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Darkfall News Update

Jon Wood Posted:
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Darkfall News Update

The folks over at Aventurine have released an update on the progress of their pre-launch test, telling us that improvements have been made and that another round of invites should be going out.

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.

Darkfall Screenshot

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:

  • The interface has been completely reworked and re-skinned.
  • Camera modes have been updated. You can now use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
  • Warhulk movement has been enhanced. You can cycle camera modes using F12
  • Mount controls have been tweaked
  • Rivers will now carry you downstream.
  • All character attributes have been enabled and they display signals when they increase.
  • NPC animations have been updated
  • Rune Stones (recall stones) have been enabled.
  • You can buy more slots for starter weapons at a vendor.
  • Directional attacks for all melee weapons have been added. You can slice vertically or horizontally.
  • Player Journal and Clan Window have been updated.
  • High score quests have been enabled.
  • Time limit high score quests are enabled
  • Massive AI update: Many more monsters have been added.
  • AI behavior has received a significant update.
  • Wildlife has been enabled. Tigers, bears, lions etc. can be found in nature.
  • Underwater monsters are now enabled.
  • Dungeon monsters are now enabled.
  • Monsters will now visibly taunt you
  • Roaming monster packs are enabled.
  • Some monsters will send you personal taunts.
  • Environment system is fully enabled. Ambience and weather will now change over time and as you travel. One Darkfall day is now approximately 5 hours long.
  • In-game help has been enabled.
  • Updates to armor graphics.
  • Character creator has been updated.
  • More player skills have been added.
  • Clan cities that belong to your clan have been updated to display on your world and mini map.

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.


Jon Wood