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Crowfall News

All News, Information and most relevant Topics about Crowfall and its community.

  • Die Wahl Deiner Klasse in Crowfall

    With 11 Classes and 12 Races, Crowfall offers the ability to tap into your inner Crow by creating a character tailored completely to you. Each Race has its own unique advantages, and vessels can be further customized with skills, Disciplines, Talents, and equipment. The sheer amount of variety means that there is a combination to suit every playstyle.
    Creating a character is the first step in your Crowfall journey. To make that process easier, CrusaderW produced a video guide that offers an in-depth look at the available options, including the finer details like passive abilities and promotion classes. With this video, you’ll be well on your way to creating an Eternal Hero that will bring you glory, wealth, and power!
     

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  • Die Schildwache

    With quiet thanks to her necromancer for the strength of her new vessel, Ser Merlida Clearthorne’s expedition into the Dying Worlds began. Whatever training had been afforded her by more experienced Crows would never have felt like enough, she was sure. But it was time that she ventured beyond the God’s Reach and truly began the fight for the glory of Kane. 
    As she passed through the runegate and into a sprawling, ravaged temple, she felt the expanse of the universe unfold before her.
    The centerpiece of this sanctuary, immediately across from the semi-circle of runegates, was a statue on a stepped pedestal. Merlida picked her way through the ruins, drawn inexplicably towards the sculpture.

    Life-size and intricately detailed, the statue portrayed a Stoneborn standing guard in armor the likes of which she had never seen, not even in the halls of her lords. One hand held a greatsword that spanned nearly the same height as the statue itself, the other held a broken crown. Each detail was exquisite, and she marveled at how long it must have taken the sculptor to carve such life into the stone. Even the roots that erupted from the statue’s legs and wound their way deep into the ground looked too real.
    She bent down to inspect them, reaching out with a steady hand to brush her fingers against the carved wood. Her brow furrowed. It was actually wood. The hairs on the back of her neck suddenly prickled as the distinct feeling of being watched washed over her. She glanced up, and her gaze locked with a pair of eyes. Living eyes.
    Merlida balked and drew her dagger, scrambling backwards. This wasn’t a statue at all! The Stoneborn’s eyes followed her, but she couldn’t see a hint of malice or even irritation behind them. Tension hung in the air for a long moment, long enough that a sliver of doubt crept into Merlida’s mind. Was she imagining things?

    The statue shifted, unleashing a small rain of dust and a creaking of entangled roots that were now intertwined into a chest seemingly made of stone.
    A low, rumbling voice came forward. “You should not be here, daughter of Kane.” The Stoneborn’s head lifted with eyes that fixed on her coldly. “This is no place for the living.”
    Merlida squinted and looked at the destruction around her, not yet willing to sheathe her blade. A cold wind tugged at the tattered banners on the walls, but otherwise, nothing moved. Nothing lived. “These are ruins. Why protect them?”
    “I am of the Sentinel,” the Stoneborn said. “This is my temple to protect. This is the house of Gaea, my mother. A home for the lost. A sanctuary in the darkness. I was carved to guard it until the end of time.”
    “You’ll die”, Merlida said, finally sheathing her dagger. She wasn’t even sure if the stranger could move, with feet rooted in place. Even if it were possible, there was no inclination to do so. “This world is dying,” she said, “and you’ll die with it.”

    “Yes,” the Sentinel replied. “The Hunger has touched this world. We could feel it in our bones the moment it happened, like a chill wind in an ancient tomb. That was when my vigil began. As it spread and began to consume the world, the worshippers dwindled. Some fell trying to fight it. Most fled to other worlds, to what little warmth lingers. I will not flee.” Their head turned back to its vigilant position, eyes no longer lingering on her. “I will watch this world die, as is my holy task in the Great Work. The Hunger will destroy this world, as every world. And on this world, it will destroy this temple last, because I will stand here and give what remains of my warmth, and my life, to this place. I will not abandon my post. I will stare down the Hunger as it devours everything around me. You are one of them, yes?” they asked Merlida. “Sent by the Gods to pick clean the bones of this place?”
    She replied, just above a whisper, a simple “Yes.”
    “Then I will guide you, as I guide the others. Tell me what you seek. I will be here when you return - if you return. It will be because of me that this world will not die alone.”

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  • Erweitern der visuellen Erzählkunst in Crowfall

    Crowfall is a game that doesn’t use the sort of traditional storytelling that’s common to role-playing games, i.e. usually executed via missions or cinematic moments. Instead, Crowfall uses “visual storytelling”, telling a story without the use of language or text.
    Visual Storytelling: Bringin Worlds To Life
    When you enter the worlds of Crowfall, you will quickly become aware of your role as an Eternal Champion in a dying world, fighting for the gods. However, how your personal story in the game unfolds is unique to you. This is similar to looking at a narrative painting or work of art and find that there is enough information visually to give you a sense of a story without needing words or an explanation behind it. Then, as a viewer, you put yourself into the image and create your own interpretation from the things you see.
    Often when viewing art we piece together a story in our minds that creates the context for what we are viewing based on our frame of reference, experiences and aspirations. In that way, we create a story in our mind that we “see” as part of that piece of art and because it is “our” story it is more personal and more meaningful.
    Visual storytelling in games is how we personalize the story to the player and give context to the greater narrative threads in the world that evolve as you play. Storytelling in Crowfall is different from other games in that we don’t have a single narrative that every player follows as they play. Crowfall features a dynamic world where many of the elements are responsive to player choices, actions and motivations. In this way, the game offers players the ability to be at the center of a series of unfolding events in a story that is given context by the players themselves.
    Up to this point in the development cycle, we’ve been focused on the essential systems that make up our core gameplay experience and proving out our procedural world generation technology. These systems are the foundation of our gameplay and create the playscape for our storytelling. Crowfall has deep and rich lore that connects the player to the creation of the universe and the events leading up to the current state of the dying worlds. We also have a pantheon of gods that assert their own influence over the Crows (players) and these worlds.
    Although many of the facets of the story may not be visible now, as we continue to evolve our world generation we will begin layering in more visual storytelling. This process will reveal our overarching storyline and introduce the influences that are impacting the Crowfall Universe. The goal is to create a living world that sets the stage for players to create their own stories and build their legacies.
    Ancient History: Connectin Players To The Gods
    The Crowfall universe was once completely uninhabited by anyone other than the Stoneborn, the children of Gaia and Kane. These firstborn sons erected monumental temples and structures in honor of the gods and created the first examples of architecture in these worlds.

    Temple Environment Concept
    Stoneborn temples and structures were built in reverence to the gods when no other beings yet existed. They are reflective of Crowfall’s ancient history and are a visual thread connecting players to the gods. These structures have withstood the test of time, but we see them now as ruins in the dying worlds as a result of the impact of the corruptive influence of the Hunger, the mysterious contagion that is spreading across the worlds.


    Concept of Ancient Stoneborn Ruins found in the World
    Recent History: What Existed Before The Worlds Became Corrupted
    In more recent history, other races and creatures have begun to inhabit these worlds and are leaving their marks on it. As you arrive as a Crow, the worlds are deteriorating, dying. With time running out, there are tribes and forces roaming the worlds in search of valuable relics and resources, valuable artifacts, left behind by the people who once inhabited these places.
    Recently, we saw the rise of the war tribes in the world, but aside from these tribes, there’s very little evidence of the people who originally populated and settled this world, peacefully or otherwise.
    Currently, through the efforts of both design work and art production we are building the gameplay and visual narrative to give context to those who were once here and to tell the story of these worlds. We have a lot of art that hasn’t been implemented yet into the game.
    We have a couple of ways of bringing this to fruition. Some world environment pieces, or “parcels”, utilize what we call data layers. These are layers of the world set design that are turned on and off to create a feeling of totally new gameplay areas. This is where art is able to do the most custom-crafted storytelling experience. Although we are limited by the boundaries of the parcel itself, within that parcel we can lay in props any way we choose. We’ve already begun using these data layers to set up the war tribe and military camps found in our most recent campaign worlds.
    If you’ve played in any of our recent factional wars or campaigns, you are familiar with the forts and keeps in the siege zones. Players find and use resources to build up these strongholds to a fully-constructed state to hold and contest over. Outside of the siege zones, it would make sense to see the ruins of, and to tell the story of, additional battles from years gone by.
    In this concept, you see some remains of an old stone wall that may have been the gate to a great city from the past. A caravan of some sort looks like it was traveling through the gate, maybe in an attempt to escape when war broke out. In any case, nature has started to reclaim the relics left behind, and we know that this must have happened a long time ago. We get the sense of a story of a world left in turmoil and ruin from an image like this one.

    The combinatory possibilities utilizing data layers within natural terrain parcels gives us many opportunities to create areas within the world that look and feel different and reinforce the narrative of a dying world. In one area, the parcel may be crafted with this type of set dressing in place, or it could be entirely natural and wild without any architectural remains.
    Some of these parcels may be built to contain multiple data layers that can be turned on or off for additional storytelling impact. We might have a village alongside a road that would become our base data layer set. Then we could turn on a layer that contains vines and moss covering the dilapidated houses to tell the story of a village that has long been abandoned. Or we might turn on the smoldering and charred layer with ransacked looking crates and wagons in the street to tell the story of a war tribe having passed through recently and left destruction in their wake. We can create this level of depth throughout the game worlds to build greater visual diversity and interest in the world, exposing a robust history unique to each world.
    In addition to the visual storytelling we are planning, we are also building variant designs for the layout of the forts and keeps. If you’ve been testing along with us you know that the current fort and keep layout is the same across all the worlds. We plan to start diversifying these areas to give a texture that connects the player to the world and the events that led to the current state. To complement these new layouts, we are also planning on adding in a variety of textures for the walls to add even more flavor and character.



    Final Notes
    We’ve been procedurally generating new maps for campaigns for months now. The worlds are evolving into unique and diverse areas that are interesting to explore.
    As a team, we’ve always wanted to push the look and feel of the world much further to add more depth that gives rise to the fact that there are mysteries that lie waiting to be uncovered. Now that some of the essentials for procedurally generating a world are in place, it’s time to add more visual storytelling into the mix in order to create a more immersive world that will connect the player to the history of the Crowfall universe and the lore and allows for a richer fabric on which players can create the war stories of Crowfall.

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  • Demnächst: Die Götter Prüfung (Update 5.90)

    The Trial of Ilara ended Thursday, May 2, with Balance claiming the final victory in what had shaped up to be a hotly-contested nail-biter.
    Naturally, the Crowfall community has been anxiously awaiting news about what’s coming next. As mentioned by Creative Director J. Todd Coleman in the ACE Q&A for May, we have not yet given our date on the start of the next trial as we are hard at work on The God Trials, update 5.90, our next release that’s coming right around the corner. We’re trying to leave ourselves a little bit of flexibility but we will give you notice of when the next trial campaign is coming.
    We are excited to share that our plan is to release The God Trials update to our TEST server next week. To ensure we get the benefit of your great feedback, we are hoping that you login to play on TEST. Those who spend four hours or more on TEST this month will receive the Sapphire tankard reward.

    As soon as the update moves to our LIVE playtest server, we will start a non-sanctioned, regular campaign on LIVE, running a few days to a week. This will not be a Trial of the Gods campaign.
    In short order, following the conclusion the non-sanctioned campaign, we’ll return our Crows to the challenge of facing the trials put before you by the gods, with the launch of our next Trial of the Gods campaign. So, prepare for an exciting next few weeks with lots of great gameplay heading your way.
    The God Trials milestone contains a number of very positive improvements that will enhance your gameplay experience as well as performance improvements.

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  • Fragen und Antworten: Mai 2019

    In der Mai 2019 Ausgabe der Fragen und Antworten erzählen Creative Director J. Todd Coleman und Design Director Thomas Blair über deren Visionen von kommenden Features, geben Einblicke zum Stand der Entwicklung und beantworten Fragen der Community.
     

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  • Der Kuss der Heiligen Jungfrau

    Book of Gifts, Chapter 5: 8 to 42
    8In the Year of the Eternal Spring, the creatures of the Faewood prepared a revelry in the name of their most beloved of gods, Cybele.
    9The festival was filled with feasting and song, dancing and drink. 10There was no place for the measure of time as the Virgin Goddess frolicked and flirted among her people. 11Days melted away into weeks, and the weeks were lost in the dream. 12The wine was endless for 13Cybele would not let her children want for refreshment.
    14On the twenty-second day, there appeared among the gaiety a wild goat, a cow, and a turkey. 15They passed into the throng of revelers and 16were welcomed with the glee and encouragement afforded old friends.
    17The turkey, upon seeing the face of the Virgin Goddess among them, 18was so enraptured by her exquisiteness that he sought to gain her favor. 19Surely would she be impressed by his feats of beauty! 20He fanned his tail and did strut, capturing the attention of many by the size and shape of his feathers. 21But Cybele found entertainment in the theater of her people, and did pay the conceited turkey no mind.
    22The cow, too, did fall enamored by Cybele and, too, sought to gain her favor. 23Surely she would she be impressed by her feats of strength! 24And so did she lumber about, moving rocks thrice her size and felling trees with her head. 25But Cybele found joy in her drink, and did pay the boisterous cow no mind.

    26The goat did not notice Cybele, for never had he been invited to such a fanciful party! 27Crowns of flowers were placed upon his horns, flagons of mead were proffered of which he  heartily partook. 28The citizens of the Faewood braided his beard and took up his two front hooves so that they might dance with him. 29The goat, enchanted and giddy, balanced himself, dancing and cavorting of his own accord. 30The festival parted as the goat careened to and fro to the music, first on his hind legs and then on his fore. Every eye watched the creature and 31upon every lip was a jubilant cry, 32for none had seen such a sight in the Faewood. Cybele, herself, let out an elated squeal.
    33More and more flagons were brought out to encourage the goat. 34Very soon, he had lacked the balance to walk and the capacity to dance, 35and sooner still lacked the strength even to stand. He faltered, and did plunge into a fountain of wine with enough force to douse the nearby revelers.
    36Delighted by his earnest drunken love of life, 37Cybele drew up the sodden goat in her arms and placed a holy kiss upon his forehead. 38His body did alter; his eyes grew bright and his beard grew soft. 39With a kiss she gave him the gift of sentience, and 40from this gift was born the Race of Satyrs who would be forever loyal to their most Holy Maiden Goddess.
    41And on this day, the longest gloaming in Summertide, our friend the Satyr gained his voice.  We mark this as the Day of Reverie, 42which our Lady would have us celebrate yearly with a feast of wine, steak, and breast of roast fowl.

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  • Es werde Licht

    Visual aesthetics are a big part of players being able to immerse themselves in the Crowfall® world and that requires the right lighting. So, we came up with a few bright ideas.
    Typically to achieve great lighting, most games will bake their light information into the scene. This allows the scene to benefit from complex lighting calculations utilizing customized light setups, global illumination and light probes to cast color from bounced light onto objects and characters in the scene.
    Ein einzigartige Herausforderung
    Crowfall’s worlds are procedurally generated. Everything in the world— including the terrain itself—is dynamic, spawned in or destroyed by the players. This presents a unique challenge since we don’t know exactly where all of the terrain elements and props will end up. We could bake the terrain by itself, but all other objects such as trees, rocks, buildings and props would be considered dynamic and would not benefit from the baked lighting. They would need a different lighting solution to help illuminate them in the same way.
    After carefully weighing our options, we decided that the best choice was a fully-dynamic solution. There would still be some challenges to resolve, but it was a good starting point.
    Dynamische Belichtung
    A fully-dynamic solution can be expensive when you are trying to achieve the same look as baked lighting; however, our day/night cycle and seasons are a big part of the strategy game. We wanted to ensure we could accommodate those as well.
    We started by looking at some of the plugin solutions available for Unity. Eventually, we landed on one that gave us the dials we wanted and included some interesting looks for different times of day, weather settings and the ability to trigger different conditions based on location.

    This is an image taken from the game using only the single directional light. This is what you have been seeing in the game during pre-alpha.
    Eine Lösung für die Belichtung
    Through trial and experimentation, we found the right solution that met our goals. The new approach gave us a larger span of control over the changing dynamics around time of day and weather. It also provided the ability to control the color and intensities of things like the light, sky, scattering colors and fog over the course of the day and even the season(s), all of which are instrumental in bringing our game world to life for our players.
    Additionally, we were able to add a second directional light to create depth and variation over the course of the day in tandem with the sun’s color and intensity. This approach gives our team more custom control in tuning the lighting than we had before while still maintaining good performance and delivering on the quality of experience we want to deliver for players.
    Solving the lighting challenges and others like it are a standard part of developing a game. Design, tech and art teams all work together to build and deliver a holistic experience that hits the quality bar we are trying to achieve for players. I am elated by the path we have chosen and now that we have the tools solidified, I’m eager to see where we can take it once we start incorporating seasonal and biome changes to the environment.

    This image is taken at the exact same time of day as the image above. Note the slight bit of rim lighting on the bottom of her body and the overall color and illumination boost from the ambient light.
    Und immer weiter
    This is not the finish line for our work with lighting. (Of course, the Art team is never content!) I will be making a pass to enhance the depth and visual fidelity by continuing to tune the camera post-processing to dial in on the color grading, bloom, depth of field, etc. I’ve also started working on integrating painted skyboxes painted up for me by our concept lead, Dave G!
    As Todd, our creative director and co-founder, was looking over my shoulder reviewing the lighting at different times of day, he asked me to see how far we could push the darkest night visibility while still maintaining illumination on your character and immediate surroundings. It was pretty cool and I look forward to working on that element of the project next. You may see that pop up at some point as we continue to refine our game lighting.


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