Crowfall Q&A discusses major armor rebalance and being too ‘hardcore’ for regular gamers

It's fine.

Crowfall’s J. Todd Coleman and Thomas Blair might be losing their minds a tiny bit in ArtCraft’s latest Q&A video, but we’re here for it as the duo dish on the current state of test and answer an hour’s worth of player-submitted question.

Right off the bat, they address the current campaign, Trial of Kane, which is apparently truncated with the next big update – and wipe – in mind. It sounds as if that’s on the way next week. And in that new version? The big armor crafting overhaul; armor will no longer give hitpoints (Coleman apparently hated that!), the tooltip is slimmer, and there’s a single armor number to quickly judge whether one piece is better than another. In fact, it sounds as if Coleman’s own playtime has convinced him that even more armor choice would be a good idea. The missing health will now be divided up in other places, like stats and leveling bonuses.

There’s gobs more granular discussion in the video, including extra storage, inventory, soloability, and whether Crowfall is too hardcore for the “average Joe play.” (The answer to that one? It’s kinda yes, and they’re making no apologies for it.)

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Mikka Hansen

they find the game is too hardcore but they are ok with it? man, what a WILD statement,wonder if that’ll get them a gold STAR.

Bold strategy, Cotton, lets see if it pays out.


Does anyone agree with me on this? – You can be a very hardcore game and still cater well to the Solo Player. They shouldn’t be exclusive?

The problem these days are MMOs that based their “hardcore aspects” on gated, exclusive Group Content i.e. Albion Online (though it’s somewhat changing it’s ways).

MMOs – pls make your content available to most Solo players if not every Solo player, even if it’s just the slightest of chance.


Making a game like Crowfall is hard. I’ll try to explain.

Instead of using Pixels and code I am going to use Lego building blocks.

1. A dump truck full of Lego blocks is delivered to my house. (Sucessful Kickstarter.)

2. I spend untold hours making hundreds of characters, buildings, items, tree’s, rocks, everything I need for my game. They are everywhere all over my house. (Creating game assets)

3. I create the game space, the “ground” I am playing the game on. I choose to set everything up on a Ping Pong table. I have to prepare the surface of the table to accept Lego’s or everything will just fall over. (Adapting game engine for game particulars.) So I glue flat Lego sheets all over the table.

4. Now I have to add my creations to the game space one by one, and remember there are thousands. (Adding game assets.) This step will continue through the rest of the process.

5. As I add pieces to the game table, I naturally start testing some of the rules of my game. I want to make sure the pieces are filling the roles I want them to. (Pre alpha testing.) If there are any serious issues with the rules to my game I would like to find them now, because it is easier to make big changes at this point than it will be later.

6. After puttering with the rules of the game some I am satisfied for now and move forward adding more creations to the game table. Now that most everything important is on the game table I want a more rigorous test of my games rules. I invite some friends over to play the first game. (Alpha test.) Still adding game assets.

7. Taking notes from the first game. I make any changes required to the rules and try to make moving the game pieces easier and in general just start to smooth out any rough spots in the game that were discovered in the previous test. I invite more friends over and then play a few more games. (Continued Alpha testing.) Still adding game assets.

8. After fixing any issues that came up in previous testing, I decide my game is ready for more people to try. So I pack everything up and load the game table into my truck and head off to the Game Expo. Where hundreds of people try my game for the first time. (Pre Beta trade show advertising.) There are still a few issues and some things about the game are still a little clunky, but every iteration is getting better. Still adding game assets.

9. After making some tweaks to the game rules, and trying to make everything move and play more smoothly, I set my game up at the local game store to allow even more people to play it. (Beta Test.) Assets are nearly all in game now except for a few fluff pieces I am still working on.

10. Throughout the Beta test, rules tweaks and game play are finalized. After finding out what works and what doesn’t through testing the game is complete and ready for the masses. (Launch day.)

The point of this little exercise is that Crowfall is on about step 5 of the process.

You can’t expect smooth launch quality game play when all of the assets are not even in the game yet.

I’m not trying to belittle game builders by simplifying this down to Lego’s. Obviously a video game is much more technically difficult. I just wanted to show that even with a relatively simple game object, the process is very long and complex.

2Ton Gamer

I have never played a game based off someone trying to rally the troops in a forum post. While your post makes sense, it will do nothing to sway people. I only take the time to say this because you seem hell-bent on defending this game like it means something. Posting the same thing here and MMORPG’s forum pretty much defines how much it bothers you.

Frank White

Or maybe he just wanted to post the same comments in two different places he frequents and saw no need to completely rewrite what he’d already posted in the one place. I do it semi-frequently myself – posting the same thing in more than one place – but it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m “hell-bent” in defending something or swaying the masses. Just means I figured my comment was relevant in more than one place/discussion and I was too lazy to do a complete rewrite for the second or third place. ;)


Except it seems they plan to stop wiping the server somewhere around step 8 or so, effectively being launched in my book.

They plan to continue fine tuning until “marketing” launch, whatever the heck that is.


Hmm. What was that MMO where the developers were unapologetically committed to ‘HARDCORE’ game play? What was that game?

Do none of these developers ever learn the lessons from the past? Or are they all so convinced that they, and their game, are ‘special’ and that the lessons do not apply to them?

Seen this before. Been there, done that. I will pass.


I am as well, despite really liking the visual appeal. “Too hardcore for you, cupcake!” didn’t do Wildstar any favors, and Darkfall was definitely a niche title. I don’t know anyone who even tried it due to the full loot pvp. I play most sandbox titles, but so-called hardcore pvp sounds like a big pile of toxic anything-but-fun.


From watching the video (@ 19:00 they discuss this topic) their stance is more along the lines that as a pvp focused, territory conquest, and player driven economy game those kinds of elements lend themselves to hardcore game play. That’s the core pillars of their game that they sold their backers on and they’re just not going to really budge on those core game play pillars. In their own words they’re “not going after the WOW market.”

However they’re keenly aware they also don’t want to cater only specifically to the hardest of the hardcore audience because they recognize that isn’t sustainable and want to create a system that helps transition players from noob to veteran. There’s no plans to just dump you into the deep end and expect you to swim or drown.


AFAIK they are also aware from the start that their game is aimed at a niche and are budgeting accordingly. Wildstar, on the other hand, was a big budget game that assumed casual players would become raiders if just they were pushed hard enough in that direction.


My goodness people still going on about Wildstar here on MOP?

Wildstar died by a thousand cuts. It’s hardcore raiding (which it really didn’t have) biggest hurdle was trying to fill the 40 man raids.

Do you people realize that they change their marketing late in development to advertise as a hardcore game, when this game was hardly what I would call a hardcore MMO.

This game has so many issues outside it’s poor “hardcore” marketing.

Why would a hardcore MMO have easy casual leveling. housing, tons of cosmetics wardrobet options, tons of solo instance missions, a robust profession system that could be done solo and an art style that was more cartoony than WoW if it was a hardcore game?

Even when they went to F2P and make their raids more accessible the game still didn’t stick with people, because A) It had a very weak unknown IP B) A very niche art style that had limited appeal and C) It was a Sci-fi MMO which also has limited appeal. Plus on top of that the game ran horribly on AMD CPUs at the start, had tons of bugs and other technical issues.

This game was a mess from the ground up. Sure, it had some hardcore elements, but it was almost as casual as WoW.


As an original kickstarter backer for Crowfall, I’ve checked in every few months for the last couple years and the combat being ‘too hardcore’ isn’t the problem. It’s just not fun. It somehow manages to remain floaty, buggy, and unpolished after all this time. I keep hoping that it will get better as they progress towards launch, but I can never keep playing for more than a few minutes with how bad the core gamefeel is.


Huh, never noticed that. Probably ’cause when I logged into the game I could never find anyone, wandered around lost for a while and decided to wait for a different release.


Yea as a PvP player a lot of people will forgive the game if the combat is fun. That’s a big mistake games like Albion made, they just didn’t have an interesting combat system at the game’s core.

I haven’t heard anything good out of Crowfall’s combat system which is disappointing as I think they’re the best PvP game coming with the strongest meta/end game conceptually speaking.


Game is Pre Alpha. They are still working to get all of the assets into the game.

Optimization and balance will be during beta and ongoing after launch.

Kickstarter Donor

The combat has taken steps backwards though. I remember in gray scale it was a lot more fluid and fun. Actions had weight because of slight animation locks. Now people just float around on the ground. Th Druid healing orbs is a reaaaallly good example of things being floaty.


If it isn’t crisp by Beta stage, then I’ll be alarmed.