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raeshlavik

For Everyone Worried About [Insert Game Rules Here]

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Kudos to the RP1 reference.

_____________

 

 

@ the OP: I was actually just planning to make a post about the mistake of lumping this into the same category of MMORPG that WoW and GW2 and all of those other clones have created.

 

I would highly recommend watching Extra Credits' 3 part (or at least the 1st part) bit on Genres (here).

 

Crowfall has been advertised as a highly innovative MMORPG, but I would argue that it's an entirely different genre than WoW or GW2.  The problem is we name Genres based on core mechanics rather than core engagement, which is why we end up with names like "Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game," which, while taken literally is correct for all of these games, does not quite get to the heart of what makes them different.  Or think of the fact that "First Person Shooter" can apply equally to Battlefield 4, Bioshock, and Fallout, despite them being drastically different games.  Even the term "Role playing game" doesn't really make sense when you think about the fact that you play a role in all games, and it really means some kind of 3rd person, probably fantasy, actiony strategic adventure thing.

 

So while the mechanics of WoW and Crowfall appear very similar at the surface, they really represent drastically different experiences for the player.  Both involve 3rd person characters, controlled using abilities, measured based on abilities, levels, classes, and gear.  But WoW is about bringing together a mass of people to populate a story-world, and to cooperate or compete in clearly defined challenges.  Raids, or PvP matches do this.  This is why we've developed the term "Themepark MMO" as a sort of sub-genre to define those MMOs.

 

However, Crowfall's engagement is also different from the ultimate example of the non-thempark MMO (sometimes called Sandbox MMO): Eve.  While I would say Crowfall fits much closer on the spectrum (if one wants to argue that a spectrum even exists) to Eve than WoW, it's still really it's own thing.

 

That's the problem: I would argue that Crowfall is something never really done before, which is why all the comparisons people are making are often confusing and hard to answer.  Everyone wants to view it as a member of an existing genre, but in actuality it is something new and unique that needs to be considered for its own merits.  It's some kind of PvP-RPG-sandbox with a metagame.  Who knows what we'll end up calling it, but whatever it is, we'll need new metrics for success or quality of design than "What about that thing WoW/GW2/Tera did?"

 

A final point of comparison - imagine the time before LoL, when DotA was first being designed as a mod of an RTS.  At that time, RTS was a clear, solid genre.  It was Age of Empires, Starcraft, Warcraft, and a few other smaller titles. The "MOBA" (or Action-RTS as some call it) wasn't a thing yet.  But can you imagine what people asked when it was first being designed, and it looked and felt like an RTS? "Where is the micro?" "How will base building be handled?" "Will you gather resources?"  Questions like these might have been the first criticisms, and may have seemed valid because all it could be compared to was the RTS genre that it spawned from, but now anyone would feel silly asking that about a new upcoming MOBA game.  Think about how that compares to Crowfall, and I think that people will see quite a lot of similarities.

 

Anyways.  /rant finished.

 

Excellent description, and agree with this and the Extra Credits on it wholeheartedly. This does, however, attract players who may not like the "why" of Crowfall but like the "what." We should help them understand the difference constructively!

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This does, however, attract players who may not like the "why" of Crowfall but like the "what." We should help them understand the difference constructively!

 

Exactly! And this is the concern that led me to almost post my own thread.  Because I think it's important that the Crowfall devs themselves realize this difference, and do their best to be clear.  Otherwise they are going to miss a whole ton of potential superfans who would love this but don't think they like "MMORPGs" (a best friend of mine is a prime example), and they are going to make a huge chunk of their initial playerbase angry that they were misled, or at the least disappointed that the game they got wasn't what they expected.

 

Hopefully, Crowfall devs will see this thread and consider the possibility that marketing this as an mmo might not be the best strategy.  I'd love to see them succeed, but they need to make their message clear in as few words as possible, and linking to the kickstarter or the FAQ is not few enough words, by a long shot!

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I would like to add a short add on to the OP.

 

If you get worried about such and such mechanic, try to think to yourself "Wait, would the devs really be so stupid that they would let this happen?"

 

Or you could go "I can't believe they would do that", because most of the time, they wouldn't

 

This is so very true.

 

With a little assumption that a few people who have made, what, a dozen MMOs at this point? Have a little bit of an idea how it should all work, it's not too much of a stretch to think that maybe some of the rampant speculation in the forums is unfounded. :)


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They can have a wide range of potential rulesets but they're committing to only the FFA PvP one.

They can have a robust crafting experience for players in the EK but they're committing to focusing on crafting in the campaigns instead.

They can make any scenario for exports but they're using one that involves an RNG.

 

 

Here's the thing though, the first and the last are actually just variables that can be tweaked as required. And even the second one really is just a question of import rules. If they have a robust crafting system, they will likely put it in both the EK and in the campaigns. Then the only thing that matters is whether or not you can import the gear you craft into a campaign and again that is nothing more than a variable that can be tweaked.

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Here's the thing though, the first and the last are actually just variables that can be tweaked as required. And even the second one really is just a question of import rules. If they have a robust crafting system, they will likely put it in both the EK and in the campaigns. Then the only thing that matters is whether or not you can import the gear you craft into a campaign and again that is nothing more than a variable that can be tweaked.

 

I've not seen too many things so far that are not 'tweakable', so I would tend to agree.

 

The trump for any rules-based issue someone has with Crowfall is "ACE can change that in another campaign and see if it flies" - which is pretty amazing. So if 'terminator' style Dregs campaigns are not burning up crafted material fast enough - they just adjust a few things and the CHUDs start taking more weapons and armor into the Thunderdome. ;)


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