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Dark and Darker update adds new score system and nerfs Bard, again

Dark and Darker update 17 arrives from Ironmace Games, and it brings a brand-new leaderboard system as well as some more Bard nerfs.

Dark and Darker update: A strong man with long blond hair, a beard, and armor wields an axe above his head as he shouts

Dark and Darker had one of the most surprising releases this year, but it was much to the delight of excited fans. Following the dark fantasy RPG’s launch, Ironmace Games has regularly released hotfix updates to patch the game, add features, and ensure a smooth player experience. The latest update is here, and it includes a variety of fixes, class changes, and new gameplay features. Bard players will also notice that the patch brings even more nerfs to the ranged class.

The recent Dark and Darker hotfix, update 17, does indeed nerf Bard, changing its skills and abilities’ costs, durations, and speed. The ranged class has been subject to multiple nerfs from the RPG game‘s developer so as to help balance player damage out better. Prior to the latest changes, Ironmace says that Bard was “over-represented.” The class’ balance adjustments aren’t the only tweaks coming, though.

The developer’s post further explains what to expect with the update. Ironmace says it is “fairly satisfied with the improved loot drops in incentivizing players to go into the dungeons.” However, the team thinks that “there was too much treasure” given by the chests, “resulting in excessive gold in the economy without enough money sinks built in yet.” To combat this, the developer has “reduced the drop rate of treasure and trinkets from the chests.”

The dev goes on to say that the studio has also decided to “test out two large experimental changes.” Ironmace is releasing a “temporary leaderboard system” that should be “less grindy” than its predecessors. In turn, the dev wants to collect data to help build its “real” upcoming ranked system that’s “planned for the next big patch.” Ironmace is also experimenting with Dark and Darker’s  “first gear-based matchmaking pool,” and implementing a temporary gear cap to normal dungeons.

The studio states that it’s “well aware” of possible flaws that may come with these adjustments, but is “interested in collecting this data.” Aside from new Bard nerfs, experimental features, and drop rate changes, the developer has also addressed a variety of common issues. You can check below for our highlights from the official patch notes.

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Dark and Darker patch notes – Hotfix update – Friday, October 13, 2023

You can find the patch notes on the official Dark and Darker Discord server, courtesy of Ironmace Games, as well as the developer’s full accompanying message regarding the new experimental features and changes to treasure drops.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue that could result in a crash when moving gold coins between gold coin containers.
  • Fixed an issue where postprocessing effects were not applied when using the Hide Mastery perk.
  • Fixed an issue where buffs would not be overwritten properly when a Bard plays the same song.
  • Fixed an issue where spells would sometimes not cast properly even when casting was completed correctly.
  • Fixed an issue where VFX was displayed abnormally large when applied to a Cockatrice.

Class and gameplay changes

  • Bard’s Aria of Alacrity’s Action Speed reduced from 8/14/20% → 4/6/8%
  • Bard’s Aria of Alacrity duration adjusted to 30/60/120 seconds based on the Bard’s default Persuasion of 20.
  • Bard’s Ballad of Courage duration adjusted to 30/60/120 seconds based on the Bard’s default Persuasion of 20.
  • Bard’s Beat of Alacrity duration adjusted to 30/60/120 seconds based on the Bard’s default Persuasion of 20.
  • Bard’s Beat of Alacrity’s Additional Move Speed reduced from 5/10/15 → 5/7/9
  • Bard’s Harmonic Shield duration adjusted to 30/60/120 seconds based on the Bard’s default Persuasion of 20.
  • Bard’s Harmonic Shield Cost increased from 4 → 5.
  • Bard’s Unchained Harmony Cost increased from 3 → 5.
  • The gold coin container rarity grade has been adjusted to ‘unique’ grade.
  • Longbow’s projectile Speed ​​has been reduced from 3500 → 3250, The Hitslow movement penalty from -35% → -30%, and the hit slow duration from 1.5s → 1s.
  • Recurve Bow’s hit slow movement penalty changed from -25% → -20%.
  • Higher-grade Pickaxes give more regular interaction speed.
  • The drum’s projectile speed changed from 1300 → 1000.
  • The trajectory of the drum when thrown has been slightly modified.
  • Damage from Dark Swarm no longer reduces the Recoverable Health.
  • Slightly lowered the drop rate for Trinkets and Treasures from Chests.
  • Very slightly lowered the drop rates for Armor and Weapons from the high-grade chests (Ornate, Lion’s Head, Golden, Marvelous).
  • For testing purposes, you can now only enter ‘Normal’ Dungeons with Rare grade items or lower. Higher-grade items found in the dungeon can be used during that session.


  • Players now need to play 20 games in a High Roller dungeon to be listed on the leaderboard for that specific dungeon.
  • Leaderboards now show an average score for each category that is based on the number of times you entered that specific HR dungeon.
  • One failed match session will be added to the average score for anyone ranked in the top 100 at the end of each day, so top-ranked players cannot simply sit on their rankings.
  • Adventure points for HR high-grade chests. (Ornate, Lion’s Head, Golden, Marvelous) has been increased significantly.
  • Adventure points for Goblins and the Skeleton Axeman, Speaman, and Crossbowman have been slightly increased.
  • Adventure points for the Sub Boss monsters have been increased.
  • Adventure points for killing another player have been slightly decreased.
  • With the completion of the patch, a new leaderboard season begins.

If you’re a Bard player and you’re interested in seeing what else you may prefer to play following the new update, be sure to browse through our in-depth guide on all of the Dark and Darker classes. Alternatively, you can look around a few of our other favorite fantasy games if you want something fresh to play.