crowfall

Official Site: Crowfall
Studio: ArtCraft Entertainment
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: “Throne War Simulator”
Business Model: Hybrid B2P (Optional Sub)
Platform: PC

Crowfall’s ads and disads system is the best part of character creation

Ah, character creation: the best part of so many MMORPGs. So how’s it working for Crowfall? A new dev blog out this week from ArtCraft explains that the archetype separation announced last spring has necessitated a change from the old system of archetype statues in-game. Now, UX Design Lead Billy Garretsen says, the system is much more like you’d expect from a traditional MMORPG: You’ll pick your race and class from lists and get a default vessel, then choose gender, hair style, face, and head shapes. The best part is the ads and disads system.

“Once the look is settled, it is time to alter the character’s stats and attributes through Advantages and Disadvantages. Every race and class combination will yield a pool of Creation Points that can be spent on Advantages to provide stat benefits in various categories. Alternatively, you can opt to apply Disadvantages that will decrease your stat values but grant you bonus Creation Points that can be applied on further Advantages. For example, Eagle Eye will grant increased accuracy with ranged weapons, while Dim Witted will lower Intellect, but grant points that can be spent to further increase Strength.”

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Crowfall gets ready to begin testing its campaign system

One of Crowfall’s most important systems — if not the crux of the entire game — is its campaign system. This repeatable PvP experience will come in many varieties and feature a beginning, middle, and end. But its first beginning is coming soon… very soon.

ArtCraft announced on Tuesday that it is preparing to commence its first test of the campaign system on the test server. Campaigns have a lot to offer for players, including the fog of war, a cartography skill, a day and night cycle, forts, keeps, and resource points. The sides will play tug-o-war with a conquest slider, resulting in either a win for order, chaos, or balance.

The team took great pains to stress that this is “more test than playtest” and that bugs, performance problems, and a lack of real balance would be present. “When I say First Campaign Test, please don’t read that as our-first-fully-functional-campaign-that-we-can-all-play-and-it-will-be-like-a-released-game! … because it won’t be that,” the team said.

Source: Crowfall

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen sells 14K concept ships in 24 hours (June 24, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen followers once again proved their game’s dominance by purchasing 14,000 of its new Nox concept ships in less than 24 hours, bringing the game’s UEE Fleet up to 1.3 million ships total. The cheap version is $35, if you’re wondering.

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation began its summer crowdfunding drive, Mark Kern’s Em-8ER funded again on Indiegogo, Dogma Eternal Night has a new test site, Chronicles of Elyria players created a handy race map, ROKH deployed a new crafting UI, The Exiled posted a state-of-the-game missive, Exile Online is running a GoFundMe, AQ3D is taking the grind out of its leveling curve, and Elite Dangerous players are staging an event to put pressure on Frontier for bug fixes. Plus, over in Crowfall, devs talked up their cell size changes and planned out their influencer program.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

(Thanks, fastcart, Francis, and Stuart G!)

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E3 2017: Fortnite is Crowfall for PvE fans

The other day when I made a rare venture out of my E3 coverage den, my slightly younger brother asked, “Hey, did you hear about a game called Fortnite?” 

Now, my brother doesn’t explore gaming like he used to. His MMO days are behind him. He wasn’t even aware of Super Mario Odyssey, so his asking about Fortnite was far from expected, especially since I’d learned something I think a lot of MassivelyOP readers will want to hear: The game is sounding a lot like Crowfall for PvE zombie fans.

So yeah, li’l bro, I heard about Fortnite. I even sat down with Fortnite’s Executive Producer Zak Phelps from Epic Games and talked to him during E3 2017 about “monsters,” survival games, and getting PvE fans in there.

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Crowfall illuminates racial bonuses and abilities in Q&A

There’s no doubt that a lot has been happening recently with Crowfall’s class and race structure, particularly following following May’s announcement that the team is separating race-bound classes to allow players more mix-and-match freedom. There were bound to be one or two questions concerning all of this, which is why the team fielded an hour-long Q&A session yesterday on Twitch.

One of the interesting reveals that came out of the chat is that each of the races will receive their own racial discipline with various bonuses. For example, humans are more versatile stat-wise and can use a side-step dodge move, while Wood Elves are trailmasters who can camouflage themselves while standing still.

The team also talked about cartography (which includes the interesting feature of being able to pickpocket other players’ maps), how it’s working to beef up healers, and what’s going on with Clerics (they’re coming soonish).

We’ve got the full Q&A session for you after the jump, and as an added bonus, we also tossed in a video with the team discussing what’s going on with the Alpha 5 build.

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Betawatch: E3 2017 brings launch dates, new titles, and delays (June 16, 2017)

Oh, E3, always a magical time full of promises when some aren’t meant to be kept, some are meant to be kept but won’t be, and some actually will happen. Have fun guessing which is which!

Among the more pertinent announcements from this year’s convention are ARK: Survival Evolved launching on August 8th, Sea of Thieves delaying launch until 2018, and Destiny 2 launching early September and late October depending on platform. We’ve also got the new game Anthem on its way for 2018 and Monster Hunter World headed for consoles and PC, which is all cool.

Oh, and let’s not forget the announcements of Skull and Bones and The Crew 2. Or the Lawbreakers beta starting June 28th while launch is set for August 8th. Jeez. Is there even room for more beta news? Yes, but just a little.

Whew! Some title density in there, almost mirroring that of the list down below. You can still read the list, though, and if we missed something or a game has slipped into a new test phase, you can let us know in the comments.

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Crowfall’s AI is about to get a huge makeover

Hey, look over there — a shiny!

Crowfall Principal Programmer Chris Ledwith, the newly dubbed “AI Guy,” explains in a dev blog today that the shinies of Crowfall’s Big World development have distracted the team away from AI — and now he’s on a mission to rectify that.

“The problem that we faced was that the code was in dire need of an update to make everyone’s prior work on the AI shine,” Ledwith writes. “The code was originally written for simpler, relatively flat maps, with no dynamic placement of buildings or props, in a very static world; it made a lot of convenient assumptions about the environmental conditions an AI could find itself in. This system was written pre-Big World, with Band-Aids applied over time in an attempt to keep it ‘just good enough’ in lieu of spending too much time away from more immediately pressing work. Finally, we decided that we had to turn it off for at least a couple of core reasons: behavior and performance were not up to par.”

Wait, don’t get distracted by shinies again! Ledwith gives a couple of examples of beasts whose pathing needed work before laying out his grand plans for parcels, building placement, and baby gates for mobs. Take a peek at the whole outline on the official site.

Source: Crowfall

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Crowfall transitions testing into a live environment, updates Kickstarter rewards

Crowfall is about to take its next step into a larger world. The PvP MMO announced that it’s preparing to layer a live environment on top of test and internal servers as part of its move toward an eventual release. The live environment will feature a more refined and persistent build than what players are used to seeing on the more experimental test server. It will strive to stay up 24/7 as much as possible, be available to a wider pool of backers, be more stable, and be wiped only when absolutely necessary.

The team indicated that this server is a big deal for the development and testing, representing another major step forward: “The live environment will eventually become the live game. We will only wipe it when absolutely necessary and it will be up all the time (outside of normal maintenance). This deployment is one of many necessary transitions that will get us to launch.”

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Make My MMO: Broke Protocol launches early access after failed Kickstarter (June 10, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Minecraft-meets-GTAO MMO Broke Protocol’s Kickstarter ended unsuccessfully on Thursday, but the good news is that the game launched its early access program anyway. The better news is that early access is free. “The last few updates have seen the focus shift to enable more roleplaying opportunities,” writes the team. “Cylinder Studios has now pushed updates to Police, Paramedics, and in this latest update: Firefighters. Demolished vehicles now leave a burning inferno that has to be taken care of by the city’s loyal Fire Department.” Good times.

Meanwhile, Gloria Victis previewed its map expansion, Project Gorgon delayed part of the Serbule revamp, Albion Online launched its Hector update, ROKH rolled out a new build with salvaging and chat, and Elite Dangerous opened the 2.3.10 beta and prepped players for the PS4 debut later this month.

Finally, we spoke to Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott about his studio’s equity crowdfunding announcement.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Massively Overthinking: MMO monetization run amok

Over the last couple of weeks, the monetization of unreleased games has become a pervasive and uncomfortable theme for the MMO genre. Just in brief:

The frustrating bit is I could go on, and this is just for games that aren’t even formally launched yet. So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to take the temperature of alarm regarding these types of business models for unlaunched games. Is this all par for the course, in line with what we expect from the new MMO market? Have they gone too far yet? If not, what’s too far? How do we feel about this type of pre-launch monetization run amok?

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Crowfall on mini-class disciplines, guilds, communication, and the dawning of campaign worlds

Crowfall’s Mark Halash and Thomas Blair are back with another Q&A video for the game with questions provided by backers. Starting off, Blair says that the “big world” push ArtCraft began half a year ago has more or less accomplished what the team wanted, and now it’s ready to move on to campaign worlds.

“We’re adding at a lightning pace,” he says by way of explaining some of the testing issues the game’s suffered earlier this month, but the studio’s in more of a polishing phase now. Also among the highlights?

  • “Guilds are pretty standard,” with the exception of sub-guilds. Eventually, guild tools beyond the community chest will be expanded.
  • No progress on mounts and caravans yet. The Campaign Worlds are slated for dev time first.
  • The Bard is a discipline right now instead of a class as the team is experimenting with how it all works. Classes have more overhead (like animations), whereas disciplines are fairly cheap to roll out, plus more players can take advantage of the new content. “We’re not done yet” with disciplines, Halash says.

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Make My MMO: Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar’s equity crowdfund (June 3, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter came to a close with $3.2M and nearly 20,000 backers, making it the biggest MMORPG Kickstarter to date. Backers — and would-be backers who didn’t jump into the Kickstarter — should take a peek at the game’s latest update, which outlines the backer awards for everyone as crowdfunding continues this month on the official site. Intrepid does note that there won’t be any stretch goals, however, to avoid “scope creep.”

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar surprised its players this week by announcing on its seasonal fundraising livestream that it’s pitched a $2M equity crowdfunding campaign to raise money ahead of the game’s formal launch, which is happening this year. (Stay tuned for more on this Monday!)

Plus, Elite Dangerous is awash in Thargoid sightings (thanks, Kinya!), OrbusVR previewed the Ranger, Crowfall patched up ahead of this weekend’s pre-alpha testing, and Grim Dawn sold its millionth copy.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Massively Overthinking: 2017’s MMORPG zeitgeist

This time last year, I polled the Massively OP writers for their opinions on which MMOs had had the best year, or half year, up to that point in 2016 — which games were the most influential and important specifically in that time period. I was pretty surprised at the spread of answers too. Since we’re nearing the midpoint of 2017, I thought we should renew that question and see whether anything’s changed. So as last time, I’m asking everyone to pick three games that represent the MMORPG zeitgeist, using whatever combination of criteria they wish – revenue, playerbase size, hype, anticipation, update cycle, and so forth. What should we be paying attention to? Which games are a sign of the times? And just who is dominating now in 2017?
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