The folks over at Aventurine have released an update on the status of their upcoming MMORPG, Darkfall. According to the release the trial, which from this reporter's perspective closely resembles a Closed Beta, has been making strides in terms of player feedback and load test, having exposed an issue with their patching and login systems as well as others, which have been addressed. All well in line with what you would expect from a game in the closed beta phase of testing.
As a result of numerous fixes, the letter promises that more invites will be handed out , following the three waves that the company has already invited. They will do this until their capacity is reached. There was no word on solid numbers and while their capacity is probably unknown even to them (that's what they're testing for), it would have been nice to know how many invites constitutes a wave, if only to slate my curiosity.
Arguably the more controversial part of the latter states that the NDA is still in place. While this isn't unusual for any game doing these kinds of test, it is a little bit out of the ordinary given the game's proximity to launch (one month) and the fact that this phase is being called a trial rather than a beta. It's really just semantics, but I think that the wording is causing some confusion amongst fans and critics alike.
At this time, MMORPG.com has not received its invitation, but we have been told that we will get one just as soon as the stress testing has concluded. In the meantime, we're in the same boat as many who haven't received invitations yet: sit and wait.
Check out the original release:
Forums had been down due to several DDOS attacks. Since it became an issue, we took the forums down and have taken all appropriate measures to make a recurrence less likely. The game servers have not been affected.
The trial faced some issues during the initial stress test when the volume of the invitees taxed the patching and the login system. This was to be expected and it's the nature of a stress test. Testers experienced periodic low download speeds and various minor errors and hiccups which were soon dealt with. We increased our patching capacity and corrected small errors, until everything was running smoothly. For launch we will have in place a peer to peer system which should greatly improve download speeds and make the downloading and patching run smoothly. There have been a couple of server crashes since we're still running in debug mode. The issues causing the crashes have been addressed and we have issued a few new patches in this time. Servers are currently down for scheduled maintenance for a few hours tonight, during which we are also running an internal stress test. Servers will be up again right after this.
So far there have been three waves of invites sent out and these proved to be a very good stress test for the download, patching and login systems. We would like to thank the testers for their persistence during this initial stress test and their patience while we corrected the issues that came up. Most players entered the game, and have been playing since yesterday.
Now that things have stabilized, we'll start sending out more invites. We will keep sending invites out, every day when possible, and until we hit our capacity.
The NDA is still in effect, because this remains a testing period. Even though this is the release candidate client, previews based on this experience may not be indicative of the release quality of the game, especially not while you're consciously trying to break the game during stress testing. The game is still in debug mode so that we can deal with any issues that arise. Other than that, we are trying to simulate the launch, in order to better prepare for it. The testers in-game so far have been sending us very positive reports on their gameplay experience, even so, the NDA will be in effect while there's still testing going on. As soon as we're out of debug, the stress test is over, we'll lift the NDA.
If you haven't received an invite yet please don't take it personally. You very well might receive one soon. Please respect the invite process; it was made to be as fair as possible, while also being the most helpful for the game. We appreciate everything the community has done for the game and while we regret that we can't make everyone happy, it's impossible when considering the large volume of the applications. Even so, there will be a great number of players allowed to playtest. We really understand the impatience, and we're doing our best to get as many into the game as possible.
Please do not try to bypass the invitation process by emailing or PMing us. We're afraid that it's not possible to do so. This is an automated procedure, and we could not possibly manually process all the messages we're getting at this stage.
As far as the latest major patch goes, these are just some of the updates included:
There were also numerous smaller fixes and updates included in this patch and in the subsequent few smaller patches.
We'll follow up with more status reports on the game, and various other updates as needed.
MMORPG.com will keep you updated as more information becomes available.