Keep Your Eye On Crowfall


When it comes to community, crafting, and virtual worlds you can consider me a super-fan. I have written post after post since we started blogging in 2007 about UO and SWG crafting, relying on other players, creating virtual economies, etc.

There’s a new game on the horizon — a tiny speck on the horizon — worth looking at: Crowfall.

There aren’t a lot of details. Lots of little tidbits of info are dropping out there, and some bigger announcements are being teased. Their interview on caught my attention. Here’s a snippet:

There are a ton of lessons to be learned looking at games like Star Wars Galaxies and EVE Online which had and still have success with their crafting and economic loops. From a very high altitude, crafters need to be able to: craft unique items, explore new recipes and profit from the results of this exploration, and create customized items for all styles of play. Crafters must have an audience to buy their goods. The loop between crafter and combatant has to exist! And, ideally, crafters need to be able to “mark” their product so that they can build a social reputation and a following.

The very concept that players can and will lose their items at some point is required, otherwise the game loop breaks. It is a very controversial topic for those who don’t like the potential of losing their items, and we understand that.  But sometimes you have to embrace ideas that may not be popular at first glance, because they open up amazing areas of gameplay that are otherwise not accessible.

They’re saying the right things. Some of the leads on the team have experience with SWG, UO, Shadowbane, and other older great titles. They’ve brought in Raph Koster as a consultant or sorts to weigh in on the project’s crafting side. Sounds to me like a team looking to hopefully make a game harkening back to the games these guys enjoyed — the same games I keep preaching about.

Here’s hoping!

  • I was interested to see that Raph was being brought in on Crowfall. I like him, he has done some great things in the past, but he is also on my “what have you done lately?” list.

    MMO-wise, he was last involved with EverQuest II from development through the Kingdom of Sky expansion, which was not a happy time for the game. The first post-Raph expansion, Echoes of Faydwer, was hailed as a revival of the game and SOE has been years fixing the original design. And then there is Metaplace, about which not much can be said. So any excitement on my part is somewhat tempered by the last things he touched.

  • @Wilhelm: His recent work… yeah it’s a flop. He’s participated or come up with some great ideas in the past. If he’s managed properly — and I think that’s the key — his touch could bring some good things to the project.

    @Werit: It’s way too far off to start getting hyped, but they have some interesting ideas and people on the project. It’s on my “check monthly for updates” list.

  • The overall attitude of Crowfall as expressed by their PR so far is so obnoxious that I can’t imagine ever wanting to play anything they made. If they keep up this “we know everything, everyone else knows nothing” tirade then they can keep their God game.

    I can only speak for myself but I’ve had a great decade and a half playing MMOs. I don’t believe the genre is broken so I don’t need these guys to come along and fix it for me. I’ll give their game a look if and when they ever make it but so far I am the opposite of interested.

  • “But sometimes you have to embrace ideas that may not be popular at first glance, because they open up amazing areas of gameplay that are otherwise not accessible.”

    So true…and well said. Many aspects of MMOs are counter intuitive…things that seem awesome at first glance can ruin important parts of a game and things that sound painful may be the exact reason of why a game is actually fun. Unfortunately, talk is cheap…so often the ones that talk to the talk, don’t have the money to make a high quality game. Putting non stream line concepts into a small game might not convince the masses that they have been wrong all along…it does seem like sneaking these concepts into a highly anticipated title might be more successful…where people may say..,sure, it has these odd concepts but everything else sounds sooo cool!

  • Alright. Cynicism mode fully engaged. Let’s come back to this post many years from now and see if the game (if it even releases) is anything close to these ideas they spouted.

    Why Cynicism mode? Because every MMO and want-to-be MMO has devs that say this crap. Every time.

  • Guild mate of mine just pointed this game out to me yesterday and I signed up on their website last night. Will definitely be keeping an eye on this one

  • Hi! Just stopping by this blog for the first time. I’m in Crowfall’s beta group #1. The teasers that the team has been putting out for the past few weeks have looked pretty promising. Will you continue to cover Crowfall as the beta is launched in mid-February, Keen?

    Wishing you well.

  • @Soultamer: If Crowfall is interesting enough and remains promising then yes I will continue to cover it in my posts.

    @Rawblin: That’s kinda the point. Keep an eye on it and evaluate if it’s worth playing or not, and also continue the documentation on things like the design/development process and how mmorpgs are marketed.

  • is the same story always.

    step 1) a company announces a new game: “we are going to create a new game with crafting system, buildings, boats, etc.. just like UO, EQ, SWG, EVE…”
    step 2) 1.5 years later
    step 3) the company releases a new WoW clone and the game is a fail.

    X months later Repeat with a different company and a different game.

  • Seems like most people agree, we all would love a modern game in the same ilk as UO and SWG.

    We can also mostly agree that Crowfall and other games, years out, are not really worth getting hyped or following to closely. When a game is really ready, then lets debate the merits of it and those who made it.