Wow. What a crazy 30 days it’s been. I haven’t felt this excited or motivated about anything in a long time. Crowfall completed, successfully, its Kickstarter campaign. It did so many things right, and touched on so many pain points for me that I couldn’t help but back it.
My concern over recent MMOs has always been the “PvP-too” approach to lazy game development. I had actually thought Wildstar to be slightly different, but that was actually more of a mistake on my part for not reading on its development and assuming they knew what they were doing with PvP. Clearly the 40v40 War Plots debacle was all that I need to say about that games approach to PvP.
“PvP-too” is basically my way of indicating that a developer wants to attract as broad of an audience as possible. Not just the PvE crowd, but the PvP one too. Wildstar & ESO (whens the last time you heard anyone raving about ESO’s PvP… ever?) fall into this category for me.
I overlooked Camelot Unchained because to be honest the game doesn’t sound terrible. It does sound like they simply didn’t wish to expend resources on PvE. It’s not because that’s not their focus, but merely because it’s not within the budget. What happens when PvP gets boring in that game? And it will. After a year of fighting the same opponents, and the battle being largely the same battle that occurred 3 months before it, when does it cease to be entertaining anymore? THAT is a core unaddressed issue.
That issue, and that issue alone, was the one I saw solved right in the announcement of Crowfall as having been addressed. We wouldn’t be worrying about Goonsquad (or Uncle Bob as some Crowfall fans are calling the dominating zerg guild) dominating server X and the population fleeing for greener pastures. No, instead, the world’s naturally have a start and a conclusion. Elegant.
Crowfall earned a solid $250 from me, I just saw it charged to the credit card. It was an exciting endeavor to back a game for the first time. I’ve never done it before. But what really sold me on the game?
I wrote an article 3 years ago or so that said my ideal game was fantasy-EVE. Crowfall is fantasy-EVE. Passive skill training that removed the need for me to be a basement dweller, arguing with my loved ones over whether or not I could leave the house for the first week out of fear of being outleveled and outclassed. No, now I could focus on what was really important; killing my enemies.
EVE-Online did so many things right, but the one thing that always edged me to eventually unsubscribe was the ability for the game to escalate so quickly beyond my ability to fight back. I could be in a frigate and get outclassed immediately by someone in a battlecruiser/destroyer, or worse multiple battlecruisers/destroyers. There was little if any response to this, and no amount of preparation could prepare you for some of those fights. I don’t find that fun. Admittedly it can be a bit of a thrill ride though.
I’m not saying the same thing can’t happen in Crowfall, as sheer numbers would likely overwhelm any player. The devs even came out and said that a group of newbies could easily overwhelm a veteran max trained character. Yet, max skills and being outclassed are different things altogether. In a world of seafaring ships, if we are all destroyers, I’m okay with one person being better at destroyers than me. When someone can be a battleship, who cares how much you’ve trained at being the best frigate pilot in the world?
I’m greatly simplifying my feelings on the matter, and I’m well aware of the differences and balancing that go into making sure EVE players DON’T feel as easily outclassed as they are, but the point remains that being outclassed is not fun.
Crowfall and the fantasy genre is also where my heart lies. As much as I appreciate the depth and width of EVE Online, I never truly felt at home there. Crowfall has the potential to be a home for me for many years, and it’s that hope that has gotten me so excited.
Hopefully the world has a place for a niche game like this. The Kickstarter and its ~220% funding make it seem like it might.