Crowfall - Anyone else interested in this?

happyninja42

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So I've been poking my head into this particular title every so often, and it looks pretty damn interesting to me. One of my biggest gripes about MMO's seems to be an issue they are trying to remedy with the basic design of the game. Which I like. I don't know how the implementation will actually pan out, of if it keeps my interest, but color me curious right now.

Anyone else have an opinion on this title? Good or bad? What are your thoughts on what they are trying to do with Crowfall?
 

meiam

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That's the one where they'll generate a new random world every few week/month right? That sounds really cool if they can make it work, but that's a gigantic "if". More likely it'll make a very lifeless world like most rogue lite.

Second problem is that they rely on player to make the world interesting, meaning if player population drop and it'll start a real ugly downward spiral. Hopefully they'll be smart and gate the game release, only let the most ardent fan in at first so they can start building up the world and make it interesting fro everyone else. That also mean you won't have the initial day rush and they'll be able to have less server so higher pop on all of them.

The real rat in the sack is that there ambitious on a small kickstarter budget, and there were a lot of "Don't worry they'll totally make it work" from the fan which always makes me worry. Bottom line is there playing with fire and it'll either blow up in there face (most likely outcome) or it'll work and make something amazing (extremely unlikely, but I wish them the best). I'm kinda burned on mmo atm but I know I'll get in the mood again in a few month years so it could release at the right time.
 

JamesGoblin

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Oh yea, I am very much interested in this one!

For anybody clueless about the game, I guess the best quick intro is IGN's Crowfall Wiki - http://www.ign.com/wikis/crowfall (In general, I prefer Wikis to official sites, since they don't ask for money while being much more to the point).

Meiam said:
That's the one where they'll generate a new random world every few week/month right? That sounds really cool if they can make it work, but that's a gigantic "if". More likely it'll make a very lifeless world like most rogue lite.

Second problem is that they rely on player to make the world interesting, meaning if player population drop and it'll start a real ugly downward spiral. Hopefully they'll be smart and gate the game release, only let the most ardent fan in at first so they can start building up the world and make it interesting fro everyone else. That also mean you won't have the initial day rush and they'll be able to have less server so higher pop on all of them.

The real rat in the sack is that there ambitious on a small kickstarter budget, and there were a lot of "Don't worry they'll totally make it work" from the fan which always makes me worry. Bottom line is there playing with fire and it'll either blow up in there face (most likely outcome) or it'll work and make something amazing (extremely unlikely, but I wish them the best). I'm kinda burned on mmo atm but I know I'll get in the mood again in a few month years so it could release at the right time.
I kinda agree with your first paragraph, the quality will be lower "on average", but I'm not that pessimistic and there are quite nice gains on the other side of that tradeoff.

Second paragraph is typical problem of PvP MMOs, retention rate, but it doesn't depend that much on the initial rush (you probably have Archeage or something like that in mind), especially in the "hardcore" rulesets.

Also, the very game design is pointed against that problem - basically, you will have any kind of rules from 100% PvE / chat lobby / housing (think: Farmville) to free for all / full loot PvP and players will have much more choice than in typical PvP MMO (that is, more than just stay or quit).

Talking about small Kickstarter budgets, they are already sitting on $6.4M, and with this dynamics it will land anywhere between $8M (quite pessimistic IMO) and $10M+ which actually (having in mind that they don't have to do PvE) brings the game in the lower range of AAA titles in terms of production quality.

If you are interested about budget details, you can find it here - https://backers.crowfall.com/#/news/the-crowfall-budget-question?lang=en

Here's TLDR of that link: no PvE (which would take roughly 70% of the budget!), procedural terrain generation, classes "locked" under archetypes (and sometimes genders) thus no need to design numerous class/race/gender combos, using commercial engine (Unity 5) together with PhysX and Voxel Farm instead of making their own (there is couple more inside the link).

Or, here is that TLDR in Gordon's own words:

"Typically even a small MMO is going to take over $10 million to build (and probably closer to $20 million). If the fully-loaded cost of an employee (once you add in the cost of office space, insurance, taxes, etc.) averages about $100k/year, which means a $10m project will buy you 100 man-years of work!

We're doing a much smaller than normal MMO by choosing to be PvP-focused, doing algorithmic world generation, tight (but effective!) constraints on character customization and heavily reliance on off-the-shelf technologies. Our cost for the core game will be in the $6 million range."

Note that he assessed pre-launch budget quite pessimistically (this was written while they had roughly $4M).
 

Hawki

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https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11128303/1/

Shameless plugs aside, Crowfall caught my attention back in the day, but as someone who very rarely plays MMOs, only for the nature of its lore. That, and it cited Game of Thrones as a point of inspiration, prompting me to go "oh God, have we reached that stage?" I like ASoIaF, but that doesn't mean I want a barrage of clones of it, any more than I want clones of Lord of the Rings (I'm looking at you, Shannara). (1) However, it fell off my radar, and reading this made me say "wait, Crowfall is still a thing?"

Hope it does well, but I'm not counting on it. MMOs are a bit of a rare breed nowadays, and I'm not confident of a Kickstarter project to deliver the required funds. Which is a shame, because the setting came off as being quite interesting to me.

1) Though Sword of Shannara was still fun. Familiar, and practically a compression of Lord of the Rings into one book, but still fun.
 

JamesGoblin

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Hawki said:
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11128303/1/

Shameless plugs aside, Crowfall caught my attention back in the day, but as someone who very rarely plays MMOs, only for the nature of its lore. That, and it cited Game of Thrones as a point of inspiration, prompting me to go "oh God, have we reached that stage?" I like ASoIaF, but that doesn't mean I want a barrage of clones of it, any more than I want clones of Lord of the Rings (I'm looking at you, Shannara). (1) However, it fell off my radar, and reading this made me say "wait, Crowfall is still a thing?"

Hope it does well, but I'm not counting on it. MMOs are a bit of a rare breed nowadays, and I'm not confident of a Kickstarter project to deliver the required funds. Which is a shame, because the setting came off as being quite interesting to me.

1) Though Sword of Shannara was still fun. Familiar, and practically a compression of Lord of the Rings into one book, but still fun.
I came to Crowfall from the other side of that catchphrase, Eve Online's. Speaking of lore - they just completed their pantheon ( http://crowfall.com/en/pantheon/ ) by yesterday's update on the 13th goddesss, Illara.

Much more interesting thou - from both lore and gameplay point of view - was the recent reveal of the Vessel system ( https://crowfall.com/en/news/the-big-reveal-crows-and-vessels/ ): players' bodies can be lost upon death, while their souls - spirit crows - are able to possess other corpses or bodies ("vessels") crafted through Necromancy skill.

This includes possible - in fact quite probable - change of sex and class/race, while giving additional value to the graveyards - these are now much more than "just" respawn points.

In other words, bodies are treated as items - they can be crafted with quality varying from white/green to epic (say, in WoW terms), imported/exported in and out of Campaigns same as weapons, gear or resources, and even looted in some cases - while Player's identity is actually tied to the crow-spirit!?

It is a kind of Eve Online in medieval fantasy setting: pilot / ship duality is paralleled with crow-spirit / body. And of course, the revelation split role-playing part of the community into two, since people tend to identify with their human-like avatars rather than with spirit crows.


PS For what it's worth, you have budget details in that post of mine above. The game has a number of tough hurdles to overcome (and some are quite dangerous - I can elaborate on these if need be) but budget is certainly not high on that list.
 

aelreth

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Disclosure, I pledged to it's kickstarter.

They have the pedigree and I liked the vision.

The ongoing play-test that is happening right now is the last one I won't be participating in.
 

Summerstorm

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aelreth said:
Disclosure, I pledged to it's kickstarter.

They have the pedigree and I liked the vision.

The ongoing play-test that is happening right now is the last one I won't be participating in.
Pretty much this. I gave them money the second it could be done with paypal. I am aware that the game will likely be flawed and not 100% what i want from an MMO, but they are at least going into the right direction, in my opinion. I will be in the Beta - not talkinmg to anyone and playing solo *g*.
 

BloatedGuppy

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JamesGoblin said:
Talking about small Kickstarter budgets, they are already sitting on $6.4M, and with this dynamics it will land anywhere between $8M (quite pessimistic IMO) and $10M+ which actually (having in mind that they don't have to do PvE) brings the game in the lower range of AAA titles in terms of production quality.
I cannot take under funded MMOs seriously. Kickstarter games in general leave me cold. The most successful kickstarters of the last generation were funded around 5-6 million, and came in looking like decade old re-treads available on GOG for a five spot. In many cases they lifted their mechanics and aesthetics from moldering classics, so there wasn't a lot of budget or energy expended on innovative design or envelope pushing.

So then we come to the MMO, a genre that Bioware quite famously speculated would cost A BILLION DOLLARS to reasonably compete in some half decade ago, and the tepid response to their own 300 million dollar offering more or less supported this argument. MMOs have been flailing in the western market for a long time now, smothered under the oppressive shadow of WoW. Is it IMPOSSIBLE for a team to come up with something energizing and innovative that could shake off some of the genre's evident stagnation? Not impossible, no. Is it remotely likely? I feel like we'd have better chance pooling that kickstarter money and buying a bunch of lottery tickets.

TLDR - Kickstarted games and MMOs both deserve to be treated with the deepest skepticism, and kickstarted MMOs exponentially so.
 

Fappy

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BloatedGuppy said:
JamesGoblin said:
Talking about small Kickstarter budgets, they are already sitting on $6.4M, and with this dynamics it will land anywhere between $8M (quite pessimistic IMO) and $10M+ which actually (having in mind that they don't have to do PvE) brings the game in the lower range of AAA titles in terms of production quality.
I cannot take under funded MMOs seriously. Kickstarter games in general leave me cold. The most successful kickstarters of the last generation were funded around 5-6 million, and came in looking like decade old re-treads available on GOG for a five spot. In many cases they lifted their mechanics and aesthetics from moldering classics, so there wasn't a lot of budget or energy expended on innovative design or envelope pushing.

So then we come to the MMO, a genre that Bioware quite famously speculated would cost A BILLION DOLLARS to reasonably compete in some half decade ago, and the tepid response to their own 300 million dollar offering more or less supported this argument. MMOs have been flailing in the western market for a long time now, smothered under the oppressive shadow of WoW. Is it IMPOSSIBLE for a team to come up with something energizing and innovative that could shake off some of the genre's evident stagnation? Not impossible, no. Is it remotely likely? I feel like we'd have better chance pooling that kickstarter money and buying a bunch of lottery tickets.

TLDR - Kickstarted games and MMOs both deserve to be treated with the deepest skepticism, and kickstarted MMOs exponentially so.
I am super skeptical too, but I really, really want this game to work out. Everyone knows MMO's can be so much more than they are. Will things finally change if we just... believe?!??! XD
 

BloatedGuppy

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Fappy said:
I am super skeptical too, but I really, really want this game to work out. Everyone knows MMO's can be so much more than they are. Will things finally change if we just... believe?!??! XD
Back to Neverland with you, Peter. This is the real world!
 

Fappy

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BloatedGuppy said:
Fappy said:
I am super skeptical too, but I really, really want this game to work out. Everyone knows MMO's can be so much more than they are. Will things finally change if we just... believe?!??! XD
Back to Neverland with you, Peter. This is the real world!
But there real world sucks and is full of micro transactions!
 

happyninja42

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BloatedGuppy said:
I cannot take under funded MMOs seriously.
How is it "under funded" in your opinion? They've met their goals, and they feel they can accomplish it on that budget. So I don't really see where under funded comes into this. Feeling that they can't accomplish it on that budget is one thing, but calling them underfunded seems inaccurate to me.
 

Fappy

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Happyninja42 said:
BloatedGuppy said:
I cannot take under funded MMOs seriously.
How is it "under funded" in your opinion? They've met their goals, and they feel they can accomplish it on that budget. So I don't really see where under funded comes into this. Feeling that they can't accomplish it on that budget is one thing, but calling them underfunded seems inaccurate to me.
I think he's saying that they are underestimating the cost of this game. MMOs are historically among the most expensive games ever made. I agree that it would be surprising to see a kickstarter MMO succeed, especially considering the wishy-washy track record of crowdfunded games.
 

BloatedGuppy

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Happyninja42 said:
How is it "under funded" in your opinion? They've met their goals, and they feel they can accomplish it on that budget. So I don't really see where under funded comes into this. Feeling that they can't accomplish it on that budget is one thing, but calling them underfunded seems inaccurate to me.
As Fappy said, this is not a retro call-back RPG running on fucking Unity. This is an MMO. They're hysterically expensive games, pretty much AS expensive as games get if you do them properly. It'd be like kickstarting a Titanic sequel.
 

tragicnumberone

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Fappy said:
Happyninja42 said:
BloatedGuppy said:
I cannot take under funded MMOs seriously.
How is it "under funded" in your opinion? They've met their goals, and they feel they can accomplish it on that budget. So I don't really see where under funded comes into this. Feeling that they can't accomplish it on that budget is one thing, but calling them underfunded seems inaccurate to me.
I think he's saying that they are underestimating the cost of this game. MMOs are historically among the most expensive games ever made. I agree that it would be surprising to see a kickstarter MMO succeed, especially considering the wishy-washy track record of crowdfunded games.
To answer the implict question of "How can I be confident that Crowfall will be able to pay for its development":

Crowfall does not have the same costs as a standard MMO. The two main costs in MMOs are PvE content (raids, quests, events etc.), and making the actual world. Crowfall has neither of these expenses. All the content is PvP driven, and all the world(s) are randomly generated.
This random world generation eliminates another, less commonly considered MMO cost: Post-launch content fixing. Often, the original world is not perfectly suited to the actual game-play. This means that lots of time, and thus money, gets dedicated to redesigning the world. Since Crowfall's worlds die, and the world generator is easier and faster to change then a handcrafted, permanent world.

Since these 3 major expenses are covered, Crowfall has a very good shot at success relative to other MMOs (This is not even to mention the highly experienced team, or the highly conservative development philosophy of ONLY making the core module of the game, instead of doing all bonus-content with it)
 

Fappy

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tragicnumberone said:
Fappy said:
Happyninja42 said:
BloatedGuppy said:
I cannot take under funded MMOs seriously.
How is it "under funded" in your opinion? They've met their goals, and they feel they can accomplish it on that budget. So I don't really see where under funded comes into this. Feeling that they can't accomplish it on that budget is one thing, but calling them underfunded seems inaccurate to me.
I think he's saying that they are underestimating the cost of this game. MMOs are historically among the most expensive games ever made. I agree that it would be surprising to see a kickstarter MMO succeed, especially considering the wishy-washy track record of crowdfunded games.
Crowfall does not have the same costs as a standard MMO, though. The two main costs in MMOs are PvE content (raids, quests, events etc.), and making the actual world. Crowfall has neither of these expenses. All the content is PvP driven, and all the worlds are randomly generated. Another, less commonly considered MMO cost is post-launch content fixing. Often, the original world that is made is not perfectly suited to the actual game-play. This means that lots of time, and thus money, is dedicated to redesigning the world. Since Crowfall's worlds die, and the world generator is easier and faster to change then a handcrafted world. Since these 3 major expenses are covered, Crowfall has a very good shot at success relative to other MMOs (this is not even to mention the highly experienced team)
I imagine the randomly generated worlds would require a lot more work than you're suggesting. Sure, they don't need to place every specific rock and tree, but there needs to be some kind of complex logic behind the environment generation to make it interesting. Since we're talking MMO-scale worlds, they don't want every other area looking the same. They'd need to make tons of environmental assets as well (though not quite as many).

Let's assume they are spending half as much on the game world using this method and $0 on raid content... that still doesn't make the game even remotely cheap. Don't get me wrong, I want this game to succeed and will definitely give it a go when it launches, but this is an uphill battle.
 

tragicnumberone

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Fappy said:
tragicnumberone said:
Fappy said:
Happyninja42 said:
BloatedGuppy said:
I cannot take under funded MMOs seriously.
How is it "under funded" in your opinion? They've met their goals, and they feel they can accomplish it on that budget. So I don't really see where under funded comes into this. Feeling that they can't accomplish it on that budget is one thing, but calling them underfunded seems inaccurate to me.
I think he's saying that they are underestimating the cost of this game. MMOs are historically among the most expensive games ever made. I agree that it would be surprising to see a kickstarter MMO succeed, especially considering the wishy-washy track record of crowdfunded games.
Crowfall does not have the same costs as a standard MMO, though. The two main costs in MMOs are PvE content (raids, quests, events etc.), and making the actual world. Crowfall has neither of these expenses. All the content is PvP driven, and all the worlds are randomly generated. Another, less commonly considered MMO cost is post-launch content fixing. Often, the original world that is made is not perfectly suited to the actual game-play. This means that lots of time, and thus money, is dedicated to redesigning the world. Since Crowfall's worlds die, and the world generator is easier and faster to change then a handcrafted world. Since these 3 major expenses are covered, Crowfall has a very good shot at success relative to other MMOs (this is not even to mention the highly experienced team)
I imagine the randomly generated worlds would require a lot more work than you're suggesting. Sure, they don't need to place every specific rock and tree, but there needs to be some kind of complex logic behind the environment generation to make it interesting. Since we're talking MMO-scale worlds, they don't want every other area looking the same. They'd need to make tons of environmental assets as well (though not quite as many).

Let's assume they are spending half as much on the game world using this method and $0 on raid content... that still doesn't make the game even remotely cheap. Don't get me wrong, I want this game to succeed and will definitely give it a go when it launches, but this is an uphill battle.
Of course it takes work, but the point wasn't that an RNG system doesnt take work. The point was that it takes significantly less work then handcrafting, and thus less time. Less time means less money, less money means a better chance of success based off the current(and growing) budget!

The next logical progression is "but won't the world not be as good as a handcrafted one?" which is always a problem. However, the worlds aren't just RNGed and put on live. The developers look at every one, and decide if they like it. Once they find a satisfying one, they can say "it would be better if we had a river over here, and a fort over there." and thus make the world better! This means we benefit from the low cost of RNG, but still maintain the quality of hand-crafting (it may even be better, as the RNG can create crazy scenarios that the devs would never think of themselves!)
 

BloatedGuppy

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tragicnumberone said:
Crowfall does not have the same costs as a standard MMO. The two main costs in MMOs are PvE content (raids, quests, events etc.), and making the actual world. Crowfall has neither of these expenses. All the content is PvP driven, and all the world(s) are randomly generated.
As it is your game, you're going to be more conversant with its costs than the rest of us, but one cannot just winkle their nose and create compelling game worlds out of thin air. I cannot imagine there would not be significant costs to do properly.

Your other major issue, of course, is having an entirely PvP focused game. It's absolutely essential to hit and maintain a high concurrent player base in a PvP only title, or you'll get sucked into the death spiral of "no one is playing because no one is playing". Without much money to spend on marketing, how do you get the game into as many hands as possible? Huge, well funded games like Warhammer Online were on their last legs months after release, in large part because they lacked sustainable populations. Indeed, this problem has plagued almost every post WoW MMO, including The Old Republic, and lead directly to the proliferation of free to play models just to get butts in seats (often with minimal and short term success). And these games had robust PvE content..."other players" were not the entirety of what was on offer.

I wish you all the luck in the world, this is a genre badly in need of invigoration and I have absolutely nothing against the game or the concept of the game. It's just a murderous space to try and compete in.