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Paragus Rants

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

Author: Paragus1

Darkfall: Alliances and War

Posted by Paragus1 Tuesday March 24 2009 at 12:25PM
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Darkfall: Alliances and War

Since the writing of my last entry, massive battles have broken out across Agon, and with these battles, the formation of alliances are starting to shape the political landscape.  In a previous entry, I mentioned the web of guild relations and the possibility of a political map to help everyone understand it.  Apparently the Darkfall community has decided to take matters into their own hands and we are starting to see the community try to understand where the lines are drawn.

When you look at the larger map (Special thanks to Venatar from Societas Daemonica) , you can see the workings of what appears to be geopolitical relationships in some areas of the world.  Specifically, the 4 sub-continents seems to have certain guilds who are working together in alliance to either fully control certain land masses, or who are bent on conquering them by driving off other guilds.

This very situation manifested itself over the weekend when one of the guilds on Nilfheim (Ice Island) became the target of a massive assault that brought hundreds of players to their city looking to retaliate against them for previous attacks.  While the attackers inflicted massive damage to all of the structures, without a formal challenge, the city's ownership remained intact.  The next day a formal challenge was issued, but this time the defenders were able to rally a coalition of their own and managed to hold off onto their city.  Needless to say, the server was pushed to the limits and in some cases beyond leading to some people in the 300 man battle to suffer random disconnects.


The Challenge

In order for a city or hamlet to change ownership, and challenge must be issued by one guild to another.  When the challenge is issued, it lasts for a period of 6 hours that is divided into 2 stages.  During the first stage (4 Hours), the guild that issued the challenge will have its own city or hamlet vulnerable and up for grabs.  This adds what can be a substantial risk to picking a fight with another guild as you can rest assured that that they will try to rally their allies to derail the attack at the issuer's city.  Once that stage expires, the challengers will then be able to commence their assault on their target (2 Hours).  If at any time during this entire challenge the guild leader who issues the challenge is killed or goes offline, it is considered a loss and the challenge ends.  There is also a monetary price that I will touch more on later, but guilds issuing challenges who do not own land will need to pony up a large amount of gold to compensate for the risk factor.  If they win they keep the gold, if they lose the enemy keeps it.


My Siege Story

I'll try to put some of this into context from my first siege experience which happened over the weekend.  One of our allies decided they wanted to target a specific enemy city on a nearby remote island because one of its resources was a harbor, and they belonged to another alliance of guilds that they have an unfavorable view towards.  The challenge was issued by our ally, and our first order of business was to assist in the defense of their city and protection of the guild leader until we could progress to the attack stage.

We all decided to saddle up and put on our Sunday's finest gear because after all, this is the type of situation we play for.  As a hamlet owner, we found the city to be awe striking in both size and complexity.  Upon arrival we saw the walls were lined with people on every side, and this particular city has large cannon towers on each side.  I was able to take control of the cannon for a short period of time just to see what it was like, and it reminded me much like sitting in a turret seat in an FPS game.  The guild leader who issued the challenge was held up in a very large keep, and the entrance leading into it was blocked by rows of people in the event someone breached the outer wall.

Since we showed up to the city in the tail end of the defense stage, we didn't really see any action as the enemy was making their own preparations for the likely assault we were getting ready to mount.  There were probably upwards of around 200 people on our side inside making preparations, and my PC handled it better than I thought, although there were many in my guild who experienced some crashes and had to turn down settings.  I found that I only had to turn down the number of sounds in the audio options, and I was surprised how well the client handled this number of people in such a small geographical area.

As the defense stage came to end, the challenge issuing guild began to hand out siege hammers at their bank to all who could take one.  This was one aspect of the monetary costs I mentioned earlier, as these are the main tool for destroying structures at this stage in the game's life.  Buildings in Darkfall can't be destroyed with normal weapons and magic, only by siege related equipment, so these hammers are the main tool being used since nobody is far enough along to roll out war hulks and large boats.

We soon traveled to the coast nearby and started making our way from island to island.  I have to say it was definitely a sight to remember seeing so many people at once moving together as a large mass and some people even brought rafts along to make the trip easier.  Unfortunately during this leg of the journey, some of the minor random disconnects that hit us earlier become a bit more frequent.  Some of the people who ended up being dropped while in the water logged back in to find themselves back at their bindstone miles away from the battle.

It was at this point that tragedy struck.  Among the large group of people who experienced a disconnect, was the challenge issuer.  The current rules state that if that person goes offline at any time during the challenge, it counts at a loss.  Needless to say there was a lot of anger and frustration on the part of the challenger.  The previous 4 hours defending, the organization getting the army together, and the extremely high monetary cost all were wasted.  A source from Aventurine tells me they are aware of the issue and looking at ways to make this aspect easier, so we can only hope that some changes to this part of the mechanic are considered to prevent future unintended forfeits.

Despite the upsetting setback, the remainder of us decided to keep going just to see what happens.  As I was marveling at the sheer number of people we had, I wondered if it was really going to be necessary.  When I finally arrived at the enemy city, I was in amazement at how many people were there waiting for us in a defensive position as the city was located atop a cliff (reports are upwards of 200).  We were greeted by the largest volley of magic that I had ever seen, it reminded me of a scene from Star Wars with all the energy flying through the air, no screenshot or words I can say will ever really do it justice.

The enemy alliance had one of its guilds try to attack from behind, but the accidentally tipped their hand too soon and were discovered.  With our numbers diminished from the disconnects and all the plasma flying at us from the well defended city, we decided to make the most of the situation and turn our focus to the guild trying to flank us.  This led to an initial melee that quickly had them retreating into a chase that went into the ocean and nearby islands.  The result was widespread fighting and chaos that left many of them dead, and quickly stripped naked of their belongings.

Apparently hell bent on getting every last one of these guys, someone on my side dropped a raft into the water where literally a dozen guys packed onto it, effectively chasing down and shooting at anyone who was still left alive.  After we finished them off, most of the force decided to recall home and reflect on the evenings events.  I have to say that despite how much it sucked to lose the challenge, many of us still had an experience that we will remember for a long time to come.  Hopefully Aventurine will continue to evaluate and make changes to help streamline the siege process to prevent future incidents from occurring.


Co-Leader of Inquisition


Hhussk writes:

Very impressive.

Despite the disconnect problems, the core mechanics of seige in Darkfall almost seem like watching an epic battle, or a movie.

Tue Mar 24 2009 12:58PM Report
popinjay writes:

There are few games that have this level of political conflict.   Most PvP games are "We are on this side and you are on this side, k?" ZZZ

It's really refreshing to see this coming back into gaming and I hope if future companies take ANYTHING from Darkfall, it's this key element of this game.  This lends so much to adventure and real memories of playing other than charging bosses solo  for dares, hehe.

Another good write, thx again Paragus.

Tue Mar 24 2009 1:04PM Report
Vince_G writes:

I was in this battle and it was quite the rush. Unfortuately for me, I was caught by the rear flanking army head on. Me and 2 others were chased down and exucted. My nighty ended with me totally naked except for  my noob weapons and a loin cloth. :(

Tue Mar 24 2009 1:38PM Report
Horkathane writes:

Hmm, this sounds more organized than I had expected. Looks like people will be having allot of fun in Dark Fall.

Tue Mar 24 2009 3:08PM Report
MrLuigi writes:

Good article.  Now only if would give you a new GFX card for higher res screenshots.

Tue Mar 24 2009 3:45PM Report
dcostello writes:

I think the political system is very complex and neat, but I do not understand the siege agreement/rules.  I mean why do you have to "challenge" another city/town before you attack it?  This destroys the element of surprise and totally misinterprets a siege.  The only cost for a siege should be the money you actually spend, the defenders (if they are successful) shouldn't acquire the "challenge" money (disregarding the loot money, which victors should have).  Besides the particulars, I think that Darkfall has a pretty cool siege system--at least the best to date (or that I can think of).  I fear that the annoying, technical flaws could frustrate players too much....that's why I'm waiting for Mortal Online ( I think it will be a Darkfall but with less technical issues and mistakes).

Tue Mar 24 2009 4:22PM Report
popinjay writes:

I like the idea of a cost for a challenge (in real war, there is a cost for declaring and going to war) because it gives the attacking team real incentive to actually fight and not run away, or they lose their gold.  The defending team obviously has motivation not to lose their city.

I do not like the part where the challenging guy d/cs and the other 200 pay the price. They definitely have to fix that one. It should be set up in stages: perhaps a list of 10 people who is in succession.  Kind of like if the Pres dies, then Vp, then Speaker of the House, etc etc. 

This won't solve it if they ALL go down, so they still need to work on that.  But one person d/cing is bad of course.  But the concept is really exciting.

Tue Mar 24 2009 11:17PM Report
robertb writes:

 Good write up. Sorry to hear that you forfeited due to technical reasons, though I assume the defenders didn't shed to many tears because of it. :)

I agree that AV need to relook at the mechanic whereby a single player's technical misfortune ends up costing the whole team their prize and I assume this is probably a very high priority for them as many alliances are starting to declare seiges on a daily basis. I noticed at least 2 cities changed hands during Euro Prime, last night.



Wed Mar 25 2009 3:44AM Report
Ogrelin writes:

Sounds like fun to me :)

Wed Mar 25 2009 4:01AM Report
TheHavok writes:

Really gives me (and im sure many other people) hope that darkfall is living up to the game that the darkfall fans hoped it would become. 

Wed Mar 25 2009 4:10AM Report
Norden writes:

Fantastic report, thx.

This sounds all well thought through by Aventurine, regarding challenges, timing etc.

Seems like a lot of people involved for  - how many towns/hamlets?  - 4 or so? Must be a pretty big population on the world looking at the map. I thought you people were far fewer.

Damn, I hope this game will do well, even if I never get to play it, the mmorpg -community needs something like this.


Wed Mar 25 2009 7:02AM Report
Pauleh writes:

Very well written.

I want to throw out that one of your guildies 'Raw Dog' was attacking me and my friend as we passed your city (we are mahirims) in the end I fought back a bit and he left us, later he followed us out on his mount just jumping around us so I hit his mount a few times then he threatened to kill us if we did it again.

Are you guys a full on PK clan? only asked because I dont particually want to fight with other mahirims.

Wed Mar 25 2009 8:05AM Report
Diekfoo writes:

Hmm, the graphic doesn´t look good. :(

Mortal Online honestly look much more promising. I wait for MO instead, it´s released soon anyway. 

Wed Mar 25 2009 8:09AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

We are not a "red" clan. That being said, it is not uncommon for us to attack people who wander close or into our city. Like many guilds, our city is a place people spend time harvesting, and our location seems to get a lot of traffic from hostiles, which sometimes includes members of our racial faction. What guild are you in?

Wed Mar 25 2009 8:14AM Report
Strayfe writes:

It's sad that such writing talent is wasted on such a failure of a game.  A good writer can make a giant steaming turd seem like a gleaming diamond.  Props for your analysis, but DAoC and WAR have Darkfail beat in the siege department.

Wed Mar 25 2009 10:29AM Report
Panossian writes:

Rofl Strayfe! WAR is better then DF? Holy crap, I would love to hear your reasoning behind that, do tell.

Wed Mar 25 2009 10:47AM Report
Strayfe writes:

One I can play when I want, and one STILL won't let me purchase a copy, one month after release.  I'd say that's pretty cut and dry.

Wed Mar 25 2009 11:08AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Warhammer sieges have no risk involved at all.   If you die, you lose nothing and run right back in about 30 seconds.  If you win, you have virtually gained nothing since forts can be flipped in a matter of a few minutes.  All of the castles in Warhammer are almost exact carbon copies of each other in almost every way.   If you have attacked 1 keep in Warhammer, you have pretty much attacked them all.

Wed Mar 25 2009 11:35AM Report
strongaxe writes:

Great write up. No other game but Darkfall offers this type of battles.

Wed Mar 25 2009 12:52PM Report
Leucent writes:

The thing is yo ve clicked your mouse button once you ve clicked them all. See what I did there. DFO isn t better then WAR and definately not better then the best pvp(rvr) game around DAOC. It sounds all good but it s not trust me played it quite awhile.

Wed Mar 25 2009 3:18PM Report
Flute writes:

Best thing about Darkfall is that they are only just beginning.  I like that they are controlling numbers in the game, and once they have sorted some things out it will be fun.  Perhaps they should make it three people not 1 as a "war counsel", any two of whom must be online continuously for the duration + two out of three must live.

This sounds much more like proper PvP - which to my mind is really only currently about in EVE.  There are big risks, and big rewards, to taking and controlling ground.  Any game without corpse looting just isn't in the same space of risk, and without the risk the taste of success will never be as sweet.

Wed Mar 25 2009 4:03PM Report
xSh0x writes:

 Paragus, turn off the bloody post processing.  It will help you lots, including visually and by framerate.

Anyway, shame the siege failed.  Tempest considered teaming up for KC's demise, but never got anything going.  Seeing as KC is always a large part of the 3 AM raids on our city, including the exploiting of our cannon to destroy our bank, we look forward to any effort that hurts them.  It will come soon enough.  Anyway, if your guild is interested in helping the war effort against the bane of ice island, let us know.  You can msg   Arch Type.  

And, I'm sure the alliance would definitely be interested in installing a friendly guild in KC's city.

Heartnet XIII

Wed Mar 25 2009 7:02PM Report
PeZzy writes:

I'd like to point out that the person who made the so-called "political map" has an "axe to grind" with the Dusk alliance and that's why they made that particular alliance stand out with bright red dots. Not sure how accurate the rest of the map is.

Thu Mar 26 2009 1:15AM Report
Evasia writes:

I rather had seen more temp alliance then these huge careebar zergs who have only one goal rule whole world.

Best scenario would have been many clans spread all over agon fight to survive now lod goon dusk or hyperion deside we want that hamlet-city and they come with zerg force 1500 and just take it all with no sweat:(

Mark my words this will happen.

lod goons dusk togheter wtf, when conquer all what then.

For now it seems fun but if this continuing soon only few left rest can s....balls.

Carebear and boring zergfest  soon most never will own a city ever in few monthstime they all occupide by maybe 2 or 3 huge zerg forces.

So many a crabear realy a shame:(

Thu Mar 26 2009 12:10PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Here is an "Influence Map" made by a community member that might help better show how things were looking.

Thu Mar 26 2009 1:30PM Report
IAmMMO writes:

I guess the OP of this event never played Planetside back in the day if his never seen a battle as large as this before.

Thu Mar 26 2009 1:31PM Report
Zerocyde writes:



Because of graphics? Rofl, are you 6?

Thu Mar 26 2009 1:56PM Report
Reklaw writes:

Great to read up with what is going on with Darkfall, just curious about those city's you mention being attacked or defended, these are player made city's, your other article talked about city's and housing, seeing the cost, time to harvest, even gaining the mats, how come there seem several city's around?

Could this be due to many into Darkfall parhaps 24/7?'s so easy to harvest/collect/craft?

Or....are they called and being build into city's yet have only a few defences up and perhaps a few houses but not yet city worthy, but soon will be?

Anyway keep up the good work, highly enjoying it as it is very well written and puts me into the situation even not really being there. So yeah you got some written skills there ;)

Thu Mar 26 2009 1:58PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

@ Reklaw

Yes, all of these cities and hamlets are the ones built up by guilds on land they were able to claim.  It is not terribly hard to get the resources together if your guild is focused on that goal.   Realize that lot of the guilds that hold the cities (not hamlets) have rosters of upwards of 70-100 active players.  Harvesting, while tedius at times, is also raises your base stats like Strength, Wisdom, Vitality etc.

Thu Mar 26 2009 2:03PM Report
drago_pl writes:

Map maker is Venatar from Societas Daemonica. Would be cool to mention it next to for some advertisement ;)

Anyway, good read.

Thu Mar 26 2009 2:05PM Report
harlington writes:

I already cancelled my subscription for this pile of garbage.

This is the worste MMORPG I've ever played in my 10 years of gaming. It's nothing more than a badly done combat simulator with horrible animations and sound.. and mindless click fest combat.

No content..

No features..

Shitty graphics..

Shitty animations..

Shityy sound / music...

This game will be totally dead soon after everyone gets bored to hell with doing nothing but PK'ing each other over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

I can do that in QuakLive... for free.



Thu Mar 26 2009 2:09PM Report
Paragus1 writes:


Thanks for the credit on the map.  I edited the article to put it in there.  I did not know the name associated to the forum account who posted it.

Thu Mar 26 2009 2:21PM Report
Jakeadunk writes:

What stops a guild with alliances to takeover the key cities and keep everyone else from having them? I feel at some point once you have grown to a point where you feel as a guild and your alliances that nothing will stop you in owning most of the world. Or just the most important parts of the world.  If this game was made with more up to date technology instead of about 8 years ago, I feel this game would have a huge appeal and wouldn't not of came out as a limited release. More risk than reward may be their issue here but we will see.

Thu Mar 26 2009 2:23PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

@ Jakeadunk

There seems to be a sort of Darkfall karma, what goes around comes around.  The first battle I talked about in the article on the Ice Island was against a certain guild which is generally disliked by large portions of the server.   This prompted everyone who didn't like them to join in for the torching of their city assets.   There are a lot more people and guilds in the game that are not on that map, and when we all get angry at someone, it can be a force to be feared.

Thu Mar 26 2009 2:37PM Report
Daakkon writes:

shadowbane had shitpoor graphics and an insane amount of sb.exe problems...yet that game was one of the most fun mmo's i've ever played....complaining about graphics is such a moot topic because in todays mmo's it's usually graphics over gameplay...age of conan anyone?


hey look asheron's call has shitty graphics yet the pvp in that game (back in the day) was some of the best out there...pre-trammel uo anyone?


pre-exodus eve anyone? yarr!


complaining that darkfall is a mindless click fest is no different then saying wow is a keyboard crunch...key after key after key...stop complaining and make something innovative make it possible for me to pvp with just my cock....are you going to complain that games are nothing more then sausage fests then?

stfu and play darkfall it's about damn time a game like this was released.

Thu Mar 26 2009 2:37PM Report
Einstein-DF writes:

 Awesome writeup as usual Paragus, makes me feel like logging in, havent inawhile b/c of real-life issues



Good job making yet another alias today, just to post some more trash

great credibility there nerd


try harder next time

Thu Mar 26 2009 2:45PM Report
Salvatoris writes:

It does sound fun... to bad it looks like shit and doesn't run much better. :(

Thu Mar 26 2009 3:08PM Report
Evasia writes:

Harlington your a obvious troll im 100% positive you have never played Darkfall you just a hater read up alot of what's mentioned on forum and come with cliche points that almost ever hater come up with that he have heared over the past few weeks.

Offcorse there are many things that need fixing im last to say its perfect game, but name a game that have same kind world world and gameplay its still by far better then al those THEMEPARK GAMES?

And animation are fine game looks great pvp is fun, they are working on many things that need fixing  but there small team this takes time to fix.

Thu Mar 26 2009 3:28PM Report
Flummoxed writes:

Fun stuff, had that experience in DAoC with a highly disciplined alliance :

There's nothing more EXHILARATING than running with a pack of 100 =experienced= and =organized= fighters thru enemy territory at night, In Formation, with everyone assigned a position, from point to front side/back side to rear guard to shielding the priests and mages, etc.; monitoring the combat channel, chewing thru random skirmishes along the way LIKE A MACHINE !

Talk about suspension of disbelief, it really is an amazing experience, i had goosebumps.  You.  Are.  THERE!

(loop your favorite fantasy film soundtrack in the background for added immersion)

Thu Mar 26 2009 6:56PM Report
dwarflordking writes:

this sounds epic.. i think every "major" mmo is for kids.. with their casual shit

Fri Mar 27 2009 1:20AM Report
justaplayer writes:

This game has no Immersion, clunky graphics and extremely poor customer support.


Other than that, they need your money to make it great, so please invest in Darkfall, I really want to play it more!!

Fri Mar 27 2009 2:00AM Report
VigarLunaris writes:

Yes sure, i could also spent some beer for the developers. Have checked and really don't love it. TO MUCH freedom especially to much freedom to kill other players. This is nothing i would spent my time that is really stacked for my person.

Fri Mar 27 2009 2:15AM Report
harlington writes:

Evasia I am pretty sure you're a deluded fanboy with your nose stuck so far up Tasos' ass that you can't even think straight anymore.

This game is a total pile of garbage. The production quality is barely above shareware quality. And even worse than most free to play item Mall MMO's.

The game is barely worth $5 / month.. yet they're trying to charge $15.00 / month because they are broke... only a total FOOL would pay $15 / month for this junk and support some of the most terrible developers in the history of MMO gaming.

Fri Mar 27 2009 4:49AM Report
Zeranor writes:

This game is so much fun, so glad some devs are doing a difference, please support guys, for the sake of the idea and evolution of the mmo genre!

Fri Mar 27 2009 5:25AM Report
Diam writes:

I have been in one clan war and for me the lag problems got better after I dropped shadows and turned 3d sounds to minimum.

I am using this hardware:

and also considering buying SSD cause maybe it helps with zoning lag.

Fri Mar 27 2009 8:20AM Report
Timacek writes:

finally sandbox game. Some things still to make, housing, vendors maybe etc. But overall much much better than any themepark mmo imho.

Fri Mar 27 2009 8:49AM Report
Altairs writes:

good going paragus

maybe argo's someday will join SA

Fri Mar 27 2009 1:55PM Report
xanahl writes:

Stop whining about the graphics. It actually looks great ingame.. sure it does not look too good in the screenshots however ingame it's way above average. This game is the best mmo out right now and if you have not played it yet stop flaming it.

Fri Mar 27 2009 9:54PM Report
xanahl writes:

Oh by the way, i am unsure if you have turned off the black outline settings or not. In the first 2 screenshot there are no black outlines to be seen and in the latter there are. The outlines make the game look like shit imo so i'd recomend anyone playing to turn them off.

Fri Mar 27 2009 10:00PM Report
PapaB34R writes:

why even bother reviewing this vapor ware, I mean correct me if Im wrong but it hasnt even been officially released yet

(and oh dear it looks like shit)

Sat Mar 28 2009 6:30AM Report
Fariic writes:

DDi actually controls the city that is shown as being controlled by Covonent of the Pheonix. 

CotP doesn't seem to happy about that. :)

Another great write up.



Sat Mar 28 2009 6:56AM Report
Suraknar writes:

Very nice Review!

Been so long since we had a game like this, and intend on playing it for equally long time as well (once the store is open).

Till then, patience is a Virtue!

Sat Mar 28 2009 10:03AM Report
Kien writes:

Another great article... but I have to wonder why MMORPG.COM is showering Darkfall with so much free publicity when it hasn't even published an objective review....

Sun Mar 29 2009 7:52AM Report
bcrankshaw writes:

Nice post ,keep up the updates for those of us who don't have the game yet but will be trying it :)

Tue Mar 31 2009 2:41PM Report writes:
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