The tactical, car-combat aspects of Darkwind take place in In-town and Wilderness events.
If you go AFK during an event the following automated actions occur:
- if no orders are submitted for 5 moves you get a warning
- if no orders are submitted for 8 moves you auto-disconnect back to the lobby
- any vehicles under your control will behave as you have set in your Preferences, i.e. allowing other players to control them, running away, or letting the AI take control.
Vehicle-based spectator sports are the primary diversion for the population of Evan.
There are 3 types of events:
- Race - a non-combat race similar to present day autoracing only without caution flags
- Death Race - a race with armed vehicles. Heavy casualties, including deaths, are the norm for these events.
- Arena Combat - vehicular combat within a confined arena space. Points are awarded for damage done to the opposing team.
- Gladiator Combat - results from characters being sold to the Arena in Firelight.
Persistent Lap Records can be earned in the the various Race and Death Race events.
Vehicles used in town events can be adjusted in a variety of ways. Players can adjust the following attributes of the vehicle they will use in the event:
- Paint job/skin
- Suspension Length
- Suspension Stiffness
- Tyre Pressure
- Armor Configuration
Setting Up your Vehicle
It’s paramount to note that the same settings for Suspension Length and Suspension Stiffness may lend radically different (and even opposed) results from one chassis to another. The first step to experimenting with these two settings is to “know” the vehicle you’ve chosen. The initial suspension height and stiffness for one vehicle (say a Sunrise –which is very high and very soft) will be entirely different from those of another (say a Flash – which is very low and very stiff). Trial and error will teach you the proper settings for your driving style, although these description will provide you with guidelines.
- NOTE*** The following information regarding "Suspension Length", "Suspension Stiffness" and "Tyre Pressure" is based on extensive town event play and lap record setting but cannot be verified officially as these features were coded into the game without clearly defined effects to vehicle handling.
The length of your suspension will mostly affect how well your vehicle avoids damage from difficult, uneven terrain as well as your vehicle's cornering ability.
A higher suspension will improve your vehicle's handling when driving over sharp dips and peaks in a race track's terrain. The higher your suspension, the better the chances that you will coast over such obstacles without affecting the direction in which your vehicle is heading. A higher suspension will also prevent your car from bottoming out on rough terrain, a situation that would lead to potential armor damage (particularly to front armor) and loss of speed and direction.
A lower suspension will improve your vehicle's ability to corner tightly. In practice, the lower center of gravity afforded by a low suspension will translate to less counter-steering in tight corners, less loss of speed and considerably less understeer when tackling a corner at high speeds.
The stiffness of your suspension will affect your vehicle’s ability to absorb uneven terrain and your ability to corner. Contrary to suspension height, which will determine whether you lose speed or take damage from bumps and holes in the road, suspension stiffness will affect how your vehicle banks and dips after entering or exiting uneven terrain.
A softer suspension will improve a vehicle’s handling when driving over tough terrain: it will maintain the car’s level while your vehicle’s wheels move up and down along the suspension strut. A stiffer suspension will cause your vehicle to “mirror” the shape of the terrain it is tackling, which can cause your vehicle to bounce wildly for several turns after exiting a patch of tough ground (this essentially prevents you from adjusting your speed and your heading effectively until your vehicle stops bouncing).
A stiff suspension can improve cornering speed by reducing the body roll in turns although it will cause the vehicle to understeer slightly. Generally speaking, this is a preferred setting on flat, fast tracks to maintain speed and reduce counter-steering when taking corners at high speeds.
Tyre Pressure will affect your vehicle’s acceleration and handling, and can also affect how much (or little) tyre damage you take from cornering at speed or losing control.
Low tyre pressure will help your vehicle grip the racing surface more effectively, particularly on asphalt and rock surfaces. At the cost of a decreased top speed, low tyre pressure will also improve your vehicle’s acceleration. When drifting or cornering at high speeds –or when losing control and spinning out on rough surfaces (asphalt and rock) - low tyre pressure will radically increase the amount of tyre damage you suffer.
High tyre pressure will afford your vehicle a higher top speed and better damage resistance when drifting/turning or losing control - particularly on asphalt and rock. On the other hand, you’ll have less grip on the racing surface and you will have lower acceleration.
There are several versions of wilderness events.
- Travel Encounters - When driving between towns, there will likely be some encounters with local gangs.
- Scouting Encounters - Intentional fights with local gangs. Either local gangs, or traders, if you choose.
- Returns - After a scout, you may get a second encounter, at the gates of town.
- PvP - If your PvP flag is active, then one of your encounters can be replaced with a PvP encounter, is someone else is ready. If you have a PvP ancounter, you shouldn't have any more encounters until back in town.
- Rally - A race run just outside of town, between randomly generated gates. Currently there are only Professional events.
- Death Rally - Like a regular rally, but with Combat. Currently there are only Professional events.
- Town Attack PvP - Sometimes pirates will attack town, and you can choose to be the militia defending the town, or the pirates.