DarkFall Community Publisher update

With the DarkFall Community Publisher initiative a week old, here are some initial thoughts:

The link itself gets clicked quite often here, more so (on average) than any other link. Whether this is due to placement, the link being an image, or simply because DarkFall is awesome is hard to tell. Also worth tracking is whether this continues, although after an initial (day one) spike, clicks have been consistent after that, rather than following a slow but continued decline.

I was wrong about the payout structure, as I do indeed get 20% of the initial purchase, not just the price of the game itself. So whenever someone takes advantage of the current $87 offer of DarkFall+6month sub, I get 20% of that $87, which is rather generous of Aventurine IMO.

I think another benefit of buying the game through a Community Publisher is that you have a source for questions once you are in-game. My email is displayed right below the link, and I’m always willing to answer DarkFall-related questions. For most MMOs this would be a nice-to-have, but for DarkFall its borderline required, especially for newer MMO players not familiar with games like Ultima Online and Asheron’s Call. Just pointing someone who is starting out towards the NEW guild can make life much easier for them, and get them on an accelerated path up the learning curve.

Unrelated to the Community Publisher program itself, but I noticed that in the $87 offer, AV uses a different image for the DarkFall ‘box’, one that looks very much like a picture of a retail box. Perhaps the limited advertising is in part due to AV waiting for the game to be available in a boxed version, and not just digital download?

Given the amount of changes and additions coming with the next expansion (which I’m guessing will be a sizable download), creating DVD copies of DarkFall with this expansion included would be a good move. Plus the bullet-point list that advertisers love to put on the back of the box can be expended as well, with things like player vendors and sea objectives. Add in the fact that AV is current running a screenshot content (with some rather nice rewards too), and I would not be surprised if we see a DarkFall box in stores sometime after the holiday rush, given AV plenty of time to smooth out the bugs and issues that are sure to come with Conquer the Seas.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Asheron's Call, Darkfall Online, Mass Media, MMO design, Patch Notes, Site update, Ultima Online. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to DarkFall Community Publisher update

  1. Malakili says:

    I purchased Darkfall over the weekend, and I’ll admit it was in a large part due to the posts you’ve made about the game. I didn’t however, use your community link, and I hope you aren’t too offended. You talk so often about voting with your wallet that I think idea struck a nice chord with me, and I wanted to make sure Aventurine got all the money.

    See you in game either way!

  2. Stabs says:

    It’s been a very interesting rollout.

    They launched in such a low-key way and now this seems almost over the top. I think your ad here is perfectly respectable but there are no doubt some players putting very high pressure on friends and family to click their links. Or spamming.

    So where do you see Darkfall going? Is it a healthy game with a growing population? Has the EU server survived the mass emigration of all the American players?

    • SynCaine says:

      I think that those without a serious venue to put up the link are going to try really hard initially to get people to use their link, and then they will fade. For me it’s easy because link or not, I’m still going to be providing content and a reason for new and old readers to stop by here. How many sales that generates I don’t know, but then again I don’t really care, so anything above zero is a plus.

      As for the game itself, I think all of the talk about population is overblown. I mean at almost every siege more people show up then what is expected, and if you are in a PvP group you can reliably hit 3-4 locations and get action. I think some people expect to see players as often as you do in a capital city in WoW, and that’s just never going to be the case. If you head out solo in a random direction, yea odds are good you might not see anyone, but that has far more to do with design (giant world+local hangouts) than overall population.

      I’m not sure about the EU server, but I think it’s doing fine just based on their clan forum, with sieges and such still happening regularly. They took a hit though, no doubt.

      Also overall I know a lot of players are in wait-and-see mode right now with the expansion. A lot of people at the high-end just don’t enjoy the current magic-dominated game, and when you don’t PvP often you don’t really need to PvE or progress your character after a certain level. I think after the expansion things are going to really pick up, much more so than they did with the NA/EU transfer.

    • kazamx says:

      Regarding EU server population.

      The EU did take a hit on server population when the Americans left. The thing is I don’t think that many EU players noticed. The fact was many Americans had a different peak time to their EU cousins. The amount of crossover, while there was limited. As I tend to play very late by EU standards I noticed things changed a lot late on. As the EU players log off for the night they aren’t replaced by US players.

      AV were also very smart with the timing of the transfers. As the Americans have been drifting off the server an increasing number of people have been coming back to the game due to the coming expansion. These new/returning players have helped to further soften the blow of losing the Americans.

      The net effect is a small drop in players at EU peak time but a huge drop in the number playing EU nights. We will have to see what happens after the expansion. I have a feeling the number of people online in EU peak times could be higher than it was just before transfers.

  3. Stabs says:

    That’s very encouraging news.

    Next question: if I want to play on the EU servers can I click a US player’s link to buy the game?

  4. SynCaine says:

    I believe the link takes you to the general shop page, from which you then select EU or NA, so yea, I believe I would still get credit.

  5. Modran says:

    Might seem a strange question, but is the game viable if you can only play 2-4 hours once a week? :/

    • SynCaine says:

      Depends on your definition of viable really. Obviously it will take you a long, long time to get your character to the same level as current power guys. As long as you don’t mind that, DF won’t limit you in terms of joining groups for PvE, PvP, sieging, all that. You won’t be throwing around surging rank100 nukes, but you can still cast some spells, shoot a bow, or help out in other ways.

      For PvE you will still find plenty of mob camps you can tackle, and while your crafting won’t skill up quickly, in 2-4 hours you can still make SOME progress each week.

      The overall benefit to a sandbox is your friends/clan won’t out-level you at any point, so while you will obviously be weaker, you won’t be excluded.

Comments are closed.