Crowfall aims to tap the best elements of MMORPGs, action combat games and strategy games and blend them together into a cohesive play experience. In pre-alpha so far, we’ve invested a lot of time in the MMO and action components. In the last few months, we’ve shifted gears to include another major pillar of our vision: building kingdoms, cities and castles.
Building placement gets us one (big) step closer to the ultimate goal: player-run kingdoms that lend a feeling of persistence and permanence to our game universe. In our upcoming tests, players will be able to build their own strongholds to act as guild housing and serve as public markets to form the foundation of our player-driven economy.
Below, I’ll explain how our earliest public prototype of building placement will work.
Before they are placed in the world, buildings in Crowfall exist as deeds that can be stored in your inventory or spirit bank. Eventually these will be crafted, but in their first appearance in playtesting, deeds will enter the game via a new interface that allows you to import (some of) your crowdfunding rewards.
IMPORTING DEEDS FROM YOUR WEB ACCOUNT
When players log into the lobby, individuals with the Pre-Alpha 1 backer reward will see a list of deed entitlements that they can claim. Once they accept, those deeds will be moved into their Spirit Banks.
A few notes:
As with all of our tests, we’ll include more test groups in this process in ‘waves’, starting with the Pre-Alpha 1 test group, then Pre-Alpha 2, then Alpha 1, etc. (This FAQ explains how to find out which test group you’re in if you aren’t sure.)
NOT ALL OF THE BUILDING KITS ARE IN THE GAME! We started with a relatively limited set of building parts for testing. Players will receive “packs” that contain some, but not all, of the parts and pieces that they will eventually receive.
Currently, the Fort (small, medium, large) and Keep (small, medium, large) packs will be available on login.
The “attachable pieces” (merlons on top of the walls, torches and banners, etc.) are not available yet. In some cases (such as merlons) we pre-attached these to the walls, but in most cases they will be coming later.
MOST IMPORTANT: Redeeming these items right now will NOT cause you to “lose” them later. At various times we will re-start the test, and whenever that happens we will RESET all of the rewards on your account so that you can import them again for the next round of testing. Feel free to test without fear of losing anything!
NOTE: Once you redeem a purchase in the lobby, that purchase will be marked as USED in the current test. You will NOT be able to gift that purchase to another account until the next test reset!
TRANSFERRING DEEDS FROM YOUR SPIRIT BANK
After purchased assets have been imported into the Spirit Bank, they can then be imported into any Kingdom. Note that because these are purchased items they cannot be imported into Campaign Worlds.
The process for importing these into a kingdom is the same as any other item. Simply open your Spirit Bank and drag the item(s) into your empty inventory slots. At this point, they are just normal game items. That means they can be traded, dropped, placed in containers and even lost on death, so be careful! (The test kingdoms are set to PvE so don’t go near any monsters and you won’t be in danger of losing them!)
Once the deeds have been transferred, players can right-click on them from the inventory to enter “Build Mode” and place their corresponding buildings.
Build Mode is basically a “placement mode” for the selected asset. I’m going to use the term “Building” for convenience, but this term refers not just to buildings like houses and great halls, but also to defensive structures like palisades, walls, towers, etc. When you enter build mode, the camera will zoom out and show a ghostly blue placement preview. (If for some reason the asset does not appear in your view, hit ENTER to re-center it.)
This “ghost item” can be moved around the world using the following controls:
Move (forward, left, back, right) – W,A,S,D
Rotate (counterclockwise or clockwise) – Q,E
Adjust Height (raise, lower) – R,T
Zoom Camera In/Out – Scroll Mouse Wheel
Place – Left Click
Exit / Cancel Placement – Escape (x2)
Enter/Return – Re-center the ghosted object to my current target location.
The color of the ghosted building will tell you if the current placement is valid (or not).
Red transparency = Invalid placement. Cannot use left-click to place the item here.
Blue transparency = Valid placement. Left click will place the item here.
Gold transparency = Valid placement. Left-click will place the item here, AND “socket” it to connected asset seamlessly.
Buildings cannot be placed across multiple parcels (parcel edges are illustrated by spectral green walls). If placed on top of a tree, rock or other terrain feature, that feature will be removed automatically prior to placement. Removing the building will cause those item(s) to reappear at the next respawn cycle.
Building placement will enforce collision rules with other buildings (meaning you can’t drop a wall through the middle of a house).
BUILDING SIZES AND PARCEL WEIGHT LIMITS
Each building has a “size” (small, medium, large, etc.).
Parcels have weight limits for any given size; a city can hold more “large” buildings than a hamlet. While in placement mode, you can see the number of allowed buildings of each size at the top of the screen. If a parcel already has too many buildings of that size (i.e. the parcel is at full capacity for buildings of that size), you will not be able to place any more buildings of that size in this parcel.
For testing purposes, we have set the weight limits very high for ALL building sizes in ALL parcels. This will be changed later.