In our unending quest to create a dynamic, innovative game, the design team has offered up a new FAQ for Crowfall fans to pick over: Campaign Modules. This overview sheds a lot of light on the how modifications in configurations and rulesets will keep things fresh and challenging.
And what’s a campaign without a hero? The Templar has become a sort of poster girl for Crowfall. Watch as Lead Artist Dave Greco talks us through a time-lapsed video as he masterfully details this iconic image.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS | CAMPAIGN MODULES1. WHAT DETERMINES THE RULES OF A CAMPAIGN?
There are many different options that have to be defined in order to determine the rules in each Campaign. The idea is that, at any time, there will be MANY Campaigns running in each of the “World Bands”, with new Campaigns constantly being brought online as old Campaigns come to an end. (The exact number of concurrent Campaigns will obviously depend on the size of our player population!)
When it comes to changes that can be made to the Campaigns, you can think of them as being broken into TWO major categories: ATTRIBUTES and MODULES.
Attributes are basically configuration settings.
There is a baseline set of Campaign rules that are common across all Campaigns. These attributes MUST be set in order to run a Campaign. Think of these as the simple (but highly impactful!) settings that are “dialed in” at the beginning of each Campaign. This includes settings like:
● Map Size: How large is the world?
● Duration: How long does each season last? How long does the entire Campaign last? What triggers the end of the Campaign?
● Import/Export Rules: How much stuff can be brought in and out of the world, and when?
● Magic Level: How powerful are the different types of magic?
● Archetype Restrictions: Is this Campaign restricted to only certain archetypes?
● Resource Scarcity: What is the population of resources available on this world, by type (common, uncommon, rare?)
● Death Penalties: When a player dies, do their items decay? If so, how much? What are the looting rules on death?
Modules are more complicated, self-contained rulesets. These are more than just changes to the baseline configuration variables; they are “supplemental systems and content” that can be layered on top of the base Campaign rules to augment (or completely replace) existing systems.
(If you are an old-school tabletop gamer, think of these as supplemental rulesets, like the “Unearthed Arcana” rulebook for AD&D. You can play the base game without them but, when included, they add additional rules and systems to make the game more interesting. You could also think of them as Game Mods, but it’s not a perfect comparison, as these are being created by ACE not by the player community.)
For example, in the future we could create modules that…
- Change the Siege rules (We’ve hinted at this already, with the announcement of the BaneCircle stretch goal!)
- Add a new type of caravan -- like aerial transportation (Picture WoW-style gryphon rides, only with mounts that can be knocked out of the sky with projectiles!)
- Add a “divine summoning” system, where a team can perform a complicated ritual to summon one of the Gods to wreak havoc on a Campaign world
…these systems could be added as supplemental Modules, overriding or augmenting the existing game rules in unique and crazy ways.
These modules can be used in any of the “World Bands” (i.e. God’s Reach, Dregs, etc.), though we expect that, in practice, they will often be restricted to one or two – as most of the ones we are thinking of are meant to augment a particular type of game experience.
Modules allow us to make vastly different play experiences, even within Campaigns of the same type and will allows players to pick Campaigns that further suit their playstyle.
This system also allows our design team to take some risks and try out some ideas that would never be possible in a traditional MMO. Settings that work (and are fun!) can be repeated, and ones that are not as much fun can be retired. 2. BETWEEN ATTRIBUTES AND MODULES, THAT’S A LOT OF OPTIONS! ARE THERE DEFAULT CAMPAIGN SETTINGS?
Absolutely! This is what the “World Bands” are for. Generally, if you know the type of Campaign you enjoy, you can use the World Bands as a way to start your search. The first question you should ask is, “What kind of team do I want to play on?” and start looking at Campaigns of the appropriate type.
Team selection rules will remain constant within a Band. (For example, the God’s Reach Campaigns will always use the 3-Faction Rules.) Attributes and Modules can (and will!) change from one Campaign to the next, even within that Band.
For each Band, we will determine a default combination of Attributes (and modules) from the options available, and use that as a baseline for every Campaign in that Band. Then we’ll vary those settings a bit for each new Campaign we create… and then we will track the popularity of that Campaign against all the others so that we adjust new Campaign settings accordingly. The idea is to figure out which combinations of Attributes and Modules are the most fun, learn from our mistakes, and use this process of trial-and-error to constantly improve the game.
Also note that these settings will be CLEARLY indicated prior to Campaign selection, so players will know what type of game they are getting into prior to joining. 3. HOW DO YOU FORESEE COMBATING QUEUE TIMES WITH SO MANY WORLD VARIABLES?
Crowfall is built using a responsive universe architecture that reacts to our playerbase. There will always be new Campaigns to join (as many Campaigns as our community supports!) From time to time, a specific combination of modifiers may not be initially available, (because there is a minimum population required to support a given World) but we will certainly give you the opportunity to “request” specific Campaigns (with a particular combination of Modules) and if enough players are interested, we are happy to host more Campaigns of that type! 4. WILL YOU BE TRYING OUT DIFFERENT ATTRIBUTES AND MODULES OVER TIME?
As long as we can continue to support the game service, yes! We would love nothing better than to keeping adding new Attributes and trying out new Modules, as we believe this will keep the game fresh and innovative. In fact, it should make the game evolve over time, more than we have ever seen in an MMO.