The end of Fantasy MMORPGs

It’s a well known fact among many gaming circles now days that the Fantasy MMORPG genre may very well be coming to an end. The simple, repetitive process of creating a character, and grinding (the process of killing enemies over an over repeatedly) to become more powerful is  beginning to feel stale, and many gamers are asking for more.

The only true advancement made to the genre as a whole these past five years has been the jump from pay to play, to free to play. Games like Lineage 2 that require a purchase and monthly subscription fee have been overthrown by those like Last Chaos, Silkroad Online and Shaiya, that offer better graphics and gameplay, and are entirely free to play.

Of course, these games offer little in the way of innovation, and for the most part act as nothing more than copies of their former subscription based models, and while the simple fact that these game require no purchase or payment to play feels quite exciting and new right now, it wont be long before players realize that they are still essentially playing the same thing – and will begin to crave something new.

What the genre needs is change – not simply a new world with new characters, but something entirely new, something completely different, something to inject life back into an otherwise dead style of gaming. Knowing this (by way of the ability to peer into the future, of course) I have begun to search for developers with a like mind. Developers that have seen the future as I have, and are craving something more. At this point in time, that developer is Adventurine, and their game is Darkfall.

Although Darkfall has been in development for almost 9 years, the strict beta access and impenetrable NDA protecting it has left those wanting more information on Darkfall with empty pockets. From what do we know, Darkfall is a highly PvP orientated ‘carebear free’ game, with a world bigger than the majority of us could even imagine. Combat will be carried out in real time, requiring players to actually aim their bow and spells in a third-person perspective, as there will be no auto-attack function featured at all.

There will be no safe zones, and PvP will always be enabled. Additionally, defeating another player in PvP combat will see you able to loot their corpse, allowing you to take their gold, weapons, armor, and anything else they may be carrying at the time. Of course, the same rules apply to you, and if you are killed, expect to lose everything. All weapons, armor and items however are both designed and created by players in the game, so provided you have the required skill and materials, re-equipping yourself may not be such a difficult task.

The standard leveling system has been thrown out entirely, as have classes, allowing players to create their own classes by simply learning to use anything they wish. Pick up a sword and practice with it and you will soon find that you can purchase new skills for the sword, and the same goes with everything else. The dynamic environment and weather systems will see players that want to stealth being required to actually hide – in long grass, bushes, tress – using the cover of darkness to annihilate their enemies.

Of course, a full PvE Quest system will be included, and players in guilds are free to create not only their own homes and castles, but their own cities too. There is simply too much information to describe here, and anything more would be doing Darkfall little justice. If you too have begun to find that the Fantasy MMORPG genre feels stale, if you too are becoming bored with doing the same thing again and again, Darkfall may be the answer to your prayers too. Darkfall is due for release on the 25th of February – check out www.darkfallonline.com for more information.

By, Cody ‘Neramaar’ Hargreaves

 
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