The Equivalent of Walking Naked is Walking With Full Plate
I’m writing this post in response to comment on Twitter from Werit, who tweeted, “Darkfall doesn’t seem like a game where you can do your own thing.”
While I don’t have much experience with the game yet, and I’m not going to assert that Darkfall is the most awesome free-roaming game out there, I will say this: doing your own thing in Darkfall ultimately means finding out what you’re willing to do in a ruthless world to survive and thrive.
How is this so? Let’s see… the thought I had to answer this particular statement rested mostly on the fact that doing anything in Darkfall has a great sense of risk involved, and is more pronounced once newbie protection disappears. Much like other games, you can do what you want to do, whether it be harvesting herbs, running and swimming to the edges of the world, jumping off cliffs, etc. The only problem is, the risk you take by not being careful is greater because you could lose all your stuff or be inconvenienced through some other strange means.
On the point of soloing various activities through the game outside of newbie protection:
This is possible but extremely difficult because at low skill levels, you pose little challenge to experienced players. If you like to harvest herbs (like I do) in the hopes of finding steedgrass, a rare mount-creating herb, and find one, but are so far off the beaten path that you could die to player killers, then the freedom you would find would be curtailed by the risk involved. This isn’t a problem in games like Warhammer Online or World of Warcraft as your gear doesn’t become ante, but well… Darkfall is a different beast.
On playing with a clan:
You have a bit more leeway in a clan to do what you want as you have people that can protect you further from assault by others. One thing to note however, is that if you own a city, that city can be ransacked and taken by an invading force. In other words, your whole city is ante as well. The logical thing in Darkfall, therefore, is to make sure you have an armed force ready to protect the city from invaders, as well as diplomatic relations with other folks to keep them from attacking (or better yet have them helping you defend) your assets.
This diplomatic relations business opens up a metagame of politics that you rarely find in most MMOs, but that’s another point entirely.
My point is… you do have freedom to do what you want, but in Darkfall, doing what you want has a more pronounced system that forces you to gauge risk vs. reward (possibility of death and losing gold vs. running around amassing gold without banking said gold).
As the title above states, the Darkfall equivalent of walking around naked in the real world would be a newbie walking around in a gifted set of full plate. You can do the said activities, but you’re liable to get yourself into trouble for imagining that your ability to do your own thing is limitless.
Addendum: I was checking Google Reader (YAY FOR RSS!) when I noticed Tobold’s post about going off the beaten path. While it doesn’t directly apply to Darkfall, it’s another excellent point to make. You can choose to take the optimum route, or make your own way in the world of Agon, but ultimately, there are consequences – and fun – to be had, even if you try gimping yourself by skipping past things meant for you to tackle at a specific point in time.