Darkfall Survey Predicts Playstyles
With the slated release date for Darkfall Online approaching, forums have been buzzing with speculation on various aspects of the game in order to try and forecast what players could expect to see once the game goes live. Often times in the static of forums post and polls, something interesting gets drowned out in all the noise. Darkfall EU, a fansite for the anticipated MMO, ran a detailed survey that asked future players about their plans and views for when the game goes live. If you have been following Darkfall for a long time like me, you might find the results of this very interesting. The survey claims to have sampled a pool size of over 1600, and projects a margin of error near 3%. For the purposes of this article I will be using the combined European + North American data tables.
The Race Poll
The Alfar seem to have narrowly won the race poll, but when you consider the margin of error, they are roughly tied with the Humans. Remember that the premise of Darkfall has the races divided into 3 teams which break down as Humans / Dwarves / Mirdain Vs. Mahirim / Ork Vs. Alfar. If we add up all the percentages based on factional distribution, we see that the Alfar have roughly 25% of the population, the "good" races come in with about 47%, leaving the Mahirim and Orks with roughly 27%.
We can see that the "good" races seem to definitely have the population advantage assuming this data is correct, but we have to take into account that their team also has the most races included in it. The Orks on the other hand come in last place in terms of popularity by a substantial margin. On a personal note, I have always been fascinated by the races people pick in MMOs. I suspect a lot of people may tend to play races that are pleasing to the eye, which could also explain why the Orks might be dead last.
The "Evil" Poll
This is another poll I found to be very interesting. It looks like 2/3 of the players said they would kill someone on their team depending on the situation. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the context of that situation, or your viewpoint. The poll doesn't allow people to describe that situation, which could probably range from self-defense to capitalizing on a moment of weakness. We just can't tell for sure, but what we can see is that about 1/4 of the players are ready to commit murder.
The other table also is very revealing as it asks those who are willing to commit murder what race they plan on playing. We see that a staggering 38% of them plan to roll Orks, and 36% of them plan to be Alfars, which means the "good" races are the least likely to commit murder. You have to wonder about the psychology behind this. Orks are generally perceived to be an evil race in most fantasy settings, so perhaps players who pick Orks are more committed to follow through on being evil? The Alfar on the other hand are on their own team, so many players perceived this as being the hard road, especially with the population against them. Some people speculated that maybe this shared mutual struggle would make the Alfar work together out of necessity, but I am guessing that Alfar players have committed themselves to taking the hard road, so may be more willing to take it all the way.
The "Safe" Poll
Here we can see the people most likely to not be killed. I find it surprising that the thing people seem to have the most respect for are players engaged in a duel. Given the number still shows that more than half would kill a person in a duel (if you look at the inverse of the number), there is something to be said about respecting 2 people settling something the old way. I suppose one could also argue that after a duel the targets will be at their weakest, so I guess I'll let you decide. Crafters and newbies seems to find a little more love than I expected, but I would argue that a newbie may be harder to identify in Darkfall because you are unable to con players with there being no levels at all. I guess its best to be a good aligned newbie in a duel, if you roleplay or look like a challenge people will be eager to bring you back to reality.
This poll shows us the playstyle the future Darkfall player tends to learn towards, and who the game is appealing towards. It is no surprise to see that the PvP crowd makes up over half the of target audience, but it also seems that the zoneless and seamless world idea definitely seems to have those explorer types interested in going out into the wilderness to see what secrets the world is hiding. One bit of troubling news is that crafters seem to be in short supply, and according to Darkfall EU he elaborates on this point.
"What may be of some concern is that 67.50% of crafters plan to be in the Human alliance, whereas only 9.90% will be Alfar crafters. If we assume that 1/4 of players roll an Alfar, it looks like they could be struggling to find a good crafter."
The "Sausage" Poll
I call this one the sausage poll because it pretty much confirms something I think all we knew deep down. Darkfall Online will indeed be one of the internet's biggest sausage fests.
The guys over at Darkfall EU seems to have put a lot of effort into this survey, and hopefully you found this as interesting as I did. There are a few other tables over there that I didn't touch on just for the sake of time, but if you are bored you might want to go look over to the Survey Results Page over there, take a look at the entire thing, and read their analysis. I'm curious to hear your take on the results.
Co-Leader of Inquisition