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Topic: Thoughts about the next steps of development (Read 387 times) previous topic - next topic

Thoughts about the next steps of development
I would like to share my thoughts about the next steps of development of this game, if it continues one way or another

I think that the New Dawn has solid bases and that the work that has been done until now was positive (if not fast). However this game was never really finished and is lacking in various important aspects that I would like to discuss. Fortunately, I think that there are manageable solutions for a small company to improve on all these aspects in the medium term.

I think that we can separate the population of this game in three categories: newbies, casuals and vets. These parts of the population of the game have all different fundamental needs and I think that if we want the game to be successful, all these needs must be addressed because all these categories of the population are fundamental for the game.

So what is necessary to tackle for every part of the game population:

Newbies:

Two aspects are discussed very often as newbie deterrent: graphics and NPE. Both are significant factors to retain new players (and I will briefly speak of it after), but in the case of Darkfall I don't think that they are the main factors for newbie retention. I think that a majority of the curious people coming to a game like Darkfall already know that the graphics are not modern (they could even be positively surprised in that aspect) and are willing to make the effort to get accustomed with the basic game mechanics even if they are not very accessible.

I think that the quality of the experience of Darkfall new players is mainly influenced by one aspect of the game: immersion. Why? Immersion is one of the more readily visible strength of Darkfall: through the combat system, the world size, the deteriorating gear , the full loot stress, the necessity to have a base of operation,...  In contrast with other mmo, Darkfall has an obvious immersion potential that seduces a lot of people.  And Immersion is one of the qualities that is more often mentioned to define why make a player click with a mmorpg. The possibility to live within a virtual world.

But the problem is that immersion is at the same time one of the biggest strength and of the biggest flaw of Darkfall. Besides the great immersion quality I mentioned, a new player will quickly get a feeling of emptiness: the cities , the country side, the points of interests. The whole world is completely silent. The racial realms are mainly populated by monsters that can seem to be located randomly. At some point Darkfall immersive magic brutally stops and give place to an odd feeling of unfinished work. The game is paradoxal: it delivers at the same time a lot and almost nothing in terms of immersion. I think this is one of the main factor that make newbies lose interest at some point. They get frustrated.

Solutions are not the simpler ones but I think they are mandatory if one wants to broaden the player base.

-   Add npcs in some points of interest (castles, campsites, houses, lighthouses). They could sell basic things, or specialized things (astrolabe), or deliver the bindstones quest, or just give access to some lore. It seems trivial but psychologically the impact is huge.
-   Create racial npc's spawns (humans, orcs, alfar,...) that will stay neutral to the blue player of their alliance and flee or attack other players. The spawns could be in the cities (npc and player), villages, hamlet, in fields in the country sides, in the forest, ... It would create the feeling of living realms and nations. These spawns could be the base of a faction system and could be used to improve other gameplay aspects. (I will speak of it later)
-   At some point the mobs spawns will have to be overhauled because of the resources regionalization and the crafting overhaul. In the process it would be worth focus a bit on the mobs spawn staging: fill more logically the campsites  and lairs, create organically territories for monster population, better the contrasts and variety of mobs on the map. Make the spawns geography more believable and make it tell stories.
-   More expensive development-wise: make environmental sounds, even if limited. I suppose every player stops to notice it after some time but the absence of world sounds hurt a lot the playing experience in the beginning. We should not under-estimate the unconscious impact it can have on newbie player relation to the game. How it contributes to turn the world empty and lifeless.

What I proposed may seem basic but I just mean to emphasize how fundamental I think it is for the new player experience.

Better NPE is necessary obviously, but I do not think it is a priority in comparison to immersion improvement features.

As far as graphics are concerned, it has some impact on newbie retention but it is not manageable to improve it significantly in the medium term. However, I think that some cheap solutions could contribute greatly to the general graphic experience: water shader and color, sky colors rework, cloud speed variation, day/night transition. If manageable, better some of the spells effects anims and fluorescent colors.  They does look antiquated, especially in the vids.

Casuals:

Casuals constitute the main population of the game, being pvp, pve, craft or rp oriented. Without this diverse casual population vets activities (pvp or other) and game economy is not sustainable.

Some significant work has been and is being done to better the casual experience: champion system and bindstones quests. It is great and necessary. As a side note, I think that bindstones are not meaningful anymore and should disappear to the benefits of npc's in the cities, campsites, castles and whatever make sense, as I said in the previous point.

These two improvements are linked to meditation and with reason: casual will spend a lot of time and energy improving their character. The meditation system is very important but has a problem: it is too direct and simple. It removes opportunity of fun from the progression system.

Progression should demand more diverse activities, not only monster grind and meditation point accumulation. Traveling and exploring for example. Don't make the spells automatically available. They should be trained with specific npc's. The more basic everywhere, the medium tier in big cities or magical schools and the top tier should be only available in unique places in the world. And paid a fair price. All the same, you could make meditation of specific skills available only with specific trainers. The more specialized the skill or high the skill level to attain, the more restricted the availability. We could have a monastery in some secluded mountain that is the only place available to train full mastery of polearms through meditation. So you have to travel there with the money to pay to the master. It could also be linked to factions and factions standing,... For a lot of player this is not tedious, it's fun opportunity.

A significant work is still to be done to improve the diversity of activities that is desirable for the casual population: craft overhaul and resource regionalization (for the merchants) are obvious examples. I think that some little tweaks could also be done to give real significance to some activities in game. I would like to give an example with the food.

Food buff is really valuable. Currently it is rather simple and uninteresting to provide the resources necessary to craft the food. And it is a wasted opportunity. Food resources should be more difficult to obtain because they are worth the effort. And because it is immersive also: food was a central question in medieval economy.

What could be done:

-remove meat from mobs loot drop (no more bear steak). Make meat only available by hunting the wilderness critters. Tweak the critter AI to make them more evasive and you will have player spending time hunting and enjoying it.
-Make the wheat only available through purchase at farmer npc's. Make the price vary according to how the racial war front is going. Or tie the price to the number of racial npc of your realm that were killed by racial enemies (if you have them in spawns for example). Make it so that the price can skyrocket if sufficient enemy pressure affects your lands.
- Make wheat and meat a basic resource for the food crafting. Make fish and vegetables a less effective substitute.

You have the bases for a food production system that will be a player activity and a strategic element in the racial warfare.

Vets:

Vets necessities are the more commented ones, and I have little to add. Hope racial warfronts are coming.

Just one reflection about a very old problem that I think was never really addressed: the player cities value. Player cities should be an imperious necessity to any ambitious clan. It is the essence of this game. And it's not the case at all. Even with resources inside the city walls (which is not very good design) they are not necessary, just a nice to have.

I see only one solution to that very serious problem: tie restrictively city control to what is the most valuable to clans, high level gear. How to do it: make high level gear only craftable on advanced version of craft stations. Make these advanced craft stations only buildable in player cities and some specific ones in hamlets. Make top tier gear only craftable on even more advanced crafting stations and make it available only in a very restricted number of player cities. Same logic as for war hulk forges and shipyards.  Clans should fight to control resources and appropriate crafting stations and the control of some cities would bring a real edge in war industry and commerce.

  • Niburu
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Thoughts about the next steps of development
Reply #1
is this really a big suggestion thread ?
Darkfall is the best experience on PC with my pants not unzipped.

Re: Thoughts about the next steps of development
Reply #2
Racial warfronts, buy/trade orders and something like a large cargo ship from EvE but moving on land. And we are back in business.
(bindstone quests are really not that important if buy/trade orders are done good)
  • Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 07:16:15 pm by wildNothing

Re: Thoughts about the next steps of development
Reply #3
You realize, that you dealing with developer whos last relevant communiation on these official forums was september 18? Not everything ends well, no matter how much we want.

Miraculous comeback of a thrice dead game?

EDIT: Use your logic, most likely cause of lack of news, is that there is nothing positive to say. I doubt anyone really believes its so hard to write few sentences regarding to whether the servers even remain up, whether there ever will be any developement, whether there will be any comeback from liquidation etc etc.
  • Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 10:20:20 pm by hecate355

Re: Thoughts about the next steps of development
Reply #4
Enjoyed writing these suggestions. Maybe it will be useful maybe not. We'll see. I can manage well my expectations. Thanks to care about my mental health.  :))

  • Niburu
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Thoughts about the next steps of development
Reply #5
Enjoyed writing these suggestions. Maybe it will be useful maybe not. We'll see. I can manage well my expectations. Thanks to care about my mental health.  :))

i liked it
Darkfall is the best experience on PC with my pants not unzipped.

Re: Thoughts about the next steps of development
Reply #6
We all remember what happened when df1.0 servers where closed, how bad we wanted it back.
Cant we just all try and enjoy the game for as long as it lasts now. surely it will not be for ever.

Re: Thoughts about the next steps of development
Reply #7
The next steps are easy:

The work they've done so far and assets will be sold. In a few days time from this post, it will go up for auction.

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Reply #8
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wipe new купить беларусь wipenew цена в Кричеве