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Warface's only 'premium currency' is the skill of its players

Crytek's free-to-play first-person shooter, Warface, will reward its most talented players with the renown they deserve, but it won't neglect those who can never match their high level of skill, executive producer Joshua Howard told Polygon during a recent interview.

Speaking with us during PAX Prime 2013, Howard said that one of Crytek's core principles for the game is that skill is the "premium currency" and that no amount of real-world money can make up for that. Warface's in-game currency, crowns, are earned through ranking on leaderboards for players with the most kills, best time and so on.

"The best weapons in the game are only available to the most skilled players independent of cost," Howard said. "It's one thing to be in the game and get killed by the guy who spent $1,000, but to be in Warface with that cool weapon that you know he earned because he was on top of the leaderboards for three weeks straight, you've just go to admit he's better than you. Fair is important to us, and that's how we manifest it — don't put anything in the game that you can't get to by playing."

Skill may be the "premium currency" players strive for, but less talented players will still be able to progress through the game at their own pace. Crowns can also be earned through tasks independent of leaderboards for achievements in speed or number, headshots and more. Working through co-op missions will also have currency benefits. Howard said that Crytek hopes to reward players for more than just skill.

"The player who wants to come back day after day is going to enjoy Warface even if their skill never substantially gets better," Howard said. "There is a kind of player where high skill is exactly what they want, and Warface does a good job with that and will match high skill players with other high skill players so they'll continue to get that experience, but ultimately for us it's about delivering a great game. That means for a lot of even unskilled players."

According to Howard, the game's variety in missions will keep players interested and coming back, no matter what their proficiency level is. Those that stick around and learn the game's system have the potential to do well, even if they never truly master it.

"You don't have to have a tremendous amount of skill, but if you're willing to think it through and realize that attachment with that attachment is very effective, then you get the benefit of that," Howard said. "Skill is important, but provide enough other avenues that even a somewhat clumsy player like myself can still come back and enjoy it."