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My take on Crowfall state of play


Dorizzdt
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https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1146314251

I had a really good conversation off forum with @macavity that i thought was worth kind of summarizing out loud. 

At the heart of this game is something I honestly still think everyone agrees has enormous potential. There are clearly decisions the game is making that aren't effective or keeping progress in a way that appeals to our collective patience.

I think everyone's just barking at one another (myself included) because we agree on that principle at the least.

We want the game to finish some unfinished ideas but at the same time we also need to be careful, as you just may get what you wish for - a game that ends and this put onto the pyre of "well i wish this next game I'm about to adopt would steal ideas from Crowfall"

In my opinion if we down weapons on the Crowfall beat-up and give them another round of patience - which is a lot to ask granted - but if you go off play other games or whatever it is you need to do in order to reset - do it. I and I'm guessing a lot of others will still login, grit passed dumb solutions like Bank UI etc. and wait give them another big push of support.

If then they fail. Well.. its on them now.

You can linger in a forum of a game you dislike and be toxic, or you can just move on play something different. If you can't move on then its probably time for you to seek some mental respite. 

I choose to play Crowfall - problems and all - because its a fun game. Why do you hate fun?

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6 years......6 years...and you think in 3-4 weeks fixing UI/banking is somehow gonna bring the rest of us "rushing" back in?

14 types of mobs.

Locked PvP timers for siege. 

POINTLESS/ZERO character development rewards for pvp. 

copy pasted mob camps with NO depth/soul. 

Computer randomized maps that look like someone took a crayon and drew LINES to small round circles that are supposed to be maps.  

A crafting simulator that is so convoluted that your bags are just filled with more and more junk.  (do you like swapping runes btw to craft?? neat isnt it!)

oh, btw, want to craft the best on something...gotta roll a certain race! go go go rat creatures.

On the fly faction swapping 

500 cap guilds with 250 cap zones

ZERO realm-pride or allegiance

ZERO depth/point to the gods/buffs/explanations/reason

I'm not even focusing on BUGS/graphics/performance..these are just CORE issues that are blatant.

 

Do you want more?  Seriously I can keep going..this was just me typing fast...Again, i'm glad you're having fun.  But from a business stance this game is  BLEEDING #'s daily.

Edited by Wrain
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Well said.

Beyond replying to direct comments to myself, I'm done.

I still see a lot of potential, but the team doesn't seem capable or willing to take advantage of it. You might not care or have had the pleasure of watching the progress for the last 6 years, but ACE has shown zero sign that it is changing how they do things. History keeps repeating and the goal posts have wheels.

Every day that one less logs in, every news article questioning the game's health, every negative comment, and every game announced/launched/updated, is working against ACE and their likely low funds, shrinking team, and lack of time.

I'm glad Crowfall launched and some enjoy it but it is very unfortunate that it didn't live up to the hype. They overconfidently sold themselves and this product. Looking at what happened in UO, SWG, and SB should of been enough red flags, but I hoped a decade or so of more experience would help.

Assuming I'm not hooked on something else and they manage to go in a more successful direction, I'll have no problem giving it another shot, but that would take quite a lot. For now they've lost yet another.

On the plus side, it's doing better then Camelot Unchained, but at least they offered refunds. 🙃

 


 

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9 minutes ago, Wrain said:

6 years......6 years...and you think in 3-4 weeks fixing UI/banking is somehow gonna bring the rest of us "rushing" back in?

to be clear i stopped reading after this line. You're gonna whine about X fine have at it. I dont care :P i've said my piece. Have at it, get closure whatever you need to but either stick it out or move on? why linger? its not healthy.

 

You can linger in a forum of a game you dislike and be toxic, or you can just move on play something different. If you can't move on then its probably time for you to seek some mental respite. 

I choose to play Crowfall - problems and all - because its a fun game. Why do you hate fun?

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3 hours ago, APE said:

On the plus side, it's doing better then Camelot Unchained, but at least they offered refunds. 🙃

That part had me snorting coffee out of my nose. Thanks man 🥴

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They do definably like the whole unfinished feature there like ok im half way through but im bored of this im gonna start something new and maybe get back to what i halkf finished but never does.
They start things get half way through things ato the point its usable but never actually finish it.

UI = Rushed UI so it was playable buit never got refined to be good.
GvG = Castles and camps were weorking o na territory system but never actually finishes the territory system to make it work.
FvF = adds shadows never nailed out the reward system/structure
Adds bunch of skills/classes never takes the time to finish/balance them.
EK yeah it works but feels unfinished and so on.

I think they need to sit down and prioritise things in importance to the game and focus on those thing and polish the crap out of them before moving on. 
UI and territory system and balancign i think are the top 3 thigns for this game to work properly and these 3 things need to be your first focus before moving on to next ones,

I will say im frustrated to a degree because of the potential this game has but after telling them so much during test and beta and thing that had to be done before release and they ignore that ive done so many suggestion on a territory system that was very well received by the public and apparently the devs never saw any of 3 i made and 2 guildies did dispite being very liked and then game comes out 6-12 month to early assuminging guessing there out of cash and then the first livestream Gordon like im out gonna start something else, its literaly saying he given up on this game and is now moved onto somethign else to try again, it would of been so much better to focus on your current game and getting it to the point where the game can be considered complete (which it definelty feels unfinished) its like you half finished something got bored and fked off to do somethign else which this mentality is riddled through out crowfall do they have a single feature in game that doesnt feel half done? cause i stuggle to find one. I just hope the game last long enough to get to a finished state.
Like release uncomplete thats fine but gordon should never of fked off to a new project cause just says he given up on this one

Its still has solid potential i just hope it makes it to that state before you loose much population your literaly on the clock now to get to a finished product before your pop disapears.


I will say one thing crowfall as it stands is a ok game pretty standard however im not playing this cause of it current gamestate it more the potential it has that i hold onto it for. 6motnhs im hopinmg there sitting on a much better game state but there slow so it porob be more like a year.

Edited by veeshan

Veeshan Midst of UXA

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41 minutes ago, Blowfeld said:

That part had me snorting coffee out of my nose. Thanks man 🥴

I don't understand it's like people think it's the end of the world, and Ragnarok is just around the corner. Why can't people just appreciate a crowdfunded game engine.🤭

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1 hour ago, Muta said:

The writing was on the wall the moment JamesGoblin stop liking ever post. 

I guess its one of those "you had to be there to get the joke" ..but thanks for making it public, we'll wait for the catchup :D

You can linger in a forum of a game you dislike and be toxic, or you can just move on play something different. If you can't move on then its probably time for you to seek some mental respite. 

I choose to play Crowfall - problems and all - because its a fun game. Why do you hate fun?

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I think a large part of the problem is that crowfall, from its inception all the way to release, had such a hazy vision of what it even was that not even ACE really ever sat down to look at the thing and go "that, that's what the game is about"

Spot on talking about shiny object syndrome.

I was honestly shocked at how often in alpha/beta we'd ask about a feature and hear "we haven't started designing that yet"

Now I'm not sure how people at ACE do things, but every time I've worked on a game, spoken to people that worked on a game, or listened to a lecture about game design there is one constant: You write as comprehensive a design bible as possible as early as possible, and then iterate from there.

Last time I saw this process for an MMO, the design bible was over 200 pages long. There's a lot of "and balance test this" or "between X and Y value" but every feature is, at the very least, sketched out beyond just naming the feature.

Crowfall, as far as I can tell had a very specific design plan for a few systems. Crafting and harvesting had very specific high level designs very early on. The bare bones of archetypes, and later classes and races had a very strong design outlined for them as well. These things were iterated on but their core strengths and ideas were evident the moment we saw their initial iterations.

The core map tech had a strong outline as well. It took a long time and a lot of iteration but the idea was pretty clearly defined right from the beginning in terms of parcels, how they work, how the same system would be used in EKs etc.

Sure there were some bumps in the road, some pie in the sky ideas didn't pan out and had to change (expensive physics, voxels, etc. that just proved infeasible) but these core features remained largely unchanged throughout development. Knights always had a core knight-ness to them, harvesting always had a relationship between tool, node, and resource quality, crafting always had this interplay of experimentation points and rerolls, the world was always made by putting tiles on a grid, etc.

The thing is, none of these things were ever really the game.

Campaigns, progression systems, EKs, these comprise the core fundamental loop that is why you'd roll those characters, harvest those materials, or craft those items. There was a cursory attempt at the original three faction push/pull system but really there was never a sense anyone at ACE had any idea what the actual game loop was supposed to be other than "they do campaigns and export stuff" and it wasn't until very, very late in development that we were told the developers even started designing campaign scoring systems. Forget implementing them, but actually even designing what a campaign even is.

Then time started running out and it seemed the answer to every question about these core systems was "I dunno just do whatever the normal thing is" seemingly without much consideration for how all these pieces fit together.

That brings us to now. We have a collection of systems that seem to be built around these long term grinds and wealth hoarding mechanisms in a game that tries to pretend it is a series of match format campaign servers with resets to start new matches. These designs are incompatible and conflicting, and it seems to be this way because at no point in development did anyone sit down to look at the big picture and chart out how players are expected to flow through the game.

You had this initial design, where progression was either passive or skipped so that people did campaign stuff, only the campaigns weren't implemented so nobody did campaign stuff. So they implemented this more long tail kind of stuff to keep them engaged. Then later they added the campaign stuff on top of all these systems they built to engage players because they didn't have campaigns, and now you have a mess of a game that is going in two different directions and swerving drunkenly in both.

So you have people who all see different things in it. People tend to have different expectations or assessments based on personal preference, where in development they started playing. Some people look at the game and go "just give me the progression focused persistant game this thing seems to want to be" and some people going "just give me the progression light campaign focused game this seems to want to be" and all of those people are, in a sense, valid in their assessment of the game because the game is halfway to two different games.

Edited by PopeUrban

LMAO my website is broken please click this to apply to Flames of Exile (maybe, if that's not busted too)

On 5/11/2015 at 1:48 PM, CAWCAWCAW said:

Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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48 minutes ago, PopeUrban said:

I think a large part of the problem is that crowfall, from its inception all the way to release, had such a hazy vision of what it even was that not even ACE really ever sat down to look at the thing and go "that, that's what the game is about"

Spot on talking about shiny object syndrome.

I was honestly shocked at how often in alpha/beta we'd ask about a feature and hear "we haven't started designing that yet"

Now I'm not sure how people at ACE do things, but every time I've worked on a game, spoken to people that worked on a game, or listened to a lecture about game design there is one constant: You write as comprehensive a design bible as possible as early as possible, and then iterate from there.

Stop it. You're giving me WOD Online flashbacks. 😢

 

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A lot of us have been here a long time man. We have taken our breaks and have come back time and time again, we gave them time, they decided to release, not us, we knew it needed more time in the oven. Your account is from July. I assume its your only account because it was added in July and not back when we all were buying up multiple accounts because of passive training. So understand a lot and I mean a lot of these very basic problems are the same issues from years ago. Like actual years. Thinking they are going to fix in months or weeks what the failed to see as problems for years is wild. You not being here for it is not an excuse to be ignorant to it. I for one will continue to post on the forums in hopes to save my fellow human a few bucks. Me and my wife have spend enough money on this game that we already bought the copies of everyone we turn away.

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13 hours ago, veeshan said:

UI = Rushed UI so it was playable buit never got refined to be good.

It was redone no less than 3x during beta. I wouldnt say it was rushed, but it definitely was not what they promised. From the beginning they said the UI elements would be movable and resizable...

There are elements of the UI that are so egregious as to be inexcusable, however, buff/debuff effects taking up 20% of the screen real estate is one and the custom player frame art being 4x larger than the actual player frame is another. These are mistakes you would expect from an intern and to have been prevented from going live by the creative director.

Edited by Toadwart
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So I do enjoy the game.. I'm going to keep playing for now until it stops being fun but I don't think, from what I've seen so far since release, that the game is going to last and be healthy as much as we might hope otherwise.

They've spent 6 years working on the game. It's clear that the central thing they wanted was to have large battles centering around castles/keeps. They've had to implement things like zone caps because they can't get performance in a place to realize that vision.

Now they are spending significant portions, possibly even the majority, of their dev time working on Handshake Sieges which is an attempt to fix a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place (abuse of zone cap mechanics). The handshakes don't actually fix the issue though, it's just moving the goal posts a bit and alliances and guilds will still abuse it in whatever way is possible.

Not only are they spending effort fixing an issue that shouldn't be an issue to start with but it also directly moves the game away from the idea of an open world PvP sandbox and moves it toward a more instanced styled system of structured PvP.

Reading between the lines this tells me now that they haven't been able to implement the core aspect of their game in the manner they initially intended and now concession after concession is being made to try make it work but without moving it too far from what was originally planned. Since this is where they have seemingly spent all of their time there's obviously no serious content for smaller groups or people playing on their own.

Mega-Dregs is a ***great*** example of something not being thought through. It sounds cool but all that happens now is that mega-alliances roll through zones out of their time zone and smaller, opportunistic, groups or solo players who would normally operate early or later on in the day when they are able to compete on a more even footing with larger groups can't do so because they've now got Death, WHAX, KDS, Synapse or ANKI rolling through their zones in what should be the quiet times.

Not that smaller groups have anything to do in game, mind you, since pretty much the main and only gameplay loop with a reward tied to it isn't accessible to them.

From a design standpoint the game clearly hasn't learned the lessons other games have had to learn the hard way. It's been some time since I last played it but take EVE as an example with how they handled POS sieges back in the day. They weren't perfect but having to put it into reinforced mode and then come back a day or two later to finish it is a much more elegant solution than anything Crowfall currently has or is going to have even post handshake update. 

EVE also managed to, somewhat, address extreme overcrowding through preparing systems and migrating them onto more powerful hardware before large engagements and by adding Time Dilation. Other games like Darkfall attempted this by breaking the map into chunks (Or should it be parcels.. hmm). Star Citizen is looking to take a similar approach by implementing their version of a server mesh where regions of the game world can be broken down into smaller and smaller chunks depending on what is happening and then that load spreads across their pool of servers. For Star Citizen they plan ultimately to have entire areas of the game, NPC's included, be streamed real-time in and out of a back-end service, depending on whether players are present in the vicinity or not, allowing them to do away with lots of the more resources intensive processing.

There are other issues as well which are just pretty unforgivable. The most random-ass bugs after patches that takes ages to get patched is a particular pet peeve of mine. Harvest: All stat on necks not effecting logging was reported the first day of the patch and pretty much prevents any sort of efficient gathering of r10 nodes for the entire dregs campaign so far. Does it really take more than 2 weeks to fix that??? Or how about the instakill zone in Shadows not having any graphic or debuff to warn people and it taking something like 10 days to get fixed. Or just how in hell did they manage to break polishing so it was only rerolling two pips instead of three?

There's other deep fundamental issues as well which aren't being really addressed. In games like these usually the primary focus and draw to PvP tends to be fighting over some resource of some sort but as things stand right now who's going to come over to the zone I'm in to farm the same thing I'm farming? There's no reason to.. they have everything they need somewhere else. I could sign back into the game and go find someone to gank instead of writing all of this but *why* should I go do that beyond doing it for the sake of it? I don't gain anything from it and I can't do anything that will affect my opponents own capability to play the game and progress in a significant manner. At that point I'm being more of a nuisance than anything else and even I go and get one or two groups of friends to go with me it doesn't change anything or have any lasting impact.

If this is what they have after 6 years of effort then I don't really know what to say, honestly. I hope all these things can be addressed but I would need to be beyond naive to think it's likely to happen. Copy/Pasta a bank UI from the lobby into campaigns, adding an actual chat interface that isn't from pre-2004 and starting to instance sieges aren't going to be the things that keeps new players playing the game and they aren't going to be the things that stops existing players from leaving.

The game requires many serious, fundamental, changes and the prospect of that being done post-launch after you've just had to cut staff gets a big yikes from me.

Edited by Korgath
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2 hours ago, Korgath said:

They've spent 6 years working on the game.

People cling to this metric with a death grip. I don't honestly understand why this is a sticking point. Is it just fatigue of watching them build during that time to get to the finish line now and think "well it wasn't worth the wait?" i can understand that I guess. However, for anyone who buys it fresh this metric holds no substance beyond it being used as metric to justify why QA isn't an excuse. Which for a 60 person company, meh, not really no its expected sadly.

2 hours ago, Korgath said:

Now they are spending significant portions, possibly even the majority, of their dev time working on Handshake Sieges which is an attempt to fix a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place (abuse of zone cap mechanics). The handshakes don't actually fix the issue though, it's just moving the goal posts a bit and alliances and guilds will still abuse it in whatever way is possible.

I agree, the handshake is a distraction. However they have to figure out a way to put the genie back in the bottle. Even as of this morning we crashed the server defending a keep due to i'd argue AOE cap memory leaks (working theory is that AOE generates queues which inadvertently will likely self-DDOS the nodes). Which is why i stress, do not increase the AOE cap there be dragons (putting aside players dreams of what that would do for their dmg playbooks..just on a pure technical level).

2 hours ago, Korgath said:

Mega-Dregs is a ***great*** example of something not being thought through. It sounds cool but all that happens now is that mega-alliances roll through zones out of their time zone and smaller, opportunistic, groups or solo players who would normally operate early or later on in the day when they are able to compete on a more even footing with larger groups can't do so because they've now got Death, WHAX, KDS, Synapse or ANKI rolling through their zones in what should be the quiet times.

Yup. No disagreement here. The Mega dregs was bad impulse control. Population displacement on FvF and GvG was bad enough but to now intensify this with a whole bunch of network / latency issues alone just ended badly per large siege fight so far. 

I played in a 4man guild each dregs up until now, there is no way i would have survived this dregs the same way as I have in previous ones. I'm now in Executioners guild and its much easier to play the game this way, but at the same time the smaller guilds are just being fed on.

2 hours ago, Korgath said:

Not that smaller groups have anything to do in game, mind you, since pretty much the main and only gameplay loop with a reward tied to it isn't accessible to them.

CQ points for first, second and third yes. For all other rewards not true at all. I've gotten top 20% in all categories for two dregs back to back and that was mostly done by 2-3 of us. The rewards jumpstarted our crafting by weeks as well.

2 hours ago, Korgath said:

From a design standpoint the game clearly hasn't learned the lessons other games have had to learn the hard way. It's been some time since I last played it but take EVE as an example with how they handled POS sieges back in the day. They weren't perfect but having to put it into reinforced mode and then come back a day or two later to finish it is a much more elegant solution than anything Crowfall currently has or is going to have even post handshake update. 

Yup, cadence of time are important for both sides to respond to an open volley. POS funnily enough was also the worst cancer to be injected into EVE given the original devs who wrote it later left and they weren't able to undo that awful creation.

2 hours ago, Korgath said:

EVE also managed to, somewhat, address extreme overcrowding through preparing systems and migrating them onto more powerful hardware before large engagements and by adding Time Dilation. Other games like Darkfall attempted this by breaking the map into chunks (Or should it be parcels.. hmm). Star Citizen is looking to take a similar approach by implementing their version of a server mesh where regions of the game world can be broken down into smaller and smaller chunks depending on what is happening and then that load spreads across their pool of servers. For Star Citizen they plan ultimately to have entire areas of the game, NPC's included, be streamed real-time in and out of a back-end service, depending on whether players are present in the vicinity or not, allowing them to do away with lots of the more resources intensive processing.

I never want TiDi back ever. For a line member TiDi affected their real life events, as too many people assumed a battle would start at 8:30 PM to then be tethered to a computer until 1Am for network code to figure out the math was horrible. Furthermore as a coalition leader having TiDi gave my anxiety attacks as well, as that's a lot of ISK i would have to soak up and do ship replacement on later.

Displacement though is the answer. You have to be creative with the way you break your player base into shards of clusters. There is no math in the world right now that can solve pure latency and queue management at scale.  Especially when you have a pool of players from around the globe attempting to connect with one another at all times, there's just too much infrastructure problems to overcome before the game even arrives to optimize.

This is why I've said in the past increasing the AOE  cap from where it is to X is a bad technical idea. The math and computation alone won't handle the increase, it just is too much transactional calculations to handle all within a 16ms (1x frame) budget.

That being said, I'd argue the netcode on this game despite peoples disappointments so far, is actually quite interesting and complex. Games like this aren't easy to solve even with the astra-budgets they are still cap them at low numbers. Crowfall has managed to pull of something quite technically unique here, and I'd one day love to see how they did the code for this. It would be worth looking at and study more.

2 hours ago, Korgath said:

There are other issues as well which are just pretty unforgivable. The most random-ass bugs after patches that takes ages to get patched is a particular pet peeve of mine. Harvest: All stat on necks not effecting logging was reported the first day of the patch and pretty much prevents any sort of efficient gathering of r10 nodes for the entire dregs campaign so far. Does it really take more than 2 weeks to fix that??? Or how about the instakill zone in Shadows not having any graphic or debuff to warn people and it taking something like 10 days to get fixed. Or just how in hell did they manage to break polishing so it was only rerolling two pips instead of three?

Yup agreement as well. I can probably conjure a guess or two on "why" its broken and i'd argue they have a lot of management of UI threading they're not closing/opening correctly within Unity3d. The whole game loop works on a 16ms interval, so i can guess they aren't managing the UI "windows" correctly and have a lot of UI thread leaks to contend with (i've seen large teams in Unity3d do this, the way they hook on and off in the threads aren't always clean or elegant).

2 hours ago, Korgath said:

If this is what they have after 6 years of effort then I don't really know what to say, honestly. I hope all these things can be addressed but I would need to be beyond naive to think it's likely to happen. Copy/Pasta a bank UI from the lobby into campaigns, adding an actual chat interface that isn't from pre-2004 and starting to instance sieges aren't going to be the things that keeps new players playing the game and they aren't going to be the things that stops existing players from leaving.

I'd probably take a stab and assert they spent around 5 years R&D trying to size the problem, narrow the game features and what not. I'd say the last year or so is probably when they took an actual serious attempt to piece together the game itself as we see it today. Looking at the historical churn thus far i can see a lot of break-away subset of the games to use as a way to stress test ideas/network code etc. 

Looking at Hungerdome for example, I can't but help think that was designed purely to test "what if i had lots of players in one area, how would we handle that" and the carrot for players was to compete, but the stick for ACE was to beta test network code.

So 6 years is not a lot of time tbh they probably should have gone another year into beta to soak the damage of failure here more. Then after New World shipping lanes clear and Ashes of Creation still in limbo, i'd have pulled the trigger at a mid point between these two products as my "launch" (then throw in 2-3 hero features to make people forget the beta fails).

 

You can linger in a forum of a game you dislike and be toxic, or you can just move on play something different. If you can't move on then its probably time for you to seek some mental respite. 

I choose to play Crowfall - problems and all - because its a fun game. Why do you hate fun?

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5 hours ago, Dorizzdt said:

People cling to this metric with a death grip. I don't honestly understand why this is a sticking point. Is it just fatigue of watching them build during that time to get to the finish line now and think "well it wasn't worth the wait?" i can understand that I guess. However, for anyone who buys it fresh this metric holds no substance beyond it being used as metric to justify why QA isn't an excuse. Which for a 60 person company, meh, not really no its expected sadly.

I say it because after 6 years they should know what they are doing and in which direction they are pulling. Let's go through their main page they use to try and sell the idea of the game.

"Claim virtual territory on behalf of your guild or faction. Capture mines, mills, and quarries to secure resources, build castles, and besiege your neighbors."

Yeah, no, that isn't what's happening. Where are the mines, mills and quarries and resources that need to be secured? You can build a castle, sure, but that hardly provides some sort of territorial ownership past the fact it's a place for your guild to congregate and get buffs. There's no gameplay or mechanics that works and interacts with territory.. you get points for having things captured but that isn't territory ownership.

"Fill your shops with vendors, establish trade routes between worlds, and build a mercantile empire!"

Trade routes don't exist, there's absolutely zero reason to move goods between two points in the game much less form a trade route. I've also not seen anything mentioned since I started playing at launch talking about anything that's going to make that happen either. As for shops and vendors.. the system they have implemented right now is what I would expect from a first pass and the fact people are having to annotate screenshots on the discord in MS Paint tells you everything you need to know about how well this has been thought through and implemented so far.

"Carve your kingdom into provinces and make your guildmates your bannermen to solidify your power."

There's no territory system in game and there's no mechanics in place that mean you have to have a network of vassals or the like. The game as it is just now also isn't big enough for that to really be a thing either. If each region had its own dregs the size of the mega-dregs and we had more people playing you might be able to introduce something that could work. You could then have actual ownership in game of things like stone/metal/wood nodes and war tribe camps which provide passive incomes or NPC's to help man fortifications and provide patrols for the owning guild and things like outposts and forts modify that income and can be raided by other players to 'steal' those resources away from you. You could have those resource 'incomes' arrive at forts/outposts and require movement between there and the administrative centre in the nearest keep or castle.

As someone coming into this for the first time, at launch, without following development at all it's clear they either haven't scoped out their concepts and thought about how different aspects of their game can work together to help drive the game as a whole. Games that want to be a big Sandbox are all about providing the frameworks and mechanics to allow emergent gameplay and to a degree allow the players to create a good portion of content themselves as they interact with those systems. Crowfall doesn't have any of that; they don't have frameworks and mechanics that feed into each other and allow players to get involved and create their own content and as best I can tell they don't have significant plans to move the game in that direction that can be realized anytime soon.

From a game that aims to involve hundreds of people under different guild banners that has keep/castle and territory ownership we have what I would, honestly, consider to be a very, very early alpha cause all we have right now is a mediocre map generation with some stuff that can be sieged and a crafting system tacked onto it. It's a long, long stretch to consider what we are playing right now anywhere near even approaching Beta. They have huge swathes of the game and concept still needing to be implemented in a really basic and fundamental way, we aren't talking about revising stuff already present or doing balance passes. We are talking about entire concepts still needing to be added to the game that works toward fulfilling the vision of a game based around having groups of people owning resources, territory and keeps/castles.

If they are happy to give people access to the game at this point then that's fine but in doing so they also need to be able to communicate and share that larger vision with the player base and describe and show their work toward turning their concepts into features. I've watched all the livestreams and everything since launch and I haven't a clue what new concepts they are working on introducing to the game. We're three dregs deep since release now and we've seen everything the game has to offer and are very quickly approaching the point where what little progression is available in game is about to start being capped out entirely by more and more players. Instead of new content and mechanics to interact with we're getting a huge patch to introduce handshake sieges and a complete gutting of the game balance.

Everything I've seen tells me that there's no major systems or content going to be added any time soon and I've essentially seen everything the game is likely going to have to offer for the foreseeable future. Having also now essentially soft-launched this is sink or swim time, clearly, or they wouldn't have launched. What I'm left with is a game that is suppose to be an open world sandbox PvP experience where I have little to no incentive to actually PvP and no sand to build my own content with. What worries me is that other people will feel the same way and move on to other games leading to development on this having to stop as the funding isn't enough and new game sales won't cut it.

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The biggest issue with Crowfall and games development in general is that players are mostly unreasonable and it's impossible to align with their expectations. This is why this model where game studios pre-anounce their design years in advance is one that's most likely just going to bite you in the ass later on.

Games aren't made from a game design bible that someone dreamed up one day. Anyone who has ever worked in games should know how these kinds of documents never survive contact with actual development. Telling players that you are going to make XYZ game 6 years before you have any reasonable expectation of getting somewhat close to being done is bad marketing mojo. Studios shouldn't even start talking about the game they are working on with the public until late in the beta development phase, after all systems have been implemented and working.

 

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19 minutes ago, Retchet said:

ArtCraft tried something different. People have been able to play since day 1.

Sure. And for reasonable people, that was a fun experience. There are plenty of people who are actually have fun with the results of that open experience BUT if you were to get a consensus of what the average gamer thinks of Crowfall, most of them are going to say it's "trash" or "garbage" because that's what they heard some streamer say, or because their friend spent a total of an hour playing the game because it's the new "MMORPG" that is out. And much link all the posts here on the forums about how horrible game Crowfall is by a bunch of people who don't even play it, that's what the general public is going to believe as well. Hell I have some long time gaming friends, who have never even played the game, who were hardcore Shadowbane players, are making disparaging jokes about Crowfall to me while we are playing other games together.

What hurt Crowfall wasn't that the game itself was "bad", it's that players perceive it to be bad, whether thats because they had misaligned expectations for the game, they watched a popular streamer trash the game, or they heard it through the grapevine.

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