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Old 03-18-2009, 12:33 PM
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Algar Algar is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Algar
Last Night in Darkfall

So the night started out pretty much as any other over the past week or so that I have been playing Darkfall. First, I grabbed my axe and pick and went out mining and logging for iron and wood. Normally this is a rather dull endeavor but due to a recent patch there was a significant increase in activity regarding resource gathering. A few players came by to poke and prod me to see if I was attended but, upon learning I was ready and willing to defend the contents of my backpack, they moved on to easier prey. Not all, however, were so easily spooked and a few serious skirmishes did break out.

Some time later I returned to town to smelt my ore into ingots and convert my logs into wood suitable for crafting. I then began to bang out a variety of low level weapons for the clan bank. While these weapons are of dubious quality, only slightly better than one's starter weapon or what might drop from a lowly goblin, my skill gains were steady and these weapons are, in fact, quite usable and appreciated by the rest of the clan. I set aside some resources for the end of my session and used them to craft a small batch of higher quality "rank 10" greatswords for personal use.

By then the clan was starting to come online and most went about their business as usual. Quell (aka "Krayton" from WoW SP) also logged in and we decided to try to complete a quest that involved us traveling into enemy territory to slay 3 Mirdain players. It was a long way to travel by foot and danger lurked around every corner. Our first encounter was actually two mounted Mahirim; our own race. We spotted the first one down in a valley below us and watched as he feinted attacks at us, drawing closer then retreating. It seemed an odd thing to do but by the time we realized his plan it was too late. Another mounted Mahirim had sneaked up behind us and charged, knocking Quell off the cliff and separating us. The battle was over quickly and soon we were restocking our gear at the bank closest to the bindstone and starting our journey anew.

Our next attempt to breach the elf lands didn't fare much better. As we headed toward the closest Mirdain city, we explored the land and found several mob encampments... not one of which failed to kick our asses, causing us to run away at top speed. When we finally did reach the enemy city, we circled the area to keep out of range of the guard towers until we came across a lone elf chipping away at a metal spawn with his pick axe. We attacked but the elf proved rather fleet of foot and was able to reach safety before we could down him. Before we knew it, several elves and humans were upon us and quickly found ourselves back at the bindstone, naked and bloodied.

Our spirits dampened, Quell and I then decided to try something a bit more manageable. We both accepted a quest that had us kill as many of a local mob, hivekins, as possible within an hour. 10 kills completed the quest objective but the more we killed, the more gold we would get as a reward upon completion. To avoid the cluster of noobs camping the nearest and easiest hivekins, we traveled a bit further south and engaged hivekin broodguards among the ruins of an island. We met a stranger, another Mahirim, while at the spawn and engaged him in conversation. He asked if it was OK to skin our kills after we had looted. It turned out to be mutually beneficial since neither Quell nor I had thought to bring a skinner and by fully looting and skinning the tombstones, which would make them disappear, the mobs seemed to respawn faster. After the hour was up, we had both slain around 30 hivekins and were quite pleased with the 200 gold we each received as a reward.

During this time, a chain of remarkable events unfolded within our clan, which now boasts a compliment of 8 members. One of our clansman, our lone dwarf, was being griefed by his own race. Being far away and deep within dwarven lands, there was no way we could realistically help him. Our GM decided to declare war on the aggrieving clan; not just to help our dwarven brother but also as a way to test the game mechanics. We all thought it would be pretty funny and fairly inconsequential since this enemy clan was an enemy race to all but one of us anyway. Moments after our war declaration was pronounced system wide, 5 other clans, totaling perhaps 200 members, declared war on us. Turns out a pirate clan GM saw our name flash on his screen and, on a whim, decided that he and his allies would declare war on us. In "negotiations" with our GM, he made several threats and demanded we pay him in gold and resources, at which point the talks ended and we told him, basically, "go for it."

The drama seemed to unite our clan and evolved into our first clan hunt. The 5 of us that were online planned to meet about half way between dwarven and Mahirim lands to hunt mobs called Oathbounds, which are basically tough, spell casting vampires with a strange habit of wiping the blood off their mouths after a vicious bite attack. Quell and I had encountered them a few days earlier and were able to down a few after a long battle.

Of course, in a game like Darkfall and, as previously indicated, getting there is half the battle. On my way to the waypoint, I had a run in with a Mahirim gone mad, who attacked me. He was equipped far better than I and quite skilled. However, unfortunately for him, one of my clansmen was not far behind so I managed to hold him off until my support arrived and we proceeded to relieve him of his possessions. The two of us drew closer to the Oathbounds, where our dwarven clan mate waited for us, traversing snow capped mountains so high that you could no longer see than land below. It was then that the dwarf was attacked, killed and dry looted by a group of 4, two dwarves and two Mahirim, at the Oathbound spawn.

Four of us, all Mahirim, finally met up in a forested valley where we tried our luck against some hill giants. As much as we tried, we could not pull just one and our ranged attacks did little to no damage against the hulking beasts. Engaging just one giant in melee, let alone 3 or 4, was an effort in futility. Dismayed, we moved on toward the Oathbounds, encountering doom spiders along the way, which we had more success against. Shortly after the spiders, we were attacked by two Alfar players on mounts but they ended up running away as we plunked arrows in their backs.

The Oathbounds were over the next mountain range and we climbed our way toward them. By now, our dwarven clansman had returned to the spawn but soon found himself under attack by the same two dwarves that had killed him earlier... the Mahirim had apparently moved on. "Run towards us," I said as the four of us sprinted down the mountainside. Within moments we spotted our stout friend hauling ass with two well armored dwarves on his tail. We descended upon them, taking down one dwarf but, unfortunately, the second one left his partner to die and escaped. Turns out we got the right one. All of our dwarf's gear was returned plus enough extra banded armor pieces to help equip most of our team.

Finally, it was time to do what we had set out to do. The five of us engaged the Oathbounds, trying our best to pull only one or two at a time, with varied success. In Darkfall, mobs don't run up to you and stand still while you whack away... and these spell casting, hard hitting mobs proved to be no exception, as these slippery Oathbounds darted around, attacked and retreated. Calling upon my memories of fighting Shadowclan orcs in UO, I said, "box 'em in!" As the mobs fell, we all enjoyed the loot, which included some nice rank 20 and 40 magic staffs, which are needed to cast any spells.

Content with our victories against the Oathbounds, we crossed a ridge and sought out Oathbound Lieges, which are basically Oathbounds on steroids. I must say that fighting these mobs was the most fun I have had PvE'ing in a long, long time. Our basic tactic was to try to pull one using ranged attacks then the 5 of us would box the mob in and whack away with melee until, one by one, we would have to tap out and go rest to get our health and stamina back; then re-engage. Unfortunately, the Lieges didn't always comply with our requests and 1 or 2 more would descend upon us. Depending on the situation, we would either all retreat or have one of us keep the fresh mob busy while we finished off the one we had been working on. All of us died at least a few times ("wtf is that skull cloud shit?!") but luckily no mortal blows were delivered and we were able to rez our teammate and continue on. Overall, we managed to kill 7 Lieges total, who dropped a staggering 150 gold each as well as some resources and items. By then it was getting late and the paranoia deepening among the party so we recalled back to our bindstones and called it a night.
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