DarkFall: US server population (non)issue

With the all-but-confirmed US-1 (or NA-1) server being geared up for release, many in the DarkFall (and ForumFall) community are wondering if the player base can support two separate servers, using the current in-game population as a barometer. The all too common “if Aventurine can’t fill EU-1, what will happen with the US-1 split?” argument often finds its way into any thread on the topic.

What I don’t see mentioned often is the current state of DarkFall in terms of availability, advertising, and overall ‘buzz’ generated by Aventurine. For starters, it’s only very recently that DarkFall has become available 24/7 at the online store; previously all buyers had to play ‘is the shop up?’ and hope they were lucky enough to have the shop load for them during the availability window. While that release strategy worked well to keep the in-game population under control and prevent first-month flooding, it also kept a lot of potential buyers out, as not everyone is going to be crazy enough to camp a website for a chance to buy a game. Yes the fanatics did it, but even in a niche like the one DarkFall is filling, only a percentage are willing to go THAT far to play.

Beyond the shop going 24/7, Aventurines own website promoting the game has yet to receive an update, and if someone is only passing by they might assume DarkFall is still in beta. How many more potential customers could a simple “DarkFall is out, click here to buy” button attract? Furthermore, a full update to the website, including some kind of “What’s already happened in-game” information could also draw new players to the game. EVE is famous for this, as anytime a big event happens it gets a ton of publicity and the stories draw fresh eyes to the games possibilities. Already DarkFall has seen it’s first major event (the fall of Hyperion) and some player-driven story published on the official site would really help to show people exactly what has drawn the current players into the game, distancing it a bit from the ‘Fantasy FPS’ image many have of DarkFall.

Going one step further, how about some damn advertising? We all know internet advertising is cheap these days, so when will we see a few DarkFall banner ads on Massively or other MMO sites? When a small MMO blog like this site here still gets “Is DarkFall out” in the comments, you know a ton of potential customers are not even aware of your games status or even existence. Sure it’s a niche product, so you don’t need Mr. T advertising ganking noobs on TV for DarkFall, but I’m sure many players that DO fall into the DarkFall niche might not be aware of the game.

It’s also a bit foolish to discount all of the players who are interested in DarkFall but are simply waiting for the North American release, afraid of bad pings to the EU server or simply not wanting to bother playing on a temporary server, especially since the full details of a transfer, if there even is one, are unknown. Before DarkFall went live on EU-1, Aventurine announced that a North American server would become available at a later date, so it’s not surprising some fans decided to wait.

Edit: Oh, and right as I finish writing this, Tasos gives the community an update and echo’s some of my statements. Now if only he had not linked to a site which dubbed his game ‘beyond repair’, but hey, even DarkFall news releases contain some bugs.

7 Responses to DarkFall: US server population (non)issue

  1. mbp says:

    but is Darkfall out yet?

    :)

    Sorry I couldn’t resist!

  2. Zensun says:

    I had to click through to see what you were talking about in your edit… LOL. I really can’t believe they posted a link to his blog and not yours. They might as well post a link to Eurogamer, which is about as accurate as Keen.

    Anyway, I’m sorry to say I’ve left Darkfall. I really enjoyed the mechanics of the game for the few months I played, but I never found a decent non-zerg clan that was both willing to accept a casual player (who can’t commit to specific play times or number of hours per week) AND didn’t consistently use words like ‘gay’ in a derogatory way in clan chat. I really enjoyed the game, but the community I experienced just wasn’t for me (especially on the barely moderated forums), unfortunately.

  3. Centuri says:

    I do find it funny to link to K&G. Though I am sure Tasos knows to just give it another two months and Keen will be back on the Darkfall wagon. At least I think that is about what the cycle time is for him.

  4. Syn4pse says:

    And I point out the ridiculousness on K&G in a comment and what does he do? Delete my comment and register it as spam so I can’t post anything else under this handle. Hah!

  5. syncaine says:

    Yea, they don’t like debate over at the kids table, especially when you point out the hypocrisy in the writing. I would not worry too much about it, it’s still a great source for laughs.

  6. Bonedead says:

    I just want to say that the “is the shop up?” game wasn’t that hard. I know I wrote a big long thing about how to do it which included: where to be to find out exactly when it is up, how to make it through the lag, and how to not get temporarily banned while doing it (banned for refreshing too much). If you just checked the website every other day at a random time and saw it was down, that’s on you. But alas, it is now unimportant.

  7. DFOJunkie says:

    They will advertise when they find it fit. Right now, they are still patching the game, and trying to make it what they want it to be on the official franchise release. Advertising now is just going to pull people in to the game that is still pretty much in beta.

    AV already has a companny, Ikona Ihos S.A.; ready to advertise and deal with product distribution. Once they have the game where they want it, they will advertise, and probably around the release of the NA-1 server. At the same time I’m sure they’ll be advertising in NA as well. `

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