How do you merge a survival sandbox game with a magic system? This is the challenge that Dark and Light’s team has been grappling with as it rebuilds the game into a new vision. The solution that emerged was to make spells as item-dependent as anything else in the game rather than inherent abilities rooted in characters’ innate talents.
The team put out another one of its awkward self-interviews to try to explain how Dark and Light’s magic system differs from what you normally see in online games. The gist is that you’ll need to craft special items and catalysts in order to use spells, and those spells will aid with surviving and crafting in the world. Eventually, players will start to specialize in certain types of magical crafting, enabling them to bring something unique to a group setting.
It may be way behind schedule, but damn Dark and Light is pretty — at least its landscapes. Snail has been in the process of rebooting the mid-aughts MMORPG since last year, and as its tweet this afternoon shows, the studio is working hard on bringing the game’s visuals into this decade.
A month ago, the game’s Chinese website apologized to players for “again” making the decision to extend development, thereby delaying beta until summer. It was originally intended to launch in the fall of last year, as we’ve previously chronicled. The new landscapes are tucked down below.
Recently, the Dark and Light team posted an interview with… itself, which is a totally normal thing to do. It’s actually a pretty interesting read about the tack that the team is taking with its worldbuilding design, particularly in the first section of the game.
Players will begin their journey in Dark and Light in a 20-area region called The Sacred Path. Here they’ll enjoy protection and resources of one of three capital cities before venturing off to create their own houses and outposts. The devs said that there are plenty of places to explore and secrets to uncover, particularly those floating about in the sky. With about 70 to 100 people per server, the devs expect that everyone will have enough elbow room to explore and build without worrying about the crush of crowds.
Are you still a little bummed at the recently announced beta delay for Dark and Light? It might be worth the wait, if the game’s continued previews of its fantastic art are any indication.
Last week, Snail Games posted six new pieces of concept art and screenshots of the fantasy MMORPG, mostly concentrating on the fury of nature. It looks like the game will boast large Ent-like tree monsters who aren’t exactly of the “hugging” variety.
“Gathering resources is important, but be careful where you’re swinging your hatchets and pickaxes! That innocent-looking tree or pile of rubble may be a dormant elemental just looking for an excuse to pound your head in,” the studio said.
In the brief time since its Chinese branch announced another delay, Snail Games has put out a pair of previews for its upcoming reboot of Dark and Light.
“Many of Dark and Light’s creatures exhibit the features of their environment, both in appearance and ability,” says the studio on Facebook in showing off what look to be some nasty spiked sabercats. “You’ll need to prepare proper elemental defenses against them if you go exploring in any extreme climate zones. Because they’re already acclimated to their environment, taming such creatures will give you an invaluable companion when exploring these regions.”
The second piece is an ultra-brief gif of players racing into battle on horseback.
A week ago, the game’s Chinese website apologized to players for “again” making the decision to extend development, thereby delaying beta until summer. It was originally intended to launch in the fall of last year, as we chronicled last week.
It has been an odd and not altogether happy ride for The Repopulation, but the good news is that the game is back into a playable state. It’s also the exact same game from when it got shut down, so if you were expecting some huge changes, you will be somewhat disappointed. And, you know, there’s the whole change in ownership that’s left a bad taste in many people’s mouths. Still, it’s online!
Other beta stuff also happened this week as it turns out. Which is good and hopefully will be less depressing. Let’s see.
- Dark & Light is promising special mounts for faction leaders, so that’s pretty cool! That’s uplifting! And it’s also… delayed once again, this time until summer. So slightly less than uplifting. Darn it.
- Shall we check in on SMITE Rivals? Perhaps that game will be more… oh, wait, that game’s development has been put on hold indefinitely, which doesn’t rhyme with “cancelled” but has a lot of the same syllables.
- Even Dual Universe has managed to contract Disappointment Fever by pushing back its first testing until September, so that’s not fun.
- Now, for some genuinely happier news: Trove has fully launched on consoles, allowing all of the pixel-esque building and blasting you could want on your television.
- The first closed beta for LawBreakers has gone live with a massive patch, for all the shoot-shoot bang-bang you could want.
- Paragon celebrated a full year of early access with a big patch and a new hero, as well. It’s almost like a normal anniversary.
Some of that still found a way to be sort of a downer, huh? Well, you can check out the full list of games in testing below, perhaps that will bring you more joy. As always, let us know if something hopped test phases in the comments! We’re trying to get rid of all the cash shops that take your money in supposed beta tests, but they’re remarkably resilient. Some of us suspect there’s a hive.
Dark and Light has been delayed at least until summer — so says the game’s official Chinese website, anyway, which has a lengthy apology to players awaiting the game’s release in the US and Europe. “Regrettably, we had to make an extension decision again,” Snail writes, telling players to expect beta this summer.
This won’t be the first time the game’s been delayed, though the chronology is confusing.
In September 2016, the official ChinaJoy trailer declared — in English — that the game was “coming soon… this year,” meaning fall 2016. The teaser website that same month also claimed the game was on track for 2016.
In November 2016, however, a studio rep admitted that a November release was “not likely.”
In December 2016, Snail announced an 2017 early access for the game, with full launch planned for Q4 2017, as if those earlier dates had not been given; we reported it as a delay. (And apparently Snail’s Chinese branch also considered that a delay — note the word “again” in the apology.)
Here’s some incentive for climbing the political ladder in Dark and Light to become the leader of one of the game’s three factions: your very own leader-exclusive mount. Nothing like trotting around and being the envy of everyone else while you literally lord it over them!
“Players can be elected to the position of Lord within their faction and gain special privileges during that time, including the right to use their faction’s guardian creature as a mount!” the team said on Facebook.
Dark and Light recently confirmed that it will be going into early access followed by a launch in 2017. Check out the human leader mount below!
Toward the end of last year, we all did the math and figured the resurrected MMORPG sandbox Dark and Light had no chance of making its original “late 2016” target. In fact, it had missed both its fall windows for launch already. That’s why it wasn’t much of a surprise when in December, Snail Games admitted to a 2017 early access and full launch by the end of this year. We guessed January for the former, but nope — just a few trickles of info so far since then.
Last night, the game’s Facebook page told players it’s not dead and is in fact still planning its early access in 2017.
“Development is still going strong on Dark and Light! Right now we’re working on tuning and polishing overall graphics quality, particle effects, and animations for the Early Access launch later this year.”
There’s even a new Twitter gif of the “upgraded Blizzard spell from [the] most recent build.” Sparklies to look at while you wait for early access, anyway.
The team behind the revival of Dark and Light have a mighty task ahead to convince players to give this fantasy sandbox a second chance, but pumping out great-looking screenshots of this alien world might be a good start.
Dark and Light’s main action will take place on just a small part of Planet Alpha called The Sacred Path, which covers 25 unique locations. “The Sacred Path is the center of magic and makes up the main playable area in-game,” the team posted. “Elemental magic courses through the landscape causing wild fluctuations in the structure of the land and the environment, resulting in the rapid emergence of floating islands, cursed forests, lost moors, a massive active volcano, snow-capped mountains, and more.”
Check out a few of the sights and beasties in the gallery below!
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week we have stories and videos from Final Fantasy XIV, Paladins, Heroes and Generals, Trove, Ultima Online, Dark and Light Mobile, Line of Sight, Galactic Junk League, and Travia Returns, all waiting for you after the break!
Snail Games released a new Dark and Light video into the wild last night, and if I can be completely honest, it pretty much looks just as annoying as dealing with dragons in Skyrim, only at the end, you actually get to climb on the newly tamed dragon and fly off, so there’s something.
Back in December, Snail announced it had delayed the early access launch of the game into 2017, “with the full version launching around Q4 2017,” so we’re still expecting early access soon. The sandbox was originally launched in the mid-aughts but was sold off to Snail in the midst of lawsuits floating around the original. Snail announced its plans to revivify the game back in August of 2016, promising a buy-to-play, subscription-free business model.
You can check out the dragon taming below.
The new and hopefully improved Dark and Light is pushing some of its features harder than others, in particular the size of its game world. Calling it “vast” and “giant,” Snail Games promised that players would be able to lose themselves in exploration and go on epic journeys.
You can get a vague idea of what such travels will include thanks to a first-ever look at the world map in this week’s dev blog. It’s not terribly detailed, but the map does sketch an outline of the world’s geography as well as the three starting cities for players. And this doesn’t even include the network of caves and caverns that run below the ground.
“The cities are separated by vast and unique terrains,” Snail said. “To get from one city to another, players will have to traverse magic forests, climb steep snow-capped mountains, journey through active volcanic sites, and more.”