Great news! We’re about ready to roll out our first trial Campaigns to the playtest environment. Let’s talk about how that is going to work.
This weekend (7-22 & 7-23) we’re going to run our first…
CAMPAIGN SYSTEM TEST
What does that mean?
It means that the game systems (i.e. the functionality) is ready for testing, but there is so much new stuff in this build that we should reasonably expect a few issues that keep it from feeling like a seamless, playable Campaign experience… To get to THAT point, where it actually feels like a Campaign, we need to put these new systems through the paces – in front of actual players.
We need your help to get there.
In addition, we’re going to be bringing up a new production environment (think of it as a separate Crowfall universe) so that we can prepare for our eventual launch. Like most MMOs, we need to have a collection of Test Servers where we can prop the latest and greatest features before we expose them to the player base at-large.
To access this new environment, you’ll need to Install a new version of Crowfall, following the instructions that we’ll be emailing you shortly. Initially we’re going to bring in Pre-Alpha 1, Pre-Alpha 2 and Alpha-1 testers and we’ll add more players in waves, as stability allows (i.e. the usual drill).
NOTE that this new install should be in addition to your existing installation! This isn’t a replacement installer; it’s a second Crowfall universe.
A FEW ODD THINGS
…that occurred, as a result of splintering off this new universe. (sidebar: what a cool sentence to write!)
First, the new universe was bare. Empty. Blank canvas. No worlds, no kingdoms, no characters, no spirit bank, no training. Nothing.
While that makes logical sense (and is undeniably cool, in its own way) a blank universe would unfortunately stunt your ability to test the new systems – so, to “jump start” the testing effort, we took a snapshot of the old universe (from about 2 weeks ago, because reasons) and copied it to the new universe. That means that skill training and the Spirit Bank in the new universe will mirror the old universe with a short time hiccup.
Yeah, I know, it’s a bit odd. Once we’re past this system test, and ready to try an actual Campaign, we’ll come up with a better solution.
Also: note that you can currently only redeem purchased items in one universe or the other. We’ll come up with a better solution here also – and do a reward reset soon, too, I would expect – so don’t be too concerned if you log into the lobby of the new universe and find that some or all of your rewards aren’t there.
WHAT SHOULD WE TEST?
For a reminder of what this first Campaign will look like, check out the update here:
A few notes on this version:
- Currently, we have claiming of Forts turned ON, but sieging of Keeps turned OFF. We’ll add the Keep sieging and destruction stuff, next.
- Day/Night cycle is also temporarily disabled (the functionality works, but the environment didn’t look very good at night – so we turned it off to buy a little more time for polish).
- We’re still working on Faction Chat, which is admittedly pretty annoying and super important for an actual Campaign. Thanks for being patient as we work through the issues.
- All of these worlds have embargo restrictions: 10 imports / 10 exports per world.
- Bloodbath is available, too, if you want harvest resources (but it has an embargo, also!)
- The banks are set right now to be WORLD banks -- meaning you can deposit and withdraw items into and out of them from any Bank Station in that world. This is only temporary; we’ll have a better solution in the next version (and we’ll discuss it more next week).
- Lastly, it should be noted that this is a test map. We purposefully made it small to facilitate the testing of all the new systems in a compact area – i.e. to minimize travel time. The “real” campaign map is Tyranny*. This “test” campaign map is called Tiny Tyranny.
* It is worth noting that calling the Tyranny “real” is actually a misnomer; it’s much smaller than our eventual Campaign maps will be!
It’s starting, folks! We are incredibly excited to see all the pieces of Crowfall start to come together!
As always, we want to thank you guys for helping us find the issues so that we can address them as quickly as possible. In this (and SO MANY other) ways, Crowfall simply wouldn’t be possible without you.
See you in game!
J. Todd Coleman
Creative Director, ArtCraft Entertainment