Thursday, August 19, 2010

Darkfall: Day 3

I started out the night with some travel. Well, okay... a lot of travel. A quest had me running through the wilderness to what looked like a nearby village - well, it wasn't nearby. I noted that there were no monsters to be found on my trip. Kind of odd... I at least expected some kind of animal out there.

I also noted that I saw my first fellow player(s) during this trip. There was one in town recovering from death, and another chasing down a fox right outside of town.

Detour: It's unfortunate, but lack of players in a starting area is... well, it's crippling. Personally, I steadily lose motivation to play a game when there is nobody to be found. It's lonely, and it feels like there's no point. Yes, players may be waiting in later tiers of content, but if I never get there because the game feels like a ghost town, why does it matter?

I can truthfully say that in one day of playing Everquest's new tutorial area, that I saw many more players there. Granted, it seems that everyone starts there, and in Darkfall this is only one starting area of many... but two people in three days of play? It's disheartening.

Back on track. I navigated around some treacherous ravines and got to the town, where I was promptly told by the new NPC that I had to deliver something back. Oh, there and back quests, how timeless you are! No, not really. Not when the run is bereft of anything interesting and takes for-ev-er. If there was a chance for some combat or loot along the way back, maybe. But not like this.

In lieu of re-delivery, I stepped out of town in the other direction, straight into a family of monsters! This was very refreshing because I didn't have to wander for fifteen minutes to find them But, my joy was short lived. A barrage of invisible ranged attacks struck me over and over, and literally drove me back. I find it interesting that ranged attacks slow your advance - cool even - but the way that it's implemented in Darkfall makes it feel more like an engine glitch than a mechanic.

I killed several of them and then found my end at the hands of an indistinguishably more powerful member of their group. The name was different - which you'd only know if you placed your cross hairs over it since there are no floating names - but there was no physical difference. Just another naked, odd looking fleshy creature which I assume was a rat man.

This rat man is precisely what I mentioned on day one. It's unimaginative, bland, and generic. It has no personality and no style. For lack of a better phrase, it's built like a board. A fleshy, rubbery looking board that I took no interesting in killing save for the fact that they were right outside of town.

And, on the subject of killing things, there seems to be a strange engine bug. When I slay something, the body doesn't stop moving. The monster falls down or over or whatever it may do, but it keeps moving, frozen in its death pose, across the ground until the corpse vanishes and a glowing gravestone appears at where it actually died. Why the gravestone? I'm simply curious. It seems a bit odd to make a corpse disappear rapidly and be replaced by a stone which holds the loot.

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