It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Camelot Unchained: Transitioning Hype into Reality
In 2001, Dark Age of Camelot was released to a seemingly unexpected gaming community; this incredible game, developed by Mythic Entertainment, went on to literally define how player versus player, both on an individual and grand scale, should occur in an MMO.
Although Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC) is not the same game as its spiritual successor will be, it’s extremely important to truly understand the men and women that assisted in past development cycles before casting judgment on Camelot Unchained (CU) or Mark Jacobs.
Transitioning hype into reality will be a difficult task, even for a seasoned veteran like Mark Jacobs; in fact, it’s more difficult to meet the expectations of an excited fan base than merely achieving internal goals such as just releasing a quality product. In order to understand the hype and the negativity surrounding Camelot Unchained, we first have to understand what made Dark Age of Camelot successful.
Let’s dive right into this with I hope, an unbiased brief analysis:
- Three Faction Realm Versus Realm allowed no one side to be completely dominate in Dark Age of Camelot due to the unpredictability of the other two sides potentially teaming up to forcefully break the strongest realm.
- Siege Warfare usually required the coordination of multiple groups and sometimes an entire realm, in order to appropriately capture a keep or tower. Even then, the third realm constantly presented an element of surprise on whether they may disrupt the keep siege or steal it for their own at a precise moment.
- Battlegrounds weren’t just a place to level up or have an ego trip for the night, it prepared players how to play their classes in group RvR. In addition, it featured key core elements such as keep and towers that required siege engines like trebuchets and rams that would be used in real end-game situations over the journey to level 50.
- Group Dynamics allowed both the zerg mentality and eight man squads to coexist, both serving their respective realm. Due to the nature of realm abilities, class synergy, combat mechanics, and overall strategy, small well-knit groups could be just as powerful, if not more powerful, than the forty man zerg.
- Crowd Control was both incredibly useful and incredibly annoying; however, it worked perfectly with the combat system due to class and realm abilities that acted as a balance. Spells types such as mesmerize, root, and disease allowed eight man groups to divide and conquer zergs, while it allowed zergs to trap eight mans in tight quarters.
- Realm Pride has never been replicated in any game since Dark Age of Camelot. This bizarre phenomenon still has a lot of people scratching their heads if they never experienced the wonders of DAoC prior to server merges. If the Call To Arms bell was sounded by your alliance, everyone literally answered the call to go defend against an invasion for their relics. It wasn’t about individual accomplishments, but rather realm wide achievements.
- Relics were incredible symbols of realm status and success that were coveted by every member of the realm and envied by the opposing realms. An additional 10/20% melee or magic bonus yielded an unbelievable advantage to both eight man groups and zergs alike. This simple concept united both eight man groups and zergs into a cohesive force to either protect or steal relics from their enemies. It was no simple feat stealing a relic, unless it was a sunrise surprise raid; even then, it took time to cross the entire frontier on foot, despite group travel speed.
- Rivalries fueled the essence of competitiveness more in DAoC than any other game beside Starcraft in South Korea. Some guilds, and especially certain players, struck fear in the hearts of players; you either didn’t engage them or went out of your way to hunt them down. The importance of being able to see whom you’re fighting is very important in building competitiveness.
- Statistic Min/Maxing allowed players to maximize their character’s strengths and resistances through the use of spellcrafting masterpiece crafted armor; failure to do so usually meant you were worked over pretty quickly by veteran players. Believe it or not, theorycrafting existed long before World of Warcraft’s release.
Hype into Reality: If you previously played DAoC, or just enjoy PvP, it’s very easy to understand how someone could become extremely hyped over something that hasn’t even truly started its development.
This is where my personal opinion comes into play; I have studied game design for several years and currently in the process of obtaining my bachelor’s degree in game art from Full Sail University. I’ve been fortunate enough to be apart of quality assurance during development cycles for multiple games. I would absolutely love to see Camelot Unchained become a success not because I want to play it, but because I believe in the experience Mark Jacobs and CSE are trying to present. The following is a list, I feel, is absolutely critical in order to achieve this:
[x] Three Faction RvR
[x] Siege Warfare
[x] Player Progression
[x] Group Dynamics
[x] Crowd Control
[x] Statistic Min/Maxing
[x] Useful Crafting Professions
[x] Guild Sponsorship
[x] Limited Instant Cast Abilities
[x] Interruptible Combat System
[x] No Token System
[-] Rivalries/See Your Opponent’s Name
Crucial, Yet Unconfirmed:
[-] Class Synergy
[-] Majority Control ‘special’ Zone
[-] Reward Defending Keeps, Not Swapping Hands
[-] No Ridiculous Knockbacks; IE in WAR
[-] Holy Trinity Necessity (Must have Tank/Healer/DPS)
As you can see, it looks like the majority of what made Dark Age of Camelot successful from 2001 until now will be implemented in some form in Camelot Unchained. I, for one, have followed Mark Jacobs from the early days of Mythic Entertainment and the development of DAoC to Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
I hope this post has potentially enlightened some of the individuals in the community that are perturbed at why Camelot Unchained is generating so much hype. As Mark has willingly admitted, he’s made several mistakes along the way due to poor decision making, but he’s also made a multitude of incredible decisions that’s lead to great success. Despite the level of genius produced from Mark and his team, whether it be Mythic Entertainment or City State Entertainment, you only learn by taking risks whether it be failing or succeeding.
In closing, the two words “absolutely amazing” actually insults the journey I experienced in Dark Age of Camelot. I’m supporting City State Entertainment, Mark Jacobs, and Camelot Unchained because his track record far outweighs the bad decisions made along the way. Since the declining subscription base due to outdated graphics engine, combat systems, or whatever the reason, I have personally yearned for Camelot’s spiritual successor. As long as Mark Jacobs and his development team continue with open ears, let’s help CSE in Transitioning Hype into Reality.
Thanks for reading.
EDITS TO OP:
- Moved "[-] Rivalries/See Your Opponent’s Name" to Confirmed