For the uninitiated, Darkfall
is an open-world MMORPG with a variety of sandbox elements including non-linear skill-based character advancement, a lack of traditional classes and levels, and a large (and largely seamless) game world. The title focuses on unrestricted free-for-all PvP -- though there are factional alignment penalties -- and also allows combatants to loot the corpses of their fallen foes. Yes, you read that right DIKU-folks. If your MMORPG enjoyment hinges on the ability to acquire pwntastic gear and keep it forever and ever, Darkfall
will likely prove to be a daunting experience. Aside from that rather large caveat, the other aspect of the game that bears mentioning is its territorial conquest component. In fact, many players will tell you that the game's raison d'etre is large-scale clan conflict.
In service of that end, Darkfall
features a significant crafting system, and virtually everything in the world of Agon is player-made, from the smallest piece of armor to the largest ocean-going vessel. That's not to say there aren't any loot tables in Darkfall
; on the contrary, you're likely to acquire your first few weapons by removing them from the cold, dead fingers of the game's goblin NPCs. That said, you won't be finding any chestplates of noob-smacking +1 on the carcasses of spiders, both because mobs drop appropriate loot and because crafted gear is usually better. In addition to combat and crafting, resource gathering is of paramount importance in the world of Agon, and stockpiling common and rare components is essential to making both money and progress whether you're part of a clan or flying solo.
is the brainchild of Aventurine
, an independent game development studio housed in Athens, Greece. Way back in 2001, a group of Norwegian developers banded together under the Razorwax
banner, intending to produce the type of PvP-enabled sandbox that had seen some success with Ultima Online
(albeit in a much larger 3-D world). Razorwax added additional developer talent and relocated to Greece in 2002, morphing into the company now known as Aventurine
After a lengthy development period that saw the formation of a rabid (some might even say under-moderated) fan community on the official forums, Darkfall
finally opened its doors to the gaming public in February of 2009. A North American server was added to the initial European shard in July of 2009, a date which also marked the release of the first of three
free expansions. The update added player housing, the village system, weather systems, and a host of re-balancing tweaks and fixes. The game's second expansion, Conquer the Seas
, bowed in December of 2009 and brought changes to the siege mechanics as well as player housing vendors, skill additions, and other extras. Last month, Aventurine released the game's third expansion, Hellfreeze
, which fleshed out Darkfall's
It's at this point that your humble correspondent will be joining the fray. I'll be creating a brand-new character, and I need your help to get him started. Unlike a lot of MMORPGs, Darkfall
doesn't offer class choices, so this week's voting will be pretty simple. Using the polls below, cast your vote for my character's race, game focus (combat, crafting, or hybrid), and social status (solo adventurer or clan recruit). This round of voting is open until Tuesday, November 16th, at 11:59pm EST, after which time I'll be firing up Darkfall's
character creator and heading for the hills of Agon.
To the polls, ladies and gents.
Continue to Part III
Join Jef as he morphs from a ranty writer into a grindy action hero in a Choose My Adventure directed by you, the Massively readers! Add Jef in-game to play along, or simply follow the column every Wednesday for a recap of the week's mischief. When six weeks are up, we'll spin the wheel of fate and do it all again.