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A Lightning Pace

By Tim Eisen on June 22, 2017 | Columns | Comments

A Lightning Pace

Crowfall again? Yes, and not because they secretly pay me in Cheez-Its but because they keep making news yall. Ever since the massive class announcement from a little while ago (which in internet time is roughly 50 years ago give or take) things in the Crowfall Universe are banging bigly. There seems to have been a development uptick as ACE shifted from low to high gear and started making news faster than I could consume it! The craziest part is they still consider what they have an Alpha despite being on par with far too many Beta’s I’ve seen for sale. They are cautious with their terms for good reason. While they have the foundations for many features they are still just that, the foundations. ACE seems to want significant verticality on those foundations before they drop the big B word. In a world of way too many rushed pay 2 test experiences that’s fine by me.

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ACE helps sooth (or increase) the anticipation by doing a great job of showing us what they have and telling us where they are taking it. Every so often they even manage to work in a rough when then actually land that rough deadline which makes them a rare breed in the world of gaming. I know when’s aren’t exact dates but even broaching them is more than many dare delve into. Industry insider secret here, every single developer in history missed their due date and not a single one of them was been born early, late every time! Except JTodd, I hear he was born on a mountain top under Halley’s Comet on his exact due date at 01:01 A.M. but that’s just a rumor. In all seriousness ACE has been on top of their recent rough timelines and I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate that.

Some might even say Crowfall is getting shifty (not to be confused with schwifty). As it does it seems to be triggering an old “feel” I vaguely remember. The one MMORPGers get when testing is ramping up, the game is showing up and we know test servers are about to light up more often than spin down. Equal parts anticipation and anxiety mayhaps. Every week brings changes that chip more granite from the charcoal slab slowly unveiling the winged figure we all backed so long ago.

I’m officially feeling it. All the signs are saying I can. Massive things were announced, class development is rounding out, new relevant information drops weekly, written backer stuff is becoming in game backer things. Stuff and things here folks! Nothing gets people excited like stuff and things! In the distant future when aliens come to the barren sand planet formerly known as Earth they will likely discover one massive monolith upon which will be engraved, “This was Earth, humans used to live here, we pursued stuff and things until things turned to stuff forcing us to find a way off this dead rock to pursue stuff and things in the vast reaches of the unknown Universe.

What I’m saying is, Ark ships, we need Ark ships and hyperspace travel asap. The prophetical Wall-E was nine years ago! Time’s a wasting! Either Stephen Hawking is right and we have 100 years to find New Earth or the A.I. controlling Stephen Hawking is trying to trick us into leaving this planet so it can take over. We went from the telephone to the MMORPG in about 100 years so I’m optimistic. Frankly, if I’m lucky I’ll be chilling in a retirement vat jacked into a MMORPG Matrix style by that time. Ah the bliss of MMORPG escapism is Zen for the tortured soul.   

Tangential rambling aside what’s the buzz I’ve been flapping about (or not) in the Crowfall Universe? We got an epically long Pre-Alpha 5 video chock full of stuff and things. What is it relevant? Heck if I know. You think it’s my job to observe game news and comment on it or something? Then we got an update from the A.I. guy (see my tangent was related after all). Here’s a preview “It's totally unknown, right? I mean, if you really just stare into space and think about it... like, whoa.” See, even more relation to my aforementioned tangent. We got the monthly video QnA on a variety of topics such as the current state of playtesting, guild systems, mounts, my beloved caravans, thralls, discipline rune recipes and class and discipline design choices. Whew! That’s a lot for a QnA. For the record caravans need more love but I have faith it will come. ACE understands EVE too well to ignore its linchpin.

Last and most importantly we got an update on 24/7 testing. This is a sleeper announcement in that it was low key but it’s a HUGE step in the Tim actually playing a game he crowdfunded before he ends up in a retirement vat time increment that you all follow. Once they land 24/7 testing this bird has her wings and she will only get better at flight from that point forward. ACE’s current timeline for 24/7 is the patented “soon” developers are so torturously fond of but if current development trends continue ACE’s soon might actually mean soon as we common folk know it.

Can you sense my hype increasing alongside development’s progress? It’s hard to contain my inner fanboy when I’ve been waiting for this since before I had gray hairs! In all fairness the gray just started to show itself in the last few years...right about when I started crowd funding MMORPGs...coincidence? I think not! In a genre built on vague uncertainties and wide ranging over exaggerations bred with stellar marketing it’s nice to see a game that appears to be on the cusp of delivering what it sold us when we backed it. Most impressive is how closely the pitch and the product are aligning. 

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.
Hype-level
7.74