Darkfall: Savior of the WORLD

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.

6 thoughts on “Darkfall: Savior of the WORLD

  1. Gauldar December 10, 2008 / 3:38 pm

    People declared that game vapourware years ago, I still haven’t seen much of a chance of it being released still. Maybe that is a good thing, let people hold onto their delusions of grandeur, because like a lot of MMOs people are going to find its going to be crap in one way or another once it hits release. Then they will start crying for Starcraft Online.

  2. Raegn December 10, 2008 / 10:42 pm

    At this point, the chances of it becoming vapourware are much less than they’ve been in the past. I think the game could have appeal to certain people, I’d like to give it a try myself, but realistically the game is doomed to flop.

    No one wants a game as hardcore as DF looks to be. There are points, like the lack of mouse-look, that will immediately dissuade players no matter what their purpose behind that limitation is.

    All that being said, it could be a lot of fun. On a MUD I used to play, one of the most fun ways to progress was into the PKer role. There’s nothing like truly dominating another player. The most frequent mistake people make when making this assertion, however, is that there is an absolute difference between PK’ing in the traditional sense and griefing.

    On the MUD, people talked about honor in both the RP sense but also in regards to the actions of the player behind the keyboard. Sadly, I think WoW pretty much snuffed out “honor” as I once saw it.

  3. Ysharros December 11, 2008 / 3:10 pm

    You are a pointy-eared freak hater. How’d you like it if I turned into a beardy weirdy beer-drinking loon hater, eh? EH?!?

    Oh what, there’s an article around the single comment I’m choosing to react to? Naaaaah.

    (Srsly, you know I read every word. I think fanboyism is like fashion : these days, you have to be really really extreme to have a hope of standing out. Everyone knows the real innovating MMO will be the one with pirates and ninjas IN SPACE!!!!!11oneone.)

  4. Ainilome December 11, 2008 / 4:31 pm


    I like the -idea- of Darkfall, but it seems so much to me like Vanguard with PvP. By that I mean a giant hype machine that will inevitably fail to meet the expectations of fanboys and then burn in a firey hell for the month it takes the fanboys to find another game to be their holy grail, savor and girlfriend all in one.

    I also see it coming out the day after Hero’s Journey. Which is a week or two after Duke Nukem Forever.

    Honestly, how much does it take to understand that no MMO will ever shatter any perceptions, change the face of this that and other thing, solve world hunger or cure cancer and that to think so is just setting yourself up for disapointment.

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