As the Crow Flies
Anytime a new game is announced, the Hype Meters spike with the flood of information, speculation and downright hope that this new game will fill the void that the players feel between games. Crowfall from ArtCraft Entertainment appears to be no different. The question remains however: will the Crow fall or fly as they continue to provide more and more detail of what their game aims to be and which voids they intend to fill?
But what is Crowfall at its core and who will it appeal to after the hype dies down? Thankfully J. Todd Coleman, Creative Director and Gordon Walton, Executive ProduceR have a clear vision of what Crowfall will be and have stated that it will not be the game for everyone. In simplest terms Crowfall is a Fantasy based MMORPG with a focus on PVP conquest and crafting. The first thing that came to my mind as I started to understand the vision of the game will be is EvE Online with Swords and Magic rather that Ships. If they can pull off a Fantasy EVE Online ArtCraft will have a gold nugget on their hands, that may not appeal to everyone but will definitely appeal to enough players as there is nothing really like it out there.
Looking at the World Rule Sets is what first made me think of EvE, the similarity between the worlds layout gave the impression of systems. However, instead of just a level of lawlessness based on how deep you are into 0.0 space, we have actual rules that govern the modes of combat, how much and what you can loot and more importantly how control allows you to move goods across the map. In a game with item decay and item loss, controlling the territory of those resources to allow you to quickly craft replacements becomes much more important than the kills you get in PVP. I can envision the day of alliances negotiating trade and sharing areas and resources to suppress the capabilities of their mutual enemies. With so many worlds with varying rule sets, this cooperation and lack thereof has the potential to be just as deep and complicated as any Corporation in EVE.
Crafting is so essential to game play that not only is the control of specific area to maintain access to the resources, but you also need to keep the paths to processing facilities clear. It isn’t enough to own the mine, you must be able to get your raw resources to the forge and then to the Blacksmith for processing. Depending on the location of each of those and their proximity to the others, you may get a bonus to quantity or quality of said goods. It gets even deeper than that though, which is very exciting, all recipes have the potential to require all resource types which won’t all come from the same areas or even worlds. So now we are back to who controls what, who you have trade agreements with or those you plan to raid and take the goods you need.
With so many reasons for PVP, the challenge is to make PVP feel dangerous and still give the satisfaction of a great battle. Artcraft made a brilliant choice in my opinion by not having a healer archetype. Healers take away from the sense of risk in a PVP centric game and remove the need for true tactics. Rather than it a battle of who has more healers, it can be about how best do I want to approach this battle. Do I have the right Support Archetypes for this particular situation. While the potential to still have zergs is there, with item lose and item decay, I foresee battles being more planned and strategic as you do in EvE. Massive battles of epic proportion will be talked about, learned from, and potentially causing alliances to shift making the world feel fluid and constantly in motion. Your trade route may be paved with gold one day and the next be the most dangerous place possible to be.
Crowfall’s official website has a counter on their homepage that has everyone here intrigued as to what they will be sharing when it gets to zero. What is exciting is the amount of information, regardless of the counter, they put out weekly. Thus far we have been given information about the world system, crafting and resources, several Archetypes plus so much more. While it it is hard to not get hyped, thus far they are saying all the right things for this gamer to be on the edge of his seat. I am optimistic for the future of Crowfall but will try to keep my excitement level and review each new piece of information to see just how well they develop and implement the many ideas they have planned. Plus, who's with me when I say: "Can we see some gameplay, please?"