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When and how did you become an MMOG player? Was there something specific about the category or a particular game that hooked you?
The first game that actually sucked up my life online was the space conquest game, Stellar Emperor, played on the pre-Internet GEnie network. For those not familiar, think of it as EVE Online, only with text instead of graphics, an even meaner social dynamic, and a $5 an hour cost that made playing roughly equal to my mortgage. Monthly fees don't sound so bad now, huh?
I can tell you the exact moment when I realized that MMOs were going to be a Big Fat Deal. I had just started playing Ultima Online and had worked my character up from piss-ant to pipsqueak. Maybe level 8. As I'm wandering the safe streets of town, a level 1 player comes running up - wearing the tattered underwear of doom - to tell me that he had been waylaid and killed just out of town, but that the guy who did for him was only level 5. So would I, strapping warrior that I was, come help him get his stuff back? I agreed. Naturally, as soon as I stepped out of town, his level 40 wizard buddy popped out of nowhere, killed me in one shot, then took all my goods. They both did a ceremonial dance on my corpse. Oh how they laughed.
My first thought was that I had never felt so powerless, frustrated, and aching for revenge. My second thought was that this thing was going to be absolutely huge.
How did you come to try DAoC? How long did you end up playing, and what made it feel special for you?
DAoC was my first real home after leaving Ultima Online. I had tasted of the opaque waters of EverQuest, and wandered the polygonal reality of Asheron's Call, but neither of those worlds felt as well rooted, socially or economically, as UO. Then one day, I rolled up a Midguard hunter in DAoC, just to try it out. I didn't play another game, or even another character, for nearly five years.
No other game had the ability to make me feel like what I was doing in the world actually mattered; mattered not just to me, but to my guild and my whole world. Whether it was massive castle sieges, or holding a position with a doughty few against an onslaught of invaders, DAoC gave me moments when I felt truly heroic. It also gave me opportunities to sneak right into the Albion home turf and rain arrows of righteous death onto unsuspecting British sorts. Ah, good times.
DAoC rewarded exploration, encouraged taking chances, but also delivered enough of a slap for foolhardy action that it actually made you think before acting. There were moments when my heart pounded so hard I worried more about my blood pressure than my XP.
Please give me more of that. And if Polaris guild is still around, Griffus says hi.
How did you learn about Camelot Unchained, what made it appealing, and why did you decide to back our KS?
I learned about CU from reading the spiffy blog of the Ancient Gaming Noob. I love that site, even though I'm both more ancient and much less skillful at most MOOs than he is. I'm like the extremely ancient noob - much of my gaming happened in a different geological age.
As for why I backed you... Are you kidding? Even more solid RvR action dressed up in shiny new graphics? Yes, please. I trust you guys to deliver.
Do you have any parting words for your fellow CU backers, and also for those who are thinking about it?
Too many MMOs, and too many players, have made the false assumption that easy = fun, and that any challenge in a game is just standing in the way of enjoyment. Don't believe it.
Why do people tire so quickly of modern MMOs when they're chock full of risk-free reward? Because unearned rewards have no emotional attachment. No sense of accomplishment. There are a lot of pretty MMOs out there that are as emotionally filling as rice cakes.
You want a game that doesn't bore you as soon as the shine wears off the light saber? Make it one where the human element and the in-game consequences make you sweat for every gain. Insist on some risk to spice up rewards, or even the prettiest dish will seem bland.
Oh yeah, and buy my next book. Whenever I get around to writing it.
To all our current backers who are reading this newsletter, we at CSE thank you for your support. You have been awesome to date and I look forward to the day that we are not talking about pledges, backing, etc. but rather how together we can make Camelot Unchained the game that many of us have been waiting so long for, an RvR-focused MMORPG that is willing to take chances, break rules in order to dare to be great. With your continued help and support, we will get there.
Bowbow (kob hunter) Infecto (kob cave shammy) and Thurka (troll warrior) on Merlin/Midgard DAoC
Thurka on WAR