February was an exciting month! We introduced a brand new location that will be central to the loop of life and death: the Crypt. Currently, Crows go to the Temple to respawn or switch vessels, but soon these actions will happen at the Crypt in the 5.5 update in March. This will also more fully introduce the vessel system, where you can craft, store, and swap vessels of varying qualities and levels. All you Gravediggers and Necromancers should get excited! We’re also looking forward to the addition of vendors, which will really allow the economic loop to begin to emerge.
Crowfall Update for March: An Introduction to Crypts!
Crowfall Update for February: 5.4 Comes to LIVE!
Crowfall Update for January: The Year of the Crow
Crowfall Update for December: Crows Before Ho Ho Ho’s
Crowfall Update for November: Digging Up a Harvesting Overhaul!
Hey, Crowfall backers!
The title says it all: On Tuesday, January 30, we released 5.4 on the LIVE environment - and there was much rejoicing! Immediately, testers poured into the game to explore all of the exciting new elements available, including the highly-anticipated Assassin, Time Bank for Skills and the Divine Sacrifice system.
And the EU Campaigns are back for good, too! This is a great time for European-based guilds to call up the banners and square off against each other.
To encourage more Crows to participate in testing, we’ve added a 10x modifier to the skill nodes in the Skill tree throughout the remainder pre-alpha 5.4. Each node will take a fraction of the time to train now in order to let players delve deeper into the skill trees and allow them to test more advanced powers, recipes and modifiers. Additionally, training for all backers will be treated as if they have VIP -- again, for the duration of pre-alpha 5.4.
If you have testing access and it’s been awhile since you’ve logged in--or if you haven’t played at all yet--we hope you’ll jump in soon and give it a try. The How to Play guide can help you get started.
All Kickstarter backers have specially discounted offer that will go away on March 1, 2018.
In November, we announced changes planned for the Crowfall Store as we transition from pledge packages to preorders. These changes include retiring stronghold bundles as well as the removal of any item in the store with a purchase price of $200 or more.
This is the LAST CALL to add a building upgrade bundle to your Kickstarter, 2015 or 2016 pledge package. Log into your crowfall.com account and visit the store to see what offers are available to you.
Once these items are retired, they will be gone for good!
If you have questions about these offers or need assistance with your account, please don’t hesitate to email email@example.com.
Test Environment: LIVE - available 24/7
Current test phase: Pre-Alpha 5.4
Current test groups: Pre-Alpha 1 - Beta 3
TOP STORIES OF JANUARY
FOUNDERS’ UPDATE: FRESH BLOOD - ArtCraft Co-Founders J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton revealed that thanks to another impressive round of funding, the team has been expanded and outfitted with high-powered PCs. We’re in ‘full-steam ahead!’ mode and ready to crush our upcoming milestones and, later this year, soft launch.
SPICING UP MAPS WITH ADVENTURE PARCELS - Adventure parcels are designed to provide players with a more dynamic, high-stakes experience than normal parcels. In these new areas, players will face rugged terrain (such as caverns, dungeons or ruined villages) and a collection of more powerful monsters (including some that you won’t find anywhere else).
GRAPHICS SETTINGS HOW-TO - How you adjust your graphics can have wide-ranging effects, from performance to immersion in the game. I’m here to walk you through the different options and their individual effects. This way, you can choose the graphics settings that work best for you and your machine.
MORE NEWS FROM JANUARY
STREAKING: THE PROS AND CONS OF RNG - Random number generation can be a source of great triumph or ultimate frustration. Check out this article to discover an in-depth discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of randomness, and how we plan to stack the deck in favor of our crafters.
GEAR UP FOR THE MALE NETHARI AND HALF-ELF - Our male Nethari and Half-Elves are making a rather fashionable entrance into the game! Come check out their gear and see how it compares to their female counterparts.
ASSASSIN POWERS AND EFFECTS - This much-anticipated Class brings with it two important additions: positional combat and toxins. Positional combat allows a differentiation between attacks that come from the front and from behind. The Assassin, specifically, will utilize this new availability of sneak-attacks! Toxins are crafted items that Assassins can use to imbue their attacks with additional effects.
ACE Q&A FOR JANUARY: EYES ON DESIGN - Designers Thomas Blair and Mark Halash often answer questions from a variety of disciplines, but this month they're back and focused on more design-oriented topics.
PRE-ALPHA 5 LIVE! FOR JANUARY - The ice storm couldn't keep a good livestream down, and Game Designers Thomas Blair and Mark Halash finally managed to return, this time with Patch Notes in Space! They discussed the most recent bug-fixes and additions to the 5.4 build and left some extra time for Q&A from the viewing audience.
CROWFALL Q&A LIVE! FOR JANUARY: JEWELCRAFTING SHOWCASE - With the addition and modification of skills Crafting Stations, Designers Thomas Blair and Mark Halash decided to give the viewing audience a live demonstration of the newest systems, including jewelcrafting!
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We’re keeping a close eye on the Crowfall community’s feedback regarding 5.4 so that we can address the most important issues as we’re working on 5.5. We’re particularly appreciative of the growing number of Crows making videos and doing live streams. Being able to see how you’re playing is even better than simply reading about it!
Speaking of live streams, we’ve got two coming up in February: Pre-Alpha 5 Live (Feb 13) and Crowfall Q&A Live (Feb 20). In between, we’ve been hosting playtest livestreams as available. Subscribe and follow our Official Twitch channel to make sure you’re not missing anything!
Thanks for your continuing support!
The Crowfall Team
Heads up! All pledge packages will be retired tomorrow, December 31st, as we transition to preorders. This is your last chance to take advantage of these premium bundles before they’re gone for good! Visit the Crowfall Store to see the selection of available pledge packages and upgrades.
Happy New Year, Crows!
Looking back at 2017, it’s exciting to see how much we accomplished, from our successful fundraising efforts to the implementation of the Race/Class split and then culminating with the news this week that Crowfall was named "Most Anticipated" by both MassivelyOP and MMO Games. As grand as it all was, we know that 2018 is going to be even bigger and better, so much so that Todd has taken to calling it “The Year of the Crow”!
Each week, the team makes tremendous progress as more features and improvements are added to the game, ramping up towards soft launch. Your support--whether it’s through testing and providing feedback, sharing your thoughts with us on the forum or rubbing virtual elbows with us on social media--has been a constant source of inspiration and encouragement.
On behalf of all of us at ArtCraft, I wish you all the best in the coming year.
Thanks for joining us on this incredible adventure!
Valerie “Pann” Massey
Director of Community, ArtCraft Entertainment
TOP STORIES OF DECEMBER
KEYBINDING UPDATE - An upcoming revamp of the keybinding system will give you more ways to customize your user experience, including the ability to set keybindings based on different modes such as Normal or EK management.
CRAFTING STATIONS AND RECIPES - Design Lead Thomas Blair gives us a sneak peek of the incoming addition of crafting stations and the way recipes will change in the near future.
DIVINE SACRIFICE - Take a first look at this brand new system! With the addition of Sacrifices, you can make offerings to your chosen God to receive bonuses to your current vessel. This is a major step towards solving our concerns about "moment-to-moment" gameplay. Read on to find out more.
FROM THE FOUNDERS
FOUNDERS' UPDATE: A GREAT YEAR - As 2017 comes to a close, we take a look back on the accomplishments of this year, and then set our sights forward with motivating plans and some exciting news.
FOUNDERS’ UPDATE: MORE ON CROWNS & GUILDS - Every Crow needs wingmen! As the cornerstone of Crowfall, guilds are of monumental importance. To help encourage guilds' recruiting efforts, you’ll be able to earn crowns for your guild with every member you recruit. Looking for a guild? Check out the growing number of guilds now forming in the Crowfall community.
PAX SOUTH MEET-UP
CROWFALL MEET-UP AT PAX SOUTH - Chat with Blixtev, Tyrant and other members of the Crowfall team as well as some of your fellow Crows at this informal meet-up during PAX South on January 13, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas. Signup deadline is January 1st!
Test Environment: LIVE - 24/7 access
Current test phase: Pre-Alpha 5.3
Current test groups: Pre-Alpha 1 - Beta 3
"Early access packages" are still available in the Crowfall Store.
ACE Q&A FOR DECEMBER: MERRY UX-MAS - Creative Director J Todd Coleman and UX Design Lead Billy Garretsen take over the usual ACE Q&A video to answer questions from our forums and discuss some of the changes coming to Crowfall's user interface.
A MURDER OF CROWS: J TODD COLEMAN, PART II - Crowfall® Creative Director/ArtCraft Co-Founder J. Todd Coleman reflects on the early days of his career in video game development.
CROWFALL Q&A LIVE FOR DECEMBER - Designers Thomas Blair and Mark Halash returned for this month's Crowfall Q&A Live to talk about Crafting Stations, recipes, and equipment. They also took some questions from the viewing audience. Check out the video on YouTube to see information on the split up of Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced recipes, a look at the detailed stats sheet, toxins, and more!
PRE-ALPHA 5 LIVE! FOR DECEMBER - The stream included some sneak peeks at things you can look forward took in the near future as we close in on releasing the next major patch.
CROWS OF A FEATHER
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Watch for our development progress to pick up the pace significantly as we expand the team with additional members. You can help, too, by jumping in to test the game when you can and sharing your constructive feedback with us on the forums. Together, we’ll make Crowfall the amazing MMO we know it can be!
Until next month,
The Crowfall team
Flock with us!
From all the Crows at ArtCraft, we wish you the happiest of holidays and all the best in the coming year.
Current test phase: Pre-Alpha 5.2
Current test groups: Pre-Alpha 1 - Beta 2
Environment: TEST, snap tests
Current test phase: Pre-Alpha 5.3 Current test groups: Pre-Alpha 1 - Beta 1 Kickstarter backers
Early access still available! Look for packages marked "Early Access" in the Crowfall Store
TOP STORIES OF NOVEMBER
FOUNDERS' UPDATE: TARGET DATES & VICTORY CONDITIONS - Creative Director J Todd Coleman and Executive Producer Gordon Walton discuss updates to Crowfall's timeline and what our own personal Victory Conditions for the game are.
FOUNDERS' UPDATE: FROM PLEDGES TO PREORDERS - The ArtCraft founders explain the transition from pledges to preorders and what items are being retired from the Crowfall Store.
PRE-ALPHA 5.3 DEPLOYED TO TEST - Initial testing has begun on the TEST environment for Pre-Alpha 5.3. Feedback so far has been even better than expected.
MORE STORIES FROM NOVEMBER
- NEW 5.3 WALLPAPERS - Billy Garretsen created a new set of wallpapers in honor of the Pre-Alpha 5.3 milestone. Which is your favorite?
- ACTION HARVESTING PART DEUX - Design Lead Thomas Blair walks us through a plethora of additions to the Action Harvesting lineup. Come see new visual effects, harvesting pips and what they mean for you, weak spots, and a full list of the new harvesting Discipline Runestones.
- NEW CHARACTER SHEET, INVENTORY AND EQUIPMENT WINDOWS - Get a first look at the brand new character sheet, inventory and equipment windows! The windows were consolidated into a more logical flow, with three entirely separate windows combined into one with a limited number of tabs for information that is referenced less often.
- HOW GAMING PUSHES BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION - ArtCraft Co-Founder/CEO J. Todd Coleman talked with Dan Patterson of TechRepublic about the influence video games have had on innovations in business technology.
- BESTIARY: SPIDER - What becomes of Malekai's children when they grow too large to collect whispers?
- EYE CANDY - In celebration of Halloween, we shared some new concept art by Art Lead Dave Greco accompanied by some insight from Creative Director J. Todd Coleman.
CROWFALL LIVE Q&A FOR NOVEMBER 2017 - Get a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes as Design Lead Thomas "Blixtev" Blair demonstrates the bug fixing process. Executive Producer Gordon Walton was also on hand to answer some of the Twitch audience's business-related questions.
ACE Q&A FOR NOVEMBER: 5.3 EXPECTATIONS - Designers Thomas Blair and Mark Halash return for our monthly ACE Q&A. We pull these questions from the ACE Development Partners section of the forum. This month's video focuses on 5.3 and what to expect.
CLERIC POWERS AND VFX - Design Lead Thomas Blair walks us through a demonstration of the basic Cleric powers. Additionally, since the Elken is now able to take Cleric as a Class, you'll be treated to some awesome Mur-deer footage!
MORE CROWFALL TV
- A MURDER OF CROWS: SUSI WINDELER - Meet Susi Windeler, one of ArtCraft Entertainment’s software engineers, and hear how her journey to Crowfall began in Germany with lots of interesting turns and twists along the way.
- PRE-ALPHA 5 LIVE! FOR NOVEMBER - Join Designers Thomas Blair and Mark Halash as they return for this month's Pre-Alpha 5 Live! They discuss the most recent bug fixes and additions to the game, and have a brief Q&A session with the viewing Twitch audience.
- Tuesday, December 19, 11 am CST - Crowfall Q&A Live!
- Tuesday, December 12th, 11 am CST - Pre-Alpha 5 Live!
Visit the Crowfall Store: Winter is coming! Stay warm with a super soft Crowfall hoodie, available as a pullover (as seen here modeled by Software Engineer Tom "T-Bone" Bentley, or zip-up. Layer it with one of our super-soft Crowfall t-shirts like the one Environment Artist Aaron Hamilton is wearing.
CROWS OF A FEATHER
THAT_ERIKSSON: Crowfall 5.3 early look!
Game On: Exploring the open-world / environment
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We highly encourage everyone with testing access to jump in and play a bit as their schedules allow. We’re continually adding new elements to the game and adjusting things that aren’t quite right. Now, more than ever, your feedback is so incredibly important to us in helping to make Crowfall the best it can be.
Thank you for your support!
The Crowfall team
With everyone working full-steam ahead on 5.3 in October, overhauling Harvesting was a leading topic. After completing our series on Race introductions, we jumped feet-first into revealing all of the important changes coming to Harvesting. In short, it’s been crafted to be more interactive and responsive with the addition of weak spots that produce higher yields and unique Harvesting Disciplines.
Our Campaigns are still successfully running 24/7 on LIVE with testers vying for dominance on a daily basis! Backers in the Pre-Alpha 1 through Beta 2 test groups are able to participate in the current phase (Pre-Alpha 5.2) of testing. If you don’t have testing access yet, a pledge package marked “Early Access” will get you into the action now.
TOP STORIES OF OCTOBER
MEET THE HUMANS AND ELVES! - Learn about the divisive histories and unique skills of the Human and Elven races that inhabit the world of Crowfall.
MEET THE MONSTERS! - Learn about the final group of Races in Crowfall: the Monsters. This article covers more in-depth information on the Minotaurs, Centaurs and Guineceans. With this article, all 12 of Crowfall's Races have now been fully revealed!
AN INTRODUCTION TO BANKS - Banks in Crowfall include a layered system that allows for storage at various levels. Read the article to understand how Local, World, and Spirit Banks function and interact with each other.
STRONGHOLDS: CONTROL THE FLOW - Get a first look at the brand new panels we will be introducing to castle construction! Sections of hollow walls will be able to be removed and replaced with arrow slits, support beams, doorways, and more! This allows for a wide array of customization options in keeps and castles, available both in the Eternal Kingdoms and Campaign Worlds.
ACE Q&A FOR OCTOBER: RETURN OF THE DRAGON - October means it's the Return of the Dragon! And also the return of Q&A with Blair and Halash. Topics this month include Power trays, Class trees and vessels.
PRE-ALPHA 5 LIVE! PRELUDE TO 5.3 - Blair and Halash mixed things up by reading patch notes from the future! This Pre-Alpha 5 Live! livestream included patch notes from the upcoming 5.3 patch, and a short Q&A session with the viewing Twitch audience. The video is also available on YouTube.
ACTION HARVESTING IN ACTION - Design Lead Thomas Blair takes us through a demonstration of some of the newest and most interactive additions to Harvesting. The inclusion of weak point targeting for critical hits and a brand new set of Harvesting Disciplines brings exciting new layers to this vital section of the game. If you missed the stream, the video is also available on YouTube.
ANIMATING OUR HARVESTERS - On Thursday, October 26th, we aired two surprise livestreams! In the first, Senior VFX Artist Greg Tapper began creating a brand new Harvesting effect to go along with our Energetic Harvesting skill. Later, Senior Animator Eric Doggett lent his animating skills to the creation of an unarmed Harvesting animation for the Elken. The videos are available on YouTube.
CONSTANT SORROW - Red Thomas talks Crowfall's present and future in his new article at mmorpg.com. Read about Campaigns, testing and the state of the game in Constant Sorrow.
10 MOST WANTED MMOS - mmorpg.com releases their list of 10 Most Wanted MMOs in 2018. Check out where Crowfall lands on the list!
CROWS OF A FEATHER
A TRIBUTE TO FOREST STEP - SoulReaver displays some expert disengagement and shows us how to keep your distance as a Ranger in the field.
COMMUNITY SKIRMISH EVENT - The Caldera guild hosted a community skirmish on October 4th, inviting all Crowfall testers to sign up and join in the fun.
FEAR THE UNDEAD - "Remember: The hunger always wins in the end...."
CROWFALL DATABASE - Ever wanted to see a full list of the Disciplines available in Crowfall? Well now you can with this fan-made database! Check out Powers, Equipment, Materials, and more!
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Keep your eyes peeled for the big 5.3 update! It will appear on the TEST environment first, with limited testing access. Then, soon after, it will transition over to LIVE where it will be available to all backers.