Darkfall: Developer JournalsDarkfall Dev Journal #24: Full Freedom Gameplay and SubstanceDarkfall: Developer Journals - RSS 2.0
We're back! In a brand new developer journal, Darkfall Associate Producer Tasos Flambouras writes about "Full Freedom Gameplay and Substance". This is a lengthy one boys and girls, so buckle in.
"On Full Freedom Gameplay and Substance"
Article by Tasos Flambouras (Associate Producer, Darkfall)
We've been under the radar for a while now working hard on testing the beta among other things. In the meanwhile we unveiled many new screenshots in the official site's screenshot gallery and as part of the racial descriptions, as well as here on Warcry, for those that missed them. These screenshots show upgrades in our graphics yet again.
The typical reaction to the screenshots has been for people to wonder what kind of beast they're going to need to play the game. It's not like that at all. Everything in Darkfall has been optimized for speed since it has been made for massive warfare. To give you an idea, you could get good gameplay displaying graphics like our latest screenshots using an average - above average system and a Geforce 6600 graphics card. The graphics are very scalable, with the difference that you won't look at the screenshot graphics, and your own scaled-down graphics will look like crap in comparison. I see official screenshots from other games that look amazing, then I see some in-game screens and they're an insult. We don't have a 'screenshot setting only' to sell you the game - all of Darkfall's graphics settings are fully useable. Furthermore, the Darkfall engine can be set to auto-scale real-time to maintain your desired framerate. Our number one priority is gameplay, and this is why the graphics have just recently started coming along in a big way. Having said that, the screenshots and videos still do not do the live game justice...your game screen will look far better than anything we've shown you so far.
I've been reading the official forums and I'll offer some information here on some of the things the community has been asking about:
The size of the world: From the ones we know about, It's at least more than twice the land area size of the largest announced or released MMO out there. This world is also seamless and zoneless. You won't see people popping up everywhere, or camping your zone drop. We feel that this is crucial for a PvP game. To run from one end to another at regular running speed could take more than 8 hours. This is just an estimate: It could take less or more time depending on your route. It's not the exact size of the world which is that important though, it's what's in it. We could conceivably make an endless barren world but what's the point of that? In Darkfall our world is full of content, we keep adding more every day and it's all usable: Movement is not restricted, you don't have to stick to road travel, there are no invisible walls, no impassable mountains. Furthermore, you can go to places we didn't necessarily mean for you to go to by running, swimming, diving, climbing, using ladders, elevators, get blasted up, boosted up...any way you can get there, we've placed no restrictions. The scale of the Darkfall world is closer to realism than any other MMO we've seen. In Darkfall snowcaps are earned. This effectively multiplies the size of the world in a much bigger way than in most scaled down MMO worlds.
The crafting system in Darkfall has been designed to be useful first and foremost. It's not very complicated and we haven't tried to reinvent the wheel with it. You can craft any and all items in the game. In Darkfall having good gear is one of the elements needed for maximizing your combat potential. Each item you craft bears your name on it for the life of the item and that has a value in itself. The question I'm replying to is variations of "why is the crafting system sophisticated, intuitive, and fun?" I'm not going to describe it more than we have already, but I'll say again that the value of crafting in Darkfall is that it's so very important in the game, more so than in any other MMO. Enchanting items is more challenging in that you have to discover the recipes, research, there's a process which is challenging and fun for those who enjoy that kind of thing.