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See: Crowfall

Crowfall: The ultimate union of MMOs and strategy

What do you get when you take a few of the most experienced developers in the MMO industry and give them the freedom to buck the safe trend of copycatting World of Warcraft? And what would you get if you further challenged them to combine the progression from MMOs with the always-fresh strategy genre? You might just end up with something like Crowfall.

As you read this, Crowfall has launched its Kickstarter funding campaign after weeks of speculation, reveals, and an always-ticking countdown timer. ArtCraft has done all it can to prime the pump for community investment, and now we’ll have to see whether it will pay off spectacularly… or be deemed too niche for primetime.

Last week, I chatted with ArtCraft’s J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton for a no-holds-barred discussion about Crowfall. Enough with the teases and partial revelation; I wanted the full picture. What is Crowfall, really? And how will it set itself apart from the MMO pack?

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Crowfall is launching a Kickstarter campaign tomorrow

“Throne war simulator” Crowfall has been tick-tocking its way down a 40-day timer for the last, well, 39 days. Now ArtCraft Entertainment has foreshadowed tomorrow’s big reveal by announcing the Kickstarter campaign we all suspected was coming.

We also need your financial support. Three weeks ago, we announced our intention to crowdfund this game. Our kickstarter campaign begins tomorrow morning– at 9am EST/6am PST. We sincerely hope that you will support Crowfall, and let us build this game for you! […] There will be some limited tiers available for our “core following”, i.e. the people who spend the most time on (and have been the most vocal on) our forums. We know you guys will be the first to see the campaign — as an FYI, backing early could pay off!

The team is also promising pre-alpha game footage (“so you can see Crowfall is more than just design documents and concept art”) and super sekrit info to be released on “major game news sites.” Guess you’ll know where to be at 9 a.m., eh?

[Source: Crowfall site]

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Yes, you can push people off cliffs in Crowfall

The folks behind “throne war simulator” MMORPG Crowfall have released two new archetypes today. The first is the Elven Frostweaver, a ranged DPS reminiscent of Drow; the second is the Guinecean Duelist, an adorable dexterity-oriented melee character who will have the Ratonga fans in our audience squeaking with glee.

ArtCraft has also posted a new game physics FAQ that covers everything from collision detection to friendly fire on the Voxel Farm tech platform it announced earlier this week. Collision detection, by the way, is totally happening.

Can players block other players from moving? Yes they can, which should allow for some interesting battlefield formations. However, not all characters will have the same mass, so a larger character like a Centaur will have no trouble pushing a much smaller Assassin out of the way. Also, some characters may have special powers that enable them to teleport past other players, while others may have powers that prevent players from passing them. Controlling the battlefield will be a key strategy to master!

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Crowfall thinks you play games to crush… voxels

Crowfall developer ArtCraft Entertainment has announced today that the game will employ the Voxel Farm technology platform. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Voxel Farm is licensed to several other high-profile MMORPGs, including Landmark and EverQuest Next.

The best part is how the studio leads describe what they’re doing with the tech. “We want to create hundreds of unique worlds, with unique maps — mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, dungeons, ruins — for players to explore and destroy,” says ArtCraft president Gordon Walton. Sounds peaceful, right? Wrong! Creative Director Todd Coleman says ArtCraft is out to subvert that trope: “Most games are using voxel technology for creation — effectively, giving players a sandbox to build things. We’re using them for a very different reason; we are using Voxels for destruction. We’re creating sandcastles for the players to kick over.”

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Crowfall will be buy-to-play with optional sub

Although we don’t have the full idea of what Crowfall is, today we know more about how we’ll be paying for it in the future.

ArtCraft released a pricing FAQ for the upcoming fantasy title in which it revealed that the game will be buy-to-play with an estimated retail price of $50. There will also be an optional VIP membership package (around $15 a month) that includes behind the scenes access, passive training for three character slots, priority server access, pricing discounts, and other “non-balance affecting benefits.” VIP membership tickets will also be bought and sold between players. These prices are specified for the North American market for right now.

The team also released a sneak peek at another one of the game’s classes, the Confessor, and a heaping of backstory in the form of fantasy scripture.

[Source: Pricing FAQ, the Confessor, War of the Gods (part 1)]

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