Darkfall Custom Roles

Tue, 13/05/2014 - 17:32

Today, as promised, we would like to present to you our design for the custom roles mechanic that we are adding to Darkfall: Unholy Wars.

As we’re sure you’re all aware, this system represents a core change to the mechanics of Unholy Wars, and as such, is a system that, going forward, we will monitor very closely, and will make changes wherever and whenever required.

The details presented here, then, should be considered the first, and very important, step in creating the free and open system that fulfils our sand-box vision for Unholy Wars. This is not the end-point of the system, it is the beginning. And your feedback will be vital in the evolution and continued development of the system.

With the pre-amble out of the way, let’s move on to the details, of what we could call “v1.0”, of the system:

Skills and Skill Selection:

Skill selection is now entirely player choice. Using the new “character build” window, players can select any 9 “school skills”, only one of which can be the “ultimate skill” from any school. All “common skills” are available to all players. Players will be able to activate a total of 16 skills, common and school combined, for any set build.

All skills in the game are being re-evaluated, on a skill-by-skill basis, to ensure that all skills are individually desirable. Changes to skill function will be made as necessary and new skills will be added to the game whenever we see a “gap” that can be filled (for example, counter-skills for identified over-powered skills).

Players will be able to change their build any-time they have been out of “combat-mode” for 15 minutes or more. As you may know, combat-mode ends when the player has not dealt or received any positive or negative effects for 1 minute.

To facilitate duels or times when players wish to try out several builds in rapid succession, we will add an NPC to starter cities that will reset build-change timers, and allow an immediate build change. We will also include this NPC in clan holdings, but its function will be disabled when there is an active siege for the holding.

Boosters and Attributes:

Boosters can now be split by players as they see fit. There remains the same 40 points to assign, in groups of 10, but a player can assign their 4 “+10” boosters to any attribute, in any combination.

Intelligence is being re-worked to make it more useful, and more distinct from Wisdom. It will be based around Mana regeneration (not Mana pool-size). Staff bolt is also being tweaked to make it more useful overall.

All vital stat pools are being normalised with significantly more weight being placed on the base attribute instead of the booster. This ensures that all character builds start from an “equal footing”.


All armour types have been given new “bonus properties”, as a counter-point to the increased protections that heavy-armour already received, and to make all armour types individually desirable to different builds and play-styles. All armour bonuses will stack based on the total number of pieces worn, and the ranks of those pieces.

Types of armour and their bonuses are:

Heavy Armour (Ex-Warrior):

  • Highest Protections Overall
  • Resistance to Knock-Backs

Heavy Robes (Ex-Primalist):

  • 2nd Best Protections Overall
  • Increased Mana and Stamina Regeneration

Light Armour (Ex-Skirmisher):

  • Next-to Lowest Protections Overall
  • Increased Attack, Draw and Cast Speed

Light Robes (Ex-Elementalist):

  • Lowest Protections Overall
  • Increased Magnitude of All Skills, Including Default Attacks

As you may have guessed from the above, armour mixing, between types, will be allowed. Initially this will only be available for head and shoulder pieces, due to technical restrictions.

Changing armour types will require the player to exit combat-mode (not receive or deal any negative or positive effects for 1 minute).

As far as attribute requirements for equipment go, we are initially opting for a system that allows for a greater amount of customisation, but also requires the player to commit to certain choices. The system allows for the players to set their own stat requirements on armour and weapons. Each of the four attributes is assigned to 1 armour type and 1 weapon type of the player’s choice. Having that attribute boosted will give players access to higher ranks of that armour or weapon type only.

As a specific example, a player who wishes to play as a “Paladin-style” character could assign “Heavy Armour” and “Staff Weapons” to their Wisdom attribute. Then, by boosting Wisdom, they would gain access to Dragon Armour and the Highest-tier Staffs, and Primalist skills would still benefit from having maximum Wisdom. However, by choosing “Heavy Armour”, the player will be setting aside access to the highest-tiers of “Light Robes”, and the magnitude bonus they give, “Heavy Robes”, and the increased regeneration rates, along “Light Armour”, and the speed bonuses; the player will also not be able to make use of the highest-tier melee weapons.

Other Things:

When the system goes live, all players will be eligible for a Prowess re-spec, for all Prowess spent to level-up skills, attributes and so on. Details of how this will be made available will be given closer to the time.

For ease of use, in the skill selection window, players will be able to link any skill to a specific weapon by dragging it on the slot from their backpack. Executing the skill will also auto-equip the corresponding weapon.

Finally, we’re certain you’ll all be happy to hear, wobble will be removed.

Thank you for reading; we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this initial version of the system. As mentioned earlier, your feedback will be invaluable in shaping the future development and direction of the system.