Crowfall developers detail their Vessels system as well as how advancement will function

Crowfall is a rather interesting upcoming PvP-focused MMO where instead of grinding your way through levels in order to finally access raids or end-game PvP you'll be able to join the campaign battles from the get go. This naturally led to questions on how exactly the advancement system will work but until now we didn't know the specifics.

In a recently released video Crowfall developers talked about the changes they're making to the vessel system as well as how advancement is going to function.


You can find the full set of information over at the Crowfall website but if you're just interested in the short version here it is:

Your account is represented with a single unique soul, the titular Crow, which will retail all of your knowledge and skills (so crafting abilities, combat skills, guild stuff and so on). You will only ever be able to have a single Crow which is aligned with a certain god during character creation which begs the question on whether you will be able to swap gods or not.

While your avatar, the Crow, is unique you will be able to own and posses multiple vessels (which is a nice way of saying corpses). Each of these ancient dead warriors you posses will retain all of your previous skills and knowledge but their stats will depend on the vessel itself. In other words using a Minotaur as a vessel will make you much stronger than a Elf who would be much more agile than a Human knight and so on.

Here's where things get interesting: you can collect, craft and upgrade these vessels in order to customize their attributes to your liking. This will involve trading, crafting, gathering and a bit of luck but in theory should allow for a massive amount of customization when it comes to what sort of a character you want to play.

During a campaign (a 1-3 month long battle between kingdoms) you will be able to import with you only a couple of Vessels so it is important to bring the best you can because if your vessel dies you as a spirit will be fine but the mortal shell you inhabited won't be so lucky and you might end up losing it. Some campaigns and certain places on them will allow you to return to your Vessel with some losses but overall you should take good care of them because they are expendable, or at the very least expensive to maintain.

However, if you run out of Vessels you can always scavenge a graveyard for someone to give you a hand, and body, in order to get back in to the fight or to craft a new Frankenstein-styled Vessel from the parts of your old one, or simply purchase/craft a new one.

Choosing a new vessel in Crowfall

The process of entering a new Vessel

As I mentioned before, your Vessels are expendable but your Crow along with all of your accumulated skills and experiences is not. So how exactly do you gain skills?

Skills are divided in to skill-trees based around archetypes (crafting, combat, exploration) and then further broken down by specializations. In other words you won't find crafting related skills in your swordfighting tree nor will you discover new magic in your stealth tree, etc.

These skills are trained 2 at a time (or 4 for VIP members) in actual real-time much like how EVE online does it so your progression through the game won't depend heavily on the amount of playtime you put in, an idea that worked out pretty well in EVE. There is quite a bit of complex details on how the skills will work exactly so if you're interested in those I'd suggest you head over to the FAQ linked above.

What has me worried is that VIP players are capable of learning many more skills at the same time, something the developers assure us is only going to help them with better character customization, but still reeks heavily of pay to win to me. As of right now its senseless to judge Crowfall over this as its still very much so in development and these things can and will change many times before its finally ready for launch but its definitely something to keep a close eye on.

Speaking of launch, as of right now there are no details on the release date but the open beta will begin near the end of 2016 so all of this is still quite a way from being released. In other words, don't get too attached to any of these ideas as they will evolve and change along with the game as it nears launch and might not reflect what you've read here in the end. As more stuff gets released I'll keep you updated.