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  • Camelot Unchained - EXCLUSIVE - Mark Jacobs on the Road Ahead for Camelot Unchained - MMORPG.com

    I just cant bring myself to care about full PVP focused games anymore. Yeah the focus on the PVP and make it good but, everything else takes a ding and pvp games feel population drop off a lot more than PVE or PVE/PVP centric games. Love Warhammer AoR but its primary flair was PVP and when the pop dipped it felt it hard. So good luck to him when he gets this out sometime around the release of Kingdom Hearts 3 and the next good silent hill game.
    I hear what you're saying and agree with your statements about the history of most PvP focused MMORPGs. 

    However, Camelot Unchained is aiming to address some fundamental MMO issues to prevent history repeating itself. The biggest thing is they are using horizontal progression, rather than vertical. This will hopefully mean an end to power gaps, which means newbies won't have such a terrible experience. They'll actually be able to contribute in a meaningful way from day 1, rather than having to get stomped for a few months before they can be competitive. 

    CU is also going for a very deep combat system that should be much more engaging long term, keeping players in game for longer. It's avoiding full loot systems too, so despite being a PvP game it's not aiming just at the ultra-hardcore crowd. 

    Finally, with their bespoke engine, their servers should house 10s of thousands of players, so whilst you will notice a dropoff eventually, it will be more a case of the scale of battles reducing, rather than the frequency. 
  • Why do people hate isometric?

    I generally dislike isometric (or whatever the correct term is for fixed angle top down view) games. 
    • You are disconnected from your character. In a standard iso game, you never get a decent view of your toon, just hairstyle and shoulder pads. It sucks. I like to be able to connect with my character, it is what helps with immersion. I cannot connect with the top of someone's head. 
    • You can't see far enough. No matter what game it is, there is invariably a point where someone is firing arrows at me but I can't see them. But, beyond that, simply not being able to enjoy the view is frustrating. 

    Beyond that, most of the issues I have aren't to do with the view, but more with the common features of isometric games. I hate click-movement. I strongly dislike action combat in isometrics. I tend to dislike the style of the worlds that developers build. 

    There is one positive. Isometric RPGs are pretty much the only type of RPG left that allows split screen multiplayer. So, despite the low quality worlds and easy-mode combat, I'm willing to put up with it in order to actually play an RPG with mate. 
  • CU big announcement Thursday Jan 18th

    Iselin said:
    I've been checking in on the CU site every hour today.....well, since 9am US anyway. Nothing yet, but I remain excited!
    Look elsewhere on this site.

    I'm a bit annoyed. I can't actually find an announcement anywhere. I mean, if you are announcing something....announce it! All I can see is the interview on this site, and a separate interview on MOP, and neither link to an announcement. It's not on the official site either. Am I missing something?

    So, this announcement seems to be $7.5m in additional investment. That's obviously great news! Even better is confirmation that the design of the game isn't changing one bit, nor is the business model (though I noticed they now refer to it as the "launch" business model). 

    But, in this interview, Mark says this is the second of 4 big announcements. The final one he said will be the timeline (beta + release dates) which we'll get within 30 days. Anyone know what the first big announcement was?
  • Resurrecting Warhammer Online - General Columns

    I certainly had fun in WAR, but I have to remind myself why I quit. Think I played for 6 months following launch, then attempted to go back to it a couple of times after my first exit.

    Yes, I loved my characters. "Spit" was my black orc and "Scab" was my squig herder. Both great classes and I loved some of the greenskin areas. The PvP, when balanced, was amazing.

    But, the PvP was never balanced. For tiers 1-3 it was less noticeable with the scaling, but tier 4 was horrendous. The power gaps in WAR were just ridiculous. For example, my RR50 black orc (tank) had less armour and mitigation than a typical RR70+ clothie. Acquiring gear at launch was also a nightmare, you just had to hope you got lucky during sieges.

    It got a bit better later on when they made the gear much easier to acquire and ranks much faster to obtain, but by that point the game had already lost most of it's population.

    Still, despite the complaints, nothing has ever quite beaten that feeling of taking the last keep in a zone, having it flip and then watching 200+ players swarm over the countryside on their way to further conquest! Or the first fortress fight on our server that had nearly 600 destruction attacking, and 400 order defending......sure, we killed the server, the game was coded like shit, but the slideshow looked epic! Was great to just be a part of something of that scale.
  • CU big announcement Thursday Jan 18th

    CrazKanuk said:
    CrazKanuk said:
    OK, so they posted a link to the "announcement of the announcement" newsletter on MOP. The newsletter says nothing about this announcement being bigger than beta 1, so I'm now back to being convinced that this will just be the beta 1 announcement that was promised last month. 
    No MJ has clearly said it’s not Beta 1 but bigger than that. Beta 1 announcement will come soon though.

    Ok, so if it's not a Beta 1 announcement, then I'm assuming that a release date announcement is out of the question, so @cameltosis can probably scratch his #1. I'll write a new #1 for you....

    1) That stuff that had us fucked has now been unfucked. 

    I feel like that would be pretty big. 
    Na, if this announcement is bigger than Beta 1, I still think an actual release date is possible. 

    Stuff that fucked them up has already been unfucked. I guess new staff could be a big announcement from CSE's point of view, but from our point of view I can't see it being big news unless they announce new features (which I can't see happening) or confirm a release schedule as a result of the new hires. 

    Cool! I was unaware of that. I haven't actually checked on this in a couple months, so I'm out of the loop. Good to hear it's on some sort of track? 
    So, as far as I'm aware there were two major setbacks on the project. 

    1) Staff - they really struggled to hire staff for their Fairfax, Virginia office. Its not a place known for game development so there was no natural pool of talent to draw from locally, they had to try and entice people to move. Apparently Fairfax isn't particularly attractive so developers were unwilling to relocate!

    This was solved quite a while ago now. They opened up a new studio in Seattle and managed to hire the appropriate talent there. This obviously took time to do and was funded by Mark's own money, along with additional money from their primary investor. I have a vague recollection that the additional investment totalled $6m, but I can't find anything about it so I'm probably remembering incorrectly!

    2) Re-abilitation - CU doesn't have "skills" like most MMOs. It has components that we then combine to create our own skills. This is absolutely core to the gameplay and took a hell of a lot of work to complete.....but it didn't work quite right. My memory is failing me again, I have a feeling the issue was that the ability system didn't scale properly or didn't interact with other components of the engine properly, so whilst early testing of the ability system was successful, later tests highlighted issues. 

    When they delved into the root cause of the problems, they realised that it was unfixable. They could have gotten away with what they already had as it did work, just not as well as they wanted. So, they decided to re-do the system completely, fixing the issues that had been highlighted during testing but also making some minor improvements in other areas too. They called this work "re-abilitation" and it took them nearly a year to complete, but it is now complete. 

    As with any large software project, you expect delays along the way, but I think these were the two big ones and both set CSE back by about a year each. The re-abilitation project was a pretty fundamental one as it meant they couldn't really work on other stuff while the dev doing the engine worked on this. Can't really start testing combat or classes if no-one can use abilities!

    Anyway, my hope remains high for this project. I'm a software developer myself so I really appreciate the effort that CSE have spent on the underlying tech. They've been doing all the hard stuff first, ensuring a solid technical foundation before adding the game stuff on top of it. It's what makes me confident that it'll be a solid platform when it launches. Now that they've completed the underlying tech, it also makes me hopeful that the remaining stuff (the bits we actually find interesting) will be developed at a very rapid rate - because it's easier than the underlying tech.