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 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."
It was bound to happen. No, really, it was; we were told that Revelation Online would head into its second round of closed testing, and behold, it did exactly that. It also has some additional localization, which means that it might reveal more details about it sstory to those who play over the holidays.
Beyond that, there is a surprising amount of beta news as we head into a holiday weekend when everyone is off on a cloud of eggnog and sweaters. What sort of news? Look below, dear readers!
That's a lot of stuff, but there's even more stuff down in the list below, games still in closed or open testing. See something on there which should not be? Let us know in the comments! (Just give us a few days. We've got eggnog and sweaters to deal with.)
Since it's already December 19th, you probably already figured that the Dark and Light resurrection wasn't going to make that original "late 2016" target after missing fall and November too, so today's news won't be a surprise: Snail Games has announced a 2017 launch for the game, though the details are still scarce. Early access is now expected in 2017, "with the full version launching around Q4 2017," so a January early access on the brand-new Steam page is likely.
"The majority of the content in the Early Access version is finalized, and players will be able to explore most of the Dark and Light world without limitations. Dark and Light’s Early Access experience will be an authentic representation of the game in its final form, but we will be providing updates every 1-2 months during the Early Access period to improve upon, refine, and expand the game as it exists now."
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, promising a buy-to-play, subscription-free business model. The new trailer is tucked down below.
Right now we are in a strange place in MMORPG history. Following the backlash of WoW clones and several high-profile titles that underperformed, major studios are becoming extremely risk-averse to creating big-budget titles the way that we saw not five years ago. Many former MMO teams are diversifying with shooters, MOBAs, and other safer and trendier titles.
Yet all is not lost! MMO features continue to ripple out into all types of game genres and new titles continue to be produced -- just not from the usual suspects. Instead, most of what is on our immediate horizon comes from either crowdfunded indie teams or eastern giants. The good news is that 2017 should see the culmination of many of these long-brewing projects and adaptations, hopefully resulting in a bumper crop of interesting online RPGs for us to play.
So let's run down the list of games that either are or possibly could be coming to you in 2017. We will provide an overview of each title, why you should care about it, and our best guess at the odds of its officially launching during the calendar year. If an upcoming MMO is not on the list, then it is our opinion that while we'll see it eventually, a 2017 release isn't happening.
It is hard to miss that there is a lot of emotional baggage and wary caution concerning Snail Games' reboot of Dark and Light into a smaller MMO survival sandbox. But can we as a community come together and at least agree that the game's improved visuals are quite stunning to behold?
Snail has been teasing different parts of the game by posting pictures to its Twitter feed, and recently the studio gave players glimpses into some of the racial cities. First up were the Elves: "The Elven home city of Estel is a great choice for players who prefer the great outdoors and bright, wide-open spaces!" The burly Dwarves got some recognition as well: "Dark and Light's Dwarven race makes their home in Zaharul, a massive city carved out from the inside of an enormous mountain."
Dark and Light was supposed to come out on Steam early access this fall, but with time running out and Snail confirming that a November release will not be happening, players might find themselves waiting to the new year to try out this game.