Darkfall: Developer Journals
Darkfall Developer Journal #4: Odds & Ends

Dana Massey | 22 Mar 2007 19:01
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Tasos Flambouras, the Associate Producer of Darkfall, penned his latest journal that hits some odds and ends that have cropped up in the recently for Darkfall Online. This marks a new day and return to the bi-weekly publish schedule for Darkfall journals.



Darkfall Journal #4: Odds & Ends
Article by Tasos Flambouras (Ass. Producer, Darkfall)

It has been a month since the last journal, with GDC and all that. Darkfall didn't go to the GDC this year, due to brutal development schedules and deadlines. There were a few business meetings however which took place there on its behalf.

There were a few things that we wanted to talk about, so I'll just cram them all into this journal.

A journalist from Japan asked us what "next generation MMORPG" means. That's actually a really good question.

There's an answer in our FAQ:

    What do you mean by next generation?

    By "Next Generation" we mean that while Darkfall was inspired by the pioneers of online role-playing games, such as Ultima Online, Everquest and Asheron's Call, it has advanced features and technology never before seen in online games. We are confident that Darkfall will help to advance the genre further.

It does go a lot deeper than that. Everyone claims to be making or to have made a "next generation MMORPG", but what does it really mean?

The players seem to want it all: graphics, gameplay, a high level of interaction, freedom to shape the world, player created content, as well as some off-the-wall features (by today's standards). The reason we decided to make Darkfall is because we want it all too, or to get as close to it as possible. I would like to know what "next generation MMORPG" means to you. If you want to contribute to the answer we're going to give for the Japanese interview, you can start a discussion thread which we'll use for reference.

On another topic, I was following a thread on our forum on declaring war in Darkfall. There was quite a bit of debate so I'll give you the overview on how it works:

Clan leaders of sufficient rank can declare war on another clan. When they do, both sides are at war. You can go into the fetal position and refuse to accept that someone has declared war on you, but the other guys will crush you where you lay. You're notified of the change of status and so are your allies, but your consent to the declaration is irrelevant.

If one party wants war, both are in it. The "Weary" diplomatic status has to come first and this serves as warning. There's a very short time restriction between "At War" and "Weary" so it's not much of a warning. There is no cost to declare war, but you can only do it once per day. It lasts indefinitely until you negotiate a peace treaty. Now there was some debate in the thread on anarchy, having a free-for-all, declaring war being an excuse to pk, that it could be used to exploit alignment etc. These points might be valid under the rigid gameplay systems most MMOs use. In Darkfall players will tend to take matters into their own hands, and will never be helpless to react. Let's use the example of the clan which eventually manages to declare war on everyone on their server: This means that the whole server is against them. If they own a city, it will be hard for them to hold on to it, and they certainly wouldn't be able to lay siege on anyone else's with the entire server waiting for their holdings to go vulnerable. Being in multiple wars could be fun for a while but there's a point where the clan will be overwhelmed.

Our conquest and city building has been fully implemented, and we were talking earlier with Kjetil and Claus about some of the RTS-like elements of Darkfall, the types of buildings you can build and what they mean in terms of different types of bonuses for the clan. We'll talk about these in another feature, and there's a lot to be said, but I'll give you an idea using the example of defensive bonuses: clan members might receives extra bonuses to defend while in the vicinity of their city such as extra hit points, attack speed bonuses, damage reduction, etc. which can be customized to suit the clan's play style.

One last thing: we had said that farms and farming were out, but we've managed to get them in the game. We'll talk about them in the near future.

Thanks for reading,

Tasos Flambouras



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