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Darkfall: Unholy Wars : Recommitting to a Political & Economic Sandbox

Posted Apr 15, 2014 by Suzie Ford

The Darkfall: Unholy Wars Facebook page has been updated with a new developer blog post that lays out the team's commitment to its original vision for a sandbox game that is driven by politics and economics. To further that goal, the post outlines several big changes to DF:UW including custom "mix and match" roles, a reworked economy, siege engines and much, much more.

Vision, direction, and immediate plans

Today with this communication we hope to make the community a part of our vision, direction and immediate development plans for Darkfall Unholy Wars.

Direction is a critical issue for the game and the development team, and it has been a hotly debated topic within the community. Compromises have been made along the way; however we are committed to our original vision of a politically and economically driven sandbox PvP MMO, where risk dictates the reward, leading to meaningful massive battles. Sandbox is part of our culture and, to us, it’s the essence of gaming, rather than a current industry trend.

To realign with our vision, we have evolved our internal structure and workflow, and we have our development strategy to guide us back on track. We are also committed to our interaction and communication with the community since our players are an integral part of our vision.

To that end, we are pleased to present the major features from our next few updates:

Custom Roles

Drawing from Darkfall’s heritage we are introducing custom roles. Players can mix and match skills, boosters, and perks, to fully customize their combat role, enhancing sandbox character development. Armor sits on top of the whole system, affecting different skills in different ways, but blocking none. The endless combinations promote player freedom and the open ended experience. The introduction of Custom roles is our highest priority; expect to see them in game very soon.

Economy Rebalance

The driving force behind meaningful conflict and combat is a robust economy. We have been going over every monster, resource node and recipe. Additionally, new higher tier tools as well as special nodes are being introduced, along with more variation in recipes. These changes are coming in waves; expect to see them in most of our upcoming patches. The next step in the economy rebalance is enchanting; once custom roles are launched, enchanting will follow.

Siege Engines

A highly requested feature, siege engines have been on our backlog for a while. Proper catapults, siege towers, battering rams and siege ladders are in the works and their introduction will change the face of sieging. These engines are driven across terrain, and need to be positioned properly following a realistic medieval approach to their design and operation. This feature, currently in the design pipeline, will become our development focus right after custom roles have been implemented.

Quest System

Aimed mainly at improving our new player experience, quests will also provide content for all players. Darkfall lore is reintroduced through engaging storylines to help new players learn the ropes and explore the world. For experienced players, quests offer meaningful rewards like unlockable perks. This is a resource demanding system we’re already working on, so we’ll keep you updated on its progress.

These four systems are our major development goals, along with various other smaller ones, such as improvements to the feel and responsiveness of combat, additional improvements to the new player experience, and more. Overall, we aim to move away from features that are not consistent with our sandbox vision. A very specific example: we are rethinking timed events and the purpose of safe zones, and we are experimenting with meaningful alignment system setups.

As a philosophy, we will always challenge our development decisions against our sandbox strategy and decisively move forward with making Darkfall the game it’s meant to be.

The Darkfall Team

What do you think? Is it enough to recapture people's imaginations? Will you be relogging to find out more about the new systems? Let us know in the comments.

 
 
 
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