Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why I don't play Darkfall

At first glance Darkfall looks like a MMO I'd be playing.

But there's one thing in Darkfall that so much doesn't appeal to me that it effectively prevents me from playing. The FPS aspect.

And that is not because I don't like First Person Shooters. I played Halflife classic deathmatch for months on end - sometimes to the point of mental exhaustion. I remember players moaning in the chat: "shit, it's Lordfire" (my childish) name, when I entered the server. I really liked that. That period in my life ended with WoW.

What doesn't work for me with Darkfall is that the FPS is integrated in a fantasy RPG. While I love classic FPS and while I love classic fantasy RPGs, I don't think they work together at all; at least not for me.
In a fantasy MMO I want to play a character, in a FPS I want to kill stuff. As similar as this may be on the surface, both are completely different mindsets. The FPS is about adrenaline and killing. The fantasy RPG is about watching my character grow. It is about investing in that character more than the "instant fun" a FPS is about.

I'm pretty sure this distinction I make comes from growing up with fantasy RPGs like "The Black Eye" (Das Schwarze Auge), "Amberstar", "Planescape: Torment" or "Ravenloft". These were slow tactical fantasy RPGs. And I just don't feel like they mix well with a FPS. It's like Sid6.7 wrote at Syncaine's:

"they think of it as an MMO first. It’s better to think of it as an FPS that evolved into an MMO. That’s closer to the truth of it."

TL;DR: Imagining Doom players jumping around in a fantasy RPG, to me, feels like eating a piece of chocolate hidden inside a Pepper Steak.


  1. That's how it works for me, too. Characters are to the player as an actor is to the character he plays, or even as the actor is to the director.

  2. Completely agree and I also have the same mindset on MMORPGs. It simple doesn't fit well to my taste. Although, the game you mention has another thing that would prevent me for playing it. ffa pvp. I avoid those games, except if they have something really new for me. For example I play Age of Wushu because it has a progression system like EVE, with the difference that I am not a "ship" but a character in a fantasy world :)

  3. I find this very misled. I respect your decision that the game isn't for you, but you're ignoring that Darkfall lets you play as more of a character than most other MMORPGs available. It has more in depth character progression and the sandbox opens up the definitions of play. I feel more like a character in DF than I ever felt like in WoW -- and I played that game for years.

    Ultimately both types of game offer very different experiences, but to say that Darkfall is like a bunch of Doom players jumping around in an MMO is taking Sid67's point to its furthest extreme. That is simply not the case. Players are characters in as much as they are in any MMO. Some of them just choose to make killing other players a part of their character's darker motivations. Which, in fact, enables more options for roleplay than in games that don't allow it.

  4. Imagining Doom players jumping around in a fantasy RPG,

    You mean, like Meridian 59? :P

    1. I'm too young / had internet too late to have played Meridian 59 ;)