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Darkfall Beta Report - Tester First Impressions - Overall and Graphics

Discussion in 'Upcoming Games' started by ogreman, Nov 21, 2008.

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    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    Tasos Flambouras, Associate Producer of Darkfall, asked us to post this about Darkfall's beta test.

    Before the next wave of testers we thought it would be a good idea to post a representative sample of quotes from the current testers taken from an unsolicited first impressions thread in the beta forums. In doing so we cooperated with the testers in order to get a good balance of the good and the bad. I posted this update in the beta forums last night, and asked for help in order to make it a fair assessment of the experience so far. Everyone had the opportunity to pitch in and they seem to agree that the resulting preview accurately represents the sentiment of the testers.

    Having said that, I have to mention that our tester sample so far is diverse. The testers range from our biggest fans to our biggest critics, and from near “carebears” to the most hardcore players out there.

    Most of these comments are first reactions. Many of these have changed over the course, mostly for the better. There are many topics that haven’t been addressed enough to get a good sample of quotes on. We’ll post more when we feel we have a good balance of feedback. We’re also asking for feedback on specific topics to be used in subsequent updates. The lack of comments on some topics are due to the fact that the players are in the starting phases of their characters, and we wipe often so they haven't been able to advance enough to test advanced options. This is about to change soon.

    These quotes are completely unedited so please make allowances for grammatical and spelling errors. I will be posting these by category one after the other under this post.

    Overall Impressions:

    Overall we’ve been getting very good feedback about the game, we were hard pressed to find anything negative and actually had to dig for it and to ask a few times for something more critical.

    “i am testing for 3-4 Days now and have seen just a minimum of all the world has to offer, but i must give you compliments about the design... i tried out most starting Areas, and i find they are really great done (maybe Mirdain needs a bit of pimping so it fits adequately to the lore-part) and i find the surrounding area are all varied and give a good feeling of a "real world".

    “I love the sandbox feel of the game. I can chop a tree for wood, skin a tombstone (doesn't feel right), mine a rock, and whack some weeds for herbs and feel like I'm in constant danger running around in the countryside doing so.”

    “So far the game exceeds my expectations. I didn't think so much would make it in and it would be this stable of a client.”

    “I'm very excited by what I've seen so far, and can't wait to see more and play more.”

    “archery is really well done. I just wish there was a way to abort my shots. The graphics are nice and immersive, and that musical score is top notch. I'm incredibly shocked that the AI is as good as it is.”

    “Anyway the servers are up and I'll go back in to play - amazing game! I really love what I've seen so far”
    I've followed the game for a while, and I'm glad to say it was not in vain. It's not vaporware or anything like that. It really stands out as a quality game, and even after just a few hours, the addiction is already starting to get me.”All in all its hard for me to judge Darkfall even in the slightest right now, the content is there, it just needs to be enabled/turned on and switched out of debug mode for me to get a real feel for it, there is a lot of various things I can comment on all day long as well, i've done this type of thing before with various server emulation builds etc for previous mmo's before, so having this little content activated/turned right now is nothing new to me, I want to help make Darkfall a huge success and cover the entire potential player base.”

    I have played MMO's for 10 years, there have been games I liked and games I did not. I played them because of the friends I made and kept along the way. Together we tried several games but although some were fun we always felt like interlopers, playing in a game that was made for others and that those like us were an afterthought.
    As I wound up my first session, I realized today I was no longer a trespasser, today I was home.”

    "Over all I'm having fun as I learn this game. This is no easy hit "A" and go get a coke or something. You do this even with those goblin souts you are dead big time!!"

    This game is extremely solid, and just needs polish. They've done all of the fundamentals right, and the remaining problems are things like UI, tweaking AI, hardware compatibility issues, etc.”

    “Today I found some excuses why I needed to work from home instead of heading right into the office. Thanks for shutting the server down earlier today because I'm sure that DF was hurting my productivity. I'll probably have the same issue tomorrow though. I've never taken a vacation day or sick day for a game, but I can see how I might think about it for DF.”

    The biggest fear out there (and a sentiment shared by most of my guild mates) is that Darkfall has been in development for too long and has promised too much to be realized. Well, after my first weekend in game I honestly feel that your are onto something here in regards to the overall premise, that adequate resources are being devoted to the development, and that developer interaction and response bodes well for the future.”

    The World-Graphics-Technology

    The consensus about the graphics is that they’re much better than expected, something we’ve been saying all along. The game has been very stable and smooth overall, even in the full debug mode it’s running in. We’re experiencing really good gameplay from all over the world, even though our beta servers are in Germany, we’ve had no problems reported by testers in Western N. America, or in the Far East.

    "The Client is astonishingly stable (except for the Crashes while changing resolutions/graphic settings - though this has got alot better since the last patches too.”

    “The meticulously detailed world map is as huge as promised and feels so much more 3-dimensional than past MMORPG's that relied on height mapping. The overpasses, caves, chasms and crags, they add huge amounts of atmosphere to the environment.”

    “Only testing for a couple of hours now, but i just have to say, everything looks just so detailed... i am not really into gfx, but i am really amazed on all the things i've seen so far... very impressive...”

    “I walked from Chopping Necks (westernmost Ork starter town) to the coast to the east over 2 or 3 hours and NOT ONCE was I bored with repetitive landscape. There is almost always a settlement of goblins, freaky bird-men, hivekin, or something going on, and it's on all sides of you. I swam to an island off the coast, then to a second island. In total, the trip took about 4-5 hours one-way. I explored what looked like ~3% of the total map. Do the math! The world is gigantic!

    “Build 50 is extremely stable. I haven't crashed once and I've been playing a lot of hours. I have found very few bugs.”

    The amount of scaling possible with the graphics is genius. You have more options than ever and they all make sense. You don't have to have an enthusiast-level rig to enjoy df.”

    “From the moment of logging in I was in awe. The world is simply amazing and one cannot describe the intricacies and details of the vast world of Agon. I have never been a visually captivated gamer but I can't help but stop to admire the craftsmanship that formed this virtual world.”

    “The graphics scale pretty well apparently. The game looks fine. They need to do some optimization, but everything is running in debug mode and I get 60-90 FPS.”

    “The world is amazing, I must say. I've only been around the Alfar parts so far - pure awesomesauce there - and every part there feels unique.
    I walked around fighting some goblins near one of the starting zones and looked up and thought that the sky looked abit strange, but then realized that it was not the sky that I was looking at, I were inside the mountain and I was looking at a huge cliff that were hanging over me. So you can see that they have spent alot of work shaping the world, which is again, pure awesomesauce.
    Climbing mountains feels really cool as well. To stand up there looking down at the world and you get the feeling that you can almost touch the sky.
    I've only been around the Alfar parts, but never get bored exploring. The world really is huge, when you look at how long it took to walk from A to B on the map.”

    “I wont nit pick for silly things but the game it self ran very smooth I was running at 120-150 ping to the European servers. I only ran across one lag spot as I was running around the land. I love seeing the skill gain system working just from using abilities, it's been to long to see that. I have a high end system but I run on an 8800GT (waiting for release to get my new card) and it still ran smooth.”

    I think there should be more about the quality of the graphics as that was one of the major criticisms made by your detractors. After playing, I honestly think you guys managed to make fools out of them.”

    “The client is very stable, haven't had a single crash. The worldbuilding is very good indeed (as other's have noted as well). It looks and feels believable as a world filled with strange creatures, and that you can go wherever you want is really fun.”

    “Performance is better than I would have ever imagined on my machine.”

    “The graphics are strange in some places and absolutely superb in others. Some stuff like rocks, gardens and books just blew me away with the detail and beauty. Some rocks looked like a photograph while others had some pretty sharp edges to them and didn't look very real. Note that I have not seen much of the world and it is strictly limited to the dwarven starting area.”

    Main thing that has impressed me so far is the quality of the worldbuilding. The people responsible for that really outdid themselves and should be proud of their work. It is sheer delight to go striking out in a random direction and seeing what you can see; both overall settings and nuanced details are superb.”

    “Have u ever stop playing, sit back and admire the sunrise or the sunset in ANY other MMO? Darkfall was my first...
    Yes the graphics ARE that good”

    “Every bit of the music I've heard so far fits the setting it's in, especially the Alfar starting areas and Shoal itself. It's not the typical fantasy MMO style tunes that I had expected but more eerie and dark, sometimes hollow feeling. Even the weird almost digital/ambient-industrial sounding splash screen music is well done and gets you in just the right mood to play.
    And the sound effects are everything they should be, from the blocking of a wooden shield, the tinking of metal on metal, the character's vocal grunts and the spattering of blood... on everything. Even when I don't have arrows sticking out of me already, I can tell something is shooting at me and usually from which direction, when I hear the whizzing of an arrow fly past my head.”

    “Client is stable and amazing, i've been playing since the MUD/"The Realm"/
    UO 97 before T2A (The Second Age) and i've seen bad clients and good clients, ive seen non-stop .exe crashes and memory leaks (shadowbane.exe anyone? lovely memory leak that took over 6+ months to address) to amazing stability (darkfall client) WoW was another well done and stable client, even with all the add-ons that could be attached to the GUI, I also beta tested both WoW and Warhammer, my experience with warhammer was less than satisfying and there graphics aren't as good as people claim they are because for the graphics I receive compared to the performance I
    get, to me indicates they did not optimize their graphics/polygons/etc. In closing the Darkfall client does not seem to have any noticeable memory leaks, however cluster loads can seem completely random at times, however are short, 5-15 seconds range = great.”

    "The world is massive feeling and as I looked up at the sky I saw the sun moving. The shadows drew closer to me from a tower up on a hillside and I was looking at how the shadow changed as the sun moved. Then I got annihilated by a pack of goblins scouts because I was paying too much attention to the wrong parts of my surroundings."

    “I can't give enough credit to the art direction. Everywhere you go, you get a pretty clear "Darkfall" ambience that is truly unique and immersive. There is a lot of attention to detail and you can tell that there was a lot of love put into some of the design. The quality of graphics and animation have a little inconsistency, but overall there is a "wow" factor that I never expected from an MMO that gives you free range over everything. Just watching the sun/moon phases takes up way too much of my time. I never thought I'd be sitting in the swamps of Morak and commenting on the beauty of the sun eclipsing as it sets under a misty horizon.”


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