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The Daze of Darkfall Week 4: The terror of Agon


It's the last week already? Well that went fast! It seems like only yesterday when I woke up in a daze to find my computer had "Thank you for purchasing Darkfall, n00bcakes!" splashed across its screen. Yet, here we are, four weeks later! My clan's city now looks like a real place of habitation instead of a pile of smashed rubble, combat is starting to become more commonplace than one attack every week, and I'm actually wearing armor instead of being naked most of the time. Amazing how things change over time.

This week's events seem to all come down to one sentence: "Are you concerned about the security of your stuff?" (NSFW) You should be concerned, as my clan's warbands were taking what they wanted from cities and hamlets, all with me in tow. What happens when I get exposed to "hardcore PvP?" Well I guess you'll just have to read and find out.

Theft: The Business of Darkfall

Darkfall's game mechanics always reward the aggressive -- there's no two ways around it. EVE at least offers the illusion of clean deals and symbiotic business relationships. Darkfall doesn't bother to put that coating on their style of play, however. Agon is a dirty world where bad things happen to everyone simply because that's what the community wants.

I finally got the privilege to ride along with one of my clan's PvP squads, lead by our best crafter, Wardragon. Wardragon runs a tight ship in his small strike squad, preferring to attack areas surgically. This is a far cry of difference from most Darkfall forum posters, who like to run and gun or move in huge raid groups. This is 6 man strike team warfare.

Riding on my mount across Agon, I got to listen to Wardragon's plans. There were 3 hamlets along the northwestern coast of the main continent that all possessed quarries and farms. The plan was to go in late at night, lift their resources and, if we were lucky, catch harvesters with their pants down. Then, If we were really lucky, we'd catch more than harvesters. It was at this point that I was assured that Wardragon had a death wish, but heck, I'm up for a good suicide run!

The first hamlet: Wherein walking on walls is fun

The first hamlet was on the side of a mountain, possessing a steep path that lead up to the small platform that contained it. Now, normal people like to march up the mountain path, because that's how you get to mountain hamlets, right? Well, normally this would make sense, unless you're in Darkfall, where everyone can walk up 85 degree slopes.

So, there we stood, standing on a 85 degree slope on the mountain side above the city. We were crouched, making very little noise, and quickly identified the lone crafter making lumber at the crafting station. Wardragon dropped down to the floor of the city and gave the signal -- fire arrows at will.

The four of us unleashed a volley of arrows at this guy, taking him from full to 1/10th of his life in a few seconds. In a panic, the harvester began to run towards the bank, but it was too late. I got off the last shot and dropped him right next to the bank, leaving him to beg for his life as Wardragon ran him through with a pike.

With him dead, we soon swept through the last of the buildings to make sure it was all clear while two others used the nearby bank to retrieve their pickaxes and start in on the quarry. We only had a limited amount of time to steal before backup would arrive (dead men do tell tales) so we wanted to be quick. Each time we took all of the resources out of a single "node," they were dropped back into our accounts in the bank.

Just as we were packing up to head out, someone called out that backup was arriving. Everyone jumped on their horses while I was having trouble pulling mine out. A system error kept my horse from appearing, and I ran all around the platform trying to make my "summon mount" trophy work. It was at that time that Pluto Nash, the oh-so-unique-and-original naked crafter we had just killed, revived at his clanstone and started to run around me. Now I couldn't whip out my mount, as he could easily get on it and ride it away before I would get the chance.

I laid into him with my polearm, causing him to retreat backwards while I moved to the edge of the cliff. While the finesse of James Bond I jumped (see: stumbled retardedly) right off the ledge and into the bay below. I quickly swam across and caught up with the rest of my group, summoning my mount on the other side.

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