And so it begins. I have finally obtained my copy of Darkfall (account really) and started playing last night. I played for about four hours or so and in that span of time not only did I join a guild but I even got to participate in my first resource gathering session. We only ran into one guy on a mount but scared him off relatively easy and managed to gather a good amount of ore from rocks in the area. Needless to say it was not the gankfest I had expected to jump into.
I jumped on for a short period today and worked on skilling up my swords so that I could return to take down those pesky goblins, and I was rewarded as not too long into my session some guildies asked me to join them on some goblin farming. We spent a bit of time out in the wild where we found what appeared to be a run-down elven village infested with goblins. Obtaining the four axes and the kills needed seemed like a breeze with help from my guildies as we seemingly slaughtered the buggers and looted their bloody tombstones.
It wasn't until our return to a local city that I encountered my first real PvP experience. There were two orange named guys near the bank which I was told meant that they were enemies of our guild. We engaged the targets and both were slaughtered. Little did I know one of them had a good selection of stuff on him, though it was hard to get much of what he carried as the others around him surrounded his tombstone and took most of his stuff. He carried a modest amount of gold, some heavier armor, weapons and a mount. Sadly I didn't manage to grab the mount but was awarded with his shield and boots, along with some food, a staff and a sickle. He returned rather quickly and while I was banking my goods he managed to kill me, however I got lucky when some random person revived me and was able to get most of my stuff in the bank.
While I will say that the experience was different than anything I'd ever been part of, there were a few things left to be desired. Melee combat seems very choppy, laggy even. It doesn't flow and feels more like a hack and slash rather than a full-bodied twitch-based combat system. Though I do know it is still twitch-based I think that Aventurine needs to do some work on the combat system at least for melee users. I hadn't wanted to be purely melee though and will most likely be skilling up with bows as soon as I can get a decent stash of arrows or gold to buy them.
Traveling without a mount makes the world feel even bigger. On my first mining expedition it took us around 20 minutes to get to the spot we needed to be at and even on the map it didn't appear to be that far away from our hamlet. I can only imagine the time required to travel outside of my homelands as I know there's a vast world out there to explore. One thing I do hope for is that they make the game solo-friendly for those who wish to explore or gather. I'm not saying to make it appeal to carebears, but rather to make it more enjoyable for someone who enjoyed playing Morrowind or Oblivion.
Lastly, I want to go over something I should have done first, character creation. Definitely left something to be desired as I was limited to preset styles and colors. I can deal with it as I never expected to get any roleplay with actual people in Darkfall. I think my time will be spent solo-RPing if at all possible, otherwise I don't think I will be playing in a month's time. Beyond the lack of options in character creation I am satisfied at the moment with my decision to buy the game and hope that the coming days will bring more fun and enjoyment to my life in Darkfall.
Roleplayer's tip: When all else fails, do it yourself. The imagination is a powerful tool and if used properly can make for hours and hours of solid roleplay without needing other real players to mingle with.