Darkfall Online is my current MMO of choice. Yep, the same Darkfall Online that was ridiculed as vaporware. The same Darkfall that was slaughtered in that bogus Eurogamer review. The same Darkfall that Syp (of Bio-Break) said he didn’t play because he had good taste in games.
Yep, the same Darkfall that I am loving right now.
Darkfall is rough around the edges. In some places (the U.I., character animations) it is really rough around the edges. But, it has snared me none the less. I am having lots of fun in the game and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
There are a lot of reasons for this.
First of all, I see so much potential in the world. Agon (Darkfall’s world) is huge and non-instanced. Of all the MMOs I have played, it feels the most like a real world. It will seem even more alive after the newest patch, which adds deer, rabbits and other non-combat animals running around. The game is perfect for those who like to explore. There seems to be something new around every corner. Dilapidated ruins, dank caves and undead tombs all make an appearance and contribute to the feel of the world as a real place.
Secondly, it’s PvP. Total, unforgiving, only the strong survive PvP. This is a turn-off for a lot of people but for me it is amazing. I love PvP, always have. I love ganking and getting ganked. I love the sense of danger inherent in a true PvP game. I loved it in DAoC, I loved it in WoW and I love it even more in Darkfall. It is even better in Darkfall because there are no safe zones and when you die your entire inventory can be looted. I am always looking over my shoulder in Darkfall, making sure that I come out of any PvE encounter with a good amount of health so if I get jumped I can fight back. No other game gives me a feeling of constant danger. Darkfall does.
Finally, and probably most importantly, Darkfall is like no other game I have ever played. There is no other game like it on the market right now. I have played “theme-park” MMOs for years and don’t get me wrong, I love ‘em. I loved DAoC, I enjoyed WAR and I loved WoW (before the expansions especially) but I realized that I am burned out on them. They are all the same at the core. Questing is the same, leveling is the same, combat is the same and the endgame is the same. The graphics change. The races change. But the core of the game does not, theme-park MMOs all have that same core.
Darkfall is totally different. There are no levels, combat is in first-person (third-person while in melee) and there is no “click” to target. There is no “endgame” as normally defined in MMOs because you can literally jump into the same content that players who have been playing for months in your first few days. There are no instances to farm and the “holy-trinity” of tank, DPS and healer do not exist.
It’s refreshing enough that I can overlook the “rough around the edges” part. The faults I find in Darkfall are not gamebreaking and in many ways Aventurine reminds me of Mythic in the early days of DAoC. A small company just trying to find their way in a corporate dominated gaming market. I can appreciate that, hell, I can cheer for that.
In a market of copycats, Darkfall is really different…
And, for me, that’s a good thing.
(I am going to add the same disclaimer that Syncaine adds to his posts about Darkfall: The link above will allow you to purchase Darkfall, in addition I will get paid 20% of the purchase price. This does not and will not taint my views of the game. If I don’t like something about Darkfall, I have no compunctions about saying something about it.)