What we’re fixing : primary flaws
In this page, we’ll explain what we consider to be the primary flaws of Darkfall and what we will aim to fix with New Dawn.
We’ll only mention the “why?” here, while the rest of the site details the “what?” and explaining the “how?”.
Lack of daily activities
After much discussion, this is the one item that bubbled up to the top of our priority list.
The way Darkfall ended was that players would remain subscribed and would log on for sieges or massive events but would not come daily to “live” in the world. This caused a vicious circle of inactivity leading to the downfall of the game.
As MMOs are mostly social experiences, a game that does not give individual players a reason to log in daily cannot strive. A clan or a faction requires a critical mass in order to have a snowball effect of game interactions.
If you’re not online, how can you meet with that recruiter? How can you be there when you are called to defend against an enemy raid? Or when someone offers a boat ride to adventures?
A motivation for a lot of the changes we’ll be working on is to give individuals a reason to be online and have selfish ways for them to need other players.
An MMO should be on your mind everyday, at work, in transport, while speaking to your loved ones, in those minutes before sleep and especially when wondering what to do with your free time.
The power gap and player progression
The second point we want to work on is the power gap. It was certainly one of the most popular subject of discussion back in the days.
We believe that the way it was addressed then was a mistake as it removed gameplay rather than making it more interesting. It also cut down the long term appeal of the game which in turns reduced the daily activity for the game. We will be using a three pronged attack to tackle this issue.
First we’ll properly reduce the actual power gap. We want a maxed out character to feel stronger than a newer character but not overwhelmingly so. We also want to add drawbacks to being powerful or using powerful gear.
We assume that as a player increases in character strength, he also increases in player skill. We want to make veteran players lives more interesting by adding risk vs reward calculation and more decision making in their play sessions. An example of that approach that you’re already familiar with is gear effectiveness increasing linearly while gear costs increase exponentially.
Secondly, we’ll work hard to make PvE, and the overall progression, actually fun.
This goes along with wanting to have more daily activities. If players have the choice of multiple alternatives leading to the same end, then there are more chances for them to find a way they enjoy. Or simply to see variety.
And finally, Darkfall’s progression offered no actual choices. You had to raise everything at the same time in order to be viable. We want to add long term strategic choices for players when creating a character. At the core, Darkfall was amazing for its freedom, and that is not something we intend to damage, but we want to offer alternative routes for more specialized roles that reach max effectiveness earlier.
The lack of positive player interactions
We could also have called this “no sense of community” or no “feeling part of a world” so much that this flaw was abstract in its cause yet so very concrete in its symptoms.
An example is how the only choice was to always attack or flee whenever meeting something that moves. That culture is what pushed away many of the “virtual world” players and ended up harming the game more than it helped it.
We want to enable players to still play by those rules if they so wish, no safe zones here, but we want to give strong incentives to have positive interaction with other players.
This means more occasion where players become natural allies rather than enemies in competition.
We want players to be happy to see other players, even strangers. We want “bandits” to be legendary and feared by the masses. We want “wolves” and “sheep”.