So onto the coolness:

– Unique Items – Powergamers go woot. What can be cooler than having the only “Meleks Flaming Purple Twohanded Sword of Doom” on the Server? Ok, so maybe not purple, but you get the point. Theres a certain degree of satisfaction to be achieved when you hack someone down with your unique weapon in a big battle and everyone gets to see it.

– Territorial Control of Resources – The fact that each Kingdom will have specific resources, and that not every Kingdom will have the resources it needs to build weapons of war has put some real value on controlling real-estate. Sure there is territorial control in previous games, but this is the first to make it an integral part of a guild or clans success in warfare. By controlling specific types of resources, and not having control of others, it FORCES guilds to either seek out and conquer territory or be forced to trade for war supplies.

– No Levelling Treadmill – While some people actually enjoy mindlessly whacking down the same mob you have already killed 24,000 times in the last few days, most PVP minded gamers do not. Shadowbane was on the right track by making it possible to develop a character to combat readiness within a few days. In Darkfall, by removing the levelling treadmill and making the entire advancement system skill based, the downtime usually spent getting your character prepared for combat is lowered significantly.

– Skill Based System – 500 Skills holy crap! Assuming a good job of balancing is done with regard to skills, this should make for a huge number of possible combinations which can be used to take down your enemies, and provide a huge number of combinations to counter as well. For the tactical gamer, this is a great situation.

– No limit to the number of skills you can learn – While being a GM in 34 skills is unlikely, the ability to be GM at a bunch of them is there.

– Customizeable Guild Banners – Lest face it, rapid identification of the enemy, rapid communications, and coordination are the keys to winning in group pvp. Darkfall will allow guilds to design and use their own guild crests which will show up on shields, cloaks, etc.

– Each world may host as many as 20,000 players – This is perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of Darkfall, and is a topic which will receive an article all its own in the future. For now, the summary is that Darkfall will take advantage of some of the most cutting advances in server and operating systems technology and provide a truly “next generation MMOG” environment. Historically speaking, MMOG’s servers would host anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand players, and have many “worlds” to accomidate a large player-base. By utilizing server clusters of as many as 50 servers load-balancing one game “world”, Darkfall will allow a vast number of gamers to participate in the same gaming world.

Thats it for the first part of this article, please visit us again for the next part.

-Malevolent

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