Crowfall is an upcoming MMORPG that had a successful Kickstarter campaign (to the tune of raising 1.766 million), which can be viewed here. The premise is to remove leveling systems, grinding, and deliver a game that is purely “end-content”. An interesting concept, but how could that possibly work? Well, it sounds quite well actually…
The story revolves around a mysterious force that is devouring worlds called “The Hunger”. The God in charge of the universe went to investigate, and never returned. The remaining Gods of course bicker over next in line, and utilize “crows” to fight their battles for them. Crows are immortal heroes selected by the gods. You are a crow.
The core game-play is based around players participating in campaigns on “dying worlds”. These campaigns rulesets vary and have different difficulties, lengths, and rulesets built in. In these worlds you compete against other players to acquire items and resources and the win conditions will also vary. At the end of the campaign, you are awarded a percentage of the resources/items you collect based on your performance.
These resources are important because they are meant for the other substantial part of the game, your eternal kingdom. This is the part of the game that is persistent. Your eternal kingdom is a place where you can build, set up shops, and share with your guild and friends. You can also all build within the same eternal kingdom. In this case the person whose kingdom you are in would be the “monarch” and assign lords, vassals, and so on and so forth. You can build forts, castles, taverns, homes, and shape your kingdom the way you desire. You can use it as a marketplace and get economic gains.
The worlds are procedural generated, so they are random, and destructible with voxels. To go along with these custom worlds are the avatars. Some archetypes are race and gender based, which could be a disappointing facet, but it’s meant to fall in line with the lore. In creating the characters you can also select their strength and weaknesses. Selecting weaknesses gives you more points to put into strengths you might want your hero to have.
The subscription system is nice and simple. Buy the game, and you’re good to go. There is a subscription service available with some perks for $15 a month. This includes allowing up to 3 characters progress their skills via passive skill learning. The subscription also gets you a discount on the cash shop items (which promise to only be cosmetic or designs for your kingdom), and priority access to servers.
Speaking of passive skill learning, that plays a big role in all of this. Sticking to the “all end game” trend and removing grinding, players are able to train their skills while offline. This keeps everyone relevant and competitive without the feeling of obligation to get on and level.
They have been consisting pushing out updates to the public, seeking additional funding from outside sources, and are in pre-alpha testing. They certainly know how to advertise and communicate with their target audience. I myself pledged at the Amber Patron – Early Bird level at $215. A steep and risky price to pay for something that could be hit or miss, but it included a physical collector’s edition (which they have elected to sell separately for $150-$180 a pop), 6 years of VIP, and several other perks over the current pledge rewards at that price level. It seems that Kickstarter backers got a really sweet deal by putting their faith in ArtCraft. Now let’s see if it actually pays off.