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Darkfall (DFO)
Aventurine SA
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 02/22/09)  | Pub:AudioVisual Enterprises
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Subscription
System Req: PC | Out of date info? Let us know!

Darkfall Online Interview

Recently, MMORPG.com's Jon Wood had the opportunity to ask a few questions of Aventurine's Tasos Flambouras about their upcoming MMORPG, Darkfall Online.

MMORPG.com:

We haven't heard anything new from the developers since the Jan 22nd news item announcing the first round of invites. Can you tell us why we haven't heard any further updates?

Tasos:

That’s not entirely correct because we’ve had a substantial update on January 25th and a few interviews since then but basically we’ve been doing what we said on the 22nd. Our first priority is getting the game ready for release. There are also thousands of testers to support and all this has been keeping us very busy. We have announcements coming soon with all the info the public needs in order to play Darkfall.

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MMORPG.com:

We keep hearing that the developers have responded to quite a bit of user input since the 22nd. Can you give us an idea of some of the changes that have come about as a result of player feedback?

Tasos:

We have been getting a lot of valuable user feedback and responding to it as we have done throughout the development cycle. Most of the feedback confirms our original intentions meaning that often players ask for changes or fixes that are already planned or in production.

We have benefited from the feedback in several areas where we needed testing input and we’ve had a lot of great feedback related to balancing, and on tweaking the gameplay experience. A lot of the user feedback has led to more testing of features. We’ve also been doing our best to respond immediately to any bugs reported by the testers and so far our track record has been very good at fixing them immediately. By looking at the player logs, we’ve corrected many areas that the players didn’t need to report.

It’s our commitment to continuously and proactively support this game throughout its lifecycle, on a daily basis, and to listen closely to what the players have to say so that the game can evolve and grow. We won’t simply assign a ‘live team’ to support the game while the rest of us move on to something else. The testers working with us already know this.

MMORPG.com:

There had been some speculation that there are plans to push the launch date further back than the originally announced 25th date. Can you tell us if there is any truth to this?

Tasos:

Consistent with the usual speculation sources, there’s no truth to this.

MMORPG.com:

Can you give us any more details on pre-order plans?

Tasos:

We will have a pre-order so that we can service Darkfall’s customer’s better pending release. The pre-order customers will be able to download the game prior to the 25th and to enter the game on the launch date. We considered offering early access to the pre-orders, but decided against this due to the competitive nature of the game. Our pre-order consists of a minimal charge to activate the process which will be concluded on the launch date. You’re not pre-buying the game; you’re simply reserving your copy for the launch date. Our billing partner is Globalcollect, a leading and trusted global payment service.

There will be a limited number of pre-order copies of Darkfall offered, and a limited number of copies available at launch. We won’t try to support more users than we can guarantee a good gameplay experience for, and if demand is higher than supply, then we will move to a structured release. It’s also not a matter of simply throwing up a few more servers to meet increased demand. Darkfall being a sandbox, real-time, seamless world able to support over 10 thousand concurrent users requires considerably more infrastructure and support in place than your average MMOG. We will do what is necessary to support the demand, but it’s not going to be instantaneous.

The overwhelming majority of the people who have played the game have expressed their interest in pre-ordering, but it’s not our intention to urge anyone to pre-order, rather to inform that this is an available option.

 

MMORPG.com:

As of now, are there any systems or features that players have expected to see in the game that will not be ready for launch?

Tasos:

The only feature we haven’t had time to implement is the Mahirim 4 legged run. Mahirim characters can of course use mounts until this is implemented.

We have consolidated several skills and spells and taken out redundant ones but we’ll continue to continuously add more throughout the lifecycle of the game. Running guards have been replaced by guard towers because they are more effective and also because more NPCs in the world just take up player spots. Repair works on ships, cannons, warhulks, structures, but not on player items and this was done to better facilitate the game economy and the appropriate adjustments were made to balance this out.

Then there are the old features we’ve announced changes on already through various updates, like individual player housing consolidated for now under clan housing, ritual magic being left out, prestige classes left out, and ARAC guilds being possible for practical reasons with only the penalty of incompatibility.

I’m sure I’m not addressing a few smaller features since I’m answering this question off the top of my head, but any changes we’ve made are mainly because either the feature was impractical in the Darkfall environment, it wasn’t fun, it was redundant, tedious, didn’t add to the gameplay experience, or because we are rethinking it.

Of course, we’ve also added hundreds of extras to the game that the players are not expecting and will continue to do so throughout the lifecycle of the game.

MMORPG.com:

Can you give us an idea of when you plan to lift the game's NDA

Tasos:

We will lift it in time for people to get enough feedback to make an informed decision. We would rather not say when that is exactly.

MMORPG.com:

Has any progress been made in moving toward a North American launch date after the European date of the 25th?

Tasos:

We’ve been looking at this, but we don’t have anything to announce yet. As I mentioned above, this is a serious commitment in resources and infrastructure, and we need the time to do as good a job as possible. For the time being, the European servers have been handling N. American players very well, and no problems have been reported due to player location. We will of course facilitate the migration of N. American players if they choose to join the N. American servers when these become available. There will be more information on this shortly.

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