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Game
Darkfall
Darkfall screenshot
developer Aventurine S.A.
publisher Audiovisual SA
designer Claus Grovdal, Game Design/Producer
Henning Ludvigsen, Art Director
Ricki Sickenger, Lead Tools/Game Logic Programmer
Kjetil Helland, Lead 3D/Client Programmer
Erik Sperling Johansen, Lead Server Programmer
engine Darkfall Proprietary Engine
released January 22, 2009
genre MMORPG, Online RPG
modes Open PvP Multiplayer
ratings Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB): Rating Pending (RP)
platforms Microsoft Windows
requirements Operating System: Windows® 98/Me/2000/XP
Processor: Pentium® III or AMD Athlon 1.0 GHz processor or faster (1.5 GHz or faster processor recommended)
Memory: 256 MB RAM minimum (512 MB recommended)
Video: Any Windows-compatible video card (NVIDIA GeForce 4 or ATI Radeon with at least 64 megs of video memory (128 MB recommended)
Internet (TCP/IP)

Darkfall (also known as Darkfall Online) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released 2009 by Aventurine SA that combines real-time action and strategy in a fantasy setting. Featuring unrestricted PvP, complete looting, and a player skill dependent combat system, Darkfall is the only MMO to offer such freedom and has spawned a huge community.

HistoryEdit

In early August 2001, Razorwax announced the development of Darkfall and launched its official website. [1] The Razorwax development team consisted of five members:

  • Claus Grovdal (Lead Design and Producer)
  • Ricki Sickenger (Lead Tools and Game Logic Programmer)
  • Henning Ludvigsen (Art Director)
  • Kjetil Helland (Lead 3D/Client Programmer)
  • Erik Sperling Johansen (Lead Server Programmer)

In October 2002, Aventurine S.A. was founded in Greece. The Razorwax team was integrated into Aventurine, and five other developers from Norway were hired into the company.[2] When the Razorwax team and the Aventurine team had their first meeting in Athens, a member of one of the teams joked that Razorwax should relocate from Norway to Greece due to the lower taxes and cost of living in Greece. Eventually, the two teams realized that this idea actually made very good business sense,[3] and by December 2002,[4] the relocation of Razorwax was finalized. In the same year beta was announced and signups began. After 6 months signups were closed and the original declaration of closed beta was retracted. Claims of beta about to start persisted even past the launch of the EU and NA servers.

Tasos Flambouras (Associate Producer of Darkfall) stated in his July 9, 2004 status report that "Darkfall is still in internal beta" due to delays in development.[5]

In September 2005 the signup for the closed clan beta began. But the planned beta of Q4 2005 was cancelled. Developers have stated that before the beta, they would release a gameplay video [6] which they did in February 2006.

Aventurine did not have a playable version of Darkfall available at E³ 2006. In June 2006, just after E³, the Darkfall team started releasing weekly Questions and Answers through Warcry, in order to help newcomers to the community.

An announcement on July 11, 2006 stated that preparations are still being made to begin beta.[7]

An interview with the developers on August 25, 2006 indicates that Aventurine does not have a publisher for Darkfall, and has considered the possibility of self-publishing the game.[8]

On January 17, 2007, Aventurine announced that a fully functional and stable beta build is running on remote servers and that the game is being shown to prospective partners, distributors, publishers, technology providers, etc.[9]

On January 30, 2007, Aventurine release a video containing about one minute of ingame footage, showing melee combat, mounts (including mounted combat), spellcasting and naval combat. [10]

On February 22, 2008, Aventurine released a "location test video" depicting various NPC and player-crafted city locations in the game [11]. Later, in April, it was announced that Darkfall was feature-complete [12], and in May, that "... our launch date will be inside 2008, with the public beta preceding it by a few weeks. This is official and internally we're a lot more specific, but pending an announcement, we cannot say more at this time" [13].

In June, Aventurine confirmed they had signed with Greek company AudioVisual Enterprises to distribute Darkfall in Europe [14], and this was confirmed by AudioVisual in a stock market announcement made to the Greek stock exchange.

On August 29, 2008, Darkfall's official beta was announced as the final scene of a 17 minute gameplay video, which demonstrated numerous aspects of the game, such as small and large group PVP, including small and large group mounted combat, ship sailing and naval combat, magic and archery, and vehicular combat, creative use of in-game physics and magic, crafting, banking, 3 different PVE encounters demonstrating mob AI, and city building and sieging.

Since September, Aventurine has been conducting a limited public hardware test of Darkfall as the first phase of public beta, with the next unconfirmed stage of beta scheduled to begin on or around November 10, 2008. On October 16th, 2008, Darkfall was publically presented at Athens Digital Week. This event was unofficially reported by a member of the Darkfall forum moderators during this event, including a 30 minute video of Darkfall played live on stage.

It has been announced by Tasos Flambouras that Darkfall will be released for the European market on January 22, 2009. The American release is said to proceed shortly after. [15]


Currently running 2 seperate servers, NA1 (North American server) and EU1 (European Server). The game has grown in popularity. Several Expansion have been released which are free to any account that purchases the game. There is currently a 14 day free trial as well that requires no credit card info to setup. No other game has been created yet that matches darkfalls features. Although, copy cat projects have been announced.

RacesEdit

Main article: Races

There are six playable races in Darkfall. Unlike other MMOG's, racial choice does not heavily influence your characters' choices or progression options: 95% of the skills may be learned regardless of your race, and the remainder are Prestige and Racial abilities. Each race begins play in its own homeland, and has its own unique storylines, histories, and racial alliances and enemies. The races are as follows:

  • The Alfar of Nagast: The Alfar are the cruel, hate-spawned cousins of the Mirdain. Abducted eons ago by their insane god-king Melek, these former Mirdain have been mutated and warped by his diabolical influence into fearless, rage-driven killers. Striking their enemies from the shadowy, spell-blasted lands of Nagast, the Alfar tear a bloody swath of destruction wherever they go, disappearing as quickly as they appeared. Gifted with an innate affinity for the magical arts, the Alfar are skilled spellcasters who draw their power from their volatile God. Due to this unpredictability, Alfar spells fluctuate in power, creating a slight variance in result with every cast. Alfar have a deep seated hatred for all other life on Agon; though they can join clans of other races, they are loathe to do so.
  • The Humans of Mercia: Judging by the current polls Humans will be the most played race in Darkfall. Humans in the game live very much like their real life counterparts did in medieval times, with a feudal system, and a constant power struggle between the King and the Church. Humans are allied with the Dwarves and the Elves, and are enemies with the Mahrim, Orks, and Alfar.
  • The Mirdain of the Forest Republic: The Mirdain are a sophisticated race of skilled diplomats and traders. They prefer diplomacy and subtle manipulation to direct conflict, but Mirdain are still brilliant tacticians whose expert troop movements and cunning ruses allow them to defeat enemies many times their number. Working deep from within their forest home of Mirendil, the Mirdain are a peaceful and cultured race in a world torn by war. The Mirdain are somewhat magically adept, and most of them are able to direct a modest number of spells. They are also skilled hunters, proficient with the bow from an early age. The Mirdain are strong allies to the Humans of Mercia and Dwarves of Dvergheim.
  • The Dwarves of Dvergheim: The Dwarves prefer to live underground, away from the troubles of the surface, but recently their capital has begun to expand upward and there are a few settlements on ground level. Dwarves are allied with Humans and the Mirdain, but enemies with Orks, Mahrim, and Alfar.
  • The Mahirim of the Tribelands: A fierce race of predators from the untamed wilds of the Tribelands, the Mahirim are a race which still seems at odds with their recent move to civilization; while they have laws now, they retain all the finely-honed instincts and predatory skills of their pack-hunter ancestors. Though they have recently evolved to walk on two-legs, the wolf-like Mahirim retain there ability to run and can easily out-pace all other races on foot. Given their long history of war-like tendencies and their somewhat arrogant nature, the Mahirim have few friends. They do however have a small degree of respect for the Orks, who are equally warlike and capable warriors.
  • The Orks of Morak: Until very recently the Orks used to roam the swamps as the Goblins do now, with no permanent settlements and no civilization, spending their time either hunting or at war. But an evil deity has tamed the Orks and taught them how to build cities and enslave workers. The modern day Orkish society is built on the slavery of the goblin people; the goblins do all the manual work for the Orks. The Orks have also enslaved an evil cult of Dwarves who are kept in much better conditions and design buildings and weapons for the orks. The Orks believe that one day their God will rise from the Volcano and kill all non-orks; because of this they are enemies with the Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Alfar but they do respect the Mahrim and can work with them.

Racial MountsEdit

Main article: Racial Mounts

Each race in the game with the exception of the Mahirim has its own mount which will be sold in that particular race's shops. These mounts may be stolen and ridden by other races. The racial mounts are as follows:

Racial AlliesEdit

While certain races have friendships and hatreds with other races in Darkfall, these are not strictly enforced upon players, and it is possible for allied clans to declare war upon both their own race and their racial allies. Declaring war will prevent players from sustaining alignment penalties associated with killing friends and allies as well. It is also possible for two racial enemies to ally together. However, the NPC's will behave according to their racial rules, and thus will react with hostility to racial enemies even if they are allied with that clan.

Unique FeaturesEdit

Darkfall is expected to have several features that set it apart from the majority of MMORPGs:

  • Unrestricted PvP, with no safe zones. Game mechanics will punish killing of racial allies. (see alignment section below)[16]
  • Complete looting. All items will be dropped on death, and can be looted by anyone who opens the corpse. Armor and weapons will be somewhat easy to replace.[17]
  • Inter-character and projectile-character collision detection. Projectiles (spells, arrows, cannonballs etc.) can be dodged. Players can be pushed or blocked by other players or by explosions.[18]
  • Manual aiming & blocking.[19]
  • Naval warfare, with the ability to sink player controlled ships.[20]
  • Dynamic, physical weather.
  • No radar or floating names (Player made clan banners may be worn for identification.)[21]
  • Ranged combat will be viewed from first person perspective. Melee combat will be viewed from third person perspective.
  • Friendly fire. If you miss with spells or arrows you may hit someone other than the character you were targeting. Area of effect offensive spells and healing spells can affect your friends and your enemies.[22]
  • Cities can be built by players[23].
  • Player built cities can be destroyed. Each player built city will contain a guildstone, which protects the buildings and defensive structures in the vicinity from attack. The guildstone is invulnerable, except when it has been weakened by a Gloomer. Gloomers can be built by players after they have built a siege fort next to the target city. The siege fort can be attacked and destroyed at any time, during or after construction. If a city is destroyed, a new clanstone constructed on the site is temporarily vulnerable to attack. (Severely outdated) [24]
  • There will be a limit on the number of players and NPC's that can bind to a clanstone [25]

AlignmentEdit

NPC's will enforce a system that makes random killing of players more difficult. Killing a player of your own race or of an aligned race, except during a declared war, will lower your alignment. Alignment can range from -100 (ultimate evil) to +10 (paragon of good). Players with an alignment score which is below a certain level will not be allowed to trade with or accept quests from all NPC's. Alignment can be raised by killing players of opposing races, or players of the same or aligned race who have an evil alignment. [26]

ReferencesEdit

  1. [1] August 29, 2001 IGN Interview with the founding five members of Razorwax
  2. [2] November 28, 2005 update with IGN
  3. [3] August 27, 2003 update at mmorpgdot.com
  4. [4] December 13, 2002 IGN article
  5. [5] Status Report by Tasos- July 9, 2004
  6. [6] February 27, 2006 gameplay video,
  7. [7] Sensory Cues in Darkfall, July 11, 2006
  8. [8] Womengamers.com
  9. [9] January 17, 2007 Update by Tasos
  10. [10] January 30, 2007 Gameplay Video
  11. [11] Darkfall Online, News section
  12. [12] Darkfall Dev Journal #25: Philosophy, 11th April, 2008
  13. [13] May 9, 2007 Dev Journal 26
  14. [14] Publishing and game site article, 30th June, 2008
  15. [15] January 22nd 2009 Launch Date Announced for Darkfall Online
  16. [16] November 29, 2005 'Alignment and Playerkilling', IGN update
  17. [17] August 18, 2006 Death, Warcry update
  18. [18] October 03, 2006 Tactical Overview, IGN
  19. [19] October 03, 2006 Tactical Overview, IGN
  20. [20] January 30, 2007 Gameplay Video
  21. [21] October 03, 2006 Tactical Overview, IGN
  22. [22] October 03, 2006 Tactical Overview, IGN
  23. [23] Interview with Tasos Flambouras
  24. [24] August 27, 2003 Darkfall Online: Interview Part 1 at MMORPGDOT.com
  25. [25] January 22, 2003 Claus on the Darfallonline forums
  26. [26] November 29, 2005 'Alignment and Playerkilling', IGN update

External linksEdit

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Darkfall. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Darkfall Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.


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