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Persistent Characters, Destructible Worlds

Posted by Suzie Ford on Feb 02, 2015  | Comments

Persistent Characters, Destructible Worlds - Crowfall -

The Crowfall team is ready to begin to flesh out what sets its game apart from all the other MMOs in the world. Today, it is said in a new blog post, marks a transition in the dissemination of information. To start the conversation, the article discusses the idea of persistent characters but destructible worlds. By this, players take part in a world's "season" that progresses through a cataclysmic end that ultimately destroys the world on which it has taken place.

Developers call this "The Hunger", a tiered series of events that might look something like this:

Phase 1 is Spring.  The Campaign map is hidden by fog of war.  You are dropped (typically naked) into an unknown, deadly environment.  This world is filled with the ruins of ancient castles, abandoned mines and haunted villages – which you have to explore to scavenge for weapons, tools and the resources to start building fortifications.
Phase 2 is Summer.  The Hunger starts to infect the creatures.  Resources become scarce.  Your team claims an abandoned quarry and must fight to keep it.  You use the stone to build an ancient keep, to use it as staging areas to attack their neighbors.
Phase 3 is Fall.  The creatures become more deadly as the Hunger takes hold.  Resources are heavily contested and transporting them is fraught with peril.  Your guild frantically builds a wall around your city, as the nature of conflict shifts from smaller skirmishes to siege warfare.
Phase 4 is Winter.  The environment is brutal.  Warmth is hard to come by.  Your kingdoms grows in strength; your neighbors falter and you demand that they swear fealty or face complete loss of the Campaign.  Instead, a handful of smaller kingdoms choose to band together against you.
Phase 5 is Victory and Defeat.  The World is destroyed in a cataclysmic event as the Campaign comes to an end.  Your Kingdom emerges victorious, and you return to the Eternal Kingdoms to enjoy the spoils of war.   Your adversaries head home, too -- to lick their wounds.

The idea behind The Hunger is that groups of players take on the challenge with one emerging victorious, the other sent home to alter strategy for a more successful campaign when the next dying world is infected. By returning to one's "Eternal Kingdom" (giant player and guild housing lobbies), players are given a sense of universal permanence.

It is a fascinating read. Head to the Crowfall site to check it out and then let us know what you think in the comments.

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom