Even as a Crowfall backer, I’ve been occasionally confused about the game’s test status, especially after it missed two of its original planned soft-launch windows in the last couple of years, and then the campaign testing at the end of 2018 only compounded the problem for a lot of our readers. Perhaps sensing the confusion, ArtCraft Creative Director J. Todd Coleman has a blog post up today with a clear outline of what’s going on in the game.
Right now, the game is in pre-alpha 5.8. The devs are still calling this the First Campaign. Pre-alpha 5.8.1 will follow with the planned “capture point” mechanic. By the end of January, expect the team’s sanctioned campaign (probably), and then we’ll get the 5.9 clean-up patch.
And then? A true alpha 6.0 is on the horizon. “There are a handful of features coming in alpha (numerically “6.0”),” says Coleman, “but the two largest of these include: The Dregs ruleset, which will allow guilds to fight for domination and control of the strategy map independent of any faction-based affiliation, and War tribes, A.I.-driven monster groups that will spread across the terrain like a contagion (using much the same technology as the Hunger, in fact) and make the world feel much more alive.”
Coleman does temper expectations by pointing out that at some point in the testing, the devs have to “call it” and “make some hard choices” on what means it in before launch and what will be patched up later. But everyone reading here already knows that, as he puts it, “an MMO is never done.”