Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Darkfall Harvesting, Loot, and Keys

I finally harvested my first Steedgrass the other night, and oddly enough a clan-mate messaged me right after I harvested it offering his taming (turning Steedgrass into a mount) services.

I still have not looted another veilron key since my first one only a week into the game. I have seen another drop, but with 10 people molesting the corpse of the fallen foe, it's hard to be that quick on the loot.

For those who don't know, Darkfall mobs have a chance of dropping a key; the key opens statically placed chest throughout the world of Agon, and they're based off the difficulty of the mob. The first tier keys are called salentine and sell for 200g a pop. This is because there is 200g in the chest when you open it + magically enhanced items. So people are paying for the chance to get some nice items because the gold is reimbursed upon opening the chest.

The second tier key is the veilron, and this one typically sells for 2000g since, just as the previous key, it has this amount of gold in the chest. I sold my first veilron key for 1900g because I was hard-up for cash and it was late with no buyers (plus the guy came to me).

There are higher tiers of keys, but I have yet to see those or even hear of one in trade chat. I have heard the next tier up holds 4000g in it, though. I'm looking forward to getting my first drop of THAT magnitude.

On a side note, I have severely improved my mounted combat! I am now able to hit someone almost every time I ride past, barring a cluster fuck when too many clan-mates bunch up instead of riding through. I'm wondering if splitting into separate formations when we have 5+ guys on mounts. It seems having a few groups of 3 seems to be the magic number. With this amount you can have group 1 ride by first, then group 2, and so on. This way there's never more than 3 people passing the target at once, and it dissolves the cluster fuck situations that only benefit the opponents on the ground.

Splitting into formation groups would also help when there's multiple targets. You would be able to send each group after certain targets which should increase overall efficiency of making sure all swords are swinging constantly and attacking someone rather than waiting your chance to ride by and get a single hit.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Darkfall - PvP Ambush

I logged on late last night to get some game time in before bed, but because of the late hour I figured I would just gather timber & ore to craft some arrows.

That was before I heard the call in vent for help defending our clan's hamlet. I started throwing my gear together and prepared to head out; however, by the time I made it to the hamlet, two of our guys had chased off the attackers. They weren't far away, so I made my way towards them on my mount. I was halfway to their location when I noticed I was taking damage from behind; upon rotating my camera angle (something you can do while mounted), I noticed I was being chased by 3 mounted players with an additional guy dismounted trying to shoot down my mount with his bow.

I called out the situation in vent and was instructed to lead them north towards the other two clan members I was already headed towards. I cut and weaved around trees and hills to avoid the incoming arrows from killing my mount before I reached the soon-to-be ambush location. We had two members hiding behind a rock directly up ahead, and another rapidly approaching from the south, which would turn this fight into a 4v4. But as I rode past the rock hiding our guys, I looked back to see a couple of the enemies mounts quickly drop due to arrows from our skilled archers that had popped out from behind the rock. They didn't know what hit them!

Even outnumbered 4 to 3, we still had the element of surprise, and this was the prevailing factor! I circled back around, now with only one enemy chasing me on mount, but I ignored him and moved directly to the almost-dead guy on foot. I rode by and landed a successful hit (I'm getting better at mounted combat). The clan-mate approaching from the south had just arrived and landed the next hit on this enemy for the final blow.

By this time we dispatched three of their guys, and only one remained and was hauling ass into the distance on his mount. With all the commotion on vent, another 4 clan members had arrived and helped us chase the last guy. We ended up calling off the chase and everyone headed back to the hamlet. I called it a night at that point, since it was already late to begin with.

I wish I could have seen the look on those guys faces when they thought I was their lone prey and how quickly they became the hunted with a spur of the moment trap. It's moments like these you just can't find in a themepark MMO; Darkfall is shaping up to be a great MMORPG!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Darkfall - Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I wasn't able to get the game until a month after release, but while some people on the forums are whining about their late start, I know better from past experiences.

When I started Ultima Online back in 1997 I was PK'd everyday left and right, but I kept at it, and instead of crying about it, I learned the game and ended up coming back and slaughtering all those that had killed me (Yes, I am deranged, and I do keep a list).

So to all those people upset there are others with a month worth of skill gains ahead of them; this isn't EvE where a player can constantly train for 5+ years and never reach max skills. You will eventually- sooner than you think- hit max skills in your chosen area of expertise. You will have your day in the sun, but you have to stick to it and keep working your skills while practising PvP.

Also, to those complaining the game is boring; if you haven't found a clan and experienced group PvP in Darkfall, then I can completely understand. This is the foundation of the game, and if you avoid it, play around it, or out-right skip it, then I can understand your boredom. This game is meant to be played with a group, so get in a clan!

The game has its flaws, but for anyone that played and enjoyed old school UO, then the flaws seem minor because the PvP and sandbox immersion are just THAT fun!

As the title of this post states; this game isn't WoW where you can hit end game in one week and then melt faces with minimal PvP experience. The game is suppose to be a grind, and PvP is suppose to be something to practise and get better at. I think my heart melted when I saw people in clan chat talking about getting better at mounted combat; this game will go down as one of my top MMOs, and I've played 20+ titles in the genre (again, yes, I am deranged).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Darkfall Crafting

I picked up my first crafting skill in Darkfall Online; because I am training archery, I decided to take the bowyer skill to supply myself with arrows.

The skill takes 500g to acquire, but after that it's just a matter of making arrows (and bows) for skill gains. After you've obtained the crafting skill of your choice, you must then gather the necessary tools and mats to craft.

It takes (1) iron ingot and (1) wood to craft a set of 20 arrows. This sounds simple enough, yet the "ingot" and "wood" are the refined forms of "ore" and "timber". There is a 5:2 ratio for refining these mats, so it takes 5/5 ore/timber to make 40 arrows.

Once you have gathered the mats you will need a woodcutting tool that is purchased from an NPC vendor in town for 20g. Take this tool, and your mats, and head to the nearest wood-working station. This is the same station where you refine your timber into wood.

It takes 20 seconds to craft a set of 10 arrows, so if you hit the station with 50+ in mats, you might be there awhile. This is still better than spending 1 gpu on arrows (the going rate).

My archery is now at 30 along with my polearms, parry, and 1h sword. I would like to get all these combat skills to 50+ by next weekend so I can contribute better on PvP runs. Other than skillups, it's just a matter of stocking my bank with weapons, armor, mounts, potions, and food. I can't wait till I have a stocked bank with 50+ on skills so I can start making nightly PvP runs.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dead Elves, and Darkfall

I had a great time in Darkfall this weekend. The PvP is a blast, and believe it or not, the PvE is actually quite entertaining as well. The mobs don't just stand there until you beat them to death; they strafe, dodge, kite, etc. I've only encountered small mobs such as Goblins and NPC Dwarves, but I did see a Giant Skeleton Knight on my way to Mirdain to gank Elfs.

It was Saturday evening when a Captain from my clan announced he was gathering members in our Hamlet to venture into Elf territory for some PvP. I quickly jumped on board, but when I found out it was a mounted expedition, I opted to stay back. Well, the Captain said he had an extra mount and I offered him 200g for it, and the rest is... well I'm getting there.

So, the Captain, myself, and two Sargent's headed south towards Elf country. It took us roughly 30 minutes of riding just to get where the scenery changes, but I wasn't complaining since I think exploration is worthless in today's themepark MMOs. We ran into a couple of Alfar attacking a lone Elf and we moved in fast. The Elf made a run for it, and we decided to take out the Alfar pair instead.

I found out quickly that I need some practise with mounted combat as I kept missing when I'd ride by to strike. I did, however, get a couple of mount hits in when my pig did a back kick or two.

After dispatching the two Alfar we traveled some to the west and ended up running into a member of our Alliance going 1v1 on an Elf. We started to move in, but when we saw he had things under control we backed off, but stayed near in case he needed any help.

After moving on we received a tell from the Alliance member we had just ran into mentioning a couple of Elf miners he had located. We moved towards his location, but by the time we arrived, he was dead, and there was 5-10 Elfs pelting us with arrows.

We tried to retreat, but we lost one of the Sargent's and his mount. After that, the three of us continued a little longer and encountered another pait of Alfar. This pair was able to take out our Captains' mount, but we took them out quickly after. At that point we called it a night and recalled back to our bindstone.

I can't wait to get my skills up to par, and start gathering armor / potion sets for PvP like I had back in Ultima Online. I am glad our Clan usually has something going on nightly, and there's always someone near our Hamlet ready to hunt. An important aspect of a game like this, or EvE, is finding the right group of people to play with, and I believe my new Clan is just that.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"Your Darkfall Online Purchase Skill has increased by 0.1%"

I could have been playing since Monday actually, but I never checked my email since it looked as if my purchase timed-out and the game had sold out in 4 minutes. Well, I checked my email late Wednesday night and saw a confirmation of purchase; I then tried to log on the game and BAM... I'm in!

I created a male Mahirim and entered the world. The excessive shadows from the surrounding foliage almost killed my graphics card, but I quickly adjusted the video settings as most people do their first time in a game and everything was fine. I'm located in Texas and I was receiving a generous 150-170 ping with spikes into the 190's.The interface takes some getting used to, but after an hour it was definitely second nature. I did however reset my sheath weapon to my back mouse button and my "use" key from F over to the forward mouse button.

I took the first quest to kill some Goblins and acquire 5 axes; after a short run to the north I was engaged in combat with not one, but 3 goblins. I quickly retreated and waited for my buddy from work to show up (he just popped on vent and was logging on Darkfall).With both of us we had an easy, but still challenging time taking out the Goblins. We immediately traded in our starting wep (Dagger) for a polearm. This is a must since the daggers range is ridiculous.

We were taking turns making bank runs during our Goblin genocide; during one of my runs to the bank I hear my buddy on vent say and Ork just attacked and killed him. Well, I was almost back, so I sprinted to the location in time to see the Ork execute (a skill called "Gank") my friend.I drew my polearm and charged with a passion I haven't felt since the days of Ultima Online PvP. I was only a few hours old and didn't have much as far as skills, but I held my own and ALMOST killed the, now red after killing my buddy, Ork.

The funny part is another Mahirim sat there and watched the fight without helping either, then after the Ork had his victory, the spectator Mahirim finished the Ork and proceeded to loot all three of us, hehe. To the passive goes the spoils? =P

Anyways, now it's time to find a clan to join and help grow! I'm going to hit up Syncaine's clan since his commentary on PvP falls right in-line with my ideals.

Hope to see you all in the game, and if you haven't bought it yet, what are you waiting for!?