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 destructible castles are hungry hungry hippos

One of my favorite early MMORPG PvP memories is from Dark Age of Camelot, where I liked to position my Huntress atop my side’s keep battlements to fire down on the Hibbies and Albies swarming below. But of course, we didn’t build that keep; we just claimed it, so losing didn’t hurt much beyond our pride. In Crowfall, however, you’re going to have to rebuild and hold the strongholds you’re fighting over in the game’s Dying Worlds campaigns.

ArtCraft Associate Producer Max Lancaster has a dev blog out today explaining just how it’ll work. “Strongholds will use a capture-and-rebuild mechanic,” he says. “In these worlds, players will fight over the ruins of existing castles and will need to collect resources from neighboring ‘points of interest’ (POIs), specifically mines, mills and quarries, to rebuild the defensive structures in those strongholds. These POIs will be heavily disputed, so be prepared to fight to gain (and maintain) control of them. This is done by ‘feeding’ resources into what we call hungry spawners.”

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Crowfall shows off gender-alternative variants of the Assassin and Druid

Now that the Crowfall team has revealed most of the core archetypes that will come in the launch game, the devs are turning their attention to providing more variants and customization for these classes.

In a new dev diary, ArtCraft shows off the male versions of two previously female-only archetypes: the Assassin and the Druid. “Character customization is crucial for players to create an identity that they can connect with in-game. It’s been very important to us here on the Crowfall team to give you all a sense of choice when creating yours,” the studio wrote.

The team obviously put some thought into the differences between the gender variants. For example, as the male Assassin wasn’t brought up among a sisterhood of killers, his outfit reflects being more of an outcast that wants to blend in with the shadows. Likewise, the Druid’s armor works in more bone and other organic material to reflect the class’ nature heritage.

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Make My MMO: Ship of Heroes’ canceled Kickstarter, Edengrad’s early access (April 8, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, City of Heroes-inspired superhero MMORPG Ship of Heroes launched its Kickstarter, seeking $400,000. But three days later, Heroic Games canceled the crowdfunding attempt, saying it believed it “went to Kickstarter too early.” The new plan is to return to development, raise awareness, take donations through the website, and retool development based on its current level of funding, meaning a potentially smaller but earlier game.

In happier news, congrats are due to post-apoc sandbox Edengrad, which successfully launched into early access. Edengrad was funded last year for over $50,000 US thanks to Kickstarter backers.

Meanwhile, Dual Universe reached another stretch goal, Worlds Adrift launched its 6.0 update, Grim Dawn detailed the Necromancer class coming in its first expansion, Elite: Dangerous dropped its cash shop prices permanently, Starfighter Inc. continues to inch its way toward its Kickstarter end, and Shroud of the Avatar is in the midst of another free trial period.

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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Betawatch: Secret World Legends is a very different game, probably (April 7, 2017)

If you were hoping that Secret World Legends was essentially just The Secret World, well, you were wrong. You were told that you were wrong when it was announced, but the first round of leaks have been coming out of the beta, and they paint a very different picture of the game. Of course, it’s still early enough in testing that fans are cautioned not to see anything therein as final, so… take all of that with a grain of salt, naturally.

And yes, there is other beta news! That’s not a secret. It’s a known fact.

You know what comes next: I mention that there’s a list of games in testing below, I implore you to let us know if something jumped test phases, I sit and cry with four pounds of crispy bacon. I don’t actually eat the bacon, I just cry next to it. Also, I’m hoping by this point you’ve stopped reading. The best secrets are out in plain sight.

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Crowfall adds skill loadout customization

Thanks to a new update, Crowfall is giving its players more freedom than before in customizing their own playstyle. The focus here is on an adjustable user interface that allows a player to drag whichever skill they prefer into the hotbar slot of choice.

The discussion of this new UI feature involves a look at Crowfall’s three types of skills: active, passive, and retaliatory. These can be mapped to the number keys, letter keys, and mouse buttons as desired.

“It may seem a pretty mundane thing to talk about, but the arrival of this system portents so many things coming on the horizon (like Disciplines),” said Design Lead Thomas Blair. “No one has really needed to think about loading out their character’s powers in the past as each archetype was built to have a very specific loadout of powers, but now it will be vital to ensure you have the powers loaded out into their proper slots.”

Source: Crowfall

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Crowfall answers questions about stuff that doesn’t exist yet

The latest video Q&A from the Crowfall team answers a whole lot of questions about things that don’t exist in the game at this point. For example, one of the first questions is why backers with the very largest houses can’t test their houses yet. The answer? Those houses are still being worked on and don’t exist yet, so you can’t test them because there’s nothing to test. Once they do exist, players can test them. Which is a bit of a needling answer, but it also does nicely cover things that aren’t finished in a developing game.

The same disclaimers apply for some of the skill descriptions currently in the game and some of the Eternal Kingdom server management technologies; “in development” does not mean “this stuff is ready to test but we’re not letting you.” Of course, there’s also discussions of the way that the game’s locational armor works, and that is most definitely in the game even if the UI could use refinement to clarify that fact. Check out the full Q&A just below.

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Make My MMO: Elite’s Commanders, SOTA’s R40, Starfighter’s AMA (April 1, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous rather unceremoniously announced on social media that the 2.3 Commanders update will launch around the middle of April — this is the huge update with multicrew ship functionality and the character creation system. (Thanks, ThatLanteshGuy!)

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar launched its 40th update, Sweden jumped into small-scale equity crowdfunding with FundedByMe, Dual Universe reassured players about its video graphics, Edengrad hits early access this coming week, and Starfighter, Inc. held an AMA to promote its ongoing Kickstarter.

We also hosted Legends of Aria founder Derek Brinkmann on a special edition of the podcast this week, so if you’re curious about the large-scale future of what used to be the more small-scale Shards Online, give it a thorough listen. Then 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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April Fools’ Day 2017: Hijinks across the MMOverse

If you don’t like tricks and jokes, just stop reading right now, turn the lights off, and go climb back into bed. Nothing on the internet is going to bring you joy today, so just sit this one out. Trust us.

For everyone else, there’s April Fools’ Day! Follow along as we rattle off all the great MMORPG pranks and events we’ve found so far this morning.

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Massively Overthinking: Competition vs. community in MMOs

Quantic Foundry, the games research group we’ve been tracking ever since it posted its original Gamer Motivation Model, has a new piece out this month on competition and community.

Dr Nick Yee (yes that Nick Yee) explains that one of the things his team’s survey and resulting model have demonstrated is that commonly held assumptions about the “spectrum” of MMO players — that is, “warm, fuzzy, social care bears on one end” and “cold, anti-social, competitive griefers” on the other — are wrong. In fact, he argues, the model shows that competition is not the opposite of community; on the contrary, “there is a strong positive correlation between competition and community,” disassociated from the gender and age of the respondents. This is the kind of stuff a lot of our readers are going to love, especially since the researchers are smashing related assumptions (like that ganking is PvP or that competition necessitates conflict).

So for this week’s Overthinking, I sent the summary of the research to our writers and asked them to discuss whether Yee’s results match their experiences when it comes to community and competition.

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Take a look at Crowfall’s massive Eternal Kingdoms system

We’re just going to put this out there: Crowfall’s Eternal Kingdoms are more than just the “social backbone” of the game; they’re one of the core mechanics of persistence that make Crowfall a true MMO. So it’s worth paying attention when the devs at ArtCraft spill more info on just how the EKs work, which is exactly what they’ve done in a new video today.

The Kingdoms are basically persistent player-controlled groups of parcels that are placed and then built up by guilds, separate from the constantly changing, multi-ruleset battleground areas. The bigger and richer the guild, the better-equipped its Kingdom will be.

Within the Eternal Kingdoms update, players can expect the following content:

  • The ability to plan and reshape their Eternal Kingdoms by placing mountains, valleys, rivers and forests, constructing buildings and strongholds and creating the greatest cities.
  • The power to dictate the law of their land as a true king and ruler, including a wide range of PvP rules.
  • Dedicated servers to host their own kingdoms, complete with the ability to control access and admin rights for other players.
  • The ability to invite others to visit or join the kingdoms and become permanent vassals there, fostering alliances and social interplay.
  • In order to build up their Eternal Kingdoms to their fullest potential, players will have to gather and use a wide range of resources, the best of them which can only be found in the dangerous environments of the Campaign Worlds.”
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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s subber promo, Planet Nomads’ early access, Project Gorgon’s bards (March 25, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen capped off a week of DirectX revelations and mega map explanations with a round of celebrations — for its fifth year of subscriptions. Folks who join the game’s dev subber program pick up a magazine, discounts, and extra test access; sub before April 17th while the promo is live, you get vending machine flair for your hangar. At least you’ll have cold beverages while you wait for the game, right? (Thanks, Cotic!)

Elsewhere in space MMOs, congrats are due to Planet Nomads, which was Kickstarted last year and is now plotting an early access launch for April 18th.

And in epic news for fans of the best video game class of all time, Project Gorgon rolled out the bard support skills for testing this week. Don’t think you’re just going to pick up a lute and start strumming, either: “As you advance in Bard skill, you will also need to improve other skills, including performance, vocabulary, and poetry appreciation.” Bring your thesaurus!

Meanwhile, ECO patched in some major upgrades to its economy, Starfighter is nearing half its goal with 20 days remaining (thanks Crow!), Ever, Jane’s beta picked up horseback riding features, Camelot Unchained danced with its own bot army, City of Titans previewed its core archetypes, SOTA nabbed a new newsletter layout, and The Exiled’s early access began its second season.

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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Crowfall reflects on its ‘unrelenting series of updates’

It’s a little hard to believe, but we’ve now been watching Crowfall develop since late 2014, going from a teaser announcement through a successful Kickstarter and arriving at the current pre-alpha testing. For this week’s founder’s update, the dev team decided that it deserved a moment to reflect upon all of its accomplishments and progress to date.

The team pointed to an interactive timeline chart from German fan site Crowfall Community that marked all of the major (and minor) milestones of the project from 2014 through 2017. It’s a pretty handy resource if you want to get a big-picture view of the game’s progress.

ArtCraft provided a pep talk, free of charge: “Obviously, this chart shows how much we have accomplished, and that’s great to see! … but it also shows something MUCH more important: It shows a cadence, an unrelenting series of updates that make the game a little better every month […] If that cadence proves anything, it’s that these challenges will also be tackled in due time. This game will emerge, and when it does, it’s going to be awesome.”

Source: Crowfall

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