crowfall

Official Site: Crowfall
Studio: ArtCraft Entertainment
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: “Throne War Simulator”
Business Model: Hybrid B2P (Optional Sub)
Platform: PC
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Crowfall explains the Hunger that’s killing everything

The Hunger is going to destroy everything in Crowfall. That’s how the story ends. You can stave it off for a time, and the latest development post is all about how you can do that. But the point is that as the seasons change, you will lose the fight. Only a few hunger crystals might appear at night during the summer, and you can hopefully find and eliminate them. And creatures mutated by the Hunger can’t survive during the day, so they’ll be dealt with that way. You can take the land back!

But as time goes by the nights get longer. The seasons change and more crystals emerge every night. Cutting away the crystals is treating the symptom, not the disease. Eventually the place where you are will succumb to the frost and stillness of the Hunger, there are no two ways about it. The official entry goes into more detail, but that’s the short version right there. Have fun!

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Crowfall’s seasonal changes affect more than just the vistas

Forget oohing and ahhing over day/night cycles in MMORPGs — Crowfall is bringing whole seasons to its campaign worlds, and they’re going to be nothing like you’ve seen before in online RPGs.

Crowfall’s dev team is concerned with both showing the “passage of time” in the universe, rotating through spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons. Each game world begins in spring and concludes in winter, giving players an easy way of figuring out roughly how much time is left in a campaign.

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Make My MMO: SOTA sees layoffs, Crowfall sees delay, Star Citizen sees shade, and Camelot Unchained sees beta on the horizon (June 23, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained is in the home stretch before open beta. Yes, really, open beta. This is happening, people! Clear your 4th of July!

As for live Kickstarters, TemTem is up to $320K and counting, far past its original goal with still a week left to go. Most recently, donors unlocked Nintendo Switch play and the replay system. Clubs (guilds) are set to unlock at $400K. And yes, the game is now registered on Steam.

The Flower of Knighthood, on the other hand, abandoned its Kickstarter in its final hours, seeing it would not complete. The devs haven’t commented on their next move just yet.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar was hit with layoffs, EVE Online got its revenge on Star CitizenChronicles of Elyria posted lore, Albion Online rolled out a small update, and Crowfall admitted it’s delaying soft launch into 2019 but showed off its procedural world generation. Finally, Fractured prepped for Kickstarter – get ready to see that name a lot in this column!

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

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Betawatch: Release keeps on slippin’ into the future for Crowfall (June 22, 2018)

Oh, Crowfall, you really looked like you were going to make it to soft launch this year. But it’s not happening; the studio has outright said that soft launch is just not going to be doable before the end of the year, because it’s more important to get the game to the right place. A shame, but on the plus side, we can find out more about the day/night cycle. That’s… similar?

It’s really not. Let’s move on to other beta news.

  • If you want to be among the first to beta test Fallout 76, you’re going to need to be on Xbox One. Everyone else will have to wait a little bit. To test the game, that is, so perhaps that’s not the “exclusive” the console would like.
  • Being a part of the early access community for Bless Online seems like a fun ride. Is the influencer program being scaled back to avoid negativity or negative conduct? Are server merges for the still very new game going to happen? Is there a 3v3 mode in the game? (The answer to that one is yes, incidentally.)
  • It’s open beta time for The Crew 2, and the reviews are… not good! They’re actually mostly negative! And the “not fond of this game” sort of mostly negative, not the “we’re a bunch of people angry about something else and want to complain about this” sort of mostly negative.
  • The latest patch for Star Citizen is up for testing on the PTU. Can you dig it? Because it’s about mining, you see. Digging is involved. Just test the patch.
  • Last but not least, you can check out the Defiance 2050 build this weekend as the game heads toward launch (or should we say re-launch) on July 10th.

And that’s everything, but you know, we do have a list of things in testing down below. Is something missing? Has something jumped phases? Do let us know down in the comments below, we always appreciate it.

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Crowfall shines more light on its day/night cycle

With a fully dynamic world that involves varied spawns, parcels that are moved around, and generated terrain, the Crowfall team had a tougher challenge than most to create good-looking lighting that was carefully placed by hand. Instead, the art team had to come up with fully-dynamic lighting, and Art Director Melissa Preston is more than happy to talk about that and more on this month’s Q&A video.

The lighting keeps changing, too, as Crowfall just instituted a day/night cycle with Patch 5.7. The devs talk about all of this, fiddling with the various sliders to show the complexity of lighting in this MMO. If nothing else, it’s an eye-opener about an aspect of these games that you may have never considered!

The video also shows off the Stoneborn and female Half-Giant characters, so there’s a lot to absorb before all is said and done!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 175: Virtual heartbreakers

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin get a little bit crazy and weird as they date MMO NPCs, throw themselves into the middle of studio fights, take a ride on the delay/launch whiplash train, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Crowfall delays again: ‘Soft launch is not going to happen by the end of this year’

Here’s a slight damper for your weekend: Crowfall has decided to delay its soft launch into 2019 due to the additional work that the studio believes should to be done. ArtCraft said that between “getting it right” and “calling it done,” it would much rather do the former.

“The game experience is paramount,” ArtCraft stated. “We firmly believe is the right path forward. These changes aren’t free, however, so we should recognize that more changes to core systems means more time before launch. As a result, I think it’s clear that our soft launch is not going to happen by the end of the year.”

The delay isn’t the first for the studio; by our count, it delayed major functionality as well as a soft launch last year too.

Now that you’re past the crushing disappointment of development schedules, here’s some good news. Alpha testing is on track to start later this summer and the studio is in a strong financial position after receiving an additional $6 million investment at the start of 2018. Other deals that have been made to help the PvP MMO include a partnership to bring Crowfall to Russia and an agreement to license its MMO technology base to an unnamed company.

Source: Crowfall. Thanks JamesGoblin!

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Crowfall cranks out Pre-Alpha 5 while working on 5.7

This week, Crowfall’s testing phase moved into Pre-Alpha 5 — but you wouldn’t know that to listen to the developers. The team seems much more interested in what’s coming with Patch 5.7, which is why it spends to much time sharing the advance patch notes from this build.

So what’s coming that’s so exciting? Well how about the addition of the final two races to the game’s roster: the Stoneborn and female Half-Giant. There’s plenty of other features being baked into this build, including harvestable hunger crystals, the day/night cycle, a bereavement map, more animal variety, and a much easier way to interact with other players while on the go.

ArtCraft said that the “first round of zoning has been implemented” as well, which points to bright days ahead for this PvP game. Get the full scoop after the break, but be warned, it’s going to take you an hour to listen through!

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E3 2018: Fortnite launches on the Switch today

It seems weird to me now that the game we were preciously calling “Crowfall for PvE fans” at last year’s E3 has changed so drastically in that time that right now it’s leading the battle royale pack as one of the biggest games in the entire world.

But here we are at another E3, and Fortnite is all grown up, blazing ahead along Epic Games’ vector to get it on what seems like every platform known to man in an attempt to bedazzle the competition.

And that now includes the Nintendo Switch, as announced at the Nintendo presser at E3 today. As this post goes live at 1 p.m. EDT, the game will arrive for Switch players through the eShop, free-to-play as always. Yes, today. Right now.

Catch ’em if you can.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s alpha 3.2 goes to the Evocati on the PTU, TemTem has already tripled its Kickstarter ask (June 9, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen continued inching its way toward alpha 3.2, as the latest build has hit the PTU for the early “Evocati” player testers. It’s got a few waves to go before it’s released to all backers, but that’s OK: People are leaking stuff all over Reddit anyway if you’re dying to be spoilered.

As for live Kickstarters, TemTem has nearly tripled its goal as I type this, reaching yet another stretch goal – mounts – with Nintendo Switch support on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Dual Universe dropped a new trailer ahead of E3, Ever, Jane updated with butlers, Camelot Unchained says its still just barely on track for beta next month, Project Gorgon whipped up a bugfix update, Wild Mage successfully completed its Kickstarter and promised multiplayer, Albion Online got a small patch to Lancelot, and Elite Dangerous fans are busy at this weekend’s Lavecon 2018. (Thanks, Colin!)

Finally, Ashes of Creation dropped this teaser in its last press release: “We’ve got some very exciting business developments in the works, and while it’s not yet 100% official, we can’t wait to share with you the news. Make of that what you will, but don’t worry – we promise it’s good news for our fans all over the globe.”

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

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Massively Overthinking: Why is no one meeting the obvious player demand for big MMORPGs?

Massively OP reader ichi_san has a burning question about the state of the industry.

“Lots of people seem to be looking for an MMO they can get into – consider the rush into Bless as an example. Lots of games are being released, but most (or even all) have some glaring issues, like pay-to-win, lockboxes, ganking, poor optimization, heavy cash shop, horrible gameplay, and so on. There’s the WoW model and other semi-successful formulas, and a lot of unexplored territory. The market seems hungry, and there is a bunch of history to build on and new territory to explore, but either gaming companies don’t understand their customers or greed/laziness/expediency get in the way, such that we see release after release that fails to scratch the itch. Am I missing something – are there fun MMOs with good graphics and fair monetization that I’m missing? Or is there a gaping hole in the MMO scene, and if so, why isn’t someone filling it?”

I’ve posed his question to the writers for their consideration in Overthinking this week. We’re long past bubble-bursting here when all of the still-major MMORPGs are four years older. What exactly are we looking at? Why is the obvious demand for MMOs not being met?

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Crowfall’s team answers design questions about classes, crafting, and mounts

Will Crowfall have mounts? That burning question is one of several that the development team fielded as the MMORPG’s creation turned into the summer months.

Mounts are very much on the board for development, by the way, although ArtCraft hasn’t started actively making them quite yet. “It’s clearly in the pipe,” the team responded. One tricky issue is how to give the four-legged Centaur a mount — run faster? Drag a cart behind? It still hasn’t been figured out quite yet.

The team addressed concerns that the jump between uncrafted and crafted vessels (temporary classes) is too big by saying that right now it’s just a template in testing that can and will be tweaked as time goes forward.

Get 10 minutes’ worth of questions answered after the break!

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Star Wars Galaxies creator Raph Koster to release postmortem book on MMORPGs

Raph Koster is certainly a well-known name in the MMORPG industry who has spent his career working on titles such as Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Metaplace, and Crowfall. But did you know that he is also a prolific writer as well? Koster has posted many intriguing behind-the-scenes and industry discussion essays on his blog, and now he’s compiled those and many other new ones for a book that he’s titled Postmortems: Selected Essays Volume One.

Postmortems is due out later this June, and it contains plenty of stories that should intrigue fans and historical buffs of the MMO genre. “It’s not a memoir or tell-all; the focus is on game design and game history,” Koster said. “There’s still nowhere near enough material out there in print covering things like the history and evolution of online worlds (MUDs especially), in-depth dives into decisions made in games by the people who made them, and detailed breakdowns of how they worked.”

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