Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Darkfall Online: How the Guild system works



Now that Darkfall is out for a while, many people may be interested in the Guild mechanics.

Main Menu

This is the main menu of the guild interface. Right away we can see that there are a wide variety of features that you won’t find in many other MMOs.  The interface has a built in message board system in the game for your guild, and a separate officer’s forum.  While I am sure most guilds that are remotely serious already have their own website with these, it is definitely an interesting addition.

Darkfall Online Guild Menu

Aside from the forums, we can see some other standard features like the general roster and guild bank management.  Depending on the nature of your guild, there is actually a built in KOS (Kill on Sight) list that some might want to utilize to make a note of who is at the top of your shit list.  If your guild is involved in the conquest side of the game, there is an interface to show your status with other guilds, and another to keep track of your guild’s conquest history.

Roster

This is the bread and butter screen of pretty much every guild interface in every MMO.  The roster in Darkfall contains a lot of the general information listing all of the members, their clan rank, race, gender, and online status.  Unique to Darkfall on this screen however is a listing of each members alignment, so that everyone can monitor how close to going red or blue each member is.

Darkfall Online Guild Roster

Across the top of the roster there are several tabs that provide even more information.  The “Fighting” tab shows a list of all kills that members of your guild have done to people who are on your KOS list or in guild which has been declared as enemy status.  We also see the “Support” tab which keeps tracks of players who have been revived (helping up an incapacitated player) by the guild members during a time of war.  Conversely, the “Ganking” tab tracks the ganks (final blows to incapacitated players) that members have performed to those on the KOS and enemy guild list.

KOS List

The kill on sight list is the tool in which to declare a specific player an enemy of your guild.  I am sure we all have heard other players threatening other players with KOS lists in other games, but Darkfall actually has it built right into the game.  So if you were one of those people who kept the list next to the computer or had the list on your forums, you can put away the pen and paper.

Darkfall Online Kill-on-Sight (KOS) list

With this addition, now all of the members of your guild will have access to the individuals on your shit list.  The list will display data on the KOS individual including their name, guild, rank in that guild, and gender.  This makes for a useful tool to target a specific member of a certain guild without declaring war an their entire roster.  Although one would have to imagine that singling out and killing a certain member of a guild could lead to an escalation, but that is left up to the players to decide.

Guild Bank

This is the tool in the guild interface that allows the guild to track and monitor activity of member interaction with the guild bank.  The main screen can be sorted out between deposits and withdraws, and lists the item and the quantity in each transaction.

Darkfall Online Guild Bank

The amount of data listed can be sorted by time. You can decide to only see today’s transactions, or you can opt take see all the transactions digging back to a week, month, or all time.  Across the top we first see the “Resource” tab, which consolidates the transactions.  For example, instead of seeing 10 transactions from members adding 50 gold each, the resource tab simply consolidates it to 500 gold for easier viewing.  The “Current Items” tab is a complete inventory list of all the items that in the guild bank vault.

Diplomacy

The diplomacy tab is a tool in the interface that displays your relationships with clans as defined by the guild.  Given how guild oriented the game can become, this tool helps you assign a value to guilds so that members can see the policy towards other guilds.  I like to think of this window much like the diplomacy adviser from Civ 4 in that it helps you untangle the web of relationships between your guild and the various others that you are bound to cross paths with as you play the game.

Darkfall Online Guild Diplomacy

Clan Empire

This is the tool in the interface that tracks activity relating to guild conquest.  Think of this an as event log that keeps track of various aspects and events during your wars with other clans.

Darkfall Online Guild Wars

Down the side of the tool, we can see that members are able to filter the list by wins, losses, treaties, and active conflicts.  Across the top of the screen, first we see the “Cities” tab.  This enables guild members to view all information regarding the cities the guild controls and destroyed.  The “Structures” tab lists all structures that the guild has either disabled or destroyed.

The Verdict

The Darkfall guild UI is definitely one of the most intricate my guild has seen in an MMO, and is the first we have seen in a while to give the Everquest 2 guild UI a run for its money.  The only issue is that it seems that opening it up can take a few seconds for it to load because it uses some form of HTML.  Hopefully this should give other guild leaders and future members an idea of the tools that we have at our disposal.  I mentioned in my beta review that to really experience all of what Darkfall has to offer, you should consider playing with friends or joining up with a guild.  I hope that this has provided you with some insight on that experience.  Aventurine has clearly spent a lot of time working on this side of the game, and as time goes on we will hopefully get a better idea of how all of this will come together.

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