Letter from Amber Games CEO
Greetings everyone, Alexander Novozhenov, CEO of Amber Games, here. I would like to comment on the situation with Dark Swords Europe, our conflict with unknown people who stole our game, and the future of our server.
You might already be aware of the way events unfolded, but just in case, I will tell you how it went. On 14 April 2014, I was contacted by my colleague, Dark Swords Project Manager at Amber Games, who said that we have been locked out of all services, and that Dark Swords Europe, a server which belonged to us, has been taken by our now-former partners HTE, and all players were told to continue playing on their server.
This is a clear violation of our contract, which specifically states that Amber Games is the exclusive distributor of Dark Swords in any language except Russian and Ukrainian. This means that nobody except us has right to distribute an English version of the client – but can distribute the client only in Russian or Ukranian. That person is Dmitry Shevchenko, well known to you as “GOD". Moreover, this contract did not, in fact, ran out – it was signed in 2007 with the owner of Dark Swords, Dmitry, with the duration of 99 years. Additionally, this contract cannot be dissolved by any party without violating it.
The moment we have discovered what happened with our server, I have tried contacting former deputy of Dmitry Shevcenko - well known as MAD-Admin, for a comment on what is happening, but to no avail – they did not answer any of our calls or messages. Only recently was I able to reach Dmitriy, who told me that he is in fact no longer owner of the Game rights, which is now controlled by Stanislav, also known as MAD-Admin. Stanislav was our main contact regarding technical issues with the game, while our cooperation was still active. Stanislav, or anyone else who stole our game, is yet to contact us.
As soon as I discovered what has happened with Dark Swords Europe, I have asked our team of programmers to evaluate the possibility of establishing our own server. Thanks to our awesome staff, it took us a little more than a day to prepare both the server, and the client, to ensure that all players can log in and play on a proper Dark Swords Europe server.
Myself and our lawyers are currently discussing the procedure to launch a formal investigation into the breach of this contract. We are solid that we will win this court case, and that darkswords.com server will be shut down – it is only a matter of time when that happens.
We have all legal and moral rights to continue to run Dark Swords Europe, and we will do exactly that. I have already formed a team which is working to restore all services which were located on the Ukrainian servers – such as Web Shop (creation of new artifacts, upgrades, etc), Shops Control page (private/clan shops, exchangers, etc), Dealer Control page, and Pastor Control page. Our estimate right now, is that next week we should be able to release all these services. Once these services are up an running, we can get started on forming a technical team, which will start working on fixing bugs, making changes and updates.
I thank all players who have decided against staying on illegal darkswords.com server and continued playing on true Dark Swords Europe server. Your support means a lot to us right now. We know that we have a great amount of work ahead of us to restore all services, and thank you for your patience and understanding.
- Alexander Novozhenov, Amber Games CEO
Dark Swords Europe is BACK!
Great news, everyone!
Dark Swords Europe is back. This time, we are completely independent of High Tower Entertainment. We were able to launch our own server, complete with services that we were able to launch as well.
Unfortunately, right now:
- All character progress was saved on 14 April before restart. We will have extensive rate increases to compensate your time lost.
- Web store (artifact creation/upgrades) will be launched soon.
- Dealer's page. This is also in progress, and is is being worked on.
- New weddings cannot be processed for the time being.
What we ask you to do:
- Please download the new client, and copy DarkSwordsEU.exe into your existing folder. This will ensure that you will be able to connect to our server, while keeping all your current settings (friends list, buffs, etc.). Important – if you are asked for update, click NO, otherwise you will be connecting to another server! Delete the old DarkSwords.exe file, then copy DarkSwordsEU.exe into the same folder. Do not rename this file!
- If you cannot log in, restore your password here: http://darkswords.eu/game/generate.php
- If something is not working, please let me know either via tickets, or in-game. Current tickets will be processed ASAP.
- Please show your support to Dark Swords Europe by switching over to our server and discontinue playing on High Tower Entertainment server. This means a lot to us at this point, as our plans are reliant on the amount of players switching back.
Our plans for the nearest future:
- Get Web Store, Dealer's page, and Pastors page running again. This will be done with the help of new people (see next point);
- Gather a new team of staff which will help develop Dark Swords. This includes both players and Amber Games employees, who will be able to develop the technical aspect of the game. We will have our own tech!
- Advertising – it won't be easy, but this time, with everything belonging to us, there is a greater chance of increasing our advertising budget.
- Extensive coverage of rate increases and other promos.
We, Amber Games, are the largest game developer in the Baltic region. With more than 4 million players worldwide, and several successful games, we have a solid reputation and we know how to cater to our players. Thank you for being with us, and see you in game!
Update on state of Dark Swords Europe
Dark Swords Europe administrator Zunders here. I would like to inform you of what has happened with Dark Swords Europe server, and what Amber Games will be doing to resolve the issue we are facing.
As you might have noticed, in the last week, several events have occurred:
1) Extreme server lags and glitches, which were caused by internal software bugs. Server was lagging, and more importantly, crashing. Since the server was stable before, and I was not informed of any new features incoming, this shows that SOMETHING was going on and something was changing in server configuration;
2) When clicking to see character information, the site changed from darkswords.eu to darkswords.com - these two websites are owned by two completely different entities. .EU is owned by Amber Games, and .COM is operated and registered to owner of High Tower Entertainment (more on that later).
3) On 14 April 2014, www.darkswords.com has posted news that this is the site where all updates and news will be posted, and www.darkswords.EU will be closed down.
4) The “Buy Platinum” in the client which can be downloaded on www.darkswords.com, leads to a website NOT operated by Amber Games, but instead which belongs to one of our dealers, Asteroid, who operates on Russian server as well;
A little background on Dark Swords:
- High Tower Entertainment, based in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, is the developer of the game. They have all the technical knowledge and infrastructure of the game (the so-called “tech”, as referred in game).
- Amber Games has an agreement with High Tower Entertainment, which specifically states that Amber Games is the sole distributor of Dark Swords on the European, American (including South America and Canada), and Australian/New Zealand markets. We do not have a time limit (the contract cannot run out), and we can operate as long as there are players in the game and we are willing to support it.
On 14 April 2014, we (Amber Games) have discovered that we are completely cut off from all services related to Dark Swords, excluding the ticket system (because it is owned and hosted by Amber Games). This includes an administration tool, which allows to change emails, passwords, give out items, ban/unban players, etc. Moreover, my account, [Admin zunders], has been banned, as was [carrot1974] - the main moderator’s – account.
This has happened without any formal, or informal, warning from High Tower Entertainment. These actions are equal to forceful breach of contract between Amber Games and High Tower Entertainment, to take all players and the community, built for so many years by Amber Games, for unknown (as of yet) reasons. At this stage, we can only guess their motivation to do such a thing.
Here is what we, Amber Games, ask you to do:
1) Please do not purchase any platinum for the time being. You will be purchasing platinum through insecure means, and we cannot be responsible for the safety of your information. Moreover, if you have an issue, it will not be handled efficiently, simply because of a language barrier – which can clearly be seen based on the quality of text in the latest news posted on darkswords.com website.
2) Be patient as we are trying to resolve this situation. For now, the best way to contact us is either by leaving a ticket at email@example.com or by writing on our Facebook page. I will personally be monitoring it every day. Once everything is resolved, I will contact all of you again.
I, Aleksandrs Z., on behalf of Amber Games, apologize that we were unable to see these signs earlier, and were unable to act before this got out of hand. This is a shocking development in a fruitful cooperation. We will do our best to resolve this breach of contract as soon as possible and give the opportunity to enjoy Dark Swords to all our players.
Thank you for being with us throughout the years.
Aleksandrs Z - Dark Swords Europe Administrator.
Artifact creation discount!
Starting from today, 7 April, and until 14 April (server restart), enjoy a 20% discount on any artifact creation (order must be placed before the restart on the 14th)!
This discount is active when you order the artifacts either through a dealer/trader, or our store website.
Clan system changes
We've collected feedback from everyone regarding the clan and alliance experience and are ready to introduce the changes. Here they are:
- In the beginning of the month, clan authority is reset and becomes 500 authority.
- At the same time (beginning of month), the authority the clan has will be converted into clan experience with a coefficient of 3 to 1 (meaning 1 point of authority will equal to 3 points of experience);
- Every evening, if clan has more than 500 experience, it will gradually decrease to 500 points;
- If the clan has less than 500 experience, then it will restore to 500 experience every evening;
Clan war time-out has been decreased from 14 to 5 days.
These changes will take place on 1 April.
What is an MMORPG?
An MMORPG, otherwise known as a Massive Multi-Player Online Role Playing game, in other words - Online RPG,
is a genre of online computer role playing games (CRPG) where considerable amounts of players cooperate with each other
in a virtual world (basically, in a fantasy setting). Like the majority of RPG's,
the role of an invented hero is given a possibility to operate its actions by the player who created it. MMORPG's
differ from one user and small network role playing games set by players in the virtual realm, which continues
to exist whether you are logged on or not. The virtual world is supported by the publisher of game.
In the virtual world, players can carry out various actions that interact with one another.
There are also characters in the game that are operated by the server called Non Player Characters (NPC's),
that include hostile or aggressive monsters. These are called mobs. When a player is engaged in combat with the
world's inhabitants and successfully destroys them, they are then rewarded with compensation and experience points.
The player then can use their received experience points to perfect the skills and abilities of the hero by using the gold coins
(the game currency and/or valuable items) that makes up the basis of the economy between the participants of the game.
In many MMORPG's, players have the ability to form alliances in game with other members that have a
variety of associations, such as guilds and/or clans which allow players to adhere to a certain policy in regards to other
players' orginazations. With some games a player can either decide to remain neutral or choose the more chaotic and destructive path
upon creating their characters and have the option to choose either or with their arrival into the realm - depending on a game's
plot or by the players choice. There are other MMORPG's that require players to pay a fee to their publishers in order to get
a users subscription and to obtain a copy of their game. Darkswords is a completely free MMORPG (Massive Multy-Player Online RPG)
that can be downloaded and played without having to pay any hidden fees or subscriptions.
Players who like MUD (Multi-User Dimension) like DarkSwords too, because we are close to their favorite games.