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Choose My Adventure: Pouring the foundation in Darkfall

MJ Guthrie

It's relocation time! Although there were plenty of tempting properties spread around various locales to choose from, once the bidding wars began, Darkfall Unholy Wars grabbed the lead and refused to let go. So we're packing up our tools and moving to Agon to get this Choose My Adventure project started. And considering the whole neighborhood just went through a recent renovation, I'm sure we'll fit right in building our new retreat. Now, we just need... hm, where did we put those blueprints? Do we even have blueprints? No? Well, no matter; you can just give me the instructions as we go. Rome wasn't built in a day, and we've got five more weeks to work together to create this new retreat.

I've got to tell you, I'm quite excited for this venture. One of the greatest things about the CMA series is that it forces us to finally dive in and check out games we've been wanting to but never quite "found the time." Once it becomes a part of your daily job, you have no choice but to make the time! Darkfall was always one of those games for me, and my curiosity and interest was piqued even more with Unholy Wars. So let's get this started. First, we need a foundation.

Images of Darkfall races
Finding the proper mold

In Darkfall Unholy Wars, you get only one character, so let's make this one count! To build our protagonist for the forthcoming adventures, we have to first select a race. Aventurine has offered up six different choices. Unfortunately, the choices are not significantly different from one another except in lore and back story; the models are all basically the same with few differences (the better for loading and rendering I suppose), and there aren't any racial bonuses to skills.

The races actually follow the standard fantasy fare. Merclans are pretty much the typical humans of the bunch. The only race not native to the world of Agon, humans are a prosperous people with a very passionate approach to life. Orks, on the other hand, are more like, well, Orcs. The still have the form of a human, but they are scaly and have big teeth. An Ork sees himself as "veins of explosive flame housed in a mountain of rock" (or so says the character select screen!). Next up are the Tovarr. Descendants of dwarves, they live under the mountains of Cor Ymirhal. This people values honor and loves the techno-magical. A game cant be complete without at least one furry race, and the Mahirim fill that bill. Furry-faced folks, the once-wolves (but no longer, much to the chagrin of our managing editor) trace their origin to pit-fighting slaves bred to entertain the Vargashi empire of old.

And finally, we have the final staple to fantasy games: light and dark elves. The Mirdain are light-skinned and haughty with pointed ears. These elves live in the forests of Mirendil and hold a special hatred for the Alfari, their dark-skinned counterparts. Alfari were not always the scourge of the lands, but their evil god-king Melek twisted their minds long ago to create a new race. Now with their god destroyed, the dark race is trying to find it's place in the world.

So what shall I be?%Poll-82321%
Elementalist schoolsAdding the right materials

The second part of character creation is selecting the role, which is not quite as imperative as it may sound. Since there are no set classes in Darkfall, once you get into the game, you can grab any weapon and start building skill in using it. But for the purposes of this project, we will still select one and at least try to focus on that throughout our first couple of weeks in game.

Darkfall has four roles, each with two distinct schools. However, you choose one school as your primary and the other as your secondary; the main difference seems to be that the primary gets one extra skill that is lost if changed to secondary. The Warrior is the tank class, wearing heavy armor. Players can select either Battle Brand (the standard tank) or Beserker as primary. The scout-like role, the Skirmisher, wears medium armor and uses stealth. The choices here are Brawler, which is more into melee and tumbling, or Deadeye, which is a ranged marksman.

All fantasy games have a mage class, and in Darkfall that role goes to the Elementalist. Player wanting to wear light armor and fling magical spells from range can choose between fire or air for their primary focus. And few MMOs do not sport a healer of some kind; the Primalist can choose to heal more with a primary focus of Life or buff and DPS with a focus of Law. Primalists also wear light armor.

Select the mix we'll use and pour it in:%Poll-82328%
I takes a while for a foundation to solidify, so we'll check back Saturday, May 4th, at 11:59 p.m. EDT to see how we'll proceed. You have until then to make your contributions to this project because after that I start building our adventure! And keep an eye out on The Stream Team each week for the times and dates I'll be broadcasting Choose My Adventure live on Massively TV. See you in Agon!

Strap yourself in for the ride of (six weeks of) your life! Where are you going? Well, that's entirely up to you, the Massively readers, to decide -- the where, the what, and the how are all directed by you. The who is MJ Guthrie! For the duration of Choose My Adventure, her virtual life is in your hands! Join MJ in-game, on-site, and live on Massively TV to be a part of the adventure and watch the story unfold.

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