Crowfall is delivering a two-for-one dev update today, starting with lore behind the Myrmidon. The Myrmidon is a minotaur that made it into the game thanks to an early stretch goal. According to the game lore, the Myrmidon was created by a trickster god so that “the hunter must never forget how it feels to be hunted.”
The devs also posted a video showing the creation of the female Confessor’s 3-D avatar by the game’s artists. Get a first look at the Confessor after the break!
How can Crowfall be made with less than $10 million in this day and age? That’s the big question of the day that Executive Producer Gordon Walton decided to answer for fans at this year’s International Game Developers Association meeting.
“We’re doing a much smaller than normal MMO by choosing to be PvP-focused, doing algorithmic world generation, tight (but effective!) constraints on character customization and heavily reliance on off-the-shelf technologies,” Walton said. “Our cost for the core game will be in the $6 million range.”
The funding for Crowfall will be a combination of early investors, Kickstarter monies, continued donations on the website, licensing foreign rights, and securing additional investments. The game’s current stretch goal is aiming to hire an additional graphics programmer and localize for six additional languages.
Have you ever wanted to be a grim reaper? In Crowfall, you can. And for once it is a mutually beneficial proposition! A new FAQ enlightens players on the nature and use of Thralls, which are the souls of fallen warriors and craftsmen trapped in the world and unable to move on. Though they serve players in such roles as vendors, craftsmen, trainers, and guards, these souls aren’t slaves; they are earning their redemption by serving players for a period of time. How many of these temporary minions players can utilize is limited only by the number of soul-capturing gems they have in their inventories.
[Source: Thrall FAQ
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, we said goodbye to Descent Underground‘s fundraising campaign. It was a fond farewell, though, since the sci-fi space shooter reboot topped its $600,000 Kickstarter goal with just over three hours to spare.
Also this week, Star Citizen updated us on the progress made in March, showed off a new dev studio, released alpha version 1.1.1, and addressed community concerns about the length and accessibility of its Squadron 42 single-player campaign. The rest of our crowdfunding roundup is just past the cut.
Crowfall unveiled the concept art for the female Champion today, and… well, it’s pretty great. She’s huge, she’s visibly powerful, and she’s intended to be threatening. You should really look at the full thing even if you’re not usually all that concerned with Crowfall. Honestly.
There’s also a new video available in which artist Joe Mad and his brother wax poetic about their mutual love of Shadowbane and their excitement for Crowfall, which is much more specific to those of you who are concerned with Crowfall. Seriously, though, that lady Champion concept. That’s some good stuff.
Crowfall‘s siege mechanics are on display today in a new video highlighting the Artcraft Entertainment‘s current plans for taking on player-controlled cities. The video is embedded just past the break and focuses on the idea that players aren’t just limited to hunkering down or attacking; in fact, there are reasons for defenders to venture outside, ways for attackers to deceive and draw out enemies, and a shifting set of advantages to consider carefully during play.
What’s on display is still a high-level concept video, but it suggests some interesting possibilities, such as the game allowing guilds without a single city to still make sweeping changes and even march to eventual victory. If you like the idea of making big changes to the world even with periodic resets, you’ll want to glance below the break and watch the overview.
The past few years have seen a resurgence of support for sandbox MMOs, both of the trying-to-be-minecraft creative kind and the hardcore nuke-it-from orbit PvP variety. We’ve partly got games like DayZ to thank for the latter, and with recently released survival MMO H1Z1 netting over a million sales while still in Early Access, that’s a trend that is sure to continue. Fantasy PvP sandbox Crowfall also raked in nearly two million dollars in crowdfunding thanks in part to its plans for destructible campaign worlds with varying loot rules. With so much financial support, we’re undoubtedly in for a flood of new sandbox MMOs clamoring for a slice of the PvP pie.
EVE Online has a special pride of place in this particular subgenre, with over a decade of successful operation as one of the most hardcore PvP MMOs out there. EVE hit on some important principles that many other PvP-based MMOs have missed, such as its adherence to a risk-vs.-reward policy and the way items and ships are disposable. On the other hand, EVE‘s reputation for harsh death penalties and unforgiving free-for-all PvP rules have hindered efforts to make the game more accessible to new players. There are both positive and negative lessons to be learned from EVE‘s long history in the MMO space, and all other PvP sandboxes should learn from them.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at what makes EVE fundamentally tick as a PvP-based sandbox and four big lessons other MMOs can learn from it.
Hey, NGE fans! Crowfall’s Gordon Walton says that the day that will live in Star Wars: Galaxies infamy was his idea.
Now, that’s probably oversimplifying things just a tad, but in any case Walton let fly with an interesting post on the Crowfall forums yesterday that gives a bit more insight into SOE’s decision to blow up its Star Wars sandbox in late 2005 and replace it with an alternate version that ran for another six years.
Among the many insights are Walton’s player population numbers (SWG briefly topped 400,000 players before settling down to between 200,000 to 250,000). Walton also lauds the SWG development team for managing to bring a feature-rich sandbox to market in a very short time. “And this was all done for under $18 million in under three years (2 years and 9 months),” Walton says. “This was and remains an unprecedented achievement in building a AAA MMO.”
ArtCraft has posted a Crowfall week-at-a-glance update that contains plenty of interesting nuggets. Chief among them is the reveal of the female Ranger archetype. She’s got a wolf pet in the concept art, but the devs say that “it’s just a picture,” so don’t get your hopes up for automatic companion badassery if you roll the Ranger.
Elsewhere this week, the design team did “a full pass” on land ownership details and fealty trees, while the tech team spent time making changes to Crowfall’s combat system including additional work on movement and targeting.
[Source: Crowfall official site
While Crowfall may be running silent following its Kickstarter campaign, it doesn’t mean that the team is coasting. On the contrary, things might have gotten crazier than before. Gordon Walton wrote a post today to bring fans up to date on the myriad of behind-the-scenes activities that are going on as the studio works toward its first pre-alpha test this summer.
Among their projects, ArtCraft is reorganizing its plans due to the expansion of the core module thanks to the Kickstarter stretch goals. The team is also hiring on more staff, working on a new pledge page, and communicating with its Kickstarter backers.
[Source: Official forum
Video game developers have been positively obsessing about virtual reality for the last few years, but barring an exception here and there, few MMOs seem to have a compelling plan for how to upsell us on the idea. CCP’s EVE: Valkyrie project has been met with a mixture of awed skepticism since its reveal last year, though admittedly that’s probably not entirely because of its VR nature. And Crowfall’s recent VR stretch goal received “mixed” feedback, causing the developers to add an extra stretch goal to mollify backers who reported that VR is simply “uninspiring.”
It’s not as if we’re luddites here; I personally like having all the shiny new tech I can get my hands on. But I’m not convinced VR is going to add that much more immersion to my gaming, certainly not for the price.
Am I alone? Do you think MMORPGs really need VR?
Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
This week’s crowdfunding news was all about Crowfall. Seriously, we must’ve written about Crowfall like 76 times or something. In the end, the most relevant piece of Crowfall news is that the Kickstarter is over and it was a big success.
Oh, and we also checked in with Pathfinder, which put version six of its early access client out to backers on Thursday. The rest of our MMO crowdfunding news roundup is past the break.
ArtCraft Entertainment’s “throne war simulator” Crowfall was officially funded this morning, with 16,936 backers pledging a grand total of $1,766,204 — over 2000 backers and $250,000 on the very last day alone. Its original goal was only $800,000.
The guild tournament introduced with a video yesterday was unlocked at $1.6 million; combat pets are in now, too. A new Kickstarter update reads,
So, what happens next? Now we get to work! We have a game to build. We refine the vision. We engage with you on the forums. We discuss our ideas (and mistakes) openly. We find the right solutions, together. And we continue to seek out our kind. Crowfall isn’t a game for everyone. But there are still players out there — brave, lost, and arguably crazy — who will share this vision. Who, like us, will HAVE to see it come to life. We need to find them, and bring them home. We won’t let you down. We’re going to show the world a new kind of online experience. Thank you for making CROWFALL a reality. We’ll see you in the game!