How does turn-based racing work, it sounds unusual?
A number of turn-based racing games already exist (including some excellent board games). Darkwind is the only one we know of that combines accurate physics with turn-based play. Essentially, the race becomes purely about the tactics of entering and exiting corners, overtaking, and generally breaking down the nuances of driving that become automated in a traditional driving game. After all, real world professional racing is much more to do with tactics than reactions - just watch an F1 or Nascar race on TV. By making the game turn based we're letting the players all race more professionally, letting them battle it out tactically rather just seeing who's first to make some dumb mistake, which is what happens in most computer racing games.

Another major reason for making Darkwind turn-based is to allow highly detailed rules and strategy: these things are not possible in real-time games. Players need time to assign orders to their characters and vehicles. It's a totally different experience to standard real-time car games. Think of it as a massively-multiplayer boardgame: you have time to chat, you have time to smack-talk, you have time to watch each other's moves as well as your own. You win by having good strategy and tactics, not by having the best reactions.

Is the game multiplayer-only?
No. The Darkwind world is populated not only with player gangs but also with computer-controlled gangs who compete in the same fashion as human players - you will meet them racing, fighting, pirating, trading, and building up their skills and money alongside your gang.

Do I have to pay to play this game?
No, you don't need to pay to fully enjoy Darkwind for as long as you wish. You may however choose to buy a premium membership, which will provide a number of additional (non game-changing) features.

What is Darkwind Tactical?
DW:Tactical is targeted at those players who enjoy the challenge of PvP but wish to play combats without the requirement to build up their own resources in a persistent game-world. Players choose the map, the precise vehicle configurations and the characters involved. They can set a time, date and password for the event to ensure that only invited participants can attend. Players get to make their selection from an impressive 52 types of chassis, 57 types of weapon, 19 types of engines and 47 wilderness maps. You'll find a "DW:Tactical" button in the game lobby.

What are the rules of deathracing?
The only rules in deathraces and arena combats are that you try to win. That means shooting at other cars, both NPC-controlled and player-controlled. Some players prefer to make a 'truce' agreement at the start of these events, so that they agree not to shoot at other player-owned cars. This is their prerogative and is a legitimate agreement to make. However, it should not be taken as a default position and no-one has to agree to it. Unless someone has explicitly stated that they agree to a truce, you should assume that they don't.

When a player has officially resigned, it is considered poor practice to continue to fire at them; after all, they are no longer a threat to your own standing in the event. In exceptional circumstances (e.g. vendettas and pvp wars) it may still be legitimate to fire at them, but generally it should be avoided as it may appear like 'griefing'.

Is there a monthly fee to play DW?
Without paying anything, you can compete in Darkwind's race, deathrace and combat leagues and ladders. You can also participate in multi-player squads, travel within the 'northern triangle', trade and wilderness encounters, and you can loot, buy, sell, rent and customise vehicles and other equipment. A very reasonably priced premium membership is also available, which obtains you additional gameplay features:

How long will it take my premium membership to become active, after I pay?
It's normally fully automated and immediate, but if you don't click the "Return to Psychic Games Ltd." link at the end of the payment process on the PayPal website, then a manual sign-off is required; this typically takes a few hours.

When I buy premium membership, will there be a recurring payment?
No, we don't use recurring payments - every time your extend your premium membership it is because you have explicitly made a new payment. We think that recurring payments in online games are slightly unethical.

Do I lose my excess cars and characters if my premium membership lapses?
No, you merely lose the ability to buy/hire any extras until you have dropped below the limit for non-premium players. Note that you can still gain additional cars through looting as normal.

How does equipment Damage, Serious Damage, and Upgrading work?
Damage, Serious Damage, and Upgrading are explained here.

In what events is upgraded equipment allowed?
Upgraded equipment is allowed in all events that are not being run under Evan Autoduel Association (EAA) rules. That means: anywhere except races, timetrials, Squad Combat League events, and some deathraces/deathrallies.

What are the rules by which a car can escape from wilderness combat?
If no conscious character(s) in car, then escape is not possible
Otherwise, if car is in the 'safety zone' of a friendly town, then escape is possible
Otherwise, if car's engine is broken, escape is not possible
Otherwise, if car is less than 350m from an undemoralised enemy car, escape is not possible
Otherwise, if car is moving at less than about 8mph and is within 150m of an undemoralised enemy pedestrian, escape is not possible
Otherwise, escape is possible

What are the rules by which a car must escape from wilderness combat?
If a vehicle is 500m or more from its nearest enemy vehicle/pedestrian, and is moving away from all enemy vehicles/pedestrians, it is forcibly removed from the game. "Moving away from" means: getting further away from, which is based on the velocities of both vehicles. This happens even with a broken engine or dead occupants -- in this case, since the vehicle is so far from the combat, we assume that desert scum who have been watching the combat have snuck in and hidden it, stolen it, etc.

How do I stop my gangers from starving if I'm not playing for a lengthy period of time?
There is actually a 'vacation' option on your gang settings page. When your gang is in vacation, it pays no food or garage fees, and characters don't train. Logging in to any event automatically switches you out of vacation, and you can only go into vacation once every 6 weeks.

What is Darkwind's Privacy Policy?
When you sign up for an account in the Darkwind game, you must supply an email address. This is used only for in-game features as well as occasional newletters (which you can opt out of). We will never give your email address to a third party.
Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on the Darkwind website. Google's "DART cookie" enables it to serve ads to you based on visits that you have made to various websites. You may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

What is the definition of "griefing" in DW, and what are the punishments?
Griefing is considered to be any action intended to irritate and harass other players, rather than in pursuit of game objectives. See Wikipedia: griefer. Similar to other online games, the typical form of griefing is to verbally abuse and/or unnecessarily taunt other players while attacking them. Since Darkwind has permanent character ("perma-death"), the unnecessary slaughter of other players' characters may also be considered griefing.

In the forum, it's specifically not acceptable to post personal details about the real life of another player, without their consent.

A unique form of griefing in DW that doesn't exist in other games is "time griefing". This is where a player or players use up all of their timeouts, or vote for an increased turn length, and then continually run the game timer for its full per-move allowance for no other reason than to delay and annoy their opponents.

By its nature (socially constructed), griefing is a grey area that is hard to define precisely. Each suspected case of serious griefing is therefore investigated separately. For example, if two players belong to opposing factions and legitimately hate each other in-game, slaughter of opposing players may be legitimate.

Punishments for repeated griefing range from in-game fines or the seizing of vehicles, up to and including account cancellation.

What about Exploits, Bug and Loopholes?
Bug abuse, exploits and loopholes disrupt the game and damage the enjoyment of the game for everyone. Any effort to employ game bugs, exploits, loopholes, circumvent restrictions on game play or otherwise use non-game features and other programs for personal gain is not allowed. You are required to inform a Marshal and/or Sam through a private message if you find or witness another player abusing these undocumented/unintended features and should NOT discuss your findings with other players nor post any information about what you found or witnessed on the public forums, including the bugs forum. If you are caught using any bug, exploit, loophole or make any attempt to circumvent restrictions on game play for personal gain and fail to report it, sanctions may be applied to your account, up to and including being banned from the game. Please note that all financial actions and many other key activities are logged in your gang's "Recent Activities" record, so you will be unable to hide illegal activity from the developers.

What about Multi-Accounts/Alts
Each player is only allowed to have one account, which means one normal gang and one Scavenger gang. Running multiple accounts is against the rules and punishments such as account closure, equipment or character confiscation are possible.

What about 'Feeding'?
Feeding can be defined as intentionally losing combats or for example getting your characters killed on purpose in order to profit some other player. Incidents will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but the general rule is that Feeding is disallowed.

Am I allowed to buy/sell a Darkwind game account or Darkwind game assets for real world money?
No. Any Darkwind account or in game assets sold in this way are liable to be confiscated/deleted from the game.

Will I be able to play the game over a slow connection?
Yes. Darkwind is very bandwidth friendly. Following the initial download, any modem speed should suffice.

How do I change my password or registered email address?
Log in to the website, go to the 'My Gang' page, and click Edit Settings.

I just entered a live event and my car wasn't there! Why?
There are two most likely reasons: either (i) your selected driver is still active in another event, or (ii) your car is having upgrades/repairs done and they're not yet completed. Please keep a close eye on your vehicle's 'ready' date!

What network ports does the game use?
You need to enable ports 28000-28100 for both UDP and TCP, and port 80 for TCP. These are all needed by the darkwindClient program. To be specific, the logon/lobby chat server uses port 28000 for communicating with the game client. The game servers use the first available port starting at 28002. The webservers, from which some data comes to the game client, use port 80 and port 28090.

My car has weapons. Is it allowed to enter a regular race?
Yes, although you will not be allowed to fire your weapons. Melee weapons (mounted rams and spikes) will be temporarily removed from your car by the race officials, before the race starts.

Can tyres be repaired?
No, but damaged tyres can be usefully stored in your vehicle's cargo area, where they will potentially soak up damage, thereby saving your characters.

What do 'Server Time' and 'Local Time' mean, in the events lists?
Since events run at scheduled times, it's important that everyone knows when that actually is. Server Time refers to the time in Ireland, which is where Darkwind runs from. Local Time (only shown if you are not in the same time zone as Ireland) is calculated by cross-referencing your computer's clock with the server clock, and calculating the time in your country when the event will run. Of course, this requires that your computer clock is accurate to within at least half an hour! The game lobby makes things even simpler, since it shows you upcoming events in terms of how many minutes before they start.

Could you explain the 24-hour time notation used throughout the game website?
This is probably best explained over at Wikipedia.

Is it possible to run practice races at any time against computer opponents?
Yes. You can create custom events from either the website "Events Diary" or by using the "Custom Event" button in the game lobby. There is also a scheduled event starting at least every 15 minutes, from which you can earn prize money. These are good for practice, although do be careful of your characters and vehicles, they're easily damaged! ;-)

What are the Terms of uploading user-generated content?
By submitting content for use in the Darkwind game, which includes text such as NPC comments as well as artwork such as car and character skins, you agree that it will become the property of Psychic Software and may be freely used within Darkwind or other computer games as decided by Psychic Software. You also agree that inappropriate content may be removed from the game, by the game moderators.

What happens if my connection drops during the game? Or if the game client crashes?
It depends on the preferences you have set in-game (from the top menu), and also on the type of event. Because Darkwind is a turn-based game with timeouts, you can normally recover from this situation without any disadvantage.
You can choose to either have your vehicles stop, or else have computer AI control them until you return. Your connection is not considered to have been dropped until you have not been contactable for around 60 seconds.
You can also choose to have the server call a pre-emptive timeout on your behalf after you have been uncontactable for about 20 seconds (this is highly recommended, and the default preference is to have it 'on'). Timeouts give you 5 minutes to get back into the game. If the event is a timetrial, then the computer will not control your car but will always stop it. After 30 game seconds have passed after you leave, your cars will disappear in a timetrial. This is not the case in other events, where the computer will continue to control your car for the rest of the event. You can of course have your cars leave the event (almost) immediately by resigning.

How are points calculated in an arena combat?
You get points for damaging cars from the opposing team. You lose points for damaging cars from your own team. The amount of points scored is basically the damage amount, divided by the combat rating of your car. Combat rating is therefore a sort of handicapping factor which makes arena combats more challenging - you can't just enter with a massively armed vehicle and expect to cruise to victory. Note that any type of damage is included -- this is not just from weapon fire but also from crashing into the enemy. Also, whoever has most recently damaged a car will also gain points if that car subsequently crashes into an obstacle, even if that happens 10 seconds afterwards. Dropped weapons such as mines and spikes also score points. Some arenas also have 'gates' that you score points by passing through. Finally, you should also be aware that an arena combat runs for 120 game moves, or until all cars from one team have resigned. If the latter, then all non-resigned cars from the winning team have their points total multiplied by 1.5.