I’m an industrial kind of guy when it comes to MMOs, so I was particularly interested in how the in-game economy will work. Plenty of MMOs promise to make crafting central to the game, but so few deliver. Though if I ever doubted Crowfall, finding out that Raph Koster is involved removed any lingering clouds. I’ve often held up Star Wars: Galaxies as the standard for in-game crafting systems, and now the guy who understands better than just about anyone the importance of emergent gameplay via crafting is stepping up to the plate. …and did I mention he’s doing it in a game designed from the ground up to let him swing for the fences because the worlds are temporary? Oh, I did. Moving along, then.
Not to beat a dead horse, but once again, that simple decision to put temporary worlds at the heart of the game design pays out in spades. It’s because the idea will allow for some really complex economic modeling that should provide something for nearly everyone. From the somewhat-macro-economic scale, having a limitation on what people can bring back from campaigns based on how deep down the rabbit hole they’ve gone creates a certain global economic demand. Most importantly, it does so without having to use artificial measures or price controlling. Rare materials are expensive because they’re just hard to get.
It’ll likely be much easier for a blacksmith to trade for many of the goods he needs, rather than harvest them himself. He’ll need things like iron and other metals in bulk from his own bouts in the Dying Worlds, but the leather and maybe gems he also needs would be easier to get from someone who focuses on trading those items in bulk. Plus, the lack of global auction house means you have to actually do a little socializing to find out who has the goods you need. The hope is to encourage a robust economy where exceptional crafters can be known for their trade, very similar to how it was in the early days of SWG.
There will be another more localized economy that exists in individual campaigns, though. The Dying Worlds will have far more resources, and because players can enter the campaign bringing limited supplies with them, crafters are going to find plenty of reasons to participate in PvP, or at least reasons to participate in the campaigns in general.
Crafters will be needed for building the fortifications that protect regions around important resources, and they’ll be needed to repair and replace gear broken between battles. They’ll also want to participate for the chance to bring additional resources back to their home in the Eternal Kingdoms.
It’s really the building that I think should make the idea of transient worlds more accepting to most people. When you think about the game and compare it to other MMOs out there, it sounds a little scary and seems like an odd idea. When compared to Minecraft however, you start to see why this is such a great move. My favorite part is starting a new server, and I suspect that it’s the same for many others. You get a brand new world, with new resources and a blank slate for building new dreams. Crowfall will have a system that allows you to constantly experience the joy of discovering a new world and building from scratch.
Crafting’s not just about building things and making weapons, though. It’s also about crafting food and consumables. Both are important in Crowfall because food really matters. As campaigns go along, the world they’re set in will age and progress through seasons, effecting the world much more than just cosmetically. The availability of various resources will dramatically impact gameplay, and crafters play a much bigger part in warfare than you might thing.
Hopefully you’re starting to share a bit of my excitement about this game. There’s way too much to cover in a single article, though. Learn more about Crowfall in my next article, where I take a look at character creation, advancement, and conducting warfare in the Eternal Kingdoms.
Check out the Crowfall KickStarter to find out even more.