There’s a new video from the development team behind Crowfall taking a look at the game’s past year of development while thanking players who have been along for the ride. But when will you get to start playing the game again? On January 6th, as it happens, just over a week from today.
Currently, six overall tests are scheduled, three each on January 6th and 7th, with the tests starting on the EU servers, moving on to the North American servers, and finishing on the Singapore servers. While these are the first scheduled tests of the new year, they are by no means the only tests planned, so if the video below gets you hyped back up for the game you can take heart that there’s not long to go before you can play once again.
Let’s be real here – the name Crowfall has never made a whole lot of sense. What’s so special about a crow, after all? It turns out that crows are special because you’re playing one. Rather than simply having multiple distinct characters, the system of crows and vessels means that every character you play is an avatar for the same fundamental character, a vessel that occupies the temporary world of a given campaign.
Character skills remain trained as previously discussed, but the skills are held in the crow rather than the vessel, meaning that experienced players will have a way of porting crafting and weapon skills over to new characters. Vessels themselves can also be crafted, meaning that players can produce the most powerful possible vessels. It’s a complex and robust system that ensures that any given player gets to play many different characters while sharing progression and victories; the video just below sheds more light on the system’s intricacies.
“Nothing is left of the man I was. There is only the scavenger, the warrior, and the oath he took. Some words cannot be unspoken.”
This is the quote from the latest Crowfall comic panel reveals, in which a giant warrior grouses about his past decisions. Why are we paying attention to a comic? Because ArtCraft has said that all of these teases include clues to a “big feature reveal” in the near future.
Looking over all of the comic panels released to date, one can identify a running theme of pledging allegiance or fealty to greater powers, as well as old lives ending and bargains being struck to have a new one. Hmm…
The first major test for Crowfall had just shy of 5,000 people eligible to take part in the test antics, but only 59% of those potential testers turned into actual testers. Those aren’t terrible stats, but the development team is hoping to have everyone who can take part in the test get into the game for the next round of Hunger Dome battles. Those who tried to get in without any luck are urged to contact the support team when the test servers come back online.
Potential backers are also reminded that the game’s 2015 founder packages will be going away once it is, well, no longer 2015, so anyone who wants to get in on those deals is urged to do so sooner rather than later. There are also two new lore teases available for fans and onlookers if you really like being teased about lore.
Every week for the last few years, we’ve expanded on our “Daily Grind” theme with a Leaderboard poll. On the one hand, seeing the numbers and bar graphs is a quantitative sort of magic that we don’t often get from our other articles. On the other hand, it’s really obvious when a certain game’s community is swarming and brigading a vote.
Let’s take a look back at the best MMO polls of 2015.
This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2016.
March 2015 was a great month for Massively OP — you funded our Kickstarter! Crowfall’s Kickstarter was a big success too, and it dominated headlines that month. MMO players were also reeling from Daybreak’s massive layoffs, giddy over Elder Scrolls Online’s buy-to-play relaunch, and skeptical about WoW’s planned token currency.
On the meta front, we kicked off the very first episode of the Mo comic, Sword and Bored. Here’s the whole rundown for the month!
Let’s start today with the bad news for Crowfall fans: While the Siege Perilous implementation was planned for February, at this point it looks as if it’s going to be delayed until March. The reason behind this, as explained in the state of the game update (available for viewing just below the break), is that the combat mechanics are still not in place and prompt some undesirable outcomes. So more changes are being made.
For example, one of the existing issues involves the current stopping of motion when activating an ability, often resulting in players missing a moving character through no fault of their own. The revised combat system will allow velocity to carry through to power activation, ensuring that you can hit a moving target while chasing said target yourself. You can see the whole state of the game update just below; there’s also a new interview with the game’s executive producer if you’d like a more top-level overview.
December’s many article roundups and awards always remind me that it’s hard to remember what happened last month, let alone what happened way back at the beginning of the year, so this year, I wanted to go through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we launch into 2016.
We started publishing as Massively OP in February — the podcast too! — so that’s where I’ll be starting. Truthfully, January was dominated by the SOE implosion, as was February, when Daybreak laid off a number of key developers and rushed to reassure everyone that everything was fine. We also got an earful about Crowfall’s PvP and destructible environments as it headed into its Kickstarter launch.
But this is my favorite headline: “The Division is on track for a 2015 release.” Makes me giggle every time. Read on for the whole list!
Back in November, ArtCraft promised that it would soon be revealing a significant design element for Crowfall that would “require a shift in the way you are thinking, and tie together some of the elements in a way that you never expected.”
The moment for this reveal is fast approaching, and ArtCraft is using glimpses of its upcoming comic book as a way to tease what this feature or system will be. Two new panels were posted this week, one showing two characters in battle and another displaying a mysterious figure with a caption that says, “His offer was simple: eternal life for eternal service.”
ArtCraft isn’t saying what the reveal will be, although it has ruled out a permadeath system. You can check out the panels after the jump and speculate away in the comments.
Massively OP’s end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for most anticipated MMO for 2016 and beyond.
In 2013 and 2014, EverQuest Next and Landmark took home this award. In fact, it was a bit of an upset in 2013, as WildStar had won it several years running before that. This year, our future is filled with more well-funded indies than AAA-budget games, and choosing a most anticipated from that field proved extremely hard, one that we continued debating long after the votes were cast (and changed and cast again). Best expansion was close. This was even closer.
All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.
The Massively OP staff pick for Most Anticipated MMO for 2016 and Beyond is…
There’s a new goofy (yet informative) video series happening over at Crowfall called Systems Chat. In it, the devs take time to explain how different systems are created and why they’re important to the game even if you’ve never thought about them.
In this first video, the team talks about how difficult it is to make a training and advancement system, comparing other MMOs to Crowfall’s design. Check it out after the break and let us know what you think of it and its revolutionary greenscreen technology!
If you’re enjoying the current round of testing for Crowfall, we have both good news and bad news for you. The bad news is that it’s coming to an end on December 18th, and further bad news is that the next major round of testing is slated for February, which means that it’ll be a while before bigger testing rolls out. The good news, on the other hand, is that there will be a handful of snap tests in January once the team gets the new client controller ready for prime time, which was unfortunately never quite ready for this round of testing.
The even better news? February’s testing will not just be more hunger dome testing but will move on to the siege perilous, testing the destruction and capture mechanics of the game. It’s still going to be session-based conflict, but it’s going to be much larger and much closer to what players will actually aim for in large-scale battles. You can wait a couple of months for that, can’t you? Sure you can.
Massively OP’s end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the best MMO trend of 2015.
Last year, we chose sandbox and social gameplay as the awardee in this category. This year, all trends were back on the table. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.
The Massively OP staff pick for Best MMO Trend of 2015 is…