Hey everyone!


It’s been about a week since my last post and I’ve gotten quite a bit of playtime in. A while back, we talked about how realistic the idea of “Self-Policing” actually is in a modern day MMO. At the time, I wondered just how well the greater anonymity of a game like DF would allow for it to take place. Well, I’m happy to report that it works. Players self-police, and well.


So, what caused me to bring this up again? There’s an idea going around (mainly from people who dismiss the game by concept rather than design and practice) that we’re all a bunch of rabid killers who gank newbies two seconds after they enter the game. Somehow, people got the idea that playing Darkfall was an exercise in frustration, where you die all the time and everyone is out to grief you.


I think Graill, a commenter on a post over at Massively, says it best.


“The devs touted consequence as a stop gap to prevent “Lord of the flies” type play but that is what the game is degenerating down to at this time and alot of folks dont like it, the consequence is easily circumvented. Pass.”


First, the obvious, if he’s passing on the game, he’s never played it and is basing his opinions on forum posts. And, let’s be honest, the Darkfall forums are pretty much a cess pool most of the time, which makes his assertions pretty much worthless. They would be anyways, if they weren’t surfacing from people across the net.


Let me be clear here, Darkfall is not a game focused on griefing. It’s about PvP, sure, but not all PvP’ers are griefers. Here’s the other thing, gear is not the end all be all of every battle, so losing it isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. On top of that, if you lose it, so what? You can get a basic set from the starter mobs by any newbie bindstone.


Anyways, on to that “stop gap” he mentioned. What he’s eluding to is the alignment system. For those who don’t know, you start off with a positive alignment but if you kill a member of your own faction, you go negative. When you’re negative, you’re barred from using any NPC city which is a huge disadvantage if you’re not in a guild that owns territory. More importantly, the whole freaking world wants to kill you. Your race doesn’t matter. Your gear doesn’t matter. The fact is, by turning red, you’ve become a steak thrown into a shark tank. That’s when you’re going to be griefed. You’re a free kill and everyone knows it by the very color of your name.


So, that stop gap? It’s there, just people outside of the game aren’t able to see if because they’re not playing. Or color blind. The whole “this game sucks because they encourage people to be jerks” is flawed and plain out not true.


Back to self-policing. It works for the reasons I said above. I’ve also happy to report that the amount of players isn’t hampering the policing process. The game world is so large that players are localizing a lot more than I had anticipated. That’s good news because it means that even though 10,000 people may be in the game, you’ll probably spend a decent amount of time around a much smaller amount in your direct area. Remembering names and player reputations is much less of an issue than I thought it would be.


To be honest, I think that there should be more policing done by players are less by game mechanics, like the safe-zone towers.


In other games, self-policing probably wouldn’t work too well. In Darkfall, you can count on it, so don’t believe all of this anti-hype you’re hearing. This is a game you really have to play to give it a fair judgment. It’s more subjective than most other games available right now. Join the bloodbath 😉


Update: I found my first griefer last night! I was killed while harvesting but because I couldn’t bind to my clanstone yet (not enough room at the moment I was there) I was teleported to a nearby chaos stone (where reds go). Immediately upon respawning, I was attacked by some naked guy with a leaf blade. He proceeded to kill me the next four times I respawned. Because I had very low health and mana, I couldn’t really defend myself.


I could have been frustrated and logged off. In truth, I was frustrated. Honestly though, I couldn’t help but think of how sad this guy’s game must be. He’s naked, in the middle of no where, killing for no benefit and wrecking his faction. The guy was on a pathetic path and I could only see him rerolling or quitting the game because it was filled with “carebears”. Griefing gets you nothing but the pity of your victims because it’s really a sad demonstration of someone’s self worth. And I think most players in DFO realize that.