Darkfall: The Transfer Dilemma
It's been a few weeks since my last entry, but I wanted to talk a bit about the announcement regarding the upcoming North American server, and the character transfer dilemma. Last week Aventurine confirmed the rumors that there is indeed a North American server coming in the near future, and that they plan to live up to their promise to allow transfers for characters currently playing on the European server. The essential part of the update reads as follows:
"We will be making our own announcement when we nail down an exact launch date for the NA server, there are a couple of things which may affect the launch date by a few days that are not ironed out completely yet. Character transfer/cloning will become available with a significant delay (months) and possible further restrictions."
The initial reaction in regards to the delay of "months" triggered a collective groan from most of current NA players looking forward to moving. I think most players can understand the rationale behind a delay. There seems to be a fair amount potential customers who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the NA server before trying the game. To have such a large percentage of the population with no skills against another large percentage who are throwing around high level magic would definitely be detrimental to the new guys . The issue seems to be with how many months it will be until the wave of high-end characters enter the world. Hopefully this delay will give new NA players a chance to narrow the skill gap before judgment day.
This also seems to have sparked a lot of debate within the community about whether or not players should opt to ride it out for an undisclosed amount of time on EU-1, or to jump onto NA right at the launch and start fresh. I think there are definitely a few factors that need to be considered by a lot of the current NA players.
The first thing you need consider is the fun factor. Depending on how much of the current server decides to reroll immediately, and how many more EU players get the game, there is a chance that the current EU-1 server could see a noticeable decrease in population. The thought of spending anywhere from 2-6 months in that environment grinding my skills doesn't really appeal to me. On the flip side, everyone on the NA server will be on even ground for at least a little bit, so if the population is solid, there will definitely be some fun fights to be had.
The second thing you have to remember is that if you are currently playing and planning on transferring, you can't take it with you. It seems pretty evident at this point that when the transfers do go through, you will be going naked. If you are allowed one character per server, it means you could roll a character on NA at launch and start to accumulate some wealth for you other character when they arrive. Again on the flip side of this, a lot of people have stockpiles of armor on their current characters, as well as real estate that a lot of people have been "nutcupping" in order to hold. You can't take it with you, so you mind as well ratchet up the PvP and have some fun with it. My guild has been going out almost nightly practicing our teamwork in PvP situations while we have the gear to blow. This increase in our PvP has definitely led to some memorable hate tells, especially after baiting and egging them on in the midst of their rage (although some are definitely good sports).
The Inquisition Plan
So like many guilds out there right now, we had to sit down as a guild and decide what course of action we wanted to take in regards to transfer or rerolling.
When we put our heads together and thought about thing we would do differently given what we know now, the internal guild poll was pretty surprising to me. Nearly 2/3 of my guild turned out to be in favor of a complete reroll and just walking away from our previous characters. We like many other guilds, designed our guild around the racial alliances built into the game mechanics, but as we experienced more of the game we came to realize that our playstyle would probably do well under an ARAC (Any Race) clan. Initially we started out interested in land ownership like many, but after selling our hamlet and going for more a merc style route, we found ourselves having a lot more fun. From this experience, we now know to focus more on character development and less on getting our name on the political map for our playstyle.
Having played the game for over 3 months now, we have a much better understanding of the differences between the races and how that factors into the game in real terms. Some of my members have expressed an interest in playing the Mirdain (Elf) on NA because of the innate bonus they have to DEX, which contributes to archery damage. While we will still probably make fun of them and their manhood, we can't deny the fact that archery plays a large role in PvP and DEX is one of the harder stats to raise. Some of my guys are looking at the humans which has some of the best base stats of all the races, some others are examining the Alfar because of the lack of PvP restrictions and small size (despite a lower base HP and being KOS to almost everyone). We still have some people who will remain as Orks and Mahirim simply because they look badass and are familiar with the territory.
One good thing that a lot of my guys like about Darkfall is the fact the guy with higher skills is not always the last man standing. This game seems to give a lot of room and reward players who can outsmart their opponents and outplay them. Getting your opponent to over extend, stamina management, baiting, and setting traps are all viable plans that when executed with the proper teamwork can destroy opponents with higher skill points. It is in this regard that we are not afraid of our fate in PvP by starting fresh, especially when everyone else around us will be as well.
I think the one obvious challenge will be the grind in certain aspects of the game, specifically magic. Leveling magic up is not only a time consuming venture, but it can be costly in terms of the amount of spell components needed. I have seen some top level magic first-hand and I can say there are some visually impressive spells that can do heavy wide-spread damage, so in that regards I can understand the need for it to be hard to get. Hopefully Aventurine will continue to exam the grind in this area to make some of the weaker schools a bit more tolerable to push through. Looking past this, we are definitely looking forward to having our pings cuts in half or more, and knowing that in our primetime the rest of the server is out and about instead of being asleep.
EDIT: Looks like the patch notes released right after I put this up claim to reduce the grind on magic.
Co-Leader of Inquisition