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Paragus Rants

Rants, reviews, and interviews from an MMO veteran and guild leader.

Author: Paragus1

Darkfall: Guild Functionality

Posted by Paragus1 Saturday February 28 2009 at 2:43PM
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Darkfall: Guild Functionality

Those of you who are familiar with my some of my articles may know that one aspect of MMO's that is important to me as a guild leader is guild functionality.  In my recent review of the Darkfall Beta, I didn't really have a chance to delve into this side of the game.  The few guildmates I had in the beta with me were more focused about gathering general information about the game, but now that Darkfall has gone live, my guild has been able to take a look at what is a surprisingly deep guild user interface.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

 

Paragus
Co-Leader of Inquisition
www.inqguild.com

JeroKane writes:

 Nice article! Well done.

Sat Feb 28 2009 2:50PM Report
eldanesh117 writes:

Very nice.

This game definitely shines in its guild features. With so many options streamlined into the game, it'll definitely help out newbies to guild creation and provide some interesting addons for veterans.

Sat Feb 28 2009 2:56PM Report
dark-merlin writes:

very interesting and, as usual paragus is knowledgeable about the game, as opposed to the usual trolls

Sat Feb 28 2009 4:25PM Report
daarco writes:

Good read.

I didnt look at that to much in beta either.  Wonder what the haters think about it?

Sun Mar 01 2009 3:12AM Report
johaocarl writes:

The haters? They hate it, obiously.

Sooner or later they will say the guild functionality is no new, other games have it better, and blah blah blah

I saw at other forum the haters say that WAR mobs have the same features than DFO mobs...

So, don't care about what the haters say... it will be something stupid.

Sun Mar 01 2009 8:27AM Report
Carl132p writes:

asking what haters think about every little feature in the game is like picking through the shit your dog just took on your carpet and pulling out a penny it ate and going well look at this it might be shit on my rug but heres a penny.

Sun Mar 01 2009 12:04PM Report
xpiher writes:

Darkfall gets a +10 for this

Sun Mar 01 2009 2:49PM Report
Mrbloodworth writes:

Isn't that just a webpage in a browser? I dont even think its part of the ingame UI.

Mon Mar 02 2009 1:31PM Report
sfraden writes:

Its not ingame ui, its all java based, but that does nto make any part of it less than awesome for what it does.

Mon Mar 02 2009 1:33PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I forgot to mention it in the article, but the game also displays the location of all members in the guild who are online on the world map, even if you are not in a group with them.

Mon Mar 02 2009 1:55PM Report
usuckmmorpgcom writes:

Guild and journal windows are not in-game. Both are robust features IMO,  but the delivery method is a really bad design decision. The've created an added point of failure where the game server is up but the retrieval of information going to these windows can malfunction. Not good.

I've also observed in-game that the retrieval of the information is not so fast. Sometimes it can take up tp 15 seconds to get the contents fully displayed, even on my cable modem (which I've tested the speed while playing -- getting ~2M/sec). That does not bode well for performance. They should have considered populating in-game display with DB information to minimize bandwidth usage. Java (if thats what they're using) is notorius for being s-l-o-w. They also could have considered using a technology that is much faster, like PHP or Python.

Of course, its not a deal-breaker, just annoying :-)

Mon Mar 02 2009 2:07PM Report
Bruticus_XI writes:

That's cool, they did good on the Guild UI but skipped on quality for the rest of it ;)

Only real "new" features I see are related to the game being a sandbox, such as Diplomacy, KoS, etc. But that's all handy to have, good review.

Mon Mar 02 2009 2:08PM Report
Whitewalker writes:

Excellent...thank you Paragus.

Mon Mar 02 2009 2:45PM Report
JK-Kanosi writes:

Sounds like a nice guild UI and options. It's definitely one reason to sub to Darkfall, but I'll need many more before I go near Darkfall with my wallet.

Mon Mar 02 2009 3:29PM Report
tombear81 writes:

A guild UI... how um .. amazing. I am sure people can have *hours* of fun with this. I know I'd buy the game for it.

/sarscasm

Odd thing to review ... considering the state of the rest of the game. Bit like finding a diamond in dog doo doo.

 

Mon Mar 02 2009 3:40PM Report
DarkPony writes:

Nice work, Par. I like that guild kos list a lot. I do hope they will add guild tabberds / heraldry soon, though.

Mon Mar 02 2009 3:45PM Report
shalldoom writes:

Gr8 article!!

Mon Mar 02 2009 4:13PM Report
sigmarwombat writes:

well written article, very good read but...

i am not a darkfall hater, but that guild ui (not even a ui since its a java based program) looks really low budget.

Mon Mar 02 2009 4:21PM Report
Trubaduren writes:

Sounds goot atleast.......atleast.

Mon Mar 02 2009 4:54PM Report
sodade21 writes:

nice to know about it. great post :)

 

Mon Mar 02 2009 5:01PM Report
mrcalhou writes:

Sigmar, does it matter if it's low-budget if functions like it is supposed to? In lab we use cheap reagents whenever possible to cut costs so that we can do more with the departments money.

Mon Mar 02 2009 5:22PM Report
syllvenwood writes:

Very nice and fleshed out mechanic, too bad its wasted on a pk zerg-fest game. Everyone not in guild may as well be on KOS list

Mon Mar 02 2009 6:40PM Report
Kien writes:

This is the second time MMORPG.COM has allowed a known fanboi the plug Darkfall. What's going on?

Mon Mar 02 2009 6:44PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

@Syllvenwood

My guild has already been sucked into war against other guilds.   Let me tell you, there are politics at play when it comes to war.  My guild is telling me it is not uncommon to see a war declaration flash onto the screen between 2  guilds, only to be followed up by a string of declarations by the allies of those guilds.

Mon Mar 02 2009 9:09PM Report
ZtyX2 writes:

Nice blog.

Mon Mar 02 2009 11:00PM Report
Adam660 writes:

Good Blog

Tue Mar 03 2009 12:19AM Report
nitefly writes:

I don't understand why ALL MMOs haven't included the option of having all Guild Members show up on World Map. That would be especially nice in games with some PvP content, but useful in all. Just as an option or perhaps with some sort of Filter.

I have no intention to play Darkfall, but I can recognize a good feature when I see one.

Tue Mar 03 2009 2:29AM Report
kruzzkid writes:

very nice feature for pvp mmo. too bad others "pvp based" mmo doesnt have it, still waiting for many fix and smooth us release

Tue Mar 03 2009 2:31AM Report
Greek_Matt writes:

 Informative and well written. However the value of the feature you're discussing seems pretty moot in a game where it appears from early reports that everyone who's not in your guild is KOS and players are far too busy rushing around ganking each other and spamming pwnzorz /tells to bother with such obviously RP(=tucker) tools as "Diplomacy".

Tue Mar 03 2009 6:35AM Report
arctarus writes:

 Now lets see other games put this into their guild management... Hopefully WoW in their next patch :D

Tue Mar 03 2009 6:46AM Report
renojustin writes:

Why in the HELL would mmorpg decide to put up an article like this, PRAISING DARKFALL?!?!

Darkfall has had the WORST MMO LAUNCH IN HISTORY.

People who want to play cannot even buy the game.  If you don't think this means the complete and utter ruination of Darkfall as a viable profit-making mmo, then you probably voted for Bush twice.

At this point, it's a dead game.  Some few just don't know it yet or won't admit it.  Well, let's hope Mortal Online learns from the incredible self-destruction of Tasos and crew.

Tue Mar 03 2009 7:41AM Report
CoffeeMan writes:

who gives a shit no one can even buy the game.

Tue Mar 03 2009 8:30AM Report
CoffeeMan writes:

who gives a shit no one can even buy the game.

Tue Mar 03 2009 8:30AM Report
MicrobeX writes:

 -1- nice blog! It's nice to see someone post about something other then "my game own your game crap" that been flying around.

-2- This is a BLOG not an article... and even if it was an article, if you don't like it, you don't have to continue reading it!

I sure did like reading it and get inform about guild aspect of the game.

Tue Mar 03 2009 8:42AM Report
PoPfyren writes:

renojustin, why dont you just go fall off a clif or somthing, no one realy wanna here all that negative shit and that goes for people who dont give a shit bout the game to those who like it and ofc the fan boys.

Well this sure looks intresting but when you aint able to buy the game it dossent realy matter much :)

Tue Mar 03 2009 9:11AM Report
javac writes:

all hail the new king of pvp mmos.

Tue Mar 03 2009 9:44AM Report
mrcalhou writes:

Renojustin, some people actually like this game. Surprise surprise! If it wasn't so hackable I'd play it.

Tue Mar 03 2009 10:30AM Report
downtoearth writes:

lol greek wrong i havent gotten any such tell

Tue Mar 03 2009 1:10PM Report
Sihndvar writes:

Trust me, once you've gotten to play it a while, you will not say it's the worst launch in the history of MMOs.  This is coming from someone who doesn't have an account yet, but has been lucky enough to play on a guildie's account.

Yes, I am as frustrated as everyone else by the fact that I haven't been able to pay for the game and get an active account of my own.  But seriously, the game itself is great.  Since they cleaned up the sync issues of the first day, I've not had a single client crash nor has the server or individual zones crashed.  I can't think of a bug I've run into in the game yet.

In short, the game itself is amazing, it's just their billing/account system that has fallen short... so far.  In time, people will get into the game and spread out, and this game will be great for a long time to come.

Tue Mar 03 2009 5:48PM Report
eldanesh117 writes:

The only worst MMO launch in history are the ones that never really make it through beta. ;)

And, just throwing out an extremely stupid non-DF player question here... is it P2P? Because there's all this talk about "buying" being able to "get into the game" and all that jazz.

Tue Mar 03 2009 11:01PM Report
Sturmrabe writes:

Every MMO ever had one cool thing, AC2 had the first respec, but unfortunatly that was the only good thing about the game.

Darkfail has "see all guildies on map"... that won't carry this outdated, client side hackfest.

Wed Mar 04 2009 1:12AM Report
brewergamer writes:

It does look like a great game but i do hate how you cant even buy the game...  If they really want to get money off of this they better fix that problem before everyone gets tired of waiting, seriously.

Wed Mar 04 2009 6:18AM Report
plescure writes:

renojustin its not a dead game at all. just cause you hate it doesnt mean the death of the game. i get the impression from your post that you've never even played the game so i dont think you have any right to start lecturing us on it.

The game is only getting started and i fully expect it to go from strength to strength. yes it had a poor launch but you name me one mmo that hasnt? i suggest you stop talking out your arse and only post if youve got something constructive to say.

Fri Mar 06 2009 7:06AM Report
gervaise1 writes:

Just because it is hard to buy does not make it a bad launch. They have some some thousands a day for the last 3 days. People are starting to get in. Annoying? Yes. But the alternatives:

- sell lots of copies knowing you have only 1 server (wah wah AV stole my money because I can't play) or

- buy lots of servers, sell however many hundreds of thousands on day 1, lose 70%+ of their population after the free month (wah wah servers are dead why isn't AV consolidating). And they get to lose a few million on the servers just like FUNCOM have (and presumably EA Mythic).

Sure they had a 12 hour delay at launch; they had account management issues with the 3rd party software and a few server issues - for which the first folks got +3 days (unlike 2 recent bugged to hell games). But a bad launch because they don't want new buyers to have a bad time. This concept is obviously to much for some folks. 

Fri Mar 06 2009 6:07PM Report
BrianKoontz writes:

"- buy lots of servers, sell however many hundreds of thousands on day 1, lose 70%+ of their population after the free month (wah wah servers are dead why isn't AV consolidating). And they get to lose a few million on the servers just like FUNCOM have (and presumably EA Mythic)."

They can buy just a few servers and lease the rest for a short period of time. There's no reason to do anything else.

Fri Mar 06 2009 9:09PM Report
bloowolf writes:

"They can buy just a few servers and lease the rest for a short period of time. There's no reason to do anything else."

{Sarcasm}

Yeah, that's a great idea - later just carry out server merges of the rented servers.

I'm sure there won't be any problems with player cities that are owned by different guilds on different servers - they can just share the city on the merged server, right?

{/Sarcasm}

Sat Mar 07 2009 11:55AM Report
Mary.Jane writes:

well.. it is my first time looking for a MMORPG

so naturally i have no idea on steps to do any of this.

This link caught my eye though, any helpers?

Sun Mar 08 2009 11:05AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

If you are looking for your first MMO, this may not be the place to start.

Sun Mar 08 2009 12:28PM Report
popinjay writes:

That is a nice interface.  Considering you know they will dress it up as the game goes along as other MMOs do, its good they put the meat of it in first... they can "pretty it up" for some of the critics eyes later on.

Very nice feature of the game, and as usual, nicely reported.  Grts Paragus..

Mon Mar 09 2009 7:38PM Report
Suraknar writes:

Very nice Review!

Been so long since we had a game like this, and intend on playing it for equally long time as well (once the store is open).

Till then, patience is a Virtue!

Sat Mar 28 2009 10:01AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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