Darkfall: Day Six

Day Six of David X. Messer's journeys in Darkfall. Bit of an odyssey this time...

Shortly after I joined my first Clan there was a brief comedy moment where I found out that the Clan Hamlet was. It was possibly as far away from the area that my character started in as it was possible to get. The Alfar start out in Nagast which is the area in the middle on the southern end of the map. And the Clan hamlet was in the far North West corner. This would mean traveling across 2 non-friendly zones. Me who has only been playing the game for a week. It's been said that I like making life difficult for myself, but I prefer to look at this kind of thing as a character building challenge.

I stripped down to just my starter weapon, and started running north. My first attempt I took the direct route. My aim was simply to run north through Mirendil and then cut diagonally across the tribelands. This approach taught me two different things. The first of which, and not for the first time this week, was it taught me I was wrong about something. I may have made an ill informed comment about the graphics. Well, I take it all back. It struck me as I crossed the border into Mirendil that I may have been a bit hasty (read: wrong) about that and I apologise. It comes down to the fact that the starter area for the Alfar is very barren indeed. There isn't much besides rock to look at and it's not really what you'd call interesting or pretty. Mirendil on the other hand is interesting and pretty. It's stunning and I think even WoW could learn a thing or two from it. Whereas in Nagast there are only rocks and trees to hide behind, in Mirdendil the long grass was making me giddy with the ambush possiblities. No time to stop and pick flowers however, I was on a mission. My route across Mirendil was trouble free, but as soon as I crossed into the Tribelands I was spotted by a Mirdain on a mount and within about 15 seconds I found myself back in the starter town of Deep Yishku having died on my arse.

"You know this is peak player killer time, don't you?", came the helpful comment from the clan channel. Well, I certainly do now! Being peak PK time had some advantages. Player tombstones littered the countryside and it was possible to pick up some really nice bits and pieces simply by being in the right place at the right time.

For my next attempt I decided to try swimming. This possibly had the advantage that I should hopefully avoid any contact with other players. I got halfway up the Mirendil coast before I discovered that Darkfall has sharks. Lesson learned. Next attempt I got halfway up the coast of the Tribelands before someone, who'd clearly trained their archery skill, picked me off with little or no effort.

The problem with swimming is that it's too slow. If I got into trouble I had very little room to move or to get out of trouble. For my final attempt I simply ran following the coast. This was faster than swimming alone, and had the advantage that I could at least react quickly should I get into trouble. Each time I passed an area where I'd died previously I found the going a bit tense. Was that another player I heard? Am I too far out from the coast that sharks might get me?

There were a couple of things that would have helped me if I'd had the presence of mind to look them up. The first of which is the interactive Darkfall map page. I'm sure there are other maps but this was the first one that google pulled up. There's a mechanic similar to the innkeeper thing in WoW where you can set where you'll spawn should you die. These are scattered across the map and in some cities and hamlets and the interactive map lists their locations in a hugely helpful way. If I'd known of the existance of this map I'd probably have chosen a more direct and planned route. Now, if only I'd found this a day earlier it'd have made my life a lot easier!

My running had got me to the northern most tip of the Tribelands. It was a very tense time as I swam out to Niflheim. As luck would have it the Clan channel piped up at that moment and told me there was a chaos stone where I could bind just on the coast which I did. The feeling of relief was immense. As I came near the clan hamlet I was gifted my first ever mount for my efforts, the end to an amazing day in Darkfall.

Posted by Drew Shiel at November 15, 2009 5:00 PM

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