Yep, it finally happened.
Just happily exploring along, minding my own business when AGGHHHH!!! some guy runs up to me and starts hacking me up. His name was red and he looked like he had on full armor. CHOP CHOP SLASH CHOP! and I was down. I didn't even bother attacking back, this guy has has spent a good deal of his time learning how to chop someone up. Good for him.
So, what did I learn by getting murdered (leaving my wife, children and home unattended to, what a bastard!) by some crazed fellow in the middle of nowhere?
For the record, I had been ganked one time before (or was it twice?) last time I subbed to the game. This is the first time I had been murdered this time around. Second time killed, though, being that some kind of skeleton thing killed me a few nights before.
1) DO NOT listen to loud music while playing Darkfall. OK, this should be a given, but I was jamming out to my Pandora station and not listening to the game. If I would have been, I would have heard the guy in the huge heavy shiny armor running around outside of the towns gates that I found.
2) DO NOT make loud noise when you are not wanting to be heard: Again, an obvious. Still, I decided to just go running around having fun, listening to loud music and seeing what I can find. Although I was not wearing heavy armor, my footsteps and jumps had to be heard froma mile away. On a side note, Darkfall can definitely take a lot out of my wrists, being that I have frequent pain from pretty bad tennis elbow caused by years of drumming, artwork and keyboard use. I have hotkeyed all sorts of actions (Darkfall allows you to re-map a good deal) including a constant crouch position. If I am sneaking around, I will hit the hot key for "auto crouch" and safely, albeit slowly, lurk around. I should have been doing this at the time of my murder.
3) I was not "ganked", I was "murdered": Whatever the "true" definition of ganking is, I decided that it means some kind of un-fair killing, or a killing done to someone for almost no reason. The guy that killed me didn't sneak up to me and kill me, he didn't happen upon a helpless AFK player, and he didn't do anything under-handed or sneaky. He heard me, ran up to me and kicked my butt. I know players that would become very frustrated and tell all their friends "That jerk ganked me!" but it is no different than what I might do in the same situation.
4) Do not carry anything that you cannot afford to lose: Luckily, I had nothing on me but some gathering tools, a few basic weapons, a camp-fire (I am trying to carry a camp-fire with me when I am out in the world so I can take realistic "breaks") a few gold and 200 arrows. He got nothing, and I would bet he left it sitting there.
After all this, I am still not sure how I feel about the PvP in a game like Darkfall, a game that has tried so hard to make such an immersive PvE experience. It's not that the PvP is bad, it's just of the FPS style. It feels out of place, and sometimes pretty silly. It also can look very silly, as in the first time I was attacked by a half-naked man in the dark:
That was my first death, back when I first played the game. In the comments section you can see someone telling me to just "disable shadows, it's easier to see someone that way." Why would I want to? My trade-off for having a less realistic and immersive game is that I might be able to see an enemy better? Isn't that the easier way out?
That's one of those issues I have, too. The shadows are something you can use to hide, and yet other players can just turn them off. Darkfall is full of contradictions like that...realistic beautiful graphics that allow you the opportunity to "hide", literally, but that can be toggled off by your enemy. PvP that feels like you logged into a game of Halo or Tribes, fast and sometimes goofy.
It's as though there are two games being smushed together by Aventurine, one of immersive PvE in a world filled with danger, and a First Person Shooter complete with instant re-spawn and no consequences for your death.
Still, this is an opportunity to get better at avoiding danger, or at destroying my enemies. I decided that my original goal needs to be fulfilled before I venture too far out into the wilds. I need to raise money, and a good deal of it. The only thing that has done well for me so far has been to gather timber, to turn it into wood and to sell it. It's actually very easy to do this but it does take time. Within a week or slightly less I can raise enough money to train a ton of skills that will help me survive or to craft some better armor so I can withstand the next one.
Until then, when I do venture out, I will not be playing music at top volume!