We’re finally making the transition on the web to logging in *only* with your email today. This means that your username will no longer work for web logins. Soon we’ll be making the same change to the CrowfallUpdate and client, too. This will make everyone’s accounts more secure. As an additional security measure, we recommend the use of two-factor authentication (2FA) as well.
In Crowfall® playtest news, we have recently sent testing invitations to backers with Contributor pledge packages and Beta 2 test group members (so far this includes the Contributor backers during Kickstarter through 3/17/15). By the end of March, anyone who’s purchased a Contributor package with Beta 2 test group access will be invited into testing (e.g. all early backers will then have access to testing).
On April 1st (no joke!), the current 2017 Contributor package will be replaced with a Patron pledge package costing $49 that includes Beta 3 test group access. These new Patron purchasers will not be in early access until we open Beta 3. (We believe Beta 3 will open within a few months, but as always, we cannot make any promises). If you want to get into the test at the Beta 2 test group level, be sure to grab a 2017 Contributor pledge package before they go away!
Last but not least, we plan to transition the game servers to 24x7 uptime within a couple of months. When that happens, we’ll also bring up a new "Testing Environment" that will be separate from the current game universe. The purpose of this Test Environment will be to give us a way to stage new changes for our testing audience (which is now over 15,000 invited players) without interrupting the 24x7 service.
For those of you who are familiar with live MMOs, this process should look familiar: the "Live" environment will have 24x7 availability and will typically host a more stable version of the game. The "test" environment will be up (and down) on a more sporadic basis, and this is where we will try the newest (and rawest) changes.
The Test Environment will follow the invite plan that we've had in place since our first Hunger Dome testing: Whenever significant new functionality comes online, we will wipe the environment and start by inviting our Pre-Alpha 1 test group, followed by the Pre-Alpha 2 test group, followed by the Alpha1 test group and so on. The goal will be to stage players into the functionality over time to ensure that it is playable and stable for an ever-increasing player load. Once the changes have been properly tested in the Test Environment, with an appropriate number of players, the changes will be migrated over to the "Live Environment” for the larger test audience (i.e. Pre-Alpha 1 test group all the way through Beta 2 test group).
Those of who are more development-minded will recognize this step for what it is: Another in a series of steps necessary to move us from being a pure "development shop" to being a "live MMO" company!
As always, thank you for supporting the development and vision of Crowfall, and we'll see you in game!
J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton
Co-Founders, ArtCraft Entertainment