It was initially met with great excitement when Dark and Darker, the PvP dungeon crawler, unexpectedly launched in early access. However, the euphoria quickly gave way to widespread criticism, focused primarily on the game’s microtransactions. Fans expressed their discontent with Ironmace, the developer, for selling additional character classes and races through Dark and Darker’s in-game store. The studio, in response to the strong pushback, is now seriously considering changing its approach.
A Community Divided
One redditor, BarnacleLanky, voiced the general sentiment by stating, “Buying classes is not what we want in a Buy to Play game. Cosmetics? Cool. Provisions? Please define. Classes? Hard no.” While BarnacleLanky acknowledged that in-game currency could be earned through gameplay, they felt that the current rate of earning was appallingly low. They suggested that if Ironmace insisted on keeping this system, then adjustments should be made to make the rate of earning more reasonable.
The post attracted hundreds of replies, with many being thoughtful and reflective. Some users reminded others that the game was still in early access, and such issues were expected to be resolved during this phase. Others defended the sale of extra classes, claiming that it was merely a convenience option for players and a necessary strategy for Ironmace to generate much-needed funds. This is particularly crucial given the studio’s ongoing legal battle with Nexon, which resulted in the game’s temporary removal from Steam earlier this year.
The Battle Rages On
However, not all fans on Reddit were as understanding. The fact that Dark and Darker is not a free-to-play game became a significant point of contention. With a purchase price of $35 or $50 for a founder’s edition, many argued that introducing microtransactions during early access was an inexcusable move. Users such as stinkyzombie69 and rightfallen vehemently opposed this decision, viewing it as a betrayal of Ironmace’s mission statement.
Captn_Clutch voiced a compromise, suggesting that Ironmace should choose between a low game price and allowing players to buy classes early or adopting a free-to-play model with grinding. They believed that having both options was contradictory.
The Grind Woes
Adding to the controversy was the slow pace of gameplay progression. Shard requirements increased linearly, resulting in increasingly time-consuming grinding for players. Unlocking a single class demanded a total of 375 points from extractions, which required an estimated 30 hours of playtime, assuming a perfect scenario with no deaths.
In a separate thread, sp00kyemperor calculated that even for an exceptional player who extracted every time, it would still take around 30 hours to unlock a single class. Evilomerta further emphasized the issue by stating that, on average, it would take players an astonishing 1,800 games or 360 hours to unlock just one class. These numbers seemed insurmountable, if not impossible, for most players.
Given the significant backlash, Ironmace’s CEO, Terence Park, recently advised players on the Dark and Darker Discord not to spend money on character classes. Additionally, he hinted at potential refunds for those who had already made purchases. While no concrete decisions or announcements have been made thus far, a developer connected to PC Gamer confirmed that Ironmace is seriously considering a change. The final verdict and announcement are expected in the near future.
Rest assured, we will keep you updated on any developments regarding this matter.