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Paragus Rants

Rants, reviews, and interviews from an MMO veteran and guild leader.

Author: Paragus1

Review: Darkfall Beta

Posted by Paragus1 Wednesday February 18 2009 at 4:28PM
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Review: Darkfall Beta

Darkfall Online is a game that is not for everyone. The nature of the game is such that you will either love it or absolutely hate it depending on your playstyle. If you are a casual gamer, someone who does not like harsh PvP in an MMORPG, or you place a heavy emphasis on graphics, there will probably be little here that will appeal to you. On the other hand, if your MMO history involves playing games like Ultima Online or Asheron's Call, like PvP with consequences, and value gameplay over graphics, there is a good chance that this game will provide you with something you have haven't seen in a long time.

Darkfall is a lot different than most MMO's. The game is entirely skill-based, meaning there are no levels, no experience points, and all advancement happens through the raising of various skills through use. The core of the game revolves around open free-for-all PvP with full looting. This means that when you die through PvP or PvE, the entire contents of what you are wearing and carrying can be snatched up by anyone. Now while the game allows you to attack anyone, the games races are divided up into loose teams, but whether you respect those teams is completely up to you.

There are consequences for your actions in Darkfall. Should you choose to attack members of your own team and go "red", your experience in the game will be different than those who work with their racial team. Unlike other MMOs, Darkfall only allows you one character per server, which means that if you chose to go red, you will not be able to log onto a non-red alt character to get supplies and switch back. It is also worth mentioning that unlike some other RvR based MMOs, there are no language barriers stopping you from saying whatever you want to anyone else.

Character Creation seems fairly simple. I would say its has a bit more options than WoW and WAR, but not even close to AoC. You get to pick your face, hair color, facial hair, and various natural jewelry stuff like rings through your nose. There is no setting for height, and no sliders to sculpt your character's face and body like Oblivion / AoC. Once you decide on your look, you'll have to chose a first and last name (yes, the last name is mandatory). Once you are all squared away, you get to chose from 1 of 3 starting cities near your racial capital and you are off to start your journey with nothing except an undroppable starter weapon. I was very surprised by the size of the starter town when I first logged in, I vision of some huts on a dirt road was thrown out the window pretty quickly. I do think they could definitely use some more NPC's, it looks like there are no non-essential NPC's at all and it makes the town seems a bit deserted given how big they are.


User Interface

The UI has a learning curve. If you have played other recent MMOs, you can pretty much just forget everything you have seen. The cookie-cutter interface from WoW, EQ2, WAR, AOC is completely gone. I think people are going to struggle with it the first time they sit down and it could turn some people off. Luckily, there is a small tutorial to help you get your bearings. Right clicking the mouse turns the game into UI/Menu mode, much of what you would expect if you pressed the "ESC" key in any other MMO.

When in this mode, you will see that this is the only time you have a mouse cursor on your screen. This means when you are in play mode, there is no clicking on your hotbar to active abilities, you just press the numerically assigned button on your keyboard. The UI is completely customizable as you can move and resize any window to fit your personal preference. The in-game help pretty much tells you that controls will feel better to FPS players over MMO players. The "F" key is the default use button and works just like it would in Call of Duty, as does spacebar with jumping, and "C" for crouching. The "R" key draws your weapon, and will put you into 3rd person if you have a melee weapon equipped.

You can't loot a target with your weapon drawn. When monster or players die, they leave a tombstone which can be looted by pressing the use key. When the loot box open, this will put you into UI mode, so you will not be able to move or do anything. You also need to open your backpack (Default "B" button) and manually drag and drop the items from their corpse to your bag one at a time. This will definitely be perceived by many as clunky, but at the same time there is a case to be made by others that looting should not be fast to prevent people from cleaning out bodies quickly in the middle of a heated battle. After playing for a while, I think it has grown on me a lot because the time associated with cleaning someone out adds a risk when you are in a heated situation.

My main beef with UI is the chat box. The chat box has multiple tabs that correspond to the different channels, such as group, clan, local, tells, and alliance. The problem with this is that it is becomes easy to miss messages. Let's say you are in your group chat tab running around looking for trouble, and you run across another player and kill them. Unfortunately, that player asked if he could join you and wanted to provide you with some valuable information, but you missed it because his text was under the local tab that you were not looking at because you were talking in group. Unless you are paying careful attention to the various tabs, you are bound to miss a tell or message in another channel. You can however click and drag those tabs out to create new chat windows for that channel. This also means that having a different chat box for each channel can start to clutter up your screen. I think the chat would be better served with multiple channels in the same tab, and leaving it up to the user to decide which channels they want to see in each tab. Aventurine has stated that further revamping of chat is already in the works and will arrive shortly, so there is a good chance that this will be less of an issue very soon.


The World

The environment looks very nice. The sky looks great, and you can see every branch on every tree swaying in the wind. The game runs very smooth to me with everything cranked, but I have a relatively powerful machine. The graphics are by no means cutting-edge, but considering you are getting a zoneless and seamless world with no loading screens, it looks quite well. The world size does seem massive, and I was shocked to see how little I moved on the world map after walking for a few minutes. Traveling from my starter town to my neighboring enemy's starter area can take me anywhere from 25-45 minutes on foot depending on my route and how much stamina I burn sprinting. I think it is probably bigger than Asheron's Call.

There are lots of interesting and hidden places scattered around the world that will appeal to explorer types. I have seen underground cities, giant tree top villages, mountain top fortresses, hidden treasure boxes, and ancient ruins just to name a few. My beef as far as the overworld goes is the scarcity of monsters. Since there are no experience points in Darkfall, monster serve the critical role as a source of items, gold, and materials. This shortage not only makes it difficult to getting these resources, but it makes the world seem a bit devoid of life at times.


Characters and Animations

Chances are that if you are a fan of this game, it isn't because it is a graphical behemoth. This is one of the areas that people who are sticklers for visuals may be disappointed. The character models are a mixed bag. There are times when I like them, and times were I think they could be a bit better. Graphically, they will come in a distance behind some of the newer MMO's on the market. I do however think some of the armor models make them look a lot better. When you wear heavier armor, you can see the glare of the light reflecting on some of the metallic pieces, which is a nice touch. It does vary from race to race, I hear a lot of opinions from various people who either like or dislike a certain race's model design.

The character animations are another issue that detract a little from the game's visuals. Some of the various animations when characters run around seem a bit off. I think it is something that most people will notice fairly quickly after watching some of the video and in their first hours in the game. Since you are in a first-person view for most of the game, you won't be looking at your character nearly as much as other games that have you locked in the 3rd person. While they can take some getting used to, they are by no means a game breaker to me and most of the target audience of the game. If they decided to review and rework the animations down the road, I don't think many would complain, but I think most agree that their time is better spent on other things right now.



There are 3 major different combat types in Darkfall; Melee, Archery, and Magic. This will most likely be one of the more hotly-contested aspects of the game, where most people will either love it or hate it. Unlike other MMOs, Darkfall's combat plays out more like a first-person shooter than a traditional MMO. This means there is no tab targeting, your attacks need to be manually aimed, and your attacks can also be dodged. It is also worth mentioning that the different races all vary in size, which means that certain larger races (Ork / Mahirim) may have a larger hitbox than some of the shorter races (Alfar / Dwarf). I have heard some people freak out about this issue making different races having advantages, but as someone who plays a Mahirim, it was not much of an issue for me personally. I am sure others will disagree on this point, but I would just suggest people play what they like and you will adapt.

Stamina also plays a very critical role in combat because when your stamina is depleted, you will not be able to attack or put up much of a defense. Stamina management will be vital to most of your fights, and in most cases, running out of stamina can be as equally devastating as running out of life. Darkfall also seems to recognize back attacks, and rewards them with doing an increased amount of damage. This can make turning your back and fleeing from someone have some risk if the other person is able to hit your back, especially with arrows. To combine these points, some people will find that melee combat will often have some people sprinting the entire time trying to get behind behind their targets or to make themselves harder to hit. While it can be annoying sometimes to fight someone doing this, these people tend to burn themselves out faster, but the use of this tactic will no doubt frustrate some players.

Each of the 3 combat types have skills associated with using them. When that skill reaches 25, new attacks will open up to be purchased. These new attacks initially after purchase do not seem to show a noticeable increase in damage, but after skilling them up a bit, they start to show more of a return. Some players might be disappointed to find that there are not many "special" attacks compared other MMOs for the melee and archery types where you may be used to having a hotbar full of different abilities. As a fan of Asheron's Call which had literally no abilities, it doesn't bother me as much because the combat has more freedom than other MMOs by combat having no autolocking hits, but it definitely will be an issue to some players. Hopefully as the game progresses, they will introduce a some more skills down the road to beef up the amount of tools non-magic players have at their disposal.


This is the most basic forum of combat in the game and most likely the path most will follow, especially at the very start of the game because it is inexpensive. While melee is a bit easier on your purse, it has the obvious drawback of limited range. Different weapons types do however offer varying range, such as polearms reaching farther than daggers.

When your melee weapon is drawn, you will be pulled out into a 3rd-person viewpoint. Even if this view, your visibility behind your character is minimal. This means sneaking up behind people is a legitimate tactic as opposed to other MMOs where you can spin the camera to see behind you. I can testify first hand that this works quite well, which is good because this game has no "stealth" skills like other MMOs that can make you go invisible. The only time in Darkfall where you can spin the camera at your whim is while resting.

Pressing "T" will toggle your attacks between a horizontal slash and a vertical chop. While both of these do exactly the same damage, certain situations may find one over the other as more practical. The horizontal slash makes it easier to connect with your targets due to the wide cone of damage, but in crowded combat, this could also have you striking your allies for damage because the game has friendly fire. A vertical chop while having a narrow cone of damage, works better in crowded situations because it minimizes the chance of striking nearby allies in a frantic battle.


Firing a bow in Darkfall requires some degree of skill when it comes to aiming your shot. When you fire an arrow, it will arc through the air as opposed to traveling in a straight line like a bullet. This means that the archer will have to compensate for this by aiming the crosshair above his target depending on how far away it is. Pressing and holding your left mouse button will make your character load an arrow, which can be held as long as you continue to hold down the button. This allows you to wait for the moment of your choosing to take your shot.

The upside to archery, besides the range advantage, is that arrows can be very hard to dodge if the shooter has good aim because of the speed they travel towards through the air. The downside to archery is that you can only hit one target at a time, and that arrows are not free. This can make it hard for new and financially struggling players to keep up with the price of obtaining arrows on a regular basis, although many of the starting mobs are known to drop small quantities. Archery only skills up when you shoot an arrow, and since they are not recoverable once fired, raising this skill can end up costing you.


Magic is broken up into many schools, each with their own spells. In addition to skilling up each school of magic, each spell acts as its own skill. The more you cast a spell, the better you will become with it. Higher skilled spells will evolve and start to travel faster through the air, do more damage, or even shoot multiple projectiles.

Like archery, firing spells at your enemy will require some degree of coordination because they need to be manually aimed. The good news is that magic is a lot easier to aim than your bow because your spells will travel in a straight line exactly to where your crosshair is pointed without arcing. In addition to the ease of aiming and obvious range advantages, many of Darkfall spells have splash damage that can hit a target if your shot is close enough, or even hit multiple targets.

Magic does come with its disadvantages as well. Most of the spells in the game require a reagent or component to cast with the exception of the starter spells. This means the life of a mage can be costly, and skilling up spells and school with components can be a hard road. As such, starting the game as a pure mage right out of the gate will come off as extremely difficult. Spells are also easier to dodge than arrows at range because they are easier to spot and generally travel slower through the air. Magic also has a tendency to fizzle more when you are wearing heavier armor, but there is an armored magic casting skill that helps offset it a little if you are able to skill it up.

Those who delve deep into magic will also be forced later on to make decisions about which schools to pursue. New spells and schools of magic are unlocked as you progress through prerequisite school, but some restrictions start to show up down the road. Darkfall does not let you specialize in schools of magic that are polar opposites, such as Fire and Water, Earth and Air. You can have 2 out of the 4 elements, as long as they don't clash with each other, but your end game plans will need to be thought out to avoid training in the wrong areas.


Finish Him!

Probably one of my favorite aspects of PvP combat that makes Darkfall unique is the incapacitation of a player when they reach zero life (excluding the rare and freakish decapitation). This starts a 60 second or so window where you get to decide the fate of the fallen player, or have some choice words with them. There are no revive spells in Darkfall, but when someone is in this state, anyone can help them back up without need of any spell or item. If the person lays there for too long, they will bleed to death and expire. The option is also your to deliver the final blow to send the fallen player back to their bind point naked, and ironically this is called the "Gank" skill by the game. Incapacitated players will yell out "HELP ME!" when reaching zero life, which can be heard from quite a distance away.


Questing in Darkfall at this point doesn't seem to play as much a role than it does in some of the other more recent MMOs. Considering that there are no experience points, quests seem to be a way to get your hands on some items or cash. Finding the quest givers is not as easy also from recent games. There are no floating icons over NPCs like in WoW, WAR, and AoC. Some vendor NPCs simply will have a quest tab on their menu, but you won't know until you talk to them.

The quests themselves are really nothing special in all honesty. Most of them consist of the same basic stuff we have seen the last few years where you are sent to either kill a certain amount of a monster, or collect some items from monsters, or kill the monsters in a certain time frame. It isn't to say they aren't rewarding to do, but they are just as uninspiring as any other MMO, unless I just haven't found the good ones yet.


PvE in Darkfall is a bit different than other MMOs in a few ways. For starters, since there are no levels or a con system, you never really know just how powerful a monster (or player) is until you fight it. Luckily, if you find yourself getting in a bit over your head, it is not too hard to escape the aggro range by sprinting away. Since there are also no experience points, your motivation for engaging in this part of the game will be for monetary gain and equipment. Monsters for the most part seem to drop the items you see them wearing or using in combat, so if a goblin is shooting you with a bow, you can assume that it will be on his body after you beat him. That being said, the monster AI is a step up from other games. Monsters with bows will try to kite you sometimes, others call for help, and some strafe around you to avoid being hit.

There is no kill stealing or tagging system for monsters either. This means anyone can loot anything regardless of who hit it first, last, or did the most damage. While this can sometimes be problematic depending on who is near you, most of the time people seemed to have some degree of respect for who did the dirty work. Another interesting thing though about looting in general, is that multiple people can loot the same target at the same time. I have had situations where me and a friend were both grabbing items out of the loot bag at the same time, which can lead to some humorous situations with people frantically trying to identify and grab the stuff they want before the other guy. Remember that if you are defeated in PvE with people nearby, there is nothing from stopping another player from walking up to you while incapacitated and opting to finish you off and cleaning you out. I can say from personal experience that I have never seen this happen, but I will admit to seeing someone bleed out and getting there too late to save them, then sneakily rummaging through their bag to capitalize on their misfortune.

You also need to be careful not to accidentally damage strangers, or you run the risk of going "rouge" status for a short time, which allows other players to attack you without any alignment penalty for a short time. If 2 players are meleeing the same monster, it can be easier than you think for someone to get accidentally hit by a wild swing, but most of the time other people were good sports about it. There are those who will try to capitalize on it though; I remember a circumstance where I saw one of my guildmates being chased by someone he accidentally hit. Magic users need to be extra careful as well because since most spells have splash damage, it can be very easy to hit both the monster and another player trying to melee the same target.


Alignment System

The alignment system is the main mechanic that determines if you are in good standing or bad standing (red) with members of your own racial pairing. The basic theory is that killing someone who in your racial pairing (who isn't red) will result in a loss of alignment and bring you closer to being red, while killing the natural enemies of your race and red players will increase your standing. The value of a negative hit is much higher than that of a positive one, so it will take several enemy kills to negate the effects of a single friendly kill. If you only hit another player, will be rogue flagged for a short period of time, in which case you can be killed by friendly targets as a means of self-defense. Your alignment is displayed as the bottom meter in the window where your life, stamina, and mana are located.

Having a bad alignment and going red does have some consequences. Besides the obvious of being a target to everyone in the game, your own racial towns will not welcome you and you will be attacked by the guard towers. You will also not be allowed to bind at the same bindstone as normal players, which makes sense because since the bindstones are in town, you would be attacked immediately. Upon going red, you will be automatically bound to remote bindstones in the wilderness where there is little in the ways of merchants and banks in many cases.

The alignment system has its flaws. For starters, it can be easy to flag other players as rogue status by deliberately trying to place yourself in front of their attacks. This can lead to you getting attacked by what would be otherwise friendly players, who then try to capitalize on your rogue status. This means that when you are in a crowded PvE area with strangers, you need to be very careful about your surroundings. Another personal beef I have is that players of an enemy race have their names colored blue, even though they are technically your enemy. The game displays them as blue because their alignment is good in the context of their race. This can lead to confusion if you see another player at a distance and can't quite make out what race they may be. I think it would make more sense to display their names in red naturally since you will be rewarded for killing them.


Full Loot

This is one aspect of the game that I think tends to scare away or concern players who have never played in this type of environment, but may be considering it. I'm sure most people following the game know and understand that Darkfall has full loot upon death, which means that everything on your body is lootable with the exception of your starter weapons, but does not include what you may have banked. Every player starts with a single starter weapon which can always be traded for a different one for a small fee of 20 gold. For the price of 100 gold, you can secure a 2nd weapon, and for 1000 gold you can secure a 3rd. Most players will eventually have 3, which will probably consist of a melee weapon, a wand (needed to cast magic), and a bow (no starter arrows). So you will never be without a weapon no matter what happens.


Now I am not going to sugar-coat it, catching a beatdown and waking up at the bindstone in your underwear sucks, and everyone is going to have days where it happens. On the flip side, there is definitely something to be said about bending down over a fallen opponent and seeing a pile of treasure. The first time you do this, it will definitely bring a smile to your face. If full loot scares you, consider the nature of the game. This is not an item-based game, and while items do help a good bit, they are expendable and replaceable. Remember that the core of your strength in Darkfall is your skills, and nobody can ever take that from you. I think people who are used to raiding weeks for epic purple gear might have a hard time understanding this, but hopefully this should give you some perspective.



Darkfall is still pretty rough around the edges and could use some polish in many areas. Given all of the hype and hysteria surrounding the game, it would be easy to be disappointed if you go into it with unrealistic expectations. The game is being developed by Aventurine, an Indy developer that has made an MMO with a fraction of the manpower, and at a fraction of the price compared to the industry leaders. I personally think the game would have benefited a bit by prolonging the release for at least another month or so, and some players who demand polish may be better off waiting for a little bit before jumping in especially with access being limited initially.

That being said, Aventurine has created the solid framework of an MMO that offers a unique experience that the genre has not seen in quite some time, and I am sure many players will be more than happy to jump into Darkfall at the ground level despite its issues. Anyone who has seen their patches can attest to the fact that they are frequent and robust. I have no doubt that as time goes on, Darkfall will further develop into an interesting and needed alternative to the theme-park model that has been beaten to death in the last few years.

If you are a fan of harsh free-for-all PvP, full looting, clan warfare, and non-linear gameplay, Darkfall might be just the sort of thing you have been looking for. If you are a casual gamer, someone who enjoys a linear style gameplay, or looking for a graphically intense experience, this game might not be for you. I also think to fully appreciate the game, playing with a group of friends or being in a clan will expose you to more of what the game has to offer. I don't think it was ever intended to have mass appeal, but more to cater to a niche of PvP players who are looking for something more than what is out there now, and I think in that respect it will succeed.

If you have any questions about anything I have said or not said, leave a comment and I will do my best to answer.


Co-Leader of Inquisition


miagisan writes:

oh ffs, stop using the "if you are a casual gamer liking linear gameplay" crap line....i am a casual player yet i love the ffa pvp and consequence in EVE....stop using generalizations.

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:32PM Report
ProfRed writes:

Nice write up, and lot's of very accurate and valid info. 

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:37PM Report
Bruticus_XI writes:

So same basic idea, but detailed.

Full loot FFA PvPers = love this game

Everyone else = might love it, might not.

I will be very interested in seeing the effect new sandboxes that are coming out, like EARTHRISE (especially) and Mortal Online, will have on Darkfall. Right now it's pretty much all that's there, but when more polished, solid games come out, Darkfall will probably be left behind.

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:37PM Report
star writes:

Great write up, thanks for the infos.

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:48PM Report
daarco writes:

Great review. I think you nailed everything.

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:49PM Report
miagisan writes:

it's funny how darkfall fans are aiming to belittle anyone who is not "hardcore" or whatever. Calling anyone casual now is synonymous with not liking a sandbox, ffa, pvp, loot centric game.

As per the rest of the write up (if i can get by my blindsided anger a bit)....the game is exactly what i thought it would be, even when i borrowed a fellow guildie's beta stinks of "Meh". There some good concepts, and some really horrible concepts.

Unfortunately, in the end, i think this game is just going to be a bit of the ordinary, the concepts are good, but there's nothing that makes darkfall feel "special"

The skill grind, i do beleive will be horrible and very boring, and alot of it could be botted very easily. Unfortunately, such is the way with this kind of gameplay where kill xp is not the way to level up.

I have more notes from my DF experience, i am just stuck at work and dont have them.

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:49PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I am not trying to belittle anyone.  Some people simply do not have the time to invest in a game like this.   The game has very long travel times for starters, and I would imagine that some gamers who consider themselves in the casual catagory may not be willing to commit 30 minutes of their limited playtime to reach a destination.

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:52PM Report
Evasia writes:

Well its not realy casual game its rather hardcore, he is right on that there was alot of whining during beta by casuals/carebears game is for majority very harsh.

Great preview nicely done alot can learn alot here how game will be and buy it or leave it.

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:54PM Report
miagisan writes:

sorry but you are still generalizing...i play eve an hour or 2 a night, very talk about travel time...sheesh....but you know what, i work my time around this. When i know i have stuff to do that's in a far away system, i wait to do it on the weekends, if i wanna pvp or pve in eve, i do that during the weekdays.


And i have 2 accounts as i train up a when did "casual" become synonymous with "omg you hate these types of games", sorry if we cant all spend 8 hours a day playing mmorpgs.

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:56PM Report
rhinok writes:

 Semed pretty objective and straightforward.  Thanks for the post.

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:56PM Report
Mister_White writes:

good write up paragus (as usual)... i played the beta, and when you die it's f'n BEAT!


ex:  today this happened "three dudes ride up on you with mounts and two handed death doing multiple ride by slices, and the third guy barkin off arrows at you.... is pretty bad.   but on the flip side, if you a dude on the horse, your having the time of your life."

Wed Feb 18 2009 4:58PM Report
Panossian writes:

well done

Wed Feb 18 2009 5:05PM Report
Lobotomist writes:

Judging from videos, melee combat looks quite lame. Worse even than Heretic. Its just swing,swing and thats it.

Wed Feb 18 2009 5:10PM Report
alakram writes:

Fair review, thanks!!

Wed Feb 18 2009 5:11PM Report
xS0u1zx writes:

well for one that was a good write up, however..........Darkfall's failure is simply, they think that they'll become successfull by making a game this hardcore and not ment for the "average" player. However the vast majority of mmo gamers are carebears and casual players who don't usually spend  usually 4-6 hours a day playing.  You go have things like 30 minutes just to journey somewhere, and lots of time sinks.

I guarantee you won't have a very long subscription.  I mean there has to be incentives to play.   Not having a level, skill level, or anything as a "reward" like even look at eve online's skill point system, there is at least incentives to keep playing for the reward of flying bigger, better, and faster ships.  No one is gonna want to invest all their time and money into something with little long term reward.    Sure building empires and such is nice, but what about personal gain and advantage?    Like I said no one wants to spend their life playing any game even wow, some do but you won't survive with only 10,000 customers online. 


I'm not very good with grammer and such, or how to get my point across, but this is the way I look at it.

Wed Feb 18 2009 5:14PM Report
xS0u1zx writes:

err one to many usually's there

Wed Feb 18 2009 5:15PM Report
xS0u1zx writes:

***However the vast majority of mmo gamers are carebears and casual players who usually spend 4-6 hours a day playing****

Wed Feb 18 2009 5:17PM Report
Aragon100 writes:

Nice review Paragus. Think it's a well balance one.=)

Wed Feb 18 2009 5:21PM Report
Faelan writes:

Am I getting this right? Are you seriously saying that a person who spends 4-6 hours a day playing is considered casual?

Wed Feb 18 2009 5:25PM Report
Cyrann writes:

Good review Paragus! As always.

Wed Feb 18 2009 6:02PM Report
severius writes:

Decent review if you are definitely in the darkfall rulez everything else suxxorz camp.  Being someone that actually DID start with and very much enjoyed the launch version of UO etc I have been on the fence concerning this one.  This review does nothing to address actual objective information.  What system specs were used on the test machine, how well did it run, and how far are you from the server.  Actual numbers for different settings would be objective.  Everything in this review is entirely subjective and from what I can tell is from someone firmly in the pro-darkfall camp.  Pretty much absolutely useless to anyone looking to make an informed decision and a waste of time to anyone that doesn't need a pat on the back for being a darkfall fan.

Wed Feb 18 2009 6:11PM Report
beaverz writes:

Damn those are some nice morrowind graphics. Looks like a player made mod.

Wed Feb 18 2009 6:13PM Report
Samhael writes:

 Good stuff -- I would have preferred far more opinion based information though.  I'll look to formal reviews for the facts and to blogs for real peep's opinions.

Wed Feb 18 2009 6:18PM Report
WSIMike writes:

Very good write-up, Paragus. Informative and balanced as (if I remember correctly) you said it would be on the forums here; giving the positives with the negatives. So.. +++ points for that.

I do like the one character per server thing. It brings a degree of accountability in that "you can't escape your actions" by switching to a different toon. This was a common thing in L2's earlier days (and possibly still is). People had one character as a "perma-red" that they'd use to run around and gank lowbies with, etc.. then just switch back to another character to, as you said, get supplies, etc. So, while it would suck for those who want to try out different races (without having to switch servers to do so) before settling on one... for the long term, I do like that concept.

As for the whole "casual" thing.. You know, I think it's a very mis-used term. You can play a MMO like FFXI, or DF or any other MMO where things take longer to do and everything isn't "now now now".. You just have to set your expectations according to your schedule. If you have an hour or two to play a few nights a week, but can still enjoy what ever you do in that hour, then it's perfectly fine for a "casual player".

Personally, I prefer a MMO with a slower progression. I hate feeling like the game is rushing me through, despite my efforts not to.

Again... Very good article :)

Wed Feb 18 2009 6:33PM Report
NightbladeX1 writes:

severius nailed it, end comment.

Wed Feb 18 2009 6:46PM Report
AshenHand writes:

<Unlike other MMOs, Darkfall only allows you one character per server, which means that if you chose to go red, you will not be able to log onto a non-red alt character to get supplies and switch back.>


Just curious, but if you can only have one character, how can you log on an alt?  So is it, one character per server or no?


Wed Feb 18 2009 7:07PM Report
Hives writes:

Casual or Hardcore that's not really the issue it's more of good or bad and this game falls more into the bad category. I played UO when the game had no banks and I loved it so that's not the issue. You should of pointed out what has happen with just beta players... Macroing,Players exploiting the standing infront of people to flag or grave blocking to steal loot or my favorite grouping and the empty world. Sererius did nail it with his comment but people with see what the game is like soon.

Wed Feb 18 2009 7:08PM Report
AmazingAvery writes:

Well done Paragus

Wed Feb 18 2009 8:17PM Report
Orthedos writes:

Interesting review.  I understand that quite some gamers will be put off b/c the game is harsher, taking more time to do anything.  Just walking from town to town cost 45 minutes?  That reminds me of EQ days when I need a druid/wizard port, or I will be walking thru dangerous ground, finding a boat, swimming ... hoping to arrive in 1 piece.

Being harsh and time consuming is not in itself an evil.  The game rewards, during the travel and at destination rules.  If the terrain is empty, I can only enjoy the scenery for so long before I am bored.  If I can be attacked anywhere anytime, I will not be playing if I might need afk for bio, food, phone call, or even a short chat with my sister's baby.  For me a game is just a game.  I am not going to kick out my sister's baby b/c I need to focus myself for 45 minutes running thru empty bareland watching out for a ganker.  I want to be a human being playing a game, not a self proclaimed hardcore, enslaved by a game mechanism.

This is the first formal preview I read about this game.  USD50 is trivial cost but the time sink factor is not.  I think I will be watching this game on and off for more detailed reviews from various sources before thinking about it.  I do not need a grinder to kill my time.  I seek games that really make me smile when I log on, and cherish the moments spent when I log out, without being forced to do anything in manners I do not enjoy b/c a ganker is nearby or b/c of aspects of the game design.

Wed Feb 18 2009 9:08PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

For those asking about my machine, I have a Quad core, Vista 64, 4 Gigs of RAM, and I run an Nvidia 9800 GT Video Card.    I didn't post them in the article because I think it is somewhat geeky.   I do know that a lot of people have had as good performance as I have with a lot less.   I will let another tester with a weaker system comment on that, or I'll see what my guildies were using.

Wed Feb 18 2009 9:35PM Report
DruidFire writes:

Very good article! I feel you were very level-headed in writing this up, and I APPRECIATE THAT a LOT, considering that I wasn't in beta.


I understand that there are many problems, but from reading your review, and a few others, I'm happy to say that I will be giving this game a shot.

Thanks, and much love. =)

Wed Feb 18 2009 9:41PM Report
xzyax writes:

Thanks for the review Paragus.


Couple of questions:

Are there prerequisites for "upgrading" to different weapons and armor?  Or, are you able to wear and use anything from day one as soon as you find it or buy it?


How many dungeons were you able  to find and what kind of treasures did they contain?

How do ships with the multiple cannons work?  Did you partake in any large battles with ships?

How do hovertanks and mounts work with fighting un-mounted individuals?

How much faster are mounts than a sprinting player?  Why didn't you mention anything about mounts in your review?

Did you get a chance to test any siege equipment with taking over other clan cities?

What is the limit on the number of players that can bind at a clan stone?  How much does it increase with each additional house built?

How long does it take the average clan to gather enough resources to start building a city?  (Figure an average clan is 25 members).


Heh... o.k. just a bunch of random questions that popped into my head.  Thanks for any answers you can provide.

Wed Feb 18 2009 9:54PM Report
Paragus1 writes:


It is one character per server at launch.   This means that you will have to live with the consequences of going red until you work it off.  In the beta however, we are allowed 3 character.

Wed Feb 18 2009 9:54PM Report
gnlLucid writes:

 You forgot to mention the engine and how easily the client is modified. :)

Wed Feb 18 2009 9:55PM Report
Xris375 writes:

Two things:

*you can drag out the different chatwindows, so you can monitor more than one channel :)

* Because you level your skill by doing, grinding mobs is far better than hitting walls, so yeah mobs are for more than resource harvesting :)

Wed Feb 18 2009 9:56PM Report
Paragus1 writes:



There are no prereqs top wearing any armor or weapons.   No skill to buy for that.   The items do have a skill level associated with them.

Example:  A sword has a 20 skill level, which means when your sword skill is 20 you will be getting maximum effectiveness from it.


I did not find many dungeons, but my exploration was confined somewhat by my own doing.   I have heard of dungeons being out there.   Supposedly they have special chests deep inside that can be opened with a key.   If you ever played Asheron's Call, think of the Sturdy Iron Keys / Chests.  They are known to have a lot of money and several magical items from what I have gathered.

I did not get a chance to see any ships or hovertanks so I can't testify to that.   I did hear of a bunch of Mahirim one night that went for a sail.   Other than that not a lot of people are at the point where crafting these is viable until people and guilds advance further.

Mounts seem to be noticeably faster.  I saw some once running in the moonlight...

The clan city questions I don't have an answer to, but I am sure some guilds who had cities will be talking about their experiences soon.


Wed Feb 18 2009 10:00PM Report
Paragus1 writes:


Sorry I forgot to post my location from the server.   I live in Pennsylvania near Philadelphia, and the servers are in Germany I think?  I didn't really check my ping that much because honestly I never really had a problem that made me want to.   Of course results can and will vary.

Wed Feb 18 2009 10:05PM Report
ZoMBiEXxX writes:

Love the review.. thanks for the information.

Wed Feb 18 2009 10:14PM Report
xzyax writes:

Thanks for what answers you could provide Paragus.


Hopefully Aventurine had some guilds testing the hovertanks, siege weapons, and ship combat. 

Most of us are still pretty cognisant of how that turned out for Funcom and AoC. 

I guess I would have thought they might have "bumped up" the Beta testers for awhile to be able to fully test all that stuff.  


You mentioned that you only saw a mount once?  Were you not able to afford a mount, or did you just choose not to buy one?  Do you remember how much they cost and what the prerequisites for them were?

With the travel times in DarkFall being what they are... I would think that getting a mount would be a fairly big priority.  Although with the looting perhaps many decided that it wouldn't be worth it?  I guess I'd like to hear your thoughts on the travel aspects of DarkFall in a bit more depth when you have time.


I had heard at one time they were talking about having some sort of "mobile" clan stone that warring clans could bring closer to the battle so that respawns didn't take forever to get back to the battle.  Did you hear if they got that working, or if it was implemented?

At 25-45 minutes travel time per respawn... that is going to be murder on an extended battle. 


Thanks again for the insight.

Wed Feb 18 2009 10:20PM Report
downtoearth writes:

 some times there are chaos stones they can bind 2 that are like 5 min away lol 

Wed Feb 18 2009 11:03PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

To get a mount requires several things.   First you need to buy the taming skill which is around 500 gold I think?   You also need a taming whistle, which costs another 200 gold.   You also need an herb called a Steedgrass I think its called, which can be obtained from herbalism.    I never really had that much money in the beta because I didn't farm monsters much.   So I never really got close enough to even consider trying to get one.

Also I play a Mahirim, which is supposed to get the 4-legged running.   This won't be in until release, as all racial specials.   So in the curernt beta, it is very hard for a Mahrim to get a mount.  A guild mate spent the 700 gold as a Mahirim and found out there was no mount because of the run which hasn't been finalized yet.

As far as the trvael goes, that was about 25-30 minutes for me to get to my starter area, Hunter's Moon, to the starting area of an enemy race.   The time varies a lot because I often stopped to investigate interesting sites along the way.   Also I try not to burn all my stamina because it is so important in a fight.   If I was sprinting the entire way and used up most of my stamina, and someone attacked me, I would not stand a chance.   I usually tried to keep 2/3 of my stamina when travelling.  Clan people can spawn at their base (if they have one), I don't know much about the mobile clan stone.  never really heard of that until now, but I haven't had much of a chance to get into that part of the game.

Wed Feb 18 2009 11:04PM Report
rounner writes:

Thanks Paragus. Dont know why people expect an early review to be the be-all and end-all. At least us non beta players know where we stand now as far as how complete the game is.

Wed Feb 18 2009 11:12PM Report
Tusc writes:

I'm somewhat of a casual gamer in that I don't want to have to spend a ton of time to level and gear a character. I love pvp, and full loot is just fine.

But this game just blows.

The UI is clunky, the combat is like CS knife fighting, only crappier. The skill grind is worse than leveling. The faction system, or whatever they call it, is easily exploitable. The graphics suck. The game looks largely unfinished, many features are not included. The cities are empty. Did I mention the combat blows?

I expected this game to suck, but I hoped it wouldn't. Well, it does.

Wed Feb 18 2009 11:16PM Report
Archanthus writes:

Thank you for the review :) I'm definitely looking forward to trying this game.

Wed Feb 18 2009 11:54PM Report
DrSpanky writes:

 Thanks for the info, Paragus, and well done once again.

I'm a pretty casual player. I do want to give the game a try, but I have a feeling it won't be my cup of tea. But for all you folks waiting for this type of game, I hope DF delivers, and I hope you enjoy the heck out of it.

Thu Feb 19 2009 12:34AM Report
Dreamion writes:

Basically the only way to identify your "skill" is really what kind of guild your in and how well they are doing, i dont really know what to think about that tho, maybe it works out. Anyway, thanks for the review Paragus1.

Thu Feb 19 2009 12:42AM Report
rensta writes:

Looks great =S i hope it will come out without any delays..... 

Thu Feb 19 2009 12:50AM Report
Whitewalker writes:

As a casual player I will admit that I'm enjoying the Beta immensly - the first couple of days was rough but once you adapt to it's playstyle you'll probably fall for Darkfall. It's a gem of an MMO.

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:03AM Report
daltanious writes:

My interest in game has been completely lost when I have read, that will be 1st person. At least they should provide player with choice in which mode he/she want to play instead of saying they decided for 1st person because "more immersive".

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:26AM Report
usual_fool writes:

I think some of you guys should give the reviewer some slack, it is his blog and you cannot accuse him of beng a fan boy  of Darkfall or such like as he rated some features so low. 

Personally I have had my eye on Darkfall for a few years, as love games that are a little / a lot different from the standard mmorpg routine, even though I mainly play the more popular titles now, it is mainly due to them offering the regular updates, patches and usually a pretty high population.

That being said, I thought was a great *beta* review, a few comparisons with other titles, very honest about things and reading it I did not feel the Reviewer was biased in any way.  And Darkfall was always going to be a tough game, so called "hardcore rules" by many people,  and seems for such a small company that they pulled off what they intended to (they just need to open the doors for players to join so they can invest more in game).

A hard game, as I see it and for people who like a challenge and not  for people who die a few times and then quit, is not a case of how much time you play i.e casual, full time gamer,  it is whether you are prepared to cut your teeth in that enviroment and thrive.

Personally the game may not be for me, but the review was great for a blog here, simple but well commented and pretty honest and I hope the game does do well,  as we need more variety in mmporpg's as we seem that gamers over  last few years love the so called "Cookie Cutter" builds for a characters in mmorpg, but we now play "Cookie Cutter" mmorpg's - try something diffferent!

We as gamers should be encouraging these new companies to do well, so they try and develop new titles that are different  - but at least they try, even if they do fail the bigger players in the mmorpg market take note and incorporate some features in their games in future.

So a great review/ early preview Paragus1, and thanks for sharing and writing , it has peeked my interest even if not play myself yet (undecided), but good luck to Adventurine I hope they do well and succeed at this whether I play or not, need more variety and not really wanna play World of Warcraft 4 for me !

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:37AM Report
LuckyR writes:

The only thing I hated in beta was not being able to log-out. If you did not find a chaos stone to bind to you started back where you were. 1 night I wanted to go see the world, I ran from the Dwarf starting area which is north on the map. I ran using my stamina up as I went because I wanted to run all the time lol. The 1st night after about 1 hour 45 min of running and exploring the server shut down. The next morning when I logged in I was back at my starting town :(

I did over a few days manage to get to the southern most island but never even went to the most southern point on it. YES the world is MASSIVE!

As for how many can bind at a clanstone, with no houses in your city you can only do 10, then it goes up by 10 for each house you build.

I was playing EQ2 went I started beta testing, after the fiest few hours I cancelled my EQ2 account and was having a great time. I never did the ffa before but you get use to running around in your underwear with a knife! I soloed most of the time only joining a clan 2 days ago to see the city building part. YES solo is a viable part if you want to. It is not easy as most people are grouped  but I did find lots of PVP solo.

Mounts are actually cheap compared to most MMOs. Once someone has the skills to craft a mount (yes mounts are crafted) all you really need to do is get some Seedgrass from harvesting. It is a rare you get from using your cycle on weeds. Oh ya, unlike other newer MMOs you need to buy an equipe items to be able to harvest.

Hope this helps.

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:57AM Report
Andurin writes:

To all of you whining about being "generalized" would you please shut up?  This game was aimed at a certain niche group of gamers.  And to those of you that are whtining about someone generalizing you, stay away from Darkfall you carebear cry baby.  Actually, why don't you come on in, let me gank you repeatedly, then I'll send you on your way, after you waste $40 and then cry in the forums.  Pffft, pussies!!

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:11AM Report
stayontarget writes:

I'll pass on this title.

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:21AM Report
gamerman98 writes:

i could really care less who writes anything about DF. It will always be crap in my mind.

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:35AM Report
The-Nit writes:

 I still wonder why so many people who hates darkfall wants to spend so much time hating on it...

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:16AM Report
DeathTripp writes:

Excellent review. GOD DAMN, the graphics look like fucking garbage!!! And the UI looks like a piece of poo. God damn this game looks dated. I guess that's what happens when it takes you 8 years to put out a product.

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:37AM Report
DeathTripp writes:

Excellent review. GOD DAMN, the graphics look like fucking garbage!!! And the UI looks like a piece of poo. God damn this game looks dated. I guess that's what happens when it takes you 8 years to put out a product.

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:37AM Report
Daedren writes:

Well done my man! I mirrored it up on my site. ;) 

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:39AM Report
Delameko writes:

The-Nit said " I still wonder why so many people who hates darkfall wants to spend so much time hating on it..."

That's the MMO way.  You either love it or you spend your time bitching about it... :)

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:52AM Report
DeathTripp writes:

Well because it is interesting. Even garbage can be interesting. Hell, even though it looks like shit i would give it a shot definately. But not for 42 fucking euros.

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:56AM Report
DeathTripp writes:

Well because it is interesting. Even garbage can be interesting. Hell, even though it looks like shit i would give it a shot definately. But not for 42 fucking euros.

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:56AM Report
DeathTripp writes:

Well because it is interesting. Even garbage can be interesting. Hell, even though it looks like shit i would give it a shot definately. But not for 42 fucking euros.

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:56AM Report
qbangy32 writes:

Very good review and enjoyable read, I will definately keep track of how this game progresses after launch just out of interest .  I'm not going to be playing Darkfall as I'm not overly interested in a Full loot FFA PvP  game but want to see wether or not this break from traditional MMO's will work in todays current MMO market place, I certainly hope it does as I would like to see more smaller developers catering to more niche markets.

Thu Feb 19 2009 4:25AM Report
Netuddki writes:

I played not much yet, but I need to say this:

I am rather a mix of a casual and a hardcore gamer. I like hardcore stuff, also if I have not much time to play.

I am also a crafter and sozialesr type of player.

I like darkfall in general, but I have some concerns:

1. it seems, there is nothing else to do just kill eachother and mobs. I was never motivated or encouraged to do anything else. There are no other goals in the game, than crash eachother's head.

2. Crafting has no value and meaning at least in beta on low level.

3. There is nothing interesting in gameplay. I have to run up to a mob, and klick left button as quick as I can, while I try to aim correctly.


I will buy the game and try to get to a higher "level", but if there is nothing to do except killing, it's not better than WoW.

Thu Feb 19 2009 4:37AM Report
Netuddki writes:

Oh and be prepared! This is the general tone in DF. The community is the worst I have ever seen.

"Andurin writes:
To all of you whining about being "generalized" would you please shut up? This game was aimed at a certain niche group of gamers. And to those of you that are whtining about someone generalizing you, stay away from Darkfall you carebear cry baby. Actually, why don't you come on in, let me gank you repeatedly, then I'll send you on your way, after you waste $40 and then cry in the forums. Pffft, pussies!!"

Thu Feb 19 2009 4:42AM Report
DJXeon writes:

Phew i hope the forum moderators are ready fior this game.

There will be an initial serge of PvP players that will be up to no good,

/ragequits will be rife lol

Thu Feb 19 2009 5:26AM Report
shukes33 writes:

Andurin dont you get it mate? we casual's want to play and love FFA and the long travel times etc. its not that at all. I dont mind the FFA or the travel times, but i do admit i want to play casual and at my speed. if anything i would say i'm casual because i dont want a hardcore race to nmax level as in the real "hardcore" players that you find in games like eq2 and wow. that's not for me..i want casual progression at a nice easy steay pace without haveing to actually try. i want to enjoy a game and progress while i do it.

Thats why i'm coming to DF!  it seems i will be able to enjoy the game for what it is without having to do the hardcore race to max level :)

Thu Feb 19 2009 6:10AM Report
osamar writes:

So after all this time they just have a "solid framework"???

In a year I will look at DarkFall if still is online

Thu Feb 19 2009 6:15AM Report
sanders01 writes:

 Hm, what did you think of the community during your time in beta? I've suspect it would be about like runescape's PKer population, which are basically a bunch of assholes lol XD

Thu Feb 19 2009 7:48AM Report
Paragus1 writes:


I'm glad you  are finding a way to work it into your playstyle.  One aspect of the game that does make it more friendly to some casuals is the fact that there are no levels or experience points.  This means a newer player can team up with an older player right out of the gate.   You will never hear about someone being too low level to participate in this game.   Strap on some gear and you are good to go.

Thu Feb 19 2009 7:50AM Report
Paragus1 writes:


The community has some bad apples, but I think it is somewhat overblown a little.   While most of the people are PVP types, who often times can be immature, a lot of the fanbase are MMO veterans who have been around the block a few times.   I do think at times they can be over reactionary to some things, but every MMO community has its idiots.   Best not to worry about them, and stick with your friends.    If the community turns out to be people you don't like, than you should feel even better about killing them in game ;)

Thu Feb 19 2009 7:53AM Report
DrAtomic writes:

Prepare to die alot.

If you play 2 hours every night then you are playing 40 hours a month not counting weekends. That is not casual. Casual = play a couple of hours per week then a couple of weeks not, then some more.

@inexperienced ffa pvp-ers
Prepare to rage quit. This kind of game attracts cheaters and griefers more so then others. Basicly win = everything attitude.

Thx great review.

Thu Feb 19 2009 8:19AM Report
toord writes:

@author: great review. thx.

IMO: while I'm willing to sacrify graphics for gameplay, this title's graphics are damn outdated and lackluster. And everything seems to indicate this game will be very likely turn into an EPIC gankfest. Next.

Thu Feb 19 2009 9:23AM Report
Laserwolf writes:

Ultima Online..... is that you?

I missed you buddy. Where have you been?

I'm coming UO, I'm coming!

Thu Feb 19 2009 9:55AM Report
Scot writes:

PvP servers in MMO's do not fare well long term compaired to their PvE, PvP Regional and RvR counterpparts,

So I am not sure the game has long term viability on that basis. Still one to watch though.

Thu Feb 19 2009 10:01AM Report
JK-Kanosi writes:

You know, the game could appeal to RPers as well. I'm not sure why people always say Full loot PvP is the core of the game, like skilling up your character and building player ran cities doesn't exist. As a RPer, I prefer open PvP, player built cities, and a skill based system as do many RPers. It's the best venue for RP and I wish people would realize that and quit saying certain games cater only to the hardcore PvPer, spit in your face, types when hardcore RPers like the same playstyle, but use the mechanics with more of a creative purpose. Let's face it, PvP gets old after a while, yet if you have a purpose to pvp, which RPers have a nack for providing, you get a lot more out of the game.

Thu Feb 19 2009 10:15AM Report
Tuck2000 writes:

Good review some points travel is a involed process for time. T oget accross the whole map (Water included) end to end would be about 4 hours. Travel out side your racial area from a starting locaton is 30 to 45 mintues either direction regardleas of race. So for a causal player in the sense you don't have allot of time to play you need to factor that in for consideration. I play and average of 3 to 4 hours a day and do no consider myself hardcore in the at all. But if you only try to play an hour a day or that's all you may have time for your developement in the game will be going exteremely slow compare to other titles.

The biggest gripe in game is from new players who have never played a "Sandbox (ie "UO,EVE") and expect instant high end crafting ablitiies in armor and war engines and getting a mount the first day etc, Everything in the game takes some level of time and effort. The first thing people need to cosider is day to day survival then once you get that down then think of a way to make some income everything to skill up cost gold. Once you can survive and make an income then you can look at getting a clan site going and then building  all the city needs like shops and venders and walls. Then you can look at ships and seige engines none of which are cheap and will require group efforts to build.

In end not really for the "Causal" 1 hour a day guy

Thu Feb 19 2009 10:49AM Report
ghosteth writes:

Seems like people keep talking about this game the way EVE Online was tlaked about when it first came out. We all know that EVE Online bit the dust and didnt last long because of the way they were aiming to a niche market and only had 3k - 5k players to start.


Don't believe me? Read the review when it was released....

Thu Feb 19 2009 11:11AM Report
Grandis writes:

 So how does it compare to SB?  Sounds like a bit harsher for sure, but if balanced enough, the player population can take care of it.

Thu Feb 19 2009 11:40AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Sorry Grandis, I never played Shadowbane, so I can't really give you a real comparison.  I'm sure there are some around here who have played both and would be better suited to help you with that.

Thu Feb 19 2009 12:05PM Report
sufi633 writes:

 wow this is definitely something that is going to have to be tried out for sure. the companionship in this game sounds incredible... i look forward to getting my hands on this one... 

Thu Feb 19 2009 12:46PM Report
Mistick writes:

Great review! All I can say is I can't wait. I really hope they add a bounty system like UO use to have for reds, or titles to keep players playing. The problem players have now a days is they feel they need to play to accomplish something. While I do not share this state of mind, I do think it is important to add features like this to throw players a bone for there accomplishments.

A game like this should not be played by casual pvpers! Hench carebears like umm... I don't know, wow player types. Beware this is one of those games where ganking will happen, but it will also cost those who do it. My only question is (which I believe I know the answer) if I kill a red player I won't become red right?

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:33PM Report
chris10000 writes:

Hey Paragus,

I just want to appreciate your work .  You have wrote a full-fledged

article covering evry important topic  in an appropriate way.  Thank you for your work. Well done.


Thu Feb 19 2009 1:39PM Report
barezz writes:

A good writeup that gives a good overview of the game.  A lot of what Darkfall has in it, specifically the sandbox elements appeal to me a great deal.  However since I am not a PvP player this game doesn't really appeal to me.  I do hope it does well so that more snadbox type games are developed though. 

I will also be interested to see what shape Darkfall is in after 6 months or so.  Will they tone down the death penalty, or will it stay in?  Most modern games I have seen tend to tone down their death penalties overtime due to numerous requests.  Maybe Darkfall will be different.

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:40PM Report
Jupsto writes:

"geeky"? lol you are computer game blogger imbrace your inner nerd already.

nice review.

I have 1 question. the button to open UI (currently right button) be rebound. and could I rebind right button to say one type of mele swing and left mouse to the other.

I have no desire to have to press T and swap modes in the middle of a battle. and right button for UI is a waste of your best buttons, I would at least bind it to block if I could.

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:41PM Report
Venger writes:

Not a bad review, not sure how balanced it was but I guess we will see very soon.

With FFA PvP games the quality of the game really depends on the quality of the community.  I was around in old UO, the community was for the most part pretty mature.  I just don't know if mmo gamers in general can handle FFA PvP anymore.

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:50PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

@ Mistick

Killing a red player improves your alignment


Chances are the death penalty will stay the same, although they are reworking the alignments system a little from what I read on beta forums from a dev


Yea yea... I know I'm a nerd.   I just can't stand people who brag about their PC specs like it is going to impress someone because most of the time nobody cares except them.

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:52PM Report
cerebrix writes:

thanks for the review.


i didnt really think darkfall was gong to pique my interest.  seems i was right.  thanks for the conformation man.

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:53PM Report
javac writes:

quite accurate and fair review however i think you really glossed over some major parts of the game, such as player-created cities and villages. so while the world may be pretty massive, it won't FEEL as massive and empty when there are 100 or so player-created cities/villages, plus 10K players roaming around.


i think you also underplayed the extent to which the world and environment graphics and physics create a deep sense of immersion & believability. full-scene shadows, wind & fog, day/night cycles with really beautiful sunsets/sunrises, and no arbitrary zones or movement restrictions make the world look and more importantly *feel* a lot more realistic than other MMOs.

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:01PM Report
vinceh writes:

Paragus, I've read a lot of your stuff, and I must say that you're getting worse at writing.  Your style is bland and unimaginative.  I stopped reading your review because it felt like I was reading the script of a narrator for a documentary.   It feels like you're trying to cater to everyone's needs by using common grammatical structures and lackluster vocabulary.  I don't FEEL anything when I read your reviews...all I can extract from your words is the exact technical aspects of the game.

"This is one aspect of the game that I think tends to scare away or concern players who have never played in this type of environment, but may be considering it"

It's like you're trying to easy into the fact that you're trying to say that one aspect of the game that might scare people.  Just f'ing say it.

And your "personal beefs" don't sound like they're doesn't make me think of you actually being angry, and talking shit about it. 

Reviews are about a veteran player who's been in the market and seen it's about giving other players a "feel" of the game without actually playing, it's not "Darkfall for Dummies", any non-retarded person can extract almost everything you said in that game from other sources online.

If you want to be unique, PLEASE, grow a pair, then write.

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:04PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Sorry if my vocabulary is not up to your standards.  I am not trying to mmake you feel one way or the other, that's the point.   I am not going to say something will scare people because it is completely subjective.  

You have to realize that I have access to the beta forums, which includes a large pool of people who are constantly voicing their opinions.  I think a lot of what people bitch about over there is not a big issue to me personally, while there are other issues that get glossed over by them that bother me more.

The UI is a classic example.   There are some people that no matter how hard they try, they can't get past it.   The vast majority of people get used to it after playing for a few hours.   It doesn;t make it any less valid that some people won't get over it, or the grpahics.  I am trying to portray both sides of the points which have been expressed endlessly on the beta forums.   I don't feel the need to tell people how to feel or what to think, I leave that up to the reader.

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:16PM Report
nariusseldon writes:

This game will be at most niche. I won't play a full-loot pvp every game with no progression at all. And there are no quest content.

And i don't think i am in the minority.

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:38PM Report
Sturmrabe writes:

"There are times when I like them, and times were I think they could be a bit better"... and this is supposed to be unbiased? What a load of shit... more like "At times they look ok, and other times like total crap... like something from Silent Hill, but not on purpose"

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:49PM Report
Tiller writes:

I think if you like the game, you like the game. Bottom line. Playstyle means little.

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:54PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Do you really need me to tell you whether or not to like the character models?   Your an adult, look at them and decide for yourself.  I said in the article that I think they look better when they are wearing armor, hence I like them sometimes and other times I find them lacking.

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:55PM Report
xbellx777 writes:

good post paragus dont let these other ppl make fun of your writing i thought it was very well written and a balanced beta review of the game. do you have any idea how  many ppl are in beta btw?

Thu Feb 19 2009 2:58PM Report
Jupsto writes:

didn't answer my UI question


Thu Feb 19 2009 3:00PM Report
Tekkaman writes:

 Miagi, he is generalizing because if he had spent time to categorize every special "niche" of players, then the blog would have never ended.


He's correct though - If you are a casual gamer WHO LIKES LINEAR GAMEPLAY - then the game MAY NOT be what you're looking for. He didn't say - If you are a casual gamer then this game WILL NOT be what you're looking for - did he?


I think what you need to do is stop using "generalizations".


Nice blog Paragus. I'm not your largest fan but I feel as though this wall of text is definitely in the area of unbiased material. Well done.

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:03PM Report
Eisdrache writes:

Sounds very nice to me! I aint a hardcore PvP freak and maybe somewhat causal, but same as Miagisan I like to be able to do everything and face the consequences. I am not a bad boy at all. But I hate all that whinning in other games. Hopefully this might be mature.

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:12PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

If I had to guess how many people are in the beta, I would say maybe 2500-5000 ?  Again, I am pulling this out of my ass so don't hold me to it.

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:39PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

@ Consensus

I am not sure if you can rebind it.  There is a spot in the option to remap a lot of the buttons, but I didn't want to change anything after a few hours getting settled. 

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:40PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

This review has made it to, my 5th blog in a row.  Not bad for someone with no vocabulary right? ;)

Thu Feb 19 2009 3:51PM Report
Joebh writes:

I'm a hardcore pvp and play all the time butI hate this game.  It's just garbage.  Played beta, there's no skill involved in pvp so no point to play.

Thu Feb 19 2009 4:03PM Report
Vyeth writes:

INCREDIBLE.. thanks for such an in depth and honest review of the game... You have just made a believer out of me and now I cannot wait for the game.. After seeing so many flame wars on these forums it is great to see someone lay down the facts and explain it without a biased point of view.

Thu Feb 19 2009 4:39PM Report
KhaelSUN writes:

In my guild SUN we define casual players as anyone who plays less than 5 hours per day.

Btw. I have played beta since oktober, and absolutely love the game. Will be a blast in release. There are many improvements to be made for sure, but the dev team has showed us they are very dedicated to improving the game, fixing bugs, and improving the game all through beta. We had new patches/builds every 3-4 days.

Thu Feb 19 2009 4:42PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

hey Khael!   I used to play with you guys on Andred when I was hanging out with The Cabal.  Sorry about what happened to this guy :)


Thu Feb 19 2009 5:00PM Report
KhaelSUN writes:

Ahh cool, personally I went back to AC Darktide, instead of moving to Mordred/Andred.

Heh that dead guy is Furtin ;)

And great review man, good job.


Thu Feb 19 2009 5:08PM Report
cosimusta writes:

Very in depth, but a little too much truth bending for my taste. 

I don't really agree with you about the casual vs hardcore stuff in terms of the amount of time this game consumes.  I can log on for 30 min and pvp, pve, harvest, or craft np.  I can bind close to an enemy town if needs be.

The screenshot you have of the interface made me chuckle.  Wh arranges their interface like that lol?  It felt like you were trying to make it look weird.

Starting out 'Darkfall is not for everyone' was annoying. NO MMO IS FOR EVERYONE.  Not even WoW.

All that said, i will say that this game tends to get people's blood up.  So I'll commend you on not going off the deep end in your review.

Thu Feb 19 2009 5:15PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Thanks man.  By the way, I think I still a hate-tell montage you guys made back in DAOC on my guild forums.  That thing used to make me laugh so hard I would cry.

Thu Feb 19 2009 5:17PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

@ Cosimusta

I arranged the interface like that for the purposes of taking a picture that was small and would still show the parts of it you will see on your screen all the time.  I do not play with my UI layed out like that.

Thu Feb 19 2009 5:25PM Report
clinteast writes:

Great review mate. 


Reminds me a lot of UO & AC.  Trouble with a lot of people these days in current mmo's is everything is easy in terms of leveling and loads of quests.


Thu Feb 19 2009 5:37PM Report
Kien writes:

Great preview... but a comment to the MMORPG.COM team: I'm not sure it's appropriate to allow someone know to be *ahem* extremely enthusiastic about the game to write a preview that many players will read before deciding whether or not to pre-order.

Thu Feb 19 2009 6:26PM Report
Wharg0ul writes:

Nice write-up. Makes me want to play it right friggin' NOW.

Finally a MMO for the old-school types. You kids can have your epic gear, your tiered, instanced PVP, scenarios, battlegrounds, or whatever the fuck they are called. 

Thu Feb 19 2009 6:27PM Report
Ninswift writes:

I look forward to crushing you all in the near future.  Catskillz4Ever!

Thu Feb 19 2009 6:40PM Report
Flute writes:

I miss UO.  Skill based play is just more fun long-term than level based, because you never really know how things will turn out when you take on other players.  As for the comment above about PvP games never working long-term, I disagree (see EVE).  What matters is not whether it's PvP or PvE, but whether it's a good game.  This looks like UO version 2; add housing, creature taming and flying mounts and well ... I'd probably never leave, especially if they go for the continous improvement model CCP use with EVE.

Thu Feb 19 2009 6:51PM Report
brostyn writes:

What will keep people playing? I see no resources that need to be gathered/defended, no city that needs to be defended/raided, no trade routes to be raided/defended. What is there to keep people playing long term?

IMO, too many people are taking past games, and thinking DF is going to build on those ideas. No where in this review have I seen that. All I've read is there PvP with full looting. That would get old real quick. Especially if all the gear is mostly insignificant.


WAR was the same way. It was awesome for about 1-2 months. Then it got old killing people over and over again for no reason.

Thu Feb 19 2009 7:13PM Report
DonTrump writes:

Nice write up !

Thu Feb 19 2009 7:48PM Report
Boximus writes:

Excellent read. This article made me understand what Darkfall is about, and I can't wait to play. Now if I can just decide on what skills I want to focus on.  ( :

Thu Feb 19 2009 9:23PM Report
John.A.Zoid writes:

Corse it's getting good reviews because all the beta players that stuck around like that piece of shit. Watch the game fail at launch.

Thu Feb 19 2009 9:43PM Report
John.A.Zoid writes:

Corse it's getting good reviews because all the beta players that stuck around like that piece of shit. Watch the game fail at launch.

Thu Feb 19 2009 9:43PM Report
Greefer writes:

Good Job


Darkfall is going to be a good solid game .. mainly because it should be called Anti - WOW

Thu Feb 19 2009 9:56PM Report
lorechaser writes:

If I go rouge, do I have to pay for the makeup, or is it provided?

Thu Feb 19 2009 10:04PM Report
KaXaSA writes:

Nice review 

graphics aren't that great, except the scenaries, but who cares?! we have some good looking mmorpg but till now most of them sucks hard :P, less polygons means more ppl on screen with less fps problems, so.. huge war > everything else

we need more MMOs like UO ( or at least with some UO features)

I'm fcking tired of lvl grind mmos I just wanna enjoy some good pvp,  well written quests, I mean WTH! even tibia has better quests than 99% of the mmo market. killing 300 happy purple unicorns and bringing their shining horns to npc X, that's not a quest.

I know DF isn't perfect (yet) and most of us waited it for more than 5 years, but It's still in beta +debugmode, so just give it some (more) time, if even AoC is being 'fixed' every1 still have chance.

btw skill based > lvl based

Thu Feb 19 2009 10:07PM Report
Papapop writes:

I've got a question that no ones has addressed and was hoping that you would: can you duel wield? I'm assuming that you can but in every video or review I havn't been able to find this.

Thu Feb 19 2009 11:25PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

There are some dual wielding items.   In your inventory they look like a single item, but when eqipped, it will put it in both hands.   The only item I have seen like this so far is a dual wield dagger.

Thu Feb 19 2009 11:27PM Report
Papapop writes:

ok, thanks for answering and great review.

Thu Feb 19 2009 11:29PM Report
SgtFrog writes:

intresting :)


Fri Feb 20 2009 1:42AM Report
Airspell writes:

They let fanboys review games now ? Brilliant. I like harsh pvp and I thought DF falls short of any sort of lowered expectations, sorry.

Fri Feb 20 2009 1:58AM Report
mmorpgcom123 writes:

Kien writes:
"Great preview... but a comment to the MMORPG.COM team: I'm not sure it's appropriate to allow someone know to be *ahem* extremely enthusiastic about the game to write a preview that many players will read before deciding whether or not to pre-order."

This is exactly what i had in my mind, when i saw the title and it's author; before i read it. God is my witness i have nothing against Paragus1, opposite i even like to read him usually. But i find it extremely not right from to put this review in "headlines" from totally same reason as Kien mentioned. I know we all want to read review about Darkfall and would like that some of "oficial" mmo stuff could try the game and write up unbiased review. But as unfortunately had no chance to test game, i think it would be better and more fair not to put "just someone's" (no offence Paragus1) in headlines, and just leave his preview on forum, among with others users reviews.

Fri Feb 20 2009 2:42AM Report
Gishgeron writes:

many people will comment here to speak of DarkFall.  Or trash it...either way.


I'm here to congratulate you on a well written article, and for getting it placed in Massively as well.  You do the language justice, what with your command of things such as periods....and colons.  Not the poop-filled kind, but that OTHER kind.  You know, with its STRUCTURE. 

Fri Feb 20 2009 4:00AM Report
Stridar writes:

Good article for the most part. 

I consider myself a casual player, I used to do the 8-12 hrs a day thing when i was in college.  These days it's a hour, somtimes 2 at night after work with break in between for TV or dinner with the wife.  On my days off I might play 2 hrs and I might get to set down and play 5 or 6.

With that said I was in beta and had a blast.  I could log on for a hour and always find some good PVP.  Yes it does take a long time to travel, but once you explore and mark where all the bindstones are at, you can easily travel from one to another in less then a hour, which means that the next time you log in you closer to where you want to be.

I don't like that gaming has become.  Hardcore vs. Casual, PVPers vs. Carebears....etc.  Why can't we just be gamers?  The way people make it sound, harcore and pvpers going one one side and casual and carebears go on the other.

I know plenty of casual pvpers and hardcore carebears.  

Why can't some one log in for a hour or 20 minutes or what ever and spend that time crafting or mining?  I would regurarly spend 20-30 minutes every morning before work mining for materials to make arrows, come the week end I have enough materials to craft myself a few 100 arrows and then I go pvp for 6 or 7 hours.  

There is no time limit in this game, you don't have to max you skills in the first week or even the first month, people act like they are going to have to GRIND their skills and only hardcore player will be able to acheive that.  NO, just play the game the way you enjoy playing, over time and normal use your skills will get there.

Fri Feb 20 2009 5:09AM Report
Stridar writes:

To questions I saw earlier about a mount and I thought were answeerd incorrectly, or atleast not fully.

You only need a mount to ride one.  Buying the skill to "craft" them, which is a weird way of doing it, is only needed by the person crafting them.  I didn't pay 500 gold for it, nor did I pay for the whistle used to make them.  Our guild had 1 person pay for the crafting skill.  He can make as many mounts as he had the materials(steedgrass and whistle) for and then give them away.  I didn't pay 1 gold and was able to use a mount.  The whistle like every other crafting tool as well as armor and weapons has a durability to it.  So as long as it has durability left the person using it can make another mount with the steedgrass, which is the only thing used up when making a mount.  You can buy steedgrass or use your herbalism skill to find it.

There were always people in town advertising mounts for sell, as well as people selling the steedgrass to make them.

Miridan race is supposed to eventually have 4 legged running and not be able to ride mounts, it was stated incorrectly though as they can currently ride mounts and have been able to for some time, and will be able to until the 4 legged running is put into place.  Just as easy for that race to get a mount as any other.

I don't know what he means by 25-30 minutes to get to starter area, he must have got lost. The start area's are less then 5 minutes away. The first NPC you see will give you a starer quest and it will be marked on the map were you need to go. Mine as a Alfar was to go and kill goblins, it showed on the map where 3 different goblin spawns were, all within 5 minutes run.

Fri Feb 20 2009 5:24AM Report
Stridar writes:

To add to the above, 500 gold can be made in like two hours killing the goblins at the newbie quest area, it really isn't a lot of money, unless you die a lot and keep losing it.  Also you can make more money by killing other players who have been killing the goblins for 2 hours, so why he had less money because he was not spending time hunting, but pvping I don't know, unless he lost more then he won.

Fri Feb 20 2009 5:27AM Report
VadimR writes:

 Nice job. I think this game, with its lack of levels, and the ability of someone new to at least compete (even if not successfully) with someone who puts in a lot of hours, makes it quite friendly to the casual player. As long as they accept that they will die, casuals can have a lot of fun here too.

Fri Feb 20 2009 6:20AM Report
sabutai33 writes:

My only concern is that DF is indeed a true _niche_ PvP game and will NOT attract a large player base which in turn unless the company has other means of funding will resort to RMT or ingame adds in order to keep the game going.

Fri Feb 20 2009 6:53AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Strider, the 25 minutes is from my starting town, to the enemy starting town.   So going frm Mahirim lands to dward / elf starting area.

That's a good point about the mounts, I never really thought of it that way.  I guess it would mke a lot more sense to have a guild mount crafter.  It is interesting to see people who don't have a large time commitment have interest in the game, it may have a little broader appeal than I originally thought.

Fri Feb 20 2009 7:46AM Report
Stridar writes:

Sabutai there isn't really anything in this game to RMT, the best equipment will be player made.  I personally think there is a larger base of people wanting a PVP game then most people give it credit for.  Shadowbane was a horrible game from a technilogical stand point, but a great game for pvp.  To me DF beats it hands down.

Sorry Paragus1 I read it wrong then, I thought you were saying to your starting area.  Yes 30-45 minutes from Alfar to Human or Elf area's, much quicker once you have a mount and know the way.  In a month's time everyone will have a few mounts in the bank and they won't be that big of a deal and they shrink the world a lot as there quite a bit faster then spring and use a 10% of the stamina.  Then when people finally get harbors and ships built it will shrinken the world even more.  It is a good size area and once you start exploring the islands you see some cool ass stuff, but I hope in the future they expand it even more.

Speaken of seeing some cool ass stuff.  I was out exploring one of the larger islands on the SW of the map where my guild had put down our city.  I ran across a cave that lead to a fully built harbor, in the cave.  It was not a player one though, was all orcs, even had latters that lead up to openings at the top of the cave that you could climb down from or up and out of to escape I guess.  

I don't know if you got to explore much, but the world they build is by far the best i've seen.  Every where you go there are ruins, cities, castles, lakes with islands in the middle with some sort of post or something on it.  Numerous amount of islands all with something worthwhile to see on em.  I could spend a month exploring a empty world and be happy with all the eye candy, they did a faboulus job on world building.

Fri Feb 20 2009 8:12AM Report
Koen83 writes:

Some people were talking about casual gamers and that you can still have fun playing in this style, 1-2 hours and accomplishing what u want to . Well the problem with that is that this is a COMPETATIVE game. You can die and lose your stuff. Whic for a caual gamer is greatly different for a hardcore. So no you cant take your time exploring and lolligagging. You must progress in some degree with some speed or you will be at a great disadvantage and you will not be able to play like you want (slow and progressive like many casuals like)You will be affected by the game world around you. This is not a ditch of the game just what I think is a stement of fact.

Fri Feb 20 2009 8:35AM Report
Jackdog writes:

Good review. This is going to be a interesting experiment. I think reality has no place in gaming so I predict majot fail but time will tell.

Fri Feb 20 2009 8:40AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

My exploration was pretty much from mthe Mahirim towns, to the dwarf areas, to the center of the world, to the elf areas.   So that top right quadrant of the main continent is about the scope of where I have been.   Some of my guildies did swim to the subcontinents, one saw an ice castle.

Fri Feb 20 2009 8:45AM Report
Jupsto writes:


Fri Feb 20 2009 9:56AM Report
Colt1945 writes:

Excellent review, gave me a lot to think about.

Fri Feb 20 2009 11:06AM Report
Cheslovas writes:

it says a lot


Fri Feb 20 2009 11:22AM Report
sodade21 writes:

when we can preorder? ::P

Fri Feb 20 2009 11:40AM Report
poppets writes:

I've played this games beta and its a pile of junk.. its just as bad as Dark and light was..

Fri Feb 20 2009 12:15PM Report
poppets writes:

I've played this games beta and its a pile of junk.. its just as bad as Dark and light was..

Fri Feb 20 2009 12:15PM Report
kingtommyboy writes:

nice review=-

Fri Feb 20 2009 1:04PM Report
Saryk writes:

I think it would be wise to wait about 2-3 months after release to get this game. But good write up on the game and very good insight. Thanks.

I think it would be wise to wait about 2-3 months after release to get this game. But good write up on the game and very good insight. Thanks.

Fri Feb 20 2009 1:26PM Report
Hermy writes:

 I'm still at a loss as to why people spend so much time putting this game down when a majority of them have barely played it. If you don't like it, don't buy it. But calling this game crap is ridiculous. Some games' appeal goes beyond what you can grasp in 1 day of playing, and after playing this and other skill-based games over the years, I'm excited at the prospect of advanced play in DF. I've only begun to scratch the surface of the depth of the game.

Fri Feb 20 2009 4:06PM Report
Eridanix writes:

This will be killed by Mortal Online. No chance of survival.

Fri Feb 20 2009 5:18PM Report
Kirzan writes:

I look at this review, and I'm thinking of 2 things:

First, it's different, too different, what was different? AoC.

Second, the general feeling I'm left with after reading this would be... Dark and Light.

My thoughts? Did I really see a bag with a bunch of stuff stacked over each other, I know this game is somehow related to UO... but... damn... there is a thing called evolution. This game really looks like what UO 2 should've been in 2004/2005 to try and compete with WoW and EQ2.

Fri Feb 20 2009 5:51PM Report
slask777 writes:

No offence but this review was highly biased., don't post this on top of your site and sell it as an 'official' review as it's not. It's just a fan talking about the game and being biased as hell. Hardly anything negative in this review and even the biggest fanboy know this game will have some serious bugs and glitches. Get a professional reviewer to write it, or stop linking it.

With that said, your review actually turned me off from the game. I was sitting on the fence, but after reading it, I went totally meh to the whole concept. Besides, who wanna pay a 50-60 for a game that looks, and most probably sounds 6-7 years old?

Fri Feb 20 2009 6:10PM Report
Electriceye writes:

Graphics, UI, loot window etc. are really BAD.

Looks aren't everything but COME ON! If It didn't have "Darkfall Beta" as a title and someone tells me the screen shots are straight out of "Doom"(yes the 1993 FPS) I wouldn't be surprised in the least.

Every time I try to imagine what it plays like I cringe.

Fri Feb 20 2009 7:32PM Report
SDASlaine writes:

I have followed Darkfall loosely for about 7 years, and have never felt the need to post anything about it until now. (Im not in Beta)

Great Review - As a grown up (37) I felt it to be informative, truthful and unbiased. You obviously have a good reputation, and there would be no need to ruin it by giving any other kind of review.

So far everything I have heard sounds like they have taken the UO way of gaming (Pre Trammel) and are endevouring to bring it into the 21st Century.

My RPG/MMO life having started with the introduction to MUD's Like Dragon Realms and then moving to the amazing 2D world of UO, I know that Graphics do not a game make. I have played everything from Asherons, Baldurs and Conan to Wheelie, Xenon and Zzoom and have dismissed the likes of WoW, AoC and Warhammer as being too much Gloss and not enough undercoat.

Having recently cancelled my Warhammer (*Cough* Zerg Fest!) account I have for the umpteenth time turned back to playing Ultima online - I just never get bored of that game. 2D owning the likes todays MMO's extravaganzas? Absurd! But true.

Gameplay owns Graphics.

As for the Hardcore/Casual Gamer issue - the devolopers can easily avoid this if they do what UO did so well :- the first hour of every new day that you log on is your 'Power Hour' where you get an huge increase in the skill points achieved for your actions. After which the rate is significantly decreased, to the extent that 7 hours gaming might (MIGHT) just get you the same amount of Skill points you achieved in your Power hour.

So UO achieved great popularity with Casual and Hardcore gamers alike. After the power hour people went off exploring, gathering, PvPing, scouting for somewhere to place a building, looking for buildings about to collapse etc...

Power hour for skilling up - the rest of the day enjoying the game for what it was, and any skill points you got along the way where a bonus.

Lets hope the Darkfall Devs have not forgotten that it was this golden nugget (power hour) which helped make UO so popular.

Thanks again for the review. And all you Darkfall haters, simply cease posting and driving away revenue for potential players - its that revenue which will help the game survive and come to fruition - anyone would think you worked for Mythic or something.


Fri Feb 20 2009 9:49PM Report
Sargoth writes:

I'm gonna be a mage I think.  Just come out of spawn and start casting till I get ganked then spawn and cast some more.  Maybe I'll be great maybe not.

Fri Feb 20 2009 10:02PM Report
Paragus1 writes:


Thanks for the lengthy feedback, I'm glad you enjoyed the review.  In the beta, I didn't focus too much on grinding up my skills.   I just went and looked for trouble and skilled up while I was messing around.



Going to come our of the gate guns blazing?  Magic as a career choice sort of reminds me like what it is like being a caster in old school D&D.   it's very hard at the beginning, but if you put in the time and effort to master it, you can become very powerful.  It will require a lot of work harvesting and collecting the components, so hopefully it pays off.


Fri Feb 20 2009 11:42PM Report
Stridar writes:

@Koen, it's really not that hard to get gear. There are chest spread all over.  I know in the starting goblin area there is a weapon chest, armor chest and treasure chest that can be used like very 45 minutes and can give 1-3 pieces.  That along with the goblin loot will get you a good set or leather/cloth armor set up and just from my first few hours of being there I had like 5 sets of armor, several weapons, 2 of the type I chose to train 2hand hammer and several 100 gold and enogh arrows to get started on archery. 

While I was bound at the starter town the first thing I did every time I logged in, for about a week when I first got into beta, was run down and hit all 3 chest, go back and bank anything that I got that wasn't needed at the moment because it was a piece I already had.  Then I would go back and kill goblins for how ever long I had, 20-30 minutes or I'd chop wood or mine metal for that time period

I died several times and lost all my gear, but it wasn't that hard to go right bakc out and get it back or kill some one else and take theirs, even as a very casual player during beta.  My playtimes avg 1 to 1/2 hrs a day.

Sat Feb 21 2009 12:14AM Report
Gruug writes:

While I am quite interested in this game I am disappointed that there will be no NA (North American) servers. If they ever have NA servers I will check it out. 

Sat Feb 21 2009 1:43PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

There are supposed to be NA servers maybe a few months after launch, with the option tot ransfer for the NA players who are on the Euro ones.

Sat Feb 21 2009 3:12PM Report
shad0w99 writes:

Nice write up.

I shall definitely be trying the game out. I feared it may have been as bad as Roma Victor. But by the sounds of things it's a lot more playable than that was.

Sat Feb 21 2009 3:14PM Report
Timacek writes:

I can only say, thanks for a very good summary. I am looking forward to darkfall. the one of very few freedom and sandbox mmos

Sat Feb 21 2009 3:41PM Report
gasaraki writes:

OMG Miag!!! please stop trolling!!! Just because you dont like the game, that doesnt mean the game sucks. It just means the game is not for you.  You can make your point without being a moron, people will listen more if you put your negativity in more eloquent and subtle ways.

Sat Feb 21 2009 10:11PM Report
darwinator writes:

Thanks for the info.  I too am a casual gamer but I have never really been one to woryy about reaching the "end game".  I play purely for the enjoyment of the experience.

I may try DF for the change of gameplay.

The combat systme sounds a lot like the game 'Mount and Blade' , which I love the combat system.

Sat Feb 21 2009 10:20PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I never played Mount and Blade, from what I have heard other testers say that it is not quite at the level of that game.

Sat Feb 21 2009 11:31PM Report
HaltsTime writes:

Hardcore - casual players~ hmm, I've never really consider mmos to be anything of those, its the people that invest an extreme amount of time into anything/something- doesnt make the product hardcore, just makes the player hardcore or someone with time.  Like poker, a game that can be casual, sure anyone can play a short period of time, but for an individual that takes it to the extreme would consider it to be a hardcore game that takes massive amounts of skill and little luck when your not playing your hands but playing your against others.  Same way I personally view all games and especially mmos, annoys the hell out of people when some people state that something like "oh, this game is only for hardcore players cause its time consuming to do things..."  well dah~ mmos in nature is time consuming... or, well your not hardcore cause you cant put in a certain amount of time... well again doesnt make the game hardcore... just that particular individual makes the game hardcore to them, when they are always trying to reach that extra step ahead of everyone first.   Just to get that out of the way, mmos like this game can be for the casual (carebears) and "Hardcore"(people with more time than others)  Same thing can be said with WoW or FFXI ext....  All depends on how you spend your time and what makes the game enjoyable for that particular person, if it be, a few hours pvping, or a few hours doing dailys or a few hours runing instance or a few hours just griefing...Or if you really have the time to continue and it makes you happy to play longer do so, but dont lable something hardcore or carebear just because you have the time to invest in a few more instance run or a few more pvp battles or a few more destinations~

Sun Feb 22 2009 1:04AM Report
barezz writes:

I have a question.  I know there is an alignment system, which puts in consequences to attempt to curb mass slaughter.  Does the alignment system come into affect at all when it comes to looting items from player's corpses?   So if someone runs afoul of a creature and dies, and I run up and loot away, is that allowed without consequences?  Or does that slowly shift you towatds being an outcast?

Sun Feb 22 2009 1:02PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Looting someone who has been killed already does not cause an alignment penalty, just the act of killing.  There are situations where you would want to loot your friend's items.  In the event he died and you lived, you could grab his gear and hold onto it for him.

Sun Feb 22 2009 1:21PM Report
Freyj writes:

While I realize that this game has many different aspects to it then Shadowbane, it defintely evokes the same kind of feeling. I am not sure if that is good or bad.

When I played SB my guild own the primary continent and were featured in several of their early articles (Rolling 30's for those of you who might remember). It was alot of fun, but ultimately felt hollow.

I have played and PVPed in hardcore games, like UO (my first game), EVE, and SB and all of them were interesting enough, but at the end of the day, I felt myself looking back and going, "This feels like I am missing something"

Perhaps it sounds silly to seek something like that from a game, but in WoW (yes I said it) I have yet to really feel that way. I guess I am a PvE'er at heart, and like the idea of raiding and leveling up, over skill based sandboxes.


Sun Feb 22 2009 6:18PM Report
phluux writes:

And they're expecting to charge people to play this game? Am I right?

Mon Feb 23 2009 2:34PM Report
phluux writes:

I knew I recognized some of the interface art. Looks like they ripped off some of the artwork from Everquest's first UI revamp.

Mon Feb 23 2009 2:36PM Report
lifetakker writes:

         There is an amazing amount of people out there tired of playing carebear MMO's that the end game is collecting armor sets.  Tired of games with no death consequences.  Tired of the cookie cutter character creations.  If you enjoy that kind of game.....please; by all means stay where you are.  I like the fact that the communication channels between factions aren't blocked....  Even if Darkfall struggles at first; the big name MMO's will finally realize that a large portion of the game community wants and demands a more challenging game. 

Tue Feb 24 2009 12:11AM Report
xaldraxius writes:

Too much of the program is client side which will make it impossible to stop hackers. That's one of the big reasons that this game will fail, and fail hard.

It's going to be full of FPS kids who like nothing better than to cheat to win and if you're one of those kids then you might think that this game is great, everyone else I advise to avoid this disaster like the plague.

I like FFA PvP, but I despise glitchers and hackers and that's what this game will be full of.

Tue Feb 24 2009 11:53AM Report
XTC2 writes:

Let's see:

It's a one-toon-per-server, primarily keyboard-based and for some dumb reason assumes players have the time for manual-looting.

Oh, and its gameplay is based on Ganking and sports a crappy chat client, a grossly unfair targeting system with the same hold-the-mouse-button-to-draw-a-bowstring silliness that was such a PITA in Oblivion?

The more I read about this game, the more I can't imagine a game as awful as inept and unappealing as this article and other articles have made DF seem. I'll steer clear of this one. It's just a waste of money waiting to happen.

Wed Feb 25 2009 1:23PM Report
Ghorne writes:

I am somewhat surprised of the negativity. I have been playing MMO's since UO, and I've really missed the skill based system that UO employed. Darkfall brings some of that charm back.

The graphics with the details maxed and in full motion are actually quite good, as are the animations. At first I was skeptical if the game would be fun left clicking the mouse repeatedly, but with factors such as stamina management, swing direction, attack move activation, etc it's quite fun.

I've seen a few comments that items don't matter, but that is definitely not the case at least at this point in the game. Sure a good player in cloth can beat a bad player in metal armor, but if the players are similarly skilled the outcome is usually dependant on the equipment.

PvP 1 vs 1 is entirely different than team based PvP. I won a fair share of fights 1 vs 1, but when with a group we had much less success. With no levels, it's more difficult to determine why you just lost to someone. You never really know if their weapon skills were just that much better than yours, if they just hit you more, if their armor held up better, or if the penalty you receive for wearing heavy armor and firing a bow was the reason you lost. It can be any combination of these factors.

Archery is very fun. It's very rewarding to hit someone off in the distance.

To answer some of the questions I saw as I browsed the comments:

You can rebind the right mouse button to another action.

Mounts are quite powerful at this stage. When you strike a player while mounted you do considerably more damage to that player. They seem to travel about the same speed as a sprinting player, but without any stamina loss.

Items do matter as I said. There are craftable items in the game that cost around 20,000 gold last time I heard. I can't wait to see someone weilding one of those. The thing about it is that while they do matter, for most types you don't have to raid for 4+ hours X days a week to obtain your stuff. You don't feel like quitting just cause you lost your stuff.

You never really have to "grind" in my opinion. You just do what you find to be fun, and your skills go up as you're doing it. You can contribute to any fight in the game the first day you play. You may need some help, but you don't miss repeatedly and die in one hit like you would in other MMO's.

In summary, I'm not a big time FPS gamer anymore, and I can't even think about leveling a character to least not for a while. DFO's skill based system is a breath of fresh air, and the freedoms it offers are a nice change. I find it a lot of fun to play, and I hope many others do as well.

Wed Feb 25 2009 9:49PM Report
Yamanaka writes: Good review. It told me everything I should know, or wanted to know about the game. Defo not my game. Seems they forgot the aspect of having fun while playing the game and not be frustrated all the time while playing. I am not casual, but not this hardcore either. Oh well, I'm sure the 500 people playing this game will have some fun! Thu Feb 26 2009 3:27AM Report
Dameonk writes:

Good review except for the whole Darkfall appealing to the UO or AC crowd.  UO is still my favorite MMO, I still play on a free shard.  Darkfall isn't even in the same league as UO.

It's like saying people who like motorcycles would like riding a tricycle.

Thu Feb 26 2009 4:29PM Report
Macoy writes:

LOL @ Mia.. maybe you should play the game f irst..he's right about it.  EVE online is not Dark Fall totally different.  I think your the one generalizing that every game is like EVE same goes for WoW players.  Quit being emo. 

Fri Feb 27 2009 11:57AM Report
Z3R01 writes:

TY for this review I was getting tired of the retarded one liner reviews everyone was posting. This has helped me decide to pick up the game later on once AV get a couple servers up and the people that usually leave mmos after 30 days are gone.

Sat Feb 28 2009 2:21PM Report
Munki writes:

excellent review, despite what some people are saying a review shouldn't be a entily quantitative analysis, thats boring and simple to do or find.

A review is a qualitative analysis trying to stay ojective, and I think you managed to give a fair look at the strong and the not so string aspects. To say a casual player may not like this is a good reccomendation, if not just for the travel times alone :P

Sat Feb 28 2009 3:30PM Report
Ziboo writes:

 Reads like a very unbiased review!  Thank you for that.  

Personally I'm looking forward to the game, but having suffered with AoC's floptastic release and the aches and pains of War, I'm going to give Darkfall a month before trying it.  

As a 'horder of stuff' it will be interesting with the full loot.  I'm sure I'll hate and love that aspect.  I know the partial loot in EQ2 can be irritating at times.

Sat Feb 28 2009 11:03PM Report
eldanesh117 writes:

Great review, Paragus. I'm definitely considering trying this game even though I'm a carebear (catch me if you can!).

Mon Mar 02 2009 9:40PM Report
eldanesh117 writes:

Was looking to join up with your guild but it seems that you guys have few slots left (and I'm not really an active person), including with the fact that you guys are PvP-oriented (look to carebear comment in last post).

If you could direct me towards a casual guild that isn't scared to do something hardcore once in a while, it would be appreciated.

And just as a general question, how long have you been playing Darkfall as of now?

Mon Mar 02 2009 9:47PM Report
Seen_Justice writes:

So... Shadowbane with a targeting system.

/Golf Clap

Mon Mar 02 2009 11:01PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I started in the beta around Feb 2nd I think.

Mon Mar 02 2009 11:11PM Report
daltanious writes:

Nice review and especially i agree with "I don't think it was ever intended to have mass appeal". But problem is if there is no enough player baze which in turn spells "money" .... future development suffer. Nobody will invest milions to have i.e. 10.000 subscribers.

Tue Mar 03 2009 3:03AM Report
Deego writes:

"xaldraxius writes:

Too much of the program is client side which will make it impossible to stop hackers. That's one of the big reasons that this game will fail, and fail hard.

It's going to be full of FPS kids who like nothing better than to cheat to win and if you're one of those kids then you might think that this game is great, everyone else I advise to avoid this disaster like the plague.

I like FFA PvP, but I despise glitchers and hackers and that's what this game will be full of.

It depends if the idiot wants to pay to get banned. It's stereotypical, but, MapleStory seems to keep them occupied.

I'd love to try DF.

Tue Mar 03 2009 10:17AM Report
trogwolf writes:

I've been wondering if anyone would bring out a good Asheron's call style game again.  it always seems panzy to get killed and still have everything you were wearing when you died.  probably one of the reasons why i like EVE online.

And while serious PvP players would probably consider me a casual/linear player, the term doesn't insult me because I know that there are a lot of people out there who REALLY fit that description who would never play a game like this or AC or EVE on a PvP server.

I play on PvP servers because the risk of being attacked by real intelligence as opposed to AI makes any game SO MUCH more interesting.  face it, if there is no real risk, you might as well be playing checkers with your little brother.

Wed Mar 04 2009 10:09AM Report
Jorendo writes:

Great review, i had my doubts about this game but after reading your review i deffenly want to play this and see it for myself.

For all those who said it will fail cause its not for the average MMO player...well its just a mather of taste. Personally im getting sick and tired of the grinding for exp games where all that mathers is stats and lvl, now finally a game goes back to UO and people complain there is no lvl system in it? Sorry but before the "mainstream"  players began to game and publishers only cared for them there was a time that games where meant for a certain type of player. Either you dig this or not but this game is not meant for the mainstream thats pretty obiouse, yet if you concider yourself mainstream and still like this game than this game is just your taste and doesn't make you hardcore or elite.

Infact anyone could like this game, its refreshing compared to all the MMORPG's that try to be the new WoW (o dear this sure will start a flame war i said WoW).

Anyway i hope darkfall will come in stores sometime soon or do i have to order it on a website cause i haven't been able to track down where to order this game in europe.

Wed Mar 04 2009 3:37PM Report
sabbatai writes:

 miagisan... I hate to bring up a month old comment of yours.. but where oh where did he ever say "If you are a casual player you will hate this game"?

I think his observations are pretty accurate.  Most people who consider themselves to be "casual gamers" aren't playing MMOs at all, and of those who do very few of them are into games as complex as EVE.  The time it takes to LEARN the intricacies of EVE alone are beyond the scope of most casual players.

It seems to me that your definition of casual revolves simply around the amount of time you can devote to playing.  While this is a component of what *I* would consider a casual player there is more to it than that.  Most "casual" players, according to my definition want as much fun for their time as they can muster and WALKING for 30-45 minutes is usually not something considered to be "fun".. especially when the world is as devoid of life as Paragus makes it seem.

You are, in my opinion NOT a casual gamer but more a "mainstream" gamer.  You'll put in as little time on most days but also don't mind taking the weekends off to devote to learning the game mechanics, travelling, and PvPing in EVE... not something I think a lot of "casual" gamers have ever even experienced or ever will.  

This game sounds like it has a lot of great ideas to me, but also some that concern me.  Being able to accidentally hit someone and "go red" just seems absurd to me, especially if they are helping you attack something.  It isn't that big of a deal aside from one thing.. the ability to exploit it as mentioned in the article.  Maybe in the U.K. this isn't rampant but I can assure you it will be in America.

I will certainly give it a try but I have learned to soften my expectations of any game, of any genre having played games since the release of the Odyssey II.

Thu Mar 12 2009 9:57PM Report
Fariic writes:

Very well done.

I think I probably disagree with the magority of the people that frequent these forums. 
I can't stand unbiased reviews. 
Those are called previews.  I want an opinion.
There's been plenty of time for me, as a consumer, to have figured out what the game is about. 

I need to know if it's worth my money.
In order for me to find this out, I need BIASED reviews of games.  I need to know, from respected sources, if this game justifies my money.

A review should help you to make an informed decision. 
We all know that it's rough around the edges, and that it might be for us. 

Is it worth it right now?


Thu May 14 2009 4:05PM Report
Inktomi writes:

 Yes, I am bump #100.

I'm doing some darkfall due diligence and came across this. 

No necromancy, just wanted to say I was here.


Sun Mar 07 2010 9:25PM Report writes:
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