If I see somewhere I think is cool looking, I want to be able to go there without much restriction. Darkfall is allowing me to do this, leaving annoying invisible boundaries or ridiculous level restrictions out of the game. While I might run into a dangerous critter that would stomp me in a second, it's easy enough to sneak around and to (seemingly) avoid detection. Still, you're not sure what the creature is or how powerful it is until you attack it so you need to tread carefully or be ready to run. I like this aspect of the game, and I love the fact that I have to use my gut instinct to avoid death as much as my skill.
As I have been traveling, I have been binding myself to whatever town I come across. This isn't as much of an issue right now and especially not as much of an issue as in other MMO's where stepping foot in the wrong area will send you right back to your proper place in the funnel. In Darkfall, even if I wind up in a town that is normally surrounded by really scary meanies, I can survive. Recently in one town I was visiting (the towns are pretty dull, though, with a few NPC's that stand there and maybe a handful of players) I saw the mountains in the distance and told myself that I meant to go there.
Sure enough it was just a matter of climbing up the path and the side of the mountain (Darkfall does allow you, pretty unrealistically, to climb practically straight up a slope) and soon I had crossed the mountain and down the other side. Within no time I had found a player city (judging by the house names) and decided that it might not be the best idea to stick around somewhere that might house pissy players. I headed out but made a note to get a house one day.
Then I came across a familiar looking batch of root things, something that looked like it fell out of Ryzom. This was a nice tough, but again I headed out being that usually these places are brimming with meanies.
What I am enjoying about Darkfall is that fact that, while the systems are definitely limited, the number of systems to play around with are enough to keep you very busy. I am slowly becoming good enough at woodcraft to make a raft (50 more "levels" to go) but can now make campfires, something I want to try out in the wilderness pretty badly.
I can see how someone could just run to a website to get all the information about the game that they could, but at the very least I think a player should wait until they come across that system or want to explore that system before they look it up. And if you do need to find out, why not ask a player?
I have not been attacked once, but a few times by accident. I have joined a group a couple times but to be honest this game is so nicely suited for solo play (contrary to popular belief) that I am loving just exploring, surviving and working my way through the world.
What towns will I find next? What monsters will I attack? I wonder when I will start being dangerously close to the enemy faction players? These are questions that living in a virtual world should ask, I think, mysterious questions that can be answered slowly in game. I don't care about being the best PvP'er or the richest player, only about being the guy that gets the most out of this game.
Anyway, I'm off to play some more EVE as well, being that it is now the Game of the Site for MMOvoices.ning.com. I will be splitting my time between that game, Darkfall, WURM and a host of F2P's over the next month or so. Wish me luck, and if you see me in game say hello.
Or kill me. One or the other.