Darkfall: If You Bought It Once, Surely You'll Buy It Again And Again

At the risk of my immortal soul being cast into torment, it’s time to briefly note events in the Darkfall megaverse. Mainly, WarDarkfall is coming to America! I know, we’re all excited. So excited, let’s queue up the Darkfall soundtrack! Remember, every time I post about Darkfall, you get an Ayumi Hamasaki video. It’s like multiple gifts that keep giving, really.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvbgZ9VS5OQ

My own experience with Darkfall matched, well, my experience watching the above video – immediate recoiling, wait a minute, what the hell IS that thing, are they REALLY doing that, oh, I’m embarassed I watched that, ok, that was sort of cool, oh, it’s done, man, I need a drink, oh cool, there’s some in the fridge, ah, much better, hm, I wonder if I recorded the Daily Show last night, oh, hey, I’m still writing this blog entry.

Yes, writing about Darkfall is EXACTLY like that. If only playing Darkfall were as interesting.

And that’s really why there never was any followup to the epic Lum Wanders Darkfall Aimlessly To A J-Pop Beat series of posts – not because I wasn’t hardcore killer enough, or because I disliked the thought of being randomly ganked (which never happened, ever, by the way), or whatever – but because I just wasn’t that into it. It was the fatal “I could be playing something fun right now” moment. I could have gotten into a guild anonymously and continued to run in several directions swinging a sword in a dramatic overhand motion – but I didn’t really want to. And I’m not making any judgement about the dozens of people who *do* want to – it’s quite apparent from any posting mentioning the “D” word on the Internet that it has its loyal defenders. Which is fine – any game can develop a coterie, especially one as targeted-niche as Darkfall.

Those loyal defenders, at least, are once again to be tested. At least the ones in America.

The American server will launch on July 7th. Characters from the European server can be cloned and moved without their possessions 3 months after the American launch. Certain restrictions and charges will apply, to be announced at a later date. In the meanwhile if you want to play on the American server at launch you need to buy the American Darkfall client. More information on the American server will be available in a few days.

This is probably about the worst possible solution possible that Aventurine could have devised:

  • In a game based on guilds vs. guilds, guilds will be forced to decide, on a case by case basis between rerolling on a new server and participating in the land rush, waiting 3 months (because Aventurine has a track record of meeting announced dates, we can assume this will happen on schedule), or staying on the original server
  • Players have been demanding a new server to get a fresh start without the bug exploits that existed at launch, but will need to pay again for the privilege…
  • …and it won’t matter, because said exploit-levelled characters will just charcopy on over a few months later, anyway.

So, really, it’s perfect! Because in the grim world of Darkfall, if you’re not a bad enough dude to rescue the President, you need to just GTFO. What would be crippling missteps for other MMOs are just the daily news in Darkfall.

But then again, I’m probably just part of the Vast Carebear-Wing Conspiracy, which EVEN NOW is assaulting everything Darkfall stands for…

The current public forums will remain active for anyone to post in, but moderation will be stronger. This because we’re getting people from other communities with the sole intention of disrupting our forums. The Darkfall community has always been a source of good feedback, constructive criticism, and inspiration for the Darkfall developers and we’ll keep it that way by doing away with the non-constructive elements.

Yes, really, the ONLY problem with the Darkfall forum community are those annoying other communities. PURGE THE HERETICS.

Thank you for reading
The Darkfall Team

No, The Darkfall Team, thank YOU.

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25 Responses to Darkfall: If You Bought It Once, Surely You'll Buy It Again And Again

  1. Arkenor says:

    How long has this Social bidsystem advert been at the bottom of the page? I have no problem with advertising at all. I use ads myself, but this one keep loading and reloading over and again, and earlier decided to suddenly redirect me to another site and not let me get back.

  2. Gx1080 says:

    Pshhh. Adventurine think that they are macho for purging the heretics (aka anybody that points the flaws of the game), but god forbids that something bothers to the exploiter elite. They are the special kids.

    That said…/puts flame suit on and /popcorn.

  3. geldonyetich says:

    I think even our most prolific Darkfall defender is already looking forward to Mortal Online at this point, so this ship has sailed.

    A niche of players who don’t know what they really want migrating between a niche of developers who don’t know what they’re making. It’s one of those cosmic irony things.

  4. Arkenor says:

    I find Darkfall’s developers to be fairly terrifying, to be honest. I can imagine them coming to get me if they didn’t like what I was saying.

    I’m still unconvinced the Darkfall thing isn’t just an elaborate scam cooked up by the Mafia.

  5. geldonyetich says:

    From The Mortal Online Wikipedia entry.

    The balance of Mortal Online’s open-PvP relies heavily on its flagging system. Each player and NPC (Non-Player Characters, Creatures etc) in the game has a flag (color) that is visible to you when you highlight or target them. The color will tell you some basic facts about that player, for instance if it’s “ok” to attack him/her or not, although you will never be forbidden to do so by the system. You too have a flag of course, visible to yourself at all times.

    Neutral/Blue players are innocent (well, as innocent as they get) and it’s not ok for you to damage them. You may not steal from them, or cast suspicious spells on them either. Nor poison them. If you do so, you become Allowed/Grey. Kill enough of them and you will eventually be flagged as a Murderer/Red.

    Allowed/Gray players have behaved badly in some way against you or someone else in the last few minutes, meaning you can attack them without becoming Grey for everybody else. But remember, if you attack them first, they have the right to attack you back! (Meaning they see you as Grey.)

    Murderers/Red players have committed several murders, and you better look out for them. You can attack them without turning Grey for everybody else, but if you attack first, they have the right to attack you back! (Meaning they see you as Grey.)

    We have come full circle, apparently. Because, after all, that solution worked out really well the last time they used it.

  6. Arkenor says:

    For instance “With the latest news to be uncovered, it appears Aventurine has procured a 20 million Euro convertible bond ($27.5m USD) loan with Marfin Bank[27] at the behest of Proton Investment Bank of Greece[28].” from http://www.warcry.com/articles/view/editorials/3222-Surlys-Column-State-of-the-Game-Darkfall-Razorwax-and-Aventurine-Heres-the-Rub.

    I may be underestimating how much money it cost to develop Darkfall, but 20 million Euros ought to buy a lot of game.

    And aye, Mortal Online looks to have what some old-schoolers, such as myself, would call a “proper” karma system. Of course, other old-schoolers would call us feeble nancy boys, but they’re mostly still playing Darkfall.

  7. Owain says:

    A clarification has been issued:
    http://forums.darkfallonline.com/showthread.php?t=198228

    Clarification: American players wanting to clone and transfer their characters do not have to buy another client. Everyone else needs to buy the American Darkfall client to play on the American server. The European rights and the American rights to Darkfall do not belong to the same company, therefore you cannot freely transfer between the two territories, as is the case with most MMORPGs. Our offer of character cloning / transfer to American players is because we had said that we would try to accommodate them should they want to start playing on the European server.

    I am anticipating Mortal Online, but still actively play DF. The KGB is considering the NA move.

  8. Arkenor says:

    And I just got redirected to another site again. Just minding my own business, and suddenly the page changes. Is this not happening to anyone else here today?

  9. geldonyetich says:

    My browser (FireFox) appears to be saying put, Arkenor. You might just have yourself an ad-bot hijacking your web browser. I’d hit up something like AdAware if you’re not already.

    Well, if they’re not forcing American players to buy the game a second time, that’s much better, although they’re basically deciding it’s necessary to put a financial stumbling block up there for Europeans looking to infiltrate the American server.

    Clearly, Adventurine isn’t looking to halve their server populations, so they’re redoubtably doing this relaunch in anticipation a whole bunch of American players who didn’t get on board the first time…

    … I’m not real confident there’s a whole lot left. Darkfall Online managed to land a bunch of hype, intentionally or not, so that most anyone who heard about the game here in the states and was interested in playing it probably already has.

    For the Darkfall defenders, I’d have to ask, if there was one thing you would change about Darkfall Online that could possibly keep you in the game instead of heading off to Mortal Online, what would it be?

  10. Owain says:

    Early voting in the KGB is running heavily towards leaving Darkfall. The common feeling is that this is perfidy on their part, and we’ll have none of it.

  11. geldonyetich says:

    The forums look like a full fledged implosion in progress.

    A helpful forum poll is showing that about half the players are quitting either now or by the time their subscription ends, another 22.8% are thinking of quitting, and 27% are planning on sticking around (half of which will wait for the 3 months transfer).

    Of course, this is just the vocal forumites, who are hardly reflective of the average Darkfall player. For example, this poll would seem to suggest that the Europeans are outnumbed by Americans by about 5 to 3. It would appear this change is affecting the majority of the players, but it probably helps pad the American side that the forum is in English.

    If I’m reading this correctly, the lead complaint is just that they don’t like the idea of having to start over on a new server.

    The lesson here: if you cater to the hardcore, expect to be financially PK’d the minute you do something that minutely ticks them off.

  12. Owain says:

    Since NA players can transfer their chars, rerolling isn’t a problem. The KGB’s objectioin is that we have many new European members, and if they want to play on the NA server, they have to buy a new client, and reroll. THAT is our objection. We supported DF early on, both in America and in Europe, and this is the dishonorable choice taken by DF. A bad faith offer, which the players appear to be declining.

  13. Wendelius says:

    I swear I read Broken Toys for the articles. But I still had to wait until the end of the video to read this one. 🙂

    EG recently mentioned that their DF re-review is nearly ready. But does anyone still care? That kind of move is certainly not going to increase their user base.

  14. yunk says:

    That is odd about moderating the forums. If they were real hardcore there’d be no moderation, but full frontal forum war!

    Meh AFAIK some MMOs let you transfer, some do not. It depends on licensing and all. At least we can play WoW with our friendly Australians, for now that is.

  15. This is probably about the most moneygrubbing solution possible that Aventurine could have devised:

    Fixed that for ya, Scott.

    Let’s be honest here, they’re doing it for the cash. They have a (currently) captive audience that is rabid for this type of gameplay, and that audience that is about as loyal as Ms. Hamasaki is concerned about modesty in that video. They know they’re king of the hill right now, and it’s time to milk the cow before something else comes along to become the “savior of PvP”.

    As for Geldon’s link too the poll above, cue the public nerd rage. I put those stats in context of the complaints about gold sellers; everyone hates them, but they seem to have enough customers to stay in business. We’ll see if people seeing red feel the same way when the opportunity to get in early and “ZOMG dominate!” rolls around.

  16. Flimgoblin says:

    Was getting that funny redirect thing Arkenor – seemed to boot me to another video site.

  17. Arkenor says:

    Flimgoblin :
    Was getting that funny redirect thing Arkenor – seemed to boot me to another video site.

    I’m relieved it’s not just me. Pretty darn annoying though!

  18. Suraknar says:

    Haha thank you for the Ayumi Hamasaki video…

    I must admit, acoustically I did like it (reminded me many Cartoons I watched as a kid)…it was the visuals that were, lets say different, yet, there was a big crowd going crazy down there anyways..just like Darkfall has a Crowd.

    Nice write up on DF even if they quickly clarified their position. I think the choice to have players transfer only after 3 months from launch and without possessions is a sound one for the American server.

    As for MO, I am not sure it will do any better than DF…we shall see.

    The bottom line is that DF failed in so many levels, it was a big disappointment for many, including myself. Not because of the the Full loss and full Loot, but because of the mechanics this Full Loss and Full loot is implemented in.

    It is nothing like Ultima Online, and I doubt it will ever be. The worst thing of all this is that the Marketing has been done solely through word of mouth, and that word of mouth had given a completelly wrong picture of the game. Of course AV knew that, yet, they let it continue because in the end they can justify plausible denyability and cash in on the copy sales.

    We shall see what the future holds.

  19. JuJutsu says:

    “The bottom line is that DF failed in so many levels, it was a big disappointment for many, including myself. Not because of the the Full loss and full Loot, but because of the mechanics this Full Loss and Full loot is implemented in.”

    Thank you for not calling it broken, you’d get Owain started on another round of punditry.

  20. Hally says:

    “…moderation will be stronger. This because we’re getting people from other communities with the sole intention of disrupting our forums.”

    I’m sure the BBC and Voice of America must be behind this evil plot to meddle in Darkfall’s internal affairs.

  21. Richard Bartle says:

    Just as an aside, if you like Ayumi Hamasaki you really must watch the yearly extravaganza that is the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the same kind of mad but in 20 dimensions.

    Richard

  22. wufiavelli says:

    First came to this blog as a darkfall troll. But it kind of turned me around in the end. Well this one and eldergames.

    They have also always talked about wanting to keep their hype down. This should really help dampen their hype if that’s their goal.

  23. faefrost says:

    Why would the news of how they were handling the official North American launch, and the horrible and punishing policy decisions involved surprise anyone.

    These folks launched the game originally using the “Cartmanland” business model.

  24. faefrost says:

    geldonyetich :The forums look like a full fledged implosion in progress.
    A helpful forum poll is showing that about half the players are quitting either now or by the time their subscription ends, another 22.8% are thinking of quitting, and 27% are planning on sticking around (half of which will wait for the 3 months transfer).
    Of course, this is just the vocal forumites, who are hardly reflective of the average Darkfall player. For example, this poll would seem to suggest that the Europeans are outnumbed by Americans by about 5 to 3. It would appear this change is affecting the majority of the players, but it probably helps pad the American side that the forum is in English.
    If I’m reading this correctly, the lead complaint is just that they don’t like the idea of having to start over on a new server.
    The lesson here: if you cater to the hardcore, expect to be financially PK’d the minute you do something that minutely ticks them off.

    I think you made one slightly incorrect assumption about Darkfall or its playerbase. As we all agree for most MMO’s the forum trolls no matter how vocal really are a small percentage of the games population, and rarely show real trends.

    But Darkfall is a game that was marketed almost exclusively to the hardcore forum trolls. It has no casual player component. There were no retail box sales at Walmart. In order to even get the game up to this point you either had to be a forum troll who knew it was out there, or a close friend of said forum troll. And even then you had to deal with a purchase system geared for only the most determined and obsessive. (the Cartmanland marketing model).

    So in this case Adventurine should probably be paying an awful lot of attention to those forum trolls. They are not just a higher percentage base then in other games. They are pretty much ass Adventurine has got.

  25. Vetarnias says:

    Mr. Jennings: I must say that I perfectly understand why you stopped playing Darkfall, and I would have done the same thing. But at the same time I have to admit that I am slightly disappointed by this anticlimax, because your previous post was giving the indication that your follow-up would become an instant classic.

    Still, as you demonstrated, there are still many other Darkfall-related tidbits to talk about.

    I wish I could read more of Owain’s take on Darkfall now, regardless of which reason will cause him or his guild to stop playing. And I hope he will address the political climate in the game, which already appears to be consolidated between three or four alliances: http://df.urme.com/ Looking at that map, I wouldn’t be surprised if it later boiled down to the two blues and the whites in the middle, with the Death alliance having the best spot.

    And if Darkfall is collapsing: Heh, there goes my interest for Mortal Online as well, next stop on the Hardcore train wreck line.

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