It would be pretty unpleasant to log in to Crowfall and find out that while you and your friends were offline, the stronghold that you worked so hard to capture and defend was captured by someone else. That’s why the latest set of player questions and answers clarifies that such an occasion isn’t meant to happen; strongholds are protected most of the time, with predictable windows of vulnerability, but even with a stronghold, players can’t constantly control points of interest spawning resources. That’s where most skirmishes take place.
Further questions cover things like terrain generation (custom-created parcels of land for the procedural world generated to ensure that the world is fun to play within) and coming into campaign resets without an eye toward future incentives for other campaigns. Check out the full set of answers just below; it’s a lengthy one.
Back in April, we ran an Overthinking about a perceived lack of high-quality PvE-oriented MMO titles on the horizon, and that’s a conversation that keeps coming up whenever we talk about upcoming MMOs, particularly Camelot Unchained, as we did on the podcast last week. And that leads me to this week’s question:
Would you play an MMO without standard PvE combat? Are you planning on playing Crowfall, Camelot Unchained, or other MMOs that focus on PvP (and non-combat activities like crafting) to the exclusion of PvE combat, or do you need to be killing mobs for it to feel like a “real” MMORPG?
WildStar’s free-to-play launch began this past week, and Justin and Bree are in the thick of this wild and woolly mess. On today’s show, they talk about what could’ve been done differently, the upcoming demise of an MMO that nobody played, and a controversial SWTOR feature that’s coming with the expansion.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Serpent deities are always bad news when they show up. Actual snakes aren’t malicious at all, but snake deities? They’re mean. Crowfall‘s Zaleena, Daughter of Snakes is not outright cruel, but she’s still probably not someone you want to meet in a darkened alley at night. If you wander around darkened alleys where lots of gods and goddesses show up normally. This metaphor is kind of a mess.
Zaleena is a trickster and a charmer, a sorcerous deity with a poisoned kiss and a lying tongue. As you might expect from the nature of things, she’s known for being petty and vindictive with those who refuse her, while lavishing gifts and favor on those who follow her. See more details and a bit of concept art in the official lore entry.
Crowfall’s Hunger Dome 1.0 PvP playtest is nearing its end. As such, ArtCraft has published a recap video reflecting what the firm has learned to date. The clip runs for nearly 19 minutes, and it includes discussion on everything from chain pull problems to zerging to the contributions that playtesters have made to Crowfall’s pre-alpha progress.
There are even some bits and bobs about hardware and the merits (or not) of NDA-free development. Click past the cut to have a look.
How about some Crowfall PvP footage? No, it’s not from one of ArtCraft’s ubiquitous dev blogs, but rather from a YouTube user who captured nearly seven minutes of fighting from the fantasy title’s pre-alpha Hunger Dome tests.
As you might expect given the phrase “pre-alpha” in the preceding sentence, the visuals are rather rough, including a stark landscape and colorless buildings/foliage. That said, the avatar models and animations look solid, and you can get a good idea of how the game currently plays from the perspective of a Confessor, a Knight, and a Legionaire.
Click past the cut to have a look.
Once the current Milestone 1.0 test concludes at the end of this month, Crowfall will return to full development mode as ArtCraft prepares the next round of the pre-alpha.
“After four weeks, we will have enough data to know what is working, and what we need to fix,” ArtCraft said. “The fastest way to fix it — and move forward towards launch — is to let the team concentrate 100% on development.”
The Milestone 1.1 pre-alpha is slated for November and will expand the testing pool slightly while adding in the “skull-crusher” Champion archetype. Following that test will come Milestone 2.0 with a larger team focus and the stealthy Ranger archetype.
ArtCraft announced that it is working on scaling up Crowfall’s pre-alpha testing to accommodate more players than before. The studio said that it has already made progress in this regard, allowing for a few hundred players to be on the server at the same time.
The studio also published a trio of lore articles dealing with the game’s pantheon of deities. When players jump into Crowfall, they’ll not only be fighting alongside friends and guilds, but underneath the umbrella of a god or goddess.
While the central narrative of Crowfall focuses around an all-consuming Hunger that demolishes everything, Crowfall‘s development studio seems to be on the upswing rather than swiftly decaying. The studio has raised another $1 million in post-Kickstarter funding as well as attracted a small group of angel investors to put more money into the game. If you’re one of the people already in the pre-alpha testing (and more invites are going out regularly) or just watching from the sidelines, this qualifies as excellent news.
In the event you didn’t back the game but do want to play it once it’s out, you may want to pick up the game’s Collector’s Edition when it goes up for pre-order, which it will do soon. Said edition contains the game disc, a soundtrack, 21 miniature figures of the game’s archetypes for use in tabletop gameplay, an art book, a comic, two guest passes, three months of subscription, and an as-yet unannounced digital item. Lots of stuff, in other words.
Crowfall is transparent. Not in the sense that you can see right through it, but in the sense that the development process is open and allows players a thorough look behind the curtain. The game is currently in pre-alpha testing, but it’s not hidden behind an NDA even though it’s admittedly very early in the development cycle. How early? Well, you can see for yourself.
Seriously; you can see for yourself, there’s a whole lot of the game’s pre-alpha footage down below. The footage covers character creation before moving on to the game proper, putting it through the expected paces of messing with keybinds, unleashing combo attacks, and getting engaged in large-scale combat. It’s an early test build, but there’s also plenty to admire (the trees look quite good even on an untextured map). Check it out below.
A small number of players are getting their first taste of what Crowfall is going to be, and that’s a good thing. The result is that players can ask both about how skills play as well as asking about larger questions. The most recent development question and answer session reflects that, with several questions centering around archetype capabilities as well as bigger ideas like being able to modify the server rulesets.
If you were wondering about why the three archetypes in the Hunger Dome are the Confessor, Knight, and Centaur, for example, the reason is multi-faceted – Centaurs are very iconic, Knights are the most basic class, and Confessors round out the archetypes while also allowing another playstyle. There’s also a discussion about using abilities in the air and modding the game in general (planned for post-launch if successful). Watch the full set of answers in the video just below.
Crowfall’s latest video is a 25-minute affair that shows you how the crowdfunded PvP fantasy title has progressed from stacks of Post-It notes, index cards, and little round stickers to a playable virtual world over the past five months.
The piece is titled Combat Strike Team, Milestone 1, and as you might expect, it features an in-depth look at a 16-week development sprint courtesy of design lead Thomas Blair and designer Tully Ackland. See for yourself after the break.
Yes, the day has come for Crowfall fans when the game stops just being an idea and becomes reality. The first round of pre-alpha testing kicked off last week with three archetypes (the Knight, the Confessor, and the Centaur Legionnaire) fighting against one another in the Hunger Dome. Players are being invited in waves, with both pre-alpha and alpha 1 testers getting invitations to bulk out the testing corps.
There’s no NDA in place for fans, so as the population swells (slightly) you can expect to see and hear more about how the game actually plays. Although the tests are focused on combat mechanics, the test is also making sure that things like logging in and patching are working properly. If you’re a backer at the appropriate levels, keep your eyes on your email for the notice that you can get in and start playing.