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Leocarian

My Biggest Concerns in Regards to Crowfall Systems - Coming from a professional Video Game Critique/Journalist + Zybak Interview

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Hello everyone,

My name is Leo and I am highly interested in Crowfall both as a gamer myself but also as a professional person who's been working in the gaming industry for the last 4+ years. I am gonna give a little bio about myself before I delve into the big details and questions and concerns that I have for Crowfall. First and foremost, I've been in the industry since 2013 and I've seen many many things both behind closed doors, and what's shown to the public and of course business sides of things between game developers and publishers. I've interviewed many publishers and developers that both range from triple A studios such as Sony, Microsft, Capcom, Ubisoft, EA, etc.. to smaller indie companies as well. 

As a gamer, I also have a lot of experience in MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (been at it since launch and still am), Guild Wars 1 and 2, Age of Conan, AION, Wildstar and so on. At heart, I am also a very competitive player and Crowfall is obviously is all about the competition when it comes to its campaign systems, PvP, Guilds vs Guilds and Factions vs Factions. I did a good share of Arenas in World of Warcraft, Battlegrounds and play a lot of competitive games today such as Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, and even Hearthstone.

Long story short, it has come to my attention that a lot of the games that are super successful these days are games as a service or games that are free-to-play and have an amazing support and Blizzard games are usually an excellent example of that and so is Warframe. Hearthstone is sitting at over a whopping 70+ Million players and it's a super simple game, however, it does have enough depth and strategy for the pro players and theory crafters despite its super RNG elements. It's amazing and fun to watch pro players and also fun to play. But, it's also very casual enough to be super popular and casuals are usually where the money is being made, at the end of the day it's all about the money and business that's just how any industry is. Now, I am not trying to compare Crowfall directly to Hearthstone, please don't think that I am just trying to draw an analogy here.

Crowfall seems to be a very very different game when it comes to who it's targeting and what it's trying to achieve. Now I absolutely adore the idea of being super unique in a game's universe and unique to your guild in terms of what you can offer on the table with your skills and specialization. For me personally, that's a dream come true game design/idea.  I also love being competitive and I enjoy PvPing with my friends or social guild mates and this is what Crowfall is all going to be about. However, I am quite concerned and somewhat fearful about its skill system and progression in the game. You basically have an account and that account is your character, you decide what you want to be and how unique or specced you want to be into something. The fact that it takes, hours, days, weeks and so on to get to the end on any skill trees will most likely turn a lot of people off. 

Also, I have interviewed nobody other than Zybak on Crowfall and MMOs in general on my website (Yes, I am the owner) @ Gaming Instincts - You can check out our talk here with ZybakTV right here - https://www.gaminginstincts.com/zybaktv-interview-crowfall-ashes-of-creation-kickstarter-and-more/ and we had a nice little discussion. It was a great fun time both for me and him.

Anyway, my big questions to Artcraft and to the community here are these

- How do you believe Crowfall will be able to handle both casual and super hardcore players entertained during the first few weeks of the game and well beyond.

- Do you believe that the skill system will already start playing a role and you will see your early skill points make a difference right off the bat, if the answer is yes please explain how so.

- Will Crowfall also provide any cool cosmetics or some sort of loot box system reward box after the campaign ends that rewards player with new craftable cosmetic items for your kingdoms, dances, emotes, taunts and things of that nature?

- How do you plan on keeping the game fresh throughout the years?

- Will you add any new playable races/vessels/classes such as say Wolverines for example? Since you already have Centaurs, Minotaurs and soon Elkens it would only make sense to add another animal and I personally think a Wolverines/Worgen like creature would fit the Crowfall universe/lore perfectly.

- How are you gonna handle streaming when it comes to Guilds vs Guilds when it will be very easy to spy on the enemy guild via their stream and listen in to their tactics, is this something your concerned about in regards to player experience in Crowfall? Will you have some sort of a ban system for this? Recently, Player Unknown Battlegrounds developers banned one of the streamers who was watching another streamer who he was going against to kill him. Not sure exactly what sytem they used to catch him, but they did. Although, that does seem excessive for an offense.

I know a lot of these questions are probably hard to answer as any good game developer will be focusing on what's important now and that is prioritizing getting the game up and running, have all the systems come up online and working well together and then, of course, polishing the product prior to release and well beyond that before adding anything new such as features or additions like races or classes to the game.

But in the end, I just wanted to say that I think what you guys are doing is very brave and gutsy and most developers would never take such risks because game development costs today are extremely expensive and too dangerous to play around with. Most triple A publishers and developers these days like to play it safe and bank on their ever popular non-stop sequels or use the same tropes/ideas with new skins that are guaranteed to make fast bank due to mainstream popularity.

Thank you for reading this, I am looking forward to playing Crowfall and experiencing the development and growth with you. Let me know what you guys and gals think, peace.

Edited by Leocarian

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6 minutes ago, Leocarian said:

- How do you believe Crowfall will be able to handle both casual and super hardcore players entertained during the first few weeks of the game and well beyond.

Different rulesets for players with different pvp/social preferences.

- Do you believe that the skill system will already start playing a role and you will see your early skill points make a difference right off the bat, if the answer is yes please explain how so.

Any min/maxer will use it to make a difference.  Just like the ramp up of a moba like LoL, look at how people have configured their starter runes and the minor stat boosts at certain levels to give them significant windows to grow a lead. 

- Will Crowfall also provide any cool cosmetics or some sort of loot box system reward box after the campaign ends that rewards player with new craftable cosmetic items for your kingdoms, dances, emotes, taunts and things of that nature?

Nothing I have seen indicates ACE is against cosmetics. 

- How do you plan on keeping the game fresh throughout the years?

The game will constantly evolve with tweaks to the rules based on what settings work and which do not.  The campaigns die off and new ones with new rules will be created.

- Will you add any new playable races/vessels/classes such as say Wolverines for example? Since you already Centaurs, Minotaurs and soon Elkens it would only make sense to add another animal and I personally think a Wolverines/Worgen like creature would fit the Crowfall universe/lore perfectly.

Nothing I have seen indicates ACE is against adding new races or classes, but I imagine they will be expensive to add so ACE would have to see a really good reason for it. 

- How are you gonna handle streaming when it comes to Guilds vs Guilds when it will be very easy to spy on the enemy guild via their stream and listen in to their tactics, is this something your concerned about in regards to player experience in Crowfall?

No one forces anyone else to stream. 

There is nothing ACE can do if others want to air their information. 

 

I'd also be careful about who you try to promote with the game.  Zybak has a controversial past.  I won't go into specifics here but you can google or pm if you care. 


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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2 hours ago, Leocarian said:

The fact that it takes, hours, days, weeks and so on to get to the end on any skill trees will most likely turn a lot of people off. 

This is the feeling I get from a multitude of people that I speak to and try to get interested in the game. They're interested in the game, they're just not interested in being stuck being good at one thing for a extend period of time. There might be a minority of people that enjoy having to invest into things like harvesting cooper ore for 100+ days, but I believe it's just that, an minority.  It's in fact a common complaint in this thread, but I'll ultimately hold my judgement till all the systems are in place. 

2 hours ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

I'd also be careful about who you try to promote with the game.  Zybak has a controversial past.  I won't go into specifics here but you can google or pm if you care.

Lol, throwing that unnecessary shade. 

Edited by Helix

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11 minutes ago, Helix said:

This is the feeling I get from a multitude of people that I speak to and try to get interested in the game. They're interested in the game, they're just not interested in being stuck being good at one thing for a extend period of time. There might be a minority of people that enjoy having to invest into things like harvesting cooper ore for 100+ days, but I believe it's just that, an minority.  It's in fact a common complaint in this thread, but I'll ultimately hold my judgement till all the systems are in place. 

Yeah, exactly. Right now I am looking a the Skill trees and can't decide for the life of me what race/class I should go for the best combo and fantasy with what role and will it be worth it in the end? What happens if 2 people on the server decided to do the same thing? Then it's also not so unique anymore, lol.

5
6

 

Edited by Leocarian

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2 hours ago, Leocarian said:

You basically have an account and that account is your character, you decide what you want to be and how unique or specced you want to be into something. The fact that it takes, hours, days, weeks and so on to get to the end on any skill trees will most likely turn a lot of people off.

This is the reason I'm so hyped for the game. Most Trip A's always induce some casual method of playing a game and it 100% ruins it for me and a lot of other people. Idc if you have other commitments if I put more time+effort into the game I should be rewarded more than a casual 3hrs a day player.

You also said "super successful these days are games as a service or games that are free-to-play" but how many true MMO's have done well on an entirely f2p structure? Typically the most successful MMO's are subscription based with optional f2p (Wow, Eve etc).

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So Hopefully I don't come off as a jerk. But I'll try to respond honestly.

First, your background. That said nothing bad :) you've been doing video game journalism for roughly 5 years. That said, it seems you're completely ignoring some of the nuances of journalism. Feel this could of very easily of been sent in directly to Ace itself. But instead your making it a public spectacle.  I don't know seems more of like you just wanted to promote yourself then actually get answers to your questions.

That said I'll try to answer your questions from what knowledge I have. I do not speak for ACE in any way what so ever other then being a player. That said I have been working with the video game industry since 2008. 

On 8/2/2017 at 10:50 PM, Leocarian said:

- How do you believe Crowfall will be able to handle both casual and super hardcore players entertained during the first few weeks of the game and well beyond.

- Do you believe that the skill system will already start playing a role and you will see your early skill points make a difference right off the bat, if the answer is yes please explain how so.

- Will Crowfall also provide any cool cosmetics or some sort of loot box system reward box after the campaign ends that rewards player with new craftable cosmetic items for your kingdoms, dances, emotes, taunts and things of that nature?

- How do you plan on keeping the game fresh throughout the years?

- Will you add any new playable races/vessels/classes such as say Wolverines for example? Since you already have Centaurs, Minotaurs and soon Elkens it would only make sense to add another animal and I personally think a Wolverines/Worgen like creature would fit the Crowfall universe/lore perfectly.

- How are you gonna handle streaming when it comes to Guilds vs Guilds when it will be very easy to spy on the enemy guild via their stream and listen in to their tactics, is this something your concerned about in regards to player experience in Crowfall? Will you have some sort of a ban system for this? Recently, Player Unknown Battlegrounds developers banned one of the streamers who was watching another streamer who he was going against to kill him. Not sure exactly what sytem they used to catch him, but they did. Although, that does seem excessive for an offense.

1) I would assume they will provide a stable but new gaming environment that both sets of players can play. Casual players will no doubt enjoy the Economic side of the game, while hardcore players will likely enjoy the highly competitive side of Point of interest on maps and controlling premium but limited resources. That said the game is more geared to competitive players.

2) As is, yes. They can all be easily overseen as they are all tiny improvements. But it is funny how these tiny improvements add up into major advantages. Such as reducing the time you are stunned by 2s, to being able to obtain higher quality materials from resource that are out of reach for those who neglect training for it. All skill training is specialized therefore putting a large reliance of working with other players in the game.

3 + 4) Maybe. As is they are more invested in getting the game on stable legs. But if they follow their previous examples they might hire on multiple teams dedicated to keeping the game interesting. For example a Dynamic Event team: in charge of creating and running new and interesting events that engage the players. Cosmetic teams: In charge of creating interesting cosmetic items. And other teams for other things. As for Rewards for Campaigns, those that win will be rewarded in being able to bringing treasured items they obtained in that campaign out of it with them while losers lose possibly everything. These range from Large buildings, to Legendary crafted items, to even map pieces.

5) Were-creatures have been talked about. But likely will not be added until after the launch the game.

6) This is really up to them... But personally if I were them Nothing. There is a great deal of tools that people can use to mitigate problems in regards to stream snipers. While this is obviously poor sportsmanship on the part of the one viewing the stream, it is not a violation of any current policies. In fact, they really cannot enforce any 'fair play' policies if a user chooses to provide their opponent an advantage. It is not the developers fault in any way that you as a player are broadcasting that information to the world. Its the equivalent of playing poker and every time you get dealt a hand you show the table. 

I mean even if it was considered a violation, it'd be near impossible to micro-manage every stream to ensure that no players were both watching it and using it to their advantage. I mean it will be the full intent of the ACE team to ensure a fair and fun experience with their policies. But the act of providing a window into your game for your opponent to see is not considered a violation should they choose to use it to their advantage. Again, it would be like you were playing poker, bet a hundred dollars and told your opponent "I'm bluffing, I have no hand at all... Hear look" and showed them your hand. I mean why is it their fault if they crush you because your telling them that information?

Edited by SirGeorge

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15 hours ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

I'd also be careful about who you try to promote with the game.  Zybak has a controversial past.  I won't go into specifics here but you can google or pm if you care. 

thats better than hiding ones past and present....while forum bragging

Edited by Tinnis

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On 8/2/2017 at 10:50 PM, Leocarian said:

How are you gonna handle streaming when it comes to Guilds vs Guilds when it will be very easy to spy on the enemy guild via their stream and listen in to their tactics, is this something your concerned about in regards to player experience in Crowfall? Will you have some sort of a ban system for this?

Hopefully not. If a streamer decides to give away their position without a delay or anything then that's their responsibility and the responsibility of the group they play with.

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13 hours ago, Leocarian said:

I am a little bit confused at the responses here... I cannot tell if people are upset at the fact that I was stating who I am and what I do for a living or if they're just jealous and looking for a way to make themselves feel better because they have nothing exciting going on in their personal life.. Yes I do real estate as well, how this contributes to the topic makes no sense to me whatsoever or how it even relates to Crowfall. Wanna know another thing that I do SirGeorge since you're so curios, I also do bodybuilding as well. Ok, now what?

I came here to discuss a game and bring community together to talk about the passionate that we all share in regards to Crowfall. But apparently, these days people are looking to spy on others and talk bad about someone else for no real reason at all who's been well trusted with Artcraft for a while now and been promoting the game for a while now. I have good relations with those people and I am not gonna let someone ruin it. Or maybe you guys are just a bunch of silly trolls. Moving on.

You should pm @VIKINGNAIL

He has some incredible insight on the game and might be able to get you in touch with the niche community you are looking for. Sorry you were treated poorly here. People like Sirgeorge don’t mean any ill will towards you  He has an issue and it’s not entirely his fault. On behalf of the 4th best guild in the game (Sugoi) I would like to extend an apology. 


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14 hours ago, Leocarian said:

I am a little bit confused at the responses here... I cannot tell if people are upset at the fact that I was stating who I am and what I do for a living or if they're just jealous and looking for a way to make themselves feel better because they have nothing exciting going on in their personal life.. Yes I do real estate as well, how this contributes to the topic makes no sense to me whatsoever or how it even relates to Crowfall. Wanna know another thing that I do SirGeorge since you're so curios, I also do bodybuilding as well. Ok, now what?

I came here to discuss a game and bring community together to talk about the passionate that we all share in regards to Crowfall. But apparently, these days people are looking to spy on others and talk bad about someone else for no real reason at all who's been well trusted with Artcraft for a while now and been promoting the game for a while now. I have good relations with those people and I am not gonna let someone ruin it. Or maybe you guys are just a bunch of silly trolls. Moving on.

With a reply like this you expect to be taken even remotely serious? You're kidding me right?

I'm gonna be that guy that tells you to step back, look at yourself in the mirror and think really hard about what you wanna be in the next few years because if it's a successful journalist you're going to have to make some serious personality changes.

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On 8/2/2017 at 7:50 PM, Leocarian said:

 

 I did a good share of Arenas in World of Warcraft, Battlegrounds and play a lot of competitive games today such as Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, and even Hearthstone.

 

Lol.

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1 hour ago, Midas said:

I'm gonna be that guy that tells you to step back, look at yourself in the mirror and think really hard about what you wanna be in the next few years because if it's a successful journalist you're going to have to make some serious personality changes.

 

More like, stop writing for a gaming news website.

Again, these people are not journalists. Suggesting as such should be taken as a huge insult to people who actually do real journalism, or at least underscores the sorry state of journalism (or perception of it) in 2017.

In summary:

Writing a blog post doesn't make you a journalist. At best, it makes you a web content marketer who is someone who creates content for the web in order to get page/video views which translate into advertisement revenue.

Sadly, that is what most formerly reputable news media outlets have degraded to as well.

Here is an example of what I consider a journalist: http://www.hbo.com/vice/cast-and-crew/isobel-yeung-bio/index.html

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On 3.8.2017 at 7:33 AM, Midas said:

You also said "super successful these days are games as a service or games that are free-to-play" but how many true MMO's have done well on an entirely f2p structure?

none and people still hype up 3rd rate korean WoW clones for whatever reason, l m a o


6XZoThV.jpg

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4 hours ago, Midas said:

With a reply like this you expect to be taken even remotely serious? You're kidding me right?

I'm gonna be that guy that tells you to step back, look at yourself in the mirror and think really hard about what you wanna be in the next few years because if it's a successful journalist you're going to have to make some serious personality changes.

And who are you? :)

Edited by Leocarian

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On 3.8.2017 at 4:50 AM, Leocarian said:

 

1. How do you believe Crowfall will be able to handle both casual and super hardcore players entertained during the first few weeks of the game and well beyond.

 

2. Do you believe that the skill system will already start playing a role and you will see your early skill points make a difference right off the bat, if the answer is yes please explain how so.

3. Will Crowfall also provide any cool cosmetics or some sort of loot box system reward box after the campaign ends that rewards player with new craftable cosmetic items for your kingdoms, dances, emotes, taunts and things of that nature?

4. How do you plan on keeping the game fresh throughout the years?

5. Will you add any new playable races/vessels/classes such as say Wolverines for example? Since you already have Centaurs, Minotaurs and soon Elkens it would only make sense to add another animal and I personally think a Wolverines/Worgen like creature would fit the Crowfall universe/lore perfectly.

6. How are you gonna handle streaming when it comes to Guilds vs Guilds when it will be very easy to spy on the enemy guild via their stream and listen in to their tactics, is this something your concerned about in regards to player experience in Crowfall? Will you have some sort of a ban system for this? Recently, Player Unknown Battlegrounds developers banned one of the streamers who was watching another streamer who he was going against to kill him. Not sure exactly what sytem they used to catch him, but they did. Although, that does seem excessive for an offense.

1. You are assuming that Crowfall is targeting casual and super hardcore players alike. As far as I know, that's not the case. I might be wrong though.

2. The only correct answer to your question here is yes. You asked whether early skill points will make a difference and since every skill pip will increase the stats of your character, every pip makes a difference. That's just common sense/basic math being applied here. There are obviously tons of other factors (your own significance in a group of multiple people, the relevance of your skill stat to the activity that you are performing, etc.) that might reduce the effectiveness of the difference your skill training makes.

3. No idea. Like you said, that is probably not anywhere at the top of the priority list of the devs.

4. You should read about the campaign system or watch the Kickstarter video, it covers what has the most potential to keep the game fresh over the years pretty well.

5. Probably also not one of the priorities since not even all planned races have been added yet. I don't see how it would fit the lore right now, but it would be easy to add the concept of a wolven race.

6. PUBG covers stream sniping in their Rules of Conduct. Whether the guy who got banned was watching the stream or not can't be proven though. Only ingame data in combination with assumptions were used to justify that ban, as has been said by the lead community manager of PUBG.
It's not even clear if stream sniping will be an issue in Crowfall. PUBG is a completely different game and hiding is very important in it. If you hide in a bush and your position is known by the enemy, he can shoot you from a couple hundred meters away without you seeing where he shoots from if he has a suppressor. Crowfall does not give you the ability to shoot that far. Crowfall also does not give you the ability to kill someone in a second without the enemy attempting to run away. Crowfall is designed to be played in groups. If you "stream snipe" someone in Crowfall, you probably need to do that in a group as well. 
Streamers will probably not stream their attack on a fort anyways. You want to stream your gameplay to an anonymous audience and at the same time have someone punish players who want to use the information you share with them? Good luck with that. PUBGs enforcement of that ignited a huge debate already and it will do more harm than good.

 

I feel like some of your biggest concerns are not that big after all. Especially cosmetics, additional animal races and stream sniping.


 

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4 hours ago, Leocarian said:

And who are you? :)

Dude, in the title of this post, you didn't even use the proper word for "Critic", a noun referring to a person who makes critiques. You used the word "Critique" which is a verb, or noun referring to the criticism or analysis that was made. I'm assuming you meant "Critic", since you seem to be referring to yourself as a Journalist/Critic. Honestly though, what you need is an Editor/Proofreader

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