4/24 Patch - The Good, The Bad and the Mundane
MMORPG.com Darkfall Correspondent Megan Clark writes this overview of the changes in Darkfall's April 24th patch, highlighting the good, the bad and the mundane
Although the Darkfall launch was plagued by catastrophe, and the game continues to feel like a "paid beta", the speed with which the developers fix, tweak and change things never ceases to amaze me. This patch is no different. While the actual download size not too hefty at 153 MB, some big changes have been made to the game play. Some are excellent changes that we have been asking for, others may cause problems.
Colored Names for Various Alignments: Can I get a hallelujah?!
Finally we can tell friend from foe, which up until now has been unbelievably difficult due to the game's targeting system:
- Members of your Clan (this includes "red" members): Bright Green
- Members of Allied Clans: Green
- Same Race/Alliance: Blue
- Rogues: Gray
- Members of Warring Clans: Dark Orange
- Enemy Races: Dark Red
- Murderers: Red
Members of Allied clans who are red, will still show up as Red to you, so you still need to be careful.
All I can say to this change is ,thank you Darkfall devs. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, a seasoned gamer, and I really like the idea of a game that requires some intelligence and quick thinking to play, but damn. I haven't been fast enough to be able to get names on people, let alone see what race, clan, etc they are. We needed this, and I am sure I am not the only player who thanks you for this.
For the Crafters and Tradesmen of Darkfall:
One of the things that has been holding crafter/traders back in supplying the general populace is the danger inherent in trading to anyone outside of your own clan. Until the patch, killing party members had the same no-penalty status as killing guild mates. What this meant was that if you partied someone to find them and trade with them, they could kill you in town without any consequences from the guard towers and loot you dry.
With this patch, that has changed for the better. Party members now follow the standard rules for killing and ganking innocent players. If you attack someone in your party who is not a clan member, you will go gray (and be attacked by guard towers). If you kill that person, they will have the opportunity to grant or deny you forgiveness (a murder count for all of us old UO players). The one deviation from standard murder rules: you will not get an alignment boost for killing a party member, regardless of their race.
Another pleasing addition has been the implementation of a Trade Channel that can be triggered with the use of /trade. Messages sent to the trade channel will go to all members of your race or racial alliance. While this is not much different than the standard racial alliance chat, it will make it easier for buyers and sellers to find each other without sifting through all of the chatter in racial/alliance chat.
Crafters see another bonus in changes to item durability. Crafted items are now more durable than monster loot. Scale boots and gloves have also been added to armorsmith menus and many new axes and great clubs have been added.
Quests and Lore:
While I personally am not much of a quester, one of the complaints about Darkfall has been a lack of questing content. I understand, though, how quest lines can help the new generation of MMO player adapt to the radically different environment of Darkfall and apparently the developers do as well. They continue to add new content to the game in the form of quest lines. In this particular patch, the additions focus on the Mirdain and Dwarven racial lore. The Mirdain have gained 3 new lines with a total of 16 new quests. Dwarves have gained one new quest line with a total of 6 new quests added.
There is now a 45 minute timer when quitting or kicking a member from a clan. In other words, once you quit or kick the person, they will remain a clan member for 45 minutes. I foresee issues here. One complaint that I have frequently heard is of people quitting warring clans when enemy members attack them. While this does fix that problem, I feel it poses a greater threat to clans who need to kick members in an emergency to protect their members or banks. Imagine if you had a rogue member of your clan killing your crafters/tradesmen in protected cities to steal their goods. The problem of an emergency kick doesn't arise often, but when you need someone out fast, that 45 minute timer will be devastating.
Another so-so change is a 20 minute timer for changing policies towards another clan. I have been tempted more than once to war the clan of an exceptionally shiny, geared person in a protected city, and I know this is often done. This change does provide a measure of protection from random warring for loot kills, but it also changes the political drama for sieges.
It seriously curtails our ability to turn traitor on "friendly" clans mid-siege--a fantastically advantageous tactic that makes one of my normally mature, macho clan members giggle like a little girl (yes, I'm talking about you Bishop!) It also removes the ability to "sneak up" on a siege by not warring a clan until you are suddenly in their city, sieging their stone. I don't like the idea of warning people that I'm coming to kill them....maybe I'm not a nice person, but being sneaky increases my odds of winning--and I like winning.
I'm not sure if this is really "bad" per se, but it makes life a little more difficult: launch and explosion now require reagents. I know, I know, spells should require reagents, but it's so nice when they don't!
PvP and Warfare:
The alignment gain for killing or ganking an enemy player has been reduced to one point. So you lose eight points for killing an innocent and gain one for killing an evil baddy. That seems skewed to me. Governments don't seem to mind if 50 or 100, or 1000 "innocents" are killed to take out one bad guy and they're always right, so the Darkfall devs must be wrong... right?
The timer for summoning/dismissing war hulks and ships has been increased. Eh...whatever. This is a situational thing I guess. If you steal my boat before I get it dismissed, it sucks...but if I steal yours, it's a great change.
This patch also includes numerous visual updates to the scenery, updates to the server to handle siege load, and some world building updates. Monster AI, difficulty and loot has also been rebalanced and updated.
- Enchanting: fixed a bug that allowed duplicate enchantments on an item
- Packmule: increases to maximum carrying weight will be immediately updated
- Fixed a bug that allowed the use of magic while mounted
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to "fall through" server lines and walk under water
- Clan guard towers have been fixed to work on all policy settings
- Fixed an ignore list bug that prevented ignored players from showing up in the ignore list
To view the complete and un-edited patch notes go here