Speak now, or there may be no one left to talk to
DNF Duel seemed to be off to a great start for an all-new fighting game earlier this summer with a good deal of the buzz around FGC and the visual flair to back it up.
Now that the game isn’t even 3 months away from release, however, things are looking pretty bad, and big changes need to be made soon if DNF is going to have any chance of sticking around for the long haul.
It’s not just one thing that’s currently hanging over DNF like a rock, but multiple community concerns/fears, which have seemingly come true at a rapid pace.
While we can’t really see how the PlayStation player base is doing, the PC numbers are on full screen and they’re pretty dire.
At the time of writing, Steam Charts showed that DNF Duel only had 94 players online on Steam with a 24-hour peak of just 137.
It’s certainly far from the game when it released with over 12,000 concurrent users, and those current numbers are exactly on par with the re-release of Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax.
At this point, every fighting game is expected to see a big drop in population after the first month, but this is the fastest drop we’ve seen for a “big” new release. recent memory.
DNF Duel went down to less than 1,000 players in less than a month and has gone downhill much more since.
Even The King of Fighters 15 with its notorious online matchmaking issues more than tripled DNF’s active base on Steam.
This is not a situation that a simple band-aid is going to fix, and we can move on. The game and its handling must change.
I reviewed DNF when it came out and had a lot of fun with it, but early concerns about depth and variety rang true.
There was no shortage of exploration, experimentation and optimization in the first few weeks. After that, however, I felt like “everything” was understood.
You can only fight a Striker that locks you in the same blocks for 10 seconds or Swift Master that oblivion you so many times before you feel like you’ve seen it all.
DNF received a few updates aimed at eliminating the most broken elements, but the game is still the same overall.
At this point, I don’t even know how to “fix” this problem. They can’t really open up the combo options any further because they’re about as open as they come.
It would essentially take a massive balance overhaul to make matches feel fresh again for those who fell, although the biggest improvement I could see the devs making is giving characters more abilities to create custom loadouts – but I’m not going to hold my breath for that.
All of these feelings are wrapped up in the biggest problem facing DNF, and that’s the complete lack of communication from those who made the game.
People like to complain about Season Pass and DLC announcements even before a game is released (and rightly so), but the opposite approach seems to be worse for the modern landscape.
DNF Duel has been out for around 2.5 months, and there’s been no mention or even a whiff of new DLC characters coming to the game.
You would think that the Evo 2022 would have been the perfect place to announce something, but no. Nothing.
It could just be that Nexon and Neople wanted to approach this game as one and did so coming out of the World Tour Arc, but they need to tell players if that is the case.
@DNFDuel When do we get a real balance patch?
You’ve failed to fix this infinity twice now. The fact that it still exists shows how horrible the management of this game has been.
Which is such a shame because the game is so much fun and the netcode is amazing https://t.co/9WYwMwSLP4
— Johten (Joe10) (@JohtenFGC) September 11, 2022
Gamers generally expect continued support in their new games, and no such statement will cause anxiety and people to wonder if it’s worth spending more time when there’s a massive range of other great fighting games.
You’d think Neople would have a good understanding of how to maintain an online user base given the success they’ve seen running Dungeon Fighter Online for 17 years, and I don’t think that was by silence absolute.
They need to speak out and shortly before the spark they started in the world is snuffed out.
I’m not here to declare DNF Duel a dead game. It still has tons of potential and a lot of people had a lot of fun playing it at one point.
The game is still clearly of interest to the FGC given that it was the second highest-scoring tournament at East Coast Throwdown last weekend.
It’s rare for a fighting game to feature such a wide array of character archetypes and generally opposing design styles that fit together, and it would be a real shame to see DNF fall short of its potential.
Ghostblade is one of my new favorite fighting game characters, and I would love to play as him a lot more.
Just not so much right now.
#DNF #Duel #trouble #change #fast