New Dawn – not to be confused with Darkfall New Dawn or Osiris New Dawn or Star Trek Online’s New Dawn – is hitting Steam’s early access this week after a lengthy period in closed alpha.
We began watching the game two years ago, when we described it as a “survival sandbox that puts players in the role of South American natives in the 1800s who must fend off pirates while living off the land,” complete with “interesting mechanics, such as taming horses, being killed in your sleep while you’re offline, and a slavery system with the NPCs.” It ran an unsuccessful Kickstarter in 2017, which raised only 4.4% of its $82K goal before it was canceled by Italian developer e-visualsoft.
“At the moment, New Dawn is in Pre-Beta stage, many game mechanics are complete and we have a solid base in programming, which allows us to add new content quickly,” the devs told followers this weekend.
Unless you’re a hardcore Darkfall player from way back in the day as MOP’s Andrew was, you probably look at the sequels and spinoffs with pure confusion. What’s the difference between Darkfall, Darkfall: Rise of Agon, and Darkfall: New Dawn? That’s at least partly the subject of a new infographic out from the New Dawn team. For starters, you can’t actually play the original Darkfall. After launching in 2009, rebooting amidst much controversy as Unholy Wars in 2012, and toying with plans for a more classic reboot, its dev team abruptly vanished without much of a goodbye in 2016, saying it hoped the service disruption would be temporary. It wasn’t. Aventurine wound up licensing the game out to two different player-led studios, which separately put together their own takes on the game to keep it alive.
New Dawn, as the infographic touts, focuses more on group PvP than the original, with less grind and griefing and a more realistic economy and trade, as well as combat that’s less “ping-dependent.” Its most recent dev blog talked up improving PvE and soloability. Rise of Agon, on the other hand, boasts housing, no safe zones, twitchy combat, large-scale warfare, and a heavier crafting focus; it just got an update to PvP. Both spinoffs harken back to the original Darkfall more than to Unholy Wars, and both games are in a launch state.
Even if you’re not a Darkfall fan or Darkfall New Dawn player, you should take a peek at the incredible roadmap Ub3rgames has posted. Instead of being a vague paragraph of waffle words and half-promises, this puppy is a wall of bar graphs showing exactly, to the feature, what’s being worked on and how far along in that process it is.
“You’ll notice that most of our coming projects are focused around the economy and the reward structure it creates,” the indie studio writes. “Currently, trade is not fluid enough and feels punishing to many players, and holding on to territory is not worth the effort. These are major concerns we share with the community. The world is still in its build up phase, and we aim to give reasons to fight for when that is done. This means valuable locations and watchtowers to control them.”
A further tweet noted that “a naval update will surely be planned” in the longer term after warfronts are live; indeed, warfronts were actually bumped up in the process thanks to player demand, so expect that system sooner rather than later.
It was foretold, and then it happened. Sea of Thieves hit its closed beta this week with play anywhere functionality fully intact. The bad news is that beta hit back with some bugs, one of which has a workaround of requesting a refund and then re-purchasing the game. Hopefully extending the beta until January 31st provides a bit more time to fix these issues?
Ah, well. Let’s see if other games are navigating their betas decently. What have you got for us, magic list (it’s not actually magic)?
- Remember Rust? It’s leaving the comforting warm blanket of early access for launch on February 8th. You can decide for yourself if that’s because the game is ready for launch or if it’s just a matter of needing some new source for outrage after people got angry about no character creation.
- The closed beta for Closers ends on February 6th, bringing the game formally into the launch world. The only other thing I can add to this is that when I was trying to work up an extended song lyric spoof for this, I called it a “shoot-brawler,” which seems… apropos.
- The Repopulation has plans for 2018. Big plans, the biggest plans. It’s going to be so big, you’ll see. We would all like to see.
- The mobile client for Albion Online is currently in testing, which is pretty cool. It’s only on Apple devices, which may be less cool if Android devices are your mediums of choice, but it’s one before the other.
- Speaking of sandboxes where you kill other players, Darkfall: New Dawn is launching today out of beta. Let’s see how well this revival does!
- Last but not least, survival box SOS apparently has the official Snoop Dogg seal of approval as it heads into early access. Look, have him do the stream alongside his good friend Martha Stewart, and we’ll talk.
It’s nice to see that 2018 is both replete with beta news and with stories that are just plain weird (it’d be sad if we couldn’t call back to Steven Seagal on a boat, after all). So what about other beta stuff? We’ve got a list down below! Let us know if something on it is inaccurate, like a game that’s tacitly launched or something that we may have missed. It’s appreciated.
Darkfall New Dawn formally launches today as one of two officially licensed spinoffs of Aventurine’s classic hardcore sandbox, which went belly-up a few years ago. As we’ve previously noted, the game has multiple packages ranging from €19.99 with a €9.99 per month sub up to €74.99 with a €6.25 per month sub, so that ought to make old-school gamers happy.
If you’re confused over what this version of the game has in store for you, and you probably are because this is really very much not a one-to-won remake, you should definitely zip through the new launch trailer, which Ub3rgames put together as an explainer.
We’ve got that trailer below, along with our hands-on with the game, a bunch of screenies in a gallery, and a quick flip through all our coverage of New Dawn along the way. Happy launch day!
Darkfall New Dawn isn’t the only Darkfall spinoff with big stuff happening this week: Darkfall Rise of Agon also got a hefty update, which as the patch notes suggest focuses on champ spawns and their associated loot.
Specifically, it’ll take a little longer for players to work champ spawns – up to 60 minutes in some cases – but the mobs won’t be insta-killing you anymore, and there are different party-size requirements depending on where those fights take place. Moreover, loot has been improved, such that everyone gets his or her own roll for gold and gear.
“Sealed Treasures contain the rare items the champions will be dropping and can be opened at any time,” explains Big Picture Games. “Each mainland champion will drop its designated rank 75 weapon and 2 stat potions that will take a player 1 point at a time up to 120 max stats. Each island champion will drop Q6 enchantment gems, the only place to obtain Q6 enchantments, as well as 2 of the 120 stat potions. Each champion will also have a chance to drop existing rare items and potentially 1 of 4 brand new house items.”
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin hit up a week of huge MMO news, including Camelot Unchained’s investments, RIFT’s new subscription server, Devilian’s demise, and more!
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.
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If you’ve wanted to get a peek for Darkfall: New Dawn before it launches, here’s your chance. Massively OP’s MJ is taking advantage of the free weekend to pop into the Darkfall reboot and check things out. Don’t worry, she’s already been thinking hard about which race she will choose, so perhaps character creation won’t be too long! Those wolves do look pretty cool. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at…
What: Darkfall: New Dawn
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Monday, January 22nd, 2018
If you’ve been curious about the indie spinoff Darkfall: New Dawn but aren’t sure yet about plunking down pre-order cash, then you’ll be interested to know that Ub3rgames has set aside this weekend for you to try it out for free. The game has multiple packages ranging from €19.99 with a €9.99 per month sub up to €74.99 with a €6.25 per month sub, but this weekend marks a “free trial” period before the launch.
“Wanna check out all the changes we’ve made and make your own opinion about what is new in the world of Agon? Time has come, our free trial will start tomorrow, January 19 12:00 CET [6 a.m. EST this morning]. During the free trial, there will be no limitation and the amount of xp gained will be increased by three. The free trial and the Indev_ server will close on Wednesday January 24 8:00 CET [2 a.m. EST].”
The game is scheduled to launch on January 26th in the wake of the abrupt and bizarre disappearance of the original Darkfall dev team in 2016, just after blessing multiple indie ventures seeking to reboot the game.
At this point, it’s an odd year when Darkfall isn’t launching. Darkfall: New Dawn has announced that the game will launch on January 26th, 2018, complete with a new launch trailer to celebrate the upcoming milestone. There’s also a series of improvements to the game’s official site, including the option to pre-order via buying several months of subscription time in advance. Be warned, though, you may not be able to purchase a 12-month subscription once the game launches, so now is your one chance to get in on that for just 75 Euros!
(That’s about $90 for those of us in the states.)
More comments about launch features are promised in the coming days, which makes sense as there’s still about two months left before the game becomes reality. If you’re looking forward to the latest take on an indie relaunch for the title, by all means, get hyped up with the trailer down below.
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!
Darkfall: New Dawn, one of a pair of indie-led player efforts to keep MMO sandbox Darkfall going after original studio Aventurine abandoned it last year, has a gorgeous new roadmap out this week addressing the current state of the build. Studio Ub3rgames says it believes it’s more than three-quarters of the way done with the game since last summer, with most of the work going toward PvE, combat, PvP, quality-of-life upgrades, and performance. The economy and virtual world, the team admits, has seen the least focus so far. The active players seem pretty pleased!
Most recently, Ub3rgames released patch 3.13, “switching into a higher gear” with what it dubbed “the great magic overhaul.” It’s essentially a complete do-over for the magic system that revamps secondary spell effects as well as adds a preliminary king-of-the-hill village control system, guild perks, armor durability retooling, collision system updates, performance upgrades, and dynamic tombstones, which sound festive and might be worth a relook if you’ve been standing on the sidelines of development.
What does an MMO stress test look like from where the developers are sitting? You can satisfy your curiosity in this area by watching a video of Darkfall: New Dawn’s November 20th stress test event from the perspective of the devs.
“What worried us going in was the AI server and the physics server that serves as a bridge between AI and players,” the team concluded. “From monitoring the whole evening, going from spawn to spawn we did notice some avenues of improvement. On the client side, it was rather smooth for many players, understandably lower than normal play but still above 40 FPS for the good part.”
You can get in on the action after the jump.