Wow. That’s all I can say after tonight’s run in Darkfall. Just, wow.
I logged in fairly late to run through a couple of starter quests with a good friend who just downloaded the trial today. After killing goblins for a few minutes, I suggested heading out towards a skeleton camp a little ways outside town. So, preparing to be ganked on the run, we loaded our few shabby pieces of cloth armor into the bank and began our journey.
To our surprise, the skeletons weren’t there! A little taken aback, we pressed on towards a camp of Greater Servants. Neither of us had any idea what they were. We met this zombie-like group of priests and warriors head on as a small group rushed toward us (these guys will see you from a long ways off). Thankfully, they weren’t that tough and we could take on a few before having to rest. To our surprise, they also dropped pieces of bone armor (very cool [see right] and decent gear – especially for newbies like us) and copious amounts of gold. We each grabbed our fill before deciding to press on with our adventure. Not far outside the camp, we came across the first of five Chaos Chest’s we’d find along the way, giving us several hundred gold and a couple of spell reagents. We also found a serpentine chest but didn’t have a key to open it.
Leaving the servants behind, we decided to seek out the nearest wilderness bank to store the spoils of our battle. At this point, we were high on the adrenaline of Darkfall’s high risk – high reward playstyle. It was late but we decided to risk it all and try for our very first dungeon, close to the Alfar starting lands. We knew it would surely mean death for both of us, but, immersed in the world, we were ready to take the risk for the fun of trying.
So, off we went. On the way, we dodged raptors, beetles, giants, trolls, and a stray moose. I also managed to nab myself a decent buck with my few remaining arrows. With those gone and our only remaining ranged attack coming from my friend’s low level magic missile, we were in a tough spot. Our nervousness only mounted as we entered into a scorched circle of land with the bones of an old dragon half buried in ash.
We made it into Alfar lands as night began to fall, narrowly escaping death at the hands of a very pissed off velociraptor. Not wanting the moonlight to shine from our blades, we sheathed or weapons and rushed from bush to bush trying to stay hidden. We did well and were nearing our dungeon when the attack came. Baron Mordegan from the Found Minions clan rushed at us from a wilderness bank we’d failed to notice. We tried to run and, in a last stitch effort, tried to fight, but it was useless. Within seconds, we were both on the ground waiting to bleed out or be killed.
“Wait,” I told him. “Can you let us live? We’re new.”
To my surprise, he made us a deal. If we would let him kill us a few times to earn some positive alignment, he would let us go. We didn’t have anything to lose, and a bit to gain if we made it to the dungeon, so we agreed. He asked to kill us nine times but I would be surprised if he even did five. He then led us to the bank so we could store away anything we might not want to lose.
“Be careful out here,” he said. “There are Alfar everywhere.”
That’s when the shocker of my Darkfall career happened: Baron Mordegan, an Alfar and sworn enemy of we two humans, our own killer, decided to help us. It started with a couple of weapons. Then some gear. Then more, and more, and more until I was finally left in just saying “wow” into my mic while my friend eagerly asked what was happening.
Have a look at this, it has to be seen to be believed:
There’s more but this what I could fit on my screen. It started off with a couple spare weapons and ended with “Here, just take it all. You need it more than we do.” As we sputtered our thanks, he told us how he remembered being new and how he wanted to help welcome new players into the world. Check this out gang, this is the diamond in the rough and proof that there are some truly remarkable players even in the harshest of environments.
It didn’t end there, though, not by a long shot. I offered him whatever help I could and he surprised us by asking if we were up for some action. Well, we’d been at it for three hours already but how could we say no? We were so high on the game that it didn’t matter how late it was. This was adventure, the very thing every one of us seeks when we log into an MMO. We hurriedly agreed and he surprised us by crafting two black drake mounts on the spot. These things are probably the coolest looking mounts in the game. Check it out:
Handing them over with a sword and shield (both high level), we were on our way. We met a few members of his guild on the path and headed for a player city not far in the distance. They’d done something against the Found Minions and they wanted revenge. Let me tell you, they got it.
Outside the city, an unfortunate Captain of the Lords of Death clan was trying to jump the wall inside. We were on him like dogs on bloody meat. He put up a good fight but was doomed from the start. Baron and his crew told us to wait in the bushes while they lured them outside. They didn’t expect to live, he said, but we were going to go down fighting.
Apparently, it was AFK time in the LoD city (if that’s who it was) because we sat and watched the PartyKills roll. Those four players single handedly decimated that city. We waited outside for a good fifteen minutes just listening to the sounds of battle before we had to log off. It was 4AM. I don’t know if they made it out alive, but I hope they did.
This was the kind of adventure people try to get in themeparks and never can. This is a Darkfall story because only there does the fantasy flow unbridaled and angry. We went out in search of skeletons and wound up half way across the continent with a full siege worth of gear, new mounts, new friends, and a great set of memories. It was a great time. Great.
PvP might scare some of you off from trying the game, but I hope you come in and give it a shot. It’s a great game, full of potential that you just can’t find anywhere else. And, let me tell you, this is the kind of night that sticks with you and sends you to bed with a smile. The good nature of people is a wonderful thing and it shined through tonight, even in a game that’s regarded as one of the most harsh in the genre.
Tonight pretty much ensures I’ll be staying with Darkfall for awhile (WoW and LotRO are in there, too). And that friend I started the night with? He’s never in his life played a sandbox MMO until now. Something tells me he’ll be feeling a little less satisfied in WoW and that he’ll be right there alongside me to do this again another night. That makes tonight about friendships, new and old, the risk of death and the reward for taking it.
Happy Tuesday, Folks.
PS: Baron said he was going to stop by, so, again, thanks a ton, man. It made for a great night.