Monday, 26 November 2012

Darkfall: UW Info Breakdown (192 Specialisations)

Update: due to new info 30/11 we now know that there are still opposing schools and there are no primalists are release, this means my 192 figure is way off. see edit 2 for details.

This article is an in-depth breakdown of info on Unholy Wars mostly focused on the recent interface dev diary posted below. Some of the info discussed is obvious, but some is new and interesting, that I doubt anyone else has figured out. I've managed to calculate some interesting things such as starting and endgame health pools, 192 class specialisations. Also since I last blogged about darkfall there has been a Fire elementalist video, and Battle brand warrior video which are both worth watching.

Feat System

One of the main things this video sheds light on is the feat system, which while mentioned before we knew nothing really about it. Below is a screenshot of all the feats viewable in the video along with some of the text from the dev diary post. In unholywars you will earn an equivalent of exp called "points" for completing achievements, which will be used to unlock roles/abilities/"boosters"(see below). This should be separate to the normal leveling up of individual skills an abilities like in darkfall 1, you can see a screenshot of abilities leveling up here.

It's a pretty big deal, darkfall never had much focus on quests, but it sounds as if the few traditional quests in the game will be completely removed and replaced by this system. This is some impressive design from aventurine, if done right people can progress by just playing the game how they want to play which IS a sandbox feature. But it should also keep new players and themepark players who need direction entertained and generally give the game more mass appeal whilst not taking anything away from the core darkfall experience.

Boosters, Pools and Attributes

The forumfall retards had their usual panic attacks when they heard the term boosters since it does sound like cashshop terminology. But boosters are simply updated versions of the title quests in the original darkfall, you can see the UI for changing boosters and roles below. I worked out alot of important things slowly analysing the changes to this UI during the video.

Note: +75 and -37 are the UI showing the change compared to your current pools.

Carefully watching the video and crunching the numbers I have calculated the following:

Elementalist base pool: 195 health 270 stamina 345 mana
Skirmisher base pool: 270 health 345 stamina 195 mana
Warrior base pool: 345 health 270 stamina 195 mana

Elementalist has +75 mana but -75 health. Skirmisher has +75 stamina but -75 mana. Warrior has +75 health but -75 mana. All base pools total 810. It seems that you are forced to choose a role in character selection, but the theoretical unmodified base pools are 270/270/270 (thanks Werin). This change in pools is before and separate to any titles now known as "boosts", but does stack with the boosts.

Are base pools modified by attributes themselves like in darkfall 1? Nope. You can also see in this video and others that now the only attributes now are:

strength (warrior)
dexterity (skirmisher)
intelligence (elementalist)
wisdom (primalist)

Since the title says +75 health and +20 strength, and only increases the pool by 75, we can assume that the strength attribute itself does NOT effect health pool. Strength likely increases mele damage, dexterity archery damage, inteligence spell damage, and wisdom? pherhaps heal damage or buff effect. Its also worth noting that the UI shows armour giving attribute bonuses, something not found in original darkfall.

We can also assume the 4 ranks of "boosts" give the following bonuses:

Rank 1: +37 pool +10 attribute
Rank 2: +75 pool +20 attribute
Rank 3: +112 pool +30 attribute
Rank 4: +150 pool + 40 attribute

This gives max health pool of 495 (warrior + rank4 strength), quite a step up from our base health 270. We have been told that races will have no stat differences in UW also. We can infer that everyone has the same base pools 270/270/195. In UW you level up your health by earning points and buying the boosters, instead of slowly grinding up attributes, but the difference in pools between new and max characters isn't too dissimilar, however maxing will be ALOT quicker with the new system.

Abilities and Specialisations

A Skirmisher's abilties with primary brawler, secondary deadeye.

Another great bit of info from the video is we are shown 10 "common skills", active abilities which everyone will have in addition to the 9 you receive from your chosen player roles. All players will have 19 cool-down abilities at one time, along with ability to shoot a bow, swing a mele weapon and shoot a bolt from a staff. Previously some of this common skills were in a "minor incantations" school we were told about here, which also describes what skills like "slowfall" do. I assume there will only be those 10 common skills in the game which means 90 total active abilities in unholywars, although one might argue "repair" is not a combat ability.

When calculating pools I observed that you still can only have 1 booster active at a time, however you can choose what booster to use with each role. This is REALLY important because it means there is going to be even more specialisation choices than we previously thought. A fire/water mage is different to a water/fire mage because they have different ultimates, in turn a strength fire/water mage is different to a inteligence fire/water mage.

Because of this there are 192 specialisations, ie ways to build your character. 4 roles, of which 4 primary schools, of which 3 secondaries schools per primary, of 4 boosters. (4x4x4x3=192). Obviously some will be less common than others, strength may be a fairly common pick up on elementalists to counter their inherent reduced health. But don't rule out the possible effectiveness of less typical combos like inteligence warriors. Powerful warrior abilities may have short cooldowns, but very high mana costs. Remember that invicibility ability in the battlebrand video people where whining about? Being able to cast that more frequently with a inteligence boost may be more powerful than the typical strength health/damage boost.

Unholywars is looking to be a very different game to darkfall, and while it does appear on the surface to be "dumbing down" for a more mainstream audience, when you scratch that surface we are seeing that its actually a more in depth complex game imo.

EDIT: Pherhaps the only valid criticism of this post is that previously AV have stated there will be opposing schools. The last mention I can find of was 6 months ago in this june 08 blog post, back when the project was still called 2.0. If this now pointless feature was kept you'd expect it to be mentioned in any of the more recent role system posts, such as "unholywars role system description". But its true we cannot rule out the possibility which would needlessly reduce our 192 figure down to 128.

EDIT2: The new dev post on 30/11 confirms opposing schools, and also the same day interview with tasos, we learn there will be no primalist on release. It now seems pretty pointless to predict the about of builds, for example will wisdom boosters be in at launch? But this is disapointing news, expect ALOT less specialisation variety on launch than I wrongly predicted. Sorry :< but you can still learn alot of this post tho.


  1. I've added an edit at the end on possible opposing schools.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Loved the read, Thank you for taking the time to make this.

  4. 270 270 270 base

    Warrior takes 75 out of mana and puts in health
    Skirmisher takes 75 out of mana and puts in stamina

    I don't think there's gonna be a 75 point bonus to just signing up to a "class" at the trainer.

  5. good post Warin!

    I think you are right about the base being 270 270 270. However I was thinking of removing it anyway because it was merely hypothetical, since it seems you have to select a role in character creation screen.

    what we can learn from this is that base pools total 810, so we can expect the primalist's base pools to also be some sort of distribution of 810, possibly 270 270 270.