Ub3rgames wants to reboot classic Darkfall

The long and checkered history of Darkfall has taken an interesting turn thanks to Darkfall: New Dawn, a project that aims to reboot the fledgling sandbox title “into a medieval fantasy EVE Online with an amazing combat system.”

A group of former Darkfall players has formed a company called Ub3rgames which is currently attempting to negotiate a licensing deal with original publisher Aventurine. Assuming success, the company’s website estimates between six and nine months of development prior to launch. It aims to avoid the safe zones and classes introduced in Darkfall’s Unholy Wars reboot, and it also says that it will incentivize “positive interactions to make Darkfall more than a gankbox.”

New Dawn will feature a box price, a monthly subscription, and it will not have a cash shop, though some sort of PLEX-like game time object is planned.

Source: Darkfall New Dawn, thanks Marc!
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Vunak
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Vunak

Sythalin Vunak Leviathon_lx
Since you are into quoting einstein. Great spirits have always faced violent opposition from medicre minds. Thanks for the insults to my intelligence. 
Your claims are rather bold. You must have a

Zariarn
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Zariarn

I really don’t believe there’s enough player population to support separate titles.

jonny_sage
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jonny_sage

I wish them luck. DF1 is still the best first person sandbox made to date. I have fond memories of loosing an arrow against an attacker trying to flee, and killing. Then taking his stuff. Of going out naked, killing a goblin, taking HIS stuff, and using it to kill bigger stuff. Of crafting having a purpose, clans having meaning, ownership having meaning. Being unique and yet just another peasant.

jmadfour
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jmadfour

a FFA Full-Loot  Open World PVP game with PVE content will never, ever, ever succeed. no matter how much the same 5 PVP Griefers yell about it on forums and on Massively.

a game like that will never attract a large enough following to profitable enough. nobody wants to play games with the type of people it encourages. 

if you want to make a PVP game, make a PVP game and leave all the PVE out of it. but then all the so-called PVPers won’t like it because there won’t be any Carebear fodder to teabag.

ub3rgames
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ub3rgames

Perfect Hero ub3rgames Sorry if it felt like we were dismissing you. We actually spend more times answering to people that disagree in order to either convince them, or give them a chance at convincing us that we have a better alternative.
In this case, we’re quite confident that Darkfall’s combat was a happy mistake and that we should try to preserve its mechanics, but balance its meta game. (more viable playstyles and less power gap) We tried Tera and got extremely frustrated by those freeze frames, so to us this was just a diametrical split of opinion.
Our approach is to really go after the original vision, what was sold initially and attracted most of the playerbase. Player base that got let down by the implementation after a while. We believe that player retention was the main issue, not acquisition, so we’re focusing on that.
Finally, if you read our about us page: http://darkfallnewdawn.com/about-us/ 
You’ll see that we are “real professionals” with reverse engineering experience. Your comment actually hurt a little ;) We also approached Aventurine at the time it was thought that the code was incomplete and partially unrecoverable. We will be having it better than what we expected.
Thank you for interacting with us even though you’re not convinced by the project… yet.

ub3rgames
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ub3rgames

Craywulf ub3rgames We try to remain as transparent as possible. We’ve played Darkfall from launch to closure, and we try to be the devs we wanted to have back then.
We did list performance issues, but in our secondary flaws. Load lag, crashes and stuttering really are not a game design feature so it is not a flaw of the game per say, it is something that should work as a given.
Our InDev server will be functionally a vanilla server for a few weeks or months as we’ll focus on performances first. We also need to do that in order to reduce operating costs, so it is a win-win.
Thank you for your candid comments. If we can take the heat and enjoy being in the frying pan.

Sythalin
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Sythalin

Vunak Sythalin Leviathon_lx Do you know one of the definitions of “insanity” is?  Repeating the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  This is no exception.
And yes, I’m saying it’s time to let go.  The game has what?  Less than 1k players?  To reboot it YET AGAIN is simply a waste of time and money at this point.  I will not apologize that you are clearly too naive to see it.  Maybe when you grow up a bit and learn how the business world, specifically ROIs (that’s “Return on Investment” since I doubt you wouldn’t know without Google).  Once you do that, you’ll see, and most likely agree, that Darkfall is a dead IP in the gaming world and any more money put into into is just begging to be lost.

But hey, I’m just some clueless, uneducated MMO community member, AMIRITE?!?!!?

P.S. No, I don’t give a rat’s ass if you enjoy it, just like you don’t give a rat’s ass what I enjoy.  Again, I will not apologize if this offends; Welcome to the real world.

Strongrider
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Strongrider

Great news. Can’t wait :)

Craywulf
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Craywulf

ub3rgames I appreciate the direct response to my comments, I sincerely wasn’t expecting a response.  I read the flaws you listed and frankly I am not surprised how you listed it. I’m going be straight up and tell you that even if you fix the problems you listed, you still need to fix the biggest problem you haven’t even listed. Server performance and stability  of Darkfall is notoriously bad. It’s not going to away by adding all these “features”. In the long run you’re still going need to deal with the server stability. Good luck.

pcgneurotic
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pcgneurotic

“fledgeling”? :D

Perfect Hero
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Perfect Hero

ub3rgames I also urge you to get a real professional to look over the code before signing anything or handing over any money. I have a feeling that all you will be getting is a plate of spaghetti and mud balls.

Perfect Hero
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Perfect Hero

ub3rgames I disliked the actual product not the original idea. That said I played both DF1 and DF:UW until most everyone quit. Also trying to write off anyone who disagrees or did not like the game is the same mistake AV made that left it an empty hull.

CistaCista
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CistaCista

andybbtt11 SandboxPodcast Actually it was a battlefest – violent interactions among compatible forces.

CistaCista
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CistaCista

DarkFall fans are simply the best fans :)

tikato
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tikato

Deathage I think the main reason for this high attrition rate is the company behind this game, Aventurine. Their CEO is a lier and their communication sucked hard for years. Now AV’s “new team” is listening to the biggest crybabies in the forums and try to clean up the mess.

I think I’ve played most of the games of the competition and I can say that none is as good as Darkfall:
– Life is Feudal is a buggy mess and way too complicated
– Mortal Online has the worst PVE I’ve ever seen and is very unpolished
– Lightrise isn’t released yet and I’m not sure if its going to be a MMO in the future
– Melee Battlegrounds is dead silence
– Das Tal, Shards Online, Albion Online is from the top view
– Reign of Kings is some buggy crap with some unity assets thrown together
I really hope ub3rgames does a good marketing campaign in order to find new players who are interested in this very different MMO niche/approach…

tikato
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tikato

Perfect Hero tikato ub3rgames imo the main problems were all those dupes and exploits in the beginning. Most of those “5%” players had almost maxed out characters because of all this shit. The other 95% had to swim against a wall for months in order to get viable in pvp. Yea DF1 sure had it flaws but I really enjoyed the smooth combat and the hitboxes. There are not many FPS MMORPGS out there.

ub3rgames
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ub3rgames

Good point. Terra is what comes the closest, but it seems to use freeze frames to help with interpolation. It is smart trick and gives a great stylistic approach for those that have a taste for it.
You may simply have been unlucky, or your rig was good gpu wise but average cpu clock wise. DFO doesn’t make good use of multi core. That is one aspect we’ll have to work on.
Finally, seems like you simply disliked the game. The world and the combat were big selling points. It is not the first time we notice Tera players disliking DF and vice versa.
We can’t please everyone after all.

Perfect Hero
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Perfect Hero

tikato Perfect Hero ub3rgames It looked really stupid, it was nowhere near balanced, it allowed the top 5% of skilled players to dominate the server.

Deathage
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Deathage

tikato Without seeing numbers it would be hard to say one way or the other, but from my excursions into DFO and DFO:UW (in both instances, immediately post-launch then several months after release) it seems that the attrition rate is higher than desirable. And with LiF and others on the horizon, the competition is about to get even tighter. Not that these are exact alternatives, but exactly how much do you think DFO fans are willing to pay to keep the lights on, with no new entrants and attrition?

ub3rgames
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ub3rgames

Sociopaths are an extremely small portion of the human population.
The interractions you think you’ve had with sociopaths were with normal people playing the rules the game dictated them.
If there is more to gain by killing someone, if there is something to lose by not killing someone or if there is in any way a double blind scenario where the first to attack is at an advantage, then this is the game dictating the rules of killing everything that moves.
This is decision theory 101 and purely logical. You can observe the consequences in DayZ likes or in the old Darkfall.
We will not create safe spots, but a scale of risk vs reward to create hotspots for PvP and quieter zones for normal play. This is what we mean by pseudo opt-in. Players chose the level of risk they are confortable with.
This, alongside a meaningful alignment system, rewards for collaboration and funneling players towards guaranteed PvP content will work to reduce sociopathic behaviors towards the human average.
At those rates, sociopaths become content for other players. They are the thrilling factor that make PvE players play games with open PvP or the Dark Souls franchise.
In conclusion, there will always be griefers in games. At least in PvP games they are not invulnerable. And in Darkfall they stand to lose quite a bit, especially with our planned changes.

tikato
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tikato

Perfect Hero ub3rgames It was quite silly because it actually required skill?

tikato
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tikato

ub3rgames Deathage this. People who want to play Darkfall will pay every price, because there is absolutely no alternative (Don’t start with Mortal Online).

Deathage
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Deathage

ub3rgames I’ve got to respectfully disagree. I think that if you want to increase market penetration, reducing the barrier to entry and increasing your budget for product promotions and reach is a great way to do it.

One of the pitfalls of indie games like DFO and others is their inability or unwillingness to advertise. Other than possibly a banner ad on mmorpg websites and getting on to steam (which won’t do much in the MMO-sphere since relatively few MMO’s use the platform) I saw very little in the way of advertising from Aventurine. By only advertising themselves to gamers that frequent these sites who were raised on story driven PVE-centered games where gear is valuable and not to be lost, you close yourself off to other potential playerbases.

At this point there is a whole generation of kids who have been raised on Minecraft: a game with minimal plot, item loss at death, and an open world that is player-made. These kids are getting older and have been conditioned to accept death and loss in their sandbox game as well as grinding as a necessary part of the journey. The problem is, they don’t know what the hell DFO is. If you are able to put together the money to pay Aventurine for the rights to their source code & IP, try to set aside some money for advertising as well, regardless of the payment model you choose. It doesn’t have to be a full-page spread in PC Gamer, but even something like paying a popular streamer a few thousand to stream the game a few times a week for 2 hours could be big for raising hype.

As for the f2p model being a black hole of cash grabs from which companies cannot extricate themselves, that just depends on who is helming the ship. From what I’ve seen and can surmise this is a fan-project put together by individuals who loved the original game and want to see a faithful representation put forth and built upon. You guys don’t seem like the type of company to fall into that trap. If you are afraid that you will fall into that trap necessarily because of a need to constantly put out skins to generate revenue, maybe do some research into the cyclicality of revenue streams for f2p mmorpg’s and weigh that against your estimated costs. Basically, find out how many skins (at what price) you would need to sell to break even and see if that is possible, given your projections of f2p versus paid server populations and the average percentage and expenditure of your paying players. Maybe reach out to other mmorpg companies whose model you might consider implementing (PoE, again) and see if they have any advice or can provide further information. Additionally, if you have one or two developers dedicated to the design/cash shop portion of your game (idk your team size) and the rest dedicated to real content creation and development, there need not be a “tipping point” over into the dark side of f2p.

With all this being said, I should mention that I am actually in the p2p camp when it comes to my personal preference. My worry is that through a fear of f2p and a mindset of a necessarily niche playerbase you guys will pigeonhole yourselves the same way Aventurine did. Every game needs fresh blood to thrive, and with the high availability of alternatives in todays MMO or even sandbox landscape, I fear that a box price and subscription may be hard to justify.

Regardless, I wish you and your team the best of luck and hope things work out. I may even pop in if a deal is able to be worked out with Aventurine. Just food for thought!

Perfect Hero
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Perfect Hero

ub3rgames Perfect Hero I guess that’s true if we pretend Tera online does not exist. I’ve participated in some large scale battles in Tera with great fps and no crashes. I could never do that in either version of Darkfall. I enjoyed a nice steady 5 fps in sieges back in DF1. Even with a great rig for the time. 

Darkfall is hardly a mostly complete game. It’s an empty world with combat. The physics are terrible and the combat was not even close to being representative of medieval style combat. Warriors in heavy plate armor with a large bastard sword sprinting in circles waving their weapon around trying to make contact with another player’s hitbox. It was quite silly.

Ironwu
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Ironwu

ub3rgames
I knew you did not get it.  Sociopaths do not grief other players out of greed, or boredom, or any other rational reason.  They do it because they are sick; mentally ill.  Nothing you can do, other than prevent involuntary PvP will stop them.  Even then, many will attempt to use the remaining game mechanics to grief.
The fact that you are already starting to put in ‘safe spots’ indicates that there is some fear that there is no real solution to this problem.  Since there is never any REAL threat to these sad people, there is nothing to stop them.
You are really throwing away money, time, and effort on something that simply cannot succeed in any meaningful way.  FFA PvP always sounds like a good idea, and it simply never is.  Sociopathic players will always be around to ruin the game for anyone that tries to play in an honest and friendly manner.

ub3rgames
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ub3rgames

Deathage An f2p model is not viable for such a niche mmorpg. It can only work when you have a market large enough to multiply your player base by at least 10 by going the cash shop route.
With Darkfall, the population willing to play such a game and the population willing to pay for such a game is almost one and the same. We won’t get more market penetration by lowering the barrier of entry.
Also note that we are not going to release the game in maintenance mode but we will heavily develop upon it and, as budget allows, improve its graphics and create more worldbuilding content. For this, we need a steady revenue.
A cash shop driven model also muddies the water game design wise. The goal of a developer switches from making a game people keep on playing to making a game that supports a  cash shop. It is a very scary idea when the game is, at its core, centered around PvP.
We’re aware of Tibia’s model, and considered it, but we decided against it. Instead, we’ll have a free trial and a PLEX like system. We want our game to not have second class citizens. As long as you can connect to the server, you have equal opportunities to every other player.

Deathage
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Deathage

Look up the game “Tibia” when you get a chance. Check out their premium/sub system. Its a fully open world, no instancing/phasing, drop loot at death in pvp/pve, etc. If you want to get into the game and play all day every day, pvp and level up to your heart’s content, go for it. But if you want to create a guild or own property, you need a subscription. Not a bad payment model. The game has been around since ’97 and still has around 18k people online at any given time.

Deathage
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Deathage

Bruh… you won’t get a large enough population for the game to be “humming” by charging a box price. A sub, maybe, if you can get enough people through the door initially (and get them hooked). Why not f2p with cosmetics that don’t drop on death (ala PoE) or charge guilds to get highly customized decals for their ships/flags etc.?

Vunak
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Vunak

Sythalin Vunak Leviathon_lx
So you are advocating the death of a game. You are so full of yourself that you want the game to shutter even though it might have fans (obviously it does or someone wouldn’t be trying to revive it), but who cares about them because you don’t like it.  Even though it has no impact on you at all, because you know all you have to do is not play the game. 
But nope. You don’t like it or don’t agree so it should die for all those that actually do enjoy it. 
Good job MMO community. Way to support your fellow gamer.

ub3rgames
Guest
ub3rgames

Craywulf We wouldn’t call it a clusterfuck, but we’re aware the game is deeply flawed. At this point, it’s not a diamond in the rough, but a diamond to dig out of a mine closed for a few years.

The first thing we have communicated on was on that point: http://darkfallnewdawn.com/what-were-fixing/
But the potential is there. Why else would people call it their best MMO experience?

Craywulf
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Craywulf

Until Ub3rgames admits that they are getting a clusterfucked game, there will be no progress on the marketing front. Defending shit, isn’t going to work no matter how improved the game really becomes.

ub3rgames
Guest
ub3rgames

Perfect Hero ub3rgames Which scales with difficulty with the high network related CPU requirements for large scale PvP. And doesn’t even begin to cover the back end infrastructure complexity.
Haven’t you noticed all the indy games getting created with Unity or UE and then falling flat whenever multiplayer comes into play?
Those commercial engines are designed to be pretty and easy to create content with. That is their niche and they do a great job at it. But every game that has claimed to have large scale battles had to do it with in house engines. ESO did a proof of concept then switched to in house, Planetside 2 is in house as well, so is Eve.
All of those games “cheat” by not having collisions and tab targeting, client side hit detection and aggressive player culling and time dilation effects.

Darkfall’s engine isn’t without issues, and we have leads on how to improve and build upon it, but it is one of a kind both server and client wise.In 2012 it was stable, and as an added bonus, it comes with a mostly completed game with decent content and an enjoyable combat system.

Perfect Hero
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Perfect Hero
snotgurgle
Guest
snotgurgle
ub3rgames
Guest
ub3rgames

Perfect Hero Darkfall is a nicely done world with good enough assets and already created content. Basically all that costs a lot in time and resources will be already there. If we were to start from scratch, we would have to wait for years before seeing any results with no guarantee of quality. Darkfall’s content worked well enough to be improved. We’ll just have to address game design issues.
The technology is also worth getting. It is proven and tested for that very specific use case. Do you know a lot of engines and middleware able to handle multiple hundreds of players with real time player collision, projectiles and non tab targeted combat?

Perfect Hero
Guest
Perfect Hero

Why not license a decent engine and middleware instead of trying to build off of something that was outdated and poorly made the day it was released?

ub3rgames
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ub3rgames

SandboxPodcast andybbtt11 Well if it is the case, it gave us an occasion to pre-emptively address those type of answers. Win-win?

ub3rgames
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ub3rgames

Jownz ub3rgames Koolthulu It can end up a win-win scenario. UW is at its core a different game than DFO was, and it is coming into its own lately. But there will always be a two headed community: jaded DFO vets and UW supporters.
Our opinion on this is that a DFO reboot means that UW can focus on what it wants to be, and DFO can be expanded in what it could have been. Both games can coexist and please different populations with a more positive overall community.

Jownz
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Jownz

ub3rgames Koolthulu Jownz Yea that’s just crazy. Bringing DF back and making improvements would hurt DFUW’s already small population. I’m real surprized that AV would do this. I would like to see what you guys can do with the game. It was my favorite world for a long time.

ub3rgames
Guest
ub3rgames

Jesse Schulkers Jasdemi

This was sadly the experience for many players. Darkfall in 2009 was not only a gem in the rough, but it was still in the mine getting carved out of the earth. But under the issues, there is a great game waiting to happen.

The issue you are talking about is one that we consider a primary flaw, and most of the project is aimed at fixing it:
– Stats and skill will have diminishing returns. The power gap should be reduced significantly.
– We’ll have a better system than a soft cap: Our title system is based around a set of optional perks to make some aspects of your character stronger at the expense of being weaker elsewhere. Pick one early and you’ll feel the difference.
– Bloodwalls will be imposible, but collaborating with others will improve leveling speed through mob spawn scaling.
– We’re leveraging the meditation system (offline skilling) to help casuals stay in the run.
Take a look at our player progression section on our website and let us know if we missed anything.

Player progression

Jesse Schulkers
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Jesse Schulkers

Jasdemi This was my experience. The first 3 months where everyones figuring the game out were great. I totally expected a softcap in how many skills you can have at a time (as the devs said there would be if i recall right). I didn’t expect 3 months of great fun and goofing off to be followed by the bloodwall botters leaving their bloodwalls and joining the game.
I got rocked hard by a naked guy with a leaf blade.
I would hit him regularly for 30ish damage using my big rank 40 2h axe. He hits me for 55 or so with the spawn 1h sword. He proceeds to out-stamina me, out-strength me, and out-cast me.
I was not pleased and quit once i noticed about 15 of these pricks roaming the orc starting area.

SandboxPodcast
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SandboxPodcast

andybbtt11 SandboxPodcast  I’m pretty sure this post is to make fun of the normal posts on this server.  Andy has been in guilds with me before and knows how annoying all the anti pvp posts are on this site.

ub3rgames
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ub3rgames

Thanks a lot Jef for covering us. We hope to that our endeavor spills enough virtual ink to entertain everyone here on MOP and beyond.
See you back in the game Soon™.

ub3rgames
Guest
ub3rgames

andybbtt11 SandboxPodcast
What we’re aiming for is to create mechanics enforced role play behaviors.

To explain, we won’t have any meta RP rulesets, but we will design mechanics that encourage player interactions similar to what they would have been if roleplayed.

As an individual example, we will have mob spawn scaling, so that any additional character on a spawn is not competing with you but actually improving your skillup gains and ads some more loot and challenge.
The expected reaction will be “cool, more xp!” rather than “I must kill him before he kills me”.
Darkfall already had that partially through clan wars and diplomacy. Alliances, rivalries, betrayals, all of those things you can see in fantasy stories happened. It created its own epic stories and tapestries of historical relationships à la Game of Thrones.
If you remember back at the original launch, the Hyperion roleplay alliance was defeated in parts by pseudo RP, their enemies had to do heavy propaganda just like any movie warrior king would do to boost their troops morale.
In short, If players have the same incentives than their character would have, their behavior is similar to roleplay.
it also helps shape a virtual world where collaboration and positive interactions can occur organically.

ub3rgames
Guest
ub3rgames

Koolthulu Jownz We cannot discuss details of our negotiations, and it is important to state that a final contract has not been signed yet. That said, Aventurine has been extremely cooperative and our interactions with them have been nothing but positive.

What we’re suggesting will be possible and the results will be ours to achieve.

ub3rgames
Guest
ub3rgames

Jasdemi This reboot is under new management.
Come and interact with us on our forums and you will quickly see that we’re aiming to be as transparent as possible.

We all had a blast for the first year until the flaws became too apparent. Take a look at what we’ll be aiming to fix:

What we’re fixing


These are the issues we see as handicapping Darkfall, and the rest of the website describes our solutions.
We’re hoping to turn this game into something more substantial, with sensical PvP fueled by a better virtual world.

ub3rgames
Guest
ub3rgames

Ironwu

Ironwu
Guest
Ironwu

If they think they will ‘incentivize’ sociopaths to play nice with “…positive interactions…”, then they are living in a fantasy world, on another planet, in another universe.
My guess is this will never see the light of day.  Adventurine would have to have some sort of royalties to cover the loss of subscribers from the current incarnation of DF.  I suspect that after that, and expenses, there would be little left for the publishers of this piece of niche.
Let it die, already.

Wakkander
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Wakkander

So Darkfall wants to reinvent itself as fantasy EVE… Do we know where Ryan Dancey went to when he left Goblinworks yet?

andybbtt11
Guest
andybbtt11

SandboxPodcast I just wish there was more pve and a RP server. Then I would be interested, otherwise just another gankfest. whoopie.

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