It’s not too common to see game developers giddy about beheading, but then again, most developers aren’t part of the Crowfall team.
ArtCraft is giving both attention and additional features to its death system, explaining to players this week what happens when you see that light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not as cut-and-dry as it used to be, apparently. Now players fall unconscious when they run out of health, and can choose then to either resurrect as a new crow vessel, do a corpse run, or wait and see if a friendly ally will resurrect you. Each of these three options has an impact on equipment durability, so players will need to weigh the costs and risks in each situation.
But you came to this article for beheading, and beheading you shall have. There is an option to chop off the head of a vanquished foe (what we call “Doing a Ned Stark”) and keep the fallen player from resurrecting in that body. As a bonus, the executioner gets to keep a skull named after the fallen character, which he or she can then mount on spikes in the player housing section of the game. This is condoned video game behavior.
Haven’t lived up to your potential? Suffered the wrath of your enemies and paid the price for your folly? You could very well end up with your character’s head on a stick in Crowfall. That’s just the risk that you take in waging an eternal battle.
Heads on sticks is but part of the developer discussion over the new Pre-Alpha 5 patch. The team also discussed bandages, durability penalties, eternal kingdom building placement, ethereal dust gathering, and various fixes that went into place with this patch. Testers should be pleased to note that every character now gets up to three ring slots and two amulet slots to help with gear loadouts.
Check out the video after the break, even if you’re not testing! You can always imagine you are and then, we don’t know, go slam some action figures together to pretend you’re fighting in this game.
Here’s the next big system coming to Crowfall: Vendors! No, wait, come back, stop muttering that every game have those. This is different, this is a system wherein you set up your own vendor. That’s what’s being shown off on the site. Yes, some games have that too, but this is still more of something new. That’s it, sit back down, there’s new stuff going on here. Much better.
Players can craft their stalls and vendors using the Geomancy profession, followed by placing the stall within your Eternal Kingdom. Once there, you can stock the coffer of your stall with gold (because your vendor needs to be paid), put items up for sale, and then hopefully watch the profits roll in. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you’re having those profits roll in faster than the maintenance fees roll out. Check out the full rundown to get an idea of what you’re going to be doing with making your very own vendor stall.
You have questions and Crowfall’s dev team has (some of the) answers. For example, “How are you going to keep me from getting killed the second I log into the game, which is kind of a bummer?”
This question and more were fielded by ArtCraft in the March Q&A video. Topics covered in this month’s 14-minute video include the speed of skill acquisitions, additional cooking options, the general frustrating nature of walls, and the effectiveness of bleeds.
By the way, the answer to that first question? Players now have a 20-second window in invulnerability as they log in, as long as they don’t take offensive action right away. Should be enough breathing room to get your bearings before jumping back into the fight!
The team behind Crowfall continues its behind-the-scenes discussion of the upcoming vassal system in the eternal kingdoms. Vassals are a way for players to work together — and under and over — friends to gain access to more glorious kingdoms and benefit from working together.
It’s obviously not as simple as opening the door and letting everyone run into a shared space. Permissions, edit tools, relationships, and how this system will affect and be affected by other systems in the game. If nothing else, it’s a good reminder of how complex MMORPGs are to design and how they require careful consideration from all angles.
Check it out after the break!
Have you ever had the burning desire to experience the magic, the majesty, the magnificence of the game development process as it happens? Truly, our mortal minds can scarce imagine the glory that takes place in studio conference rooms.
Crowfall has descended the mountain to extend a hand to us this week and invite us to such hallowed ground. The team put out the first part of a video showing a probably-maybe-not-staged meeting in which ArtCraft discusses the vassal system that it is developing for its eternal kingdom housing system.
The idea of a vassal system is that any given kingdom has a singular monarch that reigns over it. That monarch can set permissions for others to visit as well as for some of those to become nobles that can plunk down their own parcels and have vassals that serve them. As the team said, it sounds a little complicated but in practice, it’s pretty simple. Check it out below!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Crowfall just spat out a 3,000-word essay in full technicolor. The art team behind this upcoming PvP MMO pumped out a trio of paintings that attempt to capture the three primary pillars of the game.
“The pillar word behind the first piece is conquest,” said ArtCraft, “fulfilling the role of the Mercenary, Warlord, or Monarch. The pillar word behind the second piece is build, the drive to become a bastion of harvesting and crafting, a kingpin of merchants and trade. For the third and final piece, the pillar word is exploration, the feeling of anticipation and exhilaration that drives one to press on through dense forest and over steep mountains.”
If time-lapse art creation is oddly mesmerizing to you, then gaze upon what waits you after the break.
Are you still struggling to wrap your mind around the way that Crowfall’s new Crypt system is going to work as character selection? The team has been working overtime to explain the system, but you can get another explanation and demonstration with the latest community Q&A video just below. That includes a rundown of the system and the way that the Crypt system interacts with the various campaign world rules (short version: it’s another dial for campaign worlds, like everything else).
You can also get a glimpse of the lady centaur model, new environments, new cairns, and the usual array of questions taken direct from players. Fair warning, as always, the video below runs for more than an hour. If you’re looking for quick, punchy information, you might be disappointed. But if you’d like to see how Crypts work, this is your opportunity.
If you missed the most recent development livestream from Crowfall’s team, you can watch it now just below. And it’s covering a lot of ground, including the recently announced changes to the way that character slots and character creation will work. Those of you worried that your plans of necromancy were shot down can rest assured that even with the game’s new Crypt system, Necromancers and the crafting of potent vessels remains just as important; all that’s changed is the way that these things are brought into the game, not the fundamental concepts.
Of course, this look at the outline of what’s being added for the game’s fifth alpha test is about a lot of greetings and departures, introducing vendors, spider canyons, and lady centaurs while removing basic armor and certain well-known class builds. You can get the full rundown in the video just below; be fairly warned that it is an hour long, so don’t start watching if you have to leave in a couple of minutes.
As it currently stands in Crowfall, you are not the character that’s marching around. You are a little shining blue crow, which is what you start as before you select a specific avatar and customize it. That’s just your meat-puppet that you ride around in. Technically speaking, the game’s new form of character creation doesn’t change that fact, as you are still at the core a flying little spirit crow. But the game is adding in the Crypt to choose between your different avatars, and those will now serve as a more proper set of characters.
Rather than players respawning and re-selecting their avatars, the new system allows you to unlock vessels permanently as specific characters in your library, with your game experience starting in your first (and likely primary) avatar. Finding Crypts allows you to swap between your different vessels at will, as your account-wide progression remains the same no matter how often you swap between them. Check out the full overview for both lore and mechanics on the official site, which should provide an interesting cooperation between the lore side of the game and the mechanical one.
Talk about a video bonanza! ArtCraft unloaded a whopping eight new Crowfall videos this week for fans to enjoy. Each one of these covers a different core feature of the game, from Eternal Kingdoms (player housing) to campaign worlds to skill trees.
While these videos may not provide fresh information for the dedicated fan who has been following every iota of the game’s progress to date, they do serve as apt summaries of these features and a great starting point for a newly interested player.
Speaking of coming at the game from a fresh perspective, 512 Tech interviewed the team at ArtCraft to learn about Crowfall and its history. It toted out some interesting numbers along the way: $20 million raised to date, 45 employees working on the project, $50K to $100K per month arriving in new pledges, only $25K spent to date on marketing, and 40,000 current testers. The studio said that the “brutal honesty” of these testers has helped shaped the game tremendously.
Here is some nightmare fuel for gamers imagining the future of the industry. How about an artificial intelligence that deliberately manipulates and messes with players in games to drive revenue growth?
Back in January, a leaked and unconfirmed (and possibly fake) slide show from Data Broker LLC outlined a draft of something called “online game revenue models with AI.” In it, an AI was described that manipulated players’ gameplay experience to drive them toward more microtransactions. Even worse, it uses real-world information about you to drive this process.
“We have proven that allowing the AI to alter a player’s game as a whole (social engineering),” the slide show appears to say, “and alter the player’s individual gameplay experience (psychological manipulation tactics) causes a consistent and dramatic increase recurrent revenue streams.”
While ArtCraft is busy at work shoring up the fundamental systems that will make up Crowfall’s core gameplay, the studio also has to lay the foundation for future features — some of which might not even be thought of yet. At the core of this month’s developer Q&A video is the debate between what’s needed and what is merely wanted.
“Could we do it? Yes,” said Creative Director J. Todd Coleman of a requested feature. “It’s one of those situations where I’m not convinced that the juice is worth the squeeze. It’s not a thing we have to have for release, and I’m trying to concentrate mostly on stuff that we have to have for release. Once the game is out and, in theory, profitable, that means on an ongoing basis we can add stuff forever.”
Among the topics covered this month are the mechanics behind stealth, race and class skills, vendors, and Crowfall’s death system. Give it a watch after the break!