I’m sorry, but I couldn’t stop chuckling — nay, braying like a donkey on nitrous oxide — after reading this post.
Ladies and gentlemen, Darkfall is not only important, it is VITAL. It is INNOVATION. It is the last bastion of original thought in the genre! It will rescue us from those crappy, easy-to-understand games like World of Warcraft and Warhammer, and give us such complexity that is rarely seen outside of a tic-tac-toe convention. Darkfall will rejuvenate the MMO genre! It will turn lead to gold! Balance the national budget! Make us all join hands and sing in happy unity!
It is, and I quote this wonderful essay, “a vessel of hope to try to stop the madness that has turned what was once the best genre in all of video gaming and reduced it to an experience that is akin to sitting on a ride in Disneyland.”
A vessel of hope! Really! Are we sure Darkfall didn’t win the presidential election?
Now, granted, I haven’t been following this title with any interest other than a passing familiarity with the name, because when you are able to sum it up as “free-for-all PVP in a fantasy setting”, it hardly merits an eyebrow lifting in this day and age. It’s been in development forever, which means the devs have been endlessly promoting it for that length of time. This breeds two audiences: most people who don’t care, and the select few who have been hanging on this title like the Second Coming for so long that they’ve got a bit batty.
I can appreciate that the author of this essay is excited. And a fan. And eager to taste something new and different in the MMO scene. But this article deserves to be used to make sick children in hospitals laugh because the guy goes to such extremes — such as declaring all successful MMOs pure crap, that only Darkfall shows any promise of innovation in the genre, and that we will be aligning ourselves with Team Evil if we don’t give this game our “best wishes”.
Newsflash: Darkfall is not a revolutionary innovator. For one thing, it’s Yet Another Fantasy MMORPG. And it has two elf races. How can you innovate if you’re still throwing those pointy-eared freaks into your game?
So it’s free-for-all PvP — so what? That’s not new, it’s just not been a mainstay of most MMOs for a while now, because it wasn’t too loved when it was in Ultima Online and other elderly titles. In fact, we’ve seen loads of PvP-focused MMOs this past year — WAR, Age of Conan, Fury.
So it’s ultra-super-duper hardcore — so what? You know what this rant reminds me of? Everyone who kept going on and on about how Vanguard was the return of the old school hardcore MMO and how “true gamers” would return to their roots in droves. And, crappy game aside, there’s been no evidence that the majority of gamers want to go *back* to times when MMOs were elitist and far too complicated and unwieldy and frustrating. Besides, how can you make an argument that going back to this style of gameplay is innovative?
If I can read down a feature list of a game and list at least one other MMORPG title that also claims to have that feature, then guess what? You’re not innovating squat here. You may be making a better version or implementation of that feature, but you aren’t pioneering anything.
Let’s face it: you don’t have to know a lot to know that Darkfall, even if it pulls off all of its promised features perfectly, will be a very niche game. “Very niche” is not going to be the powerful incentive to other MMO companies in taking risks that the author thinks. In fact, Eve Online’s done FFA PvP, classless character development, and massive server populations in ways that I think Darkfall’s devs only dream about at night.
But thanks for a laugh. I needed one today.