Going into the second week of Early Access, we have to admit it’s very difficult to believe it has ONLY been about 10 days since the launch. Our team has been overwhelmingly busy working hard to make CROWZ better every day.
Seeing your constructive feedback as well as supportive words of encouragement have made us feel very grateful and incredibly humbled by the positive response. I speak on behalf of the entire team that we feel even more motivated to make CROWZ a better product.
As you may know, we are a very small development team with limited resources. By opening the game to the public during Early Access, it enables the team to better understand players’ feedback alongside supporting data points so we can identify vital areas of focus and address them towards the v1.0 launch. It has not been easy, but we truly believe this decision to have the game playable for people around the world via Early Access was one of the best choices we made. Thank you to all CROWZ players for their continued patience during this process.
Speaking of player feedback, we have been closely listening to you, organizing the most recent reported issues, and creating a plan of solutions. In this Dev Letter, I will be talking about some of the highest priority issues based on the data we have analyzed.
After a number of internal tests alongside data analysis, we found that there are certain situations in the game where significant frame drop occurs. This issue happens due to several different factors and, unfortunately, a single solution cannot improve the performance across the board. In order to find the fundamental solution for this issue, we are in communications with Epic Games’ support team and engineers who worked on Unreal Engine 4 - the game engine that CROWZ is built on - and have begun a collaborative investigation. As I write this letter, both teams are working together to resolve the issue. Considering the complexity of game development, this issue is only going to be improved through a series of patches step-by-step - we expect that the patches will be deployed sooner rather than later, so please stay tuned for announcements coming very soon!
High Ping / Latency
We found higher ping issues are happening especially in Blood Zone, where there are many more users on the battlefield. This usually happens when the data transfer load increases. We are constantly looking for what causes this problem and will keep optimizing to improve performance. We encourage players to continue to play more matches, as it gives us more opportunities to find similar cases. We hope through this development collaboration with our players, we will be able to deliver the true amazing CROWZ experience - we appreciate our players for their time and commitment in this endeavor.
Server Stability (Network Error)
In the first few days, there were connectivity/login issues caused by multiple reasons. We already found those reasons and deployed some hotfixes and saw a significantly lower number of cases after these hotfix patches. Of course, our work is always ongoing during Early Access and we will keep optimizing the servers as we see an increased number of users in the future - things will only get better!
Cheating - and specifically using illegal third-party cheater programs - has been one of the biggest problems for multiplayer shooting games for a long time. Many game developers have been pouring significant human and capital resources to fight cheaters in order to maintain a normal and fair competitive environment. The Royal Crow dev team is also working very hard to prevent cheaters from undermining the fair gaming environment.
In this effort, we are working closely with Wellbia, a South Korean security company that has a proven track record of reliable anti-cheat solutions for 15 years, overseeing anti-cheat measures for over 270 games across 20+ million users. Through this partnership, we were able to detect illegal cheating software successfully throughout past beta playtests as well as the Early Access period. Currently, cheaters in CROWZ are not significantly increasing at the moment, though we will remain vigilant as we believe anti-cheat is a continuous fight for fair online play. We will do more research and development to provide stronger and safer anti-cheat technology in the future.
We found that some anti-virus/security programs have falsely detected CROWZ as malware or virus because the game is new. It is technically possible for players to turn off their security software and run our game with no problems. However, for the sake of players' safety, we are testing a lot of security software to find more possible cases and collaboratively working together with the security software developers to whitelist our game.
First-person Only Mode
We know a lot of FPS enthusiasts want First-person ONLY mode and the feedback has been especially enthusiastic from some of our hardcore fans! Interestingly, based on our data analysis, a surprisingly large number of players are enjoying the game with a third-person perspective ONLY when they can switch to first-person.
Since we are in the Early Access period where we are testing many different things, we will keep gathering more gameplay/user behavior data to find an ideal answer to create the best and most satisfying CROWZ experience. We know it is impossible to make everyone happy, but we will try our best to make a good choice with your help.
Muchas Gracias! Muito Obrigado!
We would like to show our gratitude to Crows in Latin America/Brazil! We are very well aware of the increasing number of players in this region and we are actively looking for ways to support you better. However, deploying more servers in a specific region requires a large amount of investment and we need a bit more time for us to find the best solution. Until then, please keep playing and supporting us!
In addition to the aforementioned high-priority issues, we are working on more content in our initial development roadmap, UI improvements, SFX improvements, and much more. We will be able to share more details in our Patch Notes soon.
Once again, we want to thank everyone for joining us on this journey - we are determined to make all Crows proud that they joined and continue to be part of this adventure. We want to give a special shout-out to the contributors and content creators who are actively supporting our game in the Steam Community, Discord, and many social media platforms.