After a quiet seven months for Dark Souls 3 PvPers, the PC servers have finally whirred back to life today, reviving the game's online features which have lain dormant since the discovery of a serious security vulnerability (opens in new tab) in the game's code back in January.
That means Dark Souls 3 players can once again enjoy all the thrills of player invasions, summoning, and contorting the game's soapstone messaging system to write some of the filthiest things imaginable. In the tweet announcing DS3's online resurrection, FromSoft indicated that the same features for Dark Souls 1 and 2 would follow in short order. With any luck, it won't take over half a year this time.
Online features for the PC version of Dark Souls III have been reactivated.We are working to restore these features for all other #DarkSouls titles and will inform you when they are back in service.Thank you once more for your patience and support. pic.twitter.com/XHiCZDEANCAugust 25, 2022
The vulnerability that caused all this furore was quite a nasty one. Publicised by a Souls enthusiast called SkeleMann (opens in new tab), the exploit allowed attackers to gain low-level access to players' PCs and do stuff like steal login info, run programs, or just brick people's machines entirely. Luckily, the servers were shut down before there were any documented cases of it being used maliciously, but it's still pretty terrifying when you consider how many people still play the original Dark Souls games every day.
It's been a long time, but it's good to see Dark Souls slowly regain consciousness. For a while there, players were beginning to worry that the studio might just leave the servers offline forever, especially when the series' multiplayer tags disappeared (opens in new tab) from its Steam pages. FromSoft has been distracted by Elden Ring's launch for most of 2022, which goes some way to explaining why it's taken so long to get the Souls games back in working order, but it's still kind of wild that a set of games as famous and storied as these seemed to get left in limbo for a whole half-year.
But the age of dark is behind us, now begins the age of light (and perpetual, agonising griefing). We can put down the mods that attempted ersatz recreations (opens in new tab) of Dark Souls' online features and once again enjoy being crushed into jam by strangers from across the globe. On second thought, maybe I'll just leave it offline.