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Columns: A Slathering of Content

By Tim Eisen on March 15, 2017

A Slathering of Content

Crowfall development continues to snowball…but not like, in an ominous way. Nice one genius.  Let’s try that again. Crowfall development continues to escalate goodly! Nope. (Clears throat) Development on Crowfall continues to pick up steam as Artcraft keeps adding more developmental cars to the CF train without breaking pace! It’s only been a couple of weeks since my last crowlumn groan during which Artcraft blasted us with a variety of interesting content. After months of drips I’m saturated from head to toe from a flood of crownews! sigh It’s an exciting time for Crowfans. Really?

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Foundational work on the Templar is stabilizing which means work on the Fae Assassin has begun. What’s cooler than a pretty elf lady? A pretty elf assassin. What’s cooler than a pretty elf assassin? A pretty elf assassin with wings baby! Plush, soft, feathery wings that could wrap tightly around a fella as she gently plunges the tip of her poisoned dagger in just deep enough to give you a DOT.

“We have always intended for the Assassin to be our canonical rogue style character with stealth, fast attack animations, poisons, pips and wings. (yes wings!)” Mmmmm wings. I’d like to slather buffalo sauce and bleu cheese dip all over those bad boys and go to town on them like a coyote in a hen coop!

So, what makes this bird the cock of the walk? For one she glides with those tasty plush appendages which mitigates fall damage and offers a distance closer. It’s a rogue, with wings, that close distance, what could go wrong? And we just found the class roughly 75% of the population will roll on day one.

I’ve got two more tasty news bits to cram into this column and I’m running short on words already due to my tendency to ramble and speak from the point of view of my inner monologue! Noted, now get back on topic. ACE will be transitioning to 24x7 game servers within a couple of months complete with a new testing environment. This is a huge step that was over shadowed by even bigger news! I’ve waited a long time for this, we got our first look at building in the Eternal Kingdoms! This pleases me. While I don’t like how PVP free the EK’s can be I love the idea of having my own personal kingdom to design. And rule all alone like the introverted tyrant we all know you really are.

I say it all the time but I couldn’t keep from thinking about my beloved Star Wars Galaxies as I read over the building placement system. It reminds me of that system but more sectional. In Galaxies, I could place a building. This system takes it back one more step allowing me to move sections of buildings around to form a larger building. We, um, thrust them together with…um, “Sockets” which are male, female or neutral…I…I guess. How’s it hanging Leaning Tower of Pisa?  This whole birds and the bees and the buildings stuff isn’t something you should be hearing form me. Its best, um...discovered? Yes, discovered on your own. If you want to read about how buildings in Crowfall have sex this link is for you.

Did I mention we got a piece on Disciplines? Too much ACE, it’s too much! Wait…no. It’s not enough ACE, not nearly enough! MORE! Feed us MORE! We are legion! Our appetite, the appetite of the fans is never satiated and grows with every additional news bit! Other than delay news, that makes us bloaty.

Disciplines were one of the major factors that led to me backing Crowfall. Through them I saw the ability to make a class feel more like it was my own, customized to my liking. At their most basic they grant your archetype access to specialized gear, weapons and power trays. It sounds deceptively simple but what it really does much deeper. “For example, Knights who equip the Sharpshooter discipline will gain access to specific active and passive bow powers, as well as granting the bow slot, arrow slot and ranged power tray.” A ranged tank you say? Power, un-limited powerrr! I said it gets deeper but you aint seen nothin yet.

Disciplines come in three types; weapon (self-explanatory), major (a sub class direction) and minor (a single active or passive power). You can equip one weapon, one to two major and one to three minor disciplines. You wanna get crazy? Let’s get crazy. Like everything in Crowfall they will be an in game craftable item (runestones) with all the variety and statistical uniqueness that implies. That makes them an economic factor on top of being a direct PVP factor which, combined, makes them a fascinating game balance factor. In B4 Stone Stacker and Stone Stacking become things.

Every PVP game ever made struggled with balance. I don’t think for a minute that ACE will be able to perfectly balance these bad boys and I couldn’t be happier. Their challenge will result in memorable emergent gameplay experiences. I see them as an agent of chaos in a game type that thrives on it.

Whew, I got it all…I’m lying, I probably missed a few things and some stuff. Life is all things and stuff, isn’t it? Try to enjoy a few seconds between the minutes. Sometimes I worry I haven’t spent nearly enough time eating buffalo wings (the legit kind with bones not those posers) slathered with bleu cheese dip and enjoying a tall cold amber bock. Wings, beers and games, sounds like a ménage à trois I’d join…but then it would be 4 so technically…whatever #gamestrong!

Tim Eisen / In my columns I walk the line between fan and critic as I document the development of Camelot Unchained, Crowfall, and Chronicles of Elyria.