Dark and Darker has been updated to include one of the community’s “top-requested features” with its latest hotfix, turning the game’s Ruins map into a duo que.
Previously, Ironmace’s early access, extraction-based dungeon crawler only supported solo queue with one map (the Goblin Cave) and trios with two maps (the Ruins and the Howling Crypts). Fans had asked for a new duo-only map, but as as of hotfix #8, the Ruins has instead been converted into one.
Early Access Hotfix #8
We will be doing the hotfix #8 update starting in 25 minutes.
When the patch starts, you will not be able to login to the game and players in-game will not be able to enter the matchmaking pool during this time.
Players in a match or in-game…
— IRONMACE (@IronmaceGames) August 31, 2023
“As an experiment, we have decided to convert The Ruins map into a duos matchmaking pool, as it was one of the top requested features on the ‘Suggestions’ board of our website,” Ironmace writes in a developer comment accompanying the update’s patch notes. “We plan to continue tweaking the settings including the starting playing counts, portal counts, map size, and dark swarm timings based on your feedback.”
Additional changes in the new update include the removal of the entrance fee for the game’s High Roller dungeons, as Ironmace says there is already a high risk associated with them without the added gold cost. Balance changes have come to improve some lesser used items like the Viking Sword, which now deals significantly more damage.
One major change comes to how item rarity affects weapon damage. Ironmace has reduced the weapon damage gap between different rarities of gear, meaning the huge difference is lessened between a junk-quality weapon and a unique-quality one. Ironmace says most top-end weapons will now deal 60-70% more damage than their junk-quality counterparts (as opposed to closer to 100%), which translates to lower-end weapons feeling stronger and top-end weapons feeling a little weaker when compared to before the update.
In Ironmace’s latest effort to combat cheaters and exploiters, trading restrictions have been placed on new accounts. Freshly created accounts will need to wait five days before they are able to access the game’s Trading Post (where players can trade loot) or High Roller dungeons (where the game’s most valuable loot can be found). Dark and Darker had its first account-wide wipe earlier this week, something that came much sooner than Ironmace originally planned in an effort to combat exploiters selling gold and items that were dishonestly earned.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this causes to legitimate players who need to wait out the timer, but we hope this will make a real impact on creating a much cleaner gaming environment,” Ironmace writes.
Dark and Darker’s latest update reintroduced VoIP in-game voice chat, something that has led to a larger number of players teaming up. While Ironmace states that it wants to encourage spontaneous interaction between players, it’s concerned too much coordination and planning between teams can “quickly degrade the experience” for the wider player-base. To discourage this behavior, Ironmace in the latest update has reduced the number of escape portals on the game’s Goblin Cave map, where it says a large amount of team-ups are occurring. The developer states that it will “monitor the situation” and “make more extreme changes if necessary.”
Dark and Darker was pulled from Steam due to a legal dispute between Ironmace and Nexon, but can currently be purchased through the game’s official website. Nexon has accused Ironmace, which is composed of numerous ex-Nexon developers, of having stolen code and assets from a canceled Nexon project in order to create Dark and Darker.
Ironmace has denied those allegations, saying no stolen code or assets were used to create Dark and Darker. Nexon’s US-based copyright lawsuit against Ironmace was recently dismissed, but the two companies are still engaged in an ongoing lawsuit in South Korea, where Ironmace and Nexon are both based. Following the dismissal of Nexon’s US lawsuit, Ironmace has said it hopes to see the game return to Steam soon, but that the matter is currently in Valve’s hands.