Archive for the 'Dark and Light' Category


Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

I gave it a try. I used my free days before I had to commit to a billing cycle and I looked at the game I’d been waiting for over the last seven months.

Dark and Light is not the paradigm-shiftingly brilliant tour de force of MMORPGs that the devs promised … and nor is it the buggy pile of empty nothingness that Settlers of Ganareth threatened. There is the nucleus of a very special game there. Whether it turns out to be special, or the prediction of one unkind forumgoer – who claimed that the whole thing was an elaborate scam to get money from former Star Wars Galaxies players – is shown to be true, I cannot say for now. I will return and assess the game in a few months.

To those still playing … have fun!

Postcard from Noob Island

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Summoning my faithfull dragon Ruffles, I took to the skies to investigate what I assume was the northwest corner of Ganareth. I say assume since – as discussed in today’s editorial – I wasn’t able to zoom the map out and see where I was.

I didn’t see much more than mountains and sea – though what pretty mountains and sea they were – but I did pass a barge setting out for a peninsula to the southeast. Its route was then marked on my map; an indication, perhaps, of how exploration will work.

Although I didn’t journey far before getting kicked out of the game, what I saw was stunningly beautiful.


Friday, June 2nd, 2006

I successfully used the /inheritance command to zap myself to level 12 (powerleveller!) and allocated some skill points, claiming my Pioneer dragon and selecting the Hunter class.

Still not sure about whether to take Ranger or not. Archer looks good on paper but sacrifices the creature handling aspect. Decision postponed!

The wait is over

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Despite last-minute delays the game did launch on the date advertised, ie two days ago. I almost didn’t take advantage of the early access for Pioneers, as the recent stress test didn’t convince me that the game was ready and I was reluctant to start the clock ticking on my two free months without being reasonably confident that I would want to stick around once I had to pay a subscription. It would be a shame to pre-purchase (not just pre-order, mind) a game seven months in advance and then end up not playing it because of an unimpressive launch.

Luckily Pioneers do in fact get to use their early access and play for a few days before committing to a recurring billing. It is at that point that they would start using their two free months. With that in mind I decided there would be no harm in checking out the game after all.

Initial impressions were pleasantly surprising. The stress test client was a big step up from Settlers of Ganareth in the graphics department, while still chugging along a bit at times. The release client shows a big improvement. Framerate is good and the world is very pretty indeed. The UI has also had a lick of paint and looks much better than SoG did.

Sadly some old bugs remain. Configuring graphics and sound settings is still a non-starter and remapping keys is hardly worth attempting. Keys can still be mapped to several actions simultaneously, which is not in itself a bad thing but soon creates problems when trying to unmap them doesn’t work. Furthermore I found I couldn’t zoom the map at all, as this functionality is bound to the mouse wheel (my mouse has none) and cannot be remapped.

Despite this the world retains that “wow it’s huge” feel that SoG always promised and exploring it should be fun. I wonder if I can find my stele before the official release on June 5th.

Release day draws near … again

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

And so the revised release date is almost upon us, though the excitement generated by the stress test running this week has been tempered somewhat by the announcement that several key features will be missing from the game as shipped.

Of most concern for myself is the lack of Exploration. Of course there is nothing to stop people from running around exploring the world but Dark and Light was shaping up to offer something unique in this regard. It’s standard MMORPG procedure to give players a black – or darkly shaded – map of new areas, this map being gradually coloured as they find their way around. DnL proposed to let players create and sell maps of the land they’d discovered. Thus someone who’d never visited a particular part of the world could buy a map from someone who had, filling in their overhead map and radar with details provided by the seller.

It won’t be so bad if this functionality is retrofitted soon after launch. The other bad news, however, is that only five of the kingdoms of Ganareth will be available from day one, these being the Dark and Light kingdoms as well as the three kingdoms previously available in Settlers of Ganareth.

DnL delayed

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

What a surprise! Dark and Light will not go live on April 27th but May 30th instead. Nice of them to tell us promptly ahead of time.

Character class

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

The official Dark and Light site has an expanded guide to the various character classes available in the game.

My initial plan was to follow the Ranger path, as I did in Settlers of Ganareth. I enjoyed scouting and creature tracking and taming in Star Wars Galaxies and exploration holds a strong appeal, so Ranger is an obvious choice. Better still they will be able to fight efficiently with my beloved one-handed swords.

After reading the class guide, however, I am starting to see the appeal of the Paladin archetype. Their focus on defence, winning the fight through attrition and finesse with the one-handed blade, sounds very true to the spirit of the Fencer I used to enjoy so much in SWG.

I’ll probably still end up with Ranger. It’s a shame you won’t be able to revise your class later. I realise that this is true in almost every MMORPG out there but SWG was my first and I’ve yet to find anything to match its profession-based advancement.

SoG inheritance

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

Pioneers will carry over a percentage of their money, any Barony title they may have had and – if the rumours are to be believed – their combat level into Dark and Light. They can also place steles in the Settlers of Ganareth world with a personalised message. These steles will continue to exist in DnL and can be read by anyone passing by.

Despite being a day-one player of SoG I never reached a high enough level to own a Barony. Grinding is not high on my priority list and I started playing City of Heroes before SoG became stable enough to devote proper time and attention to. I won’t have a Barony title in DnL and I will start with at most 100,000 goth at level 12. Hardly the earth-shatteringly unfair advantage non-Pioneer players have complained about on the official forum.

I did place my stele, though. I can’t remember where, but I placed it. It has a very nice quote from one of my oldest and best SWG friends. Stumbling across it again, if I ever do, will be a pleasant surprise.

Release date approaches

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Dark and Light is scheduled for release on April 27th 2006. Somewhat optimistically, I’ve booked the day off work.