Ok, that wasn't a very good metaphor. But, I DO feel as though a perfect word to describe Darkfall is "organic."
Essentially, everything is touched, felt..you have to move inventory around like in UO. You have to aim, pick things up, swing at mobs. It's all very connected, like I attempted to feel like with my "Immersion Project." I want to feel what my character might be feeling, rather than acting as my character would. My avatar is just me: ordinary, average ability, surrounded by larger things. But all this manipulation of buttons and keystrokes has got my tennis elbow feeling important. I am slowly finding my way around the game by using the least mouse clicks possible, and running using the auto-run feature and turning with the arrow keys helps (I only use this when it is not important to aim or be particular.)
Being the player that I am, I am not just satisfied with doing the quests and raising my stats. First things first, I gotta' go exploring. Being that this game is hard-core-super-evil-pvp-land, I couldn't just go out skipping through the forest. I had to make a list and check it twice, and make sure that I had plenty of arrows. When I open my bank, I am reminded of UO days, stacking gold and losing items under each other. The question is: is it realism they are going after, or effect?
I think they are going for an impression of realism, and one of the easiest ways they could do this was to make you slow down when you do something like grabbing your gear. It's not rocket science.
Understand that at this point in these reviews I fully expect people to say that I am giving the game extra chances because I am enjoying it, and to say that the fanboi-seeds have been planted, and will soon blossom into the same tree of brown-nosery that grew for SOE and Vanguard.
Here's the deal: I am not a fanboi of anything, except my wife and animals. The problem with many games like VG or DF are that players seem to take the game only as the developers or packaging seem to be marketing it: a "hard-core" PvP game, an "old-school" adventure MMO. I simply find fun things to do in almost anything, and don't feel the need to talk about bugs/nerfs/developer mistakes as though they are the end of the world.
In other words, I don't talk about that which I cannot control. So, I will like Darkfall for now, for some reason. Give me time to become bitter.
Anyway, I loaded up the ole' backpack with arrows and a few potions. Although I am brand new to the game, I like the de-emphasis on equipment. I feel like I do in most games, free of loot lust, but in Darkfall I really feel like it isn't going to matter that much, for everyone.
I decided to go North because I went exploring as soon as I loaded the game for the first time and found an elf village thing. I figured I would go investigate the village now that I might be able to kill one of them, and to see if I could avoid death while I did it.
I will stop here to say that yes, the landscapes of Darkfall are open and pretty darn empty. Maybe I am used to that from VG, and although I can get used to the destroyed landscape, I would LOVE it if they simply through in some birds in the sky or the occasional non-threatening mob. You know, LIFE.
But while I am running around I am not too concerned about other life, save for the players that might take MY life. So, I don't tend to stop and miss birdies or squirrels running around. There are definitely areas of natural beauty in the world, but to be honest I feel mostly in a sour mood (in a good way) and just want to survive to shoot an elf. But that's a GOOD feeling, kind of like Mad Max must have felt, like, all the damn time.
I stumbled across some baddie something-er-rathers and tried my hand at killing them. They swarmed me and I ran like a girl from a spider. If you would like, check out the video below to watch me sneaking around a goblin camp and what happens when you are too worried about running out of arrows to LET THEM FLY.
I would have uploaded it to YouTube, but it was over the size limit. Give it a second to load.
I ended up camping near a large lake, and wished hard that one day the developers would add in a campfire. Could you imagine it? You're out in the wilds, it's DARK AS HELL, and you need to get dry and rest a bit. You light a campfire and warm up, you gain a buff.
In the distance a player sees a glimmer on the horizon, and sneaks towards the small light of your campfire, bow drawn back....
They could do a lot with this game, and my imagination is all over it. But here's the only thing that matters to you, as a player or potential player of Darkfall or any other MMO: If you enjoy it, play it. If you do not enjoy it, move on. Don't follow any rules that tell you to play a certain way, and don't let any other players tell you that your skills suck or that you cannot play worth a damn. There ARE NO RULES. This game is a perfect game to do what you want in, as far as the game will physically allow you.
Now, I was asked by Ink if I thought the game basically had a future, if it could hold up to all the other MMO's out there. All I can say is that in my gut of guts I feel that players really do ask themselves questions like that too much. There is way too much emphasis on a games future now, before the game has even had one. Players grow bored within weeks, and I will promise you that even the coolest and most innovative game that comes out will have a hard time retaining players...why? Because fans of MMO's are obsessed with them..they play for hours and hours and hours and no amount of content can stand up to that level of consumption. They grow bored faster than ever. There are entire websites where they can download brand new demos, and within moments of growing bored they can simply log into another world.
So, is Darkfall good or bad for you? I'd say that if you go into the game with only a Counter Strike match on your brain, then you will enjoy it for a bit. If you go into it thinking that you will be somehow original or funny by calling yourself a name like "Studs McSpawnsMore" then you might be one of many d-bags bringing good games down.
If you go into it expecting just to play a new game, no matter how it has been marketed, then you might have a good time.
This game has MAJOR flaws, but what independant work doesn't? I hear the same discussion going on with Vanguard, and I say the same thing for DF as I would for VG: the players are going to have to help to get this game to where it should be, and that's it. That's not forgiveness for developers that couldn't completely deliver a polished product, or for developers that might have made several mistakes. That's simply the truth. You can sit and whine about the lack of polish in chat, IN GAME, or you can get involved with the community and with constructive criticisms.
Now, enough of that. I hate all this serious discussion about a damned video game. I'm having a blast in Darkfall, but understand that I am not a normal player. Seriously...I suck at PvP and can't stand doing the same thing over and over.
It doesn't make sense to me, either, but I like it.