So I have a few hours under my belt with Crowfall. I've experienced a lot of the content and done what I have wanted to do. I have gotten countless friends to try out the free trial and we tried it together. So how does it stack up compared to the reviews? It seems like a highly heated debate about the game. For me personally, it remains something I am excited to play... maybe just not right now.
Crowfall is an MMORPG where a persistent campaign. Each Campaign will last a certain amount of time, and your characters are locked into that campaign. You can get them out if you really need to, but you should finish your campaign out if you can. The game plays as a mainly PvP game. You can tell within hours that is the true focus of Crowfall. You play as a Crow, no not the bird. You are much more than that. Y0u have the ability to change your vessel and become something else. Mostly it boils down to having one character slot with multiple classes attached to it. All your characters will share your name, but the races and classes can all be different.
The game is an action MMO. There is no tab targeting in the game which is amazing. I am so tired of tab-target MMOs anymore. The technology can push such great combat. Really just look over at Black Desert. The combat in that game is so damn smooth I literally play it just for the combat. That's not to say it doesn't have issues, but I feel that Black Desert still leads the pack when it comes to combat. Crowfall can't compete with Black Desert when it comes to the combat, but it's not bad. The animations and such just seem to lack power. Think of a game where you swing your sword at something, and when you connect it really feels like you just slammed that monster. Crowfall's combat feels quite floating to me. It doesn't seem to have an impact when you hit things.
I know I'll get a million people telling me I am wrong on this, and I hope I am. The class balance is absolute trash. I literally can not comprehend why you would play anything other than the beefy boys in small skirmish PvP. The amount of damage they can put out while having multiple gap closers, and MASSIVE damage is unreal. I tried playing the Frostweaver. Every single time what happens is they leap over my ice, and then proceed to stay on top of me. I get away and they just leap again. I even got lucky and funneled into a small area and promptly got hit for 5k damage. I had about 8k health. The highest I have ever hit is 1.5k on a monster. He leaped onto me and hit me for 5k damage. Did I mention his damage was AOE? Why would I play mages in the small skirmishes? Why should I have to play in zerg v zerg combat to play a mage?
Like I said before I could be wrong and maybe this is a scenario where I should just "git gud", but from talking with the community it seems like I am right. There is a lot easier time with some of the melee classes in smaller PvP. It really makes me sad, I was hoping there would be different archetypes in each of the types of PvP. The classes that are doing well definitely have a great feel to them. The classes have so much potential. I think another year of time focusing on the classes will have some really good balance.
Crowfall has a very in-depth crafting system that you really won't understand unless you put a lot of time into learning. Necromancy itself is the most difficult one, and I really don't think you can do it yourself. That's not a huge issue in itself since this is a guild game. You really should be joining a guild for this game. Solo isn't really a thing that the game is balanced around. Luckily there is a 3rd party tool that you can use. The crafting calc is a godsend for trying to craft your items. You're going to need to watch some youtube videos to really get a good grip. Dilbo Dabbins has some really good content. I really would recommend watching the video he has for new players.
The amount of PvE content is pretty low right now. I was really hoping for more group PvE content. Such as dungeons and world bosses. The Exp in this game isn't split like most games. So if you are killing monsters that give you 100 exp per kill solo, and then your 3 best friends log on and join you. The same monsters you're killing will each give you 100 exp. So it's much faster to level in groups since you can do massive pulls. The only issue is there isn't really a group grinding spot. Even as a solo class (depending on your class) you can do big pulls yourself. With a group and healers there isn't any PvE challenge.
The only challenge is not dying when you're ganked. The gankers really have zero risk as well. If you kill them they drop nothing but stuff in their inventory. Since they were ganking you it's safe to assume they have nothing. If you kill them then their equipped items take a durability hit which really sucks. You can't repair your items so this is how they the items get destroyed. Now if they kill you then everything you're farming will drop as well. So all the gold and items you farmed are now theirs. I really don't like this dynamic because it seems to give gankers much more power. If you look at similar games like Albion they have a penalty for failed ganks. You drop all your items, of course some of them are trashed in the process so you don't get them all.
The PvP is fun. That's it. It's fun. If you want PvP Crowfall has it. I know I complained about the lack of balance, but go find me a PvP game that is perfectly balanced and freshly launched. Balancing is a fluid process. It doesn't just happen on launch. Players will always find a way to break the game in unexpected ways. The PvP is mainly around capturing and holding key locations in the campaign. Such as the keeps, or the respawn points.
I think Crowfall is a game that has the ground work built, but it needs some polish. It really should shape up to be a good game. The key thing is that it needs players, and it is lacking those currently. I can't personally recommend the game without playing the free trial first.