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

Betawatch: May 8th, 2015

This week, Landmark was consumed in a fiery explosion, by which we of course mean that it had a big old wipe. But it’s all right, because we also saw the new island shapes and they’re pretty keen. You can also jump in on designing elf buildings, if you want to.

What other strange events took place in the beta testing world this week?

Oh, and we also have a huge list of several titles past the break that are in testing as last we knew of it, which could mean very little because some of them like to creep into what could be practically called launch without telling us. Those little scamps! The full list is below, and if you notice one of said scamps is hanging out, do let us know down in the comments.

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Massively Overthinking: The return of ‘consequences’ to MMOs

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic comes to us from Kickstarter donor Antonia “Toni” Phillips aka ToniLyran, who’s hit on a sore point with our writers, it seems:

In indie game development, we are seeing a resurgence of games with “real consequences.” With the coming of Crowfall, do you think that we will start to see a trend back to MMO’s with real consequences once again?

What exactly constitute real consequences? Are games like Crowfall actually creating real consequences? Are we trending that way in general? And if we are, should we be? I pitched these questions to the team and got an earful.

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Everything you need to know about Crowfall’s combat testing

As nifty as Crowfall‘s mechanical goals are, they’re not going to help the game much in the long run if the fundamental combat engine of the game isn’t fun to play. It’s a game that lives and dies on the strength of its PvP conflicts, after all. So it’s a good thing that the team is thinking hard about making sure the first thing players test is a very stripped-down and intensified form of the combat engine, as outlined in the most recent development article.

Players shouldn’t expect to see all of the archetypes in motion here, nor should they expect to see a finished outline of what archetypes are capable of doing. The idea is to test the core engine and the flow of battle, to make sure that the process of fighting other players (and possibly monsters) is fun and worth doing. Current plans are to start letting players in to test all of this out in the summer, so until then you’ll just have to survey the details about the test closely and get your combat-testing pants on. It’s assumed you have special pants for this.

[Source: Milestone 1: Combat Testing]


Crowfall’s store is (partly) up and running

You have not played enough of Crowfall to form an opinion on how it plays. You haven’t. It isn’t playable yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start buying in-game goodies to have when you finally can play the game, right? Yes, the game’s store is live on the official website, with plenty of options for future players to drop some cash and get cosmetic stuff whenever the game can actually be played.

Before you start rioting in protest, it’s important to note that the store is more “present” than “omnipresent” at this point; there are several categories simply marked as “coming soon” with no entries listed, and the only part that’s really working according to design at a glance are the bundles. Whether or not the ability to buy things sight unseen for the game is a good way of supporting its further development or a naked pre-emptive cash grab is left as an exercise for the reader.

[Source: Crowfall store]


A guide to building and using your kingdom in Crowfall

Crowfall‘s individual campaign worlds are intended to be reset over time. That’s by design; each world will flourish, then wither, then die. But the game still has a perpetual element in the form of eternal kingdoms, and a great deal of information about these never-ending spaces of personal land has just been revealed by the development team.

If players want to focus on customizing their lands and structures, there’s plenty of opportunity to do exactly that; several different sorts of structures and the like can be added to the expandable kingdom region. Of course, doing so requires resources that are found in campaign worlds, meaning that players either have to brave those tumultuous regions themselves or pay others who are willing to do so. Check out the full piece for more details on making a kingdom in the game that can stand the test of time.

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Massively Overthinking: Are boutique MMOs the future?

This week’s Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter donor Taemys, who just so happens to be a guildie of mine. He’s clever, and so is his concern:

“Are all the smaller, ’boutique’ MMO’s the future? To put it another way, do you think we’ll see anything as big as World of Warcraft or EverQuest again?”

I put his questions to the Massively OP writers, who as usual were happy to overthink them!

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Perfect Ten: How to find the right MMO for you

A common question that I see posited around forums and Reddit is, “What MMO should I play?” If there is a more loaded question than that in this community, I haven’t heard it. What is usually being asked, by both newcomers and long-time players, is, “What MMO is right for me that I haven’t played yet?”

While I hear you and have been there, the truth is that there is no one universal answer to that question. There are just hundreds if not thousands of MMOs, big and small, out on the market, each with its own personality, feature set, and setting. Those have to be compared and matched up with the millions of people who all have their own unique preferences. It’s what makes recommending an MMO a difficult proposition.

I’m game for difficult! Today’s list won’t be “10 MMOs that I think you should play” but a rundown of how to sort through the important categories that are out there in the hopes of finding the game that’s right for you.

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Make My MMO: April 25, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, a couple of high profile projects met stretch goals. Crowfall will be hiring a dedicated graphics programmer, while Camelot Unchained plans to add pet classes of a spiritual nature. Spirit pets are part of something called an Extender Pack, though, as they won’t be worked on until after the game’s initial release.

You can read the rest of our crowdfunding roundup just past the break!

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Crowfall reaches its graphics programmer stretch goal

Like many big crowdfunded projects, Crowfall didn’t stop reaching for stretch goals just because the game’s main Kickstarter project ended. The project has hit its first post-Kickstarter stretch goal this week, so the team will be hiring a dedicated graphics programmer to make the game extra-flashy and satisfying to play.

Players will also be able to take advantage of backer badges on the game’s official forums from this point onward, with different designs available for those who pledged during the Kickstarter campaign and those who jumped on board afterward. The next stretch goal for the title is localization in several languages, and after that… well, there’s a video just below that outlines what comes next.

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How Star Wars Galaxies pioneered a ‘living society’

Former Star Wars Galaxies Creative Director and current Crowfall consultant Raph Koster returned to his blog last night to pen the fourth in his series of SWG retrospectives, this one on the sandbox’s living society.

To build that society and the diverse people who would populate it, Koster says his team set out to make SWG “care” about player activities by building on Ultima Online’s use-based skill system and ensuring it rewarded every activity in the game, from dancing and vendoring and surveying to trapping and climbing and shooting.

Here’s a fun fact: SOE originally planned for experience to accrue for a crafter as other players used her creations, but it proved “too expensive to implement.” Moreover, he says he once hoped to allow player missions for transporting goods through the bazaar. ‘Twas not to be.

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Make My MMO: April 18, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, we learned about the new Powerplay update coming to Elite: Dangerous that promises to revamp the space sim’s mining profession into something approaching lucrative. We also heard from Crowfall’s devs, and more specifically, how they plan to make their ambitious realm war title for a paltry $6 million. Finally, Shroud of the Avatar got some visual upgrades and some pretty kick-ass in-game books!

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Betawatch: April 17th, 2015

Path of Exile has another big update on the way! It has fun new skills like Golems, Warcries, and Golemcries! Maybe not so much with the last one. The point is that there’s an update, it’s in testing, and you can help test it if you follow the right steps. Glorious!

Other testing news from around the test-web-blog-o-sphere (patent pending on that nightmare portmanteau, for the record):

You want some more testing goodness? Well, read on for our full list, ladies, gentlemen, and those who fall into neither category! There are more tests to be had.

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Crowfall delivers minotaur lore, Confessor sculpture

Crowfall is delivering a two-for-one dev update today, starting with lore behind the Myrmidon. The Myrmidon is a minotaur that made it into the game thanks to an early stretch goal. According to the game lore, the Myrmidon was created by a trickster god so that “the hunter must never forget how it feels to be hunted.”

The devs also posted a video showing the creation of the female Confessor’s 3-D avatar by the game’s artists. Get a first look at the Confessor after the break!

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