Friday, July 17, 2009
Evil Bastages ("EB") originally formed in 1997 on the Atlantic Shard in Ultima Online. We started as a small group of player-killers (PKs) and grew into one of the most successful faction guilds on the Atlantic Shard. After the game went carebear, EB moved on to Shadowbane, starting out on Scorn to get our bearing, and moving to the new server Vengeance, which we dominated (anyone who played Vengeance can attest to this) and where we made quite a name for ourselves (Google Evil Bastages and SB and find plenty of links). The ability to burn down people's towns they spent months working on is a game dynamic we miss greatly.
EB had brief stints in some other games after SB, such as DAOC, but ended up in WOW for quite awhile. We spent some years in WOW on the Skullcrusher server (and still have some members active there with the new expansion), squeezing as much PVP as we could out of a game really designed for PVE. An elite Warsong Gulch or "WSG" group was developed that made a name for itself dominating the opposition in match after match. After TBC, the guild would go on to do very well in arena season after season, routinely fielding teams rating in the top 5%.
We tried Age of Conan for 3 months. Babu, Oak, and Crab did generally become some of the most hated people playing during those months. Yeah, um, moving on.
After AoC we tried Warhammer with high hopes, and started with a large base of players. Sadly, many of our players were not satisfied with various aspects of WH and moved on to other things for the time being, with some members back in WOW for the expansion, and many members just going inactive with no quality MMO's available.
We planted a small crew gathering intel in Darkfall Beta and on EU-1 (paid beta lol). Now the release of the NA-1 Server has brought everyone back into action, out of retirement and into a single game once more. With just our core of existing members and a solid plan, EB was the 4th guild created on the NA-1 server and the 5th to claim a city. This is only the beginning.
EB is conducting limited recruiting to pick up a few quality players. This is not something we do often. We are looking for individuals who fit our play style; who are loyal, persistent, tenacious and most importantly, fun to be around.
Potential Recruits will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please register on our forums at www.evilbastages.com and send a PM to any of our three Supreme Generals: Havock, Oakbow or myself. After a brief series of questions if we feel you have potential you will be assigned a guild officer who will explain the details of our recruitment policy and act as your sponsor during the trial period.
Some Evil Bastages Facts:
- EB is primarily Mirdain, Human, Alfar but recruiting is currently open to all races;
- We are NOT looking for crafters, our guild crafter is in the top 3 on NA-1;
- If your name is retarded to type for /invite I will reject you;
- You need to own and know how to use a piss jar;
- Recruitment is available to both NA and EU players, we have several non-US core members
- Our website is not professional - 99% of its use is for the extremely active private forums;
- Evil Bastages chat is R-rated;
- Children should not be allowed into EB without a parent or guardian;
- Evil Bastages has the hottest IRL women of any guild in Darkfall;
- Ventrillo is MANDATORY
- We have great love for large breasts
This guild is no joke. Once you're in, you're in with a solid gaming crew & won't ever have to look for another guild again. It's very rare & odd to see us actually recruiting. It's something that happens maybe once every couple years for a short while. So if you're interested in becoming part of something you probably will never get from somewhere else, then now's the time.
Back to the killing,
Official Recruitment Post: http://forums.darkfallonline.com/showthread.php?t=204650
We had a very solid plan going in on Day 1 and executed it almost to perfection. There were a few hiccups (Mad Duke trying to bank 3k gold in Obad where there apparently is no bank, but some NPC mobs which killed him lol!) but we got the job done.
The Evil Bastages were the fourth guild created on NA-1 and the Fifth to claim a city. Most of our core membership has returned from inactivity since Warhammer and the game is a blast right now with everyone back.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
We captured a hamlet! For two days! Our friends from Lys Noir owned a hamlet in the Alfar lands but gave us the first chance to buy it as they had captured a city on the other side of the map and did not want to defend the hamlet so far away from their main force. They gave it to us cheap for 20k. So the total for us was 30k, which we split with our friends The Tenth. The Hamlet was Velmuna which is actually a very nice hamlet. It has a grove, 3 clan houses, a merchant and a lot of iron nodes in the area. No herbs though. There are some decent mob spawns nearby (Akathar, Earth Elementals, an undead mob Dungeon). There is also a wilderness bank with an Alfar Guard tower to the south, unfortunately we're all agro'd to the tower so we couldn't take advantage of it.
Unfortunately, the hamlet apparently was owned by the SB alliance who made up some bullshit excuses for sieging it from us after two days. They brought 40 to siege our defending force of about 20. The Mercs also showed up and threw a wrench in the whole defense plan. They claimed to have been coming to assist us but didn't communicate that intention clearly enough before hand. When they arrived, we assumed they were hostile and attacked them. They pushed some of our defenders off of some of the high ground we had staked out for defense. 10 minutes later the full SBA force rolled in and started hitting us hard while we were already in combat with the Mercs. Essentially getting hit from both sides and fighting 3x our number we held on as long as we could but were eventually pushed out by attrition. With only 10 bindspots on the stone, each time one of our defenders died, he was essentially out of the battle. The mercs abandoned their defensive position and regrouped outside the hamlet. They rolled through once and disrupted SBA's hammerers, but only for a minute. The clanstone went down about 40 minutes after it went vulnerable. I could speculate and play monday morning quarterback all day but I think we could have won the siege if a couple of things had gone the other way. For one if there hadn't been the miscommunication with the mercs we probably could have done it. Of course there is always the rumour that it was just an elaborate ploy by TM+SBA to make it seem like they were not aligned. There is no way to prove it though, so probably not worth debating. It's been beaten like a dead horse on the official forums already.
As far as my individual character goes, I finally got my elemental magic line. I chose fire as my primary for the DPS, as well as relatively cheap cost/ease of obtaining sulfur as it's main reagent. Right now the only spell I've been using is Firebolt and I already prefer it to archery (which I never got sharpshooter for so it isn't a fair comparison). Despite not having an AOE component, the speed at which the firebolt travels makes it effective in PvP. It travels almost as fast as an arrow but without the gravity effect. I hit people for 25 in the front and near 40 in the bank with a crappy staff and only 36 int.
Now on to the big news:
On the American server: The American server will launch on July 7th. Characters from the European server can be cloned and moved without their possessions 3 months after the American launch. Certain restrictions and charges will apply, to be announced at a later date. In the meanwhile if you want to play on the American server at launch you need to buy the American Darkfall client. More information on the American server will be available in a few days.
Darkfall will launch a massive free expansion update the first week of July, something that the Darkfall team has been working on for a while now. This expansion includes major new features and major content, PvE, and PvP updates.
In the last few patches we had implemented several major optimizations making it possible to support even larger battles and sieges and more concurrent users than ever before. As a result, massive battles now run smoother than ever. We’ve seen some of the largest and the highest frequency of massive battles this past month, which has helped us find even more ways to optimize the Darkfall experience.
As a result of these optimizations we’ve also been able to keep sales open most of the time. We’re still being careful because Darkfall resubscription rates remain very high even though this is a time for exams and/or vacations. It’s still difficult to buy Darkfall but we hope that after the US servers have launched it will be easier for new players to learn about and to buy Darkfall.
To that effect, a new site is coming, along with new forums for Darkfall players only. These forums will be readable by the public and only players with active accounts will be able to post in them. The current public forums will remain active for anyone to post in, but moderation will be stronger. This because we’re getting people from other communities with the sole intention of disrupting our forums. The Darkfall community has always been a source of good feedback, constructive criticism, and inspiration for the Darkfall developers and we'll keep it that way by doing away with the non-constructive elements.
Our next major patch will be included in the Darkfall expansion the first week of July.
Clarification: American players wanting to clone and transfer their characters do not have to buy another client. Everyone else needs to buy the American Darkfall client to play on the American server. The European rights and the American rights to Darkfall do not belong to the same company, therefore you cannot freely transfer between the two territories, as is the case with most MMORPGs. Our offer of character cloning / transfer to American players is because we had said that we would try to accommodate them should they want to start playing on the European server.
Personally, I plan on starting a character on NA-1 on July 7th to help EB hit the ground running. A lot of our core will be making an appearance now (Oakbow, Havock, Dragonfly, Fungus, Naswipp, Visual, Darkstar, etc) who were absent on EU-1. Some of them bought accounts in the last two weeks to check out the game once they made the announcement that the US server would open sometime in July. Looking back now its unfortunate that they'll have to pay $50 again to start day one on the new server. In hindsight they should have just used other accounts from guildmates who went inactive since they didn't want to grind a char on EU-1 just to migrate later.
There are about six of us with relatively well developed characters (Weapon Mastery, high defensive skills, stats in the 40-60 range, elemental magic) who will be staying on EU-1 part time, continuing to develop our characters until it is time to transfer. I am still not convinced there won't be any additional restrictions placed on the transfered characters (ie 25% skill loss, no transfer of the rigor skill) or that the introduction of a skill cap may make the advanced EU-1 chars obsolete once the three months are up.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
This is a great post by Tasos that answers a lot of questions. The route they're leaning towards with respect to NA Server Transfers (allowed but only after a certain and signifcant amount of time) is most likely the best compromise. People who started early just to work on their characters will be rewarded and those who didn't and want a clean start will have the opportunity to do so.
I'm a little perturbed about the changes to macroing. It's one of those things that is so widespread I am not sure how they'll police it. Autoswimming is another thing they should just leave in as well. These are things that people are going to do no matter what, and there will be some who will get away with it. IMO the best policy then is to just make it allowable in order to level the playing field. A similiar argument is laid out in a post on Mike Darga's Game Design Blog, though its reference is cheating - it is still relevant. Check it out. The purist in me wishes macroing didn't exist in DF, but the realist in me just sees it as a necessary evil. Exploiting and hacks on the other hand are things I'd like to see gone.
Other than that the general tone and information provided here is great. The only thing that really bugs me is he didn't link our blog! That bastard!
Here is his full post in it's entirety (links and everything!)
This is mostly an information update on topics that the community may find useful. There will be more of these types of updates on a regular basis. Since we haven’t had one in a while, this one is quite long.
There seems to be some confusion about what’s allowed and what’s not in game. When in doubt, the EULA and the Terms of Service are displayed every single time you start the game.
The general rule is that any third party program that interfaces with the game or gives a player an unfair advantage is prohibited in Darkfall. The only types of programs allowed are chat communication programs and screenshot-video capture programs.
Use of third party programs that allow players to cheat in the game will result in accounts to be permanently banned without warning and without appeal. We detect all use of such third party programs and we’ve been banning people for their use every day. After a recent mass ban we’re happy to report that we've been detecting and banning fewer and fewer players.
Starting today, players exploiting the geometry will receive temporary bans which for repeat offenders will escalate to permanent bans. This means that when we detect players inside the terrain, rocks, trees, buildings, walls, towers etc. we will be taking action against them. This policy will be posted inside the game lobby and there will be no appeals for these offenses.
Also, starting today we will detect and take action against any use of loot scripts. The action will be temporary bans which will escalate to permanent ones. This policy will also be posted inside the game lobby and there will be no appeals for these offenses.
Unattended macroing and unattended use of autorun and swimming against obstacles are also prohibited. We have taken great measures to limit macroing, to reward the players who are actually playing the game and allow them to catch up easily. We will continue working on making macroing and its effects irrelevant in Darkfall.
North American Server
Many of you saw the announcement our server hosting partner GNI made about the signing of our cooperation in North America.
We had already explained that we would be launching in North America sometime during Q2 2009 and this information is also in the FAQ:
We will be making our own announcement when we nail down an exact launch date for the NA server, there are a couple of things which may affect the launch date by a few days that are not ironed out completely yet. Character transfer/cloning will become available with a significant delay (months) and possible further restrictions. This concerns only the characters without any of their possessions. More on this at a later date.
There are several considerations to be taken into account including the fact that European rights and North American rights to Darkfall belong to different organizations.
Plans for more servers are also underway. Announcements will be made as needed.
Account Management and Sales
https://accounts.eu.darkfallonline.com is the URL to Darkfall account management and sales.
We’ve performed a complete overhaul of the account management system and things are running much smoother than they used to. We have increased our capacity repeatedly and we’ve been trying to keep the Darkfall shop open as much as possible since last week. This has been increasingly difficult to maintain as demand remains high. This despite the fact that there is still no “Buy Darkfall” button anywhere and our release has been limited to the Darkfall community.
Our number one concern is the quality of the experience for our existing users. We don’t want to create any problems by allowing too many new users in. This is why we have no boxes in the market, why we haven’t been promoting the game, why our new site isn’t up yet, why we don’t offer a free trial, why we don’t offer more payment options etc.
We understand that Darkfall’s soft launch is unorthodox, but we are working hard to change all that while maintaining the best possible experience for our existing users.
Darkfall pricing on the European Server is as follows, as described in the Darkfall FAQ:
What does it cost to play Darkfall?
First you need to purchase the Darkfall game client download which includes one month of game time. This costs 42 Euro. Residents of the European Union are also charged 19% VAT so the client download costs 49.98 Euro. After the initial month of game time is over you need to pay a monthly subscription to continue. The cost for the monthly subscription is 11.77 Euro or 14.00 Euro for EU residents (+19% VAT)
http://support.darkfallonline.com is where you can find the Darkfall help desk. This is a ticketing system and you need to have a Darkfall account to open a new ticket.
The Darkfall help desk has been handling hundreds of requests a day on the following topics:
General Issues - Technical Support – Bugs – Feedback – Gameplay Issues – Accounts and Billing.
The Darkfall Help Desk will also be populated with many more knowledgebase articles shortly. We are compiling these based on the user feedback which is just now starting to mature enough to create a proper Knowledgebase.
Darkfall Help is there to help you get started with the game and can be found both in-game and outside of the game at this address:
Darkfall Help is currently receiving a major overhaul which will be evident within a few days.
In-game help: Players can call on a GM in game by typing /gm_help to get help or /GM_report to report player behavior. There is 24/7 GM coverage in Darkfall and all requests will be addressed, whether or not you receive an acknowledgment of your request.
Darkfall developers are kept informed on all support issues.
Darkfall Updates and Patches
We have been following what has been happening in the game very closely, and have been paying close attention to all feedback by our playerbase . We are involved in a constant effort to improve everything about the game. We have been fixing bugs as they come up, and our updates have all been very substantial in content and features. We have made huge improvements to the game already but the best is yet to come.
While the patch notes simply highlight some of the major changes to the game, there are always hundreds of changes, fixes, and tweaks in every patch which we don’t mention. We started posting patch notes on March 21st. Before that our patches contained mostly bug fixes and optimizations.
Here are the links to all our patch notes:
Things to look forward to:
Our team is expanding and is fully committed to working on Darkfall. We are working on virtually every aspect of the game and our goal is to continuously improve the Darkfall experience.
Some of the things to look forward to in the near future include but are not limited to:
-Imminent massive optimizations to further improve gameplay, massive battles and sieges
-Improving the newbie experience, making the transition to Darkfall smoother and lowering the learning curve
-Continuously adding polish to the game
-Substantial improvements to the graphics
-Large content updates
-Massive feature updates
-Further improvements to the economy
-Massive improvements to the solo and the small group experience
-More PvP diversity and options
-Substantial improvements to PvE
Darkfall Media Coverage
Since our launch wasn’t heavily publicized, media coverage has been fairly light. Even so, there are Darkfall articles on many gaming websites, gaming blogs, and print media in many different languages.
Here is a sample of some English language Darkfall coverage links you may find useful:
IGN RPGVault Editorial, review, and first impressions
Darkfall: My first Breath in Agon – First Impressions of Aventurine’s Labor of Love
What the hell is Darkfall and Why Can’t I Play It?
Ten Ton Hammer’s First Impressions
MMORPG.com have a few correspondents and bloggers providing regular Darkfall coverage
Darkfall Features @ mmorpg.com
Darkfall – The Conversion of a Self Proclaimed Carebear
Darkfall Combat Guide, Part One
Darkfall – Skills in DFO
Darkfall Overview Part II, Looking at the Down Side
Paragus Rants on MMORPG.com. Paragus has been putting out some of the most useful and informative articles about the Darkfall experience since the Darkfall beta.
Post World War I Interviews
60 Days of Darkfall
Rafts and Sailing
Alliance Leader Interviews
Alliances and War
Mounts and Politics
Darkfall Beta Review
Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog has also been offering regular Darkfall coverage and commentary
Thank you for Reading,
The Darkfall Team
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Darkfall Comes to Light in North America on GNi's Game Optimized Hosting Platform
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aventurine SA, a computer games developer located in Athens, Greece has expanded its relationship with GNi to host their groundbreaking game, Darkfall Online, in North America with a launch scheduled for release later this summer.
“We’re very happy with our results in Europe with GNi and we continue to add content to the game and rapidly grow the community. GNi’s network has proven to be very fast and robust, allowing us to deliver Darkfall Online in the best possible way to our customers. It is for these reasons as well as GNi’s commitment and dedication to the Darkfall Online franchise, that Aventurine selected GNi as our dedicated hosting partner in North America. We are confident that GNi will continue to deliver the world-class service and unparalleled network performance in North America that we have experienced in Europe,” said Zad Mehdawi, President of Aventurine SA.
“Aventurine has seen great growth in Europe and we are excited to have Darkfall Online running on GNi’s platform in both Europe and North America. Darkfall appeals to the serious PVP gamer looking for large-scale combat and, in turn, has a devoted player base that few other games can boast. We are happy to be selected by Aventurine to provide a dedicated hosting solution for Darkfall Online in North America. We know that there is significant demand for the game and we are ready to deploy servers for the upcoming launch,” said Derek Wise, Founder and CTO of GNi, Inc.
Darkfall Online Offers Highly Immersive Experience
Darkfall Online is a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) fantasy role-playing game featuring a fun, fast-paced, real-time combat system, massive battles, clan warfare and empire building. Darkfall combines role-playing, action, and strategic gameplay. Darkfall has been designed to create intensely realistic and highly immersive combat and a challenging, realistic environment for a more immersive experience. With full collision detection, battle lines really matter and well-aimed spell blasts will send opponents flying. Darkfall’s goal is to provide players with a fun and challenging experience through a seamless and zoneless, non-instanced, “sandbox” game world.
Game to Be Launched by July in North America
The high demand for Darkfall has made a North American server a priority with Aventurine. The company expects the North American server, US1, to launch by July 2009.
About Aventurine and Darkfall:
Aventurine SA is an independent computer games developer located in Athens, Greece. Aventurine is fueled by passion for gaming and game technologies, which motivates and guides our activities. Aventurine’s main project is Darkfall Online, a groundbreaking MMORPG launched in February 2009. Development of the game, the technology platform, game engine, and tools began in 2003. The Darkfall team consists of thirty five veteran developers. Visit us at www.darkfallonline.com
GNi is the leading dedicated hosting provider for online games, Software-as-a-Service, Web 2.0, and Online Digital Media. GNi’s infrastructure supports more than 12.8 million users, 425,000 concurrent connected users at peak capacity, and more than 27 titles. GNi delivers rapid scalability with uncompromised performance. GNi solutions thrive in the most demanding online environments and offer a variety of smart systems including rapid on-boarding and deployment. GNi is headquartered in San Jose, California with infrastructure facilities located across the globe. For more information please visit www.gni.com.
Still no word regarding character and item transfers. Personally I'm still on the fence, only because I've invested a fair amount of time into my character. Putting that aside, I have to admit that I agree a fresh server with no transfers is most likely the best route. Although I wouldn't mind taking my guy over to US1 and raping all the bastard bastages who refused to play until an NA server came out.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Skill progression in archery has been increased significantly
You are now required to hit a valid target to gain skill in archery
Skilling up in magic has been increased significantly
Skill progression in spells requires the caster to hit a valid target
A few years ago I may not have liked these changes. Part of the reason MMO's are fun to play is the fact that they are persistent worlds where you gradually increase your avatar's power. I think it is definitely important to strike a good balance between character progression and grinding. As it stands, once the way to easy methods (hitting naked shielded afks with newbie weapons, shooting arrows into the air) were removed the grind in Darkfall was simply too time intensive. Not to mention, removing the previous unintended and easy methods for raising skills created a huge imbalance between those who took advantage and those who did not.
It really boils down to the subjective meaning of the words 'significantly increased.' Hopefully AV has made it so that leveling up skills by simply playing the game is now a viable endeavor.
Clan Mines/Quarries/Groves/etc now start out at 25% capacity and their regrowth rate has been increased
Great change. Camping server up so you can easily mine 1k resources is silly. By changing clan resource nodes to offer a steady stream of resources as opposed to a large chunk at server up with just a trickle throughout the day - AV has now created content that is worth fighting over throughout the day. Expect Hamlets to see a great increase in small scale PvP as raiding guilds try to control clan resources. This makes it much more viable for a non-asset holding guild to be able to farm the necessary rare ores for siege weaponry. As it stands now it is terribly difficult for an errant clan to gather the necessary mats for effective siege weaponry.
Player Journal and Clan pages now accessible trough external browsers. Go to http://web001.eu1.darkfallonline.com/darkfall and log in with your username and password
About time, now I don't have to waste my time in game managing this stuff!
Melee Range has increased: * Axes* Clubs* Greataxes* Greatclubs* Knives
Small adjustments made to melee reach depending on character race
Maybe Maharim/Orc have longer reach to make up for their larger hit box, and weapons other than polearms and swords will become more popular.
What are your thoughts?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Our main error was attempting to dislodge the enemy from their position on the hill. In the process we ceded strategic positioning on the walls and were caught out of position by enemy reinforcements who quickly flanked us and established a foot hold on the north wall of the city. Under heavy fire the group tasked with defending the shardholder made a valiant effort but were unable to keep him alive.
I like to think had we kept our force in superior position the battle would have lasted much longer or even emerged victorious.
In either event, the siege was successful in the sense that I believe everyone involved had a ton of fun. I also learned a thing or two about siege tactics, I'm sure there will be opportunities in the future to apply the lessons learned.
In closing, many thanks the the Vietcong alliance:
Order of the Blade
The Shadow Legion
The Undead Army
The Select Few
Order of the Silver Star
and Solo Raiders (featuring Celiah Ailey - the 'Terror of Yssam'!)