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A Knight in Training

By Tim Eisen on February 14, 2017 | Columns | Comments

A Knight in Training

Hello Crowfans how are you doing? I’m doing swell thanks for asking. Recently we got to see the Templar in action. I’ve talked about prior so I don’t have a lot to say beyond it was nice to see how directly ACE translates their plans to gameplay. Some games differ quite a bit from concept to write up to implementation but ACE has been one of the most consistent I’ve seen. That goes all the way back to their Kickstarter. Things will naturally change throughout testing but it’s nice to feel confident that what they are telling me in updates will not be far off from what they implement.

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I took a minute and hit the interweb to scour a video of the new intro and character selection. Several things are roughed in right now but it already looks like a smooth system. I was relieved to see the character customization UI pop up upon selecting a archetype. The harvesting looks fantastic. It’s like smashing a piñata with a harvesting tool that reminds me of a light saber. (You know your old when the harvesting cools are exciting.)

In the biggest news of this column ACE revisited their Knight. (lol this column doesn’t make ANY news) I’ve only briefly played the Knight but ever since the first promo it’s been the character I’m most interested in. Traditionally I click with one character more than the rest. So far, the Knight is my Huckleberry. I don’t know if its because he looks like Superman or because he is shiny, probably both.  Being contrarian I don’t want to like him because he is so typically cool but I can’t help it. Sometimes the cool thing is cool for a reason, it’s that cool.

“Now, the players will be able to test our newest experiment: a single resource pool for an archetype. All the Knight’s powers and skills have been updated to consume and generate stamina. We even added some new skills to reduce the amount of food it needs to consume due to its extreme use of stamina.”

One of the pleasures of backing a crowd funded game has been watching how much things change over time. (More like one of the pains of backing a crowd funded game is time.) For now, the knight runs on stamina, that might change again. It’s all part of the process but that begs the question, what are we doing? Like…what is this maaannn? We read the news and speculate about what it means to the game but in the end, isn’t all speculation just…pointless? Are we just passing time because that’s all we can do? What if we all just said nothing until the day it launched? What is life?

Melodramatic kidding aside it’s fun to speculate and it does keep the development moving a bit for those of us that ghost its progress. I’d much rather be playing a game but if I had a game to play I wouldn’t be chasing crowd funders like a dog after a car. That reminds me, what if these games launch and I don’t know what to do with them? What if I don’t have the time to play them?!?! #firstworldproblems (Enough with the vague questions!)

“Sometimes, we can make a series of positive tweaks to an archetype in a few days! We added some fun new toys to the Knight and changed the way C powers work for everyone. I am sure we will need to tweak some values after you guys play the Knight, but this was a much needed pass over the class’s powers and (hopefully) a big step in the right direction for its playability.”

I’m glad the Knight’s damage got a bump. In my brief time playing the class it felt a little under powered. Its testing so I don’t worry about balance but just for playing purposes it will make him more enjoyable.

Having recently dabbled with some MOBA PVP for the first time I find myself wondering if Crowfall will end up taking the tank path that many of them seem to, that of the damage tank. Pulling aggro on human players is tricky in FPS combat. It seems like rather than work in defensive mechanics that convince people to focus the tank many games just make the tank output enough damage or annoyance to make them a problem worth focusing on.

I wonder if ACE plans any damage channeling or absorption the likes of which I last saw in WAR Online? The type where a tank had a constant friendly target and could use defensive abilities to absorb their damage. It was a cool concept at the time and I’d like to see it tied again. I guess I like my old school tanky tanks more than the MOBA kind but to each their own. I don’t know what Crowfall is planning but it will be interesting to see what kind of tanking their tanks use once combat begins to set in for a launch. 

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.
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