Crowfall pores over Patch 5.4 improvements

    
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Crowfall’s pre-alpha test is back in business, having restarted with a brand-new build on January 23rd. The team braved an ice storm to record a video that covers all of the Patch 5.4 improvements as well as fielding a community question and answer session.

The latest build for the pre-alpha includes the re-addition of tutorial videos, player XP from killing monsters (at least until level 10), guards made visible, and protection of crafting items so that players won’t destroy them if they fail at their task.

The full stream is below, and you can also peruse the official livestream discussion thread for the community’s thoughts on the update.

Source: Crowfall
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Martin

They haven’t added any new race/class combos for a very long time. I’m waiting until a male wood elf is available to play.

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jay

I didn’t hear anything about skin abnormalities in that video. I want to know what happened to the pores!! Damn you Justin, i must know….

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johnwillo

At this point, I’ve had too much content from Crowfall’s developers. My inbox is swamped with a year’s worth of weekly status updates. They should just put out a comprehensive wiki a week before the game is released, and quit spamming me until then. I get that they want backers to understand that there’s progress, but man, I’ve heard enough.

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angrakhan

Sounds awfully functional for a “pre-alpha”. Can’t they just upgrade it to “alpha” already? Not like anyone is going to hold it against them if it stays in alpha for years since that’s the new norm and “beta” now means “launch” and “release” means “we’re finally ready to allow gaming media to review the game”.

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~*winky face*~

There are multiple portions of this in-development-software-that-will-be-a-game still in the design phase so I think it’s fairly important that they keep their community informed that they’re still in a pre-alpha state. I wish more companies still used labels like alpha and beta as functionally as ArtCraft.

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angrakhan

Sorry for the TL;DR reply… this is just a pet peeve of mine.

I just don’t know why the industry can’t seem to consolidate on what the definitions are. They seem pretty cut and dry to me.

Pre-Alpha: Literally everything you see should be considered proof-of-concept with regard to both appearance and functionality. Mostly likely any or all of it will be broken. Any or all of it may change drastically before release.

Alpha: Core low-level gaming systems such as networking, how combat works (tab target vs. action combat vs turn based vs something new, how a ‘hit’ is determined, how ‘damage’ is calculated and communicated both to the attacker and the target… not necessarily individual abilities), persistence, inventory management, character creation (not necessarily the ability to customize your features, but the technical ability to create a new character on the server), etc are designed, coded, and functional but may have bugs. Everything else is up in the air and should be considered proof of concept.

Beta: Core low-level gaming systems are feature complete and pretty stable. The rest of the game (minimally viable product, not necessarily every system that will every be introduced) is designed and in various stages of implementation. Bugs still exist, balance still needs to be done, promised features may be stubbed out.

Launch: You have a minimally viable product and are ready to take people’s money for the game. There’s likely still bugs and balance issues to hash out, but by in large you feel it’s something people would pay for and be happy with.

The reason all of this got confused is developers/publishers figured out that as long as they held on to the term ‘Beta’ they could refute any negative press with the simple phrase “it’s still beta”. They’re more than happy to take your money, have servers open 24×7, and even have a customer service department (which sounds a whole lot like launch to me) but as long as it’s “beta” then negative reviews don’t count.

The down side to this is two fold:
1) Since every stage had to be moved back one letter in the Greek alphabet due to launch becoming “beta”, they had to invent a term that comes before alpha since there is no greek alphabet letter before alpha. Hence “pre-alpha” was born. I can’t wait to see “pre-pre-alpha” once the industry figures out that “beta” is now launch.

2) “Launch” is now meaningless. Games “launch” and no one even notices or cares because everyone who wanted to play the game is already playing the game and has been since it went to “open beta”… aka “launch but we want to disavow any negative reviews….we’ll preen ourselves on any positive reviews, though!”