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Camelot Unchained: No Hand Holding Allowed

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,585MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

The latest developer blog has shown up on the Camelot Unchained site. In it, the team reveals that they do not believe 'hand holding' of their players is required. It's an interesting look at what the team has in mind as compared to the vast majority of today's MMOs.

As an independent developer of a lower-budget, lower subscription target MMORPG (using today’s inflated scale), we retain more than our fair measure of creative freedom that I wouldn’t trade for a larger budget and longer development timeline (been there, done that).  I want the freedom to take some risks with this game without enduring sleepless nights as I worry about whether a feature (or lack thereof) will alienate too many players, anger the boss, piss off the investors, etc.  I like waking up thinking “This is a really freaking cool idea let’s try it!” or “Wasn’t it cool when you were wandering around in the dark not knowing what might jump out at you?” rather than having to endure conversations like “Mark, if we do this we can sell-in another 100K boxes.”  We need to look at the evolution of these games and see what features (or again, lack thereof) made older MMORPGs seem more immersive and/or challenging and dare I say it (dare, dare!), realistic, even if a minority of players complained about them in the past and might still complain about them now.

Read more on the Camelot Unchained site.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • FARGIN_WARFARGIN_WAR New York, NYPosts: 166Member
    Good! This sounds like a breath of fresh air. Looks like Mark has his head on straight and has no intention of letting his game get bogged down by corporate goons this time. Can't wait to see how this game develops.

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    If you don’t do stupid things while you’re young, you’ll have nothing to smile about when you’re old.

  • MerxionMerxion Mesa, AZ, AZPosts: 73Member Common

    <-- Suffers from Jaded Gamers Syndrom, Factional Notoriety was a really cool idea until you spend 200 hours faction grinding.  Hell wacking a tree and refining different components was a really cool idea for Crafting until you spend hundreds of  hours doing it with the net outcome being replaced by something that drops out of a dungeon.  PVP was a fun idea in a PVE game until balance of one started affecting the Balance of the other thereby alienating the other group of players.  Hell story lines in MMO's were great until you roll your 3rd alt because you ran out of  content.

    What i'm saying is good Luck we have heard the same from excited developers before but really we haven't seen anything new and innovative since the gen 1 mmos.

  • xeniarxeniar Posts: 805Member Uncommon

    He is atleast saying the right things.

    Now we have to wait to see it translated into the game.

  • xeniarxeniar Posts: 805Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Merxion

    <-- Suffers from Jaded Gamers Syndrom, Factional Notoriety was a really cool idea until you spend 200 hours faction grinding.  Hell wacking a tree and refining different components was a really cool idea for Crafting until you spend hundreds of  hours doing it with the net outcome being replaced by something that drops out of a dungeon.  PVP was a fun idea in a PVE game until balance of one started affecting the Balance of the other thereby alienating the other group of players.  Hell story lines in MMO's were great until you roll your 3rd alt because you ran out of  content.

    What i'm saying is good Luck we have heard the same from excited developers before but really we haven't seen anything new and innovative since the gen 1 mmos.

    Hes not saying that hes implementing inovative idea's On the contrary from what i read here He is grabing the idea's the first MMO's used and implementing them no shortcuts no bullshit qeus etc.

  • ZooceZooce B, FLPosts: 586Member
    I'm warming up to following CU's development after reading this blog post and some of it's authors interaction here in the mmorpgcom community.  Seems like a good start.
  • OgreRaperOgreRaper Detroit, MIPosts: 376Member
    Want this game.... now!
  • LedrirLedrir Orlando, FLPosts: 14Member

    I agree with Merxion.  I also think that many developers with these cool ideas don't actually plan to endure the tedious difficulties they plan to throw at the players.  How many of the rich guys who are working on games and have a social life actually have time to play the game they have made?

    I really believe many bad games have been made because the developers don't actually play the games they create or understand what makes them fun or tedious.

    I think Mark has said some good things but from what I understand he orignally thought ToA was a cool idea.  Maybe it was fun on paper but I doubt he ever participated in one othe ridiculously long and complicated master level raids.

     

     

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon
    Well, I agree, he's saying all the right things to my ears. Now let's see what actually happens.
  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,734Member Uncommon
    Apparently he is very serious about returning t oold school style of play....WHile alot of us reminisce about it here I'm not sure how many will actually want to play a game like that again.......I remember in EQ it used to take a couple of weeks to gain what they called hell levels....Can you imagine players in 2013 taking weeks to gain one level??....I know players that throw fits if they aren't max level in less than a week......Like you guys are saying, this sounds good in theory but we really need to see it in practice.
  • LarsaLarsa NurembergPosts: 990Member

    Got to say: he makes the right noises to get me interested.

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  • MueslinatorMueslinator AugsburgPosts: 78Member

    Hm, i think they're trying to take the 'good' from the old days and mash it up with the good of the new days.

     

    For example: In the very beginning, WoW was about exploration: You had to read what the quest told you and then process that information with information about your surroundings. It did not paint a marker on yor map and told you "go there". It gave you directions: "From here, go northeast until you find that big tree, then turn left along the mountains until you find a dell. There you will find your macguffin". You had to take in the world in order to orient yourself instead of simply following a pulsing arrow (meta gaming) on your UI.

    The UI replaced the game world as your primary focus in many MMORPGs, and I find that a very sad thing. It took away player ability and player immersion, and added convenience. Convenience is not a bad thing in itself - we constantly try to make the world more so.

    But in a game it is ultimately self-defeating. taken to extremes, the convenient game is the one that demands the least from a player: It plays itself.

     

    In my mind, the true art of a game designer is to balance convenience with challenge, and the have right kinds of each. I've read all developer blogs of CU, and I feel the urge to give a kudos to Mark. Though it remains to be seen how his ideas ultimately work out, I think he is on the right track to make a game I potentially am very interested in.

     
  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXPosts: 3,332Member Uncommon

    Finally somebody gets it.  I've been yelling for years that MMOs have become too much like overprotective parents.  Let your kids (players in this case)  go lick that light socket...they'll only do it once...or twice, then if they do it more than that, you might need to take them in for some testing lol.

     

    Edit: Kinda off topic, but I have no clue how I survived my childhood.  Back then "Childproofing" your house was throwing the kids outside and locking the door roflmao.

  • BenbradaBenbrada Plainfield, ILPosts: 328Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Theocritus
    Apparently he is very serious about returning t oold school style of play....WHile alot of us reminisce about it here I'm not sure how many will actually want to play a game like that again.......I remember in EQ it used to take a couple of weeks to gain what they called hell levels....Can you imagine players in 2013 taking weeks to gain one level??....I know players that throw fits if they aren't max level in less than a week......Like you guys are saying, this sounds good in theory but we really need to see it in practice.

    Agreed. With the lucky 10 hrs a week I get in for game time I'm not sure yet if this game will be for me personally right now until I see it in action. Personally, it take me a long time to max level anything nowadays anyways.

  • DoogiehowserDoogiehowser ParisPosts: 1,873Member
    Originally posted by Theocritus
    Apparently he is very serious about returning t oold school style of play....WHile alot of us reminisce about it here I'm not sure how many will actually want to play a game like that again.......I remember in EQ it used to take a couple of weeks to gain what they called hell levels....Can you imagine players in 2013 taking weeks to gain one level??....I know players that throw fits if they aren't max level in less than a week......Like you guys are saying, this sounds good in theory but we really need to see it in practice.

    It is an indie project being kickstarted by gamers. What do you think the future of such niche MMO really is?  i think we already know the answer.

    "The problem is that the hardcore folks always want the same thing: 'We want exactly what you gave us before, but it has to be completely different.'
    -Jesse Schell

    "Online gamers are the most ludicrously entitled beings since Caligula made his horse a senator, and at least the horse never said anything stupid."
    -Luke McKinney

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  • NeanderthalNeanderthal Posts: 1,606Member Uncommon

    I don't really agree with him on the respecing thing.  The way I look it; if the devs make it possible to gimp your character then it is their fault when players gimp their characters.  Especially if the devs don't provide a clear explanation of what each skill and ability does and how they interact with each other right from the very begining.

    I mean, if I spend months working on a character only to discover I'm screwed because I didn't take a certain skill or whatever--and now it's too late to take it---but nothing in the game explained to me how I would be screwed if I didn't take it, well, I'm going to be royally pissed off and rightly so.

    I can't read the minds of the developers.  How was I supposed to know that you decided to add a few more numbers <here> and a few less <there> and you decided to link ability <A> with skill <Y> even though there is no obvious logical connection between the two?

    So if you have a system which makes it possible for players to gimp their characters you damn well better lay out all the information they need to avoid said gimpage or YOU, the devs, are the ones to blame for it.

  • tom_goretom_gore TamperePosts: 1,796Member Uncommon

    Yeah Mark is pulling alll the right strings to get the MMORPG bittervets interested. Now the only thing that remains to be see if he can pull it off.

     

  • ArconaArcona VanlosePosts: 1,185Member
  • tom_goretom_gore TamperePosts: 1,796Member Uncommon

    "In terms of no content patches, well, since the team doesn’t have to spend its time building new content that players will burn through quickly, we can spend our time and money building new content they won’t burn through as quickly. ?"

    Jesus Christ, how did this guy suddenly realize almost everything that's wrong with the current MMO genre?

    Mark, you've got all the right ideas. Hope you'll make them happen :)

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by tom_gore

    "In terms of no content patches, well, since the team doesn’t have to spend its time building new content that players will burn through quickly, we can spend our time and money building new content they won’t burn through as quickly. ?"

    Jesus Christ, how did this guy suddenly realize almost everything that's wrong with the current MMO genre?

    Mark, you've got all the right ideas. Hope you'll make them happen :)

    Seriously, loved that part as well.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
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    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • NikopolNikopol The ZonePosts: 626Member Uncommon

    Seems to be going pure RvRvR and hitting most of the right notes, and not surprisingly the RvRvR aficionados are pulling for this big time.

    If they don't botch this up, we'll really see how big a playerbase there is for this kind of game out there. Going to be an interesting experiment for sure.

  • EcocesEcoces Chicago, ILPosts: 879Member Uncommon
    sounds like this guy has been reading MMORPG.com way too much. the Hipster community here should be licking this guys feet and proclaiming him as the greatest mind in MMO history in no time.
  • TsumoroTsumoro EozeaPosts: 408Member Uncommon

    I must confess, I am enjoying the sound of this game. Although, very little of this game in the terms of knowledge, combat, interaction etc etc is made available for a sound opinion or arguement to be made for or against it. 

    There was a comment above about how people look back to these type of games in fondness, but that might not translate well with regards to how MMORPGers expect a game to be. I agree and disagree in part. 

    Games today are streamlined to be as available as they can be for a wide range of audience. It is essentially cutting the fat off and leaning the gaming experience, to make them more 'friendly' to those whom only have an hour or so to dedicate a day or even just a few hours a week. I would say this mentality, although it does a nnoy me a little bit has helped greatly bring a wider audience into the MMO scene which has resulted (good or bad) in a healthy populace of potential players to interact with. 

    Peoples pacing and expectations in games are somewhat flawed in my opinion now, for it has become the mentality and the social norm to which the end game as quick as they can. The prior levels existing as a form of frustration and tutorial which they 'have' to do in order to get to where the actual game is. After all, the majority of our gaming time is spent 'end game' and as such that is (in our minds at least) when the game truely begins. 

    I want this to change, you want this to change. But like all over MMO shut ins we fear change and after having our hopes and dreams about the 'next big thing' or the 'WoW beater' we've come to expect that not much can be had, at least, not in a fun way. 

    Today, I played WoW a game I still enjoy, but I admit not as much as I did when I first picked it up many moons ago. I was making an alt and in my perhaps two hours or so of play I had leveled 15 times. The thrill and joy of leveling just wasn't there for me, I just moved on to what was next to do on the shopping list. 

    So if a game comes along with the expectation that it will take a long time to get a single level, then I would welcome it (although this is not confirmed in the blog). If that was the case, then the open world aspect of the game, the no hand holding, the crafting centric vision and the social interactions that this game is aiming to foster will perhaps rebuild a sense of community which has been long lost in games these days. 

    WoW as a game would not be as big as it is today with its current model if it was released a-new in todays market. Two things contributed to its massive success, the first being the little hand holding involved which prompted hours and hours of countless discussions, guides and social interactions. The second being the massive amounts of pop culture references which link in something new with something familuar. 

    If this game CU commits to nurturing the social experience of an MMO, be it through shops or just plain interaction in any regard I am sure we will be met with a very niche game. But, for now, that remains to be seen. 

    I am for the least part, hopeful.

  • FishmittsFishmitts doylestown, PAPosts: 227Member
    Sounds like they stole a paragraph from Dean rocket Hall, and added the name Mark and MMORPG to it.  
     
  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,766Member Uncommon
    very interesting indeed and i fully agree with the hand holding and auction houses should stop being a thing. However, i have some concerns with the class build. Im OK if i cannot respec my character, BUT.... add role flexibility between classes. For example, If i choose a guardian class, please do not force me to be a tank. If i choose a priest class, please do not force me to be a healer. I have to deal with that heavy role restriction problem in TERA already, and do not want it in other mmos. Role flexibility is marvelous, please do not take it away from us. You can keep your respec tokens, i dont need it ;)

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  • VoiidiinVoiidiin Barrow, AKPosts: 817Member
    Originally posted by Ecoces
    sounds like this guy has been reading MMORPG.com way too much. the Hipster community here should be licking this guys feet and proclaiming him as the greatest mind in MMO history in no time.

    I am really curious what a MMO Hipster is in your opinion ? 

    If players who want a game with less hand holding, and more difficulty are considered "Hipsters" then i guess i am one of those.

    I will not appologize for expecting less baby gameplay and wanting more adult gameplay, i am sure one difficult game will not upset the babies too much.

     

    Lolipops !

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