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Paragus Rants

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

Author: Paragus1

Darkfall: Mounts and Politics

Posted by Paragus1 Friday March 6 2009 at 2:30PM
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Darkfall: Mounts and Politics

After being one of the lucky few to get a copy of the game, I have decided to write about two aspects of the game that I have been introduced to in the first few days.  While mounts and in-game politics have little to do with each other, these features are the ones I have been able to experience at length in my first few days.  A lot of people responded to my beta review wondering more about the mounts, so hopefully this should give you a bit more insight.  After the write-up about the guild functionality, I was finally able to put it to the test when I soon found myself up to my eyes in political wheeling and dealing.

Mounts

Mounts in Darkfall are much more a privilege than a right unlike what we have seen in a lot of the MMOs in the last few years.  Instead of going to your local mount vendor and buying one, mounts are created via a form of crafting called "taming".  The way my guild has approached this is that we have a few select members who are the official mount makers, much like you would have a designated armor crafter.

 

 

I logged in the other day to find out that my guild tamers had successfully cranked out a bunch of mounts for us to take for a test drive.  The mount is an item that can be traded like any other item, and goes into your backpack with the rest of your items.  In order to call the mount, you hotkey the mount statuette into your bar and press the assigned button.


 

The mount will appear wherever your crosshair is pointing.  This caused a great deal of confusion at first because if you are looking across town, that's where the mount will appear.  This means that if your sights are not pointed at the ground very close by, you could accidentally summon your mount 50 yards away.  The issue with this is that once your mount is summoned, anyone can jump on top of it and ride off.  This makes it very important to be aware of your surroundings to avoid having some random stranger jack your ride and ride off into the sunset.

Movement

Once your mount is summoned, you can climb up by pressing the "F" key (default for "use"), and to despawn the mount back to your backpack, you press the "G" key.  We held a small guild drivers class, and all went out for a ride.  The mount controls were surprisingly tight and it handled well, and I found that my death pig was able to turn on a dime.  The mount travel speed is faster than a player can sprint, but riding it does use stamina very slowly . Riding a mount like almost everything in Darkfall is a skill that can be raised, we are under the impression at this point that a higher riding skill reduces the stamina drain.  It is also worth mentioning that mounts in this game can swim as opposed to other MMOs that despawn your mount as soon as they touch water.  We were surprised and amused to watch our death pig doggy paddle across a river.

Combat

Darkfall does seem to support mounted combat.  The one issue I have with it is that in order to fight with your mount, you need to have a 1 handed weapon equipped.  As someone who has opted for a 2-handed weapon approach to melee, this is a minor annoyance to me because I have to keep a 1-hander stashed.  I suppose I can somewhat understand the realism side of it trying to balance yourself on a horse while swinging down with both hands, but it is something you want to keep in mind if you plan on putting yourself in mount combat situations.  Mounts also have their own life bar, meaning they can be killed and also healed.

The mounts themselves have 2 different attacks from what I have seen.  The first type is the basic forward attack to try to hit someone directly in front of you.  The death pig I was riding would try to bite or gore whatever was in front of me by clicking the mouse with my weapon drawn and running forward.  The second type is a rear attack that can be done by pressing backwards and attacking.  This resulted in my pig performing a sort of mule kick to anyone who would be directly behind me.  The "Q" and "E" keys can be used to lean side to side to swipe at people.  Combat damage from being on a mount is substantially more damaging than if you were on foot.  I remember seeing a patch note at the end of beta where they raised it, and it is definitely noticeable.  People who are the victim of a mule kick or being gored are often times knocked back or forward.  Yesterday I was chased by a guy riding a dwarf ram that kept butting me down the road over and over as I fled for my life.

Anyone can ride any races mount as can be seen in the above screenshot, and we actually met a wolf riding a ram he looted from a dwarf he had killed.

 

Politics

From my very limited time in the game so far, I can say that Darkfall has had more political dealings than any other MMO I have played.  The people who have cities want to keep them, and the guilds who don't have them want one.  Aside from that, there are people who just want revenge on other guilds who have attacked their members which often times leads to a declaration of war.  Being at war with another guild allows you to attack their members without receiving an alignment hit (even if they are your race), and guard towers will not intervene if a brawl breaks out in town.

This leads to a very complex web of relationships between guilds who are at war and in alliance with each other.  My first night in game I literally found myself in a ventrilo meeting with the leaders of about 4 other guilds.  We all sat down and decided we were going to try to be friendly with each other for a variety of reasons.  Everyone disclosed to the others who each guild was at war with, and who they were viewing as friendly.  Much like a game of Civ 4, we formed various forms of pacts and treaties and decided we would work together against our common enemies.

One thing that I think hasn't been mentioned in regards to the politics and city conquest is that there is no way to know the location of your enemy's city.  This means that finding out where they live is actually a key step because there is no political map in the game at this stage to tell you where the cities are located, let alone who controls them.  When you enter a guild controlled city area, it does give you a message as to who is in control of it, so in this regard scouting and information is very useful in this game.  Whether the absence of a political map at this point is a good or a bad thing, I will leave that up to you to decide.  I think a lot of people may actually prefer the fact that gathering information is as important as it is, while others would rather have the game disclose it.

One interesting aspect about declaring wars and alliances in Darkfall, besides the massive pop-up, is that the game discloses some information about the other guild in the system chat.  The information tells you the clan's size, the number of cities they own, alignment score, and some other data which I have not yet quite figured out.  Just a side note about the clan size, I find this to be very interesting because you know just how large or small the threat is, something in other MMOs that seems to be misleading.  An example of this was my guild alliance in Warhammer Online that showed the other guilds having a roster of well over 100, but after factoring out alts the true size was somewhere near 40.  Since Darkfall only allows 1 character per server, you know the number reflected here is probably very accurate.

I just want to add one final thing about guilds before I wrap this up.  Darkfall allows multiple people to share the highest rank in the guild, which is called Supreme General.  This has been an issue in some other MMOs because my guild has 2 leaders, and previously we have been forced to make one of us a lesser rank with limited power.  Since the game displays your guild rank under your name for all other players to see, you have to be careful because everyone likes to target the guild leader for a good old-fashion looting.

 

Paragus

Co-Leader of Inquisition

www.inqguild.com

 

Paragus1 writes:

Just a heads up to anyone who tries to turn this blog into an excuse to bash and troll the game, I will delete your comment.   This is for discussion about the above-mentioned features.

Fri Mar 06 2009 2:40PM Report
daarco writes:

Ohh, i didnt know about the politics! Nice. We are to few ingame right now from my clan, se we havent bother yet.

And i loled about that "guild driving lesson", we havent seen that in to many MMOs before. How is the mounted combat otherwise? I have played M&B for many years...is it similar or the about the same?

Fri Mar 06 2009 2:49PM Report
Sargoth writes:

Excellent write up once again. 

Fri Mar 06 2009 2:54PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I have never played Mount and Blade so I can't really give an honest comparison.

Fri Mar 06 2009 3:03PM Report
Talemire writes:

M&B is good, just no PvE environment for when you get sickly tired of fighting troops all the time.

Fri Mar 06 2009 3:17PM Report
Consensus writes:

Dude one thing you didn't make clear was does only one of 2 guilds have to declare war for it to stop allignment hits, if so that would seems very stupid.

since guild A can just declare war on guild B and kill own race without taking allignment hits. or does guild B have to accept/declare war back?

Fri Mar 06 2009 3:50PM Report
Consensus writes:

seem*

Fri Mar 06 2009 3:50PM Report
tombear81 writes:

Its just a frickin list of people you can kill / not kill. That aint politics. It not like some Eve online siutation where corp X begins to intrude on corp Y supply of a product lowering its value.  Politics requires a framework which DF simply does not have. Logistics and flow of materials being number one.

Lets not granduer ideas we have Tasos for that !

@Paragus... Since Lord Tasos was so kind to describe DF as having combat like M&B I suggest you see the reality of that load of bullshit.  Like being there is a mouse and a computer nvolved.  I think perhaps it draws into a debate about developers using other titles to hype there own.

Fri Mar 06 2009 4:37PM Report
Vince_G writes:

Why don't you play the game first before you bash it.  Ignorance is bliss

Fri Mar 06 2009 4:40PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I would argue that politics can include a wide variety of things.  Politics to me is the making of deals behind the scenes or the collusion of different groups in order to counter the plans of another group of individuals. 

Politics does not need to have a window in the game to be present.  There are alliances, negotiations within those alliances, and pacts.   I don't need you to tell me there are no politics when I am sitting in my vent with the leaders of 4-5 other guilds laying out plans and making deals.   Take your Lord Tasos bullshit to the forums where it is embraced.

Fri Mar 06 2009 4:47PM Report
Loophole writes:

It seems somewhat contradictory to say that gathering information is a key factor and plays more of a role than in other games, and then to continue on to state all kinds of detailed information which the game will show you that other games would not in the last two paragraphs. It sounds like the only information you don't get for free is the location of the cities.

At the very least it shows that it probably isn't a conscious decision gameplay-wise by the developers. If they wanted to go one way or the other with regards to pvp and the whole "know thy enemy" thing it would be reflected in all the aspects rather than just one.

Fri Mar 06 2009 5:09PM Report
Panossian writes:

LoL I love Eve goofs, gimmie a break.

"It not like some Eve online siutation.........."

thats about as far as anyone needs to read of that comment.

 

Fri Mar 06 2009 5:09PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I just edited the article due to an apparent change to the Mahirim I was not aware.  In the beta the Mahirim were not able to create mounts, but apparently the people in my alliance are claiming that is no longer the case.

Fri Mar 06 2009 7:08PM Report
Geriden writes:

Sounds really fun ,Getting a bit fed up trying to get a copy tho.

I was wondering tho you know how you say people can jack your mount, if someone rides off on your mount but you have the statue of it in your inventory cant you just summon it again or what happens to your statue if someone rides off on your mount ?

Fri Mar 06 2009 8:07PM Report
Kyleran writes:

Thanks for the great write up on mounts, I knew almost nothing about them before this. The guild politics sound great, hoping I can actually find a good guild once I get into the game. (no, I don't come with a pre-bulit bunch of friends I'm afraid)

I appreciate writeups like this that actually tell me more about the game and not just first day experiences in noob areas. Keep up the good work.

Fri Mar 06 2009 8:17PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

@Geriden

When you use the mount to summon it, that statuette disappears from your inventory until someone presses "G" to despawn it.

Fri Mar 06 2009 8:52PM Report
Gyrus writes:

Good write up - very interesting - thank you.

Sat Mar 07 2009 2:21AM Report
eldanesh117 writes:

Nice entry. :)

The whole "not knowing where you enemy's city is" could bring possible espionage into DF, in addition to just politics.

This is one heck of a game, I'll say.

Sat Mar 07 2009 5:51PM Report
Fariic writes:

Very nice write up.
Hopefully next week I'll be able to get a copy. :(

Sun Mar 08 2009 9:39AM Report
Whitewalker writes:

Nice work paragus...thanks once again.

Sun Mar 08 2009 5:39PM Report
PatchDay writes:

Awesome writeup Paragus1... as always. I appreciate that someone that actually knows how to play takes the time to writeup on it. Sounds like a grand advbenture!

Sun Mar 08 2009 7:39PM Report
PatchDay writes:

"Fariic writes:

Very nice write up.
Hopefully next week I'll be able to get a copy. :("
 

 

Me too Farlic!

Sun Mar 08 2009 7:40PM Report
robertb writes:

 Nice article.

 

(You are not in that clan that is trying to blue the whole server, are you?  LOL)

Mon Mar 09 2009 11:36AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

No, that would impossible and defeat the purpose of the game.   There are plenty of guilds who are in alliance with multiple guilds.   Since publishing this article, I have witnessed several occasions where a group of guilds have allied up in system chat.

Mon Mar 09 2009 11:47AM Report
Mordrid writes:

Thanks for the write up Paragus. The politics of DF is one of the things that intrigue me the most. EVE is too cubersome for me to really enjoy the politics of it. This seems to bring it down to the good basic elements, possessing strongholds, forming alliances. I could see a guild of mercs doing well in this game, hiring themselves out to assist in a guild war to the side the pays the most.

Mon Mar 09 2009 1:58PM Report
lvlanoob writes:

When a guild declares war with another one is it an immediate effect or is there a time process? Also I heard somewhere there was some type of time process involved with taking another guilds city. I was just wondering if you knew anything about that. Great write up though. I hope I can get in game soon.

Mon Mar 09 2009 4:08PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

A declaration of war happens immediately.   You can only delcare a war every 24 hours I think.  My guild is still diving into the city building and conquest.   I may focus on that stuff in a future article depending how much information I can get.

Mon Mar 09 2009 4:53PM Report
Tsukano writes:

well done again paragus, ive read your last two posts and has gotten me more interested into this game. Finally got my copy today so ill be in tonight (patcher is slooooow, but probably cuz everyone is patchin heh). Still undecided on a guild but if ur accepting mahirim ill be sure to check u guys out.

Mon Mar 09 2009 4:54PM Report
popinjay writes:

Very good post again, Paragus.

I recently saw an excellent movie called "Mongol" about the early life of Ghengis Khan.  It was good because there were so many different factions amongst the different clans and they could be broken in an instant over anything.  There also was a great dependance on horses.. a mongol without a horse was a failure.

This review made me laugh when you got to the Wolf with the ram.  I immediately thought of the shame that Dwarf must have felt going back to his clan and telling them he got "wolf jacked"., lol.

Once again, nice informative review.

Mon Mar 09 2009 5:45PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

In the last few days since I have written this, it has become a bit more common to see races riding other races mounts.  One of my guildmates actually went out of his way to find an alfar in one of the guild we are allied with to make him the dragon mount.

Mon Mar 09 2009 5:48PM Report
alakram writes:

Nice one, thanks a lot!

Mon Mar 09 2009 6:25PM Report
Ozmodan writes:

Well that is exactly how UO handled mounts, so nothing innovative in the least there.   As for politics, I can think of lots of MMO's with significant politics involved. 

All this game is primarily is an attempt to rehash old UO, but in a much less polished form.

Mon Mar 09 2009 6:52PM Report
Joaz writes:

gah i want this to release in america

Mon Mar 09 2009 6:53PM Report
jaxsundane writes:

Nice write up I can't wait til the rush dies down to give this a try.

Mon Mar 09 2009 7:01PM Report
2pure writes:

If the politics are anything like Vanguard SOH- FFA PVP server, this game will turn out to be great :p

Mon Mar 09 2009 8:19PM Report
alexiogman writes:

Riding other race's mounts is a nice show of your prowess. I've seen some sad people go out of their way to purchase them and some more respectable people go try and farm them off the enemy races... the worst is if you just looted one and the server crashes... u lose the mount if u were riding it.

I have no doubt that most of the politics outside of human clans revolve around thwarting goons, SA, or Hyperion. It'll be a while till it gets any more complex than that.

 

 

Tue Mar 10 2009 12:44AM Report
skradaka writes:

Btw, I imagine there would be some crafter's guilds and their Politics will for sure be involving materials' prices and more or less fair practices to gain a market share or even a monopoly for distribution of some products. And it can be done: just think of hiring a thugs to bash every trader that isn't tied to The Guild and doesn't pay the proper tax -- OR -- think about traders on the route that can't protect themselves, yet, hiring a bunch of thugs isn't something they can afford... but the weekly (or monthly/daily - who cares?) fee to The Guild can let them organise a well guarded caravan of 20+ traders with army of scouts, archers and mounted cavalry. So the tools for creating a political behaviour DO exist in almost every game. Just use it. Wherever's a society there's a policy.

Tue Mar 10 2009 8:56AM Report
MMORPGcritc writes:

One of the best blogs I've ever read. DFO politics ftw!

Tue Mar 10 2009 10:04AM Report
daarco writes:

I laughed at the "clan driving lesson", but now when i have a mount..i sure need driving lessons myself. I dont dare to spawn my mount were people can see it. So i can never use it  : (

I need clan members ingame to protect me!

Tue Mar 10 2009 11:33AM Report
CoffeeMan writes:

The game looks awesome but I find it kinda stupid that your writing about it when most people still can't even buy it.  Write about some other game and let us know when we can actually play this one.

Tue Mar 10 2009 2:31PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

CoffeeMan, the choice is yours not to read it.  Judging by the popularity of my write-ups, and the forums activity on this site, there is a definite interest in things related to this game.   If you are one of those not interested, there are plenty of other articles and forums to read.    There is a blog for Hello Kitty Online around here.  Since someone has that one covered, I'll stick to writing about Darkfall because I am playing it and there is interest in it.

Tue Mar 10 2009 2:39PM Report
barezz writes:

Well the politics looks intriguing, but man someone being able to steal your mount is just a bit too much.  Does that affect your alignment at all?  Does stealing ever affect your alignment?  If not, I am not sure how this game will ever amount to more than anarchy and gank fests.  There have got to be some kind of consequences, and "well you can just go PvP" is not a valid one in my book.  PvP is a game style and preference, and more PvP is really not going to be a consequence to someone that likes it.

Tue Mar 10 2009 2:41PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Jumping onto a mount summoned by another player does not result in an alignment hit.   That being said, I have yet to see in person anyone hijack someone else's ride.    There are situations where you want someone to jump on your mount as well.   For example we were in the wilderness, and one of our guys was slowing us down, so we summoned a mount for him to ride on.   Most people have enough common sense to not summon their mount in the middle of a crowded spot, and it only takes about 3 seconds from clicking the statuette to get on board.

Tue Mar 10 2009 2:55PM Report
Flute writes:

The more I see about this game from people writing proper reviews, the more I think "finally we may be watching the dawn of a fantasy game that has the same potential as EVE".

To the poster above comparing Darkfall to EVE and suggesting Darkfall's politics is thin, I'd suggest that such a comparison is like comparing a new apple still growing on the tree with apple strudle and icecream - they both have apple but are at totally different stages so the comparison is pretty meaningless.  EVE is deliciously complicated in its political and economic aspects - but that is *now*, not as it was when it launched so many years ago.

I miss UO; I play EVE because I love its richness.  If Darkfall gets off the ground, and keeps its passion, then it will just get better and better, as EVE has.  Then I will play both :)

I know that in UO I used to tame mounts and give them away to new players, it was a nice social game-play aspect.  When I get a Darkfall account (admit it, where is the harm in trying out any new game properly?) I fully intend to do that again.  If they had bio-engineering as well I'd stay on principle... *sigh*

Wed Mar 11 2009 4:45AM Report
reddog832 writes:

Where can I get hold of this game I would love to play it but cant seem to find it . Help

Wed Mar 11 2009 2:25PM Report
daywalker27 writes:

Stealing mounts is one of the high points in this game. A quick story that I won't put much detail into:

Me and my friends saw a horde of mounts from a mixed race clan, we decided for lulz to chuck some MM's their way, that got their attention, we hid in the water (for anyone that doesn't know, mounts go slower in water), some got off and tried despawning to attack us, I stole a tiger mount, went to a wildy bank, banked it, came back as they were ganking my friend, stole a horse, and ran to the wildy bank again, this time 3 chased me and I ran outa stam so they were able to kill the horse before I could bank, they still lost 2 mounts in the end though.

 

 

Another thing I'd like to comment on though unrelated, how about these damn que times?

Wed Mar 11 2009 5:53PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Good story about stealing mounts lol.   One of my guildies the other day got off his mount, and despawned an enemy mount to his backpack because the guy got off to fight one of my friends.

Qeues are getting pretty serious, hopefully will only go on for another few days.

Thu Mar 12 2009 7:39AM Report
xLudox writes:

Well written Paragus, we need more people like this in the community. Since aventurine seems to be somewhat of a social retard, updates are few and far apart, this is what we need.

I stole a mount once out in the wilderness. Part of darkfall is once you see an enemy don't let him see you. Sneak up on him and attack when he is not looking or doing something else.

I was floating in the water when I saw a mirdain running on his mount, I dived and headed for the nearest npc wilderness town I knew of (betting this is where he was heading) and found him there talking to npc. He hadn't bothered to despawn his mount so I charged in and mounted, ran off, despawned the mount, went back and killed him. 

The lesson here is it does not matter if you gain alignment on stealing or not, the fact is this man felt comfortable leaving his mount despawned (or too lazy) and he paid the price. It would have taken him five seconds to despawn yet he didn't.

Ofcourse I could have just killed him and taken the mount of his backpack I guess.

Fri Mar 13 2009 5:21AM Report
McGamer writes:

Ironic how all your screenshots are of Maharim riding ram and warpig mounts when anyone in-game knows Maharim are nerfed and can't make their own mounts like the other races. The ONLY way a Maharim can get a mount is if someone from another race sells them one or they steal it.

BTW its not so easy stealing a mount from a mounted player because they get bonuses against you on foot not counting just speed bonus. You might delete this I suppose, but just proves the theory about your intentions.

Fri Mar 13 2009 9:04AM Report
CyberWiz writes:

Nice stuff, this game is looking better by the day.

Fri Mar 13 2009 9:11AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I am a Mahirim and I can make warpigs.    In beta that was not the case, but in retail wolfs can craft and ride mounts.

Fri Mar 13 2009 9:54AM Report
sylver98 writes:

Could anyone copy/paste a link for somewhere i can download this game? Live in N. America

Fri Mar 13 2009 4:56PM Report
McGamer writes:

You can make warpigs as a Maharim? Since when because no one on the DF website seems to know about this miracle(if its even true). I say that because there has been a swarm of people claiming this or the other since the DF disaster without showing proof. And possibly photoshopped screenshots cant be trusted btw.

I'm just stating facts as they are presented by AV on their site, if they added an update for Maharim then they need to post it.

Tue Mar 17 2009 1:38AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I can confirm that Mahirim can craft pigs with the taming skill.

Tue Mar 17 2009 7:39AM 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 10:02AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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