It's been a little over a year since we last looked at the crowdfunded MMO Crowfall, when we said that it had come a long way since the early days of 2015. And so it has again, as developer ArtCraft Entertainment revealed two new trailers showcasing major upgrades to the game's graphics and lighting, as well as a complete overhaul of the character system that will uncouple races and classes.
Crowfall developers worked "directly" with Unity engineers to upgrade the game's visual quality and performance. "We have spent the last few months overhauling our lighting system, and the results speak for themselves," ArtCraft president and executive producer Gordon Walton said. "I have no doubt that our current backers, and our future players, will be delighted by this significant leap forward."
The trailer revealing the revamped graphics looks awfully good, but it's the elimination of "archetypes" that will have the real impact on gameplay. When work first began on Crowfall, the team opted to tie race and class together to help keep development costs down. But its ongoing success with both crowdfunding—Crowfall currently has roughly 40,000 backers—and private fundraising has enabled an expansion of the system that will give players a far greater degree of flexibility.
"Originally, the choice of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do were locked, so if I wanted to be an Assassin I had to be a Fey, if I wanted to be a Frostweaver I had to be a Moon Elf," ArtCraft co-founder and creative director J. Todd Coleman explains in the video. "We've overcome that cost limitation, and we're announcing today for the first time that races and classes are now separate."
And the changes won't be merely cosmetic: Coleman cited as an example a Centaur Knight, whose passive—as a Centaur—would previously have been locked as a leap forward. But as a Knight, players will have the option of assigning the right-click trigger to either the leap forward, or the Shield Block ability of Knights. "So if I play a Fey, I'm going to get wings," he said. "If I play a Guinecean, I'm going to be able to burrow regardless of what class I choose."
The graphical upgrade trailer is above, while the "Adios, Archetypes" video can be seen below. Crowfall is currently in pre-alpha testing, but is available for purchase as a (very) early access release at crowfall.com.