Everyone who's ever read a blog of mine knows how passionate I am or have been for a sequel to one of the greatest games I've ever played Dark age of Camelot. I've practically been begging for one for a long time now and now it seems I might just get what I wished for in Camelot Unchained.
Now first of all let me be clear about a few things, I've not always been the biggest supporter of Mark Jacobs. Most of it stems from Warhammer online a game in which I myself hyped up to all my WoW friends only to be crushed when it wasn't what it should have been. Whether or not this was Marks fault or not i'll never really know but I'm willing to give the guy that helped create a game that has left a void in all other MMO's since another chance. Especially reading a lot of the posts he's making, I feel like he may very well understand what he needs to do with this game to make it a success. So I will contribute as much as I possibly can to this effort because I feel like it is the closest I'll be able to get to recapturing some of the magic DaoC brought to gaming.
So I'd like to throw out a few ideas of my vision of Camelot Unchained.
We all know and love keep battles, but I feel more can be done with them. The area in which a keep is captured should be somewhat customizable by the guild who claimed it. By this I mean give Keeps an RTS style feel where structures can be built by the players and setup in the way they want them to be setup. Allow for all sorts of customisation options as well to really give keeps that are owned by guilds a personal feel. For instance some of the ideas I have for this is when claimed you can build a structure that allows for NPCs to gather wood from nearby trees. These trees would then provide more options for the guild to upgrade things on or around the keep but if not well protected by defensive structures can be destroyed and severely cripple the keeps ability to defend itself or upgrade. There is a lot of ways you can go with this idea but I think it would add that special something to keeps that would make people want to drop what they are doing to help defend or help take.
Anyone else tired of the current fad action based combat? I feel like now days mmos are nothing more than a single player button mash game. Dont get me wrong they can be fun but I loved Dark Age of Camelot's combat mechanics. Positioning for casters was important to cast because if you didn't choose well you could be hit with anything and you weren't casting for around 2 seconds without burning a major cooldown. Reactionary styles for melee instead of this instant GCD combat we have in most games now days to me was much more enjoyable. The only thing I would like to see differently regarding this is maybe certain abilities with cooldowns that do more utility things for casters that aren't interruptable by regular attacks. Then give certain melee classes an ability that allows for interrupts of these uninterruptable abilities on a cooldown to add some reaction skill to the combat.
Here's the big one and this is the one that a lot of people will disagree with but I will make a case for why it is important. DaoC did several things right with game mechanics that a lot of people take for granted.
Group out of combat speed was great for a game like this. The thing that DaoC did though was give several types of speed, there wasn't just mount speed and normal speed, there was in total about 6 different speeds that groups could have. Speed 1 was considered normal player speed and speed 6 was the fastest you could go(speed5+sprinting). What this allowed was varying size groups to utilize different speeds. The most common speed on classes was speed4 which a lot of casters got so most semi large groups used this speed since not every group would have a speed 5 class. This allowed the more organised smaller groups to have a chance to flee from larger numbers. Zergs usually ran on no speed at all simply because they were the least organised and couldn't distribute speed classes to every person that tagged along. What I would change with this though is allow for speed classes to have a speed that works out of group for players around the speed class(around speed3). What this would do is make the most common speed for Big groups and zergs speed3 since it's the easiest to distribute to everyone. Where as single groups would run a bit faster allowing for escape.
Ranged AoE Mesmeration is also a key mechanic for an RvR game. This one what people would dispute the most but I'll give you a few reasons why you almost need it and also how it works if you dont know. First let me explain how it works. ranged AoE mesmeration was the most common opener for groups when they encountered enemies. What this would do was if landed on a group that didn't get spread out in time it would put them to sleep for varying times depending on class and talents(baseline was 1 minute but the average time was around 30 seconds if you weren't completely naked with no resists). This ability broke on ANY damage and was also able to be Cured by a class with dispell or purged by an ability that every class got with points. The reason this mechanic is needed is simply because you MUST have tools in place for smaller groups to utilise that larger numbers can't really benefit from in order to have a wide variety of player group sizes. If you dont then Larger number will almost certainly always win and you will lose population at a massive rate. You want classes that can solo effectively in an RvR game, you want ways that groups of 4 to 16 can go out and feel like they can contribute and kill stuff rather than just die to massive numbers, and you also want Zergs to able to do their thing for those people that like to play with large groups of people(I love a little bit of it all depending on what friends are on at what time of day). If you dont have this healthy mix then you get games like Warhammer, and Guild wars 2 where the RvR is insanely bland and not fun for anyone that likes things other than just following large numbers around.
Also on the note of CC, DaoC had a much better way of handling immunities than current games. You got hit with a root, you were immune to any root effects for 1 minute, you got hit with a mesmeration you were immune for 1 minute. Games nowdays do diminishing returns immunity which I think is far worse. Nothing like breaking a cc with an ability only to get hit by it again right after but for less duration.
This is a big one for me and part of the only reason I dont still play dark age of camelot. Dark age's graphics are fine for me, but it's the sluggish movement and GUI that really hurt the game. Movement needs to be much more like GW2 or WoW as far as when you run and strafe you just run at an angle rather than what DaoC does and makes you actually strafe slow. Also DaoC shows it's age with all the /commands you have to know to do a lot of the stuff if you dont want that giant bar on your screen. Make it a little easier to interact with things like modern mmos(which is the only thing I would take from modern mmos)
While DaoC had a lot of class diversity I felt that if you could play a healer you could play all the healers or play a caster you could play them all and same with melee. What I would like to see is more diverse mechanics between classes. For instances, i'll take runemaster as an example. They played very similar to eldrich and wizards. What could be done to make a Runemaster much more unique is like a combo point system similar to rogues in WoW but on a caster and renamed to Runes. When you build up runes from normal attacks to 5 you could use maybe a runebolt which went a little further and did a little more damage or if you built to 3 it would allow your root to hit 3 targets or something of that nature. Just something to spice up each class and make them feel different than all the rest.(I could go on with class ideas for a long time like Berserker rage bar allowing to shift in and out of Vendo form but I'll save that for a later date)
One of the best things I liked about Warhammer Online's combat system. This would make a good fit in CU. As combat goes on you build for abilities rather than having the abilities as soon as you enter combat.
So far what we know is Camelot Unchained will have little to no PvE. I sort of like this idea but at the same time I'll miss things like Tuscan Glacier and Sidi raids that went on all the time. Not to mention it kept those players that weren't initially in the mood to RvR at the moment in the game so when things like surprise relic raids happened they'd immediately drop what they were doing in those dungeons to help support the realm.
So how with such a small team and small budget can pve be done? Well my idea would be not to worry about PvE initially but leave it open as an addon later in the game. Make it as optional as possible so people who didn't want to buy didn't need to. Basically you could sale it as almost an entirely seperate game that if you had both games characters from either game could be used in the other.
Anyways I'll wrap this blog up. I'm excited to see the coming news and visions for this game. I hope some of my ideas aren't too far off of what Mark jacobs has in store. Bump if you like the ideas!