This seems to be the sentiment of most Darkfall enthusiasts, as the reality of the game's announced launch date has set in. It's no secret that the wild success of World of Warcraft has changed how studios develop games for the last 3-4 years, but is it about time that we went back to how MMOs were originally created?
Darkfall boasts a sandbox-type freedom and the return of the once-hated ganking and player killing found in earlier MMOs. It boasts innovation (then again, who doesn't) and a death penalty that makes you actually fearful of dying. These factors, and many more, are what drive the game's loyal fanbase for over seven years.
So to answer the question posed in the title, yes Darkfall will be important to the genre. If this niche game succeeds, it will show that innovation is not dead and we're collectively ready for a change. If it fails, it means that we're not really as ready for something different as we all claim.