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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/06/2015 in all areas

  1. 80 points
    Hello all, First up, thank you Todd for creating your thread on talking about campaign permanence. You can find that thread here: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/3258-lets-talk-about-campaign-permanence/. Everyone here appreciates you creating that forum for talking about this issue, and appreciates that you are listening. I wanted to bring up something that may be overlooked and need clarified in a clear manner for Todd and the team to gather feedback from. It's obvious that the team is worried about participation in the campaigns and the image of campaigns as feedback from the hardcore and pvp crowds from several communities have pointed out a dislike of the design setup of the EK & campaigns. This thread is based around an attempt to clarify this issue for the team to have some feedback to work with, and in response to a post by Todd within the above thread, as I believe people aren't actually asking for that, but rather want their success to be persistent and a "measuring stick" at the very least to clearly exist as a mechanic that drives politics, rivalry, motivation to improve and fuels Campaign warring: It should be clearly stated: very few people are having an issue with the campaigns being temporary. This has to be said; all players including the SB crowd know that this is vital to the vision of the game and to the design of the game. We know it'll help with stagnation and making things fun in the long term. However, there could be issues with re-playability and more importantly, issues with players feeling their actions in the Campaigns are meaningless. This does not mean people want to stay in the same campaign forever. Do not take it that way, please! So what does it mean? It means we want our efforts and actions in the campaigns to have meaning. There is currently a perceived lack of meaning to these actions, which is unrelated to wanting to stay in one campaign forever. People want to move about the different campaigns, reset the board and try out the different rulesets. But they want their actions within those campaigns to have meaning, effect and impact. This is where the problem lies. Our actions within the Campaigns, and our success in those campaigns should have meaning! If the assets and things I lose in the campaigns are temporary, or largely so, then the meaning of success and risk within the game is very low, also. So we need our actions, successes and triumphs within the Campaign worlds to have more effect on the game. I want to know who is top dog. I want to know how I'm doing in comparison to my rivals. I want to have goals that I can aim to achieve. Right now, a lot of this is either greatly diminished by the temporary nature of Campaigns (which is fine), but there is no mechanic to tie it together to make my actions have real meaning. Most of the feedback being given is around this problem. Not campaign permanence. So how do we solve the problem? Most of the feedback in this area is about dissatisfaction with the Eternal Kingdoms from the PvP/Hardcore crowd. I realise this is a social, building, trophy area, but there is no reason it can't also give the PvP/Competitive crowd tools to have fun, compete and give the Campaigns real, tangible impact. This can't be as stringently stated as feedback because the design and vision of the game is in Todd & the team's hands, but we can give them the feedback to make such a solution from their vision: Where are the Thrones that matter? This is a throne war game. But the persistent game has none. Why don't Thrones exist within the EK that guilds can vie for using the power, resources and political capital they have gained within the Campaigns? This would be a true measure of success. There is NO MEASURE OF SUCCESS for competitive guilds right now. Who cares if you have an Ivory Castle. My guild has 7 by now, and 3 guys with massive kingdoms with land bought from the cash shop. We want real, competitive mechanics and political intrigue that persists through and exists above the Campaigns. If the Campaigns are the only mediums of competition, there is no measure of success and Imagine the world of Game of Thrones. It's a glorious world full of backstabbing, strife and political intrigue. The rules are constantly changing and the world is, too. All of that is because of a context. He who holds the Iron Throne rules. Everything within the Game of Thrones happens because of a motivation, because of a reason, because of a context. Some people want power, some want to rule, and some want to just survive. However, there's always a measure of these things at work. When we come to Crowfall we could look at the Campaigns as wars within this universe. But why are we warring? The things we're warring over in the Campaign will be (mostly) lost, so what's the point? To build a fanciful cosmetic paradise in the safety of the EK? To have fine silks and rare buildings in my own little personal kingdom? So everyone is a king with equal power and risk? No. There isn't really an overarching point to it that has been revealed to us. We're warring mostly.. "just because"... and for the PvP crowd, I'm sorry - that's not enough. We have no goal to reach, no rivals to care about and no motivation to be the best - because there just isn't a real measure of that. We need that Goal. We need that persistent motivation to best our rivals. We need an Iron Throne. No.. an ETERNAL THRONE. We need something in the Eternal Kingdoms that says, "This kingdom, this guild, or this Leader is the most successful this world has known.". We need something to stir political intrigue. To paint targets. To identify who is doing well, who your rivals are and who you need to royally screw over in the next campaign. Without this single, over-arching, binding principle, there is no weight or impact to my actions and success within the Campaigns. We need this unifying mechanic to tie all of the Campaigns together, to tie our successes to real, tangible results and to drive political intrigue, rivalry, alliances and motivation. We need some mechanic that uses what we accrue from our successes and failings within the Campaign worlds to boost our political capital and success in the Eternal Kingdom or an overarching Political system or within a permanent fixture mechanic within the Eternal Kingdoms (such as a Ruler System for the eternal kingdoms) that is both consensual but with meaning and risk - if you don't partake you are missing out, but if you do you are risking everything for that glory. I want to be able to CLEARLY see who is winning and who is in power. I want to be able to CLEARLY measure my own success against my rivals. I want to have MOTIVATION to do better. None of this exists to the degree necessary for the Competitive crowd. Without this mechanic we are stuck in an everlasting war that has no meaning, no substance, no risk and no glory. But we'll have pretty castles in the 1,000,000 personal kingdoms of the EK, I suppose. So there's that. EDIT: Note; the "Iron Throne" is a metaphor. It could be whatever Todd and his team decide fits in with their vision. The important part is this: a mechanic that measures and rewards success in a persistent environment (the EK) depended upon success and resources within the Campaigns, fueling political intrigue and competition. Thanks for reading. In closing, I would like to remind you all of the vision statement that this project presented to us. I think it ties this whole post together, and infact highlights the area of concern we all have. We don't want another meaningless trophy. We want to compete to claim the "throne" (metaphor again!). We want to play to crush. TL;DR: The issue with Campaigns and the design shown to us is NOT Campaign permanence. It's the feeling that success within the Campaigns has no effect on the world. There is no persistence, no measure of success, no persisting political intrigue and no fueling of wars. There is no meaning. We need a PvP/Competitive mechanic or a mechanic that measures success from the Campaigns to exist within the persistent world of the Eternal Kingdoms so that the Campaigns, and thus success in the campaigns, have meaning and importance. Without this we are just fighting an eternal war for the next cosmetic magical rainbow carp to hang in our castle. And that just won't do. We are JUST FINE with the campaigns being temporary. We ARE NOT just fine with them heaving nearly no meaning.
  2. 79 points
    @morrolan Great question from ancient (but highly emotional history)! Yes, I'm the person who is responsible for bringing you Trammel and the dilution the original UO. And I regret some (but not all) of the outcome. My charter as the VP of Online at Origin Systems (and Executive Producer of UO), was to grow the game. The unforgiving play environment that made UO so intense was clearly driving away between 70+% of all the new players that tried the game within 60 days. The changes we came up with to address this problem were a compromise, mostly driven by fiscal, technological and time reasons. The good: After the change which broke the game space into PvP and PvE worlds, the player base and income nearly doubled (we went from 125k to 245k subs). So from a fiscal responsibility standpoint it was a totally winning move. The bad: Without the "sheep to shear" the hard core PvP'ers were disenfranchised. They didn't like preying on each other (hard targets versus soft targets), and they became a smaller minority in the overall game. The real bad though was that the intensity and "realness" of the game for all players was diminished. This was the major unintended consequence. Part of the context during that time was that UO2 was under development, and the plan that was being pushed on us was to shut down UO when UO2 launched (even though it was a completely different game). In fact, my second week at Origin I was asked for a shutdown plan for the game. (My answer: if you are serious I'm quitting today, because some of the players are going to kill (IRL) the people responsible for such a decision. They really didn't understand the emotional attachment UO players had for the game). This continued to be something talked about though continuously, but less after we grew the game. Remember that EA at that time was a packaged game company and they culturally only understood launching new products, not running live ones. Our Live team needed to keep UO vibrant and growing to offset those forces, so we were continuously scrambling for how to do that. I'm proud that UO survives to this day based partially on the momentum the team (and our loyal customers) created. I also learned from my UO experience that it's really hard to change a brand. Inherent in the UO brand was the fact it was a gritty, hard core world of danger. We were not successful in bringing back the (literally)100's of thousands of players who had quit due to the unbridled PvP in the world (~5% of former customers came back to try the new UO, but very few of them stayed). We discovered that people didn't just quit UO, they divorced it in a very emotional way. But we did keep more of the new players that came in by a large margin, significantly more than than the PvP players we lost. If I had the chance to do it again, (and we had different fiscal and time constraints), we would have done something more like keeping the current current worlds with the original ruleset (like we later did with the Seige Perilous shard, which was too late in my view), and make new shards with a more PvE ruleset. One of the benefits of experience is the mistakes you've made along the way, and the pattern matching to avoid old mistakes. Of course this means that you get to make new and even more spectacular (but different) mistakes in the present! I hope this gives you more insight into what happened the UO that you (and I) loved. P.S. Please do remain skeptical, we don't expect anything on faith, but wait until we unveil our entire vision before passing final judgement!
  3. 59 points
    Now that SOE is gone (long live Daybreak Games!) we should go ahead and have the Star Wars:Galaxies NGE discussion. I'll start with the easy part: The NGE was my fault. I'll also say that memory is an imperfect thing, particularly around emotional circumstances, so I won't say this is 100% accurate, but it's the way I remember it. I was running SWG starting before the Jump to Lightspeed expansion was announced. This wouldn't have happened if SOE had been happy with the size and thus profitability of the game. Expectations had been that SWG would be as big, if not bigger than EQ which at the time was ~500k players. SWG had briefly gone over 400k but settled down into a 200-250k level. The Holicron addition and hints on how to get a Jedi ended up slowing net growth of the game and undermined the in-game community as people tried to macro their way to Jedi. We had hoped that by adding the "Stars" in Star Wars (i.e. space vehicles and flight) that the game would grow significantly. But SWG had more fundamental issues around the combat system (which hadn't gotten nearly enough iteration before launch), and an overwhelming amount of bugs, balance tuning and missing features for the dozens of various professions was holding the game back. The team was constantly working against a giant backlog of these issues just to keep the players we had retained. SWG was a real masterpiece in many ways. The team, led by Rich Vogel, John Donham and Raph Koster, built an amazing game, both in scope and AAA presentation. It had a character customization system that was the state of the art for the time (and still better than many we see today). An amazing diversity of professions and skill trees. Some extremely innovative design and gameplay roles were first seen in SWG. Having a player council was a SWG innovation. Rather than using the EQ technology, and entire new engine was created to match the requirement of SWG. And this was all done for <$18m in <3 years (2 years and 9 months), launching in June 2003. This was and remains unprecedented achievement in building a AAA MMO. And like so many MMOs, it was launched far too soon for financial reasons, so there were plenty of problems at launch and beyond. After the Jump to Lightspeed expansion launched (Oct 2004), it was clear that our audience size was clearly <300k and that was not acceptable to SOE (or to LucasArts). We were working hard to fix the bugs, missing features and trying to make the audience happier so we could grow. But that was a slow grind, even though SOE had added significantly more development resources in 2004 when I joined the team along with my team that had been working on an unannounced SOE project. Elements of the SWG team had this idea that maybe we should build a second Star Wars game that was focused on the "War" in Star Wars. It would be large scale battle game for planetary conquest. That way we could have more people in bigger battles (the character customization in SWG was far too detailed to have lots of players on the screen without significant performance issues). We could have a game where people fought over planets and they'd be dominated by either the Rebels or the Empire until they switched hands again in a galactic strategy game. We could build a real twitch combat system that was less turn based and more visceral. It was a very exciting idea. I championed an idea to SOE and LucasArts that we build this game with a new team, sell it as a separate product, but actually share the universe with SWG. No matter which game you initially joined, your subscription would give you access to both games. You'd have a battle game and a role playing game all together. The battles would take place on new worlds, but the outcomes would affect who owned the SWG worlds, such that the worlds in SWG would change who owned the government buildings and towns, empire and rebel banners swapping out, storm troopers patrolling where formerly the rebel soldiers would have been found. And an overall strategy game at the planetary level, bringing the "Wars" to Star Wars. Management was excited about this concept until the cost of this new game was clear and neither company (SOE or LucasArts) wanted to (or were able) make that investment. But the thought remained that a Star Wars game with more "Wars" in it could be huge. A prototype of the combat and faction switching in a town had been built. That and the launch World of Warcraft game influenced the development of the Combat Upgrade (Apr 2005) and following New Game Experience (Nov 2005). The context at that time was that World of Warcraft had launched in November 2004, and so had Everquest 2. Everquest 2 clearly didn't meet expectations as WOW took off, even with their early shortages of product. Almost every other MMO in the market got less play and less acquisition as WOW took market share. So there were noticeable financial stresses on SOE and all the other MMO companies. I participated in the early planning for the NGE, and I was told to execute it over my and many others on the SWG teams’ objections. I failed as an effective communicator in my attempts to change this course. In March of 2005 my boss came to Austin for a visit, and I told him I was going to refuse to move forward on the NGE development and launch. I had assessed that it would be a breach of my fiduciary duty to do so. I believed (and told him) that launching the planned NGE would alienate the customer base, cause at least half of them to quit and lose the company 10’s of millions of dollars. At the same time I told him he deserved to have people that worked for him do what he said, and I was sorry I was being intransigent. A week later I was terminated, and frankly I was never happier to be fired. I don't blame my management, as I basically made them do it. Being in conflict with your management is never fun, but doing something you don't believe in is worse. I watched the launch and outcome of the NGE launch closely. I actually hoped that the NGE would work out, as that would have meant that I’d have to revisit my entire mental framework on working with MMO communities. But the customer losses were significant, and the blow to both the SWG and SOE brands was noticeable. Destroying player persistence, the professions they’d put months or years of work into, along with their identities, to make the game “better” for new customers wasn’t a win from my external assessment. Many of those alienated customers became activists against SOE due to their losses, and the bad feelings around this change to SWG continues with ex-customers to this day. I want to stress that everyone that I knew who were involved with SWG at SOE and at LucasArts were trying to do the best thing as they saw it for their companies and for the long-term benefit of the game. I just didn’t believe then or now that it was right thing to do from a customer stewardship and fiduciary standpoint. So I feel I am responsible for the NGE, because the impetus came from an idea I initially championed, which I as unable to deflect when it was being mis-applied (in my view) to SWG. Again, the lesson of messing with the core of a game design in order to try and grow revenue being a likely recipe for disaster was demonstrated to me. And I had yet another Forest Gump-type moment in MMO history in my career. It's OK to grieve a bit if appropriate for you. I don't want to see bashing of John Smedley or any of the other folks I know and respect at the former SOE. It's easy to demonize someone for doing something risky when the results turn out poorly. And we need risk takers to get innovation. What's more valuable is to figure out how to avoid making major mistakes in the first place, and coming up with more creative ways to solve these combination of game/community/business problems. Please keep the discussion constructive and on-topic. I'll be asking the mods to remove and/or move posts which are off-topic.
  4. 56 points

    Female Centaur

    For %$#@s and giggles
  5. 55 points

    Ban On The Forums = Ban In Game

    Several points to cap this thread off. When a person on our service doesn't follow the Terms of Service or Rules of Conduct (linked at the bottom of every page of the website, and pinned here ), or the Forum Rules of Conduct (pinned at the top of News & Announcements) they should expect the potential for consequences. http://crowfall.com/#/terms http://crowfall.com/#/rulesofconduct http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/3-forum-rules-of-conduct/ We'll be merging the Forums and Service Rules of Conduct over the next couple of months. If a person is disciplined for actions they've taken on our service, several things happen: 1) They are informed via a message here (and soon via email too) 2) The action is always reviewed by an ArtCraft employee, most frequently Pann 3) No permanent ban happens immediately unless the action is particularly heinous, most often a warning is given, if someone continues a temporary suspension is put in place, and then if repeated we do a permanent ban If someone wants to appeal their ban, they can do so after 90 days by petitioning support@crowfall.com. We'll review the case, and make a ruling with a pre-disposition to letting people back in. Once. But make no mistake, if you can't follow our rules for the Crowfall service, we don't want you as a customer. Pre-launch, we plan to use volunteer moderators. These are your fellow backers that because of their affinity for the Crowfall community volunteer their time to make this venue more productive. Moderators who don't follow the rules are retired immediately, and are under the same rules as any participant here, but a lot more scrutiny. We value their contribution a lot! Post-launch we'll move to paid moderators who are not players, to avoid any potential for conflict of interest. We'd rather spend crowdfunding money on development of the game now, than on moderators. Thanks for taking the time to read this!
  6. 53 points
    The day has finally come for us to pull back the curtain! FULL STORY
  7. 51 points

    A Message From The Founders

    We’ve been very quiet this week, compared to all the information we’ve dropped over the last three months both before and during the Kickstarter. This is to be expected, as the team needed a little time to recover, and now we are re-organizing our team to deliver the tests over the coming months and finally the core module at the end of next year. The core module got a lot bigger during the Kickstarter period thanks to your support (and our stretch goals), which changed our plans quite a bit! We are in the midst this week of planning activities. These include finalizing the hires we’d had lined up before the Kickstarter, preparing for the stretch goal hires, planning the scope of the first pre-alpha test this summer, looking at how we will get all the content executed between our in-house staff and outsourcing partners, ensuring we are front loading the remaining R&D tasks and finally configuring the strike teams for these goals. We also have to finalize our cadence for information releases along the way in development, for you, our backers! In addition, our external web team will be rolling out new features, including a more robust pledge page and integrated payments rather than the vendor “paywall” we currently use. And we’re working on some unbundled pledge items some of you have been asking about! We’re also reconfiguring our website to ensure it gives out the information that used to be on Kickstarter for new people that want to know more before deciding to back us and join our community. Finally, we are waiting to get the data on our backers from Kickstarter, which is scheduled to be sent to us at the end of next week. We then have to send everyone who backed us an individual email with instructions on how to merge your pledge with a crowfall.com account. If you don’t have one already, please go to crowfall.com and register now. This account will also be your game account and will allow you to test and play the game when the time comes. So you can expect us to be somewhat quiet this week and early next week in terms of official communications (but we'll continue to be active on the forums and social media, of course.) By the week of April 13th, we should be settled into a cadence of building the game and letting you all know what we are up to. Again, thanks for backing us and thanks for being engaged with us as we build Crowfall. We can promise it will be exciting; it only gets better from here! Gordon Walton Co-Founder & Executive Producer ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.
  8. 51 points
    8 days after Kickstarter -- and we're already back to work producing new characters and features to bring this vision to life! This Week At A Glance Lot of "under the surface" stuff happening at ACE this week! The Guinecean Slayer was well-received on Tuesday -- a little TOO well-received for an April Fool's Day joke, actually. He turned out a lot more popular than we expected! (and who knows, perhaps he'll become a future stretch goal?) Our design team did a full pass on the documentation that details how land ownership (and the fealty trees) work in the Eternal Kingdom, and started to detail out the UI for building and parcel placement. We have to tackle this first, because the parcel system is part of the foundation that will be used for generating unique Campaign Maps, too! Our tech team spent the week making the changes to the combat system -- revisiting the base concepts of movement and targeting, as we discussed last week on the Crowns & Crows and Gold & Glory podcast. On the art side, we're creating swappable equipment for the Knight, concepting Hunger-infected versions of our (also unlocked!) Mounts and catching up on some archetype and building concept art. In fact, another of the archetype concepts is ready for you now: the female Ranger! As an added bonus to this one, we've given her a wolf pet -- since we achieved that stretch goal when we crossed the $1.7m line in Kickstarter! (No, this doesn't mean that the female Rangers automatically get pet wolves! It's just a picture, folks!) New Faces ...additionally, we're inviting a few new faces to join our team! In fact, over the next few months you can expect to see a bit of shuffling: a few new people will join us, and a few will move to new positions (like Tully, who recently moved to the CF design team, and Val who replaced him as our new community manager!) and a few will wrap up their contracts and leave. This is normal game development stuff, inevitable as we transition from a project-that-we-hope-will-happen to a project-that-IS-happening! The Crowfall.com website was also updated this week: the front page now displays (quite proudly!) the amazing level of support that you guys showed us during our Kickstarter campaign... and it shows our next stretch goal (Hire a Graphics Progammer, at $1.85 million)! Even though our Kickstarter is over, we still love adding new Crows to our community. Every new pledge makes the game better and the community stronger. We've had a lot of requests to allow package upgrades, too -- our website doesn't support it, yet, but we have plans in the works to make it possible. It's coming, so stay tuned! As always, THANK YOU for being a part of our community, and for continuing to spreading the word about Crowfall!
  9. 51 points

    Incoming! Hallo And Stuff

    Greetings and salutations! As Tully transitions over to the design team, I'll be stepping up to the plate as your liaison with the Crowfall team. I'm still learning the ropes around here, so you may only catch fleeting glimpses of me this week, but I expect we'll all be well acquainted in a very short time.
  10. 49 points

    Compiliation Of Crowfall Pictures

    This linked album has all of the current Crowfall pictures in it. If I have missed any, please let me know. Note: The most recently added pictures will be at the bottom. http://imgur.com/a/BcdKz - Album 1 http://imgur.com/a/zuzS0 - Album 2
  11. 48 points
    We love to help the community, so here we bring you a rough breakdown of each Promotion Class, for each class currently available! Are you in doubt which promotion class to pick? Or maybe which class to play even, then don't worry! We have broken down each promotion class showcasing their main objective and strengths. Enjoy! Assassin Cutthroat: Revolves around getting behind your target to do extra damage, your target takes 10% extra dmg while kidney shotted, and you have +20% dmg when using backstab from behind. Your passive increases your damage by 20% while behind targets. Blackguard: This is a more self sustain promotion class, you will have lifeleech, self-barrier when stunning enemies and reduced cooldown on kidney shot and Backstab. Your passive gives your Nature and Poison toxins 8% lifesteal. Vandal: This is the more CC/DoT heavy build, your kidney shot applies a severe bleed, you get the power cheap shot (stun from stealth), and your backstab supresses enemies if you hit it from behind. Your passive will save your ass (the hit that would have killed you, instead takes you to 15% max health and gives you 90% mitigation for 4 seconds) Ranger Archer: Ranged heavy pure damage, you can reduce enemy damage with barrage, and archers stake prevents movement reduction/root effects. You will gain suppression shot, and increased range (+9m), your rapid fire can expose punish targets. Your passive revolves around standing still and spamming basic bow shots. Warden: The talents lean towards full melee builds, revolves around traps (major burning damage and debuffs - including anti stealth), you gain forest step (melee teleport to targets), and you can buff your group with damage bonuses. You also reduce a lot of damage taken, both from your archers stake, and you'll be able to wear mail with this promotion class. Brigand: You are now a stealth/melee ranger, you gain a stealth tray with the Ambush power. Your archers stake will instantly slow in a big field, and you'll have an empowered cross slash to apply severe bleed to your target. You will also do increased damage behind targets. Your passive is a buff stacking up damage for your next Dagger spin, stacking 10 times (max + 250% damage). Duelist Slayer: Pistol duelist as we know it, increased range, resetting cooldown on flintlock shot and it can be used as interrupt, also gets a new ultimate which has half the soul power cost, and grants 2 dodge pips. Very mobile and high ranged damage. Your passive revolves around crits, stacking up a buff, which then can be consumed on either longer lasting buffs or extra dodge pips. Vanguard Scout: Stealth focused build, you gain increased damage from stealth, you gain a new "stealth poke" power, reduced cooldown on tunnel. Your passive gives you lifesteal while in stealth. Dirge: Full melee builds, you can open with a knockdown from stealth with ambush, your impale single target stuns at 5 pips, redirect pain also heals you over time, and you gain increased control duration. Pepperbox shot will debuff your enemy with reduced piercing mitigation - so you can deal more damage with your impales. Your passive makes you do more damage to targets under 50% health. Myrmidon Titan: High damage, revolves around the power Frenzy, where you can't die while it's up. This promo class has the Bloodthirst mechanic, striking bleeding targets will make you do more damage. While Frenzy is up, you will be able to interrupt people after using several different abilities. Battle Rager: Tanky build, more health, reduced berserk crash damage, gives you the ability to avoid berserk crash damage while using Whirlwind, and your passive increases your max health by 50% of the damage you avoid, by avoiding berserk crashes. Conqueror: This is a more AoE focused promo class, you have more CC, and CC immunity than in the other builds, you'll have a single target supress, your whirlwind will make you immune to CC, while everytime you apply a bleed effect you also slow the target, meaning you can Whirlwind through groups of enemies, slowing them all, without being able to be CCd. You also reduce enemies critical hit defense when you slow them (stacking 5 times, 5x3%). Templar Vindicator: This build is heavily focused on doing damage, you'll get several bonus damage buffs, while sacrificing survivability. Your execute move will no longer require pips, making you able to spam it like a melee dps. Many of your powers will have their survivability aspects removed in change of extra damage. And your passive is extra slashing damage based on your bonus fire damage. Paladin: This promo class changes the templar to a more support/healer build. Your parry will drain pips slower, you will have Holy Warrior faster, your Devotion is being enhanced so it heals you and your allies for 50% of the damage you deal. And most importantly, Divine Light no longer has a pip requirement, meaning you have a free healing circle lasting for 12 seconds. Your passive stacks up healing critical chance everytime you heal an ally. Fury: This is the more CC focused version of the templar. You'll have a slow, increased durations on CC, reduced soul power cost on your ultimate, a melee ranged root, and when you place down your divine light - you knockdown and daze on enemies within your divine light. Your passive increases your max health everytime you CC enemies. Confessor Inquisitor: A more traditional confessor build. This promotion class emphazises damage, you can gain extra basic attack damage after using Fervor, your fire tornadoes can hit the same target more times, your righteousness procs damage buffs, your singletarget stun combo doesn't consume the debuff that explodes with damage anymore. Your passive gives all your fire damage type powers a chance to apply severe burn to targets. Sanctifier: A special promotion class, this turn your confessor into a melee/tank, that excels in close combat. You'll be able to retaliate more often, your Fervor increases your physical armor bonus, your condemnation heals you each time it hits, your righteousness also applies a barrier to you, your hellfire auro deals 50% more damage, and your tornadoes no longer consumes the aura. You will be able to equip Mail/Plate armor, but you will also have your range reduced on your powers to 8m - but you get +20% damage. This build will probably be really strong with the focus orbs, so you can keep your enemies close to you. Fanatic: This is a CC heavy promotion class. Your condemnation will slow enemies, you won't consume Hellfire Shield/Aura when using your knock up/tornado combos, reduced cooldown on Fervor because it's a mana heavy playstyle, your absolution always slows your target. Your passive has a chance to trigger Cleansing Fire when dots are applied to you - cleansing all DoTs on you, while also healing you. Additionally you also apply Elemental Vulnerability to targets with your basic attacks. Champion Alpha Warrior: This build revolves a lot around getting critical hits, you will gain a lot of dominance stacks, both through your leap and basic attack crits. Your neckbreaker (ultimate) can now also benefit from dominance stacks. Your rend will reduce your enemies critical hit chance defense, meaning you have 7% higher chance to crit on them. Your passive increase your critical hit chance whenever you spend a point of dominance, stacking up 10 times. MOAR CRITS Pit Fighter: A very tanky version of the champion. Increased self healing and maximum health, Whirling Pain also applies a barrier, you will get the ultimate "Invincible Warrior" which makes you immune to CC/DMG (like every ultimate) but also gives you a barrier and a heal over time. And it only costs 500 soul power. Your passive gives you 100 attack power everytime you trigger a self healing effect - stacks 5 times. Barbarian: This is a very CC heavy build. Not only do you get +21% duration on your CC effects, you will be able to reset your blind combo, your leap does a knockdown, your whirling pain applies a slow and then suppress to multiple enemies, and the soul power cost of your Neckbreaker ultimate is reduced to 350. Your passive gives you +15% damage and +25% movement speed whenever you apply a crowd control effect. Druid Stormcaller: A full dps promotion class. Your life tray will be removed, in exchange for damage. You are able to instant buff yourself with Nature's Avatar (big damage buff), you will gain access to lightning burst (aoe lightning), and your faerie fire/faerie flames will be enhanced, so they also reduces the targets electric armor by 15%. Your passive will stack up a buff, that at 8 stacks will give you a lightning shield. Archdruid: This is the hybrid druid build. You will be switching a lot from life to death tray and vice versa. You have enhanced buffs, Bark Skin have 200% increased thorns, your Nature's Avatar is now an instant group buff, giving all group members increased offensive stats. You will gain the power Shroud of Darkness, and your Blight in enhanced, so your orbs deal 25% more damage when they explode. Your passive cites the way the build has to be played, if you successfully hit with more than 3 orbs when you use blight you get a buff, +75% dmg/healing for 20 seconds. So you will be exploding lots of orbs! Earthkeeper: This is the full support druid. You have lot's of selfhealing, everytime allies pick up healing orbs, you also get healed, your Bark Skin now only applies to you and heals you with a HoT. You gain access to Healing Rain. And your Nature's Avatar can now hit two targets when you channel, it will automatically apply to a nearby ally, 8m within your target. Your passive is an automatic Essence dump, which will then also replenish resources to group members. Can trigger every 45 seconds. Cleric Radical: This is a almost full dps cleric build. You will sacrifice healing on several abilities in exchange for damage. It also reduced the soul power cost of your Divine Order (damage ultimate) by 500. You will have increased range (6m), you will gain a power called Searing Light instead of Flash of Light, which works as an interrupt. Your illuminate will not heal buy replenish resources and increase your critical hit chance. Your passive causes your critical basic attacks to reset the cooldown of your Searing Light. Meaning you can spam interrupts with enough crit chance. Crusader: Your more or less full healer build. You will have lots of increased support stats, like support power, crit heal chance and crit heal amount. Your ressurection will be enhanced, bringing allies back with 40% max hp. This is the only build that will make illuminate heal group members. And your Hand of the Gods (aoe root) will also heal all friendly targets within it's deploy radius. Your passive will grant allies below 50% health a shield equal to 10% of their max health for 15 seconds. This can happen every 15 seconds. Arbiter: This build is more of a hybrid build, you will still get support stats like support power, but you will also gain more CC. your Holy symbol will now also knock down up to three enemies when it's deployed, your AoE has it's radius increased (double radius), and your Divine Order ultimate (if you choose to use it) will reset the cooldown of several powers. You will also be able to stun enemies, with your next basic attack after using illuminate. Your passive recovers mana and increases basic attack damage everytime you apply CC. Stacking 3 times. Knight Swordsman: An offensive build for the knight. Your shield slam is enhanced, meaning you are considered blocking while charging it up (free defensive), your Obliterate causes Bleed effects to have a 100% critical hit chance, your Oath of Will increases your crit chance by 25% for 15 seconds or till you crit three times. Your Pursuit(charge) has it's cooldown reduced by 50%. Your passive has a chance to grant you a buff when using any non-basic, non-shield power, while also wielding a sword. The buff will increase your Basic attack damage by 125% and your Basic attack damage cap by 50% for 10 seconds. Remember to wield a sword with this build! Secutor: This is a tanky knight build. You will have increased health, and several shield improvements. Increased damage on all shield powers, shield slam instantly enables shield bash when hitting a target while charged 2/3rds. Oath of Will reduces the cost of maintaining Block by 75%, and lose no additional stamina from big hits. Pursuit also applies a Barrier when it ends. You are able to equip Tower Shields. Your passive increases the Shield Bash damage by 100%, and all shield powers that damages an enemy will instantly enable Shield Bash. Sentinel: This is the more CC heavy knight build. You will gain stats with increased duration of CC. Shield slam can now suppress the target after charging more than 2/3rds. Chain attack will now also apply a slow to the target. Noble Blood will now also Root enemies. Pursuit will stun nearest enemy when it ends. Your passive increases energy regeneration, gives you a buff if you stun/knockdown enemies while wearing a mace. The buff increases your damage bonus by 15% and movement speed by 25% for 6 seconds. Remember to wield a mace with this! Thank you for reading all the way through! Check us out at vanguardcrowfall.com ! See you ingame!
  12. 48 points

    Ask The Team!

    vague hint: "I <3 D'Orion" now, to your real question: I am ALL IN on Crowfall. I've invested a big chunk of my savings. I left my cushy job. I gave up my safe little nest, and took a bold (arguably foolhardy) leap into the unknown. Why? Because I HAVE to make this game. March, 2004: Shadowbane basically ruined me. I put everything I had into Wolfpack; I crunched for years. I spent all the money that I made from selling my previous company. I lost friends. I alienated family members. I'm not going to go so far as to say "shadowbane caused my divorce", but I will say: it certainly didn't help. We shipped it, yes. and it sold well. But it was riddled with issues (technical, design, and operational) that caused it to bleed players like a sieve. All that effort, all that cost, all that pain. and it just didn't work. We lost. We sold the company to find a soft landing for the team. The founders? No such luck. Unemployed. I had invested everything in Shadowbane, and walked away with almost nothing. For about a year, I basically fell off the grid, didn't do much of anything but think about what went wrong. I'm over that, now. I'm not longer haunted by 'this went wrong' or 'that went wrong'. I'm years past the autopsy. What haunts me is this: it ALMOST worked. The vision we (the Wolfpack founders) had was amazing. The vision was right there, so perfectly clear in our minds. It was tangible. And, every now and then in development, the rarest of moments. A break in the storm clouds, the sunlight would pour through like a light from heaven and everything would just WORK. For a few moments, you could FEEL it. Ask the folks who played the SB beta, they can tell you what it felt like: THIS IS IT. THIS IS THE GAME. THIS IS THE VISION. IT IS REAL. IT WORKS. ...and then the clouds would roll back in, fires would erupt all around me, and everything would go to hell again. The idea behind Crowfall -- the original idea that pre-dates Shadowbane, that was born in a pizza joint as a scribble on a paper napkin -- that vision is my white whale. We had it once, right there, in our grasps. It was so close! It ALMOST worked. I've spent every day of the last decade learning how to build MMOs. Shadowbane was the first game that I ever worked on, remember. I made a ton of newbie mistakes. Say what you like about Wizard101, but we had a flawless launch and amassed over 50 million players. I've picked up a few tricks. I learned what I need to learn about building MMOs. Launching MMOs. Running a live service. and with Gordon here, and the team that we have recruited, we can do this. We can make this game great. This isn't just a game to me. I'm on a mission. It is time to right a great wrong. Todd ACE
  13. 46 points
  14. 45 points

    A Crow has Fallen - Coolwaters

    It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must announce that Coolwaters a.k.a. Charles Wesley 'Wes' Fowler passed away suddenly this past weekend. This has been a stunning and devastating loss to Wes' Family, Friends and the Winterblades community. With dedication, wit, intelligence, and sometimes sheer stubborness, Wes was one of the beating hearts of Winterblades, helping our family grow and succeed over the last 16 years. As part of the greater community, Wes employed his great talents as a Shadowbane Moderator and as the community Sentinel Advocate for the Shadowbane focus group. One of his great joys was theorycrafting creative builds to break the current meta (though he hated the use of the word "meta" with a passion). Many such ideas made it out of the Winterblades skunkworks to the greater community through Wes' guides and posts. In Crowfall he continued his tradition of community advocacy whether on the forums or off them. Be it in the development partners, testing feedback, or general forums Wes was prolific in his posting as part of the greater community. While he played many games that we tried out over the years, nothing got him anywhere near as excited or fired up for a debate as Crowfall as many can attest to. His impact will certainly leave a crater of absence. An enduring love of gaming and competition were not Wes' only pursuits. Although, perhaps cliche, he really did have a flair for life. He enjoyed life and had no "chill"--there were always pictures from his latest adventure. Often this meant something crazy, possibly reckless, and a whole lot of fun. Ziplines. Motorized skateboards. Very large hills and motorized skateboards. Wakeboarding. Surfing. Brazilian excursions. Spearfishing with Sharks..... Likely more hobbies that didn't make the news. Needless to say Wes lived life with vigor, elan, and a side of adrenaline. Wes shared his excitement with many of us when he hosted the Winterblades meet up in July. The shared memories of that week are now bittersweet with his unexpected passing.At request of his family in lieu of flowers they are asking for donations in his name to Wes' alma mater University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law Moot Court division. Regarding donations, Wes' Friends and Family are working on raising funds to create an endowed scholarship for the winner of the top Oral Advocate in the Moot Court program. Wes competed nationally in Moot Court and won the top Oral Advocate at his school. His law school friends and members of the bar in Memphis are getting some big donations lined up. Any donations direct to the school should also be tax deductible. Winterblades internally has already collected around ~$1,000 to donate. If anyone is interested you in contributing you can PM me directly and I can provide details. His obituary can be found here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/commercialappeal/obituary.aspx?n=charles-wesley-fowler&pid=186443823&fhid=17199
  15. 45 points


    I wrote a haiku in my head this morning about JG as I was driving to work -- Man of mystery Always lurking, never posts "JamesGoblin likes this"
  16. 44 points

    Attention All New Forum Members!

    First and foremost, welcome to Crowfall! I see so many new threads popping up asking very broad and basic questions about this new and exciting title, while we have a wonderful community here, there is a lengthy library of information already compiled for you to become familiar with that Crowfall is. Please take the time to read the FAQs on the main page, unlike many games which are in development, the team at ArtCraft have posted highly detailed (read as: actually useful) FAQs and articles on a wide array of topics, from what exactly an Archetype is, to combat, character customization, the rulesets of campaigns, some of the lore and storyline, what Eternal Kingdoms are, and much more! Start your journey here: http://crowfall.com/#/faq http://crowfall.com/#/archetypegrid http://crowfall.com/#/about-the-game And keep up to date with the latest from ArtCraft's dev team with the Dev Tracker (thanks pang!) http://crowfall.com/#/devtracker Once again, welcome to Crowfall, please consider donating on the official Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/crowfall/crowfall-throne-war-pc-mmo/description Hope to see (read as: kill) you in game!
  17. 44 points
    Not really much to talk about here. 1) Our key MMO technologists have both experienced and fixed many known methods of duping on multiple game codebases. We aren't likely to make the common coding and system design mistakes that allow dupes. 2) We will log lots of things and have lots of key metrics. Any influx of items or materials will be obvious pretty quickly. And in the unlikely event we end up having a dupe bug, we'll know exactly who's benefiting. 3) The only way to deal with cheaters is to perma-ban them, and ensure all their assets are seized and destroyed. And then be vigilant for them attempting to rejoin the game, rinse and repeat as necessary. This is a much more difficult problem on free-to-play games than a pay-to-play game like Crowfall. If you come across a bug that allows duping you better report it to ArtCraft support post-haste, not talk about it to other players/publish it and cease doing it yourself except at the direct behest of an ArtCraft employee. We'll be happy to make you famous after we get it fixed and take care of the fallout, but that would be your call, not ours. P.S. before WOW launched, I probably held the record for the most people ever banned (and the most banned in one incident), and huge proportion of those were for cheating/duping. I'm not particularly proud of this, as banning is a blunt instrument, but some actions (like cheating) are so service-threatening that there is no other appropriate punishment. Players expect us to keep the playing field level, and we take that responsibility seriously.
  18. 43 points

    The Crowfall Budget Question

    Yesterday, I announced that we had unlocked another stretch goal, one that will let us better serve our European players. We've added a new stretch goal today that will follow the current additional graphics programmer stretch goal, localization of Crowfall in six additional languages. While this new stretch goal doesn't affect the majority of our audience, expanding our overseas audience helps the entire game in multiple ways. More on this below. Talking about money brought something else to mind that I’d like to discuss. We've gotten this question several times about our project budget over the last few months (and we've answered it both on the forums and interviews, but never in a major update). So, let's have some straight talk about project financing. Specifically, let's answer the core questions: How can you make Crowfall for less than $10m, and where is that money coming from? After the Kickstarter and several achieved stretch goals (thank you backers!), our “core module” expanded what in essence is the “core game”! Our vision is bigger than the core game though, and we’ll continue to develop the game beyond the launch of the core game. But the budget we are talking about here is for that core game: the core module + the stretch goals we achieved during Kickstarter. Here are some of the reasons why Crowfall is going to be much more inexpensive to build: 1. We aren't making a Player versus Environment game. PvE games need hundreds of hours of handcrafted content. In our prior experience, it’s not unusual for PvE content costs to drive 70%+ of the overall cost (and time it takes to build) of an MMO project. As crazy as it sounds, it may take three to five people working for half a year to make a single zone -- which offers the players only a few hours of gameplay before they move on. 2. We’re using procedural generation to randomize our worlds out of pre-build pieces. Custom building a world means a TON of handcrafted content, and it takes both time and a lot of people to do this well. Building a world procedurally means that you create a library of assets, and then construct many, many worlds out of those pieces. Effectively, you're building a machine that produces worlds instead of building each world by hand. 3. Our archetypes approach means that we don't have to create a combinatory set of art. If you have 10 races and 10 classes, and each one can be combined, and you want to create 10 custom looks for each, that's (10x10x10=1000) custom characters that you have to make. The ongoing cost is even worse because it's effectively exponential -- every time you add a new race or class, the problem gets exponentially worse. With handcrafted archetypes, we've kept that cost linear -- which also means that we can still have a high degree of customization for each archetype, and we can spend MORE time making each one look unique (and fantastic!) We can still achieve customization for each archetype. We can't stress enough how important this was to keeping our costs in check. Other MMOs spend TENS of millions of dollars on combinatory avatar systems. 4. We acquired a backend MMO technology stack when we formed the company. One of our first employees (who previously worked on titles like Shadowbane, Pirates of the Burning Seas and Wizard101) had spent four years as an independent developer, building his own proprietary MMO backend technology base. We acquired a license to that technology (and hired him!) right at the beginning of our company. This alone cut our time to market by over a year and reduced our costs substantially. 5. We’re using a commercial engine (Unity 5) for our client, along with additional technologies like PhysX and Voxel Farm, which we are modifying and extending for our needs. This means we get the content pipelines built into Unity 5 as part of the package, and we get to focus our efforts on multiplayer, responsiveness and improving the visuals fidelity and performance. 6. We’re outsourcing some of our production work. We’re keeping our core team relatively small, filling with contractors as needed. We hate the idea of overstaffing and having to lay people off when the bulk of the content is done, so instead we will be working with a few quality outsourcing companies (like OMNOM workshop) to help us with much of our content work. This isn't really about cost savings so much as it is a strategy for expanding our team's capacity when we need to do a lot of work in a short period of time. Both Todd and I have lots of experience in utilizing outsourcing and know how to select and work with the best of the best. Typically even a small MMO is going to take over $10 million to build (and probably closer to $20 million). If the fully-loaded cost of an employee (once you add in the cost of office space, insurance, taxes, etc.) averages about $100k/year, which means a $10m project will buy you 100 man-years of work! We’re doing a much smaller than normal MMO by choosing to be PvP-focused, doing algorithmic world generation, tight (but effective!) constraints on character customization and heavily reliance on off-the-shelf technologies. Our cost for the core game will be in the $6 million range. The full vision we are working toward will cost more, of course, as launch is never the "end game" when you make an MMO. It's only the beginning. Once we're up and running, and the game is generating revenue, we'll continue to expand it and grow it as long as our customers will support us! Now where is the money coming from to make this game? We've been clear that crowdfunding is only one piece of the funding puzzle, albeit the most important one! Our first source of funds was early investment. We started with the founder's money, then did a minority equity sale to raise a total of $2.35 million. We used this money to start the company and to kick off pre-production on Crowfall. This is how we financed all of our efforts leading into the Kickstarter: the website, the forums, the videos and (of course!) the game. Many of you noticed that the Crowfall Kickstarter had a LOT more content and details than other similar Kickstarter campaigns. That's because we raised money and started working on the project more than a year before we presented it to you! The second source of funds is crowdfunding, which started with our Kickstarter campaign. As you know, we raised almost $1.8 million dollars from that campaign, which is huge! But it doesn't stop there. We will continue to crowdfund post-Kickstarter, as we think this funding is the purest we can get -- not only does it help make the game better, but it grows the community at the same time. We've already collected over $50,000 on our site since the Kickstarter ended. We don’t know how many more people will back us between now and the core game launch, or how much in total we’ll raise, but crowdfunding pledges make a big difference and we’ll spend every bit of it to make Crowfall as good as it can be! Our third source of funding is licensing foreign rights. Distributing and supporting an MMO outside of your home market is both time-consuming and capital-intensive, far beyond the means of a company like ACE at this point. Based on the early data, we believe the game could also be very popular outside of English-speaking territories. Our business model works fine for the Western markets, and we've committed to having European servers for launch (either we’ll do it ourselves or do it with a partner). Our design and business model may have to be modified to work outside of Western markets, which makes distribution more challenging for those markets. Typically, we can ask our partners to pay licensing fees for the overseas rights to our games, which means that we have another source of money that we can apply towards development. To this end, we are in active discussions with multiple parties already. As a fourth option, we can always bring in additional investment money (i.e. sell more equity). After our Kickstarter ended, we were approached by a number of people (ALL of them backers!) interested in investing in ArtCraft. We are currently considering taking a small investment from a few accredited investors (we call them player/angels!) We like the idea of having backers as investors, as they are "pre-filtered" to believe in the Crowfall vision and won't want to change the design or the business model. We don't feel that we HAVE to raise this money, but we do feel like we could put it to good use to both reduce our risk and make the game better -- if we can find individuals who are a good fit. It would also put us in the best negotiating position for the overseas rights, meaning we can wait for the right partners and deals. So there you have it, our plans for building Crowfall and our plans for funding it, all out in the open and in one place! We’re happy to entertain constructive discussion and questions in this thread, but please understand that we can’t go into details on our business development efforts without potentially harming those efforts. Happy to engage, as long you guys realize that some questions might be answered with, "I'm afraid we can't talk about that!" As always though, when we have anything that can be made known to our backers you’ll be the first to know! Thanks again for your support! Gordon Walton Executive Producer ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc
  19. 43 points
    Statement of Problem: An analogy that JTC has repeatedly used is that if the Campaigns are soccer matches, the Eternal Kingdom is the soccer season. Keeping with comparison – What about the season standings? The playoffs? The Championship match? The Hall of Fame? The reason the individual soccer games are played is to answer these questions! The closest we have to addressing the question of playoff or championships is from the Campaign and Kingdom FAQ: Over the past two months as the clock ticked down and information was dribbled out, I was building a vision in my mind about the role of the Eternal Kingdoms. I have to admit that the current information that we have on EK does not align with where I thought the conversation was headed. So in the spirit of the above invitation, here is my vision for a competitive EK. Design Objectives: Within the PvP-flag and persistent structures of the EK, create a competitive macro game. Risk versus Reward to entice (not force) participation. Overarching struggle in the EK fed by resources from the Campaigns. Virtual Scoreboard for Crowfall as a whole (not just campaigns). There will be Winners and Losers. Lore: When the All Father of the Heavens ripped the Wyrm Eternal asunder, his spine fell from the skies and formed a massive circle. To contain the hunger, the Builders constructed a mighty structure upon the Wyrm’s spine that now gives shape to the Eternal Kingdoms. Construct: Personal kingdoms are modules that aggregate to create the overall EK (in keeping with current implications from FAQ) Competitive game focused on the spinal “Ring Road” within the EK. Personal kingdoms can elect to participate in the struggle to become a “Grand Kingdom” by securing one of a limited number of places along this Ring Road. Ring Road offers prime location for real estate (See Economic Incentive below). Limited seats of power to create “King of Kings” struggle (See Status Incentive below). Economic Incentive: Risk / Reward incentive to participate. Grand Kingdoms will be at the top of any list of travel options within the EK In lieu of automated Auction House, center of trade in the Grand Kingdoms will have high visibility and therefore be frequently visited, creating the defacto first tier market place. Ring Road provides commerce network for trade of resources and finished goods through movement of caravans. Status Incentive: Scoreboard on Crowfall website will list current Grand Kingdom Monarchs in descending order of longevity. Scoreboard on Crowfall website will list total time spent on a Grand Kingdom throne (even if not currently seated) in descending order of longevity. Custom in-game titles and cosmetic rewards (armor, crowns, weapons) for Grand Kingdom Monarchs. Game Mechanic: Limited “Anchors” along Ring Road provide means of advancing a Kingdom World to a Grand Kingdom. All Grand Kingdoms are automatically set to +Public and +PvP. Buildings in the Anchor zone can only be constructed with resources imported from the Campaigns (No EK Kickstart structures allowed). All buildings in the Anchor zone are destructible, but are invulnerable until a siege is declared. Limited space within the Anchor Zone will force decisions balancing military needs (walls, guards) versus economic enhancements (speed buffs for caravans, increased tax bonuses, crafting stations, etc). This is more risk versus reward gameplay. Siege Mechanic: Siege Declarations can be made by use of an object crafted from very rare resources obtained within Campaigns and as part of victory rewards. Defender picks time within predefined window. Anchor zone (and only the anchor zone) becomes vulnerable during siege window and structures can be destroyed. Siege ends once time expires, or by capture of the Anchor itself. Victorious attacker can elect to sever the connection of the defeated Grand Kingdom from the Anchor, and replace with another Kingdom World. Thoughts? How does this compare with your vision for the Eternal Kingdoms?
  20. 42 points

    City Sieging Explored

    Hey gang, Today's update focuses on City Sieging -- a key element of the Crowfall vision. Building, defending and sieging of fortifications is a primary focus of the Campaign design, and the activity around which most (if not all) the win conditions will be centered. At a high level, this system should allow players to build fortified strongholds dynamically in the world (i.e. dropping castle wall segments, towers, buildings, etc) and then using those fortifications as a combination "home base/staging area" to control the surrounding area and the materials produced there. This video walks through an example of a City Siege scenario between two guilds... and we've also updated the FAQ a bit, to fix a few errors and clarify the idea a bit. A few notes on this scenario: - yes, it's simplified -- and it also covers a lot of ground, quickly! This is meant to be a companion piece to the Campaign FAQ, so if you have questions, read the FAQ first! - this scenario would be most likely to occur in late Summer or Fall of the Campaign, since the guild in question appears relatively secure in their position and the local points of interest are discovered/well-known. - the Bloodstones ruleset was created with a secondary purpose: technically, the second guild (Kane's Fist) isn't shown as "owning" a city. This ruleset would open up the possibility for a landless guild (i.e. a mercenary company, or as we like to call them, a "band of roving thugs") to generate victory points and win the Campaign. Easy? No. Possible? Maybe! Additionally, remember that this is a high-level description; things like warmth and construction time, placement of siege equipment and material production aren't referenced, to keep the scenario simple. In actual gameplay, the tactical decisions made by each team prior to the siege would likely provide a huge "swing factor" and dramatically alter the outcome. Again, this is only an example! And as the video says, the most important thing to remember is: YOU GUYS will decide if this is a valid scenario/strategy, or not! These aren't scripted events. Our job is to provide the tools; your job is to figure out how to use them to your advantage. That's it for today! Beginning this week, we will be posting game-related updates on Tuesdays and Fridays with occasional founders/team updates on Wednesdays. So, more to come later this week, and thanks again as always!
  21. 42 points

    You Guys Rock! (Crowfall Community)

    Thank you for all the support you guys have given to help us get funded. Trust me when I say this we are beyond excited to be making this game not just for all of you, but for us as well. THIS is the game I've personally always wanted to play!!! I give you all a solemn promise to keep working my tail off and help Todd in making this game a reality! On a side not I am exploring every opportunity to help make this game look better and better for you guys and gals(on the environment side of things). In fact for all you graphics nuts, I've been exploring with Unity's PBR work flow. Now that Unity 5's out officially, I can talk more about this soon. So far the early tests are coming out nice. -J
  22. 41 points

    Vanguard quitting Crowfall .. For now

    We have decided to quit Crowfall for now. We will most likely first be back when beta hits in hopes of it can cure our frustrations. But lately it's been feeling like a chore to log in and play the game - and when a game starts to feel like a chore, it's time to do something else. First off, for those who don't know me and our guild, I am Yumx, leader of Vanguard, I've been playing Crowfall almost non-stop since Jan. 2017, so 3,5 years by now. Our guild Vanguard is one of the top EU guilds, we won the first 2 dregs on test, both the NA one and the EU one. We also recently won the first EU live dregs campaign. You might also know us from our videos from the past, Go Broke or Go Home and The European Clowncar. We've been playing Crowfall for with passion for years, providing the community with several guides, such as The Promo Class Breakdown, Minor Discipline Guide, and of course our Tier List. Enough about us - Why do we quit Crowfall? To put it into a sentence; It is the built up frustrations with many different aspects of the game. But to put some words on it, and to spark some discussions with the community, maybe the developers can use this to further develop the game in the future. *DISCLAIMER - Yes we know the game is in alpha, but it's far into development and you can get a pretty good idea of what the final game will look like* Game Loop The game loop is not where we wanted it to be. Currently it's 1 hour of action per day, and 23 hours of grinding - in a PvP focused game, for people that focus on PvP, that really kills the motivation when you spend most of your time doing PvE. Caravans We hoped with the implementation of caravans that it would drive more regular PvP, but in reality it does not do a great job at that. Mainly people just run those caravans in off hours to build up their buildings. This hopefully does change with a bigger population of course. Our hopes of Caravans were timed/announced events, fixed destination of the caravans, where you had to control/protect the caravans to the end, to get the huge amount of resources a caravan can give. Take us through the beautiful landscape and environments you've made, let enemies that don't make it to the caravans first set up ambushes, let's have some amazing PvP - this would be a type of circle standing I could like, because the circle would be moving :D Victory Cards The victory cards most often promotes PvE farming or sitting in your base and hope the enemy doesn't come to try and take it, so even in the siege windows, most often you will find guilds sitting in their strongholds, because that is most beneficial towards winning the campaign. This is obviously something they said they can change and do balance passes on - so this is just feedback on what we've tried so far. But currently with how expensive buildings are, with how short campaigns are and the time it takes to gather those resources - victory cards that promote having "most rank 3 buildings" is just pure slavery. If you were to have Victory Cards that focuses that hard on PvE, such as Hellcat paws, or sacrificial shards to a certain god, make the points gained from those cards way lower than actual hard cards like most kills in sieges, most stuff capped etc. War Tribes The war tribes was a fun addition to the game initially, having those random drops is always a good time waster for MMOs, but in it's current state with Chiefs, Kings etc. in the early game, where crafting almost doesn't matter, being forced to farm those on cooldown to be competitive is not very fun. This is because the drops from these bosses is just too good not to go for, it's also the main way to get crafting additives. We really lack alternative ways to get crafting additives, hopefully through PvP (destroy an enemy crafting building - get crafting additives?) Loot boxes in war tribe camps It's a cool idea to have boxes with strong weapons and armor in. But they are too easily accessible currently. Let us fight over them, make it an event in the campaign (15:00 Urgu camp boxes will open) Animals Why do we have to farm special versions of animals to acquire necro additives and crafting tools? Why are there not a PvP way to get these, a trained necromancer chopping up an enemy vessel etc. Again more alternative ways to acquire additives would be appreciated. Outposts With how little they actually matter to the scoreboard, and how long they take to capture, it feels like they need a rehaul. Yes, it makes sense that it's an activity for smaller scale, but you almost gain nothing from taking the time to kill the guards, then proceed to stand in the circle for X amount of time, just to gain very few points. Maybe they can have a bigger purpose outside of when the victory cards about outposts are there? Like if you own the outpost in the parcel you gain resource advantages on that parcel? Forts Fort fights have always been some of my favourite fights, the only problem with them, is how they are captured in the end. If one force has more people than the other, they just need to stand in the circle to turn it to their side, there's not much strategy or tactical decisions outside of when your enemy make mistakes. Could be awesome to see some multi objectives like in the new keeps, because right now Forts are just as valuable as Keeps, if that's where you decide to make your homebase, it's just much easier to lose. Keeps The current iteration of keeps are in a pretty cool spot, the only thing we're lacking is players being able to decide their own layout, where to place the wards, buildings, walls etc. Not necessarily free building, but just give players several different layouts to choose from, so we have some decisions to make depending on the surrounding area. Siege Windows As mentioned, the downside of sieges being scheduled to 1 hour per day is that, then people think that's when to PvP. So they almost only log in to PvP, at that time of the day. This is very much a mental thing, that people see "okay X is open from X to X, that's when I need to prepare my self for PvP". That's why we suggest timed events more regularly, like Caravans, so people have a visual indicator of PvP is about to happen. Campaign layout Often when you want to go attack forts or keeps, having a respawn point nearby is pretty nice to have, especially if you expect you take some losses, then you don't want people to have to run 5-10 minutes to get back to the fights. But most often respawn outposts are very far off forts, so an idea could be that you give players a way to transform regular outposts to respawn points for X amount of time? Maybe a stonemason craft or something like that. It would also help with huge advantages defenders already have in this game. Crafting My officer and I were the ones crafting for our entire guild (20+ people), and the current crafting iteration could use some optimizing for sure. The biggest problem is how inconvenient it is to craft items that require items from other professions, and it's not so much that you have to be on different accounts/characters, it's more that we lack a nice way to keep an overview. An idea could be: Guild crafting requests, so when you step to a crafting table, a request tab pops up, shows what kind of items guild members have requested, and then you just click on it, and it shows you what item you need to craft at this crafting table, for that item. So let's say a guild member requests a 1 handed axe, with Crit damage and attack power. Then on my woodworker account, I go to the woodworking table, click on requests, on the 1 handed axe that is requested, and it says "Craft a Wooden Plank: Birch/Birch/Birch". Then when you craft it, it says "Part complete by WoodWorkerCharacter" in the request tab, so you can see your progression towards the item, and who crafted the parts. A part from this, going back to asking for alternative ways of getting things, have crafting be able to compete with War Tribe loot early game too, that way people can choose to either go farm war tribes, or the crafting route - we need more choices. PvP This is obviously the most important one for us. The reason I kept playing Crowfall for 3,5 years, is because the PvP was addicting. The thrill of beating your enemies with great coordination, and well timed anti healing, tracking enemy ulties etc. was just an overall great experience. This has sadly turned for the worse in the current patch, with the implementation of Frostweaver and huge amounts of AoE damage. Currently fights go like this: - Everyone has frost guards, because the frost armor is so strong that you can't play without it. - Everyone has Stormcallers, Frost guards and Archmages, because the AoE damage is so strong, you would be gimping yourself if you didn't use it. - With the amount of damage these classes put out in AoE, you don't really need anything else, because you also get a buttload of CC from the frostguards Volatile Ice mechanics. - So the rest you just fill up with healers. - So you see an enemy group, tell everyone to get their AoE ready, then fire it all at once while running into the enemy, and they get AoE'd down, while everyone is clapping in excitement and playing their face and feet. The PvP has been dumbed down to a level that is not fun anymore, for us at least. Crowd Control and Retaliate That every class has access to multiple CC powers on low cooldown, makes the overall CC experience in a fight very spammy. But to counter this, everyone has retaliate ready all the time, and become CC immune most of the fight. This leads to that everyone that PvPs almost always have 1 finger on their retaliate button, because you just have to react to the Retaliate Pop up to keep playing like nothing happend. It feels trivial to the fights, it's just annoying but doesn't have that much of an impact. What would help the overall combat experience in our opinion, is to limit the amount of CCs, make them longer cooldown, but make them have a bigger impact - so retaliate on a cooldown - that way it also means that you need to use stuff like juggernaut and escape artist to outplay/counter stuff - and you can set up burst windows. We want to go back to tracking enemy cooldowns, so we know when we can go for the kill with set ups. Class mechanics With the implementation of the Frostweaver ACE showcased that they are able to actually make unique and interesting powers, so an overhaul for the other classes towards this direction is very much needed. Most of the current classes/builds are not mechanically challenging, even a 6 year old can play champion in PvP. There's no real depth in the skill variety, combos etc., the promotion classes adds very little to the playstyle. An example here could be that you put almost all CC into the actual CC promotions. Disciplines With the limited amount of viable majors and minors, everyone is running the same builds. You're playing Icecaller? Earthkeeper? Crusader? Use Field Surgeon and Naiad. Minors? Sturdy, overwhelming odds, matching X. There are no other choices that can beat that. We desperately need more viable choices so we can specialize our builds more towards our preferred playstyles - but it's impossible currently with how the fights play out. Balancing This is one of the next steps they announced they will be working on. And it's definitely needed. Here are some suggestions to changes: - Reduce Volatile Ice Damage. - Reduce Volatile Ice Proc chance. - Reduce Aura Emitter Damage. - Increase Barrage damage to whatever you reduce the other AoEs to. (Single target dmg should always be higher than AoE, which is not the case currently) - Reduce Frost Armor (from Frost Guard) to take 5 seconds to break, instead of 10. - Move Crowd Control to CC promotions for the different classes. - Make hybrids more viable. (Arbiter/Archdruid some more base support power forexample) - Give melees more CC immunity than Ranged Classes. In big fights, melees have to run through hell to get to targets, where ranged can just pew pew from range, meaning all the CC affects melee way more than ranged. To make up for this, give them more CC immunity so they also have a chance to do anything. We need melee to be viable again, and this is one of the main reasons they are not playable in big fights. - Early game the offensive stats from war tribe gear is way higher than what you can gain for healers, meaning damage is way higher than healing. Could use some fine-tuning, see Crafting feedback. - Generally we think with longer cooldowns on powers, ultimates, retaliate etc., the fights won't be as spammy, but more about setting up combos together, which is what we would prefer. Classes There are so many promotion classes that are unplayable in the current iteration of combat - because they don't feel specialized enough in what they are advertised as. Champion (Only Pit Fighter is played): Alpha Warrior lots of damage? Well with how the Pit Fighter capstone works, Pit Fighter actually have enough damage but way more survivability. Barbarian lots of crowd control? Well all the other champions have almost the same amount of CC, just more dmg or survivability. Cleric (Only Crusader is played): Arbiter lots of crowd control? Well with how retaliate works, and since you can have 2 roots on Crusader from naiad + native root, the Crusader have enough crowd control and way more healing. Radical ranged dps? Compare it to ANY other ranged dps and it will fall short in output over time. Knight (Secutor and Swordsman are played): Sentinel lots of crowd control? The other knights have exactly the same amount of CC, and the Secutor even has better CC through spammable dodge pip removal. Templar (Paladin and Fury are played): Vindicator melee dps? The main damage from a vindicator is execute, their divine light is not worth it, because only 5 targets and slow tick rate. Compare it's output to forexample Titan (if the melees even can have uptime) then it falls short. Ranger (lol): Archer is somewhat viable, because of their single target sniping from long range, but the damage output versus the other ranged dps (confessor, stormcaller, archmage), it's so slow. Their barrage is also very low dmg compared to other AoE. Warden tanky ranger? Well if people just ignore the warden, what can it actually do? Brigand stealth traps? Traps being that huge and clearly visible makes it very bad for combat where you fight enemies that have eyes in their head. Their slow stealth movement also makes it hard to use Brigand for group fights, where they would shine if they quickly could get into the backline and surprise with traps. Assassin (even more lol): Sadly the only thing assassin is useful for is PvE, and that's the blackguard. Assassin needs a serious overhaul, make it have some kind of impact through lockdown (see retaliate changes) or AoE antiheal or something useful. Frostweaver (Everything is played): You make a well designed class, and suddenly every promotion is used and feels unique. Confessor (Inquisitor and Fanatic is played): Why change the names btw? Fanatic (CC promotion) is not used for their CC abilities though, because all confessors have the same CC. They are mainly just used for their passive elemental break debuff. Sanctifier is sadly still a joke, has no impact on fights, condemnation being locked in animation, their low range on CC, sanctifiers are ignoreable in fights. Myrmidon (Titan is played once every full moon): Titan went from one of the best DPS' if played well, to unplayable with the implementation of ranged AoE and huge amount of CC. Battlerager is ignoreable, it can soak dmg, but has no CC that makes an impact nor any utility or damage. Conqueror was also a great pick before to have 1 of in your lineup - now it's useless, frostweaver does it better. Duelist (Slayer is played): Slayer is played because it has lots of control combined with good ranged damage, you actually feel like a DPS promotion playing this. Vanguard Scout is a promotion people forget exist. Dirge is used for harvesting characters, because it's easier to craft mail/plate harvesting gear. Druid (Earthkeeper and Stormcaller is used): Archdruid used to be THE AoE damage. You would work together to set up the big one shots - it has now been overtaken by the quick AoE dmg Frostweavers and Stormcallers has, why take 20 seconds to set up a one shot, when you can spam AoE dmg every second on a Frostweaver with almost no ramp-up time? Hitboxes Hitboxes really have to get fine tuned, if anyone has ever tried to play a ranged character, trying to hit enemies on objects, fort/keep walls etc. most often even though your reticle is straight on the enemy character, you will not hit your enemy. Very frustrating. Leveling I understand that leveling was implemented to slowly introduce players to the class and their powers/mechanics. But if that's the reason, why do you then still have to level advanced vessels? Did you think we forgot how to play our class after we upgraded our vessel? We should just have short class introductions when you create a basic vessel, and that should be it. Leveling feels misplaced in a PvP game like this, which brings me to the next part, New Player Experience. New Player Experience Now I know the current New Player Experience is not done. But here's what a new player needs to know (I have explained, trained and taught A LOT of new players over the last 3 years): - They need to understand that fights are mainly played in groups. - They need to learn how to use siege equipment. - They need to learn how objectives work. - They need to learn how to craft advanced stuff. Learning this means they get to learn how crafting items are dependent on multi professions/crafters and requires time. Which hopefully teaches them to appreciate when they get well crafted stuff. "I would like an epic Runic Sword" "Yeah but do you understand the effort it takes to make a sword like that happen?" - They need to learn the basics of their class (later all classes, but that shouldn't be in the intro) - They need to learn how harvesting works, where resources come from, what Plentiful harvest is etc. - What victory cards are etc. If they learn all this stuff in the introduction, they will be well suited to out into a campaign and actually contribute for a guild. It's a huge amount of work, but this is what guilds are forced to teach new players when they take them into their guild. __________________ Now this sounds like a lot of negative stuff, but it's just how we have experienced the game the last 3 years. Here's some positive stuff though: - Dregs, Guild vs Guild worked out great, the forced friendly fire between allied guilds adds a fun factor to fights. - Thralls at night is a cool mechanic, and forces people out into the world (will work great with a big population) - The game have been great enough to play it non-stop for 3+ years, you have done a lot of stuff right. - All the different stats in the game makes it an awesome experience for min/max'ers, that you can really dive into your stats and exactly hit your caps in late game etc. is great. (Only problem is what is actually viable vs obtainable) - Harvesting was chill and useful (till Caravans) - The feeling of being dependant on eachother in a guild is still there, you can't fight without your crafters, you can't craft without your harvesters, you can't harvest without your crafters. (I know wartribe = non crafted gear, caravans = non harvested resources, but still :D ) We hope the devs can use some of this feedback. Hopefully a bigger population will fix a lot of these frustrations, only time will tell. Now, this was a long post, and if you've reached the end, thank you for reading, this post was made to spark discussions about the game, so fire away, but keep it constructive!
  23. 41 points

    Community and community volunteers

    Tomorrow will be my one-month “Panniversary” at ACE. I came in just a few days before the Kickstarter ended and had two weeks to extract as much as I could from Tully’s brain before he took it with him for his belated honeymoon to Japan. There were a lot of moving parts to master, admin tools to learn and all that jazz. I wasn’t able to spend as much time as I would have liked getting to know our community. Things are still moving at a crazy pace, but I feel like I’ve got my sea legs now and am learning how to achieve a better balance. That means I feel like we can start having some two-sided conversations rather than the reactive, quick replies many of you have gotten from me. So, let’s talk about volunteers since that’s a hot topic in the community today. I was a volunteer in Ultima Online. I loved it, and it’s not an exaggeration to say it changed my life. My experiences as a UO volunteer paved the way to the career I have now and introduced me not only to people who are “I’d help you move a body”-level friends but also my husband. We knew from the onset that we wanted a volunteer program for EVE Online, too. It’s not a simple matter to build something like that from scratch, and we had to reboot it a couple of times, but I’m really proud of what it became. Again, the volunteer program helped me meet people who became very dear to me, and I was able to help some of them realize their goals of getting into the game industry. Todd, Gordon and I all agree on the importance and value of having a corps of volunteers as part of the Crowfall community. We also recognize it can be a double-edged sword. Personally, I've had days when I wanted to throw in the towel on the whole shebang because it felt like it would be easier and less hassle to do everything myself than to have to fiddle with whatever the volunteer drama du jour happened to be. Volunteers aren't employees, but they are hard workers. They aren't “official,” but they represent us. They don’t speak for us, but they help spread our message. They face a level of accountability and responsibility that other community members don’t. They are held to a higher standard. They have to be above the suspicion of impropriety, just like anyone on our team…. Except that they aren't on our team. As a volunteer, there are times when you feel like you’re trying to walk the wire with your ankles tied together. It’s not for everyone. It’s definitely not for anyone who is sensitive or outspoken. If you haven’t tried it, you might wonder why any sane person would subject themselves to it. I wonder the same thing about people who sky dive or bungee jump. I guess it’s a matter of taste and what gets your adrenaline going – and who’s to say what’s sane and what isn't anyway? =) So there we have our expectations for how Crowfall community volunteers should conduct themselves. In addition to following the same rules as the rest of the community, you've got all that stuff I talked about before: accountability, neutrality, held to higher standards. But what about the community itself? To date, I've made some comments here and there about a few things but nothing in-depth. Very soon after I joined ACE, there was a big stink on the boards about moderation, and Tully had already shown me the language filter and acknowledged I’d probably want to revisit that and the all the forum rule-y, code of conduct-y stuff—all of which are on the To Do list that I’m slowly chipping away at each day as time allows. Here’s my viewpoint on forum moderation in one easy reference I call The Will Smith Approach: “Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing.” Follow the rules. You don’t have to get along with everyone, you don’t have to agree with everyone, but it’s not okay to be a jerk to anyone. You can argue a point, even heatedly, without getting personal. And, just to be absolutely clear on this: I have ZERO tolerance for ‘hate speech’: racial slurs; insults related to religion, culture, gender or sexual orientation; or threats of violence. That’s an instant ban. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Crowfall is a “throne war simulator”. War. Simulator. Little virtual people fighting each other in a virtual world. But the emotions and feelings are often very real. It’s not Happy Time at Barney’s Playhouse. Things are going to get hot. Sides will be chosen and lines will be drawn. That’s what keeps it exciting. Now let’s get out there and pretend to kill each other – and have fun doing it.
  24. 41 points

    Pve Campaign Stretch Goal?

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  25. 40 points
    Hey Crowfaller's, Jon here (Env Lead) I just wanted to give you guys a quick update on the current and future state of the Environment. First off, all of these comments are definitely valid feedback and trust me when I say this we agree with most all of them. We see all your feed back and understand your concerns. Here is just a brief explanation on our process and why... The challenge we have as a small dev team is that we can't just throw 50-100 artist to a given area(Man O man I wish we could). We have to do things in a lot more deliberate , methodical process.Think of it as stages (every game and team size goes through something like this). Each stage we set out a task, complete said task, then move on to the next stage(or pass) of that task. The environment falls very heavy under this. For the last year and half we have been working on the tech to allow parcel placement. The ability to pick up, rotate, move and place multiple parcels sounds so simple,right? Turns out, it is far, far from simple. A lot of time and effort as gone into this parcel feature. So early on we knew we would go through heavy, heavy testing on this functionally. We went down a list and decided what was needed or required for the environment to get us to a testing phase. (meaning not finished or final polished art). Long story short. This is effectively what you're seeing in the game right now. Once the engineering team got what they needed for testing purposes (basically what you see in the game now). We focused on building houses, forts, temples, props (basically a bunch of objects to be placed in the game that we haven't shown a lot of yet). Now that we have our tech working for parcels and we have a lot of the initial objects done, I have been back knee deep in taking the Environments to the next stage. Please remember though, it's a tad slower of a process since we're such a smaller team and still in a pre-alpha state. I am not trying to make any excuses though. Again, all of your concerns are valid. I read all of them. You will always have a voice here on these forms if I have anything to say about it!! Here is a quick outline and goals for the next step in Env: Updated lighting/ Near final Camera Effects (AO,AA, SSR...) More/ new vegetation New/updated TerrainTextures New Terrain Objects More varied Terrain types New clouds and sky Day night cycle Updated water Seasons ...and I am probably forgetting some. In a nutshell, I hear you and I want you to know that we are committed to making the environment look as good as we possibly can. Thanks for all your feed back, please keep it up. It will only make our game that much better. Have a great day! -Jon
  26. 39 points
    Content: Posting 1 (this one): Content, Foreword, Basic Informations for new players, list of numbers of supported players per stronghold parcel type, picture of full BigWorld 3.3-3.5 Map (spoilered), most important stronghold parcels Posting 2: Picture of BigWorld 3.3 to 3.5, compared to maximum basic map/EK size (spoilered) Posting 3: All existing parcels with pictures and descriptions, as of BigWorld testing build 3.3-3.5. Posting 4: The new canyon parcel in BigWorld 3.7, as of 2016.12.12 Thread: Mountain Parcel - New details as of May 2017 Also visit my Stronghold Comparison if you like to, now including the number of wall parts you will get for your stronghold packages during the 3.8 tests. Foreword A while ago i made a Stronghold Comparison to show and discuss how big Strongholds will be in Crowfall. Though mostly based on rough estimations and a lot of calculations, the numbers turned out to be pretty good. Now, with the opportunity to take measures within the BigWorld test environment, the possibilities of calculations rose as much as the curiosity how the dimensions of parcels will feel and how the world will look like finally. In this thread i will try to juxtapose parcels that we have seen seperated and from a bird's-eye perspective (like concept arts) or mixed up and from a worm's-eye view (like in the BigWorld test). Please note that those are NOT the real things. Based on given informations, these 3D parcel pictures are roughly self-made emulations, so they won't be perfect. But they should be good enough to give a general idea. After some basic informations for newcomers, i will start with the most important stronghold parcels and show you how they look like, compared with each other and the actual BW 3.4 test environment, and will add new informations and pictures from time to time. Have fun, good luck Kraahk Basic informations For those who are not into geomancy, some basic informations. Parcels are the modules our worlds are made of. Each parcel contains one or more quadratic cells with a side-legth of 256 meter each. Crowfall uses basic maps with a scope of 20x20 cells. In the case of Campaigns, several procedurally compiled basic maps will be stitched together to build the whole world. In case of Eternal Kingdoms, players will have the opportunity to build their very own kingdom (they way they want to) within the frame of one basic map. Parcels and Strongholds can be bought in the shop. They can also be build out of ingame materials (if the necessary skills are trained - like stone masonry or geomancy) or shared or traded with other players in game. Parcels can be placed in other players kingdoms. Placing a parcel somewhere else doesn't change the ownerships. The same is true for building components like walls. So people can work together, without fear to loose something. Parcels and Strongholds support different number of players/shops, mostly depending on the parcel type and rank. The numbers show the estimated support provided by the basic version of this kind of parcel. From Shire to Province - an overview We have seen a lot of pictures and we ran more or less frenetically through the BigWorld. But we haven't seen the parcels side by side yet. In this picture you can see the most important parcel types, including their names and supported player base. Where known, i also added the related strongholds, roughly true to scale. Parcels compared to the world It is nice to know how big parcels are if compared to others. But how big is this in game? To say: How will it feel? To answer this questions, we need something to compare an ingame feeling of scope with those dry pictures above. Since we have BigWorld testing, we can do that. The following picture shows the big stronghold parcels side by side with the explorable BigWorld environment of the 3.4 Test. The Palace parcel (province 3) would swallow the whole swamp area + 2 Shire parcels + 2 Estate parcels. To see more ingame maps of the 3.x tests, you can visit my Crowfall Maps thread. edit 161119: content summary added (including later postings) edit 170425: Time goes by. Adjusted some things, added some links.
  27. 39 points

    Reddit Ama Summary From March 25

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/30aqli/crowfall_ama_with_executive_producer_and_creative/ Replies from Todd (/u/Jtoddcoleman) Q: How will a victor be determined in FFA Campaigns such as The Dregs? A: The Dregs will be a system similar to Shadowbane, but adapted to the idea of a seasonal campaign. The basic idea is "take over as much land, as hold it as long as you can." We gave an example (the Bloodstones design) that showed how victory points are amassed; the details may differ but the core concept will be similar. Q: 1) What drove you to choose Unity 5 over UE4, UDK, CryEngine, or another engine? My understanding from speaking with Unity game developers is that it is less performant than many of its counterparts, particularly for fast-moving games. Do you feel that decision has impacted design decisions about the speed that things occur at? 2) Do you feel like the relative expense and difficulty of making MMORPGs prevents developers from taking risks in their designs? It feels like in the post WoW world, we live in a world of very similar MMOs which try not to deviate too far from the WoW model. Shadowbane was my first and favorite MMORPG, and the game that truly made me into a gamer. Crowfall looks like its spiritual successor - I'm cheering hard for it. A: 1) I'm not a programmer, but from a production stand point I can tell you that the Unity pipeline and toolset are world class. The editing features -- where you can interrupt the program while it is running, change a UI, and then "unpause" the game to see the results of the changes without having to re-execute is pretty amazing. MMOs are huge games, and anything you can do to increase the iteration cycle for making/testing changes is a HUGE win, in terms of overall time (and therefore cost.) In terms of performance, we were an early participant in the Unity 5 beta, and I think the performance increases have been pretty fantastic in this version. Again, though, I'm not technical enough to do a deep dive into the render pipeline... but from what I've seen, the engine is very impressive, and MUCH easier to adapt to an MMO than most of the other commercial engines available. 2) Absolutely, when a game makes BILLIONS of dollars in revenue, suddenly that's the "right" way to build that kind of game. It means that the people funding these games all wanted WOW success, and the best way to pitch WOW success is to start the pitch with "Wow, only with XYZ". I feel like we had more innovation before WOW, because no one knew what was possible (and therefore, what wasn't.) Crowdfunding has really changed this equation, quite frankly because the people with the money (you) are better at picking visions that will be appealing to a large audience. Of course they are, right? Because the idea only takes hold if it manages to attract a large audience. It's basically taken the traditional studio "green light" process and democratized it. Thanks for playing SB, btw! That was my first professional game, and it was a hell of a ride. I'm glad to be able to go back after all this time and try some of those design ideas again. Q: What do you think is the biggest lesson you learned from your past projects? How are you using those lessons and applying what you know now to Crowfall? A: The biggest lesson that I learned (the hard way) is that you can't make a game that is going to make everyone happy. Instead, pick a focus and make a game that THOSE people will love. "Sometimes you gotta let those hard-to-get chips go" Q: As an old Shadowbane player, I've never really found an MMO that compared. The amount of freedom, choice, and complexity of the classes and politics in the world is second to none in my opinion. Where will this game settle between being something new and a blast from my past? Will this game give me the feeling of reliving my time with SB in some respects? A: That's my goal. Only without the sb.exe problems. Q: The selection of archetype – promotion – and discipline runes seems heavily influenced by Shadowbane. What sets it apart? What is one of your goals for improving it over the Shadowbane system? A: First off, I think some of those original SB ideas are still awesome, and deserve to be revisited. But the core difference is the "Campaign Worlds", the idea of unique maps will unique rulesets that come to an end... this fixes what is (IMO) the biggest design flaw that we had in Shadowbane. Q: Thanks for the answer JTC. If you have time after answering all these other great questions could you give me something a little more specific to character advancement? I know my prior phrasing was ambiguous. A: Well, first off, I made the tough (and obviously highly debatable) decision to combine race and class into archetype, because it leads to characters that are more thematic. You can see that I was heading in this direction on SB, especially in the pre-requisites for Disciplines -- but in this game, I decided to push it further. Some people don't like it, but they also haven't seen the pay off, yet. The result will be characters that feel more unique and stylized, and themed. And it allows us to make characters that are amazingly varied -- I mean, we have centaurs and minotaurs and guineceans! The reason we can do that is because we decided to lock the races and classes, instead of creating a system that demanded a combinatory result (race X class)... you'll notice that the trend in the industry for MMOs has been to allow any race with any class, and to reduce the number of base races to try and cut the art cost. Next, we split Talents into Advantages and Disadvantages, because I always liked that in Gurps, and I thought it would be a cool way to expand on the original idea. Then we went with passive training. This is a big one, because it means that we don't force players to invest hundreds of hours into the game (i.e. the grind) to get to the fun part at the end -- there is no end-game. Crowfall is nothing but end-game. sorry for misunderstanding you, before! hope this clears it up. Q: First I want to preface my question with this, I know Crowfall is unlike any game I've ever played, so forgive me for making comparisons to other games. I am only trying to compare to what I already know. In no means am I trying to say it's the same as the games I compare it to. You've already redesigned the Holy Trinity paradigm of Tank/Healer/DPS without dedicated healers into something similar to Combatants/Crafters/Scouts (which I think is awesome). As a well versed MMO player, I've spent many days playing WoW, Rift, SWTOR, etc...and as such each game tends to have the preferred class/spec combo. I remember when Frost DKs were taken over my Enhancement Shaman due to different class/spec abilities/buffs. So I was wondering if Crowfall will redesign or break standard MMO class/spec composition paradigms? I.e. Will a horde (or herd?) of Minotaurs be able to be as effective as a group of mixed Archetypes? Will groups/guilds need to balance the amount of each Archetype they have? Or will we see that Archetype doesn't change how the game is played, the player [skill/style] changes how the game is played? Hope that makes sense, sorry for the wall of text! Thank you for your continued effort to make this game amazing! A: yeah, it's hard to explain when you have a more free-form ability to customize your character, because roles are less defined. that doesn't mean "everyone can do everything" -- at all, it just means "I'm not ONLY a tank" or "I'm not ONLY dps." and again, we're not killing the idea of support classes, we just don't have firehose healers, because the game isn't being made with the goal of having parties fight monsters with 40,000 health. It's a different mindset, so we changed the roles to fit the new paradigm. Q: With the Crowfall physics (inertia, gravity, etc.), is it possible to climb some very steep slopes? Or the characters will rather tend to "fall"? A: yes, we've already got a version of this working, it's interesting to play with. Your guy will "slide" down a sleep slope -- and when you add it to the feet placement IK system (which you can see in a few of the character screenshots) it works surprisingly well! Q: 1.are the world's seemless or do you select a world on login? 2.Are you guys planning on a mobile app for acct, char, guild, shop mgt? I think mobile mgt would be crucial for merch owners. 3.How lush are the RSS going to be throughout the maps? A: 1) Each Eternal Kingdom and Campaign world is a separate world. Within that world, it is seamless. 2) mobile app would be cool, but it isn't part of the core module. sounds like a great stretch goal. I know I would use it. 3) I'm not sure what you are asking, here? Q: It is my understanding you do not have traditional leveling. Will a freshly made character be able to fight a character that has been around the block and skilled up? Also, am I correct in thinking that instead of choosing a race then a class, you choose an archetype, and the race/class are one choice together? Thanks for your time - first time I ever backed anything on Kickstarter. A: high level characters have an advantage, but not a huge one. In most MMOs, a 40th level guy can take on an infinite army of 20th. In ours, a high level character can take out one or two, but if he gets caught off-guard by 3 or 4 newbies, he could be in serious trouble. Yes, archetypes are race/class combos. This makes them more thematic, because when you decide to make every race and every class go together, you have to make animations and armors that match everyone -- which means you end up with characters that are inevitably more generic, and a spiraling art cost gets quickly out of control due to all the combinatory results. Thanks for backing! Q: You have said crafters could craft full time and be their main role in the game. Is this true for gatherers as well? Could you have a character that spends its entire game harvesting resources for your guild and crafters? A: absolutely! this will be a more dangerous route, because it means you'll have to brave the Campaign Worlds -- but it can be a VERY lucrative path, if you're good at it. Q: What has been the most memorable moment for you both during this whole Kickstarter campaign? A: that first morning was brutal. terrifying, and exhilarating in equal parts. Q: Thank you ACE for the Ask me Anything post in reddit. So here is my question: - What do you plan as background for the different gods and when do we see these ideas? A: I have a firm idea of all the gods, and how they interrelate, that I've been working on for the last year or two. We just didn't have time to do all the art to back it up, going into kickstarter. This is an area that I'm really looking forward to. The Pantheon of Gods, and their relationship to the Hunger, is one of the coolest parts of the CF universe IMO. We haven't quite gotten to the part where the players (and guilds) know them well enough to start building their own stories around them. That's coming. Q: The combat in MMOs is usually very generic and doesn't really feel like the characters have any weight when they are landing blows. Have you considered going with more of an action rpg combat system instead? I think larger battles will feel a lot cooler and take more use of your physics engine to if characters can't just walk right through each other and a shield actually has to be facing someone to block them. A: that's what we're doing. We are using PhysX and locked animation sequences, to give weight to the character's actions. Q: With the development of the tournament and championship systems, do you see Crowfall breaking in to the esport scene, and if so will we see shorter more televisable campaigns? I could get behind watching a Hunger Games like arena with a single spawn. A: We should be lucky enough for the game to be that popular! How far we go down that road is really for you guys -- the community -- to decide. Q: 1) Any reason why "The Shadow" rule set is on the only rule set not to be included in the core module? A: Yes, the order of the rules was chosen to explore the outer edges of the design. I picked the Dregs, first, because we didn't know if we would hit any stretch goals at all, and I knew this ruleset would be most popular with our core following (many of whom are ex-Shadowbane players). Once we cleared that hurdle, I went back to the 3 faction rules, because I knew those two rulesets would give us the most coverage. Once we cleared THAT hurdle, now I had two left to choose from, and the 12-god cage match sounded more fun. As we get more funding, we'll expand the rulesets -- in fact, after launch, we'll be constantly adding new rulesets, that is the single coolest thing about the design's architecture. Q: Regarding the new Infected Ruleset: Will our characters pledge permanently to one god or will it be on a per campaign basis? A: This is one that we're still debating. It's not an easy answer, and if we can't agree internally, we try to resolve that impasse before we talk about it publicly. Q: I watched a video from MMORPG.com and apparently the game has survival elements like hunger, cold and thirst. Can you confrim this? And if so can you talk about it a bit? A: Yes, we are including survival elements in the game -- though we haven't released an FAQ yet that talks about how these elements work. (We actually wrote one, but in the review process prior to release, it raised a handful of new debates internally, and that's how we knew we weren't quite ready to talk about it, yet.) Q: How do you plan to handle stealth in Crowfall? A: My goal was to make it similar to the SB stealth game; there were two different play styles, one geared towards stealth (infiltration, information retrieval, assassination) and one geared towards anti-stealth (seeking out and eliminating the former.) In SB, a lot of this was focused on troop movement and city infiltration -- which was awesome, but in Crowfall we have opportunities to expand on that foundation, thanks to resource collection and caravans. That should add a new layer of cool gameplay to reconnaissance. Q: Excited about the game, a few questions for the team! 1) You've analogized the game economy to EVE before (Items with durability requiring replacement, a highly complex crafting system), in which case I'm wondering what form marketplaces will take. Will they be exclusively in player owned eternal kingdoms or scattered throughout the land in NPC towns and castles? Will players have the ability to place buy/sell orders or contracts on said markets, or will trade be exclusively face-to-face or mediated by a WoW type auction house? 2) Will players be able to move their characters from one account to another, and if so will that be free (Besides buying another account of course) or paid? I'm thinking this because VIP players will be able to passive train up to 3 character slots at once, and this could create a secondary market in trained characters. As a followup, will characters be tradeable in-game? 3) Will characters on the same account all have access to the same eternal kingdom? As in, could my fighting character procure some valuable resources, leave it at my keep, and then my crafting character logs on and makes advanced materials or items? Thanks! A (Todd): I'll try and hit these quickly: 1) no automated auction house. we want people to move their avatars (and resources/materials) around the game, we feel like it makes the experience cooler 2) no current plan to move characters between accounts 3) yes, the EK ownership is at the account level, not the character level A: (Gordon): 1) We have no NPC EK's or marketplaces. So everything is player driven and owned. We'll start with face to face player commerce and player owned vendors, and move to the contract model over time. No global auction houses! 2) We are not planning to be able to transfer characters between accounts. We will have the ability for players to buy up to 3 additional character slots per account (6 total). 3) The account owns the Eternal Kingdom, not a character. Which means all characters on that account share the materials/items in their Eternal Kingdom. Q: Hey thanks for putting this Q&A together. Here are a few questions I have answer as many as you like! To what extent is this game combat/questing/mission based? Is the possibility of non combat skills off the table? For example, I think Runescape was revolutionary in the fact that it had an incredibly wide skill system (woodcutting, fishing, agility, etc). This made so many new possibilities for the players, it allowed them to play the game in an infinite number of ways (pures, mains, skillers, etc). It also gave them small sets of goals and the psychologically satisfying feeling of gaining experience and levels to accomplish those goals. How important is it to you to have a a "satisfying" feeling combat system? League of legends does this incredibly well (Nidalee spears, Jinx's ult, Zed's auto attacks). The satisfaction of hitting a skill shot or attack. You hear the noise of the attack and see your opponents health bar instantly chunked down. How wide will the skill range be for PvP combat? League of legends and Super Smash Bros would be examples of a massive range of skill that the player can develop. In both these games the extent to which you have timing, positioning, and knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent give an enormous range of who is "good" and who is "great". A: the game is heavily focus on crafting and economy, it's one of the pillars of the experience. but it isn't focused on narrative, pre-written quests; instead, we generate opportunities for conflict that will cause players to come into contact with other players (sometime cooperatively, but more often competitively) -- for example, we spawn a valuable strategic resource in a disputed area and let the teams fight over it. It's not a "quest" per se; instead the system is driving players to become the content for other players. incredibly important. meaning: if we don't get the feel of combat right, our game is dead. it will likely be similar. we're using an action-combat model, so yeah, some players are going to be MUCH better than others. add that to a shallow advancement curve (where level and equipment aren't going to protect you) and you've got a game that is much more focused on player skill (and strategy.) Q: This action combat model can be very hit or miss. I hope you guys find something that looks nice and feels good to use. Not just a bunch of running around and turning the camera while trying to throw attacks at your enemy. A: I think the animation locking will have a pretty big impact on addressing this, but we'll have to try it to know for sure. Q: Will different archetypes of the same race have different physique to fit their role more? A: f I'm understand correctly, you're asking "if we add a Fae spellcaster, would she had a different height/weight/body style?" Yes, she certainly could. One of the benefits of the archetype system is that each archetype can be VERY different. That said, we'll always have to be mindful of animation reuse, because animations are INCREDIBLY expensive, so it'll probably be a mix. For example, I'm expecting that we'll get some reuse between the Male Champion and the Minotaur... even though the overall look will be significantly different. Q: Can players swim in crowfall? A: yeah, yeah... OK, swimming. sure. We'll have to do something, here, obviously... but we don't have a firm answer yet. It's actually a significant cost for, sadly, a pretty minimal gain IMO. I have no intention of adding an underwater themed biome, or water dungeons or anything. Ideally, water should be another environmental resource that you have to take into account, tactically. (Honestly, I would really love to say "you don't swim! characters just walk across the lake floor", and since the characters are Immortals, I think there is some narrative precedent. * but I don't think we can get away with that. We'll figure something out. man, I hate swimming. *highlander reference ftw Q: and along these lines, will there be oceans, lakes with boats and sailing? A: boats are another matter entirely. I love ships. Ships are awesome. that said, we don't have the budget to do ships. This would be a great stretch goal, but it would unfortunately have to be a pretty big one. someday, perhaps? Q: Are granted rights (noble, tenant, etc) to EKs also based on account, or can it be different for different characters? A: Current design is account level. Though Blair just raised an objection as I type this, so evidently it warrants further discussion. Q: On the forums, Thomas Blair made a comment about land being "a big giant box of Tetris pieces and the campaign worlds grab a handful of them when the world is generating". Does this indicate that the entire world is not procedurally generated, but just select generated but QC'd plots of land and piecing them together? So could we expect after multiple campaigns to see the same 'pieces' multiple times, but possibly just in different order? Thank you! A: the answer is somewhere in between. we're procedurally generating the worlds, but using the tetris model to create them. yes, that means that some areas will be similar between Campaigns -- but not exactly the same. For example: I might recognize that this S shaped, 5 parcel area consists of hills and a river, but the villages within it are different. I don't know if there will be a city wall around the next hill, or a barracks, or a burned villa. Completely procedural worlds, using a fractal algorithm to generate the terrain, tend to look cool when viewed from a distance but don't feel right when you play them. I struggled with this problem for 4 years on shadowbane. This approach, IMO, the best balance point between "custom-built areas" and "procedurally generated maps." Q: Can attributes (Str, Int, etc.) be trained after the advantages/disadvantages selection? Will there be any cross-promotion classes (like Shadowbane hybrids, i.e., fighter lock vs mage lock)? Looks amazing guys! Power on to 1.7 Mill! A: They can be increased through: disciplines, equipment, and buffs. We elected not to do the "level based" increases at the same time we elected not to do levels. Q: Hey guys, first of all thanks for doing this and I want to say the game looks amazing. It's the game I've always dreamed of. Now to the question: What kind of control over ranks in guilds are we going to have? Is there a limit on the number of ranks? If possible can you give us a quick overview of the guild system? A: We haven't talked about the guild system (we will soon) primarily because we aren't doing anything here that will be particular contentious. My philosophy on this is: these guilds have existed long before Crowfall, and will exist long after. We need to give you guys the power to manage the guild, and to that end, we need to adapt to you -- not the other way around. Guild management IS intended to be a different system from Eternal Kingdom management, btw -- though the two will often be intertwined. We aren't forcing guilds to use our EK structure. Q: Hey there! Big fan, I played shadowbane a ton and even had a few guides make it on to the main site. I've been doing a bunch of building in the Landmark version of the Voxel Farm tech. I have a few questions about voxels: How much of the world will be made with Voxels? Will the buildings be mainly voxels or a mix of polys? Will you be using a poly to voxel conversion or making the buildings manually with VF tools? Will you be using the procedural grammar system for creating structures? A quick non-voxel question: Some of the pre alpha combat footage seemed to use heavy amounts of 'red carpets' to indicate where attacks would be. Is it a plan to stick with these or try to minimize their usage in combat? A: The entire world is voxelized. That said, you won't be able to carve it up as quickly as you see the forgemaster doing in the video -- that's edit mode. If we allowed that, the world would be swiss cheese within minutes of a new campaign coming online. the plan for buildings is voxels. plan for props is polygonal meshes. we build the stuff in 3DS Max and convert it to voxels. We're also working with VF to voxelize UV-mapped meshes, which is something that no one else has done with VS before (spoiler alert!) The analogy I use for this is a candy bar: tri-planar mapped interiors with a "hard candy shell" that can be mapped like a normal 3D polygonal object (instead of having to create the surface out of different materials). That work is coming along well, though it has been very tricky to work out! We've been working on it since ... October of last year? Re: procedurally created buildings, yes, that is the plan, but out of rooms/towers/wall segments, etc, not brick-by-brick. We're still playing with the target projections. TBH, I don't know if they will make it into the final game. Q: Is the Champion, Templar or Knight able to dual wield? I want to play a dual wielding plate wearing bad bottom and need to know which of the three allows that. I'm excited for beta and glad that I was able to help kick start this game. A: We haven't released a list of the promotion classes or disciplines yet, but I'll try to keep it in mind to make sure we have at class with both heavy armor and dual wield. Thanks for backing us! Q: Thanks for doing this guys! 1. Do you have plans for a support role to be able to deliver their support via melee in the form of something like an AoE effect? 2. Are you fine with some classes being able to own others in a 1v1 setting or will you attempt to balance it all? A: 1) yes, but we haven't announced the details yet. 2) absolutely, that's not the goal of balance (which is good, I suppose, since it wouldn't be possible.) Our goal is for players to be able to decide what play style they want, and customize their character to that end. Part of that means they need to figure out what situations they want to be strong in, and seek those out. It also means choosing some areas they WON'T be strong in, and avoiding them. ("Perfect balance" isn't actually fun, either, btw. Rock Paper Scissors is pretty balanced! and terribly boring.) Q: Thanks for doing this AMA, Im a fan of MMO's and a fan of hardcore PvP, even though i am really bad at it in most games, but I have fun while doing it, my question is with the passive training you have implemented can a super casual player truly compete with people in the dregs? Reword the question a bit Will the passive training be enough to get you by, or should someone really need to play all the time to compete in the more hardcore rulesets? A: Ok, so that's really two different questions, so let me break it apart. With passive training, will a more casual person will be able to achieve equal footing to the best players on the Dregs? Yes. Will a casual person be able to compete with the best player on the Dregs, character build aside? No. But honestly, even if your build was better, that person would still likely lose. Spending more time in the game wouldn't help either, though, if that helps! Some people are just crazy good. Stay away from them. Be careful. Bring friends. Q: Any plans for a human caster from a non-religious background? Wizard/Mage is usually my style and promotion classes would allow for a lot of others (battlemage, necromancer, warlock etc). A: yes, we have promo classes for some of the existing archetypes that don't have a narrative bend towards religion. Q: Talk about leaving a campaign has been vague, I understand you acquire resources there; but what happens to gear and spoils you've looted along the way? What benefit (to the next campaign, not EK) would loot have if when you start a campaign you're going in naked? A: Export rules determine how much you can take back to the Eternal Kingdoms. How much this matters in the next Campaign, depends on the type of Campaign you choose (and specifically, the Import rules of that next Campaign.) If you really want to bring in the gear that you looted, don't pick a naked Campaign (we call those campaigns 'terminator rules'). Terminator-rules Campaigns are great, however, for players who want to be assured of a completely level playing field at the start, or players who are new to the game and don't have anything to bring in from prior Campaigns. Q: Outside of the campaigns, will the Eternal Kingoms serve any military function? Eg: Will guilds be able to war with guilds between their Kingdoms, or is all combat relegated to the campaigns? A: you have control over your PvP settings, but that really isn't the purpose of the Eternal Kingdom. The Campaigns (and Tournament Worlds) exist exactly for this reason, and were designed to avoid the "Uncle Bob" situation where one team "wins" and the game is over. Q: Is there a small chance the All-Father is still alive? If yes, is there anything the players could do to help him fight the Hunger? A: I like to leave room in the narrative for crazy things to happen! But, no. He's dead. Q: With a heavy focus on crafting and economy and allowing RMT with VIP tickets...Could you tell me how this wont be pay2win? or pay2advantage? Wont people be able to RMT and have all the materials or anything they want in game? In turn taking that into pvp. A: Eve has allowed this forever, and it isn't a "pay to win" game. Why not? Because you can't win by paying more money. If your point is "players shouldn't get ANY items they didn't personally earn, because it's cheating", then the only way to fix that is to turn off trading completely. Guilds give items to guildmates. Those players didn't earn it. Friends twink up their friends. Those players didn't earn it. Players beg. Players bully. Players con. Players trade. Items are CONSTANTLY moved between players. It's a part of the game. If the items were created or collected in the game, by other players, IMO that isn't pay to win. and remember -- we have import rules on every Campaigns. if you REALLY, REALLY hate the idea of facing a player who is using an item they didn't earn, because another player gave or sold it to them -- then stick to the Campaigns that don't allow you to import ANY items. Problem solved. Unless it just offends you. Like I'm offended that a restaurant that I never go to, that serves a type of food I don't like, doesn't serve my favorite beer. In fact, a pretty good argument can be made that a system like this is the opposite of pay to win, because people who CAN'T afford to pay for a subscription can now invest time -- instead of money -- to get the same benefit as the player who pay for a VIP membership. That's not pay to win; it's the opposite. Replies from Gordon (/u/PSWTyrant) Q: Will the Alpha 1 run 24/7? Or will it operate off and on (i.e. weekends only, etc)? A: Probably not. Alpha tests tend to be very focused on particular aspects of the game, not the entire experience. Trying to play it for many hours will make most people very frustrated and give no additional value to the developers. Most early alpha tests will only last an hour or two at a time is my expectation. Q: Its 1 EK per account right? not per character? A: Yes, your Eternal Kingdom belongs to your account, not your characters. Q: When do you plan to 'release' informations on archetype/promotion classes/disciplines skills? A: These will be released over the coming months as they get finalized in the design. We've already released several disciplines and a couple of promotion classes but there are many more. Q: Why is the release date so far out? The videos you released make the game look playable. What are you going to be doing over the next 2 years? A: Games take time to build, we've only been working on this with a team for a year and it's an MMO. We think we're building it in record time in fact. The videos were a playable prototype in a very pre-alpha state. We're in the process of doing our first full combat iteration now from that version, and I'd bet we'll do that a few times as we go for the right feel. Q: What game comes closest to how combat is intended to feel in crowfall? A: A hybrid of Tera (the action combat) and Wildstar (movement). Q: Will there be peek and steal abilities, similar to those used by the Thief class in Shadowbane? A (Gordon): The design team loves this mechanic/idea, but there is not a definitive plan to have it in the core module release. A (Todd): One of my best friends is CONSTANTLY retelling me war stories about the times he would hide and corpse loot with his Aracoix in Shadowbane. Seriously, he has told me the same stories DOZENS of times, and he seems to think I've never heard it before. He will kill me if we don't put that kind of mechanic in Crowfall. Q: Congratulations on the very successful Kickstarter campaign. Did you expect such an outpouring of support? I know you guys had to quickly add stretch goals at the end, but what were your expectations when you started the funding campaign? A: Actually we were not sure we'd get enough support to meet our initial goal. We certainly hoped we would, and had done as much as we knew how to do to gather a community ahead of time. We've already done better than our best-case plans. The kudos really go to the backers though, not us, we just wanted to make something different and cool and hoped enough people would get enthused by this vision. Q: ACE has been very transparent with all of the updates during the KS phase. Since KS will be over in mere hours, what's your plan for updating us as to the progress? How often can we expect updates? Obviously, nobody should be expecting them to come as frequently, but...it's always exciting when there's something new posted. A: We won't be quite so talkative for sure, no actual work gets done when we are spending 16+ hours a day talking to players. We'll have updates on a regular weekly cadence for sure, what happens communication wise each day, week and month is yet to be decided though! That's what next week is for! Q: Please for the love of all that is holy, just tell us what's going on. Even if it's pictures of what the team is having for lunch. It's frustrating when you follow a game you're excited about and all of the sudden you get nothing for months about it A (Todd): We aren't going to disappear on you. I want this to be an incredibly open development process. The flip side of that is: we're going to make mistakes. count on it. we're occasionally going to go back to something we already announced and say "we tried this idea, and it didn't work, so now we are trying this, instead"... so please be patient with us. if you want to walk back into the kitchen to see how the meal is being made, be prepared to get a little dirty. Q: When a campaign begins, how will players be dispersed into the world? Assuming the answer depends on which ruleset, can you give us examples or ideas you have? A: It does change by ruleset of course, Faction-based ruleset worlds can have players enter in pre-determined areas, where the other rulesets will need a different mechanic for initial campaign drops, such as scattered across the world map. Q: I just want to say that I really hope you guys focus on risk vs. reward. Without consequences (full loot), an MMO like this will lose all of the thrill that games like Ultima Online, and Shadowbane had. It's long past time we had a real open world PvP game that had real risk vs. reward and gave it's player that thrill, and sense of dread and excitement all at once. I wish you all the best of luck, you already have my money. Don't let us down! A: Almost everything we have talked about and added to the game really comes down to risk versus reward. We want the game to be challenging, and thus not for every MMO player out there. These challenges along with a player driven economy drive socialization as players band together to solve the problems presented by the game environment. We want the bold souls that are willing to risk real adversity in their gameplay for the sake of satisfying accomplishments. And we've got an array of risk/reward rulesets so that players can find the sweet spot for their own personal risk/reward predisposition. Q: Will alphas and betas be locked under a press NDA? Will we be able to stream/record alpha and beta gameplay? A: We have chosen to have no NDA's for our tests. Stream away! Q: I'm a leap in and just give it a try kind of guy when it comes to learning, and as is typical with that strategy I mostly learn from my own mistakes. I can't imagine its too much different with game design due to how much iteration is involved in the process. So I love to know what valuable insight SWG provided with its various failures ( or "quirks") and if you'd please share that insight with us all? A: Lots of lessons, but a lot of them are the same old lessons unfortunately which most companies seem doomed to repeat. I think the biggest one is trying to change the fundamental nature of a game/brand post-launch is going to be doomed to fail 90% of the time. The few exceptions to this create executive optimism that leads to lots of future failures as people try to make a silk purse out of a sows' ear. Q: How much control will we have over our Eternal Kingdom? Will we be able to choose a biome/location or will it be a pretty generic area we build up? Also, when do you think Alpha testing will begin? A: The monarch has complete control over the Eternal Kingdom. They set the rules, hand out/take away fealty and land. We don't have a good array of biomes yet, those will be future stretch goals and/or content we do in live. Pre-alpha is set for this summer and we hope roll that release into the first alpha. Only that initial testing will determine when we'll get to go into alpha. Q: Hello ArtCraft! Been following the Kickstarter for a while, and have been impressed with all of the content y'all have been putting out. I look forward to the product! Now for the questions... Because I know it will be asked, Crowfall will be a mainly PvP MMORPG correct? People seem to be mixing up that Crowfall will be mainly PvE with light PvP with control over resources. When will we see more crafting updates? What has been shown leaves some ambiguity. -Lastly, do you plan on showing off Crowfall at any of the big gaming conventions throughout the year (PAX, RTX, etc.)? You guys gotta blow this thing up! A: The core of our game is PvP. We have PvE as an environmental threat to ramp up the danger of the worlds, much the same as the Zombies in Walking Dead make the world dangerous, but the other humans are the real threat. Of course we'll do more crafting updates over time as the system gets more definitive. We intend right now to spend more time building the game than attending conventions. We are likely to focus on consumer conventions in the future though as our game gets more playable, as getting the word out is important! Q: Have you decided on how the camera will be controlled. Would it be mouse-look like traditional FPS-es where moving the mouse will also move the camera? Or will it be traditional MMO-ish where you have to hold down the right mouse button to pan the camera? A: We are working on a Tera/ESO style camera and controls, where you have distinct modes for movement / mouse control. We'll play (and test) that and see where we need to iterate from there! Q: I’ve seen lots of discussion around animation lock vs telegraph combat (Tera vs Wildstar for two analogs). What other games are influencing other aspects of combat. For example; Attacking multiple attributes a la Health, Action or Mind in SWG Combining buffs or de-buffs into new effects a la GW2 Down states and executions a la DF Is warmth or hunger being considered for a Battle Fatigue system a la SWG A: 1) No 2) Maybe! 3) No 4) Not really like SWG in regeneration I hope this helps! Q: Hello and thanks for doing the AmA! My question is, will we be able to build and use siege weapons at some point? Because in the trailer i saw someone "charging" through a wall. If heros can do that, walls seem kind of pointless. But if you have to build a siege weapon, carry them somehow near enough to the enemy to use it AND defend it in order not to lose the siege weapon - now this would be whole other ballgame. I'm looking forward to play Alpha 3! Thanks for your hard work and please keep doing what you do and be true to your vision of crowfall! A: We will have player-built siege equipment for the core module (though we hadn't announced it yet). The wall you saw busted through had been attacked by spells before the hammer or shield bash finished it off. It takes a team to get through fortifications! Thanks for backing and see you in the Alpha 3! Q: Is it possible for weight to be a factor with the Unity engine? For example, if I dig a tunnel or cave with a thin enough roof and a large group of players run above could it collapse and trap them ala a tiger trap? A: Weight is a factor in the physics engine more than Unity, and we are using PhysX in our gameplay. We love the idea of traps and hope to have them in the game for the core module launch! Q: Hey guys, thanks for the AMA. I'm just curious if dodging and blocking will be available (if at all) to all classes or just specific ones? A: Dodging via "getting out of the way" is available to everyone, it is not an RNG stat. We are going with an active blocking mechanic and it will typically only be available to archetypes who can use shields. Q: This can be sort of a stupid question but here it goes: Do you guys have enough money to do what you said on kickstarter? A: Not a stupid question at all! We do have the money for the core module, but not all the money to build our complete vision for the game! We used our stretch goals to expand the core module to get closer to our complete game vision. We've been very open with our backers about this. We raised money before we did crowdfunding, and now the crowdfunding money (soon). Next we plan to license the game to some of the key overseas territories (Asia, anyone?), and most likely we'll raise some more money through equity too. We'll deliver the core module and stretch goals though even if these new money options don't work, we just want to go faster and deliver more of our game vision, which is what the additional money would help us do. Q: Are you considering any kind of player made items akin to the marketplace on steam or soe (now daybreak)'s player studio? A: Not at this time. Q: While I'm excited for all of the experience and ideas involved in this game, a huge selling point for me was the fact that you will be working with one of my gaming dev heroes -- Raph Koster. I'm just curious how involved Raph will be in his consulting role with Crowfall? A: We talk with Raph almost every week, and while he's mostly focused on our crafting/economic game, he weighs in on all aspects of our design which we like! Q: Can people score points by play against their own alts? A: Well, you can only play one character on your account at any one time. And only one side/guild/faction can win a given campaign. Hope this answered your question! Q: When the seasons change, let's say from fall to winter, will the players notice some major changes in the environment? Are there any impacts on gameplay caused by seasons? A: The world will look different in every season and as you move closer to winter the world itself and all the remaining creatures and zombie get more and more affected by the hunger, and not only does it make them more dangerous, it shows! Q: When do you presume the game will enter beta? A: Sometime mid-next year is the best estimate we have now. Q: Thanks for doing this AMA, thanks for making this game and thank-you so very much for Shadowbane! My questions is, will Crowfall contain or will you consider spells, powers or abilities that require more than one player to execute? Something like tandem casting, group abilities or any mechanic which results in such things which cannot be done alone. A: Pretty cool sounding, but no tandem casting at this time. It does take multiple characters/archetypes to accomplish some tactical tasks like breaching fortifications though. Q: How are you approaching sound effects in the game? For a long time now MMO(RPG)s have had very generic sounds, specifically when it comes to the combat. For my own personal preferences I like to have audio stimulance as much as visual.. What I mean by that is when landing a critical blow to an enemy is really sounds like a critical blow. And when I hit someone with a shield, it sounds like I'm hitting a shield. Usually nowdays is having all sounds in combat sound like you're hitting metal, no matter what weapon you are using or what you are hitting... Is that something you have put any thought/work into? A: We've got an excellent sound designer (who we have experience with) on Crowfall. And I like your ideas! Sound is where emotion lives so we'll be doing the best we can to enhance the impact of the sound space with our budgets in this area. Q: I like to run around and quest by myself and what not - solo killing monsters and collecting things. Is this game sole a League style tournament system or is there other aspects to it too? A: We are not really a questing or PvE-centric game. While you can solo within our game, its probably one of the most difficult ways to play. I'm not sure this is answering both of your questions though. Q: What will encourage a player to visit other players EK, rather than just invest heavily and stay inside of their own? A: Searching for the resources and items they'd like to have will be a big part of it. Also looking at other EK's will give players ideas for their own EK's, and finding other guilds to ally with (or hate on) also will be a motivation.
  28. 38 points
    I hope you are joking. If not, you and those who think like this don't belong here. Again, if your stated purpose for playing is to ruin others experiences, you are not going to find our game the right place to be. If you said you wanted to dominate the battle space with your superior strategies and skills, great! If you won't be happy until you are sitting in the game with everyone you think is not like you gone, then you aren't really interested in the competition. There are limits to speech in real life (far too many in my USA-centric view), but within a game environment there are definite speech and action limits, which we will enforce. At the same time, we want players to take responsibility for moderating their own experience. If you don't like someones speech, mute them. If someone breaks the code of conduct, report them then mute them. If you won't mute them you become part of the problem too. If someone kills you, put them on your KOS list, find a way to ambush them, refuse them service in your EK, that is all part of the game. You should start a thread on this. The next generation of tools to empower players to moderate their experience is something I'd love to innovate on. Final words on this, for now at least. In a fair fight (which rarely happens), the victors should salute the fallen, because it could have been a reversed situation. In the norm, which is the unfair fight (surprise, superior numbers, favorable terrain, vastly better tactics), it's pretty much a slaughter. The other side never had a chance because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong stuff. Again, I admire those that recognize their fortune and are magnanimous in victory, rather than use the moment to feel a little bigger by running down the defeated, who in fact never had a chance in the situation. Our goal as players, if we want an evolving competitive landscape, is to actually educate the defeated on how and why they lost. Do we really want them to quit until there is no one to play against, or do we want real competition? I'm actually more more worried that some of our PvP'ers are actually only interested in winning which is why they seek out the weak (i.e. the game is only enjoyable to them if there is a never ending supply of people they can easily dominate), and in fact may be more likely to quit if they can't consistently win due to the more robust competitive landscape we're working towards. I'm pleased to see lots of passion from all of you here, and while I realize it's hard not get personal about it, but let's strive keep the discussion (overall, not just this thread) focused on what will make this game sustainable, i.e. a game you would want to play for years, that allows for a diversity of player types and emergent gameplay.
  29. 37 points
    I have two key design goals, and they are equally important. They also have not changed. 1. We want to focus on player skill, actions and decisions -- not "grinding". There seems to be some debate as to what constitutes a "grind". For illustration, let me draw a spectrum: On one end we've got WOW, which requires thousands of hours of fighting monsters, and an exponetial power curve. Power in the game is largely a function of the amount of time invested. On the other end, we've got an old-school FPS. Everyone starts on equal footing, there is no prepartion cycle prior to fighting that can be used to gain an advantage, and the power curve is perfectly flat (sans equiment). Power in the game is entirely based on skill (and luck.) Obviously, we don't want to be anywhere near the first end of the spectrum... but we also don't want to be at the other end, either, because that's not an MMO. But we want to be far, far closer to the latter than the former. "Removing the grind" means that we want the game to be focused on actions, decision and skill rather than a simple function of time investment. "Removing the grind" does NOT mean "you get nothing for time invested." We talked about resource aquisition, crafting, equiment, etc in the kickstarter video. All of this is a part of the vision, and it always has been. The question is: how much time do I invest, doing what, and what do I get for it? ...the answer is related to design goal #2: 2. Higher risk = higher reward. Removing the grind doesn't mean "the game doesn't include a single task that is repetitive." There will always be tasks in games. There will always be players who choose to repeat them. The design goal is: the rewards gained over time are a function of risk, and that risk can be offset by player skill. the more easily you can repeat a task, the lower the reward. the less skill is required to perform a task, the lower the reward. Ultimately, this comes down to balance. If we make the game such that you can't be competitive without endless repetition of easy tasks, then we have failed at #1. If we make the game such that you can generate significant rewards with little-to-no risk and/or skill, then we have failed at #2. If we make the game such that you can be competitive through the endless repetition of easy tasks with little-to-no risk, then we have failed at #1 and #2. As I said, it all comes down to balance. You can poke through every interview and chat we've ever done, looking for evidence that we will or won't screw this up, but it won't really affect the outcome, because it all comes down to balance. Will we hit that balance, right out of the gate? Maybe. Maybe not. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that we are committed to these two design goals, and if we don't get it right, keep working until we do. If you don't buy into those design goals, you're going to be unhappy. If you do, then great! All we ask is that you give us a chance to actually try -- and adjust, when don't get it right immediately -- before you cast your final judgement. Todd ACE ...
  30. 37 points
    So, I've read a fair number of posts about the temporal nature of Campaigns -- meaning, the fact that Campaigns don't last forever. It seems like some people are confused on the how/what/why, so I figured it is worth discussing. AND, after I lay the groundwork, I'll tell you a few ideas that I have to tackle this problem. If they seem interesting to you -- or if someone is inspired by one of these ideas and comes up with something even better -- these could potentially make great stretch goals. First off, let me address a quick point: It's not that I hate the idea of permanent Campaigns. To the contrary, actually, I love the idea. I really, REALLY wanted to make it work for SB. But I couldn't, because I think it is flawed. Yes, this an opinion. It's an opinion based over a decade as a creative director, and on watching one server after another go stagnant, due to lack of a restart mechanism... after which the concurrent player numbers would take a nose-dive until eventually it turns into a ghost town. (and yes, a few of the servers then lit back up again after some time -- but having everyone quit your game, to allow a few remaining survivors can rebuilt a new game out of the wreckage of the old one, is not a particular good restart mechanic. it doesn't make for a sustainable game service.) To be clear: this isn't a religious argument for me. If I can find a way to make it work -- to make it sustainable -- of COURSE we will do it. In a heartbeat. So, here are a few ideas that I have for solving the "Uncle Bob" problem. SUDDEN DEATH This idea TECHNICALLY could allow a Campaign World to last forever, though it's left up to the players to make it happen. I'm going to create a VERY simple ruleset, as an example. If we like the model, we'll come up with actual rules to replace these. For illustrative purposes, let's say: Campaign World A ends with Team 1 winning. Campaign World B ends with Team 2 winning. The two campaigns are not related, but had similar rulesets and players populations. Everyone on Each of these Worlds is given a chance to leave, and take their winnings with them (i.e. give them an optional exit point). If enough players on World A and World B want to stick around, a new Campaign starts: SUDDEN DEATH between these worlds. Portals can now be opened between the two Worlds. Meaning: players can A can travel to B, and vice versa. Some object (for fun, let's call it a Tree of Life) spawns on ONE of the two World. The win condition is: someone has to plant the Tree of Life on their World and protect it for 1 week's time. Whichever World does that, is given a 2 week stay of execution, before it is paired with another World © for another round of Sudden Death. The implications of this system are: a Campaign World COULD last forever, but only if the team is good enough to defend it, forever. OVERTIME Here is another one, and it's even more simple. This is basically the, "we don't believe you, Todd" ruleset, for players that don't believe my that server stagnation is an issue. Fair enough, I could be wrong. Let's test it. We could allow Campaigns to go into overtime. The rule could be as simple as: The Campaigns stays in WINTER, and isn't destroyed, as long as the concurrent player population (average per week) stays above some threshold. Basically, as long as people are still hanging out in this World -- presumably because they are having fun -- we don't close it down. I'd be fine to try it, so long as: - we allow the losing team members to leave (because it would suck to be locked to a Campaign forever when you know you are doomed, that's a rage quit moment) and - we limit the exports when the Campaign eventually ends (otherwise, guilds would use this as a way to farm materials from a World without risk.) If I'm wrong, and the populations stay high, that's fantastic. I'd LOVE to be wrong on this one. if I'm right, the Campaigns will come naturally to a close, and maybe we can stop debating it. ( yeah, I know, that's never going to happen. ;p ) I'm sure there are other ideas, as well, and happy to discuss them. A few notes for those who want to pitch ideas: - Keep your tone reasonable and we're more likely to read it. - Try and be succinct; no one wants to wade through a 30 page idea that could be summarized in a few sentences, and - Work within the architecture of the design as it currently exists. This means: don't pitch things that would require us to dump the idea of Campaigns, or the EK, or import/export rules, or passive training. We're not going to rip this game apart, but we ARE open to extending it, if we think the result will be more fun for everyone. What do you think? Good stretch goals? Bad stretch goals? Let us know your thoughts! Todd ACE EDIT: if I didn't make it clear -- this is a discussion about FUTURE stretch goals! We won't consider doing any of this stuff until AFTER we have fulfilled the base vision of the game, as explained in the KS video and page.
  31. 37 points
    As explained in the FAQ we’re introducing today, Thralls are “the souls of fallen warriors and craftsmen”. If you can successfully harness their power and maintain control of it—which may be a challenge—you will reap {pun intended) the benefits of the knowledge and skill they left behind. Thrall FAQ 1. What is a Thrall? Thralls are the souls of fallen warriors and craftsmen, the spirits who remain on the Dying Worlds after the living have fled before the Hunger. They are ghosts and spirits, haunting these Worlds in the final hours… The challenge for these ghosts is: they cannot pass into the afterlife, for they have unfinished matters which keep them from moving on. They cannot flee the World, however, for they are bound there. Thus, they are trapped on – and soon to be devoured with – a World that is already infected by the Hunger. 2. Wait, so are they slaves? That sounds pretty grim. Thralls aren't slaves. You are acting a “grim reaper” of sorts -- one of the duties asked of the Crows is to track these errant spirits and offer them salvation on behalf of the Gods. The deal is simple: to avoid being devoured by the Hunger, Thralls are given a chance at redemption. They enter the service of the Gods, serving as craftsman and spectral guardians for a set period of time, after which their soul is released and they can rest for eternity. Ok, yeah. It’s grim. But remember, you’re the good guy, here. Without you, they would be consumed by the Hunger. 3. Do all the Thralls serve the same function in game? No! Thralls have a variety of purposes in Crowfall. That said, however, each Thrall serves a particular purpose, depending on his or her profession during life. Thralls can serve as vendors managing your sales, craftsmen to help you make items, unearthly trainers who assist you in learning certain skills faster, guardsmen who protect your ramparts, and bind-spirits – fallen warriors who can be inscribed into the runes to make your weapons and armor more powerful. (for example, you could bind the spirit of an Elven Blademaster into your sword, and the echoes of his life would help guide your blows and shield you from harm.) 4. Do Thralls have Stats? They do! Certain Thralls will be better than others at a specific tasks. Some serve better as guards, crafters, trainers, or bind-spirits locked into weapons or armor. While Thralls are always willing to flee The Hunger, some of them are not to be trusted. These Thralls will test the bounds of their enchantment, and will periodically attempt to break free of your control. We’re still working out the details of this system, but (to match our general philosophy of design): higher risk means higher reward. That means the more powerful Thralls will often be the more difficult to control. 5. How do I capture a Thrall? Thralls will generally be found haunting the ruins of the Campaign worlds. Ghosts have a tendency to wander the same halls and room that they did while living. To capture a Thrall, you need a soul gem. Soul gems are used to capture Thralls, transfer them, and bind them into crafting (and enchanting) recipes. 6. Are all Soul Gems the same? Probably not, but again, we’re still working on this system. Our thought is that higher value gems can store more powerful Thralls, and that the quality and size of the Gem has a direct impact on how easy it is to contain each spirit. 7. Is there any limit to the number of Thralls I can have? Since they are stored in a Soul Gem, they are a standard inventory object. The only limit is your inventory space. 8. Is there any limit to the number of Thralls I can have active? The limits aren't on a character or account basis. Instead, each system will enforce its own limit(s). For example, items can only have one bind-spirit. Buildings have a preset number of Thrall Slots (represented in game as a summoning circle) and each of them can only contain a single Thrall. Generally, for buildings that allow Thralls, you can increasing the level of the building to activate more Thrall slots of that type.
  32. 37 points
    You're making assumptions that you will gear up to best in-slot immediately and be done, that's far from true and the fact that items decay means that constant gear upgrades and replacements are necessary. There will be incredible items you need to work hard for, rare relics and artifacts to obtain, rare disciplines, a vast amount of progression through passive training. Campaign rewards (which is a driving force on why you actively play to win) and much more that we've yet to go into. If you are looking for a loot grind that's equivalent to PvE raid experiences of other MMO's, where you max your ilevel, wait for the next content patch, rinse repeat then this is absolutely not the game for you.
  33. 35 points
    Yeah, I know. It's frustrating. It's frustrating for us, too. Here's the deal: we have a build, and it hung at the 99.99% bar. There is one issue that has proven to be incredibly elusive, and it's causing a massive lag on the server. Overall, the game feels pretty good. We're still working through power-related bugs -- all the underlying system changes we made this milestone have caused a crop of them, but frankly that's expected and we're working them through at a good clip -- but I'd be OK with putting those in front of you. Overall, I think combat is in a much better shape than 5.100, even with these new issues. But the server performance issue is a killer. Any kind of reasonable player load (and I have reason to suspect we'll hit that) causes this problem to emerge, and it makes the game unplayable. Which would be even more frustrating. As to "when", the truth is, we don't know. We have top men working on it. ("Top. Men.") We continue to be in a day-for-day hold pattern until we get this issue resolved. Thanks for your patience. Hopefully it'll be soon. Todd
  34. 35 points
    DERGS-2020 Health Alert Due to a recent massive increase of Infected players all around the world, the university of clinical owl research (CoR) recognises the urgent need to issue a health alert, to inform the public about the recently detected DERGS-2020 virus. Summary Latest scientific reports seem to indicate that DERGS, more casually known as Crow Sickness (medical term: Waitophobic Turnandturnandturnaround Fatality, WTF), is basically caused by Crows spinning their head around in and about the dregs and according guild vs. guild phantasies over and over again, until severe damage is issued to their neural systems. The virus, leading to DERGS, can survive on the surface of any computer peripheral for months and may spontanously cause shock symptoms, if the patient is already weakend by severe news deprivation. While DERGS is very contagious, it is non-lethal. It also has been reported that some Crows in highly infected areas have not been affected at all. Observations of Crows in the wild suggest that about 5% of the population is immune or develop resistance before the virus takes it's toll. A cure is in development and will be distributed soon™. Travel Information Increased risks due to travelling are not indicated. Especially visiting campaign worlds seem to strengthen the immune system and even alleviate most of the symptoms, if already infected. The public is called up to remain calm and travel worlds in the usual chaotically balanced order. Symptoms The symptoms of DERGS come in a wide variety, partially contrary to each other, vastly complicating a final diagnosis. Intensely affected Crows are often found to suffer from anxiety in a degree that partially impaires their motor functions, the ability to express themselves in comprehensible sentences and can cause obsessive behaviour, like chronic meme production or cumpulsive repetition of the word DREGS orally and in writing; on rare occasions all-out insanity. In minor cases, the patients feel an itching sensation or temporary jerk seizures. DERGS can also cause lethargy, up to depression and self-isolation, raising the estimated number of undetected cases significantly. Medical Treatment and Prospective If you feel any symptoms, please do NOT approach your local developer or distributer without further medical advice. First Aid is provided by local support groups all over the world (International/English, Russian, French, Hispanic, Italian, Portuguese) or in the CoR Headquarters. The Insitute of Advanced Cure Economics (ACE) is currently developing the andidote CW-5.110 and is beginning to test it on caged laboratory rats, isolated in a small office in Austin Texas. While these news offer hope, Crows in Not-Texas need to remain cautious about counterfeit medicines, like other games, fake news and overambitious crowestimations. Once the clinical tests have been finalized, within the next few weeks, the antidot will be distributed to the population in batches. We are confident that the current outbreak will be fully under control within the next 3-6 months. We would like to thank the doctors, scientific assistants and patients @Dern @Staff @dreaden @coolster50 @Sharkbait for their shared experiences and the concerned Citizen @Praemus who brought our attention to the necessity of providing an educational brochure about this topic yesterday. Have fun, good luck Dr. Kraahk Edit: Partially adjusted to comply with some obviously existing and fully understandable sensitivites about a horrific real world situation, which this posting is in no way meant to make fun about. My thoughts are with all who got affected by real diseases, be it as patient or family member. To all the others, keep save, take care, don't panic and ask for help if necessary. This is a purely fictional work, meant to approach some rising behaviours from stressed-out playtesters, who can't wait to get 5.110 (including me), that start to feel like a sickness, and to offer one little way to release some of the regarding tension. Thanks for your understanding. Kraahk
  35. 35 points

    New Player Guide

    (This is also posted in the Pre-Alpha 3.0 – General Discussion forum. I wouldn't normally double-post, but Gordon/Tyrant suggested it, so here we go!) New players are streaming into Crowfall, and since the first experience can be quite daunting, I wanted to put something down that might make those first hours in the game a bit easier. Because I want players to like the experience and stay in the game! (So that we can fight later on! And I can loot your apples! No, just kidding, I meant to make up for killing some of you the other night!) I will assume here that you are on one of the PvP servers, where the main danger is other players. You can do some exploring and basic crafting on the PvE server, but the good stuff, and the action, is on PvP. I will comment on how you can use them in tandem further down in the guide. Do this first When you first spawn in a PvP world, you'll be in a graveyard. That's a dangerous place to be, and you'll be naked and unarmed, so for a while, you'll have to play the survival game. Run away from there, and avoid any player you see, until you are in a lonely spot. The center of the map is around 1500, 1500, and the edges of the map are sometimes quieter, so go for that. When you run, you can sprint by holding down Shift, but this drains stamina, so you might want to save that until you need to get away from someone. Now you need basic weapons, and for that you need tools. Chop down some trees and pick up everything that drops. Look and listen to make sure that you are still alone. When you have a bunch of wood, twenty or so, go into the crafting menu, hotkey J. Open Basic Crafting and select Basic Harvesting tools. Put in wood, wood, wood and click through until you have a rune in your inventory. Close the crafting and open inventory, hotkey I. Equip the Runestone Hammer you made by right-clicking it. Now you can harvest stone! Harvest the nearest boulders until you have some stone, say around 15 or a little more (to account for failures). Keep checking your surroundings, using eyes and ears, to make sure you are still alone. Run if people are approaching! Go into crafting again. Under Basic Crafting, go to Basic Weapons and make the weapons you need (and shield and arrows if you need them). Make and equip them. Check your food meter, the chicken legs in the upper left corner. It's probably run down a bit, so eat any apples you got from the trees. It's not good to be much under 7 (of 10). You can chop more trees for more apples. Now you're armed and (maybe not that) dangerous! Decide what you want to do now! Probably either trying out combat, crafting better gear, or just checking out the world. For trying out combat, be ready to die a lot, at least if you are running solo. Best is to get into the mindset of dying, and to make that hurt less, try not to have much in your bags that you don't want to lose, because your killers will loot your bags! In my opinion, getting into fights and mostly dying was a lot of fun in the first hours of playtesting, at least when I didn't loose something too valuable. And sometimes you will win, and that's exhilarating! For checking out the world, try to still be ready to die! People will manage to jump you now and then, and they'll probably loot your bags, so again, don't have anything in them that you aren't ready to lose! But do it anyway, because the world is really pretty (even if the edges of the map just look out over a white nothing)! If you want to craft, I really, really urge you to start playing with other people, because in a group of only three or so, you are sooo much more likely to survive and thus keep all the materials you harvest! I won't tell you everything, because it's fun to explore the crafting menu and figure things out, but I'll tell you a few things straight away! First, make a Runestone Pick, to gather metal ore! It's the same Basic Harvesting tools, but this time, you put in wood, wood, stone. Make and equip the Pick! Then, get potions! For this stage of playtesting, there are craftable potions (under Alchemy) that simulate higher skill levels. Make a bunch of harvesting potions, to gather the materials you need faster! Find an ore node, preferably copper or iron, because those are the lowest level ores, and easiest to harvest with basic tools. Harvest until you have two or more, and then make a Plentiful Harvest potion. Drink it (right-click in inventory) and then keep harvesting ore and making a few other harvesting potions (I won't tell you exactly which one, you'll have to figure that out, because that's fun!). Then, figure out what materials you need for what you want to make (probably some weapons and armor that are not the Basic ones), and go find them! Check the timers on the potions and go about it in a way that seems smart to you. And survive! Check your surroundings, as before! A trick is that while the crafting timer runs, while you are finishing the thing you are making, you can close the window and look around, the countdown will run in the background. Then you can open the interface again and move your new item to your inventory. Make new harvesting tools, because the basic ones you made before are just to get you up and running. Find them in the crafting menu and make them. Check the Penetration stat of the tools you make. Higher quality materials require higher penetration tools. Explore and figure out what you need! Also, check out Crafting Potions! Make your stuff! As I said, I'll let you explore the menu and figure out what you need, but here is a hint: most advanced stuff requires components and components of components, so it takes quite a few steps. But it's so worth it when you're done! Also, at one point in the process, you can name the item you're making! My first advanced weapon was called... Fantastikon's First Poleaxe. Yeah, I'm creative that way! About food Hunger is a real thing in this game (both as in The Hunger, the metaphysical force that destroys the worlds of the campaigns and gives us the zombies, and as in... hunger, as in, I need more apples!). The best way to stay on top of it is to chop trees for wood and kill boars for meat. With those you can craft a Survivalist Campfire, and standing close to one while not in combat mode gives you both food and healing. The devs are nice that way! But of course, there are always apples! A few other things to mention Do find a guild as soon as possible (check the Guild Recruitment forum)! Or at least a random group. It's so much better to have people around you. Getting the materials for advanced gear, and getting the peace to make them without being killed and looted can be nearly impossible on your own (unless you log in at odd times, when the servers are empty), but is quick and fun when you are in a group. Even standing guard while someone else (with potions) is harvesting is fun, because you have a purpose! (There are chests in houses and permanent camps where you can transfer stuff between players.) Do be aware of the stage the game is in! A lot of you belong to the 'Beta' playtester group, so it makes sense if some of you enter the game believing it to be in a beta stage. It most certainly is not! It's not even alpha, it's pre-alpha. This is basically tech testing that we are doing. It's fun testing, but it's still very early testing. Be prepared for new things breaking with every patch. Have patience. Do check the forums (but if you read this, you already are). Leave feedback. If you want, try out the basic stuff on the Sanctuary server! There are only basic materials there, so you can't make any advanced gear, but there is also no PvP, so you can explore some of the crafting menu in safety there. You can also, at the moment, move things between the servers via the Spirit Bank. You access this by opening your Character Screen (P) and clicking the Spirit Bank tab. This is an account level inventory, and whatever you put in here is safe from looting, so while harvesting, you can move your stuff here until you have enough. At that point, you can log out of the PvP server and log in to Sanctuary to do your crafting in peace (don't forget your crafting potions!). Or you just take it back out when it's time for crafting, even if you remain on a PvP server. Do note that whenever you put something in the Spirit Bank, it is locked for a few minutes before you can access it. Also, be aware that (as with many other things right now) it is not intended to remain in the game, and probably not for long in testing either. It's a placeholder until they have implemented additional game systems. Also, my dear guildmate Tinnis has a Tester Resource Site that is worth its weight in gold. (Well actually, since the information is data on a server, it's worth more than its weight. Let's say the servers' weight!) Be aware that there is a really nasty bug that means that sometimes when you have finished crafting an item and either press Take or you drag it to your inventory, it just disappears. It sucks, and it seems to happen especially often with the stuff that you spent a long time making, but... No, no buts. It sucks and the devs are working on it, and we all just hope they will figure it out and fix it sooner rather than later. It doesn't break the game, you can just do everything over again, but yeah, it sucks when it happens. (Did I hear someone telling me to have patience? Must have imagined it.) That's it for now, thanks for reading, hope you enjoy playtesting! Here are some videos (made by not me) that might be helpful as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UphPQbrSTqY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvsxs8vOQUc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4glvv-ZxXI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzxpubV_4MI If you want to add something, please do! Good luck! And good hunting!
  36. 35 points
    Guys, I totally get where you are coming from. But you need to understand: this is a multi-million dollar request. Let me build a simple example, to explain why: X is your number of races. Y is your number of classes. Z if your number of unique armor sets (or equipment pieces, really) per race/class. So, if I have 5 races, 5 classes, 2 genders and 5 armor sets per, that's 5 (races) * 5 (classes) * 2 (genders) * 5 (sets) = 250 unique "looks". if an armor set has 4 visible slots (gloves, boots, torso, helm), that's * 4 (items), so we're talking about 1000 unique art assets. ...and this is just the equipment pieces. For simplicity, I'm not covering concept, animation, particles, etc. If you lock race and class, and then you cut that number down to 5 (archetypes) * (2 genders) * 5 (sets) = 20 unique "looks", and with 4 visible slots thats 80 unique art assets. Starting to see the difference? The upfront contrast between the approaches is significant, but the REAL win is the cost-over-time. The first system is exponential; meaning that if we want to a new race, or class, or even just add "plate" armor for Frostweavers, we have to pay an exponential price. and EVERY time we add one, we make that price gets even worse, because it's a multiplicative result. We don't just add one new armor set, we add one new armor set for every race, class and gender. (And truth be told, in most MMOs, only a subset of the branches are popular anyway. You're incurring a massive cost to support options that most players will never use, because they are just going to pick the most effective race/class combinations, anyway.) This is HUGE savings. I'm not going to debate "which system is cooler" any more than I will debate whether a space shuttle is cooler than a motorcycle. The cost is so castly different as to make the debate irrelevant. Instead, we're going to make you the most bad-ass motorcycle you've ever seen. See, here's the cool part : in taking this approach, we faced certain limitations, true -- but it also opens up some avenues that weren't available before! 1. Since the archetypes are linear in cost, we don't have to try and "bend the concepts" to try and make them similar to each other. We can offer crazy options like Centaurs and Guineceans, and we can we can add a ton of customization to each character to make them individually thematic and detailed. The tree has fewer branches, but because of that fact, we can spend more time on each branch to polish it, and make it really unique. 2. The cost to add new archetypes is both linear and predictable. That means we can grow the game without the cost scaling out of control. Given the time and money, we can add dozens of new archteypes. 3. Lastly (and yes, this one is just my opinion) the archetypes also feel more thematic. "Elven blademasters" are cooler than "<insert whichever race> blademasters" because I can write a backstory about... ...how the Elven Blademasters believe the stars are a gift from Gaea, and that they use the constellations in the night sky to map every cut, parry and riposte -- the body of knowledge they call the Dance of the Heavens. And how they believe that, when an Elven blademaster dies, that his soul will come to rest in the night sky as a new star, adding new elements to the Dance for future generations of Elven blademasters. To which the Human Loremaster says, "Nonsense. The stars are pinholes in D'orion's cloak, from the time he chased Malekai across the Sky and was bitten by a thousand, thousand spiders." and Dwarven Forgemaster responds, "That's ridiculous. The stars in the sky are nothing more than the light of the Sun, glinting off the scales of Lyessa, the Serpent Mother." (see? cooler.) Todd
  37. 34 points
    Hi all, Lots of questions popping up asking how to merge KS pledges with crowfall.com. I've been answering them when I can but thought a sticky was in order. Kickstarter doesn't provide us any information about our users for 14+ days, at which time we will begin the process in mapping pledges to our website. Those that are using different e-mail addresses for each service - we will provide a method for you to link your pledge, keep an eye out for a Kickstarter Survey e-mail that will go out at that time. We expect that merging of accounts to happen between 3-4 weeks from now, baring any technical blockers!
  38. 33 points
    In my opinion, it doesn't make any sense to recommend for new players to familiarize themselves with obsolete gameplay mechanics (e.g. the survival tray system) or old game graphics at this very moment. "Smoother and more predictable gameplay experience" just isn't a valid argument with a development gap between Live and Test environment this big. It's not like the Test server has major downtimes from constant patching that would lead to an inferior gameplay experience. In fact, New players ask why the (live client) servers are empty and get directed to the Test environment client on a daily basis. I really think you should temporarily direct new players to the TEST environment until you transition the 5.110 build to the Live client. That would almost certainly produce less confusion than that announcement. Also, I am curious how attaining or passing level 10 will give you any insight into the basic gameplay mechanics. You will find yourself with roughly two abilities on your hotbar and have killed about seven mobs. But hopefully people haven't noticed the survival tray before they transition to the test environment :)
  39. 33 points
    Wow! What a crazy week. We just crossed two huge thresholds: our first stretch goal, $1 million in pledges (which will will use to hire an FX artist, and to add female centaurs to the game!) and of equal importance -- maybe even more so -- we've rallied over 10,000 backers to our banner... in a little over one week! That's unbelievable. Thank you. So, what's next? Great question! It's time for some bonus rewards! First up, we've decided to start adding BACKER stretch rewards! Here's the first one: at 12,000 kickstarter backers, we're going to give EVERY BACKER a unique All-Father statue to display proudly in their Eternal Kingdom! This will let visitors know that you were here, and supported Crowfall, from the beginning. Second, as you know our next stretch goal is MOUNTS & CARAVANS. I know what you're thinking: that's cool for the game, sure, but how does it benefit ME?! Well, here is your answer: as soon as we hit that next stretch goal, we're going to add -- for no additional cost to our new or existing backers -- MOUNT FIGURINE rewards to the following tiers: At the Backer level, you get a rare magical QUARTERHORSE summoning figurine! At the Bronze patron level, you ALSO get a rare magical WARHORSE summoning figurine! At the Silver patron level, you ALSO get a rare magical NIGHTMARE summoning figurine! These figurines are inventory items which allow you to conjure Spirit mounts from the Eternal Kingdoms -- and turn them back into figurines, when not in use. Remember, each higher pledge level inherits the previous rewards -- so a Silver backer (and every level above Silver) will get a Quarterhorse, a Warhorse AND a Nightmare figurine! This is just the beginning, folks! We have a lot more surprises coming for you between now and March 26th. From all of us here at ArtCraft Entertainment: Thank you for supporting us, thank you for letting us make this game for you -- and please help us spread the word! Remember, every new person you introduce to Crowfall gets us closer to both our 12k backer goal and our Mounts and Caravans stretch goal. Todd ACE
  40. 33 points

    Crowfall Pledge Reward Comparison

    There's a lot of confusion between all the different pledge bundles versions (Kickstarter and 2015). So, by request, I made a spreadsheet comparison with all Crowfall pledge Rewards. You can find it here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LCUtaFNMAuHuhLXmB3UkoIiK3vR-9eVbUTo4uOeIi8Q/edit?usp=sharing It's entirely possible that there are some errors or mistakes in the spreadsheet, so please reply to this thread with the corrections. I will correct the data if needed! Any feedback is appreciated!
  41. 33 points

    Question from kickstarter page

    Hey folks, this question came up on our kickstarter page, and I thought it might be helpful to post it here as well. Todd --- From: Zach T. My concern is that if you soft launch, people who join at a later date are never going to be caught up, and if I recall correctly, not everything is going to be implemented at the soft launch either. It's essentially another beta phase. Now, say I'm a non-VIP member (Although I planned to be one). I join, and I play while not everything is implemented; if I invest in one character only to find out later when the full content is released, I really don't like the character. I'd be stuck playing that character, or be forever behind the trend. Now imagine you're a VIP player paying for the benefits; you would be paying for what looks like an early access game from the outside. That's not ideal imo - and lots and lots of youtubers and redditors have echoed this opinion. I understand your reasoning for doing this, but in a more cynical outlook it would seem like you guys are behind schedule and need revenue. If you just going to soft launch as you described - I'd think the game would be completed at soft launch, no? Am I mistaken and the game *is* complete at soft launch? Performance polished etc? If not, can you understand why people are having negative reactions to this? --- My response: Hey Zach, Thanks for the post. Here are a few points that will hopefully address your concerns. First: we just completed a private equity raise of $6m in December. Our launch plan isn't affected by funding. We are taking this approach because it's the best way to do it. Second: I think we have a disconnect on what "soft launch" means -- which is understandable, since different companies use the term differently. In our parlance, soft launch means 'the game is ready for release, we're turning on persistence and we're not going to wipe again.' I hesitate to use the word "done" only because no MMO is ever "done", so I think ready for release is probably better. "Ready for release", however, isn't the same as "Ready to market". Humor me for a minute and I'll explain. The digital distribution business is different than traditional retail, where you sold boxes at gamestop. When you have a retail launch date, you build up buzz and perfect the game as much as time and money allows, and then you fire every marketing bullet you have to drive players on day one. It's all about day one success. The purely digital model isn't like that. Games like Warframe or Eve Online or Wizard101 didn't become a "day one" success. Instead the process is highly iterative. It revolves around your "user funnel", which means the experience of a new player from the time they first notice you until they become a customer (or not). You'd be shocked how much effort is put into tracking and optimizing this process... because online ads have become so expensive that we have to track (and perfect) every single click, every impression, every decision. You monitor all of this statistically, like: ...is "Become a King!" a better tagline in an ad than "Rule your KINGDOM!" (+3.7% more players click on KINGDOM!) ...is it better to have a RED or a GREEN download button on your website? (+2% more players click on GREEN!) ...do I give the Newbie Hat a feather, or a not? (-4.1% fewer players without the FEATHER!) ...etc etc etc You also do this testing in waves, because (1) you don't want to make too many changes at once (it's harder to tell what the impact of any given change was) and (2) you can find statistically relevant data with a relatively small number of players (1000 is about as good as 10,000). So, why does this matter? We have a limited marketing budget set aside for launch. It's big for a small company, but tiny compared to competitors like EA, Ubi, Activision, etc. So we need to make our $$$ really count. To make that money count, we need to: 1. Finish the game, 2. Stop wiping (because no one really cares when the data can be wiped at any time, and that screws your data) 3. Start running players through our "new user experience" in batches of a few thousand at a time 4. Monitor the conversion and retention of each batch (technically they are called a 'cohort') 5. Try different options. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until your funnel is optimized 6. Once you've done that a LOT, and you believe the funnel is solid, THEN you spend that marketing budget to drive new players into the funnel We've decided to call step #2 "soft launch" and step #6 "commercial launch". Maybe those aren't the best terms, but #3 doesn't really quality as "open beta" (since the game won't be reset again), so soft launch seemed appropriate. As for the "player who come late will be at a disadvantage" concern, two points there: (1) players who come late to an MMO always start behind players who started early, (2) we have a catch up mechanic -- a training tome which can be crafted in game and traded to other players -- to allow you to catch up. FWIW, most MMOs don't offer that; either you grind, or you're left behind. We're a small team doing the best we can to make the game you guys want, and we're doing it the best way we know how. I hope this makes sense, and if you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask. Todd ACE
  42. 33 points
    ...here is a handy visual aid:
  43. 33 points
    I've seen far too many people who are completely and/or utterly uninformed who create posts that inevitably inherit these traits because they haven't discovered videos and/or interviews like the ones listed below. If you see any other interviews and/or videos that have been made that give information about Crowfall, post them below and I'll incorporate them into this thread. Let me also be clear about one thing; I will not incorporate videos that are fan-made podcasts, discussions, etc unless they have the actual developers speaking in them. Incorporating fan-made interpretations in video form simply will spread false information, which is not the goal of this thread; the goal is to inform people. OFFICIAL VIDEOS: "Brainstorming" w/ Raph Koster, Todd Coleman and Thomas Blair (Created: 1/27/15) Hellcats Reveal (Created: 2/6/15) Soundtrack 1 (Created: 2/10/15) Trailer (Created: 2/25/15) Campaigns (Created: 2/25/15) The Hunger (Created: 2/25/15) Seasons (Created: 2/25/15) Dying Worlds (Created: 2/25/15) The Gods (Created: 2/25/15) Eternal Heroes (Created: 2/25/15) Knight Poster (Created: 3/2/15) Centaur Animation Preview (Created: 3/3/15) Behind The Scenes w/ Dave Greco (Created: 3/9/15) Behind The Scenes w/ Jon O'Neal (Created: 3/10/15) Halfway There Video (Created: 3/11/15) Interview w/ Todd Coleman Part 1 (Created: 3/12/15) Interview w/ Todd Coleman Part 2 (Created: 3/16/15) Behind The Scenes w/ Billy Garretsen and Larissa Angus (Created: 3/16/15) Stretch Goal #3 Video (Created: 3/17/15) Interview w/ Todd Coleman Part 3 (Created: 3/18/15) Character Progession (Created: 3/18/15) Duelist Poster (Created: 3/19/15) Knight Animation Preview (Created: 3/19/15) Eternal Kingdoms (Created: 3/20/15) 1.4 Million + Minotaurs (Created: 3/24/15) "We're Funded" Video (Created: 3/26/15) Bloodstone Campaign Ruleset Overview (Created: 4/7/15) War Stories (Created: 4/10/15) Sculpting The Female Confessor w/ Eric Hart (Created: 4/17/15) Artist to Artist (Created: 4/21/15) CF Update w/ Todd (Created: 4/24/15) Customizing Your EK (Created: 4/30/15) Crowfall Combat Chat (Created: 5/7/15) Greyboxing: Exploring the stronghold (Created: 6/4/15) Female Confessor Modeling - Extended Timelapse (Created: 6/9/15) ACE Q & A - June (Created: 6/11/15) Female Centaur Painting Timelapse (Created: 6/16/15) "Thank you, Backers!" (2 Million $) (Created: 6/16/15) Centaurs - An Artist's Dream Come True (Created: 6/16/15) Knight Modeling (Created: 6/23/15) Crowfall Combat Chat 2 Part 1 (Created: 6/25/15) Crowfall Combat Chat 2 Part Deux (Created: 6/30/15) ACE July Q&A (Created: 7/6/15) Centaur Helmet Creation (Created: 7/21/15) Greybox Fly-Thru (Created: 7/23/15) A Murder of Crows (Created: 7/23/15) Meet the VFX Team (Created: 7/28/15) Combat Chat 3: Powers Q&A (Created: 7/30/15) (Some) Confessors Powers In Action (Created: 8/4/15) Knight Powers and Animations (Created: 8/11/15) UI with Billy Garretsen (Created: 8/11/15) Meet The Animators (Created: 8/13/15) Centaur Powers and Animations (Created: 8/18/15) A Murder of Crows: Thomas Blair (Created: 8/18/15) A Team Effort (Created: 8/20/15) Creature Animation w/ Nicholas Bride (Created: 8/22/15) UI Update w/ Billy Garretsen (Created: 8/25/15) Combat Chat 4 (Created: 8/27/15) Combat Strike Team - Milestone 1 (Created: 9/1/15) Pre-Alpha Character Creation (Created: 9/8/15) Pre-Alpha Training Tutorials (Created: 9/8/15) A Murder of Crows: MrMike (Created: 9/24/15) Combat Chat 5 (Created: 9/29/15) Playtestimonials (Created: 10/1/15) ACE October Q&A (Created: 10/6/15) We Created A Monster (Created: 10/20/15) A Murder of Crows: Billy Garretsen (Created: 10/29/15) Poster Series: The Champion (Created: 10/29/15) ACE November Q&A (Created: 11/3/15) Combat Chat 6 (Created: 11/19/15) Champion Demonstration (Created: 11/20/15) Sprint XI Milestone Recap (Created: 11/24/15) ACE December Q&A (Created: 12/1/15) A Murder Of Crows: Valerie "Pann" Massey (Created: 12/9/15) Crowfall - System's Chat I: Intro to Systems Design (Created: 12/15/15) The State of the Game (Created: 12/21/15) The Crows and Vessels System (Created: 12/29/15) ACE January Q&A (Created: 1/12/16) Fly On The Wall: Castle Building, Part 1 (Created: 1/21/16) Fly on the Wall: Castle Building, Part 2 (Created: 1/26/16) A Murder of Crows: Vlad Judys (Created: 1/28/16) Fly on the Wall: Castle Building, Part 3 (Created: 1/28/16) Ranger Animation Preview (Created: 2/2/16) ACE February Q&A (Created: 2/11/16) World Building Pipeline (Created: 2/18/16) Server Setup Magic (Created: 2/23/16) The Ranger in Action (Created: 3/10/16) ACE Q&A for March: Social Systems (Created: 3/15/16) Outtakes 2015-2016 (Created: 3/15/16) The Ranger (tutorial) (Created: 3/22/16) The Confessor (tutorial) (Created: 3/23/16) The Knight (tutorial) (Created: 3/23/16) The Champion (tutorial) (Created: 3/23/16) The Legionnaire (tutorial) (Created: 3/23/16) State of the UI: What's new, what's coming (Created: 3/24/16) First Look: Catapults! (Created: 3/31/16) Tiger Chat (Created: 4/1/16) ACE Q&A for April (Created: 4/12/16) The Druid's Staff (Created: 4/19/16) ACE Q&A for May (Created: 5/10/16) First Look: Gaea's Wail (Created: 5/19/16) The Druid in Action (Created: 5/26/16) Redesigning Power Tray Icons (Created: 5/31/16) A Groovin' Groove of Druids (Created: 6/7/16) Fly on the Wall: Druid Sound FX (Created: 6/7/16) ACE Q&A for June (Created: 6/9/16) Confessor Refresher: Animation Update (Created: 6/14/16) LESSER KNOWN VIDEOS: MMORPG.com Interview Part One (Created: 2/24/15) ACE Artist Working (Created: 2/24/15) MMORPG.com Interview Part Two (Created: 2/25/15) Rerolled.org Interview w/ Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton (Created: 2/27/15) TGN After Speaking With Devs (Created: 2/27/15) Interview w/ Gordon Walton and Thomas Blair (Created: 3/11/15) Interview #2 with Gordon Walton and Thomas Blair (Created: 3/22/15) Gold and Glory Dev Interview (Created: 3/25/15) Crowns and Crows Interview (Created: 3/26/15) Austin "Video Game Makers Unite" (Created: 4/9/15) Crowns and Crows w/ Pann (Created: 4/24/15) MOTD Media Vodcast #2 (Created: 5/8/15 / Re-uploaded: 1/18/16) Twitch Interview with JToddColeman and Gordon Walton (Created: 6/26/15 / Re-uploaded 6/27/15) How to Raise $2 million on Kickstarter & find 50,000 fans (Created: 7/?/2015 / Re-uploaded 2/15/16) The Hunger Dome w/ Special Guest Thomas Blair (Created: 10/1/15) If anyone knows another source for this video, please link! Dev Guest Blair (Created: 12/18/15) EARLY FOOTAGE (RETIRED): Unseen Game Footage (Created: 3/18/15) Overview by itsZiZ with Unseen Game Footage (Created: 4/20/15) This section was intended for early footage - and I mean VERY early footage. This was because there were so few that it was easy to keep track of them all. However, now that videos are being uploaded constantly, this part of the list is now discontinued to avoid exploding the list. Feel free to advertise your channel and/or video if it contains gameplay from Crowfall below. OTHER: Noob By Design Twitter Q&A Summary (Created: 3/25/15) If anyone could tell me how to turn these links into videos that are viewable via this thread, please do! (EDIT: Thanks Pann for the answer!) If you want to talk about the videos, do so below! Try not to let this get buried; I'd rather not see more uninformed people making threads. (Pinned now! Woo!) I will try to maintain this, updating it whenever new videos are posted here or when I find new videos.
  44. 33 points

    RIP The Crowdfunder

    Culture wars. Playing out in real time in front of us. In-game these will make for some delicious conflict. There are a million places on the internet to be asshat (that's a Todd word) or get your ya-ya's out. Right now our forums are for helping us make a better game, and potentially a place for you to find allies and enemies. But backers don't get to run completely wild in that process. We'll get the new user forums working better in the near future, and eventually we'll even have places the veterans can call their own where no ArtCraft moderation exists (but those will be invite-only, not for every passer-by). After all, you are backers and we want to serve you. To a point that is. We expect it to be quiet until we give you more real (game) meat to chew on. We know you are carnivores. Try not to eat each other in front of us in the meantime. P.S. Investors don't give poorly made socks about the forums, or even the traffic on them. They only care about market potential which they mostly measure in dollars and heads that gave dollars. The investors that encouraged us to do an offering now are Crowfall backers after all!
  45. 33 points

    RIP Doc Gonzo

    I have no idea what really happened, only ACE knows what brought about their decision but I just want to say one thing... When you have a volunteer mod force, they're gamers just like us. A large portion of this community are old SB players, and with that comes the politics that have been brought over for decades. You shouldn't have to put on your serious hat 24/7 and keep yourself from engaging in the type of community that brought you here in the first place. Gonzo was the most engaging mod between the community and acted like a liaison between us small pleblings and the greater gods (devs), and even though his methods might of seemed unconventional to most for being a mod...if there was ever anything slightly over the border he followed it up with the proper way to contact ACE. If he lost his status because a group had a grudge against him and reported his forumfall politicking i feel like this was done in bad taste. This is going to be a thin line to walk on when the game and real forum banter starts up, and this was definitely a precedence. Regardless, I feel like we lost a great mod...and if he doesn't participate in the forums anymore...a great member of the community. (This isn't a hate message or like I've lost complete faith in the community and/or ACE at all)
  46. 33 points
    This speaks for itself. JTODD from the Reddit AMA: This SHOULD rest the case. It won't. But it should. If that's not good enough for you, then why are you still raising the issue in these forums? Go find a game that doesn't have a cash shop/PLEX-ish system.
  47. 33 points

    03/20/15 - Eternal Kingdoms!

    In Today's update we unveil more information about the Eternal Kingdoms. We hope you have a coffee, this is a long one! How do I get a Kingdom? Every account is granted a Kingdom. They start as mini-worlds that players can use to build and explore, which can be expanded to become much larger. What is the purpose of a Kingdom and why do I want one? Kingdoms are smaller versions of the Campaign worlds – not just social lobbies. You are the Monarch of this world! You can explore, craft, build structures and even fight monsters… but a Kingdom is limited in terms of difficulty and power. All accounts are granted a kingdom at the beginning of the game, but using it is not required (…beyond maybe a tutorial? We haven’t decided yet.) We fully expect that some players will prefer to spend the vast majority of their time participating in the Campaign Worlds, and we intend to let them do so without maintaining a Kingdom. How do Kingdoms compare to Campaign Worlds? Kingdoms, while potentially quite large, are limited in size compared to the Campaign worlds. They are also limited in functionality and content. They start with a relatively small amount of land and no buildings. If you want to upgrade them, it will take time and effort (and materials, which come from Campaign Worlds.) Kingdoms must be upgraded (and developed) to increase their functionality. They start as single-player realms, and must be upgraded to allow more players to join. How are Kingdoms laid out, and how big are they? Is it like a housing instance? The map of every Kingdom is divided into a square grid. Each square in the grid is called a “cell.” Kingdoms begin as a 3 cells by 3 cells square. We’re still building this system, so the cell sizing will probably change a bit… but in the current prototype, this equates to roughly half a mile square of virtual territory. The Kingdom can grow to be many, many times larger than this starting size. Why would the size of a cell change? At some point (soon) the size of the grid cell will be locked. At this phase in development, there are some unknowns which would affect cell size. For example: Our Mounts and Caravans Kickstarter stretch goal is about to be funded! Obviously, that system will change how quickly players can move through the World, and we’ll need to test the world size to make sure it feels right for both mounted and un-mounted players. For now, we are estimating a cell will likely be somewhere between a quarter of a square acre and two square acres in size. Either way, even the smallest Kingdom will be much larger than a typical MMO housing instance. How can I make my Kingdom larger? It will likely take a combination of time and raw materials (stone, iron and wood) to add cells (raw square footage) to your Kingdom. When I add a cell, what is it filled with? Terrain/Land. The contents of each cell is initially “wild”, meaning that it is filled with untamed (and unusable) forest. You cannot build assets on land that is wild – and without buildings, the land has very little utility/function. To develop one or more cells, you have to unlock it, after which you can use materials to buy “parcel deeds”. These deeds represent tracts of land that can be dropped onto your map. Parcels can have unique shapes (like Tetris pieces) that always fit within the boundaries of one or more cells. Our plan is that parcel deeds will be purchased with in-game resources. Note: our Kickstarter backers who receive tax-free parcels with a pledge will automatically receive enough unlocked cells to place those parcels. What size are these parcels (in cells)? The most basic parcel is 1 cell x 1 cell, and will include very limited features. Some parcels are much more complex, like a chain of 7 parcels that makes up a Mountain Citadel, multiple player villages, and the mountain range around it. Think of these larger areas as a complete region of a country, i.e. “I am the Lord of the Western Reach. From my Citadel, I control all of the Darkspine Moutains -- as far as the eye can see.” Once you drop a parcel into a cell (or cells), these areas in your Kingdom will be “terraformed” and appear in your Kingdom. Using different types of parcels, you can build the World to be completely unique – the only limit is your creativity. Not all Parcels are the same size, and shape? No, but they are constructed to fit precisely within a pre-determined, contiguous set of cells. While there are many parcels that are 1x1 squares, there are multi-cell parcels that form different shapes, as well. The Mountain Citadel, for instance, is actually a 7 square parcel that forms an “S” shape. It includes not just the Citadel, but the mountain range that surrounds it – and enough building area to construct two mountain villages. To place this parcel in their world, a player would need to have enough cells unlocked in the appropriate shape (or larger) in which they could place the specialty “S” shaped parcel. In order to obtain a multi cell parcel a players will be able to combine basic 1x1 parcels for specialty parcels. Why would I want to have these larger parcels on my World? Having a larger parcel (like a Mountain Citadel, or an Imperial Palace) added to the World is highly valuable to any Monarch, especially one who is trying to build a mercantile empire, because it offers very efficient use of build space (number of available contiguous building lots), increases the concurrent player cap of the World, and increases the Kingdom’s visibility for other players when the Kingdom is set “public”. All of which equates to a more popular Kingdom, increased commerce and a larger potential tax base. In game terms, does a larger Kingdom (with more parcels) give me an advantage? Yes, and no. Larger maps have more cells. More cells allows you to place more parcels. More parcels means more buildings. More buildings allow for more tenants, higher online player population caps (i.e. how many players can be on this world at any time) and better visibility when other players are browsing the Kingdom list for new markets (or Kingdoms). All of this also means more commerce, which can generate more tax revenue. Note, however, that these are indirect benefits – meaning social and economic benefits that you derive from other players. However, since every Campaign World will have import rules (that determine what can be brought into the World), having a larger, more developed Kingdom will not directly impact the game balance within the Campaigns. How do I collaborate with other people (like my guildmates) on a Kingdom? The Monarch can select sub-sections of your world map (in cells) and grant that area to another player. This selection of cells is called a “Province”. Any player who has been granted a province is considered a “noble” on that world. Nobles can drop, rearrange and remove Parcels within that Province. Once I drop a Parcel, what can I do with it? You can build on it. As the World is divided into cells, each Parcel is divided into “Lots.” You drop buildings and props onto Lots the same way you drop Parcels into cells. You can also grant Lots to other players -- just like the World Owner granted a province to you. (In fact, we use the same system at both the micro and macro level!) A 1x1 parcel of land is divided into many lots. On this grid of lots, some areas will be marked as “open” and others will be marked as “blocked” (meaning that you cannot place buildings there). How do I drop buildings and props on my parcels? This works the same way as dropping parcels on the World grid. Each building or prop has a footprint in Lots. (again, think of these like Tetris pieces!) A lot owner can place buildings and push them around to find the “right fit”. Buildings can go anywhere within the designated build area(s) of the parcel, so long as the footprint of each building is clear of other structures. Are the buildings locked into pre-determined places? No – the lots that are designated as “building areas” within each parcel are typically grouped together, to allow you to slide your buildings around. Generally, the building areas will be obvious… you can’t drop a building on top of a lake, or over the edge of a cliff. What do these buildings do? Buildings serve many purposes. They can… Hold Artifacts and Relics (see the Artifacts and Relics FAQ for more information), Act as crafting stations for crafting new goods, Provide marketplaces (i.e. house player-run NPC vendors to sell crafted and collected goods), Hold trainer thralls (who work in much the same manner as relics, providing buffs to types of passive training speeds) Act as personal housing and social hubs …and other services, as we think of them. Can other people visit my Kingdom? Yes, though which players can visit is a decision left up to the Monarch (owner) of that Kingdom. “Public” worlds are open to the public, meaning that anyone can visit them and trade. “Private” worlds are not open to the public. Only land owners (nobles, vassals and tenants) of the Kingdom can enter the World. Can I open (or close) my Kingdom? As the Monarch, you can change your Kingdom to be “public” or “private” any time you like. Why would I make my Kingdom “public”? Players will be able to visit those Eternal Kingdoms that are public. Players who want to create marketplace (or social hub) will want to set their Kingdom to public and create one or more attractive, easy to navigate marketplaces in that Kingdom to attract other players. What can players do in my Kingdom? As the Monarch, you control the administration of your Kingdom. You can set the PvP rules, collect taxes, and grant provinces to other players, making them nobles of your Kingdom. You can collect taxes in whatever form you want to from your Nobles, be it resources or materials! Hey, it’s good to be the Monarch! As a Noble, you can grant Lots to other players, making them vassals of the Kingdom and allowing them to place buildings on your land. As a Vassal, you can erect buildings on your Lots, and grant access to these buildings to other players as tenants. As a Tenant, you can place relics and thralls in the buildings you have access to, using these buildings as crafting stations and market/vendor locations. (And remember, these permissions are hierarchical in nature – a Monarch can naturally do everything that his or her subjects can do!) Can I control the layout of my Kingdom? Yes. Parcels fit together like Tetris pieces. You can arrange them however you like -- as long as the pieces fit together. You can even pick up and move the pieces, if you don’t like where they are placed. What if that Guild Leader stops playing? If the guild leader quits, you can always remove your parcels (and any buildings/improvements) and put them in a different Kingdom. Can I own a house but share Admin rights? Yes, you may add another player to the Admin list of your building making them a Tenant of the structure. This will also add them to that Kingdom’s fealty tree, allowing them to log in even if the Kingdom is set to “private.” Can I own land or be a tenant on multiple different Kingdoms? Yes, you can – but you should make sure you have the appropriate amount of land to place for the provinces you are granted. No monarch is going to want to grant provinces to Nobles who can’t put that space to good use! Is there an upkeep cost on the land or buildings? Yes. You will be required to pay taxes and maintenance to the system for the structures and land – unless you have a tax free parcel, in which case the land has no upkeep cost. If your taxes fall into arrears, the structures on the land will begin to degrade. Once the buildings have fully degraded, they won’t disappear – you can still repair them – but the land will fall back to its “wild” state and the buildings decay to the point they are removed from the world and placed into the owner’s inventory. They will not be usable until the taxes are repaid. If I invest in parcels or buildings and drop them on a World, are they locked there? What if I change my mind and want to leave? If you decide to leave a world – or, if you are ejected from a World by the players above you in the fealty chain -- all of your structures (and any relics or thralls placed in them) will be moved into your account bank. Parcels and Buildings can be moved easily from your account bank into a new Kingdom, once you find one.
  48. 33 points
    You guys are amazing. We just crossed $1.3 million in pledges, and you know what that means: - The MOUNT system! - The CARAVAN system! ...which means escort activities, ambushing, and a TON of emergent gameplay! And it means three in-game Mount Figurines are unlocked as a bonus backer reward: Quarter Horse (at $60), Quarter Horse + Warhorse (at $100), and Quarter Horse + Warhorse + Nightmare ($130 and above!) (Left > Right) Nightmare, Warhorse, Quater horse Thank you guys SO MUCH for helping us achieve this goal. Resource collection is a massive part of our vision, and the Caravan system is going to make the foundation of that game much, much stronger! Also, we have decided that a slight tweak to our reward structure is in order -- to your benefit, of course! The idea behind the backer goals was to create a smaller set of "thank you" rewards to go in between the larger stretch goal amounts. As it turns out, the 14,500 backer reward (bonus pack pig for all backers) looks like it would hit at roughly the same time as the $1.4m rewards -- which kind of goes against the point of having staggered rewards! Since the caravan system is now official IN the plan, we're changing the pack pig to come in at only 14,000 backers instead of 14,500. That's right: same great Pack Pig, but now it's only a few hundred backers away! Again, we can't thank you enough for the support you have shown us, and for the faith you have placed in our vision and our team. 4 days left! Keep spreading the word, and let's keep the momentum going!
  49. 33 points
    I'll weigh on this topic a bit with what we are thinking. Skill systems that are usage based tend to lead to macro botting. In UO I'd always setup a machine to cast Kal Vas Xen An Flam all night long. In AC same thing, cast spells in the mana pool for weeks. EQ was much more limited, jump into a pool, press numlock and go away for hours, same result. I'm sure everyone could quote their own examples all night long. Everyone is worried about the new player, imagine telling a new player that before they can go play the game they need to AFK macro their character for a few days, then they can see what the game is like! As Todd likes to say "laaaaame!" The problem with macro botting in a competitive environment is everyone has to do it, or you fall behind. It also becomes a straw man to point a finger at why you lost a fight. How do we plan to avoid this? Limited gains on usage, lets say the first 10-20% of a skill can be gained this way. For you non EVE players the beginning of a new character is pretty drab and doesn't feel very good. We hope that the limited gains spice it up a bit in the beginning. You may have noticed in our Centaur Polearm example the skill potential went from 1-175 opposed to EVE's discrete ranks of 1-5. We wanted to do this so you could feel gains happening all the time and not 1 rank point every 30 days. I can also say the amount of time to train from 150-175 may be crazy extreme for very little statistical gain, that time may be better spent getting a bunch of other skills from 80-100. For crafting we might do an inverse and put the usage gains at the end of the spectrum requiring additives that are more difficult to get. However the bulk of their training will also be passive, nothing is worse to a player economy than thousands of pieces of extra equipment made for the purpose of skilling up. There is a plethora of comments about "how will new players survive" because their skill values are so low. I would be more concerned about them not knowing how to block, or dash, or which powers do what. Numerical superiority may not save you when you go against a counter class who has figured out how to use all the tools available to that character. I have always admired how in EVE the new players who fly the smaller ships still have value in fleet battles webbing and jamming the bigger ships. I would like to think Crowfall would have roles like that as well, digging under castles, placing sapper charges, firing trebuchets, etc. Passive training lets us all progress when we are sleeping, working, at school, etc. It's great knowing your characters are advancing when you aren't able to be online 24/7.
  50. 32 points

    Best Thread Ever!

    Where have I been!?!?!? That happened! April 22, 2015 my wife and I had our first baby. Back to dad duties!
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