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Paragus Rants

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

Author: Paragus1

Darkfall's Trial and Interview with NEW

Posted by Paragus1 Thursday February 25 2010 at 10:00AM
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Darkfall's Trial and Interview with NEW

It was a little over a year ago today that I opened my review of the Darkfall beta with "Darkfall Online is a game that is not for everyone."  A lot of you have followed my blog closely (thanks for your support) despite the fact you may not play the game and didn't want to risk trying it without some form of a trial.  Well apparently now you can find out if Darkfall is in fact for you for only 1$ for a one week trial.

Yes it is not free, but given the nature of the game and the fact that the trial does not seem to place any restrictions on you, it seems like a fair offer.  If there is one thing you might have learned about this game from reading here and certain reviews out there, it's that one week is not enough time to even come close to seeing all that this game has to offer.  Despite that, I think it should give curiosity seekers a good chance to get a handle on the games unorthodox controls, feel for the gameplay, and a chance to wander around Agon's zoneless and open world.

I've always believed that your first day in Agon is usually the hardest. To take the edge off getting murdered while you grapple with the controls, Aventurine has finally patched in their new player protection system that should give you some breathing room is those rough first few hours.  You can identify these fresh players by the halo-like symbol over their head, of which I have seen quite a bit of lately.

Despite having the trial and the initial safeguard, learning the ins and outs of Darkfall can be overwhelming, especially for players accustomed to theme-park MMOs which have saturated the genre the last few years.  Lucky for you, there is "NEW".  NEW is clan of players who are dedicated to showing you the ropes and exposing you to aspects of the game (on both servers) that you might otherwise not see initially.  They offer up to 30 days of membership to help teach you the ropes, after which it is up to you to find your own path into the world.

Instead of me trying to tell you what NEW is all about, I figured it would be best if I tracked down their leadership and let them explain some of the specifics for themselves.  I traveled over to Hammerdale to visit their city and got to spend some time checking our their facilities and activities.

 

1) Tell us a bit about the purpose of NEW. Why was it started and are there any restrictions to joining up?

Fury Mortis – Newborn on Agon [NEW] is a clan on the North American server that was formed to aid the new player experience. With its harsh environment, quirky UI and steep learning curve, Darkfall can be a real challenge for beginners. Every time we lose a new player it puts more pressure on Aventurine to "Trammel the game up" to increase its appeal to the masses.

NEW was started as a joint effort, and officially kicked off when Elder Saurcon (Lords of the Dead) purchased an account and created the “New SupremeGeneral” character. With the support of Black Shields, Grief, Apollo, Imperil, Dominion, and too many other clans to list, NEW acquired Hammerdale at a very low cost. When the sticky post went up on the NA-1 forums and people could see that this was an honest effort, donations quickly poured in from across the community.

The only restrictions to joining up are that you are a relatively new player and that you agree to the rules on the website.

 

2) Tell us a bit about the services NEW offers and how owning a city has contributed to your mission.

Spewart thePunisher – New offers its members a place they can come to ask questions and get advice, either via clan chat or voice chat using the Mumble program (also hosted by lotd.org). Hammerdale provides new players (and visitors) a player city with a workbench, enchanting station, laboratory, anvil, oven, fighter trainer, master mage, and a farm. Our city is open to everyone, whether they are in NEW or not. In addition to its amenities, the city serves as a gathering place where people can trade, group up to fight tougher mobs, and help defend each other from the occasional PK raid.

 

Mycke Soulslayer – Without Hammerdale, NEW would be a little more than scattered new players getting war decked and ganked in NPC cities, pretty much more harm than good.

 

3) How many people roughly would you say have joined up with NEW and graduated since its inception?

Fury – Clymene Darkwind (our first Counselor) had the foresight to set up a google spreadsheet to track members’ join dates and progress. As of today we have 1,437 names on this list. All non-leadership members have a defined time limit in the clan; so far 1,043 members have graduated.

 

4) What are some of the most common questions and issues that you see get brought up by new arrivals?

White Knight – The most common question of new players is why they can’t fish, lol.

Spewart – "How do I get a mount?", "How do I make gold?", "Where is Hammerdale?" and tons of questions about the alignment system.

Fury – The biggest issue for new players right now is the difference between veteran players HP and beginning players HP. The formula should be changed to 250 + 1*vit + 0.5*str + HpSkills. It’s not the first thing they notice, but when they realize the tremendous gap between the total health of veteran players and new players, I believe it turns some casual players (the base of MMORPGs) away from the game.

 

5) Community support for NEW seems to be very strong on both servers. Do you find that many players or clans give NEW members a pass when it comes to attacking and ganking out in the world?

Buadthan Ludhurst - I think a lot of clans give NEW members a break; for example they will come up on there mounts chasing you and then stop, or start attacking you and then see the tag and stop. Some will send you a tell and say they are sorry and didn't see your tag, others will pk you but revive you because they really don't want to pk new players they are just looking for PvP. But on the other hand, we do have clans that specifically target us for pk'ing and raiding because we are a clan of new players.

 

6) Do you find that the majority of people who join up stay for the entire period, or do most end up leaving for other clans before their time is up?

Mycke - In my short time period many leave early. I believe this says we are doing our job well.

Skarth Manadragon - Most players seem to join another clan when their time is up or almost up.

7) There has been a recent movement by some of the veterans to donate gear and ready bags to help your cause. What is the best way a veteran player can donate and make sure their contribution finds its way to new arrivals to the game?

Spewart - I wouldn't say the movement to donate gear is recent. We've always enjoyed fantastic support from most of the other clans. If you want to donate gear to NEW, the best way is to come to Hammerdale and speak with a clan officer. If your clan lives far from Hammerdale, you can still help the cause of retaining new players by donating to random noobs (not necessarily NEW members) in the racial starter cities. One fun way is to find a group of newbies by a bank, load yourself up with gear, hit one of them and let the towers kill you. They will loot your tomb dry in seconds.


8) With the new trial program and new player protection for Darkfall, a lot of people are starting to give the game a closer look. Do you have any advice to the new players to the game or those sitting on the fence considering jumping in?

White Knight - The advice I give to new players is to just play the game and enjoy what Agon has to offer. It will take you some time to build a character but you can have an impact in the game right off.

Spewart - I recommend that people spend a day or two in their racial cities doing some of the simple goblin quests, etc. just to get familiar with the game. They should pick up the six "title quests" from their racial capital city during that time (just get them, no need to complete them). Then join up with NEW (ideally on Tuesday, since we graduate you on the 5th Monday) and come to Hammerdale. The main thing is to remember that this is a great game with a hard start. If you rage-quit early, you'll miss the good part.

Mycke - Darkfall isn't about always winning it’s about always having excitement. Sometime that excitement is “pwning” your enemy and others times its getting away from someone you know will kill you, or just dying to them giving it your best shot. No one always wins in DF.

Skarth - Get used to the idea of using voice chat programs like Ventrilo, teamspeak, or mumble. It's a requirement for anything group related.

Fury – Go to this website http://newbornonagon.guildplex.com/. Review the hosted training videos, links to guides, install Mumble and apply to NEW. A complete list with all responses to this interview from the NEW Counselors is on the forums.

 

Final Thoughts

If you have been sitting on the fence about trying Darkfall, there really is no excuse for not taking advantage of the trial and the services being offered by NEW.  I'd recommend looking for one of their community publishers be it from a blog you support (No, I am not a community publisher) or shop around for a player offering you extra goodies. If you are already an established player reading this, then I urge you to help donate gear to our new arrivals and help any questions they may have.
 

If your getting worn down by the so-called "AAA" MMOs from huge studios with massive budgets selling you the same linear and shallow gameplay over and over with a new name on the box, then I highly recommend dropping the 1$ to see what the fuss is about.  Darkfall is the only game my guild has played in the last few years that has held us for longer than 60 days, and it's a reminder to me of what this genre used to represent and could become again someday.  Even if you end up hating the game, you won't find a week's worth of entertainment this cheap anywhere else.  If you do decide to check out the trial, I'd love to read your comments here or answer any questions you might have.

 

Paragus
Co-Leader of Inquisition
www.inqguild.com

Drache1985 writes:

 Great writeup. Loved the Aion jab at the end, completely agree.

Thu Feb 25 2010 10:21AM Report
xanphia writes:

Interesting read.

I recommend those on the fence definitely do the trial. It may surprise you.

Thu Feb 25 2010 11:22AM Report
Murashu writes:

Allow 3rd person view and I will gladly come back :) and bring some friends with me.

Thu Feb 25 2010 11:59AM Report
Wharg0ul writes:

"it's a reminder to me of what this genre used to represent and could become again someday."

This, right here. Darkfall's got it's flaws...but it's more of a true MMORPG (IMO) than anything that has been released in recent years. Hopefully other developers notice that players are wanting more than just another quest grind, and are sick of chasing the carrot on the stick.

Thu Feb 25 2010 12:06PM Report
Caaahl writes:

Nicely written, Paragus.

Thu Feb 25 2010 12:23PM Report
daarco writes:

Excellent write up as always.

And i totally agree with you Wharg0ul.

Thu Feb 25 2010 12:29PM Report
CattBoy writes:

I want to remind everyone that spending only 1 week in Darkfall, you will only scratch the surface on how intense it's PvP is.

 

Cb

Thu Feb 25 2010 1:38PM Report
Comnenus writes:

I love Darkfall

Thu Feb 25 2010 1:54PM Report
SirBalin writes:

Great write up, well done.  I've been in Darfkall for a few months and its the best game I've played since SWG.  I'm finding that the people that enjoy this game are those that come from skill based games like SWG or RF online.  Great game, I'd recommend that any player looking to get in the game find a clan that will siege prior to the 7 day pass ending.  Not seeing a siege means that you have not seen Darkfall.  May be a nice idea for a clan like NEW to schedule Sieges against allies once every 7 days and ask for help from the community to pay for the sieges.  This would be huge in getting newbs excited as their 7 day pass expires.

Thu Feb 25 2010 2:27PM Report
Izure writes:

great read and thanks

Thu Feb 25 2010 2:27PM Report
Kasmos writes:

Excellent write up, I look forward to seeing all the new faces entering Agon.

Thu Feb 25 2010 2:47PM Report
shaon94 writes:

Good job as always!

Thu Feb 25 2010 3:18PM Report
Evasia writes:

Nice write up as usual and i myself are a vet player who already for a long time help out newbees and give stuff, but its good that clans like NEW organise this kind of annitiatives to help out new players.

Tumbs up!

Thu Feb 25 2010 4:51PM Report
lordvitiris writes:

I love Darkfall, I've played all the major MMO releases of the past few years and nothing gives me the excitement that this game does. Every encounter, every adventure is unique and you have endless options of what you can do. I've already seen alot of new players pour in so hopefully this helps the game grow!

Thu Feb 25 2010 5:03PM Report
PyroKiddie writes:

Nice write up :)

Have to say 1 week is a tad too short to even realise quite how epic this game is, although im sure it will leave you hungry for more.

Remember, unlike most themepark games, this game gets easier as you progress so dont get put off initially > there is a steep learning curve.

@ Murashu - third person veiws been in from the start? (except on spells/archery)

Thu Feb 25 2010 5:41PM Report
ChinaCat writes:

Awesome work as usual.    With the 1-dollar 1-week trial, hopefully those gamers who would love DFO but didn't want to risk the money for the game first, now have an opportunity to find out first-hand.

Thu Feb 25 2010 7:26PM Report
Simsu writes:

Just curious... Are you, Paragus, actively playing Darkfall as your primary MMO?

Thu Feb 25 2010 8:29PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Yes Simsu.

Thu Feb 25 2010 8:43PM Report
Daemonic-Daz writes:

 Nice one Paragus, I think it's also important to stress that whilst NEW is dedicated to new players, there is also a reasonable amount of clans that will take a newbie in and teach them the ropes hoping they'll stick around and contribute in some way to the clan in the near future.

Speaking from experience, i've recently joined with a group on EU-1 and they have been nothing but welcoming to my appearance. I now reside in someones house, have ok weapon/ armor sets (in my opinion) and given helpful advice when/if I ask/need it.

I admit I'm only within my first week of DF but so far it's been a brilliant experience and I hope everyone who tries the game out finds the same hospitality I've been lucky to find.

 

Thu Feb 25 2010 9:13PM Report
Flute writes:

Murashu you get 3rd person view on horses, and a really wide angle 3rd person view when captaining a ship (which by the way are extremely cool). 

Darkfall does being back the real feel of the old school MMOs, especially when you see a kraken swimming at your ship and everyone is yelling "oh f**k! turn, turn!" - there is real risk, real rewards, and real fun.  And yes, the Kraken can pull crew members off teh deck while trying to devour your ship as you shoot it with cannons!

On that note ... I challenge any clan with more than a dozen ships to give one to NEW to expose new players to sea combat and ocean based content.  Go on, you know who you are ;p

Thu Feb 25 2010 10:41PM Report
Galaturc writes:

Once again, nice write up Paragus!

Darkfall is the only game that will let a new player have an important role in group combat versus veteran players within a week. The learning curve is steep, but not necessarily requires long time to adapt and enjoy the game.

I hope, with this new promotion, any competitive mmorpg player who claims to be a good PvP'er will give Darkfall a week-trial (and see what real PvP is), and enjoy the adrenalin rush. It is addictive, be warned!

Thu Feb 25 2010 11:46PM Report
Realbigdeal writes:

Fury – The biggest issue for new players right now is the difference between veteran players HP and beginning players HP. The formula should be changed to 250 + 1*vit + 0.5*str + HpSkills. It’s not the first thing they notice, but when they realize the tremendous gap between the total health of veteran players and new players, I believe it turns some casual players (the base of MMORPGs) away from the game.

I dont like this.

Fri Feb 26 2010 12:42AM Report
Southpaw.Gamer writes:

As good as a writeup as this is I HIGHLY suggest new players to Darkfall avoid the NEW clan for the following reasons:

1. Those running it have personal goals that are not helping the new players only themselves (corruption)

2. Having the NEW tag over your head is like having a sign over your head stating "I suck come kill me"

3. NEW is killed by most players because of reasons 1 & 2

4. Any decent clan can teach you anything NEW can and better.  Plus you won't get kicked after 30 days. 

 

Find a real clan and grow with them, make friends.  Don't join a corrupt attempt at helping the community.

Fri Feb 26 2010 12:53AM Report
Raknar writes:

Was a good write-up until the end. If Darkfall is so great, why can't its players just talk about its feature without getting smug and taking jabs at "themeparks".

Fri Feb 26 2010 1:26AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Because people who play Darkfall by and far are disgusted what theme parks have done to this genre.  How many times have we seen the same formula recycled over and over again and producing the same result?

Big name studio decides to produce the next "AAA" MMO.  Since most of the big studios have no innovative ideas of their own, they latch onto some IP to try to rope people in.   Conan, Warhammer, Star Trek, Star Wars, take your pick.  The next step is to create a linear world that boxes you in with invisible boundaries, copy and paste the UI from World of Warcraft, instance it into oblivion.   Once they make their money off the initial sales, the population drops like a rock after 60 days because people get bored of being kept on the rails and being spoon-fed kills quests as the only means of advancement.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  This perfectly describes the state of the genre right now and why I won't be losing any sleep over taking jabs at those who seem to be suffering from MMO insanity.

Fri Feb 26 2010 1:55AM Report
LordGracy writes:

So true paragus. We need the genre to take the direction that darkfall has taken. BIG TIME. The formula you have mentioned is just too painful to endure anymore. Everytime I go back and play WoW for  a night with some old RL friends the whole time im just like I cant wait to finish this LAME dungeon to go play darkfall. Same old shit that just bores me to tears. I tried Aion and made it to level 19 and the entire time I was like when does this game get fun? People are like oh just wait till the abyss at 25. Im like thats LAME. I was having fun in darkfall DAY 1. Hour 1. And I was getting my ass handed to me and loving it! DARKFALL FTW!!!

Fri Feb 26 2010 9:52AM Report
grimfall writes:

Darkfall at 'Max'.

1. Decide what your clan is going to do

2. Attack someone or defend your territory

3. Loot some armor or get your backup armor from the bank

4. Repeat ad nauseum.

Fri Feb 26 2010 1:52PM Report
Mordeath writes:

I highly recommend the $1 trial, you may enjoy the game or it will save you $50

Fri Feb 26 2010 4:11PM Report
flydowntome writes:

 What direction?  PvP full loot games don't catch on because there is even less to do in them than themeparks. PvP winds up dominating so much that trying to do anything else but respond to it drives people out of the game.

The old school direction tried, and failed. If there are problems with MMOs now, going back that way wont do anything.

Fri Feb 26 2010 6:34PM Report
dint writes:

If you like pvp, best game ever.

Fri Feb 26 2010 11:03PM Report
Raknar writes:

Yes, we get it. Darkfall makes you more hardcore than everyone else. Stroke your e-peen all you want, no one else execpt the few other DF players care. Not a WoW player here either, but there is more to do in that "themepark" than this "sandbox". The very term "themepark" is some pathetic attempt to appear leet by fanbois.

 

And, FYI, that interface that you claim was copied from WoW did not start with WoW. AC2 had a very similar interface, but without the customization. Besides, interfaces being somewhat standardised is a good thing. It means you can spend your time learning the game and the world, not the controls. Having an interface that is non-intuitive and fights against you is not "more hardcore" but lazy on the part of the devs.

 

There is more to being a "sandbox" to than full loot PvP. You kids new to the genre don't understand what made UO great. The PvP was just part of it. But with nothing else to do in the modern attempts, like DF and MO, they become nothing more than a glorified shooter.

Sun Feb 28 2010 2:06AM Report
CalDruid writes:

You're clueless Raknar.  It is the community that makes Darkfall great.  DF is the closest another dev has ever coem to UO.  Over the year, as the community grew and the game matured, DF has become the most underrated MMO on the market and one of the best in the genre.

NEW is not the only answer.  There are many very well respected Clans in DF which will accept new players with open arms and equip them to the teeth.  A

Also, DF is NOT only for hardcore PKers and PvPers.  There are several PVE centric Clans, roleplaying clans, and crafting clans which either support PvP clans or are protected through alliances.

Darkfall has the best non-instanced, open gameworld on the market today, bar none.  Excellent game and only getting better. 

And if you write DF off without giving the game a real chance, enjoy your corporate MMOs.  You deserve them.

 

 

Sun Feb 28 2010 3:14AM Report
Evasia writes:

You realy dont know what your talking about raknar plus fact that i am also a vetran from early days so your comments like kids and uo are also a fail.

And Darkfall is not modelled after UO it never was intention from beginning most devs have played in AC btw and later took ideas from elderscrolls and some other mmo's.

There is alot do do in Darkfall but becouse you want a themepark you would get bored in Darkfall so you come here and say Darkfall is empty shell yeh right:P

Sun Feb 28 2010 5:37AM Report
Evasia writes:

I could not have said it better Caldruid your spot on:)

Sun Feb 28 2010 5:40AM Report
ShadeB writes:

Some time ago a friend of mine and I were riding through the Alfar lands and got jumped by two others on mounts.  Given our stats were not that high yet and we had some good loot on us, our first instinct was to run.  What can I say, we used to die a lot.

After a bit of running we saw that we weren't going to shake them, so we picked a spot where we would be out of sight when we turned to fight.  It worked, we took them by surprise and got the crucial first few hits in.  After a bloody battle where we shot their mounts out from under them and they returned the favor, we took them down and added their stuff to our stuff.

That was when it hit me, why we have been playing Darkfall since it went live a year ago.  The thing that has been missing since my first experience with EQ, or my first experience with Team Fortress.  The thing that no WoW, Warhammer, EQ2, or any other MMO has had since the newness of EQ wore off:

Adrenaline.  When my friend and I were through with that fight and laughing about it over Skype I noticed my hands were shaking and I was actually sweating a little!  I had been terrified during the fight, I thought for sure I was going to lose all my stuff.  The emotions Darkfall evoked during and after that fight were something no other game has elicited in well over a decade.  It was glorious.

And while everyone likes to win and no one likes to lose, Darkfall even makes getting killed exciting.  Sure, it sucks for a few minutes, but then you get over it, and later you realize that losing that time made winning this time so much more thrilling because it is a risk every time.  You never know for sure if you are going to win or not, there is no visual indication if someone is better than you or not.  You can't just say "Hey, he is 10 levels higher than me, this is probably going to hurt".

Darkfall brings excitement back to gaming, simple as that.  Even if it sometimes makes you use creative vernacular when you get stampeded by an entire guild ;- )

Mon Mar 01 2010 5:49PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

 

Great story ShadeB. We were just talking about the fact you can't measure your opponents strength in our clan vent the other day. We ran into some guys and chased them to their hamlet and misjudged some of the members skill and strength. In any other MMO you would just compare levels and classes and be able to figure out the outcome easily before engaging.

Even if they are stronger than you, the outcome still is not set in stone. The situational variables of overworld PvP can shift the outcome of a battle. I beat someone the other day who was vastly stronger than me because I lured him into a powerful monster spawn, and other times use of the terrain and the element of surprise have allowed us to beat (and be defeated by) players we otherwise would not have. I've lost a lot of fights because the enemy used the terrain better than me, or fell into an ambush.
 

Mon Mar 01 2010 6:16PM Report
druez writes:

I am an old school UO player.  I tried this game on release about a year ago.  I played for about 30 minutes and left.  The whole experience sucked.  This was on the EU server.

I read about this games NA server release on here about a month ago and figured I would give it a shot again.  I logged on and haven't logged off since.  This game is going to be like eveonline a "creeper".

Don't cave in to the whiners about skill advancement being to slow or stat advancement being to slow.  This game is about the journey.  I've been killed and looted at least 30 times, but gear is easy to come by.  I've had my horse stolen at the bank, (lesson learned).  I just smile because in this game its possible to have things like that happen.

I've played solo, I think new is a pretty dumb idea.  I think the people who run new are probably doing this for their own reasons.  I don't care that they are doing it, but I'm a noob and I would go out of my way to try and kill someone in new.

They allow reds and blues in new, which I think is pretty dumb as well.  It gives reds a base to pk from, which is crap as well.  I don't mind reds, but you should have a hard life not an easy one tucked away in a "special" guild for noobs.

Tue Mar 02 2010 8:34AM Report
St0rmtrooper writes:

I support NEW. It is not necessary to join this guild upon arrival in Agon (when I started I didn't want to know anything about guilds and just play solo), but it is certainly advisable. Since this is the ideal gathering place to meet other new players, you can easily go farm some low level mobs with a group and have safety in numbers.

When you join your first clan that is based out of a player city a whole new world opens up for you. Join NEW, learn the basics and search for a decent clan.

Welcome to THE SANDBOX of 2010!

Wed Mar 03 2010 5:03AM Report
Mad+Dog writes:

I love this game.

Wed Mar 03 2010 6:53AM Report
shocker1616 writes:

Great entry - Darkfall is fantastic, a True oldschool MMO

 

Read up on my post after my first few days and experience with the NEW clan.

http://forums.darkfallonline.com/showthread.php?t=240330

-Asnar

Mon Mar 29 2010 1:41PM Report
SEANMCAD writes:

Whats nice about this is that NEW is 100% player created. For me players interacting with the game in such a way that it in effect creates player legends and lore is what makes a game a sandbox. I am much more intrested in legends and lore that happen in real time.

and on that note, WTB: item made by King Manus

Sat Apr 03 2010 12:37PM Report

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