Quoted from Sam's latest email:
It's January 2044 in Darkwind, or 24 years post-apocalypse. But the signs aren?t good.. recently the Daytime Aurora started to appear again over the Northern Desert. The last time this happened was in the years leading up to 2019 when the sun wreaked havoc on the world.
The developers have been very busy in the past 12 weeks, and below there is a list highlighting the key new features that you might be interested in.
News and New Features Added in the Past 12 Weeks
Our 5th town (Firelight) has been added. This is a uniquely pirate town, with some special rules which make it more attractive to ?evil? players ? for example they become local heroes by killing bountyhunters, allowing them to get the first choice on rare hardware in the mechanic shop.
Player-owned camps have been added, allowing hardware production, resource extraction and farming. This allows us to continue the gradual shift towards a dynamic player-driven economy, and the emergence of new sources of gameplay and income are showing ? for example, we have our first occurrence of one gang?s mechanic characters being paid a wage to work in another gang?s camp; we also see an upsurge in the need for resources such as Car Parts and Fuel, and the need for players to make cross-continental trade runs to supply these to the camps. We are currently discussing the mechanism for attacks on other players camps, but it is certain that this will raise the ante on pvp play hugely. Camp attacks are likely to involve multiple skirmishes over a number of days as well as sieges and resource blockades. The recently added NPC contract attacks have already added some spice to pvp politics.
A lucrative new type of mission has been added: the trader escort. Your gang may be hired to accompany and defend a trader squad between two towns.
Our gritty post-apocalyptic roleplay has been boosted with the introduction of drugs. Your characters may become users or addicts of various substances, from mundane things such as alcohol and steroids, to the psionic-inducing 46-Ys and the psychotic combat drug Zerk. Each of the drugs has short-term effects on your character?s in-game abilities while under-the-influence, as well as longer-term effects on their skills, abilities and training.
We ran an event over Halloween where special spooky decals were to be found on wilderness-looted vehicles. These won?t be available again for a long time, so those that were gained by players have become collector?s items. The decal system has also allowed custom badges and racing insignia to be dynamically added to cars in-game.
Significant improvements have been made to the driving AI, especially in the wilderness.
The detail and variation in weapons has been further enhanced in several ways, for example with ?internal spread? and ?damage versus soft/hard targets? factors, and with variable reload speeds (see http://www.dark-wind.com/weaponTypes.htmlhttp://www.dark-wind.com/chassisTypes.php)
The community has continued to grow, with the Darkwind Gazette taking on some great new editors. Other players are making Darkwind Podcasts (http://www.dark-wind.com/podcasts.html )and running the Darkwind Wiki (http://www.graymattercomputing.com/darkwindwiki/doku.php).
2043 League Honours
Once again Advanced Race Labs have been the most successful autoduellers, scooping two of the three major leagues (race and deathrace) as well as the deathrace ladder, the Northern Summer League and the two minor leagues running in Elmsfield and Gateway Truckstop. The other major league (combat) was won by Fish Heads, regaining this title for the 3rd time in 4 years. The race ladder and combat ladder were taken by Forsaken and The Reeking Pukes, while the inaugural season of the Northern Semi-Pro Combat league was won by Xander of Advanced Research Labs. Here?s hoping for a competitive and bloodthirsty 2044 season ;-)
Thanks for reading, hoping to see you on the track..
Lead developper and game designer
And to conclude this, non-subscribers are now permanently allowed to borrow a car for scouting for a very small (in game) fee.