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The Skull Key in Dark and Darker is the way to the treasure.
Image via IRONMACE

Dark and Darker dev allows free-to-play players to use higher gear loot following backlash

The devs were quick to update the model.

After Dark and Darker made its grand return to traditional platforms, including Steam, it was met with a negative response stemming from its “misleading” free-to-play label. Free players were offered a severely limited experience, but now developer Ironmace has come out with a massive change.

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Those who wish to try Dark and Darker out before purchasing will be given a much broader experience as they can now equip high-tier items previously limited to Common rarity at the most. With this change introduced in a hotfix today on June 10, players with a free-to-play account can equip and carry gear up to Legendary level. Even when geared up, though, they will still be limited to the Normal mode and have a matchmaking system of their own to disincentivize cheaters taking advantage of the free-to-play model.

dark and darker characters and a torch
Dark and Darker had a “Mixed” review score on Steam following its re-release. Image via Ironmace.

Ironmace also apologized in the hotfix’s patch notes, saying “it was never [their] intention to mislead [their] players and [they] are learning from [player] feedback.” The hotfix also included numerous gameplay changes and balance tweaks, as well as the removal of gear score from Poor and Common rarity utility items. Poor and Common-level gear will also provide lower gear score to put more new players into the new and updated Normal mode.

The responses to the hotfix on Steam have been overwhelmingly positive judging by the replies, though it’s still too early to tell if these changes will have an impact on how the players perceive the game as a whole and whether or not they will change their negative reviews. At the time of writing, Dark and Darker is still “Mixed” on Steam, with 50 percent of the player base willing to recommend the game. That’s already a two-percent improvement over earlier today, so the impact is evident even so soon after the patch.

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Image of Andrej Barovic
Andrej Barovic
Strategic Content Writer, English Major. Been in writing for 3 years. Focused mostly on the world of gaming as a whole, with particular interest in RPGs, MOBAs, FPS, and Grand Strategies. Favorite titles include Counter-Strike, The Witcher 3, Bloodborne, Sekrio, and Kenshi. Cormac McCarthy apologetic.