Saturday, January 24, 2015


I saw some teasers for an upcoming MMO, Crowfall.

It's just the barest of teasers so far, but they look to be creating something in the vein of Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. Trying to get back to "world" aspect of MMOs.

For example, in an interview at, they say:
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.
That's a pretty bold statement, but it might very well be correct. Inconvenience drives sandboxes.

The dev pedigree is also somewhat impressive: J. Todd Coleman, Gordon Walton, Raph Koster. We'll see what they come up. There are many ways an MMO can screw up, and these devs aren't exactly known for prioritizing performance and responsiveness.

Still, I'm kind of interested in Crowfall, and it's mostly because of a single picture:

That Templar just looks good to me. It's clean, attractive, in solid, functional armor that still has a surprising amount of detail. It's stylized, avoiding uncanny valley effects, while still retaining proper human proportions.

I just really like the design intent as exemplified by this Templar. If the rest of the game matches this aesthetic (and performance/responsiveness is strong!), Crowfall just feels like it will be a blast to play.


  1. "Impressive" is one word for it. Abashi is still a dirty word in my mind all these years after his time at Everquest. And Raph might be a nice guy and great theorist but he made an unholy hash of both Ultima and Star Wars. People forget that the Ultima series had been around for 15+ before UO and that the entire design of UO pooped all over that history (a game based entirely on becoming an avatar by doing good deeds? let's have unrestricted PKing!).

  2. I agree that the art looks sweet. I sure do hope that I'm wrong -- the world needs another good MMO.

  3. I congratulate them on the dicovery of hot water. Ryzom used exactly this approach for crafting, and it's not exactly a success story....
    We'll see how it turns out and if they manage to avoid the "infinite leveling grind" which tends to mark crafting in MMOs (I mean, Archeage was also sold on crafting, and you see what it ended up to be...).

  4. This female templar looks like a ... female templar and not a call-girl for nerds.

    That's on its own is a brave design choice.

  5. Couldn't they have picked a more marketable name? Crowfall doesn't exactly trip off the tongue as much as stumble drunkenly and pick a fight with everyone around them.

  6. Agreed of the art design. Reminds me of Hilde from Soul Calibur.