Mounted combat is an important part of Darkfall warfare and players can freely ride their mounts around without any restrictions. Several skills are associated with mounted combat in the game. Any player can own as many mounts as he can afford. In Darkfall, mounts are fully controllable by the player. Character control is maintained while riding; the character can equip items, attack, look around, etc. The player's riding skill affects the mounted maneuverability, mounted combat effectiveness, as well as movement speed to a lesser extent.
Main article: Racial Mounts
Darkfall features racial mounts for all the races. There are several interesting mount variations for each racial mount type.
Darkfall's basic racial mounts are crafted by players and can´t be bought of merchant NPCs. Each race in the game has its own mount which can be "tamed" as a mount by a char of the same race that the mount is ment for. However, these mounts may be stolen and ridden by other races too. All races have a racial mount, which are as follow:
- Humans: The Warhorse
- Dwarves: The Garmir
- Mirdain: The Aerdin Cat
- Orks: The Death Pig
- Alfar: The Shulgan Drake
- Mahirim The Tribeland Bear
One of the majorly requested and hoped for items as players of other games was horses; many players had been asking for this feature from their favorite games for years. Unfortunately, most MMOGs don't have mounts, or they've added mounts with very limited capabilities that don't go beyond transportation.
Something else that we like about mounts and mounted combat in Darkfall is the immersion and excitement they add to the game. It feels great riding alongside of your friends, charging the enemy, mowing down a fleeing opponent, or unhorsing a rider and watching his mount run away without him.
Mounts can be stored safely after use, but they can be taken over if left unattended, or when the rider is killed. Mounts will take damage, slowly regenerate their health, and can also be killed. There are running and walking modes, and they can also jump and swim. Armored mounts and a taming skill are features which have been recently added.
Mounts can be used for transportation of players, transportation of goods, strategic and tactical mobility, as cover, and of course, for combat. Cavalry and mounted units can be used for reconnaissance and scouting, in shock force tactics, frontal assaults and charges, flanking maneuvers, pursuit of scattered and fleeing enemies, in raiding and hit and run tactics, breaking through or going over enemy lines and formations-- and much more.
The mount gives the rider several obvious advantages in combat. The higher position and the movement speed make him harder to hit, and the mount will also attack the target along with the rider in static attacks. Drawbacks include lesser maneuverability for the mounted player, difficulty fighting and maneuvering on some terrain, as well as fewer attack options. At the moment, mounted combat is limited to melee weapon strikes along with the mount's own attacks. The player must dismount to use ranged attacks; using them while mounted is under consideration for balancing issues. We are also working on balancing possible charge bonuses, and a mounted pushing advantage versus characters on foot.
Mounted combat adds another layer to Darkfall's unique real-time combat experience. We put a lot of hard work and resources into the design and implementation of mounted combat, but we're happy to say that it was totally worth it. It works, looks, and feels great. We believe that Darkfall players are going to love this feature as much as we do, and that it will considerably enhance their gameplay experience.