All right, so I lied a little. I said there’d be updates the other night but then I sat around for hours crafting armor for prowess in Darkfall. And then Wednesday was Robert’s birthday* so we spent a lot of time…playing Darkfall until we left for dinner with my family and then even more when we got home (and more today). But on with it!
If you had difficulty with the context clues, we’re playing Darkfall again. But listen, this isn’t the Darkfall Online from back in 2009; this is the new, revamped Darkfall Online: Unholy Wars. It’s basically the original game but with slightly better graphics (but much more awful character models), less content, more server instability, and a FUCKING AMAZING class system. That system, coupled with the full loot PvP and crazy politics, is why we’re overlooking some pretty serious warts.
The original Darkfall employed a use-based progression system. If you wanted to become better with an axe, you ventured out and swung an around. If you wanted to put on your robe and wizard hat, you cast spells like there was no tomorrow. I loved the idea in theory but I felt it created a perceived need to away-from-keyboard macro skills to a competitive level. The other drawback came with the lack of a skill cap. There was nothing to limit a character from maxing out all the schools of magic, the weapon skills, and stats. This made veteran players feel nearly unbeatable and gave newer players little incentive to fight outside zerg clans.
Unholy Wars uses a points based progression scheme. You earn these prowess points by doing nearly anything in the game; gathering, fighting, and crafting all count. There are also achievements for these activities, called feats, that award bonus prowess. Prowess points can be spent to learn combat or crafting skills, to increase your core attributes, and to raise your aptitude in combat and weapon skills. Your character can play as any of the four classes: elementalist, a fire-, water-, air-, or earth-based mage; primalist, specializing in life-giving heals or holy buffs and spells; skirmisher, an archer focused on high mobility or massive damage; and warrior, the quintessential high armor tanks or versatile fighters. However, you limited to a single role at a time and there is a generous cast time to switching between them.
I am an enormous fan of this system for a few reasons. It gives new players a way to boost the power of their characters while they learn the ropes by gathering, exploring, crafting, and fighting monsters in the safe zones where PvP is disabled. It also ensures that veteran players can’t have an every-class hybrid who seems overpowered to those who joined the game later or weren’t able to spend as much time playing. I love these changes Aventurine has made to the game play and mechanics in this new version of Darkfall. I believe they’ll help bring and keep new players, alleviate some of the frustration for those in the intermediate skill range, and still allow those at the higher skill levels to feel powerful.
TL;DR: Darkfall is hella fun and The Ninja Pirates are back, roaming the lands and seas of Agon and looking for trouble. Come play with us!
*Side note: Robert is now SIXTEEN. How the hell did my chubby-handed, Sesame Street-watching toddler turn into this deep-voiced, video game-playing man (that girls just seem to LOVE *scaredface*)? Okay, so the games part I get but WHERE DID THE TIME GO?!