Darkfall Unholy Wars: Where is it now?
The great news is that the game seems to be getting itself into a very good place. Indeed, such a good place that quite a few Luxies are already re-subscribed or are considering doing so. Heck, I’ve gone and got myself a 6 month sub – and I’m not the only Luxie who has done.
So, what has changed since Lux Arcana left the game in early October 2013?
In short, a LOT! And as a result this is a longish article – you have been warned!
So, in no particular order… :
Developer communication and content pushing
These last few months have seen a truly unprecedented change in how Aventurine is communicating with its playerbase. Firstly, there are almost weekly (sometimes daily) updates with info on what they’re doing and where they’re going with the game/certain parts of the game. Secondly (and for the first time ever) the developers themselves have been allowed to start responding directly on the forums – rather than just the community liaisons and Tasos. This has led to a real conversation between players and devs. Thirdly, they are patching, patching hard and keeping to their deadlines when they announce them! In the last ~3 months there have been 6 big patches, some of them truly major, and we know of another 2 big patches that are in the immediate pipeline, with the first of a series of major patches to the economy promised during next week and the massive change in the form of the new roles system “soon” after that.
The new weather system
Whilst not a game changer, the new weather system really helps add to the game’s immersion. Having myself now happily wandered around the world whilst watching the snow settle on trees, buildings and even on me and my mount, or watched the rain glistening over rocky surfaces as it runs down them, I can say that this has helped bring the already stunningly crafted gameworld to life.
The new duelling system
Gone (perhaps sadly ;) ) are the days of globalchat drama when people accused each other of welching on duelling deals. The new system allows duels between 2 players to take place within safezones, where their fights can be watched but not interfered with by others. The system also includes a built-in wager mechanic, so that you really can put your money where your mouth is.
The new village and levy collector systems
Designed by AV to help create more regular PvP hotspots, these two new systems increase the risk/reward payout for villages and region control. The villages and levy collectors are all clearly marked on the world map (whether or not you have uncovered the area) so that you can see at a glance which goes live next, and therefore where you’re likely to get a fight.
Aside from the ability of any clan to actually “capture” a village, the new village requisitioning system (see the first pic at the start of this article) replaces the old ‘stealing’ mechanic and sees players needing specially crafted gauntlets (ranked from selentine through to theyril) and ‘globules of greed’. The globules drop from certain mobs around the world, and the gauntlets also need mats dropped from specific mobs – thus helping to create greater risk whilst farming these mobs AND a trade in these mats, to boost the economy. The higher the rank of the gauntlet, the faster the village requisitioning process. And from the ingame reports, the loot can be a LOT – so much so that a whole group can become overburdened if they’re not careful. Perfect targets to be jumped by others…
The ‘levy collector’ runs on a similar basis. Collectors are based near player holdings all around the map, and they slowly fill up over time when there are players in the collectors’ area PvEing (there’s a ~5% chance of what goes into the player’s backpack when farming also appearing in the collector). Once full, the collector can then be emptied using a similar process as for village requisitioning, with the loot drops dependent on the area’s mob types.
Clan Area of Influence – regional control matters!
The ingame map is now split into zones, with the map showing which clan controls each zone. The more zones of the map you link up together by capturing holdings and villages (so connect your city to a village to your nearby hamlet, to the next village and so on), the more bonuses the clan will receive whilst its members are farming within the zone of control. Each zone’s bonus stacks with all other zones that it directly links to – as you can see when clicking on the above map, where TFK has a 40.5% bonus to prowess on mobs killed anywhere in its area of influence (the green linked areas on the map), 19% rare harvesting loot gains etc.
This change positively encourages regional conflict, especially as neighbouring clans fight to capture the villages linking their holdings. Coupled with the ongoing regionalisation of mob loot tables (drops from certain mobs in certain areas being now needed for village and levy collector requisitioning, as well as armour dyes), it looks like Aventurine is working hard to make cities and hamlets more worthwhile to own!
Even more changes!
The above are some of the biggest changes since October, but here are links to more:
Updated UI/chat system and searchable map – simpler, cleaner, re-sizeable, relocatable and easier to use.
Armour dyes – fluffy colour customisation.
Lootable player masks from mobs – more fluff!
Mentoring system – help the newbies and gain prowess yourself!
Clan city and hamlet internal markets (clan/alliance auction houses inside clan holdings).
The Sinspire Cathedral Dungeon – the most epic dungeon ingame yet – once you enter you cannot leave without completing the dungeon – or dying… :
Coming back to Darkfall?
As to whether Lux Arcana itself will be going back to Darkfall? We might well be! We’ll see how much interest there is from our members after the big Role System patch comes in – AV have hinted that this will probably be in the next month or so.
If you’re thinking of trying the game again in the meantime (and I really would recommend you start warming up on your PvP skills again!), a few of us will be playing in the clan “Frisky Business” after the first of the economy patches, due out next week – we’ll even get a few events going each week. So, if you’re a current or former Lux Arcana member and you’d like an invite ingame, then make a post in this thread.
And just in case you need it: How to restore your Darkfall Unholy Wars character.
Maybe see you ingame!