Aventurine has been quite busy with its social media push and the recent launch of Darkfall's Hellfreeze expansion. We spoke with Tasos Flambouras about these changes and the possibility of Darkfall 2.
ZAM: Your newest expansion pack, Hellfreeze, was released last month following some delays. Can you give us some insight into the design process?
Flambouras: First, I’d like to mention that Darkfall’s expansions are massive as far as changes or additions to the game. We offer these expansions for free to our players. Darkfall’s first expansion was focused around the character: Re-balancing many aspects of the game, introducing player housing, the village system, a character specialization system, new quests etc. The second Darkfall expansion called “Conquer the Seas” was themed after the major sea gameplay elements added to the game, it also brought a complete revamp of the siege system, among many other new features and additions to the game. The Hellfreeze expansion brings changes to the world. First the largest development milestone we’ve had since launch was delivered, the upgrade of Darkfall’s terrain. This was a huge task and this is why we faced some delays before we could deliver the expansion. Many changes are introduced to the dungeons and new monsters and improved monsters are added to the world. We further added more sandbox features and elements for players to host their own events.
There’s a method to Darkfall’s expansions and they’re all designed keeping the big picture in mind. The greatest evolution for this game comes not from the application of one patch but from the cumulative improvements and additions since the game’s launch after three expansions and more than fifty content updates.
ZAM: Speaking of expansions, you mentioned the next one will be a “revamp” of the game. Can you give us any more details on that statement? What is the team's philosophy behind the upcoming expansion?
Flambouras: Our next expansion is meant to tie everything together. We play to our strengths. We enhance what Darkfall does best without losing sight of what Darkfall is today. It’s too soon to give out any details I’m afraid but the changes and additions to the game are going to be massive.
ZAM: You also vaguely hinted that Darkfall 2 may be a possibility. Can you elaborate on that? At the very least, can you tell us why you're considering a sequel for a game that's so young?
Flambouras: Darkfall is almost 2 years old and Darkfall 2 won’t be here tomorrow. It takes years to develop a MMORPG. When we said that Darkfall is the game we wanted to play ourselves, this wasn’t a marketing statement, it’s how we approach game development, much like the players do, and we’re never satisfied. We’ve been putting everything back into the game and into the technology. We’re expanding our team. We’re not looking to milk Darkfall for all it’s worth, that’s not why we went into game development. Our goal is to deliver the best gaming experience ever. Darkfall is a great game and it can be even greater and that’s what we’re running a full development effort for, rather than just doing maintenance. There are things that Darkfall cannot do however, but we still want to do them. There are lessons learned that we’re eager to apply that can’t be used on Darkfall. It’ll take a while but eventually we’re going to hit a wall. This is where Darkfall 2 comes in. When we feel we can’t deliver a better experience anymore, we’ll move on to something that can.