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Paragus Rants

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

Author: Paragus1

Darkfall: City Building

Posted by Paragus1 Thursday March 12 2009 at 7:59AM
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City Building

Today I am going to delve a bit into city building and try to explain an aspect of the game that guilds who own land, or seek to own land, will no doubt be investing some time in.  I'm not going to pretend that I know everything, but what I have seen so far I will share with you as the leader of a guild that currently owns real estate in Agon.

The first step to city building is claiming your piece of land.  Darkfall supposedly has somewhere around 97 plots of claimable land that come in assorted varieties, such as hamlets and cities.  In order to claim a piece of land, you will first need to farm up 10,000 gold for a clanstone.  Once you have the stone, you need to take it to an unclaimed piece of land and you will be able to claim it for your guild.

If you are still reeling from that 10,000 gold, then grab your ankles because we are just warming up.  Next you will need to scrape up another 5000 gold to purchase the construction skill for one of your guild members.  With the construction skill, this guild member will be able to start crafting that basic building blocks that comprise all of the structures on your land.  These building blocks are called "modules".

In order to craft a single module, your crafter will need 250 gold, 50 stone, and 20 wood (50 timber).  This often times means that your guild will need to do a great deal of harvesting to gather the stone and wood, but also the farming of gold.  This means that depending on the size of your guild and the dedication of its members, this can become a very time consuming venture.

The very first building that you are forced to build before anything else can be done is the bank, which costs 10 modules to build.  When you do the math with the above numbers, it translates out into 2500 gold, 500 stone, and 200 wood (500 timber).  One annoying part about building the bank is the fact that these 10 modules you need weigh a ton, and we found that one of our members really were unable to carry more than 2 modules per person due to encumbrance.  This can be a frustrating step if the location of your clan city is far from the nearest bank because you will have to carry these all the way to your towns location.  We are fortunate enough to have our city not more than a few minutes from bank access, so 5 of us were able to carry the 10 modules to the building site without any interference from enemy players.  Once the bank is built, you can simply pick up all future modules at the city from your bank without transporting them manually.

Now that you have all your modules at the build site, you need to have your city mayor erect the structure.  This person can be selected via the guild interface, and does not need to be the same person who has the construction skill.  The mayor has access to build menu at the bindstone that puts him in an aerial view with a menu detailing all of the various types of structures types.  Each of the buttons opens up a new screen showing the structures relating to that type, although for some reason the palisades (walls) icon looked bugged to me.



These are the basic wall structures that surround your city.  If you have ever played Age of Conan, the building of walls is done in a similar fashion.  The wall is chopped up into segments which must be built individually. My guild has a hamlet, and in our situation the wall was chopped into 13 segments.  The number below each item in the building menu represents the number of modules needed to construct the item, so with each wall costing 1 module, you are looking at 13 modules to complete all walls . Again we can put this into a cost perspective and it comes up to 3250 gold, 650 stone, and 260 wood (650 timber).

The walls themselves are pretty impressive in the fact that they come complete with an inner hallway with ramps leading to a second level.  We did not see any option for a gate or door, which has us concerned that the usefulness of the walls themselves in our particular situation could be questionable.  Another issue to us is that after building all of the wall segments, there are still several openings.  We are hoping that some of the other structures we have not built will fill in these holes, but since we are not that far along I can't say for sure if that will be the case.  Also since we own a hamlet, I do not know if these issues also apply to those with cities or other locations.  I think we all would like to see a door like Age of Conan's cities had that could only be accessed by the guild and our friends.


Housing involves the creation of structures with an interior for your guild to hang out. In addition to the fluff value, adding these structures is supposed to increase the number of people in your guild who are allowed to bind themselves to the guild's bindstone.  Initially, only 10 members can bind to the city, but with the addition of housing structures the number goes up by a certain number per building.  The bad news is that the number of these buildings you can erect is predetermined to your city type or piece of land.  The hamlet seems to allow 2 of these buildings, and they cost 10 modules each (5000 gold for both).

The houses themselves are quite impressive looking, and I can only assume that each race will have a different style to them given the label of the building when you target over it says "Clan House Mahirim". While we haven't built our houses yet, I was able to take a walk into the houses from the Exodus Syndicate guild, which has opted to build the buildings before the walls.  The first floor of the clan house was a large room with assorted tables and decorations, and a flight of stairs leading up to second level.  The second level is more of a balcony level, and has another flight of stairs leading to a very small 3rd floor area.  One final note about houses that I find annoying, is that while inside you are always targeting it, so you have the label with the life bar in the way often as can bee seen in the screenshots.



Resources are one of the main reasons players are supposed to want to have a city and control a certain piece of land.  Every location seems to have access to one resource that can be built.  The game does not tell you what that resource is before you claim your plot of land, but by looking at the general area where your city is, it is usually pretty easy to figure out.  For example, if your city is located in a mountainous or cave area, then you would expect there to be a mine.  These resources are supposed to act a source to obtaining rare materials that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to get by other means.

Developing these resources into something tangible that can be used by your city is costly.  The plot of land Inquisition has at the moment has a farm as its special resource.  For us to develop this would cost our guild 50 modules!  That's right, 50. That means 12,500 gold in modules alone just for the farm, and this does not even factor in the massive amounts of stone and wood.  As much as I was blown away by this, I suddenly felt a lot better when I found out how much Exodus Syndicate's harbor is going to cost them upwards of 250 modules (62,500 gold not counting materials).


Trade and Extras

Trade seems to be pretty self explanatory.  When you click on the structures for this option you are shown a general store with a cost of 10 modules.  I can only assume this place a merchant who can sell crafting supplies and hopefully some of the work stations certain crafts require to be used, although I can't confirm this personally.

The extras are the thing that I really don't understand at this point.  These consist of various things like barrels, crates, and scaffhold.  The good news is that they are relatively inexpensive at only 2 modules each, but at this point I don't really know what purpose they serve.  It is possible that they could just be fluff to decorate the town and make it look built up and alive, or there could possibly be some sort of bonus associated with it.  At this stage however, nobody is willing to blow modules on these when other things clearly take priority.


Final Thoughts

I think at this point my biggest concern as a hamlet owner is a lack of defenses or defendability for our plot of land.  We have walls that don't seem to encase the perimeter of our property, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a wall if someone can just walk around it.  Perhaps the missing buildings will fill in the holes, but the fact remains that even if they do, there does not seem to be a gate.  In the event of an attack, enemies would be able to easily enter the property unless there was some sort of door with a friendly switch to set who is allowed to come and go.

Hamlets do not seem to have guard towers either, at least mine doesn't.  This only makes it that much easier for unwanted visitors to travel into our land, hell I got ganked while I was taking the screenshots for this article right in the center of my guilds property.  There does seem to be some sort of guard tower control for people who are lucky enough to have them, it would be nice is they could do something like that with a door to set access.  I have also heard some of the cities have cannons that are not positioned as well as they could be to make them useful.  Some people may be put off by the fact that you can't build anywhere you want, or place your buildings where you want.  I think the fact that there are a limited number of set locations does increase the value of having one and gives people a reason to fight, and the fact that there is a money sink here is probably a good thing for the game's economy.  Having gone back over the article and added up just the gold needed in modules to build our hamlet (not counting the extras), the total comes to around 40,000+ gold, and that isn't counting the stone and wood (or the guilds that have more expensive resources like harbors).  This definitely is one of those MMOs where your money is always worth something.

The good thing about the entire concept of city building in this game compared to other MMOs is that there is a real sense of satisfaction when you start putting up structures because it is not instanced.  Everyone in the world who comes by your spot will be able to see the work you have done, unlike in AoC where everything was instanced.  They definitely have a solid and interesting foundation for their city building system, despite the fact that I think some tweaks would go a long ways.  This aspect of the game really adds another layer to the gameplay, and reinforces what I originally said about being in a guild to fully experience all that Darkfall has to offer.


Co-Leader of Inquisition

robertb writes:

 Good article.

There are more structures that can be added to fill in wall spaces, at least our city has them.


Thu Mar 12 2009 8:43AM Report
Genesis88 writes:

Very cool, I really cannot wait to get a hold of my own copy, this game has everything I want in an MMO. Now if only AV would pull it together, get another server and open the floodgates...

Thu Mar 12 2009 12:43PM Report
moozaad writes:

the gold amounts are nothing. Consider 20,000 gold for a racial weapon + materials!

Only guilds with more than 20 members need bother with hamlets or cities, and then grinding the resources can be as litle as an hour each.

Thu Mar 12 2009 12:47PM Report
Pinesg writes:

The "other structures" do have value beyond adding visual interest. The scafalds are functional, meaning you can climb them, there are generally 2 levels. They usually end up next to a building. Thus when in defense of your hamlett, you could have archers on the scafold with 1 or two melee on the on ramp keeping all other melee off the archers. The barrels are useful to hide behind and range pesky interlopers.

What you called a house, I think refers to a Keep. The player house is not functional ( cant go in) but does add to the number bind points. The keep can be gone in. 

I do not think you will the gate or a  of a way to keep non-guildies out. All structures must be attackable. Hamletts were stated to be difficult to defend, Cities are somewhat easier as they are a large maze and potenial destroyers have to physcally work thier way to attackable points (Bank). Stil the city is open to attackers at all times.  

Thu Mar 12 2009 12:55PM Report
GrimhawkeEB writes:

Nice post.  I linked you on my guild blog:

Evil Bastages Darkfall Blog: Darkfall Online: City Building Review

Thu Mar 12 2009 1:12PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Thanks, link away!

I have seen you guys pop up in game before in the system chat.  maybe we'll run into each other one of these days.

Thu Mar 12 2009 2:05PM Report
hope_some1 writes:

game is awesome guys!

Thu Mar 12 2009 3:40PM Report
Netuddki writes:

It sounds good. I just don't understand, why crafting always has to do something with insane amounts of resources and nothing else.

Thu Mar 12 2009 7:53PM Report
Loophole writes:

Some guy's comment:

I do not think you will the gate or a of a way to keep non-guildies out. All structures must be attackable. Hamletts were stated to be difficult to defend, Cities are somewhat easier as they are a large maze and potenial destroyers have to physcally work thier way to attackable points (Bank). Stil the city is open to attackers at all times.


A door or gate could be destructible as well you know. If resources need to be spent on a wall, then it seems only reasonable that resources should also have to be spent to break it (e.g. crafting a siege engine, bribing a guard, doesn't even have to involve a lot of time spent on development of a feature like that if you think a little creative).



Also I gotta wonder hefty the resource costs really are. Wasn't it said at one point that creating a ship would take people months (or something similar) by Aventurine? If people are already popping up harbors and entire cities so early then I imagine in a month the entire landmass will have been explored instead.

Thu Mar 12 2009 9:31PM Report
Loophole writes:

P.S. if they're going to keep putting blog entries on the front page as features it would be nice if it'd have comments in a forum thread at least for quotes and stuff. :S

Thu Mar 12 2009 9:33PM Report
McGamer writes:

Too bad AV won't update their own website instead of only advertising game features here that only a few so far can "verfiy" in-game. Who knows if any of it is actually stable yet, you can never trust a fanboi. *shrug*

Fri Mar 13 2009 8:52AM Report
CyberWiz writes:

This looks damn cool and promising, the fact the you can not build anywhere is exactly how it should be. Remember SWG and you know why. However I do hope there is plenty of building spots.

There seem to be alot of unfinished stuff, like no gates and holes in the walls, but just the fact we can complain about being able to make our own walls but not having a gate yet is just pure awesome.

After reading this I just completely forgive not having personal housing, actually, guild housing is alot more social anyway :p


Fri Mar 13 2009 9:06AM Report
robertb writes:

 "Too bad AV won't update their own website instead of only advertising game features here that only a few so far can "verfiy" in-game. Who knows if any of it is actually stable yet, you can never trust a fanboi. *shrug*"


That's why this game is probably not for you. Besides, you have a very small chance of even purchasing it now, if you wanted to so, no sweat...

Fri Mar 13 2009 9:38AM Report
Whitewalker writes:

Once again thanks Paragus.

Fri Mar 13 2009 10:09AM Report
Benthon writes:

"That's why this game is probably not for you. Besides, you have a very small chance of even purchasing it now, if you wanted to so, no sweat..." from robertb

You can't trust fanbois, so that makes him unable to play the game? Get a grip, Tasos.

Fri Mar 13 2009 10:19AM Report
tnvnu2 writes:

why is he a fanboi not having played the game yet he doesn't seem all that biased but hey i gave up argueing that point years ago

although that being said i suppose i am a fanboi as i want to play the game as it seems like theres still a few things to be fine tuned(but its just been released so go figure) and i'm not gonna slate it or disregard info until i know i'm right(which i can't not being able to play the game)

but anyways thanks for the info even if all it does is raise more questions in my mind than it answers like so is it cheaper to take a built city than build one are there like t2 or t3 farms that give better stuff do they require maintenance etc etc

Fri Mar 13 2009 2:16PM Report
Flute writes:

The difference between a fanboi and a decent review are *facts* and *balance*.  This review isn't written by a fanboi - but Darkfall seems to absolutely be collecting a lot of real fans, due to the fact it actually has some good design aspects.

As a guild architect in SW:G I well remember founding the first city on Coronet with my guildies, and to be blunt this Darkfall system, even in its nancesant state, has obviosly learnt from SW:G design flaws.

#1 you get a bank, as first structure.  This makes it a real city, with an actual purpose (especially in a FFA PvP game)

#2 the city has a unique resource, so there is at least *something* to gain from the investment of all of the resources.  Critically though, people should never overlook the incredible value that point #1 offers (if you played UO pre-Trammel you'll probably agree).

#3 It works!  The fact the author got PvP'd by someone else means that people actually go there!  Cities in SW:G mostly became ghost towns, even before that game became ghost servers.  Well managed ones did thrive when they made shopping malls, Paragus I would love to know more about the general store in due course & have your guild crafters' thoughts on crafting if possible :)

Translation: yep, I want to play this game.   Why?  Because it has something interesting to try out, and is obviously *not* a WoW clone.  I don't want a WoW clone, because I can play WoW any time I want WoW.  I want innovation, and Darkfall is bringing it back.


Fri Mar 13 2009 5:59PM Report
mdkman writes:

A hamlet is nothing compared to a City, They spent 40,000 gold on their hamlet. My estimates on our city is about 5 times that amount so far and we havent even built 10% of our city. Thats the good thing tho, Small guilds or PK guilds can build a "hang out" spot without any effort really and bigger guilds or medium guilds like ours but that are focused on the task can build very nice cities.


Atm we have in our city

Tier 3 Keep (75 modules)

All walls, 4 Gates and 3 cannons (167 moduesl)

Tier 2 smihty, smelter and oven (60 modules)

Laboratory (20 modueles)

6 houses (6 modules each)

Atm we are gathering for a Mine and Quarry, Cost is 100 modules each, in total 50,000 Gold, 10,000 Stone and 4000 Wood (10,000 timber) and i can asure you its alot of work.


What people dont understand about this game or havent experienced the game with a city you will really be supriced. You dont login at NPC city... You login to the game at your guildcity, You and your mates "live and prosper" in or around your own guildcity. I must say no game has ever came any close to this.


Its a great game with alot of features for everyone to like.

Sat Mar 14 2009 8:00AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Thanks for the info regarding the city costs.

Sat Mar 14 2009 9:30AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Thanks for the info regarding the city costs.

Sat Mar 14 2009 9:30AM Report
xbellx777 writes:

thx paragus once again a great read

Sat Mar 14 2009 12:06PM Report
StanTweedle writes:

I remember our mayor quoting the mine as 300 blocks, while a grove was 100. 

Are you quite sure of that number mdkman?  perhaps our mine is different than yours due to location, maybe its one of those world wonders :)

Great post OP

Sat Mar 14 2009 1:25PM Report
Reprehensble writes:

"#3 It works! The fact the author got PvP'd by someone else means that people actually go there!"

And not only people of our own race, but people from all over Agon. I personally have been PK'd there twice just trying to see who was in our hamlet (you get a system message anytime anyone enters your town). It's kind of embarrassing to have some dwarves ride up on you in your own town, roll you up, take your gear, and use your own bank to store it. Ugh!

Sat Mar 14 2009 2:39PM Report
Flute writes:

Reprehensible I can see role players absolutely loving the fact that a real "City Watch" is *needed* as well.  That system message is the equivalent of a kid in a watchtower ringing a bell ...

And look on the bright side.  If the dwarf rode in this time, it means he has a mount for you and your kin to "borrow" off him next time he calls ... :)

Sat Mar 14 2009 5:09PM Report
Norden writes:

What? No new blog-entry? But, but, its been 3 days! I want to know more!

Great entries, thanks!

...and keep 'em coming, please ;-).

Sun Mar 15 2009 8:24AM Report
OBK1 writes:

Interesting article, but the no gate and walls that does not cover the whole hamlet is just stupid.

Mon Mar 16 2009 3:00AM Report
downtoearth writes:

OBK1 i think gates are only there for seiges the whole in the walsl are filled by buildings

Mon Mar 16 2009 10:49AM Report
Daedrick writes:

Hmmmm, I almost want to try this game. Too bad its so hard to obtain and the server are in europe. I will wait.

Wed Mar 18 2009 10:52AM Report
slickerac2 writes:

 Good Job man,  ty for the info..

Tue Mar 24 2009 3:19AM 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 10:05AM Report
Sinfay writes:

Shadowbane started like this. Hopefully when these cities and hamlets are destroyed the clans dont leave with them :o

Sun Jul 26 2009 6:47PM Report
cosy writes:

is this your blog ? because after 1 years some one has made copy paste

Thu Mar 04 2010 6:07AM Report writes:
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