Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Darkfall CounterPostcard: The empty server

Well, well, yesterday's post was a sign of today server's demise. The server has been down for hours and it's not likely to come back online until sometime tomorrow. An MMORPG is a complicated beast with a thousand vital organs and anyone can fail at any given time. Unfortunately, we players only see the 4 red offline simbols that mean we can't play the game. I don't really know what happens but I trust Aventurine is doing their best so this never happens again and to improve server performance (a key component in the player's enjoyment). From this humble blog I'd like to send my best wishes to any technician involved in repairing the server and godspeed for the responsibles fo the next and late expansion. The people might revolt if they're too hungry! ;-D

Monday, August 30, 2010

Darkfall Postcard 8: The Empty Inn

All Agon is waiting for the coming patch to crawl out of their holes and start repopulating the 5 continents once again. Unfortunately, the awaited patch will not implement more NPC so this beautiful Inn will remain empty and lonely for some time. What a pity...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cap and caps and caps...

In this post from Syncaince blog, I've discovered that Final Fantasy XIV will have an experience cap. This means that players will earn a limited amount of experience per week. I also agree that's a good thing. As said in the Hardcore Casual blog, players can become true robots when there's a potential prize to win. In Darkfall, there's no cap and a player will probably need his whole life to max each and everyone of the skills and stats. So, lots of Darkfall players dedicate a big part of ther gaming time to train some skill or spell or whatever. Sometimes, it's dificult to find players to play with because they are all macroing something or farming X mob because they need Y material to skill up the Z skill.
When I started playing Darkfall I saw it very clear, a soft cap or good skill decay system is what Darkfall needs to reduce the Grind and to let players play for fun instead of playing for the numbers.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The wind barely blows

Well, well, I got a som R40 knives to buy but besides that there's not a lot to do in Agon right now. I'm still thinking on how to do the SGs interviews and today I've seen a thread on Darkfall's Forums that confirms me that my Politics Section in this blog might be very useful if I find the right way to do it. The thread is here (Create a forum for Sg's) and Frank from SUN asks for a subforum where only SG can write and read to reduce the amount, the very big amount of forum trolling. As someone else has said, that forum could be trolled with ease and I think that everyone should be able to read what's post in there but I don't dislike completely his suggestion. Actually, what I want to do in this blog is something similar, I'd like to build an embassy where SGs can truly discuss about politics without the extra hundred troll posts. I'm not gonna open a forum in this blog but I'm gonna try to do something that can work like that. We'll see...
Keep playing!
And convince some friends!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Toad's Tongue: First Sight

Well, I've decided to start with a small part of my take on Agon's Politics. This first section will be called Toad's Tongue because that's how I feel when I try understand what's happening in the rest of Agon. I could told you a lot of things of Lux Arcana but I got only very few things to say about big wars and conflicts. Nevertheless, I will.
In this, my first Toad's Tongue I'd like to describe the current status of Agon EU1. Right now there's a big war that many people in the forums (The Big Embassy) are calling World War III. I think that the first or second involved the famous Hyperion Alliance but I'm too young to remember those things. Two big alliances are figthing said war: Zagenda and ANG FRISST KINDER (I will use the names in Urme as it's the more reliable source).
In Zagenda, the two most influential clans are zZzZz with Xzyzz zyXz (aka Foggen from The Big Embassy) and SUN with Tsalarian Crystalshard (although I've always considered Frank Sinatra to be its leader); other clans in the alliance are Nadirian Hordes (payed mercenaries I believe), The Fremen Knights and Aesir (who returned back to EU1 after a long absence).
In ANG FRISST KINDER, the two most influential clans are ANG with Razor Ramon (and KRANKONE HSLER as defacto leader) and Devil Preservation Society with King Kokane; other clans in the alliance are The Black Company, Mental Disorder, Le Clan Neanias and French Kiss.
I really don't know why has this World War started but I guess there's no simple reason and probably you'll find every reason needed in TBE. zZzZz, SUN, ANG and DPS, as four of the most influential clans in the server, have always had resentments and conflicts. Some say this WW is due to the low population the server has been suffering during the summer and it might have something to do too.
I'm not completely sure about this but, from what I've been reading in TBE, I think the Zagenda alliance is winning the war partly because of SUN joining the alliance recently. But I really don't care about any of the two sides, the only clan I know, Nadirian Hordes are there as mercenaries and this war is going to help them for sure, so I'm happy for them. I only hope, those apocaliptic voices that say "this war is gonna make people leave the game" are very wrong.
From the little swamp, the Toad says: Enjoy the game!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Friends will be friends

While I think how to start the Politics Section, I want to post a little picture of some clanmates getting ready to roll at clan bank. In this game, more than any other I've played before, you need to have some friends. That's why the majority of people joins a clan as soon as they can. Some very brave players wander the land by themselves but unless you have a good toon and you are a good player you are going to suffer A LOT. For me, that's actually a flaw. For this game to grow bigger it needs to be more solo and casual friendly. Right now, every other player, even a blue one, is seen as the enemy when he should be your ally, at least temporarily. In this game, when two players meet eachother, 99% of the time is to kill eachother, 0.5% to ignore eachother and the 0.5% is to help eachother. Darkfall needs a better alignment system that favors people helping eachother and a better chat system including Chat Bubbles to improve player communication. With those two things, Darkfall would improve quite a lot. Enjoy the game!

Monday, August 23, 2010

One step in politics

Agon EU1 is right now a very interesting place to live in even if it's kinda deserted. There is a World War ongoing and you only need to check Urme's Map to realize it. How did it start? Who are the main players behind it? Who's winning or losing? How big are the armies figthing? I know some of this answers but you need to pay close atention to EU1 Clan Discussion to discover what's really going on and I gotta say, it's not an easy task.
That's why I'd like to create a Politics Section in this, my blog. I'd like it to be an organized and weekly section where you can check the political status of EU1 and the main clans intentions or justifications in a quick look. I've written a post in Darkfall Forums to see what are the opinions of the rest of the players and, hopefully, to receive some good and useful feedback. You can find the thread in here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back in the lonely planet

Well, my vacations are over and I'm back in Agon. Unfortunately, Agon is pretty empty these days. Summer is never a good time for MMORPGS and moreover, a lot of people is waiting for the next expansion to start playing again. I gotta say that I came back from my holidays expecting at least some kind of update on the expansion status but there were nothing like that.
The bright side is that our city, Ymmenek is raided pretty often so we have enough action at home but Agon is mostly empty right now and that's not a good thing.
On the political side of things, Urme's map shows how 2 big alliances have gathered to do battle in what a lot of people in Forums are calling Agon's World War 3. I'd like to talk about the Darkfall EU1 politics but I'm still thinking about how to do it. Keep reading!

PS: I've finished A Game of Thrones and I need to recommend it to every Darkfall player out there. Don't miss it!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Tomorrow, I'm leaving my dark and sweet cave to go on vacations. They're not exactly vacations but the result is the same: until the 20th I'll be completely disconnected from both real life and from Darkfall life. I won't have internet connection so there won't be any kind of post. Actually, in this last post until my return, I want to point out the Q&A Follow Up that Tasos has written in the Spotlight section of Darkfall Forums. Well, see you in a couple of weeks!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Darkfall Postcards 7: Rockface

Agon is a very old place and ancient cultures now gone used to roam the land. We know some of them like the great Nithron and the rich Chal d'Ean but the wise explorers know there are even older constructions and sculptures in Agon, like the old Rockface.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

May the light fall upon Ymennek

Yep! Lux Arcana owns Ymennek. Yesterday night, there was the final stage of a city trade (Darkmoore for Ymenek) with clan Risen. We were expecting some trouble but the siege ended easy and quickly. Ymennek is suposedly more PvP active than Darkmoore and we all are waiting for daily raids from our friendly neighbours (and I'm not talking about Spiderman).
Yesterday, after we took the clanstone down and waited a few minutes to see if anyone was coming. We decided to go raid something since we already were prepared and eager for a fight. Our first stop was Ghanalag but nobody was there. After we left, I think Maejohl got some tells from Pandora asking us to come back for a fight but we were already in our way to Ul'Hamra. There we surely found a good fight. In the beginning it seemed the city was kinda empty but some people from The Black Company started to appear like ants out of their holes and they gave us a very nice PvP round. I managed to stay alive longer than I'm used to so all in all I really enjoyed it.
Ymennek looks like a very fun city to defend so I hope some more PvP will happen soon. God know I need the practice!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Q&A 2: Answers from Aventurine

Yeeeha! This answers really come with good timing because a lot of people were craving for more info on things to come. The bad news is that my question (Are there any plans to implement free configuration city so you can choose wich canons or wich buildings you build or not?) was not answered and I wonder why. It looks to me that they don't know it yet, only reason I can imagine.
Anyway, they did answer many other questions and here some of the highlights:

“Darkfall 2010” is our internal code name for this project. Our intent is to have it complete within the year, but we can’t rule out that it will take longer than that. We’ve been working on this for quite a while, it’s parallel development to Darkfall and almost as big a project as making a new game.
First, I'm anxious to see what is Darkfall 2010 going to be. On the other hand, most likely, it will come on 2011. But they are rising the hype saying that it is "almost as making a new game".
 6) Are there any plans to limit schools of magic in order to allow mages to specialize in other schools? - Meaty Maggnus, Inquisition

Yes, some of the prestige classes we’re working on will allow for this. 
This! Good news indeed. Some time ago, I wrote a post in Darkfall Forums about how would I like the Prestige Classes to work and basicly, it works kinda like this, a way to create personal specialization. This is good news!! Elemental mages and necromancers incoming!
16) Any plans for Archery to get some secondary skills or utilities? - Izure Blackweb

We’re working on several new additions to archery in connection to the prestige classes.

17) What can we expect to see happen to Archery to make it more attractive as a primary play-style? - Rok Strike, Dark Hand of Valor

What we said in the question above, also, we’re going to offer more weapon types and ammunition types for archers
Oh, yes! Finally archers will be archers! They are gonna get "new additions", whatever that means, more weapon types and ammunition types. At last! That's the best part for me, since I'm an archer, but I think everyone will agree that's good news.
18) Do you have any plans to add an extra hotbar to the user interface? - Talon X, VAMP

We’re re-making the entire interface.
We really needed this. I hope we get rid of big fps drop because of the interface, a new chat sistem and better tools to set all of your bindings.
20) Have Aventurine considered a server merge between EU and US servers and situate the server on east coast US or Iceland? - Lord Seph

No we haven’t, we’re actually looking into opening up more servers long-term as population increases through the free trial and other initiatives, like Darkfall digital distribution partner availability, local distributors etc. We’re also speaking with partners in Asia about offering Asian servers as there seems to be strong interest in the game.
Something bitter sweet again. Another server would mean less population for the existing two, even if it's low percentage. But, they thinking this is a good sign, means the game is healthy.
23) Is the Current Alignment System working as intended, and if not what are the future plans for modifying the Alignment System ? - Morad Wrothmarch

We have plans to do some things to improve it and make it more versatile, we feel for the time being that it’s adequate. We’re also looking into adding more controls as ways that improve your alignment.
This doesn't look good. They are not gonna say: "it's not working" but to say "it's adequate", means they have no plans for a complete revamp which I think it needs.
33) Are there any plans to add some kind of salvaging Skill? - Rochus Beerbelly, Pandora

This is something which is planned but low priority at the moment.
Oh, well. I'll start selling all the shit I've been gathering.
35) The introduction of cargo holds to ships has already been announced, along with the ability of cities to prevent raiders from using their banks. What is the extent of this localization process, and will this end goal include local / regional banking? - Comrade Zaffa

We’re working towards regional and local economies, not so much towards local banking.
I'll have to come back to this one because how can you have a local economy without local banking?
40) Will you ever remove the siege / political change global system messages? - Zig Zag, Lux Arcana

No we happen to like the messages. Why do you want them removed?
There you go. A very straight answer. I don't like the global messages so, I guess maybe with a good discusion we can change their mind.
54) Are there currently any plans for alternative methods of travel on land, specifically in the forms of stage coaches or chariots? - Rigan Peer, Nomads

No plans currently but we’re considering adding a portal system.
What? Well, well, this a big thing. Lots of people have been arguing about portal system, yes or no. For me, the worst is: no chariots anytime soon.

Well, that's all. I guess these days there's gonna be many discussions in the Forums and it will make the wait for next expansion a little bit easier.

Darkfall Postcard 6: Magic is everywhere!

Well, well, a long time since I took a beautiful or curious screenshot! The moment ha arrived to start again the Darkfall Postcard section an so, even if this snapshot is not really good, here we go! I found this place in Alfar lands and it looks like a Chal d'Ean place of high magic but right now it's home of several Severii undead soldiers. The worst thing about this descovery, as usual, is the lack of things to do here. It would be nice if you could overload yourself with magic or get any magic item in this place. I still hope this kind of things will come with time. Patience, my friends, patience.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My first duel

I'm a very impatient player and because of that I've done quite less grouped play and PvP than most. It's time to change that and the Lux Arcana PvP Ladder is a very good way to do that and so are Duels. I've done some duels in the past but I never took them very seriously and so, today I challegen Brutal to my first true Duel. And he beat me. Yes, I got a lot of practice to do, mostly on the bow side of things because I hardly hit him.
After it, I dueled with MrBiggo and he did beat me too. The Duel itself was very similar and it was again hard to hit him with an arrow even when he was quite close to me.
Well, I'm gonna keep on challenging clanmates to improve my skills and sure hope I learn how to aim on duels. The weird thing is that in sieges or grouped PvP I've hit people more often than today in the duels. Anyway, I'm gonna train like Rocky himself!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Getting ready is harder than expected.

Well, after my recent come back to Darkfall some days ago I've been trying to get ready to do some serious PvP and so I started to gather the mats to create several PvP bags but it's been quite hard. For one, not every mat is easy to come by, Hag Hearts for example has been a real pain. First, wait til night falls cause they don't appear in daylight; then kill them far enough from their respawn point and be lucky enough to get a Hag Heart. That last part has been kinda bad, I've killed lots of them and only gathered 15 miserables HH.
Then after I collected most of what I needed, there's the enchanter problem. The Enchant skill is so hard to train that in Lux Arcana there's only a fistful of Q3 enchanters.
Anyway, now most of the work is done and I expect to start dueling for the PvP Ladder as soon as I can. We'll see how that goes.

Sound, sound, sound!

Anyone who plays Darkfall knows how important sound is in this game. So, I decided to buy a sound card and today I've received my brand new SB Extreme Gamer. Despite the sound quality improvement I'm not completely satified because I couldn't make the CMSS-3D work. That feature is supposed to create a virtual surround signal for headset but I don't know if it's my problem or its problem. Maybe I haven't been able to configure everything right but I've alerady tried many different iterations. Well, in the meantime I can enjoy a very good headset with some nice sound quality even if I'll enjoy it even more in winter, damn is hot this summer! I've already posted a "Help Me!" thread in Darkfall forums and I know sooner or later I'm gonna make it work.