In this episode of Massively Opinionated, the topic is public relations and communication. Sometimes marketing and consumer relationships in MMOs don’t always go the way game creators plan. So this week, we debate the ways MMOs should and shouldn’t handle their customers. Host Larry Everett invited two individuals who are very familiar with the inner workings of the games industry: From here at Massively OP and Predestination, welcome Brendan Drain and Tina Lauro. Enjoy the show!
The Crowfall community has a heapload of questions about the upcoming PvP title’s combat systems, and the devs apparently have (some of) the answers.
A new Q&A video features the devs addressing the “hella complicated” balance of physics implementation, the character skill blackout timer, and even how different types of weapons function against the array of armor types. They also have one piece of vital advice to those who will find themselves dying without taking any defensive actions: “Maybe you should press the block button.”
Catch the whole chat after the jump!
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.
The studio announced today that it’s created a layaway program for gamers who want to buy an item or package that costs $100 or more. Players can plunk down a portion of the final cost and make payments over the next 18 months to resolve the balance. ArtCraft said that players can only have a single item in layaway at a time, however.
In other Crowfall news, the studio said that it’s 75% of the way to raising its current capital goal. It also hinted at new payment options and a refer-a-friend system that will be coming to the website this summer.
ArtCraft is changing how Crowfall’s armor system works. The crowdfunded “throne war simulator” originally featured a series of character-based armor tiers that allowed for gauging power level by itemization (tier 3 was better than tier 2, etc.).
The dev team now feels like this system is too simplistic, and is now aiming for a “horizontal array” of armor types that have various positives and negatives against different damage types, rather than the previous linear progression approach.
The devs have also published a lengthy look at all the work that goes into modeling a set of armor. Character designer Eric Hart is featured in a time-lapse piece wherein he creates cloth armor for the Knight archetype. You can view the video after the cut.
Crowfall’s latest dev blog talks combat physics, and in particular ArtCraft’s goal “to use realistic physics in as many gameplay aspects as possible.” The team expects emergent gameplay to result from its physics-based approach, since it’s difficult to “predict the results of throwing around massive minotaur and centaur like Pachinko balls in a fight.”
The post details the difference between a typical MMO “chain pull” and a possible instance in Crowfall wherein one player hooks a distant player with some sort of chain and yanks said player into combat range. In other games, the size and weight of the target don’t matter. As long as nothing obstructs line-of-sight, the server teleports player B to player A and the fake physics are masked with animations and particle effects. In Crowfall, character mass can be adjusted in real-time, so the devs can control how easily characters are moved around using realistic physics as opposed to smoke and mirrors.
Crowfall continues to rake in hefty amounts of donations, as the title just crossed the $2 million threshold for crowdfunding to date. More than 19,000 fans have helped to fill Crowfall’s coffers, both from its Kickstarter campaign and subsequent website sales.
A new developer diary about the game’s Centaur Legionnaire ends up being more about the structure of the game than the class’ role itself. And at the core of Crowfall’s combat approach? The demolition of the industry-standard holy trinity.
Could it be? Is Skyforge going to release soon, or go into an open beta which is indistinguishable from release? It certainly seems like it, as the title is hosting its last closed beta week on June 24th. The time approaches! But, of course, there were other bits of beta news this week besides that.
- Armored Warfare announced its second early access test, which started on June 10th, will run until June 24th. Just in time for our headliner, there…
- Flying Netease MMO Revelation Online is heading into open beta June 19th.
- Non-flying non-Netease MMO Gunslinger Stratos Reloaded is starting its own open beta on August 6th. No confirmation on whether or not its own open beta will feature blackjack or hookers.
- Black Desert is merging all of its test servers into one megaserver in preparation for the game’s launch on July 14th. Local launch? Eventually, sure.
- Crowfall took a peek at keeps, shed light on the Confessor, and answered a bunch of backer questions.
- Despite letting everyone into testing, Das Tal failed its Kickstarter project, but the team has a road map for the future.
- Cabal II will enter its open beta soft launch on July 2nd.
As always, we’ve got more games on the list below. Did a game change status? Did we miss something? Let us know down in the comments, like always.
If you want total and absolute balance for one-on-one classes in Crowfall, you will be disappointed. That’s the first answer in the new question and answer video with the development team, but it has more to it than that. The goal when designing the game’s classes is to give each one an area where it shines and several other areas where it doesn’t, and it’s up to the player to navigate to advantageous situations. As such, not all classes are balanced against one another, but they are balanced to be in a good place when navigating their respective areas of expertise.
The video also covers kneeling to support other players when you can’t possibly win a given iteration and dropping new structures onto a plot of land, but you don’t have to rely on our summaries alone. Really, you can watch the whole video just below.
The team behind Crowfall is hard at work preparing what it’s calling a “core combat test” between three diverse archetypes. One of these, the female Confessor, is the target of a post today that provides some of the background on her narrative and approach.
The Confessors are a branch of the Mother Church that diverged from the Templars when the Hunger started ravaging worlds, claiming that man’s sins were to blame. Disturbed by the events going on, the Confessors turned to fire as both a shield of defense and a sword to punish the wicked.
ArtCraft said that the many archetypes of the game, including the Confessor, were chosen to provide a wide array of cultures with different viewpoints that often examine the same thing. You can check out the Confessor being modeled in 3-D after the jump!
A lot of Crowfall is going to come down to the environments. That might seem a little bit odd or silly, but if you consider it for a moment, you realize that it’s absolutely vital for players to have structures like keeps be exciting places to attack or defend, not just straight rushes from an entryway to a goal. So the latest video showing off the greybox form of the Keep is pretty relevant for players of every stripe.
This early model doesn’t feature textures or detailing, just the raw form of what the building may look like. It also already features plenty of places for defenders to repulse attackers and chokepoints for dramatic showdowns. The whole video is about 10 minutes long, but if you’ve got a bit of time to see what’s been built thus far, check it out below.
With a large roster of potential classes, how will Crowfall balance it all? By starting small, of course. The devs wrote a new post today explaining how they will begin testing the game’s combat systems by picking a trio of classes on which to experiment: the Confessor, the Knight, and the Legionnaire.
“We’ll be concentrating on the basics of combat (hitting opponents, movement speeds, powers, physics interactions) and holding off for now on things like environment destruction, caravans, siege mechanics, etc.,” ArtCraft wrote.
The studio also posted a founder’s update with several business notices. The biggest item is that ArtCraft is selling $1 million in ownership shares in the company to raise additional funds for the game. There are also notices concerning upsales, website localizations, and new payment methods.
Is English not your first language? If not, thanks for struggling through and reading our site anyway, and you can also take heart in the fact that Crowfall‘s latest stretch goal has been unlocked. That means localization for a variety of different languages, so even those for whom English isn’t a first language or who otherwise would be locked out of the game can log in and play.
Current plans are to localize the game in French, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, German, and Russian. The next stretch goal has also been announced: unlocking the Shadow World ruleset. Good news all around.