Darkfall: Community Q&A with Aventurine
A few weeks ago, the Darkfall community expressed an interest in getting a chance to fire off some questions to Aventurine about a variety of gameplay topics as well as some of their future plans. I passed along the idea to the devs, and they agreed to field questions from the community of current players.
After the questions were posted, I compiled them all together and screened out the duplicate topics and overly vague questions and passed them along to Aventurine. I also made each player sign their in-game Darkfall name to their submitted question for accountability reasons.
So let's turn things over to Aventurine!
We made an effort to answer every question sent to us as well as we could. If we seem vague or incomplete on a few things, it’s because they aren’t finalized. Tasos Flambouras, Claus Grovdal and Kjetil Helland participated in this Q&A.
What are your future plans to assist new, or returning, players with catching up to veterans in a realistic time-frame? - Wrafe Prevails
We’ve done several things already such as increasing skill gains, increasing skill gains on PvE, increasing monster drops, skill books, attribute consumables etc. and we’re constantly evaluating this making all necessary adjustments.
You can be viable in Darkfall and you can do things and access all areas from day one. You can PvP on day one and you can actually hit other players. You can man a cannon, you can ride a mount, sail a ship you can participate in a massive battle and contribute to it even beyond reviving friends and finishing off enemies. We’re mentioning these things because we’ve done a lot of work so that you don’t actually need to catch up to actually be a part of the game.
What is the main focus for expansion number 3? (Any hints would be great) - Cattboy SiN
An extremely ambitious Darkfall project we’ve dubbed Darkfall 2010 with serious improvements across the board, so much so that it’s impossible to choose one main focus. In Darkfall 2010 we focus on everything.
I would like to know if herbalism is going to get some love in the near future. - Ford Perfect
Herbalism is useful and balanced for what it does, but we’re always looking into improving trade skills. We have some major improvements for trade skills underway which target their depth and add a lot more items to the game.
Will the game continue to head towards fast transportation and globalization or can people expect a return to reduced transportation and a return to regional conflicts? - Comrade Zaffa
This is it for now. With the addition to the game of global PvP events such as Sea Fortresses, the Village Control Points, Trade Routes, as well as with the Dynamic Lore Events, we wanted players to be able to get into the action relatively quickly. Even so, “fast travel” in Darkfall isn’t that simple, it needs planning and can always be disrupted by other players.
Will the wonder cost every be reduced, if not, I would like some clarification on what the wonders actually do. Yea, they give a global bonus, but I am sure most would agree that one of the main reasons why no one has ever made one was beacuse we don't want to waste 15k mods, to find out its a +3 global bonus. - Keno Lair
We are considering reducing the costs of wonders. There are 9 Wonders, in 9 cities, for 9 attributes. Wonders do give global bonuses but it isn’t +3, more like +20 and they’re stackable.
Is there any intention on letting people put spell upgrades on ray spells/spells that you currently cannot upgrade/jump cast? - Nacitar Sevaht
Not for the time being
Are there any plans to further improve the economy/trading in DF? - Drasked Guillotine
Yes this is one of the things we’re focusing on actually. We’re improving monster drops and especially rare drops. We’re planning a huge itemization boost almost doubling the amount of items in the game. This will mean more ingredients, more recipes for crafting, and this should help diversify the economy significantly. We’re also planning on Clan Vendors. We’re planning on player/clan vendors in capitals and possibly in clan cities. You need to compete to secure a vendor spot in a capital, or you need to earn one.
These are just some of the direct measures we’re taking to improve the economy.
Can players expect to see an Armor dying system, or some guild identifying crest, or some kind of visual? - Line Six
Yes we are currently testing our system for armor and clothing dyes in conjunction with the sweeping changes in 2010. The colors are craftable and not all colors are created equal.
Are chat bubbles (togglable on/off) for immersion's sake (and roleplaying clans) being considered at all? - Noc Tyerlan
We’re considering them but for now there are no plans to add chat bubbles. It’s not a technical challenge; our issue with chat bubbles has to do with gameplay. If we did implement them, they would be opt-in both ways and they would be as Darkfall friendly as possible. We would rather improve communications without having to use them but we’re not ruling them out either.
Are there plans to changing the alignment system or making it be more attractive to be a non-ARAC clan or less attractive to be ARAC? - Kasmos Melanoma
This is something we’re looking at. If we did anything it would be introduced in a mild way. We’ll also offer an option to select a different race for a small charge. Compatible race clans may already have an advantage when it comes to Dynamic Lore events.
Is there any plan at all for more types of craftable armor or weapons anytime in the future? - Soulless Avenger
Can we expect to see further player impact upon the world? Eg. Extinction of mob spawns, capture of NPC cities by other races, clan control over regions etc. - Ymgarl Thakgrush
Yes. Starting with the dynamic lore system where players can seriously impact the game’s lore and events happening in the game, it’s in our future plans to allow our players to increasingly affect the world.
Will people that own houses ever be able to use houses from their friends (without transferring their houses to a 3rd player)? - Wyverex Erisian
No, you’re supposed to make a choice. Transportation should not become that easy especially with village control points at stake.
Will the sliding corpse bug ever be fixed? - Fain Arthadar
Yes and it won’t just be fixed but it’ll be replaced with something very cool.
Are there any plans to add a more customizable rank system for clan? For example player made ranks to open the gate. - Torinar Blackhammer
Not in the immediate future but there are huge improvements under way for clans
Will anything be done about clans being able to wardec another clan and immediately start attacking them in NPC towns with no worry of the tower attacking? - Neza Lycore
Yes this is something we’re working on and will be addressing in the near future
With the onset of the new patch, villages and trade routes have not turned into the PvP hotspots that some hoped for. Is there anything in the works to promote PvP hotspots or anything of similar nature? - Syloc deKGB of the Knights of Glory and Beer
The villages and the trade routes, and the Sea Fortresses are only part of the process. Each one adds its contribution to increasing PvP and PvE opportunities in the world. We’ll keep working on improving and adding more. We’re currently working on introducing dynamic PvP opportunities to the game.
Any plans on adding functionality to show when clan members logged in last time? - White Box
We’re looking into it.
Demigods; I know this was originally a planned feature for Darkfall, is this something you are still planning to implement or has the feature been totally scrapped? - Igh Agag
We are totally planning to implement it as planned. Demigods are a part of a bigger design a part of which is the Dynamic Lore System. The Demigods will be introduced when it’s time for them to be introduced.
When will you actually implement the Anti-Aliasing? - Ninogan Swiftstep
Darkfall 2010, along with Directx 11 support and many other goodies.
AV, are there any plans to get rid of "random rare drops" and make items like gathering/crafting tools, house stations, accessories, and possibly houses themselves craftable ? - Ray Pew
We’re not going to get rid of random drops but we’re planning on substantially increasing the craftability of items.
Are there plans to rebalance Alfar racials like how the lore states (global magic ability that increases and decreases based on tribute to the Gods, etc.)? -Amrah Punjabi
No but we’ll add more racial abilities in upcoming expansions.
Could you describe your plans for further marketing of Darkfall and give any timeline for a US box release? - Garful Greatforge, Heroes Fate
We’ve been steadily increasing our marketing spend across traditional channels as our subscribers are steadily increasing. We’re also working on alternative marketing schemes like the Community Publishing program which is going extremely well. We’re speaking with several partners concerning a N. America box release but we can’t give an ETA on that yet.
Is Aventurine considering introducing some type of skill point cap for players? - Agricola Augusta, MAG
We’ve addressed this issue many times, and what we prefer to do instead of imposing limitations on player freedom is add features like specializations for example. We have several further initiatives planned for the near future.
Is 10k players online simultaneously on 1 server still something you consider may happen in Darkfall? - Neptun y3
This is something that has already happened. The question is how much higher we can go.
Do you have any plans to make Rare Ores a little bit more available to the world at large? - Rivers Keylak, SG of Nemesis
Yes we do, we’re considering adding a chance for rare ore drops in regular nodes.
Any plans on making ships more accessible by removing or easing the astrolabe requirements on more than just the raft? - Meaty Maggnus
Yes we have slowly been increasing the drop rates of astrolabes.
What are your plans if any to ensure that new players will be able to have fun in the beginning of their Darkfall experience? - Lady DDT, Blackshields
We believe that this is one of the very few MMORGs where players can have fun and be viable and useful from day one. The game is designed for it. You can jump right into the action and make an impact unlike most MMOs that force you to reach this or the other milestone before you can even think of participating.
Now if you are referring to making the game more newbie friendly, then we’re planning several improvements in 2010
After soaking in the new patch for a few weeks now it has become apparent that even with specializations the dominate style of play is hybrid. Does AV feel that this is the play style that should dominate or do they plan to continue to balance the specs. and game so that we see more defined roles? - Chief Thunder, VAMP
We’re continuing to balance the specializations and we’re introducing new ones. This is a gradual step process. We’re moving towards more defined roles and introducing longer term choices players will be asked to make.
Wandering mobs were mentioned before the release of CtS. Is this system 'done' with wildlife, or are there plans to bring actual wandering mobs to the game? (something as simple as goblins traveling between spawns to more complex examples like orcs rallying into a horde to attack a city/hamlet). - SynCaine GodHand
As with most things we do this is the beginning of a process.
Mage Killer's 40% damage increase at the cost of mana and the elemental magic schools requires users to wear heavier armor (plate/full plate). The 40% damage increase is negated however by Full Plate armor due to encumbrance. Is there any testing and rebalancing in the works for Archery Specialties such as opening up elemental school buffs or allowing more than 1 specialty to be chosen at a time? - Fibin Stonesmasher
We’re currently testing adding one extra archery specialization in addition we’re also introducing new specializations including new archery specializations.
Will the community see scavenging (breaking down of completed items into their raw mats) in the near future? - Alaron NeX
Yes this is a feature we’re currently working on
Will we be able to bind multiple actions on one key (change weapon and skillset at the same time for example)? - Elessar Lorwyn
Yes you will.
Any plans to implement a tiered clan bank access system? - Mobed Starr
What other "advanced" mounts (besides Battlehorns) are waiting in the wings, and when may we expect to see them in game? - Ktorr Shadowfell
We do have new mounts on the way but we don’t want to reveal anything right now
Has there been any thought into combining the destroyer/indestructible skills and/or allowing them to be permanent bonuses against all players(even those without staffs out (for destroyer)?. - Strife Aldaelon, Sinister
Perhaps, or perhaps we’ll do something with a similar effect. We’re currently investigating all specializations introduced while keeping the upcoming specs in mind. We’re balancing it up against the new things that are going to come.
Are there any plans to make the game more friendly towards non-hardcore players? (i.e. more customizable options for housing, things to do besides pvp.) - Conn Bloodbane
Yes we’re always adding more things and we’ll keep adding elements to make the game friendlier to new players, solo players, and more casual players.
Any plan to make it so that your enemies cannot use your clan bank? - Big Badaboom, Section 8
Yes but you’ll have to upgrade your bank.
Is 4-legged run still being considered as a racial trait for the mahirim? - 50 Cent
This is a very difficult feature to balance. We are still considering it and it’s actually developed and ready to go. We’ve already started with the racial differentiations, we’ll keep adding new ones, and if we can ever balance this properly, then we’ll add it.
Will there ever be any continuation between the east/west or north/south edges of the world (allowing travel around Agon in circles from one edge continuing and appearing on the other edge)? - Vucar Dumat
No there won’t be.
Since we've seen the game become more about alliances than individual clans, will we see any features aimed more towards alliances? More political tools, in game political map, shared city buffs, that sorta thing. - Rahkim Whitehawk
Alliances are informal so far, we may take some steps to formalize them a bit. We are considering offering an Alliance Map for starters.
Are there plans of making/adding more complex dungeons to the world of agon, maybe with some levers , triggers, traps etc. - BLOB Lukic
Yes, we have big plans for dungeons in 2010
Is a new chat window being worked on? The current one makes it almost impossible to see incoming tells or local chat because it defaults to a new tab. - Signus Melkorr
There are sweeping changes for Darkfall 2010 and these include everything associated with the user interface
Are you planning on diversifying the different melee skills by adding unique attacks/moves or specializations for each weapon type? - Erwin Carius
Yes we’re planning on both
Do you feel that polearms are underpowered and intend on tweaking them some more? - TNoD X, VAMP
Polearms were considered grossly overpowered. All we did was slow them down by 11% and everyone now thinks they’ve been seriously nerfed. We’re always working on balance; we’re always investigating discrepancies and making changes wherever we feel they are necessary.
I seem to remember new spell school(s) being hinted at. Are there currently plans to put in new "schools" of magic? If so can we get an example of one or two spells from these new school(s)? - Kelsen Ravenheart
Part of a larger plan for the future that we cannot discuss yet, but it’s definitely on our list.
Thanks for your time!
Co-Leader of Inquisition