Crowfall’s Founder Update on Strongholds
The original plan during Crowfall’s kickstarter was to build strongholds directly into the land parcels. Players could craft a castle or a keep (or buy them, for Eternal Kingdoms) and it would come ‘pre-built’ on a parcel of land. The template was set, and players would use buildings to customize their parcel.
Those of you who played Shadowbane or Galaxies will remember that, when given the choice, they always try to make our city building designs as flexible as possible. In this case, the Crowfall team didn’t love the idea of strongholds based on templates, but it seemed to be a reasonable compromise given both technology and resource constraints.
As they started on this system,they were presented with new information. The team found a way to move back to a modular system – allowing both the designers AND the players to customize these strongholds from the ground up. Once they realized that the system was not as expensive or painful as we expected, they changed the plan and announced it to all of us backers and founders.
The design payoff for player-customized castles and keeps is HUGE, so they have fully embraced the modular approach to castle building.
You’ve seen a lot of this stuff in action: the modular pieces were created originally in Hunger Dome, then modified to allow for destruction in Siege Perilous. While neither of these is a perfect ‘reference stronghold’, they do provide a great sense of scale. These aren’t fortified houses; they are massive structures designed for guild and kingdom defense.
All strongholds will have a key central building surrounded by various defensive walls and elements, all of which are destructible. The current group of strongholds in order of size and scope are: fort, keep, castle, citadel and imperial palace.
Two major things are happening soon with Crowfall…
First, The dev team are reminding everyone they are retiring the Kickstarter and 2015 Strongholds as of the end of August. They will no longer be available for sale (or upgrade) on the website as of September 1st. These Kickstarter and 2015 stronghold variants are only available to people whose pledge package is either a Kickstarter or 2015 pledge package respectively. That means they will only be in the store until the end of August and during that time they will remain at current prices.
Secondly, they are announcing the price changes for the 2016 Strongholds which will also go into effect on September 1st, 2016. Prices for the strongholds are rising significantly to reflect their new functionality and gameplay, so now is the time to pledge for a 2016 stronghold (or upgrade one you already own) before the end of August.
Current strongholds will be converted into new stronghold bundles that include all of the new functionality. Therefore, if you bought (or buy) a stronghold prior to end of the month–for example a 2016 Large Fort–it will be converted into a bundle of items including the parcel of land, a central building (a lodge) and a collection of modular pieces (palisade walls, towers, etc.) that you can use to build the structure as originally shown or you can mix and match with other pieces to create something unique.
This same conversion will happen for ALL of our previous strongholds, as well.
Once the dev team start testing the crafting and placement system, anything that you purchased for your Eternal Kingdom will be available for your use in the playtests and will be restored to your account at the end of every test.
The upside to these changes is that this will make all previous Gold and above packages (for Kickstarter, 2015 and 2016) MUCH more valuable as the strongholds contained within them were underpriced – and with more flexibility, individual pieces can be used and reused (and reused…) to drastically extend their shelf life.
Current FAQ on this Topic as of 8/17/2016
Can strongholds be crafted?
Yes. Any building or piece of a stronghold that can be purchased or received as a pledge package reward can also be crafted using in-game resources. This includes the strongholds and all their elements.
What does the “Kickstarter/2015/2016” mean in front of the package name?
The designation of Kickstarter/2015/2016 on strongholds relates to when the bundle (or pledge reward) was originally purchased/pledged. These packages are functionally identical, but include a unique ‘skin’ (cosmetic look) applied to the central stronghold building. This is one of the benefits of pledging early, as early pledgers get access to these unique-looking stronghold buildings and can show them off as evidence of being an early backer, collect them or trade them with other players.
Are the buildings modular?
The buildings (such as the lodge or a tavern) are not modular in the same manner as castle walls and towers. Defenses can be created out of ‘snappable’ parts (much like Legos), and players can move them around to create any combination of defensive structures. Buildings, however, will have a set footprint and while we hope to include a high degree of customization, it won’t be to the same degree as the castle walls, gates and towers. (In other words, the dev team aren’t providing floor and wall segments to allow players to build a house from the ground up.)
Crowfall Live! Encore: Creating Castle Modules
In this encore video from the Crowfall Live! event on July 19, Art Director Melissa Preston presents an overview of the modular pieces players can use to create unique strongholds.