Our Disappointing First Hours with Dark and Light

More like D-ARK and light... ha.
Dark and Light

Dark and Light has been a very unusual sort of game to play. Granted, this game has just been released into early access and with that, there will be issues everywhere. I didn’t expect it to be as bad as it is now though. Typically, I hate to be very negative when it comes to early access game but when you load into the game, you are met with some extremely annoying issues right off the bat.

Snail acknowledges in the loading screen that this game is only 30% complete. They are being honest with us about that fact which I can appreciate. I had to tinker with the graphics settings a little before the graphical lag subsided even in the loading screens. The official servers are capped at 70 players. Do not go into this game expecting a true “MMORPG”. You won’t find it here. Once you get through the minimal character creation process and load into the game, you might get lucky and stay connected for more than maybe thirty minutes at a time (I think my peak was around 45 minutes before it booted me).

Dark and Light

After tinkering with the graphical settings some more and pretty much having to lower everything, I found a comfortable FPS around 25-40. It’s early access folks. To fully enjoy some gameplay out of this, I had to host my own local server to really accomplish anything. As far as I could tell as well, all of the official servers were PvP, I did not find one PvE only server (Editor’s Note: PVE servers were turned on after the author wrote this). I guess we will have to wait for unofficial servers to come around to give us a non-PVP experience.

Although the game does look stunning when everything is maxed out, it is hard to find a stable FPS to enjoy how beautiful the game CAN look. Even though I wish this game didn’t turn into a survival sandbox, it somewhat delivers on what it offers now. I kind of feel like, once you have played a sandbox survival MMO, you have played them all. The big difference in DnL is that you can use magic. Huzzah, magic. From what I crafted and used, I wasn’t impressed. That is the thing I have said the most so far. Not impressed.

I really wish this game would have stayed in development a lot longer. I get the point of early access games but very few games have done this poorly in terms of content and quality of content. There are some nice tutorials and beginner quests for you to do, but with all the desync and bugs going on, good luck trying to complete them. Like I said, I just wish this game wouldn’t have released this early. Granted, it did release in a playable state and there are quests to do, mobs to kill and things to craft. It’s minimal, to say the least. Crafting isn’t complex, it’s pretty straightforward. You use the skills to level up, get more schematics and craft the items allowed. Rinse and repeat. It’s nothing new or special about it.

Dark and Light

The AI in this game is beyond silly at this point. I love going out and seeing level 104 sheep! The guard AI is kinda shady as well. I was just messing around in my inventory and BAM guard killed me for no reason. I guess he didn’t like my character’s beard. Losing everything on death as well. With no official PvE servers yet, players must be on their guard constantly for the ever lurking gank squads going on. Yes, I’ve encountered a few since I’ve started playing and it’s no fun trying to outrun them and getting lost in the process.

There is just generally a lot of things wrong right now with the game and it’s hard to say go out and buy it. That being said, there is some good news about all of this. The game does have potential to be one of the better sandbox survival games out there. I am hoping Snail takes the time needed to polish and get the rest of the content out in early access phase and not rush it, so we have a half baked game come release.

There is potential in this game. I can clearly see it behind all the issues and bugs right now. I do like the simplicity of the game, it’s crafting system and basic stat system as well. It’s just with the bare minimum that there is now, it’s hard to enjoy what the game has to offer. I would say down the road maybe 6-8 months down the road the game will be a lot more polished and more fun to play.

Dark and Light

If you are into this type of genre and you are excited to see magic hit the shelves of sandbox games than I would say, stay away for a little while and see how the game progresses in terms of bug fixing and polishing. It’ll still be there in a couple of months. I can’t fully recommend going out and buying this game as it stands now. Maybe if the price was a little cheaper but even then I would have a hard time.

You may be thinking I am being a little too harsh on this game but there was a lot of hype surrounding the game and what exactly would come out of it. I can say I am disappointed with what they did release in early access and I will be keeping my eyes glued to the patch notes to see what they improve and add to the game.

Again, if you are a fan of the genre keep Dark and Light in mind and your eyes peeled for major updates and bug fixes. Until then, I would steer away.  I really wish this game just offered more. The hype was there and it didn’t deliver. Maybe in time, they will deliver the ultimate sandbox MMO experience. But that’s a big maybe.

3 Comments

  1. I didn’t think you were too harsh at all. Just seemed like you said you didn’t like it over and over for 10 paragraphs, because it’s pvp, and because a guard attacked. Idk 😐

  2. Thanks for the info! I’m still very much interested in this but I’d hate to throw my money on something still so raw. Better to just wait and see how it turns out at this point.

  3. Hmmm, the thing is ‘what were you expecting?’

    I’ve seen others say that the game is “too buggy for early access”. Well how buggy is “too buggy”? I haven’t run into an problems and my machine ran the game easily up to the last patch where I suddenly have some slow down in the town area.

    My thought is that players (and in this case “reviewers” have their expectations set way too high.

    When I log into the few Early access games I’ve tried I expect an unfinished game. Why is that others are expecting more? Especially because they come out and say “This is an early access game and the only reason you are buying into it is because you want to be a part of the development”.

    I would even go so far as to suggest that too many people have gotten used to the “modern” meaning of beta which seems to mean that the game is entirely finished and just means some polish. That’s not what beta used to mean.

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