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

Make My MMO: May 23, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, The Repopulation got an official launch window. Then it got a new trailer. Das Tal got off to a good start as it eyes the second week of its Kickstarter, and Voxelnauts is now a thing. Or at least, it’s a Kickstarter thing, including plans to allow players to “do anything, be anything, and go anywhere.”

The rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding roundup is just past the break.

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Betawatch: May 22nd, 2015

It’s been a busy week for the folks at Blizzard. We’ve gotten a quartet of videos for Overwatch characters showing off early gameplay, and Heroes of the Storm slipped into that fabled open beta state. Then NCsoft goes and makes a big splash by announcing that Blade & Soul is finally coming over here after an enormous delay. I tried it out and thought it was pretty cool.

So what else happened this week? You know, this and that.

Oh, and of course we have a big old dose of games in testing in the list just below. Is there a game that should be on there that you know isn’t there right now? Should one of the games on the list be gone? Let us know in the comments!
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Crowfall takes a deeper look at the Centaur

The Centaur in Crowfall is more than just a normal person whose lower body happens to be a horse. If you want to be archetypical, Centaurs are closer to the Elves of many fantasy settings, an old and arrogant race with designs on conquering everything. The latest development post for the game, penned by creative director J. Todd Coleman, walks through the design of the Centaur from early concepts to the current form.

Coleman explains that his love of the race in older games like Shining Force led to the idea of a split: These somewhat bestial creatures that are nevertheless very refined and cultured. As they exist in Crowfall, Centaur are heavily based off of the Roman Empire, convinced that if not for the all-consuming Hunger, their empire could have eventually conquered all worlds. Take a look at the full article for a deeper look at the horse-people and how they tie into the game as a whole.


Crowfall locks down forums for backers only

If you still want to take part in discussions on the official Crowfall forums, you’ll have to back the game. The game has locked down its forums for all non-backers, giving new registrations access to a limited forum for 30 days for potential players who want a glance at the community. Other than that, if you want to talk, you have to pay.

All forums will remain readable for everyone, whether you’re a backer or not. The move is supposedly to lock down less than constructive comments from non-backers that have the potential to derail useful conversations. If you aren’t currently a backer but still want to remain active on the forums, you can either jump in at the $5 level or just wait until the game starts moving into its non-backer testing phases.


Global Chat: What do you remember about Guild Wars?

Late last month, the classic Guild Wars transcended its 10th birthday and prompted a flood of nostalgic posts and shared stories. A few MMO bloggers tore their attention away from the current crop of games to talk about what they loved about their initial foray into Tyria.

“Not only did GW1 revitalize MMOs in general for me, but it gave me a mission and story-based online game that I could play with [my friend],” said Aywren. “I remembered the music, I remembered the world, the Jade Sea. The colours! Oh, how I had loved the look of the world,” Paeroka gushed.

Tasha had perhaps one of the best testimonials: “Getting involved in something like Guild Wars to the extent I did seeps into every part of your life. Over the years I’ve treated the game as an excuse to learn new skills and open doors into new experiences I might not have had.”

Buckle up for an exciting Global Chat, as we hear a rant on double-jumping, a return to Champions Online, a player vouching for World of Warcraft’s virtues, and more!

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How Crowfall deals with changes to player purchases

What do you do when you’ve already sold something that hasn’t been fully built yet — and might need to be changed from its original design? For Crowfall, the strategy is to come out ahead of such changes and communicate with crowdfunding backers as to what will happen when this occurs.

ArtCraft posted five steps that the team will follow in its approach to changing player-purchased digital items as development progresses. In summary, there will be efforts to be transparent, to make the changes to benefit the players, to compensate for any downgrades, and to offer refunds for store credit if not satisfied.

The team also posted concept art for some of its player strongholds and said that players will soon be allowed to unbundle their pledge packages to upgrade, sell, or gift some of their goodies.

Source: Crowfall #1, #2


Make My MMO: May 16, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Gloria Victis developer Black Eye Games let us know that it’s in “the home stretch” in terms of upgrading its fantasy sandbox to the Unity 5 engine. What’s the big deal with that? Well, a 50 percent framerate increase, for starters, not to mention improved eye candy.

Elsewhere, indie PvP sandbox Das Tal officially kicked off its Kickstarter campaign. The rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup is just past the cut.

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Perfect Ten: Future MMOs that I can’t wait to play

I imagine that most of us have a future bucket list of MMOs that we wish would get here already. It wasn’t but a couple of years ago that I was salivating over several major up-and-coming releases, including Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, and WildStar. My list of most-anticipated never seemed to get smaller, it seemed.

Flash-forward to 2015 and it feels as though we’re in a different era all of the sudden. Games are still being made, to be sure, but there seems like there are fewer blockbuster-wannabes on the horizon. I’m really happy playing what we already have, although I miss that feeling of “ooh, I can’t WAIT!” that used to drive my excitement.

Even so, there are several titles in development that have my attention to varying degrees. Maybe some of these aren’t the big-budget extravaganzas I was used to and maybe a couple are long shots, but as it stands, here are 10 future MMOs I can’t wait to play.

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Raph Koster used MMO design to help revitalize a bar trivia game

You might know Raph Koster from his MMO legacy as a designer on Ultima Online or Star Wars Galaxies, or perhaps from his current role on the Crowfall team. But what about Buzzfeed Trivia?

Polygon has a fascinating read on how Koster was brought in to update a bar trivia game after it had started to decline in popularity. After playing and observing the game, he noted that players weren’t able to get better at trivia games, unlike an increase in skill that comes with playing a lot of, say, League of Legends. So he said that he needed to change it up so that everyone could feel useful: “We needed to give the players who weren’t necessarily great at trivia several ways to be good at the game, without necessarily being great at trivia.”
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Crowfall backers can now gift a copy to a friend

If you have too much money burning a hole in your pocket and a good friend who didn’t get on board with the Crowfall campaign during its Kickstarter, then ArtCraft has a way to solve both of those problems. By the end of May, the studio will empower players to gift copies of the game to friends and family.

In addition to this, the studio will allow Kickstarter backers to gift an entire Kickstarter pledge package for a limited time. Players can choose a pledge bundle that’s higher, equal, or lower than the one that they bought, but they can gift only one of these to someone else.

ArtCraft is also working on bringing two-factor authentication online to offer deeper security for player accounts.

Source: Crowfall


‘No more grind’: PvP sandbox Das Tal launches its Kickstarter

As promised, buy-to-play indie PvP sandbox Das Tal has begun a Kickstarter campaign today to coincide with the launch of the German wing of the Kickstarter platform. Das Tal isn’t a new game for many of you as we’ve been covering it on Massively OP and Massively-that-was, but the pitch puts the game’s development goals in focus:

Das Tal is the world’s first Open World Battle Arena. It is the love-child of a Sandbox MMORPG and a fast-paced PvP Arena. Our goal is to make MMOs fun again for PvP fans. No more grind. No more pay-to-win. No more tab-targeting. We are creating a game designed to be compatible with the busy life of an adult gamer.

Das Tal’s devs have already been working on the game for several years and have plenty of game footage to show for it. The title is due to launch next year; the alpha is expected in the next few months. The Kickstarter, they say, is specifically intended to pay artists to flesh out the world.

I spoke with Fairytale Distillery Managing Director Alexander Zacherl last week to pick his brain on the PvP MMO market, the B2P model, graphics snobbery, and the apparent contradiction in the game’s hardcore-but-not-entirely design. We’ve got a fresh Kickstarter video as well. Read on for all of it!

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Crowfall’s Walton wants to shake up the MMO business

Crowfall producer Gordon Walton features in a new interview at MOTD Media. If you’re a big fan of the crowdfunded PvP MMO, you won’t find anything here that you didn’t already know. If you’re on the outside of the fandom looking in, though, the piece might be worth scanning in order to see what all the buzz is about.

Crowfall’s design is boiled down to eternal heroes and dying worlds, with players flitting between the wars on the latter before heading home to their permanent Eternal Kingdoms. Walton told MOTD that part of the problem with MMOs is that they’ve been made the same way for two decades. “We want to go back and redrive that way,” he said.

[Source: MOTD Media]


Make My MMO: May 9, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, we learned everything we ever wanted to know about Star Citizen’s first person shooter module, plus a bit more. In addition to some deep dives into character and art design, we got a good look at SATA Ball, which is simultaneously an in-fiction sport and an attempt at FPS mechanics that haven’t really been done before, according to Cloud Imperium.

You can catch up on the rest of this week’s crowdfunding news after the cut.

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