Hardcore sandbox Darkfall: Rise of Agon officially launches this afternoon. The story of the game is a victorious one, as it’s one of two games being built by player-organized studios out of the ashes of Aventurine’s original Darkfall, which vanished without much of a goodbye just about a year ago. But don’t take our word for it: The Big Picture Games team has a 13-minute video out today taking gamers through the history of its development.
In conjunction with the launch, the Rise of Agon team joined up with OriginPC for a rather large giveaway for this type of indie game:
“We’re giving 1 fan a grand prize of an ORIGIN PC CHRONOS gaming desktop valued at $2,400, featuring an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, 30 Days of Game Time in Darkfall: Rise of Agon, and a $50 Domino’s Gift Card! 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive 30 Days of Gametime in Darkfall: Rise of Agon, and a $25 Domino’s Gift Card! Seven runner-up winners will receive 30 Days of Gametime in Darkfall: Rise of Agon!”
The giveaway ends on May 18th, so go enter!
The most recent patch to Darkfall: Rise of Agon does a lot of things for spawning. For one thing, it introduces the game’s dynamic spawning system, which is currently being tested by spawning mushrooms in appropriate areas. That means that things will spawn based on elevation and locale, rather than just all over the place. For another thing, it’s added in Champion spawn locations; while they’re not final locations, they’ll allow the developers to test the system and make sure there are no glaring balance issues.
Of course, that’s just scratching the surface of the extensive list of changes, which also include a large number of crafting additions and improvements, alterations to the game’s equipment system and changing gear, and ownership of mounts. A few spells have also been temporarily removed from the game to make sure that new players have an easier time understanding the game’s mechanics. There’s plenty of stuff in the patch, in other words.
Remember how Darkfall: Rise of Agon’s team mentioned last month that the game was roughly four months away from launch? That seemed kind of crazy. But it turns out that wasn’t hyperbole, as the team has announced an official launch date of May 5th, 2017. That’s a bit under three months away from now… and yes, just about four months away from the initial launch date. You can’t fault the team for lack of punctuality.
While you can play the game right now in early access, an official launch means that the game is ready for the game to be live consistently and with no possibility of further wipes. It’s good news if you’re anticipating the project and had nothing major on your schedule in May… or if you did but are now frantically trying to clear out your schedule just for this. We won’t judge.
Are you interested in a Darkfall reboot? No, not the official one that rewrote the game’s core structure, but something throwing the game back closer to its original incarnation. Big Picture Games announced today that it has acquired the rights from Aventurine, and Darkfall: Rise of Agon is moving forward in development, with fans already encouraged to sign up for alpha testing of the new old version.
This comes a month after the announcement that fan-based remake New Dawn was being allowed to move forward as well; it remains to be seen what this will mean for that reboot, the currently running game, or the price of peas in Denmark. The studio plans to release a development roadmap on Friday if you’re curious about the particulars of what separates this full-loot free-for-all PvP reboot from the others.
Rise of Agon is one of two fan-driven reboots currently in the works for classic Darkfall. Aventurine’s fantasy PvP sandbox has fallen on hard times in recent years, but a group calling itself Big Picture Games has published a signup page for its forthcoming alpha test, which it describes as having limited slots.
Big Picture has also produced a brief trailer, which may make you a bit nostalgic for Darkfall’s huge, seamless, and hand-crafted world. Or it may make you think, wow, I don’t remember it looking that bad. Either way, you can view it after the cut.
Believe it or not, there are two current attempts to secure the classic Darkfall license from Aventurine and reboot the game to its pre-Unholy Wars state. Yesterday we reported on how Big Picture Games is progressing toward an alpha test, and today we turn our attention over to Ub3rgames and its plans for Darkfall: New Dawn.
Ub3rgames posted a series of responses to community questions and concerns about the project, including why there won’t be a skill cap, what the team will do about macroers and hackers, and the eternal issue of griefing.
The team also said that it will not be going with crowdfunding to finance the title; it will be selling the game plus a subscription as soon as it can open up the store: “Whatever you pay us will translate into an actual service. You are buying a product with every customer laws protecting you. We do not want donations or investment, and it is partly why we did not go down the Kickstarter route. It is important for us that the player base sees their purchase as a safe expenditure rather than a gamble.”
A volunteer-led effort to restore the original version of Darkfall is moving forward as unspecified negotiations with Aventurine continue.
The Darkfall: Rise of Agon team announced that it will be self-funding the licensing costs while looking to the community for donations for the game’s development and operation. The alpha test will take place over four to eight weeks and be completely free to players, while the subsequent beta will be limited to backers only.
Big Picture Games said that the team is poised to get rolling once an agreement is secured: “Our game servers are taking shape in New York and our development team and engineers are eagerly awaiting for us to have the signed license in hand so that they can get to work on development.”