Your favorite associate producer, Max Lancaster, is back to tell you more about how Eternal Kingdoms will work in upcoming Crowfall® tests. Rejoice!
Last week, I talked about in-game building placement. In Tuesday’s write-up, I walked players through parcel placement using the EK Editor tool. Today, I’m going to talk about how players will be able to boot up and manage their kingdoms in an early test environment.
When EK’s go live in our pre-alpha in the near future, returning testers should see a familiar lobby when they log into the game. A prompt should appear showing a list of parcel and building deeds that players are entitled to based on their purchases from the Crowfall Store. As noted in previous news updates, accepting these deeds will transfer them to the spirit bank. (And remember, purchased items cannot be brought into Campaign Worlds, they can only be brought into Eternal Kingdoms!)
This lobby does have one key difference from the previous version: a “Launch Kingdom” button will now be prominently displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen. Can you guess what that does? If you guessed that it launches your kingdom, you’re correct! As mentioned in a previous update, this button will be active (or inactive) based on your testing entitlement. Currently, BuilderWorld is available only to the Pre-Alpha 1 and Pre-Alpha 2 test groups. This is in keeping with our process to roll out new functionality starting with those groups and then adding then the Alpha 1 test group, Alpha 2, etc.
Before I dive into what happens when you press that button, I want to mention that the lobby you see now won’t be here very long. Our UX Lead Billy Garretsen has been working on a more dynamic prototype capable of supporting the vast number of persistent worlds we intend to roll out over the next few months. The new lobby design will look quite similar, but offer a lot more flexibility to expand as we move into launch (and beyond).
We’ll talk more about the new lobby in a future update, but here is a quick preview. As currently designed, the new lobby will present navigation options on the left (in a tree structure) and dynamically update the content on the right based on that navigation. We are also experimenting with various tile systems to represent worlds (both kingdoms and campaigns) and “hot bar” or “quick link” areas to give you easy access to your personal kingdoms, kingdoms you visited recently, and campaigns you are currently subscribed to. Note: This is just a mockup, so don’t read too much into the number of campaigns or kingdoms that are displayed.
Clicking on a tile will expand a slider that might tell you the remaining campaign length, your vassal rank in a kingdom, or whatever other important information we feel you need to have before entering the world.
We expect this new lobby to come online in the near future, so we’ll talk more about it later. For now, let’s go back to Kingdom Management in this first iteration.
YOUR PERSONAL KINGDOM
As I said before: if you have the correct testing entitlement, the Launch button will be active. Once you click the Launch Kingdom button, you will automatically enter your personal EK in the same manner that you would any other world.
For this first round of testing, we are locking the kingdoms to Monarch-only. DON’T WORRY! We will turn on the ability for friends and guildmates to enter as soon as we can. As with all features, it’s best to test a new system in stages. Our ultimate vision for Eternal Kingdoms is unchanged; we envision the Eternal Kingdoms as major market areas, guild worlds and social hubs. They should be centers of trade, commerce, guild negotiations or even private battles (if the PVP flag is raised).
But like all feature rollouts, it is always best to start small.
DESIGNING YOUR KINGDOM
Once you enter your kingdom and enter a vessel, you won’t find a lot of land to explore since, initially, every kingdom only contains a single 1x1 parcel with a temple.
The first thing you’ll want to do is add some land to your EK to give you some room to play with. To do this:
- Open your spirit bank and pull some parcels into your inventory
- Hit ESCAPE to bring up the Account Menu
- Click the Edit Kingdom button to enter the Kingdom Editor tool
- Drop some parcels into your burgeoning kingdom. (Details in my last update, here)
- Hit Submit to finalize changes to your kingdom
You can repeat this process to refine your kingdom. Every time you hit Submit, you should see the changes reflected immediately in the 3D world.
** Note 1: You cannot currently move the one-cell starting temple parcel since it is needed to spawn you into the world. Eventually, we will allow you to move it, but will always require you to have at least one temple installed in your EK before you hit Submit.
** Note 2: To kick off the EK rollout, we are setting the limit for kingdom size at a 5x5 cell grid. That might not sound very big, but remember that each cell is roughly 65,536 m2 so it’s actually a pretty big area to start. We’ll increase this grid size as we add more parcels, buildings and testers into the system. (Again: always start small!)
Next, you can start to drop buildings and castles on those parcels. Once more, pull these (as deeds) into your inventory from your spirit bank to drop them in your world (as explained here).
As a reminder, parcels have a limited number of tokens which act as a “weight limit”; this will restrict how many buildings you can put on a single parcel. Right now, those parcel limits are set artificially high. You can expect them to come down as we shift from “testing” the core system to “playtesting” the stronghold rules.
- Private Eternal Kingdoms are coming for the first time ever, and in the very near future! Only the Pre-Alpha 1 and 2 test groups will have access in the first round of testing, and these worlds will initially be set to Monarch-Only. Our plan is to allow you to bring in visitors (and vassals) very soon once the system is online.
- For those who lack the proper entitlements, or are simply uninterested in testing Eternal Kingdoms, Campaign Worlds will be open for testing, as well.
- Our lobby is getting a facelift, and the new version will make an appearance in the next couple weeks.
Very exciting times! Thanks for reading, and as always, let us know what you think in the forums.
See you in the Dying Worlds,
Associate Producer, ArtCraft Entertainment