In today’s developer journal, Associate Producer Tasos Flambouras takes us through three big issues he’s seen discussed in the community lately: the economy, prestige classes and much more.
Every other Friday, Flambouras presents a developer journal that updates the progress of Darkfall here on WarCry.
Article by Tasos Flambouras (Associate Producer)
Economic system of Darkfall: Now this is an interesting question actually because it goes a bit deeper than economy mechanics, which is what I believe the poster meant to ask about, but I’ll do both anyway.
As far as how the economy works, this is the basic overview:
Warfare is the driving force of the economy. Everything in the game revolves around wartime production. NPC Merchants sell the basic items. Everything else is crafted by the players as you already know. Crafters need ingredients to implement the formulas to create the items they want to. Monsters also drop items. As far as items go, there is wear and tear through use. There are universal banks, clan vaults with player controlled access levels, a secure trading system, and in-game trade boards. 1 Gold is the monetary unit.
Clans can own resources, such as mines and they will know who has been using them. This will allow them to moderate their use in any way they see fit. Crafters can sell their products in exchange for protection, for gold, for other items, for raw materials to craft more items with. Surplus can be hoarded, put up for sale, or sold to NPCs merchants. Apart from selling products, a service economy is also very possible. Entrepreneurs would have to take advantage of market trends in order to being successful.
Now the question asked was about an economic system which is a lot deeper and would have to do with what to make, how to make it and who gets what’s made. Overall, I guess a certain traditional economic system is at work within Darkfall.
Economic systems relate to society, so with people and institutions. If we take the clans for example, each of them could implement their own economic system. They can ask their members to contribute a certain amount to the clan vault, and then decide who gets what or what it’s used for, reward their members based on their efforts…something like a participatory economy etc. There are quite a few options that can be explored and the successful application of economy may make the difference in how successful a clan will be. Claus says that the game is a sandbox so you can try out a lot of things, even when it comes to the economy. Kjetil comes back with the mathematical balance of everything. These two working together well allow for endless possibilities. So asking about the economy actually has more implications than what we have decided the economy is going to work like. You have a lot of choice in how to work it.
Another question about the prestige classes again: Unfortunately it’s not looking good for launch. Priorities have taken over and we would rather do them right, than half-assed just to squeeze them in.
On item IDs, meaning what you’ll find out about an item you’ve got. You will get information about damage protections, weight, value, durability, critical hit capacity, who crafted it, who enchanted it, minimum skill to use, what enchantment is on it, a basic description and of course the name of the item.
On the topic of universal, European, and US servers: Our ideal situation is having universal servers. That’s where we start at. Then come various factors to consider, starting with the publishing end. We may or may not have the same publisher in N. America, and in Europe. Then there are gameplay factors to consider like time zones. Greece and California for example have a 10 hour difference. I don’t need to explain how frustrating 3am raids can be to anyone that’s ever played on a PvP server. Finally while ping isn’t an issue like it is in FPS games, and we’ve had people connecting to our UK servers from Japan without any problems, ping is still a consideration to keep in mind. So while the jury is still out on what to do, there are a couple of pretty compelling reasons to separate the servers to start. This doesn’t mean that we’ll ever give up on the notion of a universal server.
On character morphology and body types: It’s pretty easy to implement a fully customizable character editor where you can change every conceivable aspect of your character’s facial and body features. It’s fun doing that. Thing is, this is a fully optimized game for massive battles and we’ll go with faster loading and framerate every time. This is not to say that your characters will all look the same, far from it. We’ve talked about the endless variations available to make your character look unique but without sacrificing functionality.
On remapable keys: You can absolutely remap everything.
On Invisible hiding: There is no invisibility or stealth skill built into the game. You can be stealthy using actual player skill and using the right equipment and movement, and hide as to not be detected moving in.
On the related issue of having radar: The only radar is one that shows you your own party. No other radar exists in Darkfall. You can add your own map markers and customize your map, and some quest information will add map markers for you.
Finally on the question of whether or not you can play Darkfall casually, I’ll say that you can, more so than with most other MMOs. If you’re asking if you’ll rule the game with 2 hours a week, well, you probably won’t but you could carve out a niche for yourself. Everything needs a certain level of commitment at some point, and then a certain level of maintenance. I can go back to playing Counterstrike after a few years and probably take out players who have been playing every day for the past year. This is only because of my high initial commitment to the game. Thing is, if I meet the guys I used to play with that are still playing, they’d wipe the floor with me. That’s how you can think of Darkfall if you’re mostly a solo player. If you’re talking team tactics, then that’s a much more demanding discipline which would require a lot more practice to be successful.
On the question of conquest and destruction of structures, there are several stages of destruction. You can see some conquest tests in the screenshots where in one, the gate and walls are damaged.
I’d like to thank everyone for their feedback on the free business model which came up during the last update, and on behalf of the Darkfall team I’d like to wish everyone Happy Thanksgiving.
Thanks for reading