Thursday, February 5, 2009

Darkfall Online: Report from a Leaker - Part 1



The amount of reports from Darkfall Online grows every day, so here is today's report:

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First login.

The thing that I noticed when I logged into Darkfall for the first time was that the graphics were actually pretty good. They weren't great, and I don't like the art direction, but the actual graphic quality is decent.

The thing that I didn't like right away was that all of the races look like caricatures of player models. Everything is oversized and ugly. If the rest of the game world was done in this oversized art style it would make sense, but since it's just the character models. They look out of place.

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One other visual complaint that I have is the fact that when models are in front of each other they get this black outline around them. You can see what I mean in the screenshot to the right.

So I created my character and logged in.

After the game loaded I tried to look around but mouse look was so laggy that I had to adjust my settings before I could even start playing. Pressing mouse2 brings up the menu and a mouse cursor so you can click on the options. Clicking mouse2 again goes back to the default crosshair view.

Ok, so "Smooth mouse look" is on by default. That would explain the laggy feeling. Nope, still lagging, but not as bad. Next thing that I did was turn down the graphics settings. I have a Quad Core Intel processor and an 8800 GT video card. Not top of the line, but I haven't had any issues running Lord of the Rings at almost full settings and Darkfall's graphics are subpar to LOTRO. So this surprised me.

Once I got the graphics optimized I had to fix the keybindings. The default setup is... odd. Ok, now that that's done let's explore.
I equipped my leaf blade and started runni... er... walking around town. What's this? No running?

*Checks keybindings*

Ah. Ok, there's a sprint button. Holding down the sprint button makes you run faster. From what I could tell it doesn't really lower your stamina much, if at all, unless you are fighting, so that's good, I suppose. It's kind of a pain in the neck holding down a button all the time though.

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So I ran around town a little bit, checked out the merchants. Lots of potential equipment to purchase, but I have no gold right now. Hey look, there's someone sitting on the ground! I know that there are guard towers in the starting towns so I figure I am going to die when I attack this guy, but what the hell, I'd like to see what happens. I sneak up behind the person and stick my sword into his back. As soon as I did that the guard towers started shooting laser beams. Really? Laser beams? After a few shots I fall unconscious and then I lost connection to the server.

When I logged back in I was at 100% health so I ventured off into the wilderness to find something / someone to kill.

(Sorry I don't have any screenshots of me fighting right now, I was trying to get some tonight but the game kept disconnecting me.)

After literally 10 minutes of running around I find 2 guys killing a goblin. I guess this is a goblin camp so I wait around for respawn. No respawn for 5 minutes so I ventured off over a nearby hill. Here I found some trolls. Or, more accurately, some trolls found me. I manage to kill one and try to run away from the 2nd. Luckily I still have a little bit of stamina left and am able to sprint away.

Now I'm just standing near a tree waiting for my health to recover. Nothing is happening. I assume there's a rest button or skill so I go looking through the skill list. Bingo, "Rest".
I drag the rest skill into the hotbar, click the corresponding number, click mouse1 and voila I'm resting. Supposedly you are very vulnerable in this mode so I was constantly looking around me to make sure no one was close.

But wait, nothing is happening still. It's been about 10 seconds and I still haven't regained any... oh.. wait. I think I just saw a microscopic sliver of health regenerate. Let me wait a few more seconds. Yep, it's regenerating all right.

A good 2 minutes later I'm about 90% full on health and stamina so I get up and go back to the troll area. I loot the gravestone (what, no corpse?) of the troll and get 18 gold. Wow. Some of the weapons I saw were hundreds of gold. Are you kidding me? So I go find another troll and engage it. Everything is going good until it's about to die. The troll suddenly turns and takes of running, so I chase after it. I manage to catch up to it by sprinting up almost all of my stamina. I just have enough for a few hits to kill it. I'm currently about 50% health and 0% stamina. As I'm looting the gravestone another troll comes out of nowhere and starts bashing me with his fists.

Oh yea, another thing. I haven't seen any monsters use weapons yet, but they all have weapons when they die.

Anyway, I can't do anything. I'm completely out of stamina so it kills me. I lie on the ground dying for a few minutes and then someone comes along and revives me. "Thanks!" I say.

Back to resting. 5 minutes later I'm full on health and stamina. So, right now I have been logged into the game for almost a hour and I have made 18 gold.

That was my first day. I was pretty bored at this point so I logged off.

My thoughts:

The game is slow. I mean sssllllooooowwwwww. Everything in the game feels like a grind.
Looking for monsters takes a long time, fighting takes a long time. The game is heavily group focused (it has to be, it's next to impossible to solo anything) but I could not find an easy way to start a group or to find members. It also strikes me as odd that a seemingly group focused game has group friendly fire.

Darkfall has a very old school MMO feel to it. I don't mean that in a good way. You get thrown into the game with no direction at all and just kind of fumble around until you can figure some things out. UO it definitely is not. First off, in UO you could start your character with at least 1 decent skill and two ok skills and earn enough gold by yourself the first hour to at least afford a GM katana and some GM leather armor from a local player merchant.

At the rate I was going it was going to be 7-8 hours of game time to even buy an upgraded weapon. Hardly the disposable equipment the game was supposed to have. But, of course, I'm still a noob and it very well might get easier as I start to gain skills. These are just my first impressions of the game.

I didn't really have fun the whole time I was logged in. Maybe Darkfall isn't going to be the game for me but I will continue to make an attempt at least to continue these blog entries.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

give me your account so it isn't wasted on you

Anonymous said...

send it to ralphhigs@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

i saw someone eat some food in a leak vid did you try that
?

mitch81 said...

thanks for the report, im eager to read more

hopefully i will get invited soon, cant await to play this game

Anonymous said...

I saw some screenshuts what was ended by a friend of my who was soo lucky to get in (or not?) The chars looks terrible!!!! the devs must take some anatomy sessons!its ok if the chars are caricatures but they are not ,they look like it was made by a 13 year old 3D fun student if they dont fix it fast it will be realy a shame!The animation sucks like hell ,we dont know about the game play coz it was disturb by crash and unbelivable lag! Grats for the devs!!!and finaly its the most expensive game in the market :)
(Sory my english is not perfeckt)