It’s me, Max Lancaster, back to give you another update on our plans for Eternal Kingdoms in Crowfall®.
Last Thursday, we released an update on how in-game building placement would work, including general overviews of deed imports, parcel “weight limits” and ownership, and the socketing system. If you missed it or need a refresher, you can read that update here.
This week we’re zooming out from building on the world to building the world itself. In Crowfall, you can design your dream kingdom from the ground up (literally!) by stitching together parcels using the EK Editor Tool.
Below, I’ll explain how the pre-alpha EK Editor Tool currently works.
IMPORTING DEEDS FROM YOUR WEB ACCOUNT
Importing parcel deeds is functionally the same as importing building deeds. Player accounts will be checked for parcel entitlements when they log in and, subsequently, players will be presented with a list of available imports. Once accepted, the items are moved into the player’s spirit bank. Purchased items cannot be imported into Campaign Worlds, but they can be used in Eternal Kingdoms, assuming you have the right to modify it. (There is no reason to import parcels into Campaign Worlds anyway since you can’t change the map!)
TRANSFERRING ITEMS FROM THE SPIRIT BANK
Once the parcels are in a player’s spirit bank, they can be pulled over into a player inventory after the player enters an Eternal Kingdom. 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. As with building deeds (covered last week), they are normal game items at this point. That means the same caveat applies: Parcel deeds 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!)
MONARCHS AND PARCEL PLACEMENT
Presently, only the EK owner, referred to henceforth as the monarch, can transform the landscape through the EK Editor tool. Eventually, the monarch will be able to grant his/her vassals the ability to modify the kingdom (or not!) They will also be able to kick or ban players from their kingdoms. (We will elaborate on kingdom management in a future update, coming very soon!)
If players have monarch-status and parcel deeds in their inventory, they will be able to access the EK Editor tool through the Escape menu (button location subject to change) by pressing the ESC key and then clicking Edit Kingdom. The tool will then detect parcel deeds in the player’s inventory and display them on a hotbar at the bottom of the screen. From there, players can simply drag-and-drop parcels onto the world grid of their Eternal Kingdoms.
At this point you are in “edit mode”. Changes that are made will not be reflected in the actual 3D world until you “Submit” those changes, so feel free to drag and drop Parcels from the hotbar to the grid, and to move already-placed parcels around on the grid by dragging them around. The selected parcel can also be rotated by pressing the “Rotate” buttons in the bottom-right corner of the screen. They can also be returned to your inventory by selecting them and pressing the red “Remove” button, or by hitting the Backspace key. Shift-clicking on multiple parcels groups them together, and they can then be moved/rotated/removed as if they were a single unit.
The camera can be rotated 90 degrees at a time by clicking the Camera Rotate icons in the upper left corner of the screen. The arrow under the camera icon always points north to help you keep your bearings.
Once you have arranged the world the way you want it, you can click “Submit” in the upper left-hand corner, and the game will process your modified landscape in real-time. Currently, we allow you to change your world terrain without having to kick players off or reboot your kingdom. We hope to maintain this functionality going forward, but we’ll have to see how this goes in testing.
PARCEL PLACEMENT RULES
A few rules related to building your kingdom:
- Parcels cannot overlap one another. This will cause the submission process to fail and your changes to the EK will be reset.
- There MUST always be at least one temple parcel in your EK at any given time. To start, we are placing a permanent and static temple parcel in the center of all player kingdoms. In the future, we will likely allow players to move this parcel wherever they like -- but you can’t submit a world that doesn’t have at least one temple. This is necessary to support player spawn/respawn.
- Parcels do not have to be connected to the mainland to be submitted, but know that any that are disconnected from the mainland may be impossible to access right now.
- If you move a parcel, all of the item(s) contained on it will move with it.
This last point warrants further discussion, so let’s talk about it in detail...
PARCELS AND BUILDINGS
A natural next question is, “What happens if I move a parcel that has buildings (or players) on it?”
The technical answer is that when the player hits Submit, the game recognizes that a change in the landscape is occurring. It then determines which players/buildings are on the affected parcel(s), then moves everything en masse. If a parcel is rotated, all of the buildings and players will be kept in the same relative position(s) to each other. So, if a player was facing a gate that was due north, and that gate is now due east, the player will still be facing the gate (but relative to the world, they will now be facing due east).
This is done in real-time. As a player, you might see the parcels around you change when an edit is made (or you are moved). There are no special FX or transitions that happen right now -- the world simply corrects itself around you.
As with buildings, we’ll start with a subset of the parcels we expect to have available at launch. And, just like buildings, don’t be concerned about “using up” your parcels prior to launch; whenever we do a test reset, you’ll get back any parcels that you might have placed or (somehow) lost.
Please note that once a parcel has been imported into the playtest, it will be marked as USED on your account, and you will not be able to gift that parcel to another account until the next test reset.
For those of you who have been following us for a while, the EK Editor tool should look familiar. We have demoed versions of it in livestreams several times over the past few months and have used it ourselves to generate the worlds you’ve been playing in during our weekend tests.
Now, the tool is almost ready to be put in the hands of our testers to build our first player-owned Eternal Kingdoms, and it’s coming soon to Crowfall’s live testing environment.
Stay tuned for more updates! As always, thanks for reading and let us know what you think in the forums.
Max LancasterAssociate Producer, ArtCraft Entertainment