The original plan for The Dark Mod 2.04 was very ambitious.
No fewer than 4 large skunkworks projects were put into motion to bring about massive changes in the game\engine and produce oft-requested features and content. In addition, our community donated massive amounts of textures, models, prefabs, sounds, etc. during the development cycle. All of this increased workload arrived around the time that the core developers were less able to dedicate their free time to the project.
As the 1 year mark from the 2.03 launch approached it was decided that too many critical code fixes and refinements were being kept from players while these gargantuan projects lumbered slowly towards completion. Parallel to this sequence of events, Grayman broke his own vow to take a hiatus from coding (to work in the William Steele missions) and decided to address some issues found with coordinated AI searching in 2.03. Because untangling the assets added for some of the unfinished projects would be a project in itself, it was decided that 2.04 would primarily be a code fix release with only a few assets to go along with renderer fixes.
If you’ve been following along in the forums, you’ll no doubt be aware of a few patch executables that were floating around. These were in one way or another previews of 2.04 with the most commonly downloaded one called the “De-Clunking patch” or “De-Clunking mod”. A full changelog can be found Here and the forum announcement with more details can be found Here.