ZybakTV Interview – Crowfall, Ashes of Creation, Kickstarter and More

Gaming Instincts sits down to speak with Zybak a small-time YouTuber who has a huge passion for MMO games such as World of Warcraft and currently Crowfall. He is extremely well experienced with the MMO genre and runs a smaller sized YouTube channel ZybakTV keeping folks up to date on latest things for the upcoming MMO Crowfall from ArtCraft entertainment who are ex-developers of Shadowbane and Star Wars Galaxies. We ask Zabyak quite a few questions ranging from Kickstarter funds, MMO’s in general, a ton of Crowfall questions and even a little bit about himself. Enjoy the interview and let us know what you think in the comments below.

The Interview

Leo 

Hello Zybak, how is your day today?

Zybak

Good. Slow day at work 😛

Leo

Most people know you for your Crowfall videos, what made you get into Crowfall in the first place and was it the reason you got into YouTube, or was this something that was later added to your YouTube channel?

Zybak

I would say the majority of people know me from World of Warcraft, Star Wars the Old Republic, and Wildstar. I got into Crowfall because I’ve always been a PvP oriented player. I’ve always liked Eve Online but I never liked the space ship combat or theme. Crowfall has the MMO theme and combat I like while having a lot of the aspects from Eve that are awesome.

Leo

I see. Do you still currently play World of Warcraft? If so, what do you think of the latest Blizzard’s WoW expansion Legion?

Zybak

I don’t currently play WoW. However, I did give Legion a go for a while and thought it was the best expansion they had made since WotLK. I think Legion is pretty good but I think I’m just over World of Warcraft at this point.

Leo

Why do you think you’re over WoW and is there anything Blizzard can possibly do to bring you back to their epic universe?

Zybak

Personal player prestige is something I find very important in MMOs and World of Warcraft had that for a long time. However, through the years they slowly stripped that out of the game. In Vanilla WoW I was a stupid 12-year-old kid and I remember being blown away by the badass players in Ironforge wearing gear that only 1-2% of the population had running raids that very few people set foot in. All of the really prestigious things in WoW have slowly been pulled from the game to where literally everyone has an Ashbringer. Everyone runs the same raids and kills the same bosses. Sure there are different difficulties but that’s not anywhere near as awesome as stepping foot in a brand new place killing bosses that nobody else has killed. I was never a good player in Vanilla WoW but one of my most memorable experiences was seeing this Gnome Warrior in the full Dreadnaught set with the Grand Marshall title on an epic mount. I was nowhere near that but I thought it was cool to be in a world with essentially a legendary player in my eyes.

Leo

That’s very funny because I feel exactly same way with World of Warcraft. However, I still play to this day myself due to lore reasons and just social experiences with guild members and casual raiding. I do understand where you come from though, completely.

Zybak

I’m not really sure Blizzard can bring me back permanently. I played Legion for a bit because I was bored with the knowledge that I’d likely quit playing again after a while. That ended up being the case. The game is just very formulaic nowadays and that’s a hard thing to fix with how old the game is and how good the commuity tools and players are.

Leo

So tell us a bit Crowfall and your involvement with ArtCraft developers.

Zybak

I kickstarted Crowfall back in early 2015 because I liked their vision for the game they wanted to make. Most importantly with Crowfall I thought their vision was very REALISTIC! So many Kickstarters and video games in general (Star Citizen + Ashes of Creation) have completely unrealistic amounts of features and systems that just aren’t practical. With Crowfall I saw their vision and went…”wow this is very very doable”.
As for my involvement with Artcraft it’s not anything special. I don’t have any sort of special access or privilege. I’m sure they pay attention to what I say because I’ve got one of the bigger megaphones for the game at the moment. I just make videos and shitpost on the forums like everyone else 😛
Leo
Do you currently play Crowfall every day? If so, what are you experimenting with in the game? One of your videos discussed how Myrimon is an underplayed class due to it being nerfed, but in actuality, it’s a lot of fun to play.

Zybak

I don’t play Crowfall every day and I doubt too many people do as there’s not much of a game loop to play yet. I’m constantly theory-crafting and experimenting with different builds and trying to figure out as much of the nitty gritty details before the game loop comes online.

Leo

Right, makes sense. Outside of video games what do you do? Do you have any other hobbies that you are passionate about and if so why?

Zybak

I don’t have a ton of hobbies but usually, when I’m not playing games I’m making videos for YouTube, lifting weights, or at work. The rest is relatively boring normal person hobbies that everyone else does.

Leo

I see. What is your everyday job?

Zybak

I work at a car dealership and keep the website up to date along with being the technological Jesus that fixes all the computer and tech issues people have. Also various odd jobs like delivering cars to customers or other things they need to be done.

Leo

Cool. Have you ever attended E3?

Zybak

Nope. That’s been locked off to the press only up until just fairly recently.

Leo

What are you current most anticipated titles, also do you own any other systems besides a PC?

Zybak

I’m definitely an MMO player at heart and only really play other genres to fill the void. I’m most excited for Crowfall and Ashes of Creation/Star Citizen. Even though I think AoC and SC are far too ambitious I want to be wrong. It would make my day for both of those games to be half as good as they’re hyping them to be. I have a PS4 and Xbox One as well as PC. Sadly I don’t play the consoles very much and pretty much only bought them to play a few games to fill the void in the MMO black hole that has been the last few years. Console gaming is just complete trash after playing games at 1440p and 144hz.

Leo

What was your reaction when Star Citizen ended up with the amount of money/funding they received?

Zybak

Very skeptical. Them getting that money might have been the worst thing to happen because now the game is feature creeped to hell and they’re trying to do way too many things. Crowfall literally cut off their stretch goals because they didn’t want the feature creep issue. I have a feeling Star Citizen is going to have a ton of really half baked features and ultimately feel very shallow and hollow.

Leo

What is your experience with Kickstarter projects? Have there been any games that proved their worth after a good amount of time has passed? What is your whole stance of kickstarting a project, there also have been plenty of scams where the developers take the money and run.

Zybak

The only thing I’ve Kickstarted was Crowfall. As funny as it is the main reason I backed them is because their vision was very grounded. So many of these games come out and say/show all this amazing stuff whereas Crowfall’s Kickstarter campaign was kind of boring and realistic.

Leo

Good point. What is your opinion on Survival games AKA Ark: Survival Evolved, Dark and Light, Rust, etc… Is Crowfall implementing any Survival elements besides the hunger meter in the future?

Zybak

Also, Crowfall has a lot of older developers that have made tons of mistakes in the past. I trust the people who’ve been around the block a few times and stumbled more than fresh faces with pie in the sky ideas.

Leo

Make’s sense.

Zybak

I don’t play any survival games really. I don’t think Crowfall is going to be a survival game in the same sense as some of these other games. Sure you’re going to have to manage your food but I don’t think it’ll be anything crazy. If anything it’s a rubber band mechanic that brings players back to their base to restock and commune with other players

Leo

Right. Most popular games these days are “F2P” for example Heroes of the Storm or Hearthstone or even games that you buy such as Overwatch that contain monthly content updates that relate to gameplay and cosmetics at the same time. What is your stance on how popular multiplayer-service based games are these days? Do you feel that Crowfall will follow the same path wits its VIP program?

Zybak

I’m not a huge fan of Free-to-Play, especially in MMOs. To be honest I’m not a huge fan of Buy-to-Play either. I think those models work fine in other games that are a match based like FPS and MOBAs. However, MMOs are persistent and it always leads to some degree of Pay-to-Win or the developers focusing more on developing items for the cash shop than the game. Crowfall is Buy-to-Play and I think it’s a smart move. It’ll give new players a way to try the game before paying out a sub fee and it will allow casual players to dip in and out as they please. The dedicated players will pay for VIP and the game will essentially be sub based for them and they won’t have to worry about Ghillie Suits or other bullshit items being added to a cash shop.Crowfall’s got a very good business model and the VIP system only gives a slight convenience advantage. In Crowfall you’ll never have to worry about having to spend $100+ a month to stay competitive. The potential pay for power is capped out at $15 a month.

Leo

If you had any big concerns in regards to Crowfall, what would it be? What are you most scared/anxious about for the game itself and it’s future and potential failure?

Zybak

I definitely have some concerns. The main one being that the game is very hardcore and is going to be a complete system shock to a lot of players.

  • There are no safe zones and you can be killed and people can take your stuff.
  • ALL of the items decay over time. That awesome sword you made will eventually break and you’ll need a new one.
  • YOU HAVE TO RELY ON OTHER PLAYERS. You have to specialize in Crowfall. You can’t be the best skinner and miner at the same time. If you don’t work with other players you will fail.
  • This will not be a good game for the “solo player”
  • The new player experience is going to be rough. Crowfall is a lot to take in and this is just par for the course for sandbox games like this.
  • You can lose and most likely will.
Some of these Campaigns are going to have many guilds fighting it out to be the winner. Most of the times you’re going to lose and many people don’t like losing. These aren’t things that need to be changed about the game. However, they are definitely going to get some reactions out of the typical WoW player trying out Crowfall for the first time. There are many other things but it can be summarized as “carebears are probably going to have a hard time adjusting + being new might be a little overwhelming at first”
Leo

Makes sense. How excited are you for the upcoming Cleric class? What do you think of the whole Race/Class changes/overhaul?

Zybak

I’m pretty excited for the Cleric class. I don’t think it’ll be something that I main but I think they’ll definitely be popular and can fill a lot of niche roles with how their kit works. The Race/Class change was a surprise for me. It’s a lot of work for them to do and I was not expecting them to drop that bomb on us. However they seem to be making good progress and have shown off a few of the new combinations already. It was definitely a good move for the game especially with the addition of race skill trees. It just adds a whole new level of customization and meaningful player decision.

Leo

How do you feel about the game using Unity engine? Don’t you think Unreal Engine 4 would be much better and make the game look better?

Zybak

I’m fine with them using Unity. Plenty of great games use Unity however the problem is that with Unity’s business model it allows for a lot of crappy developers to give the engine a bad name. More and more games are using third party engines rather than building their own for a good reason. It allows them to focus on making the game and the people who make the engine can focus on making the engine. As for Unity vs Unreal Engine I don’t think it really matters a ton. They went with Unity for a good reason so I trust them. Especially with how things have been coming together recently.

Leo

Do you feel that ArtCraft is doing a good job at keeping their community up-to-date?

Zybak

Yea I think they do a pretty good job with that. The community is pretty rabid and complains about the occasional lackluster update but in reality they give us updates and engage with the players far more than any other game I’ve been a part of. Heck I’ve had email chains with Gordon at 3 in the morning talking about various things

Leo

I see. Now that we have the Crowfall stuff out of the way, let’s talk a little bit about Ashes of Creation.

Zybak

Sure

Leo

So what does Ashes of Creations trying to do differently than most MMOs? From what I understand, they seem to be banking on this whole big dynamic changes that many MMOs have promised in the past but always failed.

Zybak

Yea pretty much. They’re essentially trying to do Everquest Next but with a bunch of new features on top of that. I’m not a huge believer in “Dynamic Worlds” when a lot of the content is PvE related. It rarely ends up being very dynamic for long.

Leo

Do you feel the reason why that is, is because the technology is not there yet to create true dynamic worlds?

Zybak

There would have to be some pretty insane technological breakthroughs to have something be truely dynamic. MMO players are the kings of figuring out how to trigger events and game systems to get the results they want. The only way to have things be truly dynamic is for everything to be completely player driven with very little if any PvE or overbearing game rules. Essentially it has to be the Wild West and that will turn off a lot of the more casual and players looking for a softer experience.

Leo

Now, I know you mostly said you play MMOs but recently there been games such as Destiny and now the upcoming Destiny 2 where you go out with your friends and do dungeons, come across random public events. Bioware is now making a game called Anthem which in a similar vein as Destiny is. Now both of these games are multiplayer centered with a lot of co-op obviously and some PvP Arena combat. However, these games have demonstrated a possibility of 3rd person character views with beautiful worlds and new universes. Do you feel like it’s slowly starting getting to the point where intense graphically looking games are starting to blend 2 different genres together? If you look at MMO’s most of them are 3rd person, but due to a number of enemies on screens and particle effects and a number of players, it is difficult to make it look very pretty and super fluid.

My biggest with MMOs these days is the combat. I feel that there is too much of a disconnect between hit boxes and you don’t get that satisfaction of hitting someone with a hammer or a club. Meanwhile, in games like Destiny or upcoming Anthem not only is the world beautiful but the combat is extremely satisfying. World of Warcraft: Legion was the 1st expansion in my opinion that actually overhauled the game’s visuals or rather upped the game to today’s standard. The game is beautiful and plays smooth as butter, but as we all know it’s still same combat just more fleshed out and better animated. Do you feel that Ashes of Creations might be one of those first games that both look and feel impactful enough to raise a standard?

Even with Crowfall, the server’s latency and rubber banding make me disappointed in the game’s combat and it doesn’t feel impactful at all. However, we all know it’s in pre-alpha.

Zybak

No, I don’t think Ashes of Creation is going to raise the standard or innovate in some crazy way when it comes to MMO combat. They might make a few breakthroughs and have some neat mechanics that push the genre forward some but I don’t think it’ll be huge by any means. Crowfall isn’t really changing up the MMO combat formula either. They’ve got a few cool things like the characters having physics + mass and taking up real world game space. However it’s mainly just trying to improve on an already existing formula. I’m fine with games just futher refining older models. At some point you can only go so far though. For example the people that complain about bullet sponge combat in The Division and Destiny. How in the world are they supposed to design around that? They can’t really.

Leo

Good point. It’s funny you say that because people always ask me well what’s the next big thing for First person shooters? My answer is.. well usually you go from corridor to corridor and shoot people/monsters in the face and it’s been that way ever since the Wolfenstein 3D days. How do you make it more immersive? By making it look better and visually stunning is usually my answer, maybe VR is the answer. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Zybak

Oh, boy don’t get me started in VR 😛

Leo

Too late. Let it out, let’s hear what you gotta say in a nice long paragraph! And I forgot to ask, have you also helped fun Ashes of Creation? If not, what keeps you being interested in the game?

Zybak

I’m not that interested in Ashes of Creation because I think it’s going to flop. It’s just trying to do too much. However, I WANT TO BE WRONG. If Ashes of Creation comes out and is the greatest game of all time that would be great for me. I’m dying for a new MMO to sink endless amounts of hours into.

It’s actually a little fucking sad. Right now I’m having a pretty good time IRL but there’s literally an empty void in my life with me not consumed by an MMO. Like I’m having a good time doing all the IRL shit normal people do…longing for the days when I no lifed XYZ MMO all day sitting in my room like a vampire.

Leo

Blizzard lately have been hiring a ton of people for their Diablo team. Many folks speculate a Diablo 4 or even a brand new Diablo title that’s going the MMO route. Would you play another MMO if it was made by Blizzard in today or future age?  Let’s be honest, WoW is still king along with FF14.

Zybak

Absolutely I’d play a new Blizzard MMO. Heck, I’d play about any Western MMO with a high budget. Hopefully the Magic the Gathering MMO is a high budget AAA game

That IP has some real MMO potential for sure.
Leo
True. Do you see Crowfall being released this year? To be honest, I think they need another year.

Zybak

If they do release this year it’ll be in December. I don’t think they need another full year but they might release in early 2018. The majority of the heavy lifting is done now and many things have been in the oven a while and are getting ready to be released. I’d expect a lot of things to start coming online in the next 1-2 months

Leo

Nice. Well, that’s pretty much it. Is there anything you’d like to say to Gaming Instincts before we end this interview?

Zybak

If they sign up with this link you get in the beta for free and get 5% off anything you buy – https://crowfall.com/register/?affiliateCode=zybak

Leo

Cool. Thank you!