ark and Light may be in early access, but that doesn't stop Snail Games from treating the project like a live game. In this interview we discuss the Scalding Abyss, the latest big update, and how the project is working towards its hybrid MMORPG/Survival sandbox goals.
MMORPG: The Scalding Abyss is Dark and Light's biggest update to date. Can you explain to our readers what it all entails?
D&L Team: Scalding Abyss had the new Fire Dungeon, the legendary Fire Axe, and the very awesome Fire Armor. Additionally, we had thanksgiving theme things like a turkey as well as a few other things.
MMORPG: What sorts of changes to the optimization and engine have you made since EA launch?
D&L Team: Where to start... I think the biggest optimization we made were the ones to the server. We take server stability very seriously and we did get a lot of heat for launching with the stability it had. I think a lot of it was not being ready for surge of players jump into our servers. Those server issues really helped us narrow down some systematic issues that we were unaware of. Of course we didn't resolve every single server issue, but we gone a long way since our launch. The second optimization is optimizing the game to run smoother on a wide-variety of PCs. This has been the most challenging because the world we build was so huge. When a world is as huge as Archos, adding new things will definitely add a strained to both the CPU and the GPU of any machine. We are still doing our best to optimize as much as we can, but we're taking that learning for the upcoming expansion.
MMORPG: This update feels a lot like a traditional MMORPG content patch. How much closer to launch do you think this takes your team?
D&L Team: We haven't really thought much about the actual launch date. We are so focus on making the game fun and a completely different experience in the survival genre that we forgot that we are approaching a launch deadline. We just hope that by the time we launch, we create a game that both the community and the development team are proud of so as we move forward, we can expand on it.
MMORPG: While the update is largely about the new dungeon, what other sorts of additions have been made?
D&L Team: Each large update like this, we tried to fix bugs that we feel would have the most impact on the game. We took a lot of learning with our first dungeon and introduced it in this next dungeon. Moving forward, we hope that the next dungeon to come will be better than the last and we can update the older dungeons to meet those standards.
MMORPG: Is there some story behind the Abyss itself?
D&L Team: Without spoiling too much, there is a story behind the Abyss. In DNL, there are several school of magic that is present. Fire, Ice, Air, Earth, Light, and Dark. We hope that while players battle through these dungeons, they realize there's more to it than just cool loot. They are building and preparing themselves for a bigger enemy.
MMORPG: Dark and Light seems to be a blend between sandbox MMO and traditional MMO. Are there plans to add more and more dungeons and quests into the game?
D&L Team: Yes, as I previously mention, we are going to be coming up with more dungeons. We hope that these dungeons of serving the purpose of giving players the opportunity of getting new loot, and fuel the urge to explore the future dungeons to figure out why there exist these dungeons. Quest will help us expand on the Lore of DNL more, but that'll take us some time to work on.
MMORPG: Is the loot you get from the Abyss only craftable, or can it be immediately used if you defeat the challenges within?
D&L Team: Players can get it via loot, or they can craft it if they want to use another item more.
MMORPG: What does 2018 look like for DnL?
D&L Team: We have a lot planned for 2018. One of it is another dungeon that is themed around Air. After that, we have an expansion DLC that I can't talk about too much but players will have a chance to leave Archos and start exploring pieces of Gaia.