Darkfall Online E3 Interview

imageHave you sat there in a PvP area in your favorite game and felt like something is missing? Maybe the dumbed down version of PvP that is currently the norm in the industry leaves you wanting something more? There is hope, Darkfall is an ambitious project being headed up by Aventurine, and will feature the most robust PvP system I have seen in years. Having been part of the pre-patch 16 era of Ultima Online I am reminded of the incredible feelings that PvP once gave me when I think about Darkfall. While at E3 myself, Sabrehawk, and Gatzby had the chance to talk with Tasos Flambouras (VP) and Kjetil Helland (Lead Programmer) of Aventurine about Darkfall and we found a gamers dream that these men are bringing to life.

Warcry- To dive right in the screenshots look great and the videos are awesome, is this graphics engine something you have designed from the ground up?

Darkfall Team- Everything is made by us in house.

Warcry- With a world as large as Darkfall did you randomly generate any of the terrain?

Darkfall Team- Everything is handcrafted; every single area of land was built by our world designers. We felt this necessary because you can go anywhere in our world. If you can see the top of a mountain or the bottom of a valley you can go there. You may need a climbing skill, or explosion to get there but you can get there. Everything is physics based in our game so every environmental action has a reaction. You have complete freedom and this is very important to us.

Warcry- I know there is a lot of talk in the MMORPG industry about in-game weather systems, will Darkfall have Weather?

Darkfall Team- Yes as a mater of fact we have an in game weather report for the players. Weather will be very important for planning attacks. Visibility, wind direction, and the use of cover will be some of the tools of great battles. Ships will have to use the wind, you can not sail into the wind much less a heavy storm.

Warcry- Can you destroy player towns and houses?

Darkfall Team- Yes, but its not going to be 3 months to build and 4 hours to take down. Although an attacker could destroy a town the question would be why. Towns are great resources, and would most likely be captured not ruined. This also creates a dynamic for revenge. The invading force would gain the resources of the town and any crafting facilities that are there so it is more valuable left standing. Also remember it is an easier task to defend than it is to attack, so sieges will not be a quick mater. An invasion may take several smaller battles before that war is decided.

Warcry- Will Darkfall employ line of sight targeting?

Darkfall Team- Yes there is no Tab Targeting, you must have what ever you are attacking in your sights. Unlike other games you will not just watch the combat you will be part of it. In Darkfall there are two types of skill; Player skill and character skill. Player skill is the skill of the person behind the keyboard, and character skill is what you in game character has learned.

Warcry- How essential is it for a Clan to have a town, can your clan/guild be nomadic?

Darkfall Team- You do not have to have a town/fortress/city under your control. In this case relationships with other clans will become important so that you can have a place to trade and to craft. The racial cities will also become more valuable so making sure your alignment does not fall will also be very important. This will be a hard life at times but will also be fun and challenging.

Warcry- Will you have ships?

Darkfall Team- Yes and this is something Tasos is very excited about. You will buy a ship, put it to sea, and it will have a base amount of guns. You will not control the whole ship, you will need one guy to act as the tiller man, one man for each gun, and men to guard the deck incase you are attacked and boarded.

Warcry- The obvious question now would be can you be a Pirate clan?

Darkfall Team- Oh yes some of the largest ships can hold an entire clan, and would have many guns.

Warcry- Can you board and take other ships?

Darkfall Team- Yes you can jump onto the other ship, or climb the rigging out onto their ship and kill the crew. Once you have taken the tiller man out you can control the ship and after the gun men are down you have those to work with also. We are trying to give the players the ability to do what ever they want and have fun.

Warcry- Will there be any skills involved in sailing?

Darkfall Team- Yes there will be a sailing skill that will determine how well you can control the ship. So navel guilds will seek out these captains to make them stronger at sea.

Warcry- It’s easy to see why you are excited about this, what other areas should players look at as far as ships are concerned?

Darkfall Team- Trade routes, blockades, and Navel combat are just the start. Darkfall will offer the player a total freedom they have not found anywhere else.

Warcry- How important will food and drink be in the game?

Darkfall Team- You will not starve to death, but food will give you bonuses in combat if you have eaten. Also it will assist your regeneration rate.

Warcry- In the social end of the game, there are role-playing PvPers out there. Will there be trophies and decorations for in your home?

Darkfall Team- Yes and as much of it as we can make interactive will be.

Warcry- How many servers will you have?

Darkfall Team- We will launch with one and if it goes well we will launch more.

Warcry- What about customer service, will it be handled internally?

Darkfall Team- Yes we will have our own GMing staff to keep a tighter control on our worlds. We will have a volunteer program but we are not yet sure how it will work. We currently have a strong community and we would like to give them the chance to help.

Warcry- Will you have quests?

Darkfall Team- Yes we will have both group quests and solo quests. Some of the most important quest will help a player correct his or her alignment with their own race.

Warcry- How detailed is your crafting system?

Darkfall Team- Very detailed, every item in game will be craftable by the players. The best items will be player made; these items will last longer and have better stats.

Warcry- It sounds like there will be item decay can you confirm this?

Darkfall Team- Yes and the damage to weapons and armor will show visibly in the game so you can look at someone and see how badly damaged their gear is. Crafters will also be needed to upgrade and repair items, the crafters will need supplies to do this and thus the warriors will need to get these supplies. This will create supply lines in large battles and thus a whole new tactical situation for the players on both sides to think about. We want battles that are epic, and we want everyone to have a place in this.

Warcry- Will players also show wounds from battle?

Darkfall Team- Yes cuts and blood will show on your body the more damage you receive. This way you can see who is wounded at a glance as there will be no names and stat bars above players heads.

Warcry- What about collision?

Darkfall Team- You collide against everything in our world, this makes battles far more exciting. Defenders will be able to stand in a wall formation to stop people from entering their keep. Calvary on the charge will knock defenders over, and it is even possible to knock your opponent back. Fast moving Calvary can attempt to jump over defensive lines, but this will require a good mount. Explosions from spell casters will knock everyone back in the area of after so they will need to be careful.

Warcry- So are you saying there will be friendly fire?

Darkfall Team- Yes so mages will need to know just what the area of effect for their spells will be. This swings both ways though because if someone on the other side casts an area of effect heal you can just run in and get healed also.

Warcry- What if you kill someone of your own race?

Darkfall Team- There will be an option that your friend can use to forgive you so you do not take an alignment hit.

Warcry- Will there be room for the long hero/villain?

Darkfall Team- Yes, these people will be very important and you will be well known if your name is near the top of the PvP ranking lists. These players can be hired to do jobs that might not be suited for big armies. Say you have an alliance with another clan and you need someone in that other clan punished, well you could hire an outsider to get this done. Like we say players can do what ever they want.

Warcry- How will you control player housing across the land mass?

Darkfall Team- We will have specific areas that players will be able to build on and set up towns. This way it will be easier to organize the social structure in the game. Players will be able to pick their own structures so the only thing forced is where to build not what to build.

Warcry- Will there be mounts and mounted combat?

Darkfall Team- Yes mounts play an important role in combat as they have through history. We have 6 races and five of them have racial mounts. The 6th known as the Mahirim are a wolf like race and can get down on all fours and move as fast as a mounted character.

Warcry- How is death handled in Darkfall?

Darkfall Team- When you hit 0 heath you fall to the ground, you are not dead but can not move or release. You can be revived at this stage by a healer or the enemy can finish you off. Guilds that are smart will have ganking groups that come in after the main battle force to finish off the wounded. The ganker group can push the healers out of the way finish off the enemy and then take out the healer. These groups will also loot much needed supplies from the battle field.

Warcry- So players can loot other players?

Darkfall Team- Yes, upon finishing off a foe you can claim the spoils of war.

Warcry- It really sounds like you love your game.

Darkfall Team- Yes we are players and we are making the game we want to play. We have played almost everything out there and have been left wanting more. We can not compromise; we must stay true to our vision of this game. There is so much left out of PvP games to get more players, but the players that want the more serious PvP game have been left out in the cold.

Warcry- The movement style is WASD and mouse?

Darkfall Team- Yes but all the controls are configurable.

Warcry- What about dueling.

Darkfall Team- Yes, this way clans can train for combat.

Warcry- What races can help each other?

Darkfall Team- Dwarves are neutral, Mirdain (elves) are friendly to the humans, the Alfar (Dark Elves) which are hated by everyone, and the Mahirim (Wolf men) that are friendly to the Orks. Lastly Orks and Humans are enemies. Choosing the Alfar is choosing the hardest path in the game as they will be hated by everyone.

Warcry- Are there any language barriers in the game?

Darkfall Team- No we wanted the sides to be able to talk to each other. Exchanging trash tlak across the lines of battle is part of war in Darkfall.

Warcry- Is the chat system currently chat box style or speech bubbles?

Darkfall Team- Chat box as we did not want to cover the screen up with chat. This is the same reason that we do not have floating names above characters heads.

Warcry- Will there be conning in the game to tell how powerful something is?

Darkfall Team- Not exactly, but you can tell this by what type and the amount of equipment he is carrying.

Warcry- Is there any restriction on the use of items, the way some games use level restrictions on weapons and armor?

Darkfall Team- No we do not have levels, you could dress some noob up in your best armor to draw the enemy to him.

Warcry- How much character customization is there?

Darkfall Team- We have allot of options at character creation, and you can also go to a customizer in game to change things after you have made the character.

Warcry- What about guild logo’s on in game items?

Darkfall Team- When you create your guild or clan you will create a symbol. This symbol you can put on your banners, town and city flags, and on your ships.

Warcry- Will players be able to play multipul races on the same account?

Darkfall Team- We have set it up so that it is one race per server.

Warcry- Many games have loot tables that make little sense. An example of this would be killing a deer and finding a sword?

Darkfall Team- We will not have this, our loot system is logic based on what the Mob would normally have. A deer for example would have hide and maybe meat. Also if it is a creature that could use a weapon, and it has one on it, you will see it pull the weapon and use it. If you see any creature or NPC carrying an item, that item will be on them at death.

Warcry- How many article of clothing will be in Darkfall?

Darkfall Team- This is a hard one because we have so many slots to be covered. I asked my art director to give me a render of the icons for all the clothing in the game. So I get this full screen image with smaller images on it so small I can not see. My art director tells me I need to zoom, so I zoomed in several times before I could see each image if this gives you any idea of how many we are talking about.

Warcry- Will there be paralyzing attacks?

Darkfall Team- Yes but these will be on a timer and will be balanced for the sake of fun PvP.

Warcry- Gentlemen thank you for your time, I think I can speak for all of us at Warcry the we eagerly await your game and look forward to hearing more about it in the months to come.

Darkfall Team- Thank you also, and we hope to see you in Darkfall.

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