See: Crowfall

Crowfall developers discuss balance in a new Q&A video

If you want total and absolute balance for one-on-one classes in Crowfall, you will be disappointed. That’s the first answer in the new question and answer video with the development team, but it has more to it than that. The goal when designing the game’s classes is to give each one an area where it shines and several other areas where it doesn’t, and it’s up to the player to navigate to advantageous situations. As such, not all classes are balanced against one another, but they are balanced to be in a good place when navigating their respective areas of expertise.

The video also covers kneeling to support other players when you can’t possibly win a given iteration and dropping new structures onto a plot of land, but you don’t have to rely on our summaries alone. Really, you can watch the whole video just below.

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Crowfall’s Confessors represent the darker side of religion

The team behind Crowfall is hard at work preparing what it’s calling a “core combat test” between three diverse archetypes. One of these, the female Confessor, is the target of a post today that provides some of the background on her narrative and approach.

The Confessors are a branch of the Mother Church that diverged from the Templars when the Hunger started ravaging worlds, claiming that man’s sins were to blame. Disturbed by the events going on, the Confessors turned to fire as both a shield of defense and a sword to punish the wicked.

ArtCraft said that the many archetypes of the game, including the Confessor, were chosen to provide a wide array of cultures with different viewpoints that often examine the same thing. You can check out the Confessor being modeled in 3-D after the jump!
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Here’s an early look at Crowfall’s keeps

A lot of Crowfall is going to come down to the environments. That might seem a little bit odd or silly, but if you consider it for a moment, you realize that it’s absolutely vital for players to have structures like keeps be exciting places to attack or defend, not just straight rushes from an entryway to a goal. So the latest video showing off the greybox form of the Keep is pretty relevant for players of every stripe.

This early model doesn’t feature textures or detailing, just the raw form of what the building may look like. It also already features plenty of places for defenders to repulse attackers and chokepoints for dramatic showdowns. The whole video is about 10 minutes long, but if you’ve got a bit of time to see what’s been built thus far, check it out below.

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Crowfall preps core combat test, commits to raising $1M from additional investors

With a large roster of potential classes, how will Crowfall balance it all? By starting small, of course. The devs wrote a new post today explaining how they will begin testing the game’s combat systems by picking a trio of classes on which to experiment: the Confessor, the Knight, and the Legionnaire.

“We’ll be concentrating on the basics of combat (hitting opponents, movement speeds, powers, physics interactions) and holding off for now on things like environment destruction, caravans, siege mechanics, etc.,” ArtCraft wrote.

The studio also posted a founder’s update with several business notices. The biggest item is that ArtCraft is selling $1 million in ownership shares in the company to raise additional funds for the game. There are also notices concerning upsales, website localizations, and new payment methods.


Crowfall supporters unlock localization stretch goal

Is English not your first language? If not, thanks for struggling through and reading our site anyway, and you can also take heart in the fact that Crowfall‘s latest stretch goal has been unlocked. That means localization for a variety of different languages, so even those for whom English isn’t a first language or who otherwise would be locked out of the game can log in and play.

Current plans are to localize the game in French, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, German, and Russian. The next stretch goal has also been announced: unlocking the Shadow World ruleset. Good news all around.


Crowfall updates its pledge tiers

Crowfall updated its website today, and Artcraft used the opportunity to announce that it still plans to have a playable pre-alpha this summer. The dev team will also be updating the cash shop and allowing pledgers to view the individual items in each package. Later, Artcraft says, it will allow gifting, trading, and upgrading of said items.

There are more bundle changes of note in the full post linked below, most of which result in a net gain for backers who already paid for higher tier bundles.


Make My MMO: May 23, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, The Repopulation got an official launch window. Then it got a new trailer. Das Tal got off to a good start as it eyes the second week of its Kickstarter, and Voxelnauts is now a thing. Or at least, it’s a Kickstarter thing, including plans to allow players to “do anything, be anything, and go anywhere.”

The rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding roundup is just past the break.

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Crowfall takes a deeper look at the Centaur

The Centaur in Crowfall is more than just a normal person whose lower body happens to be a horse. If you want to be archetypical, Centaurs are closer to the Elves of many fantasy settings, an old and arrogant race with designs on conquering everything. The latest development post for the game, penned by creative director J. Todd Coleman, walks through the design of the Centaur from early concepts to the current form.

Coleman explains that his love of the race in older games like Shining Force led to the idea of a split: These somewhat bestial creatures that are nevertheless very refined and cultured. As they exist in Crowfall, Centaur are heavily based off of the Roman Empire, convinced that if not for the all-consuming Hunger, their empire could have eventually conquered all worlds. Take a look at the full article for a deeper look at the horse-people and how they tie into the game as a whole.


Crowfall locks down forums for backers only

If you still want to take part in discussions on the official Crowfall forums, you’ll have to back the game. The game has locked down its forums for all non-backers, giving new registrations access to a limited forum for 30 days for potential players who want a glance at the community. Other than that, if you want to talk, you have to pay.

All forums will remain readable for everyone, whether you’re a backer or not. The move is supposedly to lock down less than constructive comments from non-backers that have the potential to derail useful conversations. If you aren’t currently a backer but still want to remain active on the forums, you can either jump in at the $5 level or just wait until the game starts moving into its non-backer testing phases.


Global Chat: What do you remember about Guild Wars?

Late last month, the classic Guild Wars transcended its 10th birthday and prompted a flood of nostalgic posts and shared stories. A few MMO bloggers tore their attention away from the current crop of games to talk about what they loved about their initial foray into Tyria.

“Not only did GW1 revitalize MMOs in general for me, but it gave me a mission and story-based online game that I could play with [my friend],” said Aywren. “I remembered the music, I remembered the world, the Jade Sea. The colours! Oh, how I had loved the look of the world,” Paeroka gushed.

Tasha had perhaps one of the best testimonials: “Getting involved in something like Guild Wars to the extent I did seeps into every part of your life. Over the years I’ve treated the game as an excuse to learn new skills and open doors into new experiences I might not have had.”

Buckle up for an exciting Global Chat, as we hear a rant on double-jumping, a return to Champions Online, a player vouching for World of Warcraft’s virtues, and more!

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How Crowfall deals with changes to player purchases

What do you do when you’ve already sold something that hasn’t been fully built yet — and might need to be changed from its original design? For Crowfall, the strategy is to come out ahead of such changes and communicate with crowdfunding backers as to what will happen when this occurs.

ArtCraft posted five steps that the team will follow in its approach to changing player-purchased digital items as development progresses. In summary, there will be efforts to be transparent, to make the changes to benefit the players, to compensate for any downgrades, and to offer refunds for store credit if not satisfied.

The team also posted concept art for some of its player strongholds and said that players will soon be allowed to unbundle their pledge packages to upgrade, sell, or gift some of their goodies.

Source: Crowfall #1, #2


Make My MMO: May 16, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Gloria Victis developer Black Eye Games let us know that it’s in “the home stretch” in terms of upgrading its fantasy sandbox to the Unity 5 engine. What’s the big deal with that? Well, a 50 percent framerate increase, for starters, not to mention improved eye candy.

Elsewhere, indie PvP sandbox Das Tal officially kicked off its Kickstarter campaign. The rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup is just past the cut.

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Raph Koster used MMO design to help revitalize a bar trivia game

You might know Raph Koster from his MMO legacy as a designer on Ultima Online or Star Wars Galaxies, or perhaps from his current role on the Crowfall team. But what about Buzzfeed Trivia?

Polygon has a fascinating read on how Koster was brought in to update a bar trivia game after it had started to decline in popularity. After playing and observing the game, he noted that players weren’t able to get better at trivia games, unlike an increase in skill that comes with playing a lot of, say, League of Legends. So he said that he needed to change it up so that everyone could feel useful: “We needed to give the players who weren’t necessarily great at trivia several ways to be good at the game, without necessarily being great at trivia.”
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