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Founders' Update: Beta and beyond

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For clarification, when 5.110 goes to the LIVE server, you'll start inviting the registered non-backers, which JTodd described as beta. So Crowfall enters Beta when 5.110 hits LIVE?


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You Can't Be A Genius, If You Aren't The Slightest Bit Insane.

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****This is a Question ONLY*****

So time frame will be:

1-3 weeks to finish 110 (ie around EOM Jan 2020)

5-6 weeks of polish/fixing in which this will drop to Test servers at some point (mid/beginning of March 2020)

Mid march 2020 drop to Live to kick off Beta 1 and first round of public invites

With the caveat that this is a 75%+ perfect world does this sound about what you guys would like to see happen?

 

 

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It will be wise to let the patch sit in live server with a short 2 weeks campaign before they open the incremental flood gate. Like the article mentioned public perception and expectation is identical between beta and release. 

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If, as I understand it, that guilds can capture pre-existing keeps and forts and build them up(city building), there is a finite number of locations available to capture. Shadowbane allowed any size guild that worked hard enough to be able to plant a Tree of Life and stake their own claim on the world. That was one of my favorite parts of SB-planting a ToL and building up my city.  My biggest concern is that if there are a finite number of preset locations for cities, then smaller independent guilds will be left out of a huge part of the game loop that was so intrinsic to Shadowbane. 

I am quite sure on a live stream it was mentioned that the locations are static-you can't place your own Trees of Life. Is that a correct assumption? If so, would it be a goal of the design team post launch to get closer to the free placement city building that we in SB? I am very excited for all the additions coming in 5.110. I eagerly await a chance to try out everything in the pipeline. I just have a fear that one of y favorite parts of the game will be limited to large guilds only. 

Edited by Doomshadow
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33 minutes ago, Doomshadow said:

If, as I understand it, that guilds can capture pre-existing keeps and forts and build them up(city building), there is a finite number of locations available to capture. Shadowbane allowed any size guild that worked hard enough to be able to plant a Tree of Life and stake their own claim on the world. That was one of my favorite parts of SB-planting a ToL and building up my city.  My biggest concern is that if there are a finite number of preset locations for cities, then smaller independent guilds will be left out of a huge part of the game loop that was so intrinsic to Shadowbane. 

I am quite sure on a live stream it was mentioned that the locations are static-you can't place your own Trees of Life. Is that a correct assumption? If so, would it be a goal of the design team post launch to get closer to the free placement city building that we in SB? I am very excited for all the additions coming in 5.110. I eagerly await a chance to try out everything in the pipeline. I just have a fear that one of y favorite parts of the game will be limited to large guilds only. 

I'm not sure that's actually the case. I don't think Todd was really clear on that point and people are assuming that the locations will be static/pre-existing. 

It's possible that people will be able to build wherever they want, but only within certain zones (and subject to terrain limitations, like we are in EKs). We currently have separate siege and adventure zones, and the forts and keeps are only in the siege zones. It makes sense that the same limitation will exist in the Dregs. 

Whether or not we can free place within siege zones, there really isn't a practical limit that I am aware of as to how many siege zones they can have. They've talked in the past about having zones that are locked to begin with and unlocked through gameplay. Maybe they will have extra siege zones that only unlock once the existing ones fill up.

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2 hours ago, Arkade said:

I'm not sure that's actually the case. I don't think Todd was really clear on that point and people are assuming that the locations will be static/pre-existing. 

I couldn't get a good read on this either. I am still hoping for free placement, but I can see how others could easily think its just a plug/socket in limited predetermined places type of building from ACE's few comments on this. Luckily its just a few months more till we see 5.110 hit and then everyone will know if its acceptable or not for them. 

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Yes, the pre-existing locked locations is my guess from the little that's been said. I hope there is more freedom as well. The city building of SB was definitely one of my favorite aspects of the game-placing of buildings and barracks and walls, ranking up the assets, watching the city grow. I am definitely hoping for the best!

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We desperately need some real, material example of progress that isn't just (a certainly time consuming in its own right, but not major feature set) screenshots of UI and traits and talent/passive tree changes.  Can we at least get a gameplay video of the Frostweaver, or a break down walkthrough of a caravan and barracks build up or something?  I feel like the January Q&A left a lot to be desired and we could use some boosts of confidence and set expectations.

Hell, even some information on just how stable the engine and optimization has gotten (all the new stuff notwithstanding) would be nice.  Even 1v1 the camera sputtering is simply unacceptable.

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10 hours ago, Deioth said:

We desperately need some real, material example of progress that isn't just (a certainly time consuming in its own right, but not major feature set) screenshots of UI and traits and talent/passive tree changes.  Can we at least get a gameplay video of the Frostweaver, or a break down walkthrough of a caravan and barracks build up or something?  I feel like the January Q&A left a lot to be desired and we could use some boosts of confidence and set expectations.

Hell, even some information on just how stable the engine and optimization has gotten (all the new stuff notwithstanding) would be nice.  Even 1v1 the camera sputtering is simply unacceptable.

They stated there will be drop of informations in the next weeks.

I know people are hungry for stuff, like videos, more informations on guilds/alliances systems, the freedom of construct, and i am too, but they are behind a marketing wall now, so just keep your patience and wait until they are more ready to pull out those informations in public.

It's not that far from now until we have more real informations so it's just a matter of patience, we are on a soon 5 years walk (in march), some weeks in more is not that hard to sustain.


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Thelanas Kar'Pal Membre fondateur de l'alliance Naerth en 2001 - Ex Shadowbane European Advisor Damnation/Carnage/Vindication/Corruption http://www.twitch.tv/gorwald/profile

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5 hours ago, Gorwald said:

They stated there will be drop of informations in the next weeks.

I know people are hungry for stuff, like videos, more informations on guilds/alliances systems, the freedom of construct, and i am too, but they are behind a marketing wall now, so just keep your patience and wait until they are more ready to pull out those informations in public.

It's not that far from now until we have more real informations so it's just a matter of patience, we are on a soon 5 years walk (in march), some weeks in more is not that hard to sustain.

I can't imagine why even the Frostweaver would have to remain locked behind some kind of marketing wall.  I feel like we're owed at least that much after a rather wanting Q&A.  The backers are the ones who want to see the final class.  A single class isn't going to wow the masses the marketing would reach, the feature set will.

Edited by Deioth

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1 hour ago, Deioth said:

I can't imagine why even the Frostweaver would have to remain locked behind some kind of marketing wall.  I feel like we're owed at least that much after a rather wanting Q&A.  The backers are the ones who want to see the final class.  A single class isn't going to wow the masses the marketing would reach, the feature set will.

New classes are great marketing tools, and are universally loved regardless of game/genre. 

Does it suck that they've been radio silent for 8 months? Yes. But if it makes the game more popular at the end of 2020 so be it. I assume Gordon wouldn't hire Debby Sue (VP of Marketing) if he didn't think she knew what she's doing. 

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21 minutes ago, Zatch said:

New classes are great marketing tools, and are universally loved regardless of game/genre. 

They are even better to hold back until the first expansion or as a cash shop only option. 

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11 hours ago, Gorwald said:

They stated there will be drop of informations in the next weeks.

I know people are hungry for stuff, like videos, more informations on guilds/alliances systems, the freedom of construct, and i am too, but they are behind a marketing wall now, so just keep your patience and wait until they are more ready to pull out those informations in public.

It's not that far from now until we have more real informations so it's just a matter of patience, we are on a soon 5 years walk (in march), some weeks in more is not that hard to sustain.

I'm still unclear who they are marketing to.

There are ~60k+ backers and ~330k registered.

Who is out their lurking that hasn't bothered to either back or sign up for free that will care about anything that is coming in the next update which still sounds like it is still a ways from completion.

Anyone can check out the comments from any of the past news drops on the few gaming sites that ACE has partnered with or that independently report. General public that reads such sites doesn't seem to care. Overall it is "tell me when it is ready for launch" and if the next update that is hiding behind a marketing wall isn't launch ready, I don't see a different response happening. People are tired of being burned by unfinished early access promises.

Still, I agree that it is just a matter of time and waiting it out, but considering crowdfunding in general is sold on the concept of transparency, it is some what crappy that once they get the cash they seem to forget that promise whenever it is convenient. 

There is also the past comments of soft launch being when the marketing push happened although clearly that has changed as they have been marketing even minimally for a long time.

In the meantime, the core community that actually made this thing possible should just hush up...

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On 1/11/2020 at 5:04 PM, APE said:

I'm still unclear who they are marketing to.

There are ~60k+ backers and ~330k registered.

Who is out their lurking that hasn't bothered to either back or sign up for free that will care about anything that is coming in the next update which still sounds like it is still a ways from completion.

Anyone can check out the comments from any of the past news drops on the few gaming sites that ACE has partnered with or that independently report. General public that reads such sites doesn't seem to care. Overall it is "tell me when it is ready for launch" and if the next update that is hiding behind a marketing wall isn't launch ready, I don't see a different response happening. People are tired of being burned by unfinished early access promises.

Still, I agree that it is just a matter of time and waiting it out, but considering crowdfunding in general is sold on the concept of transparency, it is some what crappy that once they get the cash they seem to forget that promise whenever it is convenient. 

There is also the past comments of soft launch being when the marketing push happened although clearly that has changed as they have been marketing even minimally for a long time.

In the meantime, the core community that actually made this thing possible should just hush up...

Those are the hardcore fans, the masses don't sign up. There are hundreds of thousands of gamers that will try crowfall out once they launch that have not even heard of crowfall as of yet. WOW audience for example is about 200millions people. At most they had 20 mil subs but over the course of 15 years there have been millions upon millions of ppl that joined for a little bit. The overall mmorpg market is at least 200million people large. Not everyone has heard of this game yet. They also need at least about 15,000 paying subscribers IIRC per month for the game to live. Almost ever current backer has some form of VIP stash already prepaid that does not make them money. They need new blood for this.

Edited by YouTubejasonwivart

Check out my youtube channel for testing gameplay https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp-AgZ6mHOVObusemDVEXoA

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5 hours ago, YouTubejasonwivart said:

Those are the hardcore fans, the masses don't sign up. There are hundreds of thousands of gamers that will try crowfall out once they launch that have not even heard of crowfall as of yet. WOW audience for example is about 200millions people. At most they had 20 mil subs but over the course of 15 years there have been millions upon millions of ppl that joined for a little bit. The overall mmorpg market is at least 200million people large. Not everyone has heard of this game yet. They also need at least about 15,000 paying subscribers IIRC per month for the game to live. Almost ever current backer has some form of VIP stash already prepaid that does not make them money. They need new blood for this.

Beyond the "hardcore" fans, who cares about Crowfall update 11221.202.381 that may or may not be an alpha before whatever stages of beta before an unknown launch date.

From the few sites that cover Crowfall and topics I see popup on general reddit gaming subs and the like, the general public of "200 million" doesn't care.

Obviously I don't know how many new customers they get after posting update news, but looking at the activity, it doesn't seem to be drawing in tons of people. They can't get those that already paid to bother.

Withholding details from 60k paying customers and 300k potential customers that have already shown interest in the hopes to get the attention of people that for some reason have yet to care but now will because another development update has landed is odd.

If they simply aren't ready because it is a ways off or they need a lot of time to put out a couple paragraphs and a pic or two, I understand. From the streams though, it seems "marketing" is holding them back.

Either way the update will come and news will be shared.

I just believe it is a bit shifty to claim to be transparent then stop because "marketing" an alpha is a thing... Take a look at the articles on gaming sites, guess what people don't like and avoid? Marketing early access, alpha, not finished products and companies trying to lure people in for more cash before there is a finished product.

Totally agree they need new blood, but there is a lot of old blood that shouldn't be disregarded.

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From what I've seen in other live service games I followed closely over the years, marketing hype is where they get the largest chunk of new subscribers and revenue. People who buy into it. It's not big updates actually getting patched into the game, but rather just marketing hype bombs dropped on big news outlets. 

I personally think it's a bit silly how in the past CF has done marketing pushes and campaigns, with videos, trailers, etc. of updates and versions of the game that were terrible, had unplayable performance and tons of bugs, but I don't have access to the numbers. If they keep doing it, it's because they're getting revenue out of it. Even if they lose some disgruntled customers that try out a broken alpha version and leave in disgust, in the grand scheme of things it probably doesn't matter. There's no shortage of live service gamers on this planet lol. There's always more ppl to sell the game to later down the road. 

It kinda sucks for everyone I guess, them included, that they need to keep having to monetize an unfinished game somehow to keep the lights on. Personally I think the Kickstart model for MMOs is just not ideal. Crowfall is actually the only one that actually has the highest chances to release and go live in the near future. But even then it probably will be in a very rough state. But hey, Albion survived its rocky launch and apparently improved over the years. So maybe all these games need is time. 


 

 

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46 minutes ago, Rikutatis said:

From what I've seen in other live service games I followed closely over the years, marketing hype is where they get the largest chunk of new subscribers and revenue. People who buy into it. It's not big updates actually getting patched into the game, but rather just marketing hype bombs dropped on big news outlets. 

I personally think it's a bit silly how in the past CF has done marketing pushes and campaigns, with videos, trailers, etc. of updates and versions of the game that were terrible, had unplayable performance and tons of bugs, but I don't have access to the numbers. If they keep doing it, it's because they're getting revenue out of it. Even if they lose some disgruntled customers that try out a broken alpha version and leave in disgust, in the grand scheme of things it probably doesn't matter. There's no shortage of live service gamers on this planet lol. There's always more ppl to sell the game to later down the road. 

It kinda sucks for everyone I guess, them included, that they need to keep having to monetize an unfinished game somehow to keep the lights on. Personally I think the Kickstart model for MMOs is just not ideal. Crowfall is actually the only one that actually has the highest chances to release and go live in the near future. But even then it probably will be in a very rough state. But hey, Albion survived its rocky launch and apparently improved over the years. So maybe all these games need is time. 

All of the articles and videos they gave us in the past were less about marketing and more about transparency with backers. As we get closer to launch, they need to market the game more, so we are getting less smaller updates. It sucks for us, but it makes sense for the game overall. Beta will bring in a lot of players. If the patch is well received, that should mean good things for CF going forward.

I don't think they are really worried about monetizing the game right now. The amount of money they get from pledges each month is pretty insignificant. They just received an investment of 12 million. In the entire life cycle of CF, they have less than 6 mil from backers. Monetization will matter once the game launches.

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22 hours ago, Arkade said:

All of the articles and videos they gave us in the past were less about marketing and more about transparency with backers. As we get closer to launch, they need to market the game more, so we are getting less smaller updates. It sucks for us, but it makes sense for the game overall. Beta will bring in a lot of players. If the patch is well received, that should mean good things for CF going forward.

I don't think they are really worried about monetizing the game right now. The amount of money they get from pledges each month is pretty insignificant. They just received an investment of 12 million. In the entire life cycle of CF, they have less than 6 mil from backers. Monetization will matter once the game launches.

If those articles and trailers and promotions were just backer transparency, why publish them in big MMO news site as opposed to just here on the forums or newsletters to backers? 

Also if your expenses every month is let's say 'X', and every month in pledges and packages you can sell something around 1/6 to 1/8 of X, that's not insignificant. It adds up and helps over the years. The scale in Crowfall is a lot smaller, but it's the same principle for Star Citizen. 


 

 

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