Making a game that challenges World of Warcraft is like throwing your dog into a pen at the zoo to fight a bear. World of Warcraft has systematically destroyed most of its competition with the exception of Guild Wars and that is only because they don’t have a monthly subscription. A new challenger is on the horizon though and this challenger is holding a flame-thrower and is wearing power armor in the shape of a dragon. So from J Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton comes Crowfall, an MMORPG that has both a persistent and ever changing world, player interactions, and amazing character customization and progression.
Every MMORPG must have a persistent world; it just kind of comes with the territory. What World of Warcraft and many other MMORPGs have done with their persistent world is have events, attacks, and raids happen to make the world seem like it is always changing; but in reality the same houses, caves, bandits, and farmers are always there. Crowfall aims to make a huge improvement on this in that one world is persistent while the other world change. This is what the developers call “eternal hero and dying world” in that the heroes are forever but the worlds they inhabit aren’t. So what do the heroes do when the world ends? They go to the eternal kingdoms with all the loot and treasure they got in their campaign world. To make it a little simpler think of this: there is one big circle and inside that circle are several smaller circles, the smaller circles are the worlds that player go in and eventually the worlds die but then the players come back to the big outer circle to count their loot. These eternal kingdoms are where guilds and factions have their central locations and where they can send people to different worlds to fight and conquer on their behalf. Players can also control the worlds they campaign in which means no 2 worlds are alike. Players can determine the taxes, tariffs, PvP, and even how effective magic or melee combat is. With all this world customization and world changing it means a ton of possibilities in gameplay and that no experience will be the same as the previous.
Players in Crowfall will be able to interact with each other in new and creative ways. With the expected guild and faction system player can pick sides and vie for control of realms. That control is not just about killing thought, it also involves political powers. As campaigns progress players will build castles and claim land and with this they are able to gain money. Player can also give out fiefs to their vassals which allow them to make money. This creates a really cool hierarchy in which stronger players control vast lands while weaker players work for the stronger players and they do this for a reason instead of because of arbitrary levels. This also opens the possibilities for large scale wars between factions because a singular leader with vast armies is able to rally his forces quickly and attack just like in feudal Europe.
As with every MMORPG character customization is key, in this department Crowfall could have a skeleton key. Character customization promises to be incredibly deep and can be unique to every player. First you make your physical character and pick from a variety of races which is pretty run of the mill. Then you pick an archetype or what amounts to base stats and skills. Each class is not the same though, obviously, in that each class has advantages and disadvantages in its base stats. Through playing a little you can customize even further by specializing in a play style like tanking, DPSing/melee, or ranged. This means no two characters are the same and really makes every character and experience individualized.
I’m not necessarily a huge fan of MMORPGs but Crowfall looks like it could be amazing and I can’t wait to see it when it comes out. If you’d like to learn more for yourself be sure to check out the Crowfall Kickstarter campaign before it ends on March 26th.