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Columns: More Than Our Weekend Lover

By Tim Eisen on April 26, 2016

More Than Our Weekend Lover

Just when I was marking out over Siege Perlious Artcraft hits us with Throne War(no not another game in the Total War franchise) but rather a scaled down sampling of a full on Crowfall campaign! “The Throne War will be comprised of three factions with plenty of room to spread out and lay claim to multiple keeps. To capture an enemy's keep, players will need to utilize siege mechanics that can take place over the course of several days with no break except for maintenance. Factions will need to capture and control resources required to enlarge, repair and maintain keeps.” Thanks for the snippet Suzie ;)

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First we tested the core, then we got to tested the siege, next we begin to test a preview of the final concept in rotation. I say in rotation because in a proper PVP game, the kind I support, PVP is not finite content. PVP isn’t just the end game, it’s the entire game and its part of the gameplay circle of life. PVP as infinite content, never ending and always evolving! A PVP ecosystem based on gather, fight, capture, build, burn repeat! EVE does it best and not many other games have ever come close. Crowfall seems to be heading in that direction, getting closer with every new phase of testing.

After a slow burn it seems like things have really caught fire around the ACE office. I feel like I’m starting to have a pretty good vision for how this game pans out but one all important questions remains; can they support big enough battles to make it feel like a world rather than an instance? Crowfall has showed it can do small “VS” matches. They have showed the ground floor for siege mechanics. The next phase of testing gives us a scaled down “slice” of what we desire, if the tech can support it! We won’t know until we get there but so far it’s looking like things are going mostly (cough cough vessels cough) as planned. I can’t help the barb but in reality the vessel switch may have been the final key to the door of featuring larger battles, at least that’s my theory and because its mine it means absolutely nothing to anyone but me, but I’m oddly ok with that.

I mentioned the Druid mechanics being unveiled a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t say much else about it. I know a lot of things will change before launch and I never mean to cause you any sorrow ACE, but as is I feel like it looks a bit too typical. Druids were some spooky people that did some creepy stuff. They lived in the woods, knew about lots of weird spells and plants and probably smelled like moss. I can’t help but think it’s time we saw some of those druids in our games. Basically Dark Obi Wan (pours libations for Dark Obi Wan) but more browns and earth tones. A character that I can walk by and say “I bet that class doesn’t bathe” in a good way.

I certainly don’t hate it. Like all of the Crowfall art it looks solid, but if I’m going to nitpick and call for my own personal preferences I want a creepy hermit that wields something equally creepy. The Druid uses a staff, which, as a lover of pikes, offends me. That said the pike isn’t exactly a very twigs and flowers weapon so maybe its best the druid doesn’t wield a pike (pours libations for SWG Pikeman). I liked the design of the staff Artcraft showed us, but I think it could benefit from a touch of dark magic. Evil druid? No, not exactly. More like hermit that’s talked to themselves so long they went bush. Like I said in my prior columns, I LOVE the mechanics behind the class! I just feel like the art is right at the border of dark and creepy and it needs a tiny nudge to get there. Then again what do I know about anything? If I ran the WWE every wrestler would have a Bray Wyatt or Undertaker gimmick (that’s a weird and awkward way of pointing out my personal tastes tend to go too far to the Dark Side too often).

(carefully looks over photos)

Nope, I take that back. I feel like I’m onto something here. In the image above she looks like Jennifer Aniston cos-playing a druid. She needs to own this concept! She needs to look like the kind of girl you assume will put a hurt on you; but it doesn’t matter because she’s too dark and seductive to resist following into the deep dark wood. She needs to move from Aniston to Angelina in Beowulf.

The last thing I want to cover isn’t as Crowfall related as it is player related. A few paragraphs ago I was wondering if the tech would support big battles, but I also find myself wondering if we can too? Were we being honest with ourselves or was nostalgia blinding us when we backed Crowfall? Is the gap between what we want to do and what we can do in Crowfall larger than we realize? I hope saying that doesn’t cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain but we need to ask ourselves, do we have enough time to make Crowfall more than our weekend lover? (pours libations for Prince)

I shall leave you with this metaphorical picture of the redorange life tree to admire (as I keep doing) while you contemplate those questions. Let me know if you are also feeling the time crunch or if I just need to eat a Snickers, watch Netflix, accept that I’ll spend most of my Crowfall time patrolling for vessels, and chill. 

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.