Sign up for our upcoming Alpha test and learn more about Das Tal by visiting us at Das-tal-game.com

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We recently completed the March Mayhem Alpha testing period for Das Tal. Since we haven't provided any updates here in a while, we're posting some thoughts on what went well, what didn't go so well and some of our plans leading up to our next Alpha testing period (which is planned for July).

Screen Shot 2016 04 20 at 5 43 2

What worked well

  • The valley defense / donation system was a fun way to get some clan rivalry into Das Tal Though we need to make sure to encourage donations during prime-time instead of late at night.
  • Caravans and the re-balanced meteors and carcasses dished out a good amount of resources to solo players who could get better equipment and actually keep it due to the new drop chance system (which has since been improved to not reward chain-ganking).
  • Skill balance: We have heard that basically every weapon / armor class is overpowered. Which is good in our book. Though we definitely have to look at some easily exploitable skills (Stasis, I’m looking at you!).
  • Server stability and performance: Outside of one crash bug that we fixed in the first couple hours of the alpha test the server chugged along perfectly fine with no hick-ups. Which made administrating it a bit boring for us, to be honest. No fires to put out. =D
  • And, as I posted to my personal facebook page last month: I personally had a blast playing with all of you. Every hour or even half-hour gameplay session got me tons of fun and meaningful PvP and EXACTLY the kind of experience I wanted to make this game for. Me gusta.

Screen Shot 2016 04 21 at 5 44 4


What needs improvement

But then obviously not all is roses and unicorns in the valley. We’re still in alpha and there is definitely a lot left to work on. Our major challenge: Retention. We currently have two major problems in the game that - to be completely honest - I hoped I had already improved more. But yeah, that’s game design for you - if you don’t succeed at first: Try again!

Our number one problem is the fact that a too-large number of new players frustratedly quit playing Das Tal very early on. On the one hand this is to be expected in a harsh open-PvP world as ours that definitely still has a lot of usability improvements ahead of it. A lot of frustration is based on how bad I’m currently explaining the game system. Which is easily changed but takes time.

On the other hand we feel with you and agree that “noob ganking” is currently too easy and stupidly actually being rewarded by the game mechanics. And that should not be the case ever. Every fight in the valley should have an appropriate risk associated with it and we certainly need to do better in this area. And yes, this connects to the often reported problem of “zergs are too powerful”. We noticed that, too.

Problem number two is a form of “I’ve got it all - now what?”. Meaning that there is very little progression in the game once you’ve got your settlement all upgraded and the best gear. Both of those things were way too easy too achieve in the last build. And in addition a lot of long-term features are still missing which should give you ample reason to continue playing for many months if not years. We have big plans. But more on that below.

Screen Shot 2016 04 21 at 5 46 1


New features we’re working on

In a completely unsorted fashion:

  • An out-of-game-progression / achievement system that will allow you to unlock avatars, titles and skins by performing certain feats during the lifetime of each game world.
  • New and improved ways to find friends, mentors and a clan plus a ton of social features (/whisper, friends-lists, friend invites etc.).
  • A re-design of the current XP system that makes it very easy for late-comers to catch up to veterans but also is way less confusing and more rewarding than the old system.
  • Easier character re-training and multiple character slots for more experimentation with the new upcoming abilities and ability sets.

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  • A system to distinguish between newbies and veterans that makes it very explicit to people when they’re dealing with newbies. And a couple dozen ways of making it less desirable of ganking too many newbies - without resorting to the usual safe zone and PvP flag mechanics.
  • We’ll also increase the protection you have while using buildings (dojos, workshops) so that just backstabbing someone while they change their skills is a bit less … easy.
  • A “show the zerg on the map” system similar to what you might know from Albion Online which allows solo players and small groups to evade large groups of players (if they wish to do so) and that encourages smaller fights.

Screen Shot 2016 04 29 at 9 30 2

  • A proper tutorial that allows new Das Tal players to learn the basic controls of the game and how character progression works before getting dropped into the main game world. It will also allow for more experimentation with your class combinations before locking those in.
  • A MASSIVE AND UTTER re-design of our map building approach and tool set. Eventually we are going to land at a world map that is larger, resembles an actual valley in structure, allows for more space between newbies and veterans, adds a timed progression through the game world and actual rewards for exploring this world. There will be many server firsts to strife for, promised. And a couple of neat thingies to collect.
  • The addition of a large number of new buildings for settlements. New settlement versions in different sizes and flavours. And settlement slots that unlock over time. All of those changes are geared towards granting smaller groups of players a base to start from.
  • And then yeah: It’s time for some territory control. We all love those EVE Online galaxy political maps and we feel that similar spheres of influence should also be in Das Tal - and built into the game’s map.

World Map


  • Oh and I am personally really looking forward to working on our “fight club” system which should allow Veterans to compete on a 1on1 basis both daily and over the course of a game world. I’m so fucking excited, I want to start working on it today. Sadly I can’t but I’ll push for it very soon. =D

And then there are a million other things aimed at improving long-term motivation for all players and the first-time-experience for newbies. If you're interested in receiving updates and being notified when we start our next Alpha testing period (likely in July), click here.

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 21)
Teriya_LoD
Teriya_LoD

Das Tal May 31 Alpha PvP Video
Youtube.com

I’m afraid that gameplay footage does not do this game justice. To the casual observer the gameplay is skittish and extremely fast-paced and, in a word, overwhelming. There is so much happening in every frame that there’s no way to understand what’s going on and the video gets tuned out and is unappreciated for the sheer amount of heart-pounding action that the game entails. At least, that’s how I felt when I watched DT vids. Some crucial aspects of the game that gets lost in the video are the amount of battlefield awareness that is required at every moment and the critical precision of aiming.

A couple helpful tips when watching: try to follow my cursor (you’ll be able to see where my focus lies and what I’m doing to help the fight) and the big white circle that follows me is an AoE heal (I think technically it’s an AoE HoT.. or a HOT AOE)

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Guest
Guest

I can't wait for this game. Full loot PvP, Skill based combat, and changing worlds.

I’m afraid that gameplay footage does not do this game justice. To the casual observer the gameplay is skittish and extremely fast-paced and, in a word, overwhelming. There is so much happening in every frame that there’s no way to understand what’s going on and the video gets tuned out and is unappreciated for the sheer amount of heart-pounding action that the game entails. At least, that’s how I felt when I watched DT vids. Some crucial aspects of the game that gets lost in the video are the amount of battlefield awareness that is required at every moment and the critical precision of aiming.

A couple helpful tips when watching: try to follow my cursor (you’ll be able to see where my focus lies and what I’m doing to help the fight) and the big white circle that follows me is an AoE heal (I think technically it’s an AoE HoT.. or a HOT AOE)

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Teriya_LoD
Teriya_LoD

please remove this comment, I jumped the gun and posted too soon =X

or not if you don't mind spam...

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INtense! Staff
INtense!

concept art translated well into the game, nice

Reply Good karma+1 vote
yhann
yhann

I like it.
For the economic model you could think about the price of the game and the subscription to your server as a seperate thing, like making the possibility for the player to create their server (local host or wathever), this way I would personnaly enjoy it, as I have to admite that I prefer to have a game that will not disappear some month later due to none profit (pardon the bad english). Just my opinion, a hint nothing more, not to take seriously.

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lVliso
lVliso

while i do like the idea i also see where dbltnk is coming from. Unless given a decent way to counteract hackers it would not be the best idea but if given such it would be amazing to have. Pricing the game separately from the either monthly or yearly subs would help bring in profit but what would also help is possible something like minecraft is doing with realms. This could help players be able to have their own server all while being protected from hackers. just and opinion in my case but i hope i helped even just a tid bit.^~^

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dbltnk Creator
dbltnk

Thanks. That is an option indeed. Though we're a little weary of the host-your-own-server model for a PvP game. Look at DayZ or Rust - with that much hacking going on it's impossible to do any serious PvP.

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Guest
Guest

can't wait to try it out!

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ChickenDelight
ChickenDelight

Looking good so far. Love the concept.
How much will this game cost?

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dbltnk Creator
dbltnk

We don't know yet. We haven't decided on a business model for the game yet - still listening to hear what our players would prefer.

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Guest
Guest

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

Gn0meSlice

Steam release or not, I'd really like to see a DRM-Free release as well. Would make a difference for myself, and many other players, I suspect.

Might I suggest IndieGameStand?

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dbltnk Creator
dbltnk

Since this is an MMORPG the only DRM is that you play on a server which is going to be hosted by us. IndieGameStand, HumbleStore or other digital stores are nice but only interesting for a pure P2P model, mostly used with singleplayer games.

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Gn0meSlice

That's a good point, if you're going F2P you probably don't really need to worry about where you distribute the game through.

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dbltnk Creator
dbltnk

Exactly. At this point the question would be more like "How do we host the game as cheap as possible?". But then we might not go F2P at all. Time will tell. =D

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ChickenDelight
ChickenDelight

Well, I hope it'll be free so I can play it, but I can see it costing $20 or something like that :)

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dbltnk Creator
dbltnk

We'll announce it once we have found a business model that's both awesome for players and devs. =D

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Das Tal
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
Fairytale Distillery
Engine
Unity
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Latest tweets from @dbltnk, @schattenkindnet

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4hours 18mins ago by dbltnk

RT @onemanmmo: Really interesting presentation on replication in Bungie's Destiny and how they get 10,000 players on one server. Gdcvault.com

11hours 54mins ago by dbltnk

RT @raphkoster: Also here in video and non-PDF forms: Raphkoster.com T.co

22hours 30mins ago by dbltnk

RT @Jayisgames: Thanks for all your support over the years. You were all worth it. Jayisgames.com

Apr 30 2016 by dbltnk

#dastal forum highlight: Screenshots wanted Buff.ly

Apr 30 2016 by dbltnk

#dastal forum highlight: New player guide / Help needed Buff.ly

Apr 29 2016 by dbltnk

#dastal forum highlight: New Ability Draft Document Buff.ly

Apr 28 2016 by dbltnk

#dastal forum highlight: Balance recap Buff.ly

Apr 27 2016 by dbltnk

RT @minnalya: OMG! <3 Our dear #ShiftHappensGame is nominated 3 times for @DerDCP !!! This is so awesome! #indiedev #gamedev T.co

Mar 4 2016 by schattenkindnet

RT @das_tal_game: Sign up today and you can be one of 300 solo testers for MARCH MAYHEM on the 18th. Buff.ly #dastal T.co

Mar 2 2016 by schattenkindnet

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