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What makes an MMORPG good?

Well certainly there are a number of characteristics that would allow me to classify any MMORPG as good, but of course, we must remind ourselves that this is mostly opinion and opinions are relative (as WoW constantly reminds us). With that done, let's go

Author: theguru22

EG's Review of Darkfall

Posted by theguru22 Wednesday May 13 2009 at 12:38AM
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I know you guys already think I'm a fanboy, but I'm really not at all. Darkfall certainly is not even close to the game it could have been (and still could be), and certainly still has a few glaring issues among many smaller ones. No MMORPG is perfect.

 

That being said I've recently come upon this story of EG's review of Darkfall and decided to review the review. Here it is:


"There are many games out there that I'd go ahead and call "special". Assassin's Creed was special, even if it wasn't great. Half-Life 2 was special, even though it very much was. Independently-run MMO Darkfall Online is certainly special - special in the way in which it so flagrantly ignores many of the rules of what makes a great, playable game. And no, this isn't a preamble to me saying that it's a rough gem, or made for the hardcore audience."


Alright, not a bad start. Not spectacular writing but it's just the first paragraph... let's read on.


"Sadly, every little thing Darkfall does is tragic, but without a personality that might make you feel sorry for its developers, Aventurine. From the grubby textures and grammatically incorrect quest text to the anarchic control system, any attempt to glean joy from this torrid husk of an entertainment product is met with disdain. It's almost as if Darkfall doesn't want you to play. But nevertheless, a job is a job, and play I must."


I have to say that I've yet to notice grammatically incorrect quest texts, although I don't read them much. The controls can be clunky at first, but don't take too long to get the hang of. Also, the game is very aesthetically pleasing to me, not like oblivion, but certainly better than the jagged ridges and bright colors that make WoW characters look like piñatas.


"As with many MMOs, you walk around using the WASD keys. However, to 'do' anything - talk to an NPC, bind yourself to a location, loot a corpse, and so on - you have to click the right mouse button to toggle between interaction or movement mode. Unbelievably, to do anything that involves any interaction at all, you have to stop still - this includes any and all inventory management, looting, chatting - anything interactive. It isn't totally clear whether this was a decision or a design oversight, as many other elements of Darkfall don't quite work."


Alright, here's where the review becomes tragic. I'd like to point out that everything after the first sentence is completely and utterly wrong. In order to talk to NPCs (which you won't be doing nearly as often as in other MMOs), bind yourself, loot a corpse, etc, you don't r-click. The only thing stopping you from doing any of those things is not holding still with your weapon sheathed (which you won't most of the time you're doing those things, except while looting corpses but sheathing your weapon not only makes sense, it prevents people from looting while still in combat so easily). Additionally, there is no "switch between interaction and movement mode" in the game whatsoever.

On the next sentence, you don't have to stand still to do two out of the three things he mentioned. You do have to stand still to loot (which, again, makes sense), but you can hit autorun (like in EVERY OTHER MMORPG) and chat and manage your inventory while traveling quite easily. The reviewer is just plain dead wrong on these points. It would surprise me if he didn't actually know any of these things. Moving on...


"For example, inventory management is done through dragging items from the corpses of enemies. I mean this literally - you open your bag, and physically drag the items from one pouch to the other. There are no inventory 'blocks,' and thus your inventory quickly becomes a horrid mess of vague icons left on top of each other. This gets particularly thrilling when you descend into the wonderful world of harvesting, or try to loot something from a corpse in a particularly dangerous area, and find yourself massacred while farting about with a tree for four minutes. Worse still, the entire economy is player-driven - meaning that anybody wanting to get involved in crafting has literally hours of harvesting wood, or rock, or any of the other generic resources."


The inventory system is handled just like he says, but it certainly isn't the hassle he makes it out to be. For the most part you won't be carrying more than 10 items around with you due to full loot. No one in their right mind carries anything other than what they absolutely need at the moment away from the bank, and you learn this very quickly. Inventory has never been cluttered to me. Additionally, you get color coded bags very early on for separating your stuff both within your inventory and in your bank if you desire. It is a semi-reasonable complaint, but not anywhere near as bad as the reviewer makes it out to be.

Making looting a task works FOR the game. It shouldn't be easy to strip a corpse of all it's valuables. Ask the community to support an "auto loot" button and people will tell you to fuck off, and for good reason. The ability to instantly loot everything makes ninja-looting easier, and removes any and all risk from looting someone after a kill. Not being able to jump someone while their looting a corpse removes a massive appeal of the game to its players.

I don't know what he's talking about at all when he says "farting about with a tree"...

And it's a bad thing that the economy is player driven? How the hell do you figure? Let's look at another MMORPGs with player driven economy and full crafting: EVE. The economy is nearly flawless in EVE and it's one of the big drawing points for the game. His complaint about having to harvest basic materials in order to craft is just asinine. In what game do you not have to harvest materials to craft? How could you have a game in which you don't harvest materials, and yet can craft items? Did the editors even read this? This part of the review doesn't make sense on the most basic level. Even without playing the game you can know that this is a completely invalid complaint.


"Adding further insult to injury is combat - usually the only saving grace of a bad MMO. Darkfall's system is totally twitch-based, in that you click your mouse and you swing a sword, or fire a bow, or shoot some magic. You have a crosshair, and your hits are dependent on whether or not this crosses the enemy at any given time - like an FPS, except with little to no reference point. Enemies' AI boils down to running in circles, which is actually surprisingly effective, considering how slow and floaty the controls tend to be. The difference in feedback between a sword hitting or missing is negligible, and thus much of your melee combat becomes a ridiculous ring-around-the-roses of chasing an enemy frantically clicking the left mouse button."


Alright, although he ends on a semi-valid point about L-click spamfests (which are in the game). However, moving on...


"As much as this might sound like Diablo II, Darkfall's combat is rather more similar to a Quake mod circa 1997. The lack of hit detection saps the combat of any weight or skill, and makes it incredibly frustrating to fight enemies during PVE or PVP combat. Judging the distance that one needs to be at to fight a foe is largely guesswork, and, worse still, your combat skills affect how often you actually connect. It isn't even an issue of timing your clicks based on the connection with your sword - it's nigh-on random. Using spells or arrows is somewhat less exhausting, but usually ends messily when an enemy decides to run at you, leaving you with the choice of changing weapon (a ten-second operation - five if you're particularly nimble) or running backwards in the vain hope of not dying."


Hit detection is completely fine, and I think all players agree on this issue (barring minor disputes about weapon range differences between different weapons). Any player would agree that combat in Darkfall is largely based on skill, and skilled players can easily defeat players with superior equipment/stats. Again, the reviewer is just plain dead wrong when he says "and, worse still, your combat skills affect how often you actually connect." This is a COMPLETELY libalous statement (unless he somehow didn't know, as all players know, that this is incorrect). Weapon swings that are properly aimed and in range always hit regardless of skill level. He's also being completely ridiculous when he says that changing weapons requires 10 seconds average, and 5 at best. Place weapons in your hotbar and you'll switch weapons in under a second, guaranteed. How could he get away with a review with so many startling inaccuracies? If he were a news anchor anywhere but Fox, he would have been fired as soon as he was off the air.


"You see, everything in Darkfall is based on attrition. You slowly but surely gain stats in everything as you do it, ranging from running to wood-chopping to sword-fighting to spell-casting. This sounds as if it would make for an incredibly individual and adaptable experience, but the lacklustre presentation of the game melds with the tortoise-slow skill-up speed to make the experience quintessentially painful. Not even old-school EverQuest - which was actually graphically superior- felt quite as stiflingly slow and ponderous in its levelling curve."


Alright, he has a decent point here again in that it takes time to level your skills... lots of time. This is something some players are clamoring for change to, but personally, I don't like the idea of everyone maxing out characters in 2 months, so I'm more than happy with the levelling curve (which, having played both games, isn't nearly as bad as EQs). Additionally, the statement that old-school EQ had better graphics than Darkfall does is complete and utter bullshit.


"This may be attributed to the lack of rhyme or reason to the world, which verges on random placement of flora with little in the way of lore to tie it together. It may also be tied to the fact that there's very little to see. On many occasions I'd turn and wander in a particular direction, leaving the auto-run key on and navigating past things in the hope that I'd run into a town, or a dungeon, or possibly an angry pack of lions to save me from my torment. Not even the occasional flash of a badly-worded skill-up could serve to bring joy to my heart."


Oh! He found the autorun key. Perhaps he should have edited his article...


"Sadly, this is only the tip of the iceberg of Darkfall's problems. The developers have taken the classic stance when faced with the echoing cries of "you barely have any content", and claim that the "core" of Darkfall is clan warfare. Players can build "camps" and "towns", and fight each other in "epic" wars. This is, as you can probably imagine from the screenshots, rather more underwhelming and frustrating than the hyperbole would have you believe."


Is it not obvious to EVERYONE that he, who claimed to have played the game a total of 9 hours, has never even come close to participating in clan warfare? He should have said "I didn't get a chance to do it," and left it at that. -major credibility.


"You see, anyone can kill anyone. For the most part, your first ten or so hours in Darkfall are spent dying, repeatedly, at the hands of either the AI or a cyber-bully in a wolf-suit. In fact, past that mark, it feels impossible to avoid the clammy hands and bloodied sword of somebody who has specially allocated part of their day to griefing."


Again, he said he only played 9 hours. Where's his take on 10 hours coming from? He's right here; griefing is rampant... around the starter locations! Move to any city outside of the starters and you'll be prey to griefing parties once in a blue moon. This is telling evidence that he never left the newb zones.


"Even when you become semi-capable of operation without constant death, there's little to enjoy. The quests are repetitive kill-X-of-Y monstrosities written with a six-year-old's understanding of English. There are none of the intricacies of World of Warcraft or Warhammer Online, and there's none of the charm of old-world EverQuest. The world is bland in the extreme, with no definition in areas except those where you spawn as a newbie - and even they echo with a distinct lack of life. It doesn't even have the basic features that make up even the most lackluster and dull cookie-cutter MMOs, such as a simple experience system, or some form of tutorial."


He's right, the game is extremely unfriendly to newbs, especially those looking for anything like WoW or WAR. There may as well be no quests, because that's not what the game is about. I did some starter quests to get some basic gear when I had just started, and never even wanted to quest since then (except the "kill-x-of-y" because those just augment my income when hunting specific mobs). The game never boasting a robust questing system, and it's clearly not meant to have one. In it's place, you get the freedom to do whatever you want, and that's what we're here for.


"Darkfall even lacks the basic lore that even the worst games have. There are wolf people, orks, humans, elves, and dark elves. There hasn't even been an attempt to construct a faux-story - you pick a character, and you're dropped in a drab town with a leaf-blade and 20 fewer Euros in your pocket."


Even though there IS lore on the official website, the fact that there's nearly none in game goes hand in hand with there being no questing system. It's not a themepark, it's a sandbox.


"Many avid fanboys defend Darkfall by saying that it's 'just not made for the average or casual player'. In reality, this is just an excuse for Aventurine's inability to create a balanced, playable game. When I swing a sword, I want to be able to hit something. When I start my first quest, I don't want a three-minute run to kill goblins, only to get killed by a six-foot wolf called BarBArIaX WooFKilLer. If you give me a sandbox, by God, give me something to play with in it."


Ok here's another (1 of 3) legitimate complaint. There isn't quite enough content. How old is the game? Just over 2 months. Did any MMO get released with massive amounts of content that we now expect from comparisons to games that were released years ago? No. Give it time, there may be more content added. If not, we'll all leave.

 

I guess that's it. I do believe Eurogamer should retract the review, but not necessarily apologize for it. I think the reviewer should apologize for lying about knowing anything about the game, or else apologize for writing a dishonest review.

 

PS: If anyone knows how to email someone at EuroGamer, please let me know. I looked on their website briefly for a way to do it, but couldn't find one. Feel free to email this to them if you credit me.

The Age of Infinite Heroes

Posted by theguru22 Saturday January 3 2009 at 2:41PM
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Let's all take a minute to admire how dramatic that title is, and postulate how well it would do as a game title.

.

..

...

Back with me?

Alright so, your typical MMORPG transplants you in the body of some human/??? creature of a strange and mystical world and then guides you from behind the scenes through a series of zones and boss fights until you've collected everything and killed everyone, in which case you can do one of three things:

1) Reroll another character of a different class because you've been suckered into the relentlessly boring and outdated class system.

2) Go PvP until your eyes fall out.

3) Use the game as a giant, 3-D chatroom in which you're actually a human with purple skin and inexorably long pointy ears.

So basically the only mechanic of the game MMORPG devs seem to give two shits about is the combat system, since they know that MMORPG players are all bratty 13 year olds who just want to dismember as many rabbits before bedtime as possible. This is only the case, however, because bratty little 13 year olds are the only audience that's impressionable and easy-to-please enough to be a consistent audience and therefor making games that tailor to them is always the most lucritive and easy route. And so MMORPGs have been pushed into the corner where the Disney Channel sits, being only entertaining and engrossing to people of a certain age (or mental age) for a certain ammount of time, thriving on the inevitable aging of pre-teens into their demographic to fill the hole of those who left.

So the devs will spend months and years at a time ensuring that their combat is at least fun enough to brainwash impressionable youth with things like class balancing, abilities, slightly new ways to dismember rabbits, etc, while everything else (crafting, immersion, player interaction, dynamic worlds) gets quickly and fervently shoved aside because they're A) hard to develope well and B) not the selling points for spoiled children.

The sad fact is that most players crave the samey make a character and grind till you drop "cookie cutter" MMORPGs that are the dried husks of the genre's wasteland. If this were not the case WoW would not have the subscriptions that it does and RoM would not have the apologists that it does. There's a recent blog on this site asking why people like sandbox games, and here is my response:

"People want sandbox because they want to shape the sand. Because they feel more like part of the game rather than a passenger in it. Because they want their actions to have meaning rather than ending up at the same dead end as everyone else who followed the linear storyline. I guess the people who enjoy linear MMORPGs are the same people who enjoy daytime soaps; they struggle with creativity and show no motivation to develope rather than participate.

We are done participating as innocent passengers aboard the train car of linear progression worlds. As Cloud said, 'It can only go where the tracks take it.'"

But I do believe that there is a dedicated group disatisfied with the WoW clones and underappreciated gameplay mechanics such as crafting and immersion. We're hoping to see these issues addressed with every new MMORPG, but we're certainly not holding our breath.

 

Adendum: If combat is all you care about, there are a ton of FPSs and FPS/RPGs that do it way better than most MMORPGs. Rakion, Gunz, TF2, L4D, etc.

The Crafting System: What not to do

Posted by theguru22 Monday December 22 2008 at 6:28PM
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Hoooolyy shit do games manage to create utterly worthless and agonizing crafting systems. Let me just say that the best crafting system I've seen (besides pre-cu SWG) is that of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. But damn if that isn't boring and slow as well. So here are some great ways for developers to make their crafting system as coma-inducing as possible (which they seem to employ everywhere):

1) Harvesting "nodes": We've all trecked from node to node watching our pickaxes swing for hours on end, but I wonder why more people don't realize that this is a horrible system. First of all, this goes hand in hand with the detestable levelling system in that the "higher level" nodes are placed in higher level zones with higher level mobs and the only way to get there is to be higher level, so really you're just encouraging grinding some part of the game people may not be interested in in order to access another part of the game altogether that should be completely available from the start. Secondly, farming nodes is about as exciting as watching paint dry, and don't tell me there aren't better ways to do it because that's just fucking lazy. I could think of 5 better ways to manage resource gathering than harvesting nodes right now in my skivvies at home, without even having put much prior thought into it! This also creates the problem of respawning nodes which makes no sense and allows people to time the respawns and node locations to a T. When has moving from node to node ever been interesting to anyone? Scrap it and start over.

2) Linear Leveling system: This is always a bad idea anywhere *period*, and in crafting it's an exceptionally bad idea because crafting is supposed to be creative and inspiring, not a dull grind to max level that a chimp could do with his eyes replaced with baked beans. That might be a bit what you feel like when you grind out your crafting skills because first of all you're producing hundreds of clone items that everyone else also has to produce and therefor the market is utterly flooded with and are deemed completely useless and secondly when you do finally achieve max level there's usually hardly anything worth making. Sometimes the stuff that is worth making takes you a month to make because you have to go grind for drops or keep hitting nodes until you get enough of that special rare drop that you need. It's fucking boring and pointless and those two qualifications cause me to avoid the linearly leveled crafting systems as much as possible because in the end it's just another label to tack onto your character that serves no purpose in game whatsoever.

3) Permanent Items: Alright, I'll say it. I fully support item degredation for several reasons: 1) It's more fucking realistic, 2) It creates an item sink so that crafters actually have something to do, 3) It makes sense as a way to encourage players to interact, 4) item sinks are absolutely nessesary to achieve an evolving game, 5) It balances the economy and keeps inflation in check, 6) It allows weaker characters more opportunity to be on par with stronger characters and overall creates a more dynamic game and player interaction. Don't tell me causing items to "bind" is a better system because it's not. Binding items makes no sense and it doesn't encourage player interaction or allow the game to evolve for characters within it. Only a real economy in which items are created, used, traded, repaired, destroyed, dismantled, and augmented by the players will allow players to have the immersive and enlightening experience they want from MMORPGs.

4) Having Small Pools of Craftable Items: Why can I only craft 1/30th of the total amount of gear in the game, and frequently I am also unable to augment it or add personal touches? What's the point of being a crafter if every other crafter in the game can make the exact same items the exact same way? This is not a system that allows individuality or creativity. Only allowing players to craft a small pool of select items with select usage is a sure way to deter crafters from even considering your system. If there's no reason to craft because better items can be found, then why do it at all? Most of the gear players use should be made by players, not dropped by wolves, which brings me to my next point:

5) Allowing Random Drops: Does it make sense to find a +12 Sword in the gullet of a wolf? No. This system is crap and it's the primary reason crafting utterly falls flat in most MMORPGs. Why craft if you find weapons dropped off of random woodland creatures that are almost as good/just as good? It's a giant wasted effort.

Allowing players to scavange everything they find (pelts/swords/shields/armor/etc) and bring it back to crafters to augment or dismantle makes loads more sense and will balance the economy, make crafters essential to the game, and encourage player interaction. Why do modern MMORPGs insist on shoving crafters into such a small corner?

The Storyline Aspect

Posted by theguru22 Wednesday December 10 2008 at 3:40AM
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This really is quite baffling to me...

So we have single player games like Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row doing their damnedest to be a go anywhere do anything inside of a relatively thin framework of dulled progression sandbox games which ultimately have a main story line but it doesn't ever seem to be one of the drawing points to the game, and then we have MMORPGs like WoW and Age of Conan which seem to be trying just as hard to provide some sort of linear storyline in order to gain the prestiged (posh) title of lore including MMORPGs. It seems to me that although single player games would be bland as hell if they shoved you into a sandbox do-anything world with no overarching storyline or goal (ie. Mount & Blade), MMORPGs which include a linear storyline are really wasting their time for a couple of reasons:

1) No one fucking cares.

- Most players, especially those strapped into the class and leveling system for the next eon, don't give half a crap what mystical ancient sword their wielding so long as it allows them to dice heads slightly better than their previous enchanted, ancient, murder-stick.

2) It makes "hero" a mediocre title.

- One of WoWs selling points which the marketing division seemed to belabor quite unknowingly is also one of it's biggest flaws. "Join over 10 million heroes already online" (or something to that effect) quoth the marketing representative as people began to scratch their heads and wonder just who were the peasants and townsfolk they were protecting.

Nowadays you log into WoW and it's a joke; nearly everyone has the +4000 armor of ultimate doom and the blade of a thousand deaths of which there was only 1 in existence ever according to game lore. It's impossible to tell anyone appart from anyone else not only because said items are about as difficult to aquire as bottled water and snickers bars, but because the game seems to produce an infinite number of the "items of legend" which never even get rusty without a second thought.

(Aside) Let me say this right out: I endorse item decay as long as it's handled properly not only because it's realistic and practical but because the good items should be not only difficult to get or produce but finite and fleeting so that you actually give a rats ass when you acquire one. I would rather be upset when my +90 hammer of smiting breaks and completely thrilled when I find a  javelin launching bow of superior impaling than wade through the sea of mediocre "everyone else has-its" that plague classic MMORPGs.

and 3) It will never compare to single player games.

- You're really just shitting yourself if you think the storyline in MMORPGs can even hold a candle to single player games. First of all it's completely stagnant because the men behind the scenes can't have the world you play in change and this leads to "instanced" gameplay, which to me seems to completely undermine the idea of MMORPGs. Great, so you can team up to slaughter the same keeper of darkness over and over again in order to get your bland baubles in the giant dullathon quest for superiority over all the people who have wasted far less time than you, but ultimately you're playing a half-assed single player game in which the only storyline involves the firebreathing, hatred-engulfed big baddie you're taking down being evil and you being the shining beacon of hope who will trounce him 400 times until you finally get your shiny necklace of slightly-better-than-youness (boy isn't that joke getting old).

In single player games, by stark contrast, there's usually a bit of plot, as well as character, development so that you actually care who the baddie is and why you're trouncing him. Some games even take it so far as to let you be the baddie and smash the shimmering hopes of thousands of innocent dreamers because you like the mist created by your minigun and the screams of terror as you reduce their tiny hovels to smoldering rubble.

 

If you really want to do it right you're going to have to pit player forces against eachother and then somehow maintain the balance, or better yet allow your game to change as time goes on. Of course, being a developer is probably not easy in fact is probably about as difficult as maintaining flacidity during a jello wrestling contest and subsequent nude fondling at the playboy mansion, but if you want your game to keep up with the times you're going to have to be in developer mode constantly. Either that, or you can sit back and leave it mostly to the players to create their own conflict, city-states, and storyline and concentrate on more important things for MMORPGs such as combat, balancing, item creation, and stability. I recommend the latter.

Why I'm looking forward to Darkfall

Posted by theguru22 Tuesday December 9 2008 at 1:21PM
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Well there certainly is a shitstorm of MMORPGs out there now, and with WoW (as always) still leading the pack and EVE biting at its heels we've still yet to see a MMORPG that's as consistently entertaining as games such as... say... Left 4 Dead. Let's examine Left 4 Dead for a moment to find out why it's fun at all.

Left 4 Dead lacks plot entirely, that is, the plot is (chuckle) that you're one of four survivors who happen to be immune to a virus which causes people to inexplicably garnish superhuman strength and speed as well as mutate into people who explode or have 300 foot tongues. As one of the sole survivors of humanity you must run from safe-house to safe-house fighting off "zombies" until you are eventually rescued. In this way it's blatantly ripping off movies Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later. And yet, this game is fucking awesome.

Why? Aside from the fact that you're consistently splattering "zombie" brains unto many neatly placed walls there's an element of tactical teamwork added, and couple that with the ability to play online with friends either co-op against the computer or versus people playing as mutated (all right, I'll get it right this time) infected. In versus mode this game never gets old and co-op campaign doesn't easily ware thin either with achievements to be gained. The point is the game knows exactly what it wants to be and it doesn't bullshit you about it, and the fact that it achieves this goal while being riotously entertaining as well as pretty just tacks the extra gold star on its title.

So now, why am I talking about L4D? Aside from it being the most massive hit at LAN parties since Starcraft it has elements which are similar to some found in Darkfall. One of the many things MMORPGs seem to be missing (more and more as time goes on) is the element of strategic teamwork, something which, if properly executed, Darkfall has the potential to capitalize on. Play Mount & Blade for an hour and you'll gain the realization that this is how combat in MMORPGs was meant to be done. No more autotarget, level/gear based combat where the person who's wasted more of their miserable lives "raiding" or "arena-ing" is automatically declared the victor so long as they have motor skills at least on par with a chimpanzee.

Furthermore, Darkfall proposes to eliminate something which I will harp on constantly because frankly it's the death of fun in MMORPGs by literally turning them into a second job; which is the class/level system. Please, for fuck's sake, haven't we had enough of the grind to level 60, and then 70, and then 80, and the... oh god when will it end? It's monotonous and retarded, and the same job could be done by a machine with 3 output functions operated by a hamster. What's more, classic MMORPG logic dictates that once you achieve the highest status attainable with a character, that character is limited to one or two rolls at best in a party no matter if they're raiding, questing, or PvPing.

In order to do something besides "DPS" you must create an entirely new character and repeat the same damnedable monotonous process of grinding up to max level and then raiding for gear. No one who's sane has ever done that once and said to themselves "yeah, that was great. If only I could do it again with a sligthly different outcome". Get rid of the level system. Get rid of the class system. They are antiques! Even SWG knew how to do this before they got their balls in a twist with internal problems and decided that instead of maintaining the mindbendingly unique and immersive game they had made they should rip it to shreds and make it completely indiscernible from 14 other games already on the market.

I don't know about you, but FPS style action with strategic elements using a character and allies you develop by using skills and not training them on whack-a-mole "mobs" appeals greatly to me. Of course there's always the possibility that Darkfall will be a horrible flop, in which case we will cry our sorry eyes out over what could have been the next step in evolution for MMORPGs.

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