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Dark and Darker update buffs Ranger yet again, nerfs Wizard

Ironmace Games reveals its latest Dark and Darker update, one that brings even more class buffs, nerfs, new weapons, and server changes.

Dark and Darker update: A man wearing an open metal helm stares ahead at a fire, his face expressionless and bearded with white hair

Dark and Darker is as active as ever, with a bustling community of dedicated competitive players and the RPG’s active developer, Ironmace Games. With constant balance changes and updates, it’s showing no sign of slowing down any time soon. A new hotfix has just dropped for Dark and Darker right in time for the holidays, with plenty of buffs, nerfs, entirely new weapons, server restrictions, and more. Hotfix 25 is one of the biggest updates yet and could be your call to hop back in-game.

The latest Dark and Darker update is massive for the RPG, and as is the case with all big changes, controversial. Ironmace’s new hotfix sees the Ranger class receive even more buffs, much to the player base’s surprise. The update brings some serious cooldown drops to Rangers, seeing the Quick Fire, Forceful Shot, and Penetrating Shot’s cooldowns go down from 24 seconds to a mind-boggling 18.

Quick Shot and Multi-Shot have some similarly drastic buffs, with their cooldowns dropping from 28 seconds to 22. On the other hand, other classes like Rogue and Wizard have seemingly received the short end of the stick.  If you main a Wizard, you’ll notice that your Magic Missile and Lightning Strike abilities are no longer as powerful, with the latter also receiving a nerf to its area of effect.

Rogue players may notice cooldown changes and a decrease in duration for the Cut Throat ability. The Shadow Runner movement speed bonus is also going down with Hotfix 25, dropping from 15% to 10%. Bards will be happy to spot that Persuasion receives a fix in this patch, but no further requested buffs or movement speed changes that we’ve been waiting to see just yet.

It’s no secret to dedicated players that these class changes come with a hefty dose of, “why?” If you check the recent Dark and Darker threads on Reddit, you’ll mostly run into fans questioning Rogue buffs and Wizard nerfs, among other notes from the hotfix. Thankfully though, the class changes aren’t the only big component of this big update.

There is tons of new gear, from the Golden Felling Axe, Golden Viking Sword, and War Hammer, to useful items like herbs that you can collect in dungeons to craft potions with as well as the Magic Protection Potion itself. There are also several new Magic Resist armor pieces, such as the Ornate Jezirant, Runestone Gloves, Dashing Boots, and Dark Leather Leggings.

You also may notice that you can no longer spectate other teams’ players in High Roller matches. The in-game countdown timer and player count display is also different now, to make pre-teamers’ exploitation “harder.” There’s also a unique new matchmaking system that allows for solo, duo, and trio play across all maps, which now rotate based on a timer.

Hotfix 25 brings a quest chapter system too, with additional chapters containing fresh quests coming in the future. The patch, if not already obvious, is downright immense. We’ve gathered more of the highlights below for you to conveniently peruse, with a closer look at some of the more worrying class changes as well as the exciting new systems.

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Dark and Darker patch notes – Hotfix 25 – Friday, December 22, 2023

You can find the full patch notes here on the official Dark and Darker Discord server courtesy of Ironmace Games, as well as the developer’s accompanying message detailing its new experimental match-making system, action taken against cheaters, upcoming reworks, and more.

Class changes


  • Rogue’s Dagger Mastery physical power bonus has been changed from 20% → 15%.
  • Rogue’s Cut Throat cooldown changed from 14s → 18s.
  • Rogue’s Cut Throat duration changed from 5s → 4s.
  • Rogue’s Shadow Runner movement speed bonus changed from 15% → 10%.


  • Ranger’s Quick Fire cooldown changed from 24s → 18s.
  • Ranger’s Quick Shot cooldown changed from 28s → 22s.
  • Ranger’s Multi-Shot cooldown changed from 28s → 22s.
  • Ranger’s Forceful Shot cooldown changed from 24s → 18s.
  • Ranger’s Penetrating Shot cooldown changed from 24s → 18s.


  • Cleric’s Earthquake spellcount increased from 1 → 2.
  • Cleric’s Locus Swarm spell count increased from 1 → 2.


  • Wizard’s Lightning Strike damage was reduced from 35 → 30.
  • Wizard’s Lightning Strike area range was reduced from 100 → 75.
  • Wizard’s Magic Missile’s damage was reduced from 12 → 9.
  • Wizard’s Magic Missiles can no longer pierce shields.


  • Bard’s music performance has been updated to end as soon as the last note is played.
  • Bard’s music duration was re-adjusted to play the base duration relative to a Persuasion rating of 15 instead of 20.
  • Bard’s Accelerando and Allegro base duration time has been adjusted.

Gameplay changes

  • Magical shields no longer stack with each other and are overwritten by new ones.
  • Armor Rating’s curve table has been updated at the very upper range.
  • Magical Power’s curve table has been updated so more WILL is required for magical damage.
  • Damage for all daggers has been increased.
  • The options for all Copper, Cobalt, and Rubysilver items have been adjusted and the detrimental options have now been removed.
  • Crossbow’s damage has been reduced.
  • Longbow damage has been increased.
  • Longsword damage has been slightly increased.
  • Viking Sword damage has been increased.
  • Crystal Ball’s movement speed penalty has been reduced from -25 → -15.
  • Longsword’s movement speed penalty has been reduced from -40 → -30.
  • Short Sword movement speed penalty has been increased from -10 → -13.
  • The movement speed penalty when attacking with a Short Sword changed from 10% → 25%
  • Morning Star’s animation has been slightly adjusted.
  • Kris Dagger’s animation has been changed again.
  • Golden Viking Sword has been added.
  • Golden Felling Axe has been added.
  • Herbs have been added. They can be collected in the dungeons and used as material for crafting potions.
  • Magic Protection Potion has been added.
  • War Hammer has been added.
  • Several new Magic Resist armor items have been added including the Ornate Jezirant, Runestone Gloves, Dashing Boots, and Dark Leather Leggings.
  • Elite/Nightmare Dire Wolf behavior patterns have been added.
  • The spawn rate of gold ore has been lowered in Ruins-Normal.
  • High Roller Cave Troll and Cyclops now have the chance to drop unique loot.
    • A treasure hoard has been added to their treasure room.
  • High Roller Skull Room, Golden Key Room, Rusty Key Room, and Mystical Gem Room now have a chance to spawn unique loot.
    • All these rooms now have a treasure hoard.
  • The countdown timer and player count display have been modified to make it harder for pre-teamers to exploit.
  • You can no longer spectate players from other teams in High-Roller matches.
  • The player reporting system for High-Roller matches has been updated.
  • A pre-teaming reporting function has been added.
  • Server regions are now restricted based on your latency to the servers.
  • A new matchmaking system that allows Solos, Duos, and Trios to play across all the different maps in the game.
    • The maps will rotate based on a timer.
  • A quest chapter system has been added.
    • Additional chapters with new quests will be available in the future.
  • Quest items can now be delivered one by one instead of all at once.
  • Added a ‘class’ filter to the Trading Post.
  • Goblin Merchant now sells items that require Gingerbread Cookies.
    • These special items requiring Gingerbread Cookies have a chance of giving a Unique grade item and at the worst will give a Rare grade item.

Hefty patch notes, huh? If the changes look good and you want to get some of your friends into the RPG to play together, you can snag Dark and Darker for 30% off right now while it’s on sale during the holidays. Snag the standard edition of the game on Ironmace Games’ official shop now for just $24.50. You can also opt to get your pals the founder’s or ‘Hold the Line’ edition for $35.

While you ponder hopping back into Ironmace’s dark RPG, why not have a quick browse through a few of our other favorite fantasy games? There are so many fantastical stories out there to experience still, and so much magic to make use of. Alternatively, you can take a look at some of these handy dandy Dark and Darker tips to help you out as you explore Hotfix 25 and its changes.

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