Top 5 Crowfall likes (things you feel we're doing great on).
I like theory-crafting with the various builds that come with the constant tweaks and additions you're making to the class system. Having a system where there is no-solved meta is a huge, huge, boon. It stops combat from becoming boring and formulaic. I am not sure if you'll be able to keep up this pace forever, but constant balance adjustments that maintain UNIQUE abilities (rather than boring/derivative ones with similar mechanics) makes the game so much fun. You're in that spot right now.
I enjoy the combat, I think you've struck a good balance between action and roleplaying mechanics, with "semi-manual" aiming and no "lock-on targeting." I like the smoothness, animation transitions, Invulnerability-frames on the ultimates, juggling the various buffs and debuffs. (Although, I think that the combat favors grouping and blobbing too heavily. Perhaps remove the AOE limit from only striking 5 targets, or cause AOEs to scale up if they hit 3, 4, or 5 targets? This would make combat more strategic and less zergy.)
I enjoyed your new player experience. I thought you did a good job allowing players to transition into late-game combat viability quickly without putting them behind a massive grind-wall to achieve it. (Although, I should note my reservation with the time gating mechanics behind getting into crafting/harvesting in the passive skill tree, which have stopped me from really playing these aspects of the game with my guild. Further, it's important to note that new players may be less viable as the passive skill trees advance more for other players.)
I like looting your mobs. I thought it was a fun gameplay loop exploring for captains/chiefs and getting nice bags of loot. Even grinding the small ones for random rewards wasn't bad. I'm somewhat saddened that this type of gameplay is basically pointless once crafting progresses though.
I like your community engagement. I think you do a good job addressing players concerns in your monthly Q&As and you've got a solid community team that maintains positive interaction with the community - This is a far cry from other in-development MMOs where things were quiet and players mostly just bashed the dev team(s).
Top 5 Crowfall dislikes (what you feel we could be doing better on or a pesky game mechanic that you don't enjoy) and how can we make it better?
I dislike the lack of meaningful content/activities to complete the game world, appeal to a wider audience, and provide PvP contested objectives outside of siege timers involving some/risk reward, the lack meaningful activities for solo/small groups, the dearth of economic interaction between individuals, and the lack of individual advancement available to a solo player when the larger group is either offline or less active. The game needs considerably more "gameplay options" outside of fort/keep timers + caravans, and it needs a viable playstyle for solo and small groups of players to advance without joining a large guild. (Looking for low hanging fruit that can be added before release, I propose this,)
I dislike the time-gating mechanics behind the passive skill tree, the economic dependency on the passive-skill tree to advance, and the massive combat bonuses you get for combat skill tree investment. Crafting is where virtually all of the "progression" in Crowfall comes from after hitting level 30 on a white vessel, and you are unable to do this without a clan infrastructure because you can't self-craft goods and the systems in place to facilitate trade/economy are wholly insufficient to support the complexity and interdependency of crafting operations. I'd like to see the passive skill trees radically changed to a passive/active hybrid or eliminated altogether.
I dislike how combat feels largely pointless because there isn't any real penalty for losing or reward for winning. For example, in siege windows, we often fight at the start of the siege window (in case someone hasn't even bothered to log in to loot their fort chest, which is unfortunately quite often) and at the end of the siege window, but the fights inbetween are entirely pointless and just there for poorly made dergss and giggles. Even though this is our best chance to get group PvP at any time during the day, my clan often abandon forts to run pigs in the middle of the fort window - This is because there is no benefit for actually having or winning the fights, all that matters is access to the resources and the outcome of the fort swap. When we do engage in open world pvp while running between forts, the effect of winning or losing is beyond negligible - It's a tiny loss of time, and that "epic fight" is neither exhilarating or interesting. I'd like to see full loot and economic changes to make fights meaningful.
I dislike progression system past the initial white-vessel leveling. All other progression should be essentially purchasable with coin. All items and other things that are part of the crafting loop need to be perishable to such an extent that the "loop" needs to be repeated, rather than merely "obtained." This will let the players play the game the way they want, as long as they are making money. It will feed activity into the game during the off-hours. There's no functional economy to speak of to allow this in Crowfall, there's no system to support the trade of goods, there's nothing for an individual to amass to "progress." The game really needs to learn some lessons from the only successful PvP MMOs currently on the market, Albion and Eve, on this front.
I dislike the lack of variety to how Crowfall is played competitively, with all the focus on Guild v Guild. Quality GvG gameplay is not mutually exclusive with good gameplay targetting solo and small players, and in fact usually enhances it by increasing activity levels and random encounters overall. Random season cards that involve either capturing land or grinding mobs, are only two goals. Smaller groups can, and should, compete in the same campaigns as guilds in parallel in the same dregs campaigns.
For solo goals: Players should also have solo goals, shuffled from a deck, where they can pick one out of four choices. These should reward them for either: Exploration, PvE, Crafting, or PvP.
For group goals: Group goals should run parallel to and inside the same game world as the GvG Dregs, that targets small groups of 4-8 players. They should get rewards which feed into their clan's overall score, while also giving them unique rewards for themselves. They should get cards that involve small scale group activities like capturing outposts, killing chiefs, capturing caravans, and kills in fights involving no more than 20 total players.
Guilds should see the individual point contribution towards the guild from these solo goals and these group goals. The sum of these scores should contribute to the season victory of the guild.
Top 5 bugs on LIVE (that we may have missed and wish would be fixed). Please be specific and constructive.
The party UI often becomes bugged after some time of play, showing duplicates of players or not updating information at all, only fixable with a relog.
As of a week or so ago on the test server, guards at keeps would sometimes appear to be standing still and not attacking you, but they were in reality attacking you.
As of a couple days ago the frostweaver auto attack causes a seizure inducing light show, for some clients but not others. But I kind of like it, tbh.
For some reason a group in my clan was able to spawn 4-5 chiefs in 20 minutes on infected. No idea what triggered this.
There is sometimes desync between a health bar shown in the party UI and a player's health shown above their head, especially in large fights.
If you could ask the Team member one question, what would you like to know?
Have you read feedback on the passive skill tree, activities for solo players or small groups, full loot drops, and the economy, and do you plan on introducing any new features to address these concerns prior to launch? When was the last time you logged into Crowfall?
Feedback for Tiggs on this weekly forum post if any.
Great! I hope the devs answer some of these concerns on their Q&A!