Laying down a solid foundation

Greetings denizen of agon,
This week we wanted to look back on our work these past 2 months and give our perspective on how it all fits in our long term plans.

Our sole focus right now is to make the game reach a point where it can be marketed to more players.
New ones, but also players that have tried Darkfall in the past and had a specific flaw in mind that got them to give up on the game. Our general approach is to prioritize changes based on Darkfall’s reputation and make all the common negative claims about it false.

To explain, we see changes in three categories: Negatives removal, Solidifying mechanics and Positive additions.
We prioritize changes in this order, as negatives will always have more weight than positives when players evaluate a game, Darkfall being the best example of that with its unique combat system and large scale capabilities not being enough to make it retain population. Next in line are changes that solidify existing mechanics, as there is no point in adding when there are existing features that can be expanded and be made better.

To that end, Patch 1 and Patch 2 have pretty much been ground work patches to change the perception of Darkfall for people not already sold on it.
Up until now, we have:

  • Made people care about the alignment system and reduced griefing.
  • Made questing be a viable activity to give new players some direction and objectives.
  • Tested a proof of concept to improve the interface and removed most combat scripting.
  • Made macroing obsolete and nearly impossible.
  • Reduced the power gap and smoothed out the progression curve, with more to come.
  • Made the first few changes to allow for specialized playstyles to exist.
  • Improved client performances.
  • Corrected long standing bugs.

One of the most important aspect for us was to remove macroing and other common exploits as early as possible and we have poured a lot of our resources early on into reaching that goal.
Most players that have tried and given up on the game only remember the macroing and bloodwalls of the original launch. Darkfall having this reputation where cheating is the best way to get ahead is probably what has caused it the most losses at its launch and this is something we can now safely claim that it is no longer an issue in New Dawn.

Now that we have this strong foundation to work on, we can have more balanced patches.
While there are still many negatives to remove, we can now start solidifying existing mechanics and even add new features.
Patch 3 and Patch 4 should be much more interesting for veteran players as we will get to:

  • Complete our interface and quality of life changes based on play testing feedback.
  • Balance sub-optimal races, items and abilities. (No more greatswords everywhere and more Mahirims running around)
  • Rework existing mechanics to create meaningful content. (Village control points and sea fortresses)
  • Add new features, like active riding and packmules.
  • Provide players with tools to better control a play session’s length.

We should have a very exciting Fall season with a game much better armed to be presented to the world at large.
This week’s patch, scheduled for Friday 9th, should be an excellent kick off. We’re looking forward to get it in your hands.

Link to discussion thread.