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Sins of a Dark Age Announced

Following a countdown to the announcement, the Sins of a Dark Age Website is now online, revealing Ironclad's next project as a free-to-play "strategy hybrid focused on team-based 'Hero and Commander Strategy' gameplay" to launch this year. As the name implies, Sins of a Dark Age blends 4x with real-time strategy in the manner of Sins of a Solar Empire. The website offers a welcome message, a Dev of a Dark Age diary, and this announcement. Here's a bit:

MONTREAL – February 21, 2012 – Looming grey clouds crowd the endless sky. Bitter winds and the smell of damp earth do little to mask the pungent stench rising from the blanket of blood stretched across the lifeless valley. Armies of men and beast lay piled high, a twisted mass of spikes and flesh; steam from their bodies still climbing the sheer rocky cliffs. All that remains standing is a monstrous machine of war and four heroic silhouettes honoring their victorious commander. Today’s battle is over, but the war has just begun.

Ironclad Games presents a real-time fantasy strategy experience like no other: Sins of a Dark Age. From the studio that brought forth the genre-blending gem and 2008 PC Game of the Year, Sins of a Solar Empire, comes a new strategy hybrid focused on team-based “Hero and Commander Strategy” gameplay.

In Sins of a Dark Age, players join an online team consisting of one Commander and a small group of Heroes who work together to accomplish a specific scenario goal. Go head-to-head against an enemy team in a short, fast-paced multiplayer match or work cooperatively against the AI in custom scenarios. Earn rewards for yourself and your clan, climb in ranks, and watch and share your most glorious replays. Players can choose from an ever-growing pool of heroes, commanders and factions each of which supports unique capabilities.

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47 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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47. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 25, 2012, 00:41 Verno
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Feb 24, 2012, 14:13:
Did you not, like.. read the topic you replied to?

Did you not like, read the reply you replied to?

All the important equipment features are locked at the beginning

That's pretty much every multiplayer game these days, deal with it. I don't like it either but its a sign of the times. As long as free consumers can earn the same items in a reasonable amount of time then I don't see a problem or at least you certainly haven't demonstrated there is one.
 
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Walking Dead, The Fall, As Above So Below
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46. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 24, 2012, 14:13 eRe4s3r
 
Did you not, like.. read the topic you replied to? Well i don't fault you, it was chaotic and off-topic

All the important equipment features are locked at the beginning! Paid customers have a massive advantage over any new player. And one of the unlocks is even vital to play the defend game-mode. Or rather, its used to not utterly lose it at all times.

And yes, I know that my complaints can be applied to BF3 as well ^^

This comment was edited on Feb 24, 2012, 14:52.
 
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45. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 23, 2012, 14:33 Verno
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Feb 23, 2012, 10:59:
If it hadn't been F2P I'd have bought it though Because then it'd be a proper Tribes game, and not this abomination it is now.

Errr, what exactly is an abomination about it? All of the paid features are very reasonable and the game itself is pretty good despite not being as similar to Tribes 1 in the mapping department as I'd like.
 
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44. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 23, 2012, 10:59 eRe4s3r
 
If it hadn't been F2P I'd have bought it though Because then it'd be a proper Tribes game, and not this abomination it is now.  
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43. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 23, 2012, 09:18 Prez
 
If the game weren't F2P, Hi-Rez most likely wouldn't have made the changes they did.

I suspect if it weren't F2P it might not have been made at all.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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42. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 23, 2012, 05:01 Jerykk
 
The inherent problem with F2P games is that they have to be multiplayer and they have to have some sort of progression system with unlockables. Without the latter, there's no incentive for anyone to pay for anything. Even if all content can eventually be unlocked through grinding, it's much faster and easier to do so by paying. Thus, new players who spend a lot of money have a distinct advantage over new players who don't. The other issue that unlockables and progression systems don't fit well into a lot of games. They definitely don't fit well into Tribes: Ascend, which completely removed the freeform loadout system of the previous games and added a bunch of slightly different weapons (with some being clearly better than others), drastically changing the gameplay as a result. It's still an enjoyable game but it'll never be as good as its predecessors because of this decision. If the game weren't F2P, Hi-Rez most likely wouldn't have made the changes they did.  
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41. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 16:02 elefunk
 
The Republican thing was just a joke, not an accusation, sheesh.

Look, I don't even play much League of Legends, but I know how it works. It's quite simple. Every single ounce of content in the game is available to play for free. No one who pays anything gets an advantage. I have friends who have sunk hundreds of hours into the game and never paid a dime, and they're equally competitive with everyone who's purchased new characters or other stuff to play with.

He's going on and on about stuff that doesn't ring true with anyone who actually plays these games. League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Tribes Ascend, Firefall (from a few hours I played at PAX), Lord of the Rings Online, and countless other games are well-designed games. They're fun to play for hundreds of hours without paying anything.

You can pay money for variety if you wish, but it's not necessary at all. You can pay money for "convenience", but the best and most successful free-to-play games out there don't actually require "convenience" to be fun.


And yeah, look at his posts aimed directly at the Ironclad person who posted here:

Frankly Ironclad, you should be ashamed of yourselves. If this is how you reward players for buying Sins of A Solar Empire, then as far as I'm concerned you can burn in Hell with Zynga and all the other scam merchants. You people are scum.

That's a pretty vicious and cynical attack. I'm not sure why a vicious personal attack like this by someone who admitted to not playing any of these games is defensible.
 
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40. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 15:45 Fletch
 
elefunk wrote on Feb 22, 2012, 15:25:
You've insulted a lot of people and a lot of games in this thread, yet you've never once played a single one of the games you're viciously attacking, and it seems like you won't listen to anything that any of the people you're viciously attacking have said, no matter how well-reasoned.

You're even directly attacking the *gameplay* of these games you haven't played.


The mind boggles at how one can be so cynical and hateful, while remaining deliberately ignorant. I guess that explains the Republican party!

Viciously attacking? Cynical and hateful? WTF is your problem? And now he's a Republican?!? You are absolutely proving with every word you post that you are nothing but a fanboy who's chosen game has been insulted. He invited you to argue the opinions he posted, but you seem to have nothing to say in response that hasn't passed through your ass first.
 
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39. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 15:35 Fletch
 
elefunk wrote on Feb 22, 2012, 10:15:
Oh. OK. So you haven't played any F2P games but you're the expert.

Got it, thanks!
He never said he didn't play any F2P games, not that it would matter if his points are sound. If his arguments are so uninformed, please feel free to shoot holes in them without sounding like a fanboy.
 
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38. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 15:25 elefunk
 
Wraith wrote on Feb 22, 2012, 12:58:
Right, so basically you're a fan-boy with a hard-on for one particular game and you're defending the whole "Free To Play" scam because the game which gives you wood uses a "Free To Play" model.

Kid, go back to XBox Live and stick to calling everyone a fag. That's more your speed. Operant conditioning and game theory are way above your head.

You've insulted a lot of people and a lot of games in this thread, yet you've never once played a single one of the games you're viciously attacking, and it seems like you won't listen to anything that any of the people you're viciously attacking have said, no matter how well-reasoned.

You're even directly attacking the *gameplay* of these games you haven't played.


The mind boggles at how one can be so cynical and hateful, while remaining deliberately ignorant. I guess that explains the Republican party!
 
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37. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 13:00 PHJF
 
Tribes is not remotely a good model for f2p. Unlocking the secondary weapon for a class takes literally dozens of hours of play. Absolutely none of the "given" classes offer ANY defensive abilities (mines, force fields, turrets are all locked by default) rendering new players hopelessly unable to defend in CTF. The pathfinder thrust ability is also locked rendering it impossible to outrun or catch other players.  
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36. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 12:58 Wraith
 
Right, so basically you're a fan-boy with a hard-on for one particular game and you're defending the whole "Free To Play" scam because the game which gives you wood uses a "Free To Play" model.

Kid, go back to XBox Live and stick to calling everyone a fag. That's more your speed. Operant conditioning and game theory are way above your head.
 
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35. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 12:32 elefunk
 
I've played hundreds of for-pay games.

I've played tens of free-to-play games. You haven't played any.


You think your arguments are worth shit? League of Legends alone refutes every single argument you make. They're so ignorant and utterly incompetent that it's not worth directly refuting each asinine statement you made.
 
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34. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 11:47 Wraith
 
elefunk wrote on Feb 22, 2012, 10:15:

Oh. OK. So you haven't played any F2P games but you're the expert.

Got it, thanks!
Okay, so you don't actually have a counter-argument so you think some ad-hominem is going to do the job for you. Got it, thanks!
 
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33. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 10:15 elefunk
 
Wraith wrote on Feb 22, 2012, 03:48:
elefunk wrote on Feb 22, 2012, 02:32:
What F2P games have you played?
What paid games have you played?

The question is irrelevant. I don't play Free To Play because I despise the model and the poor gameplay such games offer. I also tend not to support always-on DRM which is effectively what such games have.

Basically the words "Free To Play" are an instant turn-off. Nobody is going to pay for incentives which aren't tied to game-play. Well, there are always the idiots who'll pay for a fucking hat, but those people don't shell out enough to build a business model on.

Basically, Free To Play artificially restricts the availability of content and tries to assign value to gameplay objects which have none. The representation is fundamentally dishonest and relies on disconnecting the player from reality.

The only value a game delivers to its players is the experience. It is not the digital objects which occupy the game space. Those objects have no value whatsoever. In order to make Free To Play work, the game developer imposes an artificial restriction upon the player then forces that player to pay real money for access to an object which has no intrinsic value.

Greedy game developers see the Free To Play model as a ticket to riches. It's not. It's an ethically bankrupt practice which should be called out for what it is.

Oh. OK. So you haven't played any F2P games but you're the expert.

Got it, thanks!
 
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32. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 09:41 Prez
 
Tribes Ascend is an example of a great Free to Play model game

I got a beta invite in my email (I am on their list from when I played Global Agenda I guess), and I'm considering giving it a try despite my dislike of multiplayer-centric games and distrust of the free-to-play model. I don't know how hard the beta keys are to come by (for all I know they're as common as nipples in a titty bar), but if someone really wants it and can't get one, I'm willing to give up mine.
 
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31. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 08:43 Slashman
 
Blair Fraser wrote on Feb 21, 2012, 21:57:
Slashman, our data shows that the majority of $ is made in aesthetics (even for strategy games). People purchase the other type of content to trade money for time in order to access alternate experiences even though they are perfectly balanced in power.

Since I don't know where your research came from I can't exactly argue, but I wonder if you are not looking at MMOs and relating them to your game.

Aesthetics would be a selling point for some, but I'm a bit skeptical that having your purchasable commanders and champions no more powerful than the free stuff is going to drive sales.

I think that like all F2P games, it will start out balanced, but as time goes on and you add content, the stuff you add will simply be better than the stuff you started with(both the free and buyable items).

 
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30. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 07:24 javajeff
 
Tribes Ascend is an example of a great Free to Play model game. As long as it is not Pay to win, free to play is a great model. Some people have money, and some people have time. This model lets them all play so the game will have a huge population. The people that pay will have more people to play with making their purchase well worth it. If it is done well, a player should receive the entire contents of a game for the same $50-60 that they would spend buying that game.  
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29. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 06:51 Flo
 
When something goes free to play the game itself no longer is the actual product being distributed...YOU are  
Supporter of the "Chewbacca Defense"
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28. Re: Sins of a Dark Age Announced Feb 22, 2012, 06:04 Prez
 
I'm guessing the big draw of F2P for a small developer like Ironclad is that it negates the potentially detrimental effect of piracy on your game's earning potential. Whether or not that translates into more actual dollars is debatable, but I imagine Ironclad is smarting at the amount of illegal copies of Sins that were downloaded, a game which had no DRM other than a one-time activation via Impulse, and that might have weighed on the decision to go F2P. It's human nature to focus on what you think you could have gotten but didn't rather than on what you actually got.  
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