Crowfall’s ramping up the dev blogs this week with a fresh one on the skills system. “Skills are one of the main methods of character progression,” ArtCraft Design Lead Thomas “Blixtev” Blair explains. “Skills train passively over time, whether you are offline or online, and they are based on the account, not the individual character. This means that when you train a skill, you get the benefit of that skill across any character on your account for which that skill is beneficial.”
The devs’ original plan was to have players train up from 1 to 100 in each skill, but as designed, that system didn’t cause players to feel as if they were making much progress. “It’s hard to get excited about a .001 gain per point,” Blair quips.
To fix it, ArtCraft’s changed up the model such that “the time it took to gain 20/100 points now equates to one pip” and “stat gains now ‘build up’ until each pip is earned.” Requirements that players complete training in a skill to jump ahead to the next skills have also been reduced or eliminated. Just know that the skill trees are due for a huge wipe and restructure thanks to the archetype skill overhaul.
OK, so “minimum viable product” is pretty much the worst thing an MMO dev can say about her game. But how about “minimum viable powers”? That’s the descriptor for the philosophy underpinning Crowfall’s power development, a new dev blog by ArtCraft Design Lead Thomas “Blixtev” Blair explains today.
“We have been building each archetype with what we think would be a ‘minimum viable power’ kit for that archetype to be useful and fun in combat,” he says. “We are leaving ourselves room on the powers tray for the player to eventually slot additional combat powers (i.e., the ones that the player will acquire via disciplines, advantages or class promotions). In other words, don’t freak out about anything at this stage.”
As his chief example, he uses the Fae Assassin, a “stealthy, quick-attacking, stabby-stab type that utilizes poisons and has positional-based attacks,” to assure backers that the team didn’t accidentally forget about stealth and illuminate the game’s wing and poison mechanics. There’s also a dive into the Sin’s UI, which demos passive and active skills, the power bar, and modes like stealth. Definitely worth a look if you’re the type of gamer who prefers stabbing from the shadows (or, y’know, running away from people like that).
Crowfall Design Lead Thomas “Blixtev” Blair has a new dev blog out this afternoon on the resource harvesting slice of the big world testing going on right now. To understand how it’s changing, you need to understand how the resource system was planned to work originally.
“The most important aspect of resources in Crowfall is that every resource type is important in the crafting system. We are not making a standard resource progression where copper is replaced by a higher tier material, thus turning copper into a low- end trash resource only useful for new players. […] Crafters will combine multiple resources types in meaningful ways to produce crafting components or items with interesting stats.”
Blair says that while the crafting design is working, the resource design wasn’t — chiefly because the models used for each don’t match up and the progression of different materials vs. tools was opaque to players unless they had a chart sitting in front of them.
Hopefully you weren’t unduly attached to the number-crunched specifics of any of Crowfall’s planned archetypes because the in-development MMO is contemplating some minor changes.
In the wake of the Ranger’s development and new tech, Design Lead Thomas “Blixtev” Blair says, ArtCraft is headed back to other systems and archetypes for a balancing pass, something he says we can continue to expect as the Siege Perilous ruleset is tested.
For example, ArtCraft is implementing a “dizzy” state, adding base health and damage modifiers, tweaking heal scaling, adjusting Champion damage powers, and working on Ranger bow damage. The Legionnaire is shifting around a bit too:
“The Legionnaire had a bit of work done on his basic combo chain. We looked at the play metrics and found that virtually no Legionnaires were using the 4th and 5th portion of the chain. So, we cut them and pushed down the power of the Command Buff into the Discipline Buff in the 3rd attack. We also added an instant group heal component to the 3rd attack. This should make the Legionnaire feel a bit more “heal-y”, as most Legionnaires do tend to make it to the 3rd attack. We are also pumping up the FX on the basic heals so you can tell what is going on. (Many folks don’t realize that the 3rd attack has a proc that it puts on teammates that heals mana/health when they attack!)”
Good news for Crowfall and its fans today, as ArtCraft has announced that a round of additional equity financing to the tune of $1 million is nearly complete. On the actual development side of things, the company has released a look at the Legionaire, which has received extensive work since the days of his Kickstarter debut.
The Legionaire’s left-click primary attack is a melee chain that generates rage, while his right-click power is dodge. You can see those powers and others in the video after the break. We’ve also included a second vid that profiles design lead Thomas Blair. More importantly, it features kittens.
Crowfall has published another installment of its combat chat video dev blog. Featured are designers Thomas Blair and Tully Ackland, who spend nearly six minutes answering combat-related questions from the crowdfunded title’s community. Most of the discussion centers on DoT effects, projectiles, and the stamina system.
Today’s vid is part one of two, with the second part scheduled for next week. There’s also a previous episode in the series, which we’ve embedded after the cut following today’s episode.