As you know we're still hard at work on the second half of Prowling. We know you're all very excited to see the Darkside locations become available, and we'd like to take a few moments of your time to explain the wait and some of what you can expect when it's ready.
Taking on Prowling Part 2
The first half of Prowling (Topside) was very well received, though swaths of feedback were offered on how it could be better. We've taken a lot of your feedback to heart as we moved into the second part (Darkside). Many multiples were already written when Topside launched, so we initially expected the second half to launch much faster than the first.
However hearing the desires of the community pretty much sent us back to the drawing board on the most of it. After hearing your favorite multiples and understanding why you liked them so, we took a hard look at what we had done so far and realized they didn't fit with the bar you'd given us. So we edited, rewrote, and abandoned-to-start-from-scratch many of the Darkside multiples that had previously existed.
Of many of your desires were not just more intense stories, on par with those such as the "The Gift", but also less frequent kills/losses/stops. Of course doing this required some sharp formatting changes for us in how we were putting these unique interactive stories together.
Likewise we also heard your love for boss hunting and reward finding, which left us in a place where our work was cut out for us. Not to worry though, we're totally up to challenge and by now have already barreled through 90% of the new content and we're sure you're going to love it. But that's not quite all we've been up to!
We've also had a few new ideas to put out that will offer you some brand new features! Get a teaser of some of those to come in the next section.
What to Expect from Darkside Prowling
• Lore, Lore, Lore
Everyone knows there's pyramids in Egypt, and the Vatican is in Rome. But did you know every major city on the Darkside has an Athenaeum Archives? Or that there's an explanation as to the supernatural activities of Midhaven that's related directly to the Wirelands?
We've had so much lore for the Darkside that had been created at day one, much of it is about to find open air. We're busting wide open how the Darkside realm works, what many of our own vampire myths and legends are, and introducing you to circumstances, characters, creatures, and locations you never knew existed. And yes, if you're wondering, you will indeed be interacting in a personal way with Caine, Andilaveris, and Lillth!
Speaking of characters, since all of our events propagate our lore, you'll also be interacting with the full array of characters you already love and hate... giving your Darkside adventures a familiar grounding that will make each experience a thrill.
• Deeper, more complex multiples
Where our longest Topside multiple was near 35 or so pages on our end, the majority of Darkside multiples will be twice this page count. We've spent serious time and thought on making the stories for these multiples as, if not more, interesting and engaging than your favorites in Topside.
You'll find yourself involved in more complex plots that carry deeper stories and decisions, all of which move from place to place around the Darkside. We've taken such care that you can even pop open your downloaded Darkside Map while you Prowl and track your place in the story.
• Bosses like you've never imagined
We've heard a lot of feedback on how you've loved the boss fights in prowling. We've more than doubled the boss count. But that's not all. We also heard your woes about the Legendary bosses being too difficult to find, and will be introducing not one, but two new boss classes equal to the Legendary class.
While these new Titans and Monoliths won't carry legendary rewards, they will indeed be of the same difficulty, be easier to access, and offer you a generous slew of rewards complete with their own special items.
But the biggies aren't all. We've developed a menagerie of brand new bosses in all classes from fledgling up. Custom bosses are all the rage in these new multiples, where we've aimed to keep any reuse of single-encounter bosses to a minimum. As the Darkside is a fantasy-based realm, you can also expect a much broader array of boss antagonists. From imaginative creatures right back down to your common vampire of the realm.
• New multiple types
We're taking the rules we've created for ourselves in building the prowling format and shaking it up. Instead of just singles and multiples, we'll have some new and modified multiple types. We don't want to ruin the surprise by revealing all of them, but we're very happy to talk about Exploration Multiples.
Like a normal multiple, entering an Exploration Multiple will send you on an adventure in a specific location. However you'll be the one in control of where you're going. We've formatted this type to allow you 90% more control over your movement in the multiple, giving you a great feeling of exploration and investigation.
You'll be provided options that allow you to move from one place to another and return to any at your whim, all the while hunting for bosses, farming items and areas for loot caches, or attempting to solve any of the puzzles or mazes you might encounter. As with any multiple, your results will vary depending on your choices, keeping each exploration fresh and exciting.
• New features
Rolled up in this ball are two other new multiple types, one boss-centric and one with a more robust gambling twist than those you're already familiar with. As well, a new addition is coming that will be added to your Town page. We're not quite ready to unveil this new Town piece yet, but we hope it will suffice you to say it is reward oriented and should be quite, quite fun!
• More, More, More
We heard you! You want to Prowl more frequently. You will! You want Prowling to be slightly less frustrating with stops and kills. You're getting it on the Darkside portion! More bosses, more multiples/less singles, more story, more fun: check, check, check, and check! What about more new powers, more new sanctums, more new rewards, and more new achievements? Yes! All of it and then some.
Awesome! When is it coming?
We're still finishing up the content creation (writing) ends of the feature. Because this creative process is a demanding one, we don't have an ETA yet. But just like last time, we'll be keeping you up to date in announcements and on the VDS Project Roadmap as to the current status. Once we're into the last runs of testing, we'll be able to make an announcement date.
We're looking forward to delivering this feature and hope you're still having a blast rolling through Topside. We'll be back in the near future with more!
— VDS Dev Team