Progress continues to march in Darkfall: Rise of Agon, with a smallish content patch added to the game last week that added a special new feature that should prove convenient to this PvP community.
The patch added special billboards to each capital city, allowing “blue” players to use them to teleport between villages that are active. There is a cost to using these billboards, although the cost is defrayed the more alignment that players rise.
Other changes with the patch include better visuals for crafting windows, cheaper costs for enchanting gems, map notations showing who owns which settlement, an increased pace of village activations, and additional stat boosters for new players to get them up to speed.
Right now it is not hard to keep the two Darkfall reboot projects separated. While Rise of Agon launched earlier this year, New Dawn is still working toward its own official release. At least with this week’s Patch 4.0, the PvP MMO will have made significant progress toward that goal.
There is a lot that the developers crammed into this patch, so let’s tick off the salient details. There is an improvement in the mob artificial intelligence (in part, to head off exploits), new tailor robes, the removal of bindstones for a local resurrection option, a beefed up alignment system, quest kill sharing, and better player progression and combat balance.
The team also improved the visuals a bit: “We have implemented post-processing effects that allow us to tweak color saturation and image contrast. The current settings will not fit all locations in game, but individual environments are being tweaked for the next patch.”
Get a quick overview of the update and a look at some of these snazzy new outfits after the jump!
As promised back in July, the team behind Darkfall: Rise of Agon are taking drastic measures to reorient the fantasy sandbox to a more fun direction. Ergo, the main focus of Tuesday’s patch is “reducing tedium and also reducing the power game between players” in the game.
This is being accomplished in part by rejiggering stats and skills. All races now start out with a baseline of 20 in all stats, and a single attribute potion will take a stat up to 100 right away (do not pass go). It has also become a lot easier to see what spells and skills you can unlock and what you need to do to get them. There are more ways to level skills through use, although the team said that scrolls remain the fastest way to boost your abilities.
The patch also added in a faster way to equip gear from inventory, something called “remote crafting,” and name change tokens for players who sneezed while typing their alter ego and added an unnecessary umlaut or that fun Danish Ø.
From the sound of things, it doesn’t appear that Darkfall: Rise of Agon is doing quite as well as its indie team was hoping. The PvP sandbox launched in May and posted a roadmap just a few weeks ago, but now Big Picture Games is acknowledging that a drastic course correction might be needed.
In a short and slightly unnerving post on Rise of Agon’s site this week, the team acknowledged that the game’s direction is “underwhelming” to many players and is reassessing the MMO from the top down and bottom up.
“We came to the conclusion that much of what we have been trying desperately to hold onto were the roots of what Darkfall had become,” the team wrote. “This was a game that involved a heavy time sink, required perseverance, and tolerating insane amounts of tedium. What we attempted to do was walk a line between casual and hardcore play times, and we now know this was a mistake.”
Big Picture said that it will be evaluating how it can remove grind and inaccessibility, starting with “a series of design discussions” this weekend.
In case it slipped your mind, Darkfall: Rise of Agon launched a whole two months ago now. With the fresh car smell of this reboot slowly fading away, attention for both devs and players have turned to the eternal question of “what’s next?”
The team said that with launch craziness behind it, focus can shift to the promised monthly updates for the fantasy sandbox. To wit, a Q3 2017 roadmap was posted with a brief outline of the content that’s planned over the next three months.
This month, Rise of Agon is going to beef up player vendor abilities, add over 100 new tasks, and throw in champion spawn chests, among other features. August’s update is going to take the form of deployable control towers and the ability for players to change their names (witness protection program?). Then looking ahead to September, expect to see armor and weapon dyes arrive.
Is Ashes of Creation destined to be the Kickstarter event of the year? Today on the ‘cast, Bree and Justin talk about this crowdfunding tsunami, several MMO patches, a superhero preview, and even a launch. Also, Bree is selling the entire contents of her virtual garage. It was a busy week!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
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 Skyforge, EVE Online, Ingress, War Thunder, World of Tanks, Wakfu, League of Legends, SMITE, GTA Online, Elsword Online, Wurm Online, Darkfall: Rise of Agon, Worlds Adrift, Counter-Strike, SEAL Online, and Warspear Online, all waiting for you after the break!
Remember when Ashes of Creation showed up out of nowhere? We sure do, and now it’s hit Kickstarter. It’s also hitting stretch goals left and right after hitting its funding goal quite quickly. We’ve even got a pair of interviews about it, one regarding the game in general and the other covering its CEO’s business past and ambitions. So, yeah, that’s been the big thing this week.
That might be the big centerpiece story, but there are always more things going on in the beta sphere. Heck, a lot of them feel pretty meaty on their own. Check this out:
That’s it! Oh, except for all of the stuff on the list below. So that’s it for everything not on the list. Also, some of the stuff on the list. Look, just check out the list below and let us know if something slipped into a new test phase while we weren’t looking, all right?
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!
As you might recall, Darkfall: Rise of Agon is set to launch in early May, which means that its beta program is currently winding down. Before the beta ends entirely, the team is inviting anyone who wants a look at the game to try it out for free. All you have to do is to create an account and download the game through Steam, and free play is yours until the beta shuts down on Monday, April 24th.
Free access isn’t the only topic on the table, not by far. Rise of Agon’s online store is now live, with subscriptions and currency on sale at 10% off. The standard subscription is set at $9.99 for 30 days of game time, with discounts for multiple months purchased. Players who previously purchased a Legend pack can now reserve their character name for the May launch.
Finally, the launch trailer and overview video are here, so give them a watch after the jump and see if it kindles your interest in the MMO reboot!
With less than a month to go before flipping on the switch to its live servers, the Darkfall: Rise of Agon team must be crunching pretty hard to get everything ready for the launch.
In last Friday’s recap post, the team ran down a checklist of some of the last-minute projects that it is working on to prepare for release. One of these is getting new server tech into place: “Our new server hardware is currently on order and is getting set up by our supplier. Once the hardware is ready to go we will be configuring them with what is needed for launch. We plan to open up the servers for a short stress test before launch and will provide more details on this at a later date.”
The team said that it’s planning on rolling out a public test server post-launch and is striving to get player vendor stalls in place for release or shortly thereafter. Other countdown projects include scattering wilderness portals throughout the game world, getting the new task system into the game, revamping the economy and loot tables, and preparing a marketing campaign.
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.
It bears repeating that here on Massively OP, we cover an immensely wide field of live games — so many that it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of what’s happening in each one (which is why our readers are invaluable in winging us tips about their favorite MMOs!). And while there’s never any shortage of news and happenings in the field of MMORPGs as a whole, once in a while we realize that it’s been a good long time since we heard anything about certain games that we used to discuss a lot in the past.
When that happens to me, I’ll often head off on a little fool’s errand to scout the website, Twitter feed, forums, and Reddit to see what’s going on. I hate to be out of the loop on games, especially ones that used to be more prominent in the news, but more often than not, the lack of news is because there’s been a lack of news.
You ever caught yourself going, “What ever happened to the original Darkfall? Or Runes of Magic? Or Fallen Earth?” I totally have, which is why I went on expeditions to see what I could uncover. So let’s catch up with these three games and see what is up!