If it sounds as if I'm somewhat exasperated with Aventurine
and its flighty development cycle, it's only because I had so much fun
in the original Darkfall
and I can't wait to see what the company does for an encore. The problem is that I'm still waiting. And waiting. And waiting some more. Would you believe that Unholy Wars
was actually announced in July of 2011
, even though it wasn't called Unholy Wars
at the time?
In Aventurine's defense, the company has basically made a new game, and the year-and-a-half development time is much more palatable than the odyssey that was Darkfall
Part One. That original version of Agon has been relegated to a strange sort of limbo for the better part of the past year, though, as players waited to see what would become of their original characters and the game world they inhabited. In fact, one of the first bits of new information concerning the revamp focused on the death system
and its new "limbo" mechanic.
We also got a few dev blog updates dealing with the magic system
revamp, a new newbie experience
and tutorials, and tweaks to clan permissions
during the early portions of 2012.
In June, Aventurine axed the original Darkfall's
client cost, reduced the sub fee
, and increased skill gains across the board. In September, the devs announced that Unholy Wars
was "in the final stretch for launch," and a November 20th release date was rolled out. Soon after, the company confirmed character wipes and elaborated on the differences
between the new game and the old game in terms of stats, skills, and the world itself.
In October, we interviewed the devs
and learned a bit about Unholy Wars
' new UI. We also learned that Aventurine was considering microtransactions. "We're not going to force it just because everyone seems to be hopping on the microtransaction bandwagon," said producer Tasos Flambouras
. "We understand that more players would try out the game, but they could also end up having to spend more money."
The company then made the original game free-to-play for a couple of months leading up to Unholy Wars
' original November 20th launch date. The devs also released a couple more diaries focusing on safe areas
and the new role system
. In mid-November, Aventurine announced that it was delaying Unholy Wars
to December 12th, and the firm also made a successful bid
to land Darkfall
on Steam via Valve's Greenlight initiative. On December 17th, Unholy Wars
was delayed again due to a loot-eating beta bug
, which basically brings us up to the present day. There have been a few assorted dev diaries released since the first of the year, all of them focusing on things like crafting changes
, the new UI
, and various aspects
of clan functionality
To sum up, it's been a fairly frustrating year for Darkfall
fans. Ultimately, though, I suspect that the wait will be worth it, much as it was when the original game finally launched after a decade in development. Massively will bring you a first-hand look at Darkfall Unholy Wars
as soon as Aventurine opens the doors.