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Dark and Darker

Turn_BASED

Educated
Joined
Jul 2, 2022
Messages
235
Is this fun? From the gameplay vids it looks super boring.
It is fun, however after several play tests, I am essentially done with the game. It’s really for streamers who are going to nolife it for the best gear, then completely stomp on anyone below them with a massive skill and gear gap for kill compilations.

Once I got my fighter fully geared with a big bank account, the desire to play left me immediately. Yeah, shitting on other players is fine, but why bother at that point.
 

Saark

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
2,297
A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
Is this fun? From the gameplay vids it looks super boring.
When a friend told me about the game, I thought "meh, doesn't sound that great". Then I looked it up, and it looked janky, slow and boring. I tried it anyway, and realized that you kinda have to play it to understand what the game is like, and what makes it fun. You might not enjoy it anyway, but most people I've gotten to at least try out the game, despite their initial heistation, suddenly spent 10+ hours a day during PTs playing it, and are craving more now that the tests are over.

It's a surprisingly addictive core gameplay loop, and the fact that you can only engage with it for a week or two every ~2 months only adds to that effect. Since they've added voice chat (you choose whether you just talk to your party, or to everybody in your proximity, including other players that are techncially your enemies), the game has become a lot more fun as well. Whether it is girls (or men with voice changers) begging for their lives, and simp retards actually letting them live only to get stabbed in the back, individual players grouping up to somehow make it out alive to rescue their gear, or people doing some GTA-roleplay level bullshit to have some fun with one another; having VOIP added another entertainment factor to the already pretty solid formula. Sadly the only regions that actively use voice chat are the US ones, but having some minor delay isn't too big of an issue in this game.

There's a few other extraction-based games out there, Tarkov being the most prominent one. But the jank actually made this game a lot more enjoyable to me, because you don't just get sniped from 500m away by someone with much better gear. Every encounter with another player means you have a few seconds to plan and coordinate what you want to do with your teammates, and the slowness and jank allow for some more interesting strategies than just brute force. Other games, in particular Tarkov, lack this level of planning and strategy.

The game has a bunch of issues, but I personally stopped caring about the times where you'd get killed almost instantly by some of the best players with the absolute top-tier gear, or losing an entire loadout worth of epic gear to some cheater perma-disconnecting the entire lobby. You just say "well this sucks... lets go again" and load in with you buds and clean out entire lobbies with your starter gear and wahtever else you find in the next match anyway.

If you play by yourself, you won't be able to enjoy the game nearly as much as a beginner. But if you have one or two friends to group up with, I think most people will be surprised by how fun the game can be. Once you're more familiar with the game, going solo is definitely a viable way to play, but you'll have to play like a rat a lot more often.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
702
Is this fun? From the gameplay vids it looks super boring.
When a friend told me about the game, I thought "meh, doesn't sound that great". Then I looked it up, and it looked janky, slow and boring. I tried it anyway, and realized that you kinda have to play it to understand what the game is like, and what makes it fun. You might not enjoy it anyway, but most people I've gotten to at least try out the game, despite their initial heistation, suddenly spent 10+ hours a day during PTs playing it, and are craving more now that the tests are over.

It's a surprisingly addictive core gameplay loop, and the fact that you can only engage with it for a week or two every ~2 months only adds to that effect. Since they've added voice chat (you choose whether you just talk to your party, or to everybody in your proximity, including other players that are techncially your enemies), the game has become a lot more fun as well. Whether it is girls (or men with voice changers) begging for their lives, and simp retards actually letting them live only to get stabbed in the back, individual players grouping up to somehow make it out alive to rescue their gear, or people doing some GTA-roleplay level bullshit to have some fun with one another; having VOIP added another entertainment factor to the already pretty solid formula. Sadly the only regions that actively use voice chat are the US ones, but having some minor delay isn't too big of an issue in this game.

There's a few other extraction-based games out there, Tarkov being the most prominent one. But the jank actually made this game a lot more enjoyable to me, because you don't just get sniped from 500m away by someone with much better gear. Every encounter with another player means you have a few seconds to plan and coordinate what you want to do with your teammates, and the slowness and jank allow for some more interesting strategies than just brute force. Other games, in particular Tarkov, lack this level of planning and strategy.

The game has a bunch of issues, but I personally stopped caring about the times where you'd get killed almost instantly by some of the best players with the absolute top-tier gear, or losing an entire loadout worth of epic gear to some cheater perma-disconnecting the entire lobby. You just say "well this sucks... lets go again" and load in with you buds and clean out entire lobbies with your starter gear and wahtever else you find in the next match anyway.

If you play by yourself, you won't be able to enjoy the game nearly as much as a beginner. But if you have one or two friends to group up with, I think most people will be surprised by how fun the game can be. Once you're more familiar with the game, going solo is definitely a viable way to play, but you'll have to play like a rat a lot more often.
I actually prefer playing solo in the sense that i get to play my way. in group play, constantly, you have to go with the flow of whatever your team is doing, but at least you can bail when shit starts going wrong :mixedemotions:
 

Saark

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
2,297
A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
I actually prefer playing solo in the sense that i get to play my way. in group play, constantly, you have to go with the flow of whatever your team is doing, but at least you can bail when shit starts going wrong :mixedemotions:
I did quite a few solo runs as well, and it's definitely nice to just be able to fuck off and not have to worry about whether the rest of the team makes it out alive as well. Since I usually play the cleric or wizard in our group, especially as a cleric, I could often just run around in the swarm for minutes at a time without having to worry about meeting any other players or whether I'd be able to extract at the end. As a group, that's a lot harder to do so you can't go full rat mode.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
702
I actually prefer playing solo in the sense that i get to play my way. in group play, constantly, you have to go with the flow of whatever your team is doing, but at least you can bail when shit starts going wrong :mixedemotions:
I did quite a few solo runs as well, and it's definitely nice to just be able to fuck off and not have to worry about whether the rest of the team makes it out alive as well. Since I usually play the cleric or wizard in our group, especially as a cleric, I could often just run around in the swarm for minutes at a time without having to worry about meeting any other players or whether I'd be able to extract at the end. As a group, that's a lot harder to do so you can't go full rat mode.
definitely, basically all my meta plays happen during solo. it's honestly surprising how many 3 mans will immediately stop chasing you the moment you run into the swarm, even though it barely does any damage. cleric is for sure one of the most interesting classes right now
 

Shrimp

Arbiter
Joined
Jun 7, 2019
Messages
1,060
Seems to be a bit of drama going down with the game. Nexon might sue Ironmace for stealing company assets to make this game.
yeah i read about that too, basically Dark and Darker's devs are people fired from Nexon company and looks like they took some assets when leaving.
Seems like the allegations were serious enough for the police to get involved

https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.co.../tech/Korea-Game-Nexon/20230308173216734.html

Police on Tuesday raided the office of local game developer Ironmace, which is suspected of stealing assets and personnel from game company Nexon to make its own game Dark and Darker.

The raid took place at Ironmace’s office in Seongnam, Gyeonggi, with police seizing company material related to Dark and Darker.

In August 2021, Nexon reported a former employee, identified simply as Leader A, for leaking the game company’s data and assets while working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.
 

Saark

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
2,297
A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
Seems like the allegations were serious enough for the police to get involved
Ehh, not really, it's just Nexon flexing their muscles cause they're a powerful company and Ironmace is an Indie Studio.

Nexon is just mad that they had the idea for a game like this, but decided that instead of keeping it a fantasy game, they deprioritized the original project "P3" and started calling it "P7" instead, a project that was more akin to Tarkov with guns and all that kind of trash.

So back then, a bunch of former employees that worked on P3 decided to quit and keep working on what eventually become Dark and Darker, and it seems to be a great hit. Nexon is accusing Ironmace of "stealing employees", and I don't even know how that could possibly be a thing in a capitalist society. They just decided to leave Nexon and join their former team leader to make the game they wanted to make, but independently. Nexon also alleges that they stole Source Code when they left, but afaik that has been audited by a third party and proven to be bullshit.

It's not the first time Nexon as the big company is trying to bury the little guy for being more creative and able to put out a higher quality game without the coorporate pressure and rules. Go figures. But burying Ironmace in lawsuits and annoying and costly legal procedures might actually work, since Korea has no regulation that prevents frivolous lawsuits.

I might be wrong about all of this, of course, but from what the devs wrote it seems like this is mostly a case about one particular former employee, and is more of a private matter than a Nexon vs Ironmace case anyway. Accusations of leaking files that said person was fired for, who would later work on Dark and Darker as well. I don't know if any of this was ever proven true.

Some of the original screens from 2021, for comparison.

20230216154658_8195w.jpg

20230216154722_9251w.jpg

Images bear a striking resemblance to Dark and Darker, of course, but that's to be expected, since it's the same devs and Engine. Most of the assets used are Unreal 4 assets (theyre from a library called Forgotten Castle or something like that) that they are still using, despite having swapped to Unreal 5. So claiming they stole assets is a bit asinine if anybody can buy a licence for those assets from the UE marketplace.

We'll see what comes of it, I guess.
 
Last edited:

Myobi

Liturgist
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
1,437
Seems to be a bit of drama going down with the game. Nexon might sue Ironmace for stealing company assets to make this game.
yeah i read about that too, basically Dark and Darker's devs are people fired from Nexon company and looks like they took some assets when leaving.
Seems like the allegations were serious enough for the police to get involved

https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.co.../tech/Korea-Game-Nexon/20230308173216734.html

Police on Tuesday raided the office of local game developer Ironmace, which is suspected of stealing assets and personnel from game company Nexon to make its own game Dark and Darker.

The raid took place at Ironmace’s office in Seongnam, Gyeonggi, with police seizing company material related to Dark and Darker.

In August 2021, Nexon reported a former employee, identified simply as Leader A, for leaking the game company’s data and assets while working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Finally something exciting in this damn fucking game.
 

ADL

Prophet
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
3,926
Location
Nantucket
lol RIP

Discord announcement said:
@everyone To all our fans, we have recently been served a cease and desist letter and DMCA takedown by Nexon regarding Dark and Darker based on distorted claims. We are currently working with our legal team to remedy this issue in the best manner possible. Due to the sensitive legal nature of this issue we must be careful with our statements so as to not jeopardize our position. We ask for your understanding as we work to get the game back up as quickly as possible. Please know that we will do all that is possible for our fans. Thanks!
 

Saark

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
2,297
A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
Will likely crop back up in a few days, Valve obviously has to follow any DMCA requests or risk becoming liable as well. Ironmace filed a counterclaim, Nexon now has 10 days (7 as of this writing) to react and provide proof for their initial claims. Since they either can't or won't do that (they'd have to provide old-ass source code and files for their own P3 game to do so), the game will likely come back up on Steam soon~ish.

It'll be hard to say who will come out on top, especially as Korea has a civil law system and not a common law system like the US, which favors corporations a lot more as judges will have to decide based on codified statues and Korea has some pretty draconic laws on copyright and trade secrets that were basically written by multi-billion dollar companies like Nexon. Ironmace has publicly posted their git repo logs as well as all their files (which the korean investigators already had access to for a while) and design documents, so the ball is in Nexons court to prove that these files are similar. Odds are they are unable to do that.

Might not matter, however, as the main problem is that one of the devs held files on a private server, and while he initially had authorization for that, they eventually revoked that authorization. He kept going anyway, and his excuse is "you shouldve known I was still doing it but didn't tell me not to", which is weak as fuck. This is basically a poisoned well, as it calls into question all the development Ironmace did early on. However, the game was so aboslutely dogshit looking during the first play-test, that I have no trouble believing that they literally made things from scratch. It was so bad that it got rejected from all the game expos they tried to apply for at the time.

It's quite interesting to see this develop, because if they don't settle out of court and this goes to trial, it will decide whether companies have a right to sue competing developers if they shared employees at some point that were privy to trade secrets, even without a NCC (non-compete clause). If Nexon wins this, companies could sue or potentially claim copyright infringements if a developer who worked on a cancelled/unannounced project for company A and has no non-compete, suddenly goes to work for another developer that then releases a similar game. Which would be pretty fucking stupid, but who knows what the courts will decide on, or if Ironmace is willing to settle with Nexon. Investors pulled out when the first allegations were happening, so I have no idea how well IM is on the financial side of things, which is probably what Nexon is betting on to just drown them out in court proceedings and lawyers fees.

Just gimme the next fucking playtest already.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
702
Will likely crop back up in a few days, Valve obviously has to follow any DMCA requests or risk becoming liable as well. Ironmace filed a counterclaim, Nexon now has 10 days (7 as of this writing) to react and provide proof for their initial claims. Since they either can't or won't do that (they'd have to provide old-ass source code and files for their own P3 game to do so), the game will likely come back up on Steam soon~ish.

It'll be hard to say who will come out on top, especially as Korea has a civil law system and not a common law system like the US, which favors corporations a lot more as judges will have to decide based on codified statues and Korea has some pretty draconic laws on copyright and trade secrets that were basically written by multi-billion dollar companies like Nexon. Ironmace has publicly posted their git repo logs as well as all their files (which the korean investigators already had access to for a while) and design documents, so the ball is in Nexons court to prove that these files are similar. Odds are they are unable to do that.

Might not matter, however, as the main problem is that one of the devs held files on a private server, and while he initially had authorization for that, they eventually revoked that authorization. He kept going anyway, and his excuse is "you shouldve known I was still doing it but didn't tell me not to", which is weak as fuck. This is basically a poisoned well, as it calls into question all the development Ironmace did early on. However, the game was so aboslutely dogshit looking during the first play-test, that I have no trouble believing that they literally made things from scratch. It was so bad that it got rejected from all the game expos they tried to apply for at the time.

It's quite interesting to see this develop, because if they don't settle out of court and this goes to trial, it will decide whether companies have a right to sue competing developers if they shared employees at some point that were privy to trade secrets, even without a NCC (non-compete clause). If Nexon wins this, companies could sue or potentially claim copyright infringements if a developer who worked on a cancelled/unannounced project for company A and has no non-compete, suddenly goes to work for another developer that then releases a similar game. Which would be pretty fucking stupid, but who knows what the courts will decide on, or if Ironmace is willing to settle with Nexon. Investors pulled out when the first allegations were happening, so I have no idea how well IM is on the financial side of things, which is probably what Nexon is betting on to just drown them out in court proceedings and lawyers fees.

Just gimme the next fucking playtest already.
where did you see that investors pulled out? tbh i don't care for this dramatic shit at all and it doesn't bother me, either the game keeps going or it doesn't - i'd rather skip to the conclusion so i know what to expect
 

Saark

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
2,297
A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
where did you see that investors pulled out? tbh i don't care for this dramatic shit at all and it doesn't bother me, either the game keeps going or it doesn't - i'd rather skip to the conclusion so i know what to expect
They didn't so much pull out, as all talks about a potential publishing deal stopped in their tracks. Source: https://www.thisisgame.com/webzine/news/nboard/4/?n=168447
At this time, the companies contacted for publishing contracts with Iron Mace are identified as Tencent, Krafton, and Kakao Games in addition to Hive. All of these publishers were thirsty for overseas market expansion, and <Dark and Darker> was the most suitable game for them.
It was October 2022 when Hive IM and other publishers started reviewing the game to understand the game, and at this time, the second alpha test of <Dark And Darker> was just underway. Reviews of the game have been reported to be quite positive.
Basically, it is rumoured that Hybe was already funding IM through back-channels and wanted to become the official publisher for Ironmace and Dark and Darker. Earlier this year, Hybe started engaging in a hostile takeover of SM Entertainment, but those plans became a lot more complicated as Kaokao Games, who already held twice the shares as Hybe (20% for Kaokao, 9% for Hybe) had the exact same plan. While both companies were embroiled in a take-over bidding war, SM tried to hinder the takeover by stopping the conversion of new shares into voting stock.

Now, the official stance is that Hybe was too busy with the SM deal to worry about the Iron Mace publishing deal, but Hybe is a company with a revenue of close to a billion USD, and over a thousand employees. Iron Mace is a small company, and they were already in talks of making a deal, with the initial investment through some shady hedge-fund company having been worth about $750,000.

The important thing to note here, is that Iron Mace was actively looking for investors/publishers, going so far as to approach different companies to try to initiate publishing deal talks, in particular with Hybe. After a meeting in January 2023 and Hybe looking to be very interested, they suddenly drop them, claiming the SM bidding war is the sole reason, but the timing is more than curious as the announcement that all talks were stopped came in a few days after reports of the Police Raid and more details about Nexons trade secret lawsuit became public.

either the game keeps going or it doesn't - i'd rather skip to the conclusion so i know what to expect
You can expect the game to come out sooner or later. The concept and game itself are such a massive success, that no matter who comes out ahead, the game will publish in one way or another. There's a few possible outcomes:
1) Nexon wins, game will get published eventually
2) Ironmace wins, game will get published eventually
3) A settlement is reached which might end with Nexon gaining a stake in the company, game will get published eventually
4) Some other company realized the potential for fantasy extraction action RPGs like this last year, and started working on their own one, gameconcept will get published eventually

If the case of NCSoft vs BlueHole over Lineage3/Tera are any indication, Dark and Darker will see the light of day eventually. In this very similar case, the people from Bluehole actually left NCSoft and literally stole computers and files, and despite some of BlueHole's employees being convicted and jailed, and a successful copyright lawsuit, the game STILL came out.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Messages
278
The playtest is up in the form of a sketchy torrent magnet link that you have to scoop up from their discord.

They deserve the nexon troubles for this little tidbit alone, hate this dumb fad of using discord as a replacement for literally everything, especially when you're a company that has their own website.
 

ELEXmakesMeHard

Learned
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
807
The sketchy torrent stuff isn't a barrier to DnD being in the top #5 on Twitch at least.
 

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