crowfall

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

Crowfall shows off the behind-the-scenes magic of the Clusterizer

As cool as it may sound, unless you’re actually working on developing Crowfall, the odds are you will never see the Clusterizer in action. You will only ever see what it’s done, and you won’t even know that it was the work of the Clusterizer. But what does the Clusterizer actually do? It helps link zones together, according to the latest article on the official site showing off the intentionally somewhat ugly interface and the mechanics behind this map-linking tool.

Yes, the Clusterizer is a way to put multiple zones into a coherent whole and keep track of each specially developed map, so players can explore, have multiple areas to visit, and avoid retreading the same ground. So it’s pretty technical, but it should be fascinating for anyone excited about seeing the technical side of making the game’s areas in a given campaign fit together. It’s also just fun to say. The Clusterizer.

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Crowfall’s latest community Q&A covers skinning coins and equipment mitigation

Why does skinning something in Crowfall currently result in getting coins? That makes absolutely no sense. Well, according to the latest Q&A video, the developers are well aware that it makes no sense. It’s not supposed to make sense; it’s supposed to be a stopgap at the moment to give you something for skinning while the infrastructure for doing so gets set up. Yes, in the final version of the game you’ll have to do more work to convert things into coins, but for now? Get that core gameplay loop in.

The video also discusses other issues in the game, like how all of the damage mitigation is on chestpieces and thus players are equipping plate chestpieces to reduce damage and leather everywhere else. The developers had originally played with penalties on some pieces, but the work is still being done to figure out just how to arrange bonuses on equipment to make sure that you don’t always want “plate chest and leather everything else.” A bug in armor disciplines is also making things a bit more difficult; check out the full video below for more on this and on other player questions.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen, Camelot, Codename Reality, and EverFeud (August 5, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen did some just Star Citizen things as fans raised a pay-to-win stink over CIG’s lifting of the cap on pre-launch currency stockpiles, meaning hardcore backers can hoard now and have (another) major advantage come launch. The drama would’ve probably blown over in a day or two but kept blazing through the weekend, as first a CIG PR statement and then Chris Roberts himself bizarrely denied the pay-to-win aspects of the game. Oh yeah, and 3.3 was delayed to coincide with CitizenCon.

Want something new to back? We got two new MMORPG Kickstarters this week: One for a self-described “massively multiplayer online persistent entity game” called Codename Reality, which seeks $583,918 wants to “revolutionize the MMO genre,” while the other, at $105,000, is for a PvP MOBA/MMO hybrid called EverFeud. Both join our list today.

Good news on the Camelot Unchained front: Beta one did indeed launch as planned this week, and thought it won’t look considerably different to existing testers, it’s a major milestone for the Kickstarted RvR MMORPG. Meanwhile, Razer launched a super quiet Kickstarter for left-handed gaming mice, Zeal announced it’ll kick off a Kickstarter in SeptemberAlbion Online launched its Merlyn update, and the Diablo history book Kickstarter pulled through to successfully fund in the end (phew!).

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Crowfall explains its new capture system with outposts

As you roam through the world of Crowfall, there will be various points of interest. Sometimes they’ll be obvious resource nodes, yes, but sometimes they’ll be things like the new outposts available in the latest test patch. A new entry on the official site explains that these structures are another part of procedural generation, giving players something new to explore and fight over out in the open world.

Outposts are available in three sizes: war banners, single-tower, and double-tower. (The last variant isn’t present in the current patch, but should be arriving soon.) Standing in the designated circle at each spot allows you to capture the outpost, which allows even solo players to feel as if they’re providing a meaningful contribution to their factions. Check out the full article for a bit more detail on these helpful little nuggets of victory points.

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Crowfall demonstrates the glory of its seasons

It might not be a nice round number (or decimal point), but Crowfall’s Update 5.7 promises to be one of the most significant the game has fielded to date.

Much of the excitement for 5.7 comes from the PvP MMO’s very first procedurally generated world, which is named Aerynth. It’s in this setting that both the day/night cycle and seasonal progression will take place, affecting the landscape, bonuses, and debuffs. Oh, and the hunger system is live too, causing some testers to have rumbly tummies.

Since so much of this update centers around visuals, it’s great that ArtCraft has put together a patch overview video to show off what this world and its seasons look like. Check it out below!

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Make My MMO: Camelot’s beta one, Fractured’s successful Kickstarter (July 29, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, anti-grind, PvP-optional MMO sandbox Fractured became the biggest traditional MMORPG to fund on Kickstarter this year (Temtem pulled in more cash but is not so traditional!), coasting past its goal to victory and promising to continue funding off Kickstarter as the months continue. The first leg of alpha is expected to begin by the end of the year, with beta planned for 2020 and a full launch in 2021.

Project Oasis World, on the other hand, has just kicked off its $25,000 Kickstarter to finish a GTAO-styled roleplay sandbox, and therefore it has entered the Make My MMO lists!

Meanwhile, Crowfall announced a partnership with Innova to launch the game in the Russian and CIS regions, Shroud of the Avatar launched R56, Ship of Heroes is prepping an August login test, City of Titans has a huge costuming infodump, and ROKH suspended development barring new funding.

Finally, Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs put a new date on beta one: It’s coming this Tuesday, folks, at least as long as the weekend testing goes to plan.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Crowfall reveals how its dynamically generated maps are made

Not all randomly generated virtual worlds are created alike and from the same set of rules. With plans for multiple campaign worlds blinking in and out of existence, Crowfall is putting a lot of thought into the design of its dynamically generated world system. It’s not going to be a mystery how this works, either, because the devs are here to tell you exactly how these worlds are being crafted through specialized tools and systems.

Crowfall’s campaign worlds are created with what the devs are calling a “bottom up” approach which starts with a random placement of resources and mobs and moves up to things like parcels, biome features, and area randomization.

“Previously, adventure zones had to be manually randomized,” the team said. “Now, [Update] 5.7 brings with it the ability to theme a group of parcels. We have different weights for sprinkling resources and NPC’s into parcels in theme groups […] In the future, we will be separating ‘adventure’ zones from ‘siege’ zones — primary activities will be more spread out: adventure zones will still have strongholds to fight over (but fewer of them) and siege zones will still have monsters to fight (but fewer of them).”

Source: Crowfall

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Crowfall hosts an hour-long art Q&A stream

When your game maintains an aggressive schedule of streaming, it can be a bit of a problem when your usual streaming host isn’t available one week. But Crowfall soldiered on with a new community Q&A; it’s just one with a different focus this month, as lead environmental artist Jon O’Neal took over hosting duty to show off and answer player questions about the art of the game. And considering you’re looking at said art all of the time, it makes a certain amount of sense.

The whole video can be watched in its archived form just below, so if you were ever curious about the process of grayboxing or moving from early concept sketches to finished art, you ought to give it a look. O’Neal also shows off elements like the aesthetics of the Stoneborn, so you can get a feeling for what the full game world will look like in action. Set aside a chunk of time and watch the whole thing below.

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Fortnite makes building more fun and drops cake and llamas for its birthday

Happy birthday, Fortnite! Yes, Fortnite launched a year ago, though back then of course it was focused on PvE – remember at E3 2017 when our demo prompted us to call it Crowfall for PvE fans? Good times. Since then, of course, it’s gone over to the battle royale side, gently tugging its PvE content along for the PvP ride as it becomes one of the biggest games in the entire world. So really, it worked out OK for Epic Games in the end.

To celebrate the day, Epic is dropping cake, bringing back Playground mode tomorrow, adding a new weapon, and rolling out a themed quest. Plus, llamas.

“Celebrate #Fortnite1st with cake, loot, and a special in-game questline. Complete the questline to unlock Birthday Brigade Ramirez. While you’re partying, find and eat birthday cakes to earn event tickets which can be spent on the limited time Birthday Llama.”

The non-birthday stuff in the patch is worth a look took; Epic has basically made building easier and damage to structures more potent, running is less annoying, the kart got a nerf, and the resurrected Playground mode has new options to “let you and your squad set up team battles for practice and training.”

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen in small claims court, Fractured nearing the finish line (July 21, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Fractured ramped up its Kickstarter dev blogs as it nears the finish line of its crowdfunding effort, which ends in just four days. As I type this, it’s less than $10,000 away and I think it’s looking good. The studio posting up the details of its Star Wars Galaxies-esque player city system probably helped.

Meanwhile, Albion Online teased its upcoming crafting changes and recapped its largest battle ever, Elite Dangerous saw a teensy patch, Shroud of the Avatar prepped the upcoming patch, we took a look at Legends of Aria’s closed beta, and Star Citizen had a dose of drama as a backer took CIG to court over its refund policy and effectively lost, having been sidelined to arbitration. It capped off the week with a fresh concept ship sale, too.

Finally, Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs did update backers last night on the current state of the build, as the game’s beta was delayed an additional few weeks over its crash rate. “Testing overall has been great,” he says. And yes, the crash rate is still coming down – higher than he says he’s seen in some live games, but not good enough for him.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Crowfall improves performance by changing terrain

It’s far too early in Crowfall’s testing to worry about optimizing the game’s frame rate and overall performance, but there’s a difference between “optimizing” and “improving.” The latest change made to the game exists precisely in that space, as the game should now perform better just because the game’s terrain is now being rendered using custom-built meshes instead of built-in Unity meshes. That… had a pretty distinct improvement on the rendering and overall performance!

Why? Well, the game’s engine no longer has to convert from default options before rendering things, which cuts down on processing power and results in terrain that should look identical but just render more smoothly. There’s also a new way of handling the grass rendering that significantly cuts down on processing as each chunk of the landscape is rendered. All of which should result in an improvement you see in terms of frame rate, but the game itself shouldn’t look different… which is a performance upgrade for you, really.

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Crowfall’s latest patch notes from the future video reads off 5.7 notes

The latest edition of Crowfall’s regular Patch Notes from the Future is not looking very far into the future. It’s actually close to looking into the present because patch 5.7 is very close to deployment. And since there’s been some time with 5.7 in development, a lot of the patch notes had already been read off before the most recent show. But it is available in archive form (you can watch it just below) and it does contain new stuff because apparently patch 5.7 just keeps getting bigger.

For example, the crafting disciplines and associated stats are being rolled into the game with the patch. The systems to alter those stats are not being included, but the stats will be there as part of the game’s UI to explore. There are also elements like decay rate and mega deeds slipped into the workings of the patch, but why take our word for it? You can see the whole rundown in video format just below.

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Make My MMO: Aria’s second closed beta, Star Citizen’s protest, and Crowfall’s engine on the market (July 15, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, we got our first hints of “emergent gameplay” in Star Citizen as a group of players took over a refueling hub and began blasting everyone who came near it out of the sky. Why? Oh, they’re not just griefers; they’re specifically protesting CIG’s backburnering of the Arena Commander mechanics. I suppose it got them some attention, but also now all the people whose alpha ships they blew up hate them rather than CIG.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria launched its second closed beta, Pantheon unveiled its character creation system, Saga of Lucimia riled everybody up over its grouping stance, City of Titans posted an epic teaser, Shroud of the Avatar opened a new cash shop to fund the next season and began optional subs, and Fractured’s Kickstarter has leaped up to $88K of its $116K goal with 10 days to go.

Finally, Crowfall had a big week, as its studio, ArtCraft, announced a second studio to license Crowfall’s engine to other companies building MMOs; we chatted with the company’s J. Todd Coleman about it too. There’s a huge chunk of new guide videos out on the game now too.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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