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

Crowfall explains how to build your pocket-sized kingdom

Over at Crowfall, the subject is once again swinging back to the eternal kingdoms, the game’s housing-cum-private world. ArtCraft posted a new 13-point FAQ to explain how players will be constructing their eternal kingdoms via the parcel builder tool.

The idea here is that players will piece together their kingdoms with the builder like building a puzzle, then shape each parcel with special features by putting down building assets in much the same way. As long as parcel and building footprints don’t overlap, players can shape their worlds to look like whatever they want.

Some of the building assets mentioned include heads on stakes, harpy nests, harvestable nodes, and graves that spawn zombies. The only way to get mob “spawners” is to craft them, however. The studio also notes that parcels can come with rules limiting or allowing certain types of assets to be used on them.

Source: Parcel builder FAQ. Thanks to Samizdat for the tip!


Perfect Ten: Ten MMO tropes we don’t need in 2016 (but clearly aren’t going anywhere)

All right, we’ve had just about a month of 2016 now, and I’m writing this on my birthday. Odds are good that I’m going to be writing about MMOs for at least a little while longer now, probably through next week at least. So it would be really wonderful if all of the stuff I’m about to list could make like a tree and go away forever, erasing itself from the face of the Earth.

That will not happen, of course, because we’re about a month into the year and all of this has already happened. Again.

The odds of this year marking an improvement in the listed fields are basically nil. Nonetheless, I’m writing this list just the same, so that you all can hopefully nod in agreement, and perhaps next year we can be rid of all this nonsense. In all likelihood little to nothing is actually going to change in 2017, too, but at least if something does change, I can be happy I stood vaguely near something sort of shifting.

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Crowfall is going to start enforcing its ‘no refund’ Terms of Use policy

The official wording of Crowfall‘s Terms of Use policy has been that pledge packages will not be refunded. You buy a package, it’s yours, end of discussion. The unofficial reality is that the studio has been taking a “no questions asked” policy toward refunds and granting them as requested. While commendable, that plays havoc with the studio’s financing and requires a fair bit of work on the backend, which means that moving forward the team is going to start enforcing that rule.

It’s important to note that the team is aware that things can happen unexpectedly and that an absolute hard-line policy isn’t going to work; it’s also important to note that players can sell pledge packages to others, including packages that are no longer available for purchase otherwise. The team is looking into how that can be done in the most efficient and fair manner, as the official forums are not open for sales posts. This isn’t really a policy change so much as a policy enforcement, but it still bears notice if you were hoping to undo an impulse purchase for the game.


Crowfall details the goddess Illara and launches its pantheon guide

There’s no doubt that the gods of Crowfall are powerful. But the last of the lot to be revealed – Illara, mother of cats – is the one deity that could save her followers from the Hunger. She possesses the knowledge to do so. What she lacks is even the slightest inclination; she doesn’t care about that or find it interesting enough to focus on those affected. No, Illara is busy dealing with her own pursuit of arcane knowledge, and nothing else around her garners her attention.

In other words, cat.

Illara’s reveal as the final member of the pantheon comes along with a new section of the Crowfall website dedicated to the pantheon. If you’ve missed one or two of the deities revealed along the way or just want to refresh your memory about someone, you can do that now with minimal difficulty.


Crowfall on experimental design and ship dates for crowdfunded MMOs

In January’s Crowfall Q&A video, Design Lead Thomas Blair and Founder/Art Director J. Todd Coleman discuss Crowfall as an “experimental project.” So many game design elements, Coleman explains, are subject to change because of the team’s experimental mentality. “We’re going to find out what this game is all about, and we’re going to do it by trying things out. Some of them will work; some of them won’t,” Coleman says. “And through the course of this experiment, we hope to find a game that’s really compelling, that you want to play.” He further reveals that the Kickstarter was based on the idea that the right kind of exploration-driven players would step up to guide their path.

The pair also address how Crowfall defies the idea of ship dates. “I don’t even think in those terms,” Coleman tells watchers. “I’m thinking of it as, OK, what’s the 10-year strategy for this game, and what are we going to grow over time. The launch date really is just that moment when you say, OK, we’re not going to wipe again. And usually it’s when you say, ‘And we’re going to collect money,’ but we’re already doing that.” Launch for Crowfall, therefore, will be when the game — persistent characters, specifically — is no longer due for wipes.

A bit of time is spent discussing god choices and Hunger Dome mechanics in testing, and Coleman and Blair shelve a question on monsters in the Eternal Kingdoms. It’s a quick listen/watch, and you can find it below.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 46: The high price of VR

Would Bree or Justin spend $600 on an Oculus Rift? Probably not in this universe, but it certainly won’t stop them from talking about this new VR platform and its implications for MMOs. Is virtual reality the future of the online RPG genre or merely a fad?

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Make My MMO: Oculus Rift, Greed Monger’s return, and TUG’s $8.5M (January 9, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the Oculus Rift, once a crowdfunded venture, is now asking a whopping $599 for its final product, befuddling market analysts.

Meanwhile, Greed Monger returned from the dead, Divergence Online staggered to Steam early access, and TUG picked up a cool $8.5 million in funding to start over in a new engine, meaning a year’s delay to content updates.

Check out the rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding news below.

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Crowfall shows off the Ranger archetype

The next major round of Crowfall testing isn’t going to just feature another gameplay mode. It is going to feature that, yes, but it’s also going to feature a new archetype, the Ranger. While it’s not the first ranged archetype on display in the game, it should provide all-new gameplay experiences thanks to its mechanics, with a focus on hiding, setting traps, and swapping into melee combat once its targets get too close for ranged weapons to be effective.

Yes, we know, an arrow to the face still hurts if the arrow was launched from three feet away. You get the idea.

Of course, the choice to switch into melee isn’t just down to whenever you feel like touching your opponents directly; the Ranger, as one would expect from a bow-wielding archetype, uses ammunition. When that ammunition is gone… well, let’s just establish that there’s good reason to draw the knives and get to work. Crafters will eventually be addressing the need for ammunition, but the Ranger will subsist on loot drops with the first round of Ranger-enabled testing. Which is fine, since it’ll be enough for players to see what it’s like to rain arrow-based death on enemies just the same.


Crowfall hits 100,000 website signups, runs ‘snap tests’

As Crowfall tackles 2016 head-on, the team behind this PvP MMO is celebrating its 100,000th “Crow” to register on its website. ArtCraft posted new 2016 backer packages as the game has reached about 25,000 backers and $2.52M in donations to date.

Crowfall has been running limited alpha tests this week. “We are running a few snap tests of the Hunger Dome this week!” ArtCraft posted. “This version has a fully textured environment, including the buildings and the keep. No updates yet on the client controller, but it’s coming along nicely and we hope to get it in front of you soon!”

If you’ve fallen behind in your Crowfall news, then it would behoove you to read the latest Kickstarter update that summarizes all of the events and developments over the past month.


New Crowfall lore introduces Maeve, Empress of the Sea

Crowfall has today introduced a new goddess to the game’s pantheon: Maeve, Empress of the Sea, Daughter of Carnage, the Tempest Queen, Goddess of War, and the Ruler of the Oceans. She’s kinda pissed off because her siblings got better titles, and she’s waging war against them.

“Her domain is that of water: Ocean, River and Storm. […] The waves are her troops – an eternal procession of soldiers sent to assault [her half-sister] Gaea’s domain, to crumble rock and stone and pull the earth beneath the ocean’s surface.”

Check out the gorgeous new artwork of Maeve below, and maybe don’t get on her bad side.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 45: MMOs in the new year

It’s a brand new year for MMOs — and who knows what it will bring? Today on the show, Bree and Justin welcome 2016 as they discuss the big news over the past couple of weeks, including a lot of industry drama and a ray of hope for one struggling MMO.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Make My MMO: Crowfall’s big reveal (January 2, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, crowdfunding is dead. Just kidding. But a whole lot of you said you’re not planning on Kickstarting anything in 2016. We’ll see, won’t we!

This week, Crowfall delivered on its teases and revealed its crows and vessels system for account-based character development.

Meanwhile, Pathfinder Online might have a new investor, Project Gorgon delayed its latest patch for animal town, Spatium’s Kickstarter was unsuccessful, Life is Feudal patched in weather, Dogma Eternal Night forged onward, City of Titans hinted at 2016 testing, and The Repopulation rejected blame for the Hero Engine mess.

Check out the rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding news below.

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Betawatch: Vessels, crows, and testing schedules for Crowfall (January 1, 2016)

This week wasn’t just the end of a year, it was the start of a long string of news from Crowfall before testing resumes on January 6th. The game’s staff revealed the interlocking system of vessels and crows, allowing players to unlock skills and abilities at the account level rather than per character, and introducing all sorts of interesting possibilities with crafting characters. There were also reminders to get your 2015 founder’s packs before the end of the year, but that deadline is passed now.

And yes indeed, there was other beta news. Not much, though; most game studios were watching some movie or another and sleeping off holiday meals.

And, of course, there’s our list down below. See something we missed, let us know! We also have a movie to catch right now, you understand. It involves some awakening or another.

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