asian one and only when Darkfall 2.0 arrives. A fresh new server is a temptation and I'm not against a full EU1 server wipe but I won't be playing in the asian server, ping is important, you know?
Recently, some members from Zagenda have left the clan and created Get Good. Apparently, they weren't very comfortable with each other because there have been serious shit talking between them in Eu1 Clan Discussion. Moreover, Get Good has recruited former and current Zagenda enemies like Kokane, ex-DPS leader back from NA1, and Machinist, who has been "talkattacking" Zagenda and Sun for a long time.
I don't know if the Hellbreeze expansion has brought many players to Agon but it surely has jumpstarted sieges again. Lux Arcana hasn't been involved in any of them but EU1 Clan Discussion is full of threads about it. Zagenda, Pandora, Snailparty, Get Good, Sun, the usual clans seem to be back in action and that's surely good news for the game.
From the smelly swamp, the Toad says: Croack!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Disabling Shot and one handers

One of the first things I discussed with my newb friend was which melee weapon would he be using. He said he wanted to use 1h swords plus shield as his main weapon. Unfortunately I had to tell him that all the one hander are severely underpowered partly because of Disabling Shot. First of all, there's some balance to be done because noone uses mounted combat anymore and people uses the 1 hander so they can block with the shield when caught in a bubble. I haven't done any tests so I don't exactly know how underpowered it really is but the fact that anyone can disable you ability to block at any time, even if you are not blocking at that precise moment, is very bad for weapon balance. Also, even if Av has been ninja tweaking the weapons balance if we players don't know that something is viable again, we won't use it and the game will loose variety. On the other side, I'm a knive user, both in PvE and PvP, and I use this weapon because I like it so Anthas might just do the same thing. What's your opinion on this subject? What would you recommend Anthas to do?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Erruk in Noobland

Finally, I managed to convince a very good friend of mine to try Darkfall. He has signed up the 14-days trial and yesterday we decided to go to Long March. He has rolled human so he and I cannot stay at a Racial City and Chaos Cities are too dangerous for a noob, so he applied to NEW. Their SGs hadn't got any problem with me staying around but I had to bind in a nearby Chaos Stone, just a little inconvenience. So, for 14 days I'm gonna stay around Long March trying to show the best of Darkfall to my friend Anthas. This will give me the oportunity to take a good look at the NEW clan and the troubles of noob players.
For now, I haven't been able to see much because I've just arrived there but I hope I'll be able to write some interesting stuff about how noob players face this hardcore game. First of all, Long March is a big city and all the crafting stations are kinda far from bank so the city itself is not very noob-friendly. However, around it there are a good mobs for low-level characters and it's close to both human and ork lands. Long March doesn't seem very populated for now and I think that it'll be a good idea to announce the existence of NEW clan to new players in some way. At least, the NEW recruitment post should be stickied in the forums.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Perfect Darkfall: Skill System

Today I start a new section in which I'll describe the changes I'd like to see so Darkfall becomes my perfect MMORPG. Those suggestions will probably imply a variation in Aventurine design philosophy and most likely big changes in core elements from Darkfall.
I'm gonna start with the skill system and I've made this quick draw to help me explain what I mean. I've already tried to explain it using how I hope the incoming Prestige Classes will be implemented. Now I'm gonna try it again in a different way.

As you can see I have first drawn how skills work in Darkfall now. This is a summarized version because in Combat Skills we really have several sets of skills per weapon and same with magic, but you know what I mean.
 In Darkfall there are 4 differents Skill Sets and the player is allowed to take all 4 of them. As seen below, I'd like to see more skills ans Skill Sets for starters, I believe Darkfall needs more non-combat skills and maybe few spells more to make the magic schools more autonomous. Then I'd like each Skill Set to be divided in 4 tiers (could be 3, could be 5) of increasing strength. Asuming only these two extra Skill Sets besides Combat, Magic and Crafting Skills Set, divided each in 4 tiers we have 20 tiers. In this example, the player could only choose 12 or 13 tiers. This way, a player could only master three Skill Sets but not all of them.
 If this systems was implemented, there would still be a lot of balancing work to do because the Combat Skill Set would be divided into 8 Weapon Sets, Archery and a common Combat Set with Rage, Throwing, Kick and so on, and Magic would be dividided into 10 Magic School Set and a common Magic Sets. Combat and Magic should be balanced with eachother, the same with each Crafting Set so noone can craft everything. But it's not that easy becasue Magic includes a lot of utility spells and buffs so it should also be balanced with Survival and Body Building Skill Sets.
With this system I want to promote variety and also a meaningful option. Some people say you can choose in the current Skill System but what does it matter if those choices haven't any real meaning or consequences? Well, what do you people think?

PS: Don't forget to take a look at the new models in the official Darkfall blog. The new Arthain and Demon Queen look amazing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Suggestion: City Raid

Some time ago I asked for more things for clans to do and also some more political tools for clans. The incoming suggestion can cover both of these aspects. The idea is to make raids more meaningful. So here we go:

-Only clans can start Raids. When a clan wants to start a Raid, any clan officer (the rank needed should be established by SG) needs to go to any of his holding's clanstone and Alternate Use on it to Declare Raid and choose any holding from a clan you are at war with. Clans without holdings can do the same at a Chaos City Stone, NOT NPC City. The target clan receives a system message warning about the raid.
Yup, unclanned people cannot raid. This is a clan feature and the prohibition to unclanned players will explain itself in a moment.
-After the declaration has been done, any player from the attacking clan binded at that Clanstone can Alternate Use on it to Join Raid. For every player, including the one that has done the declaration, joining the raid, an amount of gold we'll call "FirstWager" is taken from the clanbank. That amount increases with every player joining the raid.
This wager and the other that will come next are to establish a RiskVsReward and reducing the raid gain if there's an overkill situation.
-The attacking clan has 1 hour and a half to Start Raid. To do that, at least one of players that have joined the raid needs to Alternate Use on the target city and press Start Raid, when any raiding player does that, an amount called "SecondWager" is taken from the attacking clanbank. After the 1,5 hours, if no raiding players from the attacking clan has started the raid, the raid is over.
-Attacking players that have both Joined Raid and Started Raid that damage a target city building or structure will earn an amount called "RaidLoot" per health point taken.
I think it would be really nice if players could destroy the building's interior when raiding. That could be done without siege weapons and would leave a wrecked version of whatever object was there.
-RaidLoot is proportional to the amount of online players binded in the target city WHEN the Raid Declaration was done. RaidLoot is inverse proportional to the amount of players that have done BOTH Join Raid and Start Raid.
This way, a very populated city will be a nice target and will bring more gold than a underpopulated one. If the attacking force is too big that's also uneffective and the amount of gold decreases.
-After the first attacking players has started the raid, the attacking clan has 40 minutes (not sure about this one) to destroy as much as they can. After those 40 minutes, the raid is over and there's no more gain for asset destruction.
-RaidLoot should be balanced with the value of the materials needed to repair 1 health point from a building. That is to prevent allied guilds to raid each other for gains. If there's another way to prevent that, RaidLoot could be increased. The First and Second Wager should be balanced with RaidLoot, this way bringing too much people should be a bad idea but attacking players can avoid paying the SecondWager if they've brought too much people.
Well, that's he suggestion, it surely need a lot of tweaking to shield it against exploits but I think it can be done. This forum thread will surely help me to notice any weak spots. Do you like it?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blogging all around

Some days ago I was just thinking about it and today, even before the official anouncement, the Darkfall community found a new and shiny Darkfall Official Blog. For now, it has 8 entries but it looks like they'll be posting something everyday. That "something" is kinda precise because right now, there already are very different kinds of posts. I got to say I laughed at the lolcat contest but I'd like more posts like the very interesting interview to John-118 (Better tools for GM incoming!) or the quick view of the motion capture studio. Aparently it will also included TinyTyke Darkfall comic, hopefully TinyTyke will continue to draw them because they're really funny, I like them a lot.
Well, Darkfall peripherical features are falling into place little by little and now it also includes a Developer Blog, something everyone will be happy about. Now, we'll have to see if the community liasons can come up with new and interesting content every day without going into those tasty details we players want to know: future features and so on.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ships and the sea.

Some days ago, when Lux Arcana and Zagenda killed the Ice Dragon I managed to get a taste of ship "driving" and that's the screenshot I took from it. Yup, that was my first time behind the wheel of a ship. Right now, players only use ships to do 2 things: to take the Sea Tower and to kill the Ice Dragon. Well, from time to time, someone uses them to cap a sea village or to do some asset destruction but those aren't common and you don't need a ship to do that. Ships are expensive so people usually sit on them instead of just playing around with them. Their price and "fragility" might be part of the problem but I think we players need more reasons to spawn them. Sea Trade Routes? Speed increase to promote sea travelling? I obviously don't have the magic answer but, do you?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Roads and Villages

The first concept in the title obviously refers to a very much asked feature about increasing the player speed when riding or running on a road. Right now, thanks to the graphic improvement, roads can be clearly seen on the map so a player could easily plan a long trip so he can mostly travel through roads to decrease the travel time. Aparently, Av has decreased the portal shard drop chance and that can only mean they want us to travel more than to teleport. Also, that feature would bring the possibility of ambushes or bandit parties roaming the roads. The classic "avoid roads even if it's slower" line could be used ingame! The work needed to implement it doesn't seem very complicated too, some coding and some animation work. So... why is this not ingame yet? Maybe it's on the list of things to do but that list might be really long. Or maybe they don't want to implement it but why?
After the expansion, where the time under your posesion has doubled, there's still a lot of people who believe that villages are not worth the time needed to cap it. There are some discussion on Forums and basicly two sides: those who want the village reward increased so they become a PvP hotspot and those who don't, saying that villages are supposed to be for little clans or even solo players instead of big clans and alliances (they truly have other ways to raise money). Personally, what I would do is reduce the health of the Village Stone because the problem is not the amount of money they give but the ridiculous amount of time you need to cap it. Some days ago, a clanmate and I capped two villages but it was so terribly boring that I don't think I'm going to cap another one unless Av decreases the amount of time needed.
See? Two concepts with very different debates around them. The point is that most of the suggestions players make are like those village suggestions: there ins't a correct way to do them or implement them. Forgive me for this cheap design philosophy post. :-P

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fighting the Ice Dragon!

Yeah! Yesterday night, Lux Arcana went to fight the new Ice Dragon in a game first experience we are very proud of. It all started at server up after patch maintenance when Vorax said he found the mighty beast. I log on just in time to see my clanmates leaving Frostbourne to kill it. When me and other last minute additions were very close to them we start hearing fucks, woah, awesome and other things like that and very soon we would discover what was so nice. There are some very nice videos that show what is the Ice Dragon capable of and his great animations and this long thread in which Maejohl explains the whole story from his point of view. This new Dragon is really tough and in our first trip we weren't really ready and we couldn't make his health go down so, unfortunately I was not present when we joined up with Zagenda to finally slay the Ice Dragon. The bad news is that the loot is not as good as the Dragon is but his new animations and general colorful and engaging gameplay are very good news for Darkfall. The video i'm gonna embed shows nearly the whole fight, enjoy it!!

Ice Dragon Slain - WATCH IN HD

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hellfreeze Aftermath

As you can see, yesterday I didn't post a thing and the obvious reason is that I was discovering the new expansion. Right now, as usual, Darkfall is being patched again with the bugs that such changes involve. ForumFall is still ForumFall and I guess it'll be like that until the end of time; lots of people are shouting on forums how bad this expansion is: some talk about FPS drops, some good mob spots now changed or removed, new mount speed is not enough, little content for veterans and lots of other stuff but I think that most of the people is now playing and enjoying the new mobs and dungeons instead of posting in forums and some of the usual posters are also usual QQers.
My personal experience with the expansion so far has been good. I love the new mahirim mount despite it's weird animation and I guess it'll make sound when riding after this fixer patch. I've been hunting some mobs looking for maps and I haven't been luchy thus far but my hope is not lost and I'm eager to get my hands on one of them. The revamped Vilegaunt looks very cool but no longer has 100% R60 Bow drop and the new Gnoll Butcher (that was not featured in the expansion notes) drops R50 polearms. The funhulks seem ok but they are not easy to drive and how can you control the damn beam? I haven't been in any of the new o overhauled dungeons but I guess they'll be ok and I heard that the daily quest rewards you with 3k gold. There are still a lot of features that I haven't been able to try yet like the Runner or the Gorra worm but I will soon enough.
I'm pleased with the expansion but some of the things Frank says in his feedback thread also worry me too. I guess now we have to wait for any bit of information about Darkfall 2010 features. Meanwhile I'll keep enjoying myself and training to be a good fighter.

PS: Now, I'll hit Skinning 100 pretty soon! :-P

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Finally! We have the expansion notes and they are frigging cool! In, you can see the nice presentation behind the new expansion called Hellfreeze but I'm gonna comment on the extended version in the first link. Let's see!!!
NEW TERRAIN: Well, Tasos and co have been trying to get the hype up on this one but nobody has cared a lot. We'll see if it's truly as good as they say.
CHARACTER DEFAUL VIEW: Another surprise, I didn't know this was even considered but I guess it will be nice. We'll see on that one too.
NEWBIE DUNGEONS AND PROTECTION: Dungeons are a great idea but the reduction of the protected time maybe not so much. I feel one hour is a very short time but, well, I had no protection and everything was fine.
PLAYER VENDORS: Well, this is some improvement but also a small step. Without a bubble for the vendor, it will remain the same.
BALANCE: Every little fix about balance they've written down seems good to me but maybe I would have liked some more tweaking in other areas. Maybe that's included in the "many other things" section.
REVAMPED DUNGEONS: I've never liked the concept of "dungeon", it reminds me of my first and worst role playing sessions where the only thing we did was roll dices and not telling a story. Anyway, dungeons can be fun in Darkfall and I guess they are gonna be more important from now on.
NEW SHIPS: Hell, yes! I can make a Ship now. Those cheap ships will encourage naval combat. There's also the ship strongboxes that you can deploy in a ship. All good additions for those sea lovers.
NEW MOUNTS: Another hell, yes! As you can see, both of them look very nice and I can't wait to ride a Runner. Actually, now my problem as a mahirim is what to choose, the runner or the bear?
FUN HULKS AND FUN FLAGS: Ok, let's see. At first reading, it seems it can be very funny to make race tracks but my problem with them is that they also seem pretty limited. Sooner or later, people will get bored from Fun Hulk races, then what will any player use them for? You can't use them for mounted races or even foot races. This feature is not as sandboxy as it looks like but I guess we'll have to wait and see if anyone comes up with something.
PLAYER USE FLAGS: On the other hand, the Use Flags can be used to create all sort of games and they can probably be used for other things aswell.
TREASURE MAPS: Nice idea, more content and more stuff to do.
VILLAGE REVAMP: Well, the expansion notes don't say that the reward has been improved but I hope it has. If not, I think Village Capping will remain a underproductive activity. You need several people to destroy the stone in less than an eternity so...
CLAN JOURNAL and SOCIAL MANAGER: Little steps. In the right direction but little.
WORLDBUILDING: Agon is great already and they're making it even greater. Nice!
MONSTERS: This is the real deal in this expansion. Hellfreeze includes new mobs, revamped mobs, new AI, revamped loot tables, new special abilities and more. Mobs are going to skill up whenever they kill a player. I guess that it's also a little step towards a more complex PvE experience but right now, I don't think that'll have much effect. Right now, monsters don't survive a lot. Maybe they're lucky and manage to kill a player, but the next on is most likely gonna kill it.
DYNAMIC MONSTER ENCOUNTERS AND EVENTS: I swear to god that in one of the post for the next days I was going to ask for this. The random events in games like Fallout saga are so important for inmersion and a key element in getting some fun out of exploring.
OPTIMIZATION: Let's hope that's for real.

That's it fellas! Enough? Too little? Too much? I think this looks like a solid expansion to me and it has a good feel. Some of those expanison notes feel like little movements to make some pieces fit so other and better systems can be implemented in the future. I'm very excited about the new mounts, ships and monsters. What do you think of it?

I don't want to make another "Still waiting" post


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Unknown Attackers

I think that being able to hide your name and clan from your enemies can be a very nice tool in Darkfall. Let's see how could it be implemented. To hide your name other players outside your clan, you'll need a new Hood similar to the Assassin's Hood but much more expensive. When you have this new piece of equipment on, your name will remain hidden and player's will only see "Unknown". The Hood has very low durability and it can be destroyed if someone damages you (it could be nice to hace something special for it but a very low dura can do the trick).
As an special addition, any alignment decrease you have suffered while "hidden" disappears when you take the hood off but it multiplies by 2 if your hood is destroyed while in combat.
So, from the other side: If you're standing somewhere and a hidden player comes to you, the tag will be Unknown1. If another one comes, it'll be Unknown2 and so on. If at some point, one of the first players comes back, you'll see UnkonwnX in red. The red color implies that it's not the first time you've seen that stranger. This way, you can start to deduce who is that player.
I think that this feature may breathe some life into the political landscape and it could be great fun to use once some features are implemented. Do you imagine setting an ambush to a clan unable to retaliate because they don't know who attacked them? What do you think?

PS: YES, they have delayed the expansion ONE MORE DAY... :-(

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wait, wait, wait... wait.

Well, I've got several ideas for good posts but today, somehow, I don't feel like writing them. I would have expected some kind of post about the expansion by now and, as someone has already said in Forums, I'm hammerign my F5 key hoping I'll see a new thread from Tasos with some information to chew. But it doesn't come. That's why I'm gonna try to unplug myself from Darkfall for today or at least, for a while. I'm gonna take a shower, then I'll go to the Library to return some books and get some others. When I'm back, I'll most likely write a bit and then I'll check Forums again. I hope tomorrow won't be like today.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The expansion is knocking the door

In three days, the expansion will start downloading into our hard drives like birds do in summer. Right now, everybody is waiting, holding their breath until the expansion lands. There aren't many forum threads about it because, with all those delays, everything that can be said, has already been said. Some people expect an awesome expansion that will improve a lot the game and bring the people back to Agon. Others have lost hope of something truly meaningful, they are currently enjoying the game and only want their game experience not to be fucked up. The cautious player is already getting prepared for the expansion: the wealthy one has already buyed some deeds because the addition of more house spots in villages is one of the expected features, others have a good stock of steedgrass so they can be the ones to make dozens of Mahirim Bears and Blue Tail Runners, if they are implemented on tuesday.
What surprises me the most is the lack of Expansion Notes or, at least, some spotlights about what's going to be in it. It's very understandable that Aventurine would want to surprise their players with the new and amazing Runner model but players would be so terribly happy if there were a couple spotlights per week or something like that. They keep saying they want to improve Dev Communication and I really thing they should do it. A little effort would be translated in a lot of very happy players and great mouth to mouth advertising.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What do you think Darkfall needs to attract more players?

Yesterday, I created a thread in Darkfall Forums with that same question and a little poll to see what people think about it. I knew what would people say in the thread itself because the real answer to that question involves all the option on the poll but I wanted to know which one of those would stand up. The results are:
Fix some broken mechanics/Properly balance the game 35 41.18%
Increase the noob-friendlyness: safe zones, bigger protected areas... 14 16.47%
Merchandising: box in stores, ads... 37 43.53%
Reduce the grind: faster character progression, increase the loot tables... 39 45.88%
Nothing special, keep improving the game, people will come. 22 25.88%
Other 17 20.00%

Not very surprisingly, the winner is "Reduce the grind", closely followed by "Merchandising" and "Balance". More people than I suspected has voted for "Nothing special" and even if I love the game I realize there's still some work to do before Aventurine can focus only on content. Actually, less than that has voted for "Increasing noob friendlyness" and I expected that choice to be among the top voters. Some ForumWarriors will call me carebear but I believe that if we really want Darkfall to become a very succesfull game, the niche needs to open up just a bit. There's no need to do great or essential changes but some little ones to make newb's life easier. I don't know how many people stops playing because of this and I know this problem is linked with the Grind but I think some more noob help would be apreciated. Finally, what I think would attract more players than anything is "Merchandising". Only if you are dedicated MMORPG follower will you know about Darkfall and the very big crowd of PC players is the real objective. Games like WoW, WAR or AoC have received extensive coverage by many videogames magazines and websites and that's what Darkfall needs.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Expansion ETA has been given

Finally. Tasos has posted a very propable ETA in Forums. Nothing to add really. I hope they release tomorrow the expansion notes so we can spend the weekend tinking about it. Maybe this ETA is a ruse to release it on monday and make a lot of people happy after so many sad delays.

Milestone 1

Yiha! This blog has reached 1.000 visits! Thank you all and keep coming!
If I can ask for something would be more comments. The main reason for this blog is to discuss about Darkfall stuff. Conversation and discussion are the key of interaction!

A change of routine

These past few days I've been back in Mahirim lands to do some questing and advance a bit some Title Quests. In Frostbourne I did little PvE and it wasn't very rewarding. I could get a very income of money, some R40 knives, some Q1 mats to skill Enchanting and that's it. Back at my race territory I was able to do some quest that even with their limited reward got me some very nice and useful items like catalysts, lots of Q1 mats, selentine ingots, major potions and gold. It has served to clear my mind aswell and now I want to do some PvP again. I still got a big way to become a true warrior but my magic skills are slowly catching up and little by little I'm getting there.
In newb lands I've been seen some people, it's not empty neither full. I can only imagine how nice will this cities look when there's lots of mahirims and orks wandering around. I'm sure that will improve player relationship aswell and give more meaning to being blue. We'll still waiting for the expansion but it sure seems close now and a lot of people is already making unofficial lists of expected features in forums.
Many of you will know that NEW is back. After Torinar left and disbanded the clan, Kimoshu Grakenshalmn, a player from Canada formerly playing in US1 decided to transfer to EU1 to help recreate it with some important and welcomed differences.
Can you imagine the expansion comes today? Or do you think they'll announce it in advance?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Forum Suggestion: Increase Random Chest Loot Over Time

Hi! Today, I've posted a Forum Suggestion that I believe could improve this beloved game of ours. You can find the suggestion and the poll attached to it here. Basicly, I'd like to see the random chests that keep spawning all over Agon increase their loot over time instead of just despawning after some time. Right now, those chest loot table is ridiculous and there's no incentive to go out there to explore weird places because you aren't gonna find anything. Maybe even static chests like Food Crate or Weapons Rack could use some of this loot increasing over time. If I decide to check that hidden and hard to reach cave on that snowy mountain, I'd like to have the chance of finding something nice to remember that. Well, check the forum thread and vote! Maybe Av will se the good on this suggestion and implement it someday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Darkfall Postcard 9: MetalFace

In here, I posted a picture of big face-shaped rock. Well, some days ago, while exploring our Frostbourne city I saw a face in the rock. So, am I obsessed or are they? This is your decision to make. Do you see the face in the mine too? I can very clearly see a nose and the left eye of a very rich (Selentine and Veilron) face.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Siege Report: Skaranibben 26th September

Yesterday, Lux Arcana was sieging Pandora's Skaranibben in return for their Ichan Siege three weeks ago. Some problems with LA forums delayed this siege until yesterday. The siege started pretty good, we had some good tactics and were a lot of people. Unfortunately, it went down pretty bad. The first fight were in a tunnel, Pandora were waiting for us at the end of the tunnel in a very big cave. The battle started with a lot of confusions blinding me for a very long time. I don't know why I felt I could advance a bit but I obviously shouldn't because other clan mates were moving in the other way. I soon was dead and ganked. Once again, I was not paying attention enough at the minimap and the position of other clanmates. My character is not that strong to survive kamikaze attacks and that's what I did there without fully knowing. I really need to be more cautious and fight among my group and mostly behind the hard and tough meleers. In the second and final fight we were the ones in the cave in they were coming from the tunnel. Our mistake was to let them in the cave, we should have hold our positions at the end of the tunnel, going to any side of the tunnel's mouth to heal and buff and slowly killed them one by one.  From my personal perspective, as soon as Pandora entered the cave in full force I was completely lost. I don't have the cold blood needed to survive in such uncomfortable situations, yet. When pursuing a fleeing enemy (stupid action, we was far and I was low on health) someone killed me with a couple of hits in the back and ganked.
We have learned a lot from this fight and a lot of discussion is still ongoing at the clan forums. I hope this makes us stronger and a better figthing force. One of the bery good things about Darkfall is its deep fighting gameplay that encourages a good strategic organization for the group and in-battle tactics for every individual. So, there will be always some room for personal and clan improvement. And that's pretty nice!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why do I love the bag?

There are some people out there who still go out without their Gear Bag and their most quoted explanation for it is that without a GB, their enemies have a harder time to loot them. I'm gonna explain my point of view through a little story.
A couple of days ago, Pandora came to PvP to Frostbourne (check the video below) and it was a long and very fun battle. On that battle, I died and was ganked. As I respawn, I quickly grabbed a GB and a mount from the bank (very few clicks and two drag&drops) and started riding towards enemy while putting my armour on. Fortunately, I was ganked when we were doing the final push and I managed to recover my previous GB. In that specific case, my quickness was not needed because we were already winning the battle but, nevertheless, I was ready to keep fighting in less then a minute. Readyness is quite important in Darkfall.
Few hours later, Pandora came back to Frostbourne and, this time, the battle was inside the walls. After an unsuccessful attempt to flank them I ran to the Clan Keep where the main battle was. A short fight later I died and was ganked again. In the loading screen, I heard in Vent that our main force on the roof was completely wiped. After respawning, with an iron faith and my Invulnerable Shield on I ran to the roof again. There were 4 Pandora ganking-looting  and I saw a Pandora dwarf looting one of three graves in the same spot where I had just died. As I ran towards him, I locate my grave but the dwarf, having already looted the previous grave, turns around, steps over my grave and stops in front of it. In despair, I ran towards it too and, one or two seconds later than him I press Use. Very nervous, I saw my GB appearing in front of me and without hesitation I drag it to my Backpack. I must have yelled something when I saw my GB in my Backpack. In a blink of an eye, I'm already jumping from the roof expecting the dwarf to follow me. I actually don't know if he did it or not but when I hitted the ground I had 0.1% of health left. I ran through the Keep, turn to the bank and press Use. After what seemed like an eternity, my bank opened and I managed to drag my GB back to safety. Hell yeah!! The best thing is that we even won that second fight agains Pandora in the end.
I hope now it's clear that using full GB is more efficient than dragging every necessary item to your Backpack. It also makes easy for a fellow clanmate to save your gear and offers the chance to do what I did with that Pandora dwarf. The only situation where not having a GB might be useful is when the enemy has ganked you but they are in a hurry; unfortunately, in that case, the enemy will most likely loot your best items and leave the shit behind. So, that's why I love the GB and I hope now, more people does.
An now a video from Van Dali from that first figth with Pandora. You'll see me die and rise again!