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Someone finally killed me

Well, I knew it would eventually happen and a few days ago it actually did. Somebody ganked me in Darkfall. To sum up the day to that one event wouldn’t be fair though, since it was more exciting than most others I’ve had there since I resubbed.

I started out in the Human city of Sandbrook. When you first get in the game, you go on a series of quests that introduce you to combat and show you how to craft. Unlike the last character I played with, a Dwarf named Cryptic, none of these quests seemed to lead me away from the nearby goblin camps. Now, these goblins aren’t pushovers compared to mobs in most other games. Actually, the shamans tend to kick my ass. Still, after being sent back to them three and four times, I was ready to move on.

That’s what Darkfall’s about, right? Exploration. Adventure. Opening my map, I found a spot that looked somewhat like a circle of stone about 10 minutes North of my location and decided to head out and see what I could find.

The journey itself was exciting. My gear was crap, mostly leather pulled from the goblins, but it was my crap, so I found myself constantly scanning the horizon and looking behind me for someone looking for an easy kill. Along the way, I found another starter city. There were no quests there for me, so I didn’t stay long.

When I left, however, I noticed a naked man wearing a two-handed sword stalking me. The kicker was that he wasn’t even trying to be covert about it. It reminded me a lot of how a little kid will say exactly what you say and then yell “Stop copying me!” when you call them out on it. Whatever, I thought, he’ll lose interest, and went on my way.

Coming to a camp of goblins nearby, I decided to kill a few and see if they dropped the same thing as the ones where I’d started out. Sure enough, they did, except, I didn’t have the chance to get any of it because the guy following me was ninja looting everything from their corpses, quickly gearing himself out in some basic gear.

I’m a tolerant guy, but after a few kills I started to get annoyed and called him out. No response. Soon enough, though, he got his confidence up and took on a goblin of his own with a bow and arrow he’d stolen from me. Still a little irked, I stepped out in front of him and let him hit me. He immediately went gray and I nailed him with my own two-handed sword.

Now, in DFO, when you go gray the first time (meaning, people can kill you without an alignment hit), it only lasts about 10 seconds. The guy ran away but to my surprise, he turned around again almost as soon as I couldn’t attack him anymore and started attacking me! Here we are, two noobs, surrounded by goblins firing arrows at us, frantically trying to land a hit while we drain our stamina swinging at thin air.

He didn’t last, however. One of the cardinal rules in Darkfall is not to try to wait it out. In WoW, if you hang out for an extra hit or two, you just might win. Here, you’re probably going to die. He turned to run with about 5% of his health left but it was too little too late. All the gear he’d taken was back in my inventory.

Another surprise occurred as I went to leave, however. In the bushes, off to the side of the goblin camp, was a gravestone lined in blue, meaning a player had died there. Going over to check it out, I found it full with chainmail and more advanced gear! Stoked, I pulled it all out, loaded up my inventory and switched out my leather. This was turning into a pretty profitable run.

Along the way, flush with the excitement of my previous battle, I kept and ear out for battle. I heard several but wasn’t able to actually find anyone, so I continued on my way.

When I finally got there, I discovered that the stony looking circle on my map was actually a bigger NPC city. What really got my attention though was the sounds of fighting coming from within. NPC cities have guard towers to stop PK’ers, so battle could only mean someone had started a fight they were destined to lose. And, when someone dies around a guard tower, their corpse is pretty much up for grabs since their killer can’t retaliate against looters without getting hit by the tower themselves.

Or so I thought.

The first thing I noticed when I found them was that one guys was in a lot better armor than the other. And his name was orange, instead of read or blue. I still don’t know what that means. I got there right as the lesser geared player died and, feeling like it was my lucky day, I rushed up to snag some of the spoils.

I almost got away too.

As I turned to leave, I heard the “splat” noise meaning I’d been attacked. My screen flashed read another two times before I went down, losing everything I’d gained.

At first, I was frustrated. Then I realized, not only did I have extra gear in the bank, but I’d gotten everything good I had by taking it from someone else. And now it was taken from me. On top of that, my heart was pumping.

This is the cycle of life in Darkfall and it really shows just how much less loot matters than in most other MMOs. It’s easy come, easy go, and with a few dead goblins, you can get everything you need to at least cover up your loincloth. But, isn’t it something that when the prospect of losing that gear comes up, it gets your adrenaline thudding through your veins like no other MMO.

Some call it hardcore, and maybe it is, but this type of play has more in common with real adventure than most theme park MMOs can come close to offering. And that’s worth something.

My only question would be why the guard tower didn’t hit that guy. Before he died, I turned around and was able to see that he was fine. Did I go rogue from looting his corpse? If so, I didn’t get a notice. I wasn’t still rogue from before. Alignment quirk? Bug? It just goes to show I have a lot left to learn in this game.

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