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The Perfect MMORPG

Pvp is my forte. My achievements: DaoC: Rank 11 Runemaster and Berserker WoW: Gladiator rogue, Warlord Warrior, Gladiator DK Warhammer: Rank 73 Sorcerer and Rank 69 Witch elf

Author: Darrgen

Camelot Unchained

Posted by Darrgen Friday February 8 2013 at 9:07AM
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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. 

Keeps

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.

Combat

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.

Mechanics

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. 

 

UI GUI/Movement

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)

Classes

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)

Morale System

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.  

PVE

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!

 

MarkJacobs writes:

Wow (whoops, I sad a bad word), nice write-up. Thanks for taking the time to do this as well as for your kind words and willingness to give an old bird a second chance! (I still love quoting movie dialogue). :)

I look forward to lots of exchanges over the next few months and hopefully beyond.

Thanks!

Fri Feb 08 2013 9:22AM Report
Darrgen writes: As I'm sure you can tell, you have a very passionate and dedicated group of players willing to support you on this.  I think i speak for a lot of people when I say DaoC caused a lot of us to have no lives for a long time and I can't think of much else I would have rather been doing with that time looking back even now. I really hope you're able to make it happen again because I promise you, now that the MMO market is much larger than it was when DAoC released, if the game is as DaoC was, you will literally need zero advertising. Fri Feb 08 2013 9:43AM Report
MarkJacobs writes:

I do appreciate the support of players, as I always have in the past and will do so in the future. When we put up our Kickstarter I think you'll see how serious I am about not only thanking them the easy way (reward tiers) but of getting them in early to help make a great game. That's one *huge* reason I want to avoid doing a RvR/PvE game, I want to be able to focus all my and the team's energy on doing one thing right. While there will always be the usual "Don't nerf MY class, nerf THEIR class" stuff, it gets sooo much harder when we are trying to serve the PvE/RvR masters at the same time.

I don't know if the Kickstarter will succeed or not, I certainly hope it does and I don't know if this game will live in your or other players' minds the way Dark Age of Camelot did. What I do know is that if it funds, I will do everything in my power not to dissapoint the people who have supported our efforts. I made myself sick over stuff that was happening at Mythic/EA/etc, (multiple visits to my local ER) and I'll probably do so again with CU. I take this stuff quite seriously which is both a strength and a weakness but we'll just have to see how it goes.

No matter what, I do thank you for your support/effort.

Fri Feb 08 2013 10:41AM Report
ziggleo writes:

I'm a long time player of Daoc (2001-2013). I have stuck with daoc for many reasons but one was the simple fact that nothing can beat  the advanced game mechanics. My family has played everything from Terra to Conan and none of these games would pull my attention away from Daoc.

I would love to give feedback for Camelot Unchained as I have specific ideas on how to evolve what is the best mmorpg ever made.

Contested Lands w/ Faction

Something from Warhammer Online that stood out was the faction change of the lands when tower and keeps in the region was under realm control.  The concept that an area was under enemy control and wasnt availible to you for questing or town use was great. Forcing you to take back this region if you required to do quest. You alone wouldnt be able to but as more players required the same agenda completed, you would see the area become contested and change with the needs of the realm. Not to mention realm leaders that would rally players to do the same. This concept was a great way to force realms to fight as each realm would need the same things in thier own realms. End game would have a contected area that was always in a heated battle to struggle for faction control of the area.

Character Collision Detection

Easily put, Having a tank class run past my own team mates to run me down as a support class has always bothered me. Very unrealistic. I have always felt that this was a broken aspect of daoc. Collision detection in rvr needs to be implemented.

Cross Realm Treaties

Lets say for example that one of the three realms have had control of the majority towers or relics for a better part of a monthor more. Neither of the apposing realms can muscle the position of power from this reigning realm. A quest would be flagged for the other two realms that would allow both of the losing realms to begin working to a common goal. The first part of the quest would open up the ability to communicate. Once communication was unlocked then the next step would be finalizing a truce to a common goal. This would ally both side for a short peroid to overcome the dominating force.  Ending in a collaborated effort to wrestle power from the over powered realm.

Realm Player Loyalty

(If you have characters on one realm you cant have them on another. Delete your characters completely to change realms) This mentality would be hard to enforce as having a second account would nulify what was set out to accomplish. Attaching IP to an account would prove difficult as well. I suggest allowing players to be able to play different realms but with a bonus system installed. If you play one realm consistantly you would recive a realm bonis for loyalty. For example: I have been playing Hibernia for over the past few months without logging into the other realms. I would recieve a 10% bonus to features in the game. If I logged over to Albion or Midgard this monus would drop.

Realm Rank / Leveling

I can say this is the reason I enjoyed Daoc so much. The ability to level your character in an alternative way other than grinding levels. The battle of rvr would yield a alternative leveling, building augmentation to your existing character. This was brilliant. I believe this is key to sustaining the same community thats captured love for daoc. This must be implimented into the next game. 

Be careful not to make a C.O.D. magic clone. Stating no pve makes me think of a call of duty magiical sword & board game that would be shollow and not hold attention.

I have faith in Mark Jacobs to make what HE wants and it will be great, even if everyone cries about it forever.

 

Fri Feb 08 2013 12:26PM Report
destrozi writes:

Hey Darrgen. I agree with you totally. DAOC was my favorite game of all time.

I also agree with the mezz comments. Long term cc with immunity timers + purge + de mezz made zerg stomping in DAOC possible. That plus a comprehensive buff system with buffs, debuts and buff shears made pvp combat gameplay top notch.

Now this PvEless sandbox RVR is incredibly ambitious. I really hope Mark can get the formula right. This is my #1 most anticipated game so I have some faith. I could write a book on the merits and importance of DAOC.

Sun Feb 10 2013 8:27PM Report
tokesh writes: So hard to get excited about this game after all the recent MMO failures.  I legitimately have no faith left in developers. Mon Feb 11 2013 12:13AM Report
Darrgen writes:

Yeah I understand what you are saying Tokesh. If I remember correctly we spoke breifly in GW2. 

However I do feel like this could be a game for us DaoC vets that won't let us down like so many games before it that promised RvR like experiences. What those games were missing is tools to allow smaller numbers to thrive in an open world pvp game. Simple fact of the matter is if a group of friends goes out into the world and dies to massive numbers with no means of escape or a way to combat it, then they will eventually stop playing. Over a course of time those that dont like fighting with massive numbers will quit and your population will be left to nothing. Same with organised Zergs that kill other zergs, if they have no way to combat them then it's a matter of time before they will stop playing. In GW2 stuff like this happened a lot. The organised alliances would crush the other 2 sides and those 2 sides would often times transfer or stop playing.

 

As far as I can tell Mark Jacobs plans on having the core mechanics in place that DaoC had that allowed for a good mix of all group sizes including the stealth classes that liked to solo.  We will know more soon though.

Mon Feb 11 2013 8:33AM Report
Masterbas writes:

I have to agree with everything you said Darrgen, the AoE Mez is what helped small group run along in Daoc. Even if every one of us hated being hit by a 1min length Mez, Daoc wouldn't have had this success if smaller group couldn't have run around.

The one concern I have with Camelot Unchained is the "Leveling" system. This is another thing that keeps a player base, is the feeling of evolution of your character. I always loved the Realm Point system of Daoc, but if the whole leveling system is based around it, it would need to be a minimal gain for new comers to be able to compete, but on the other side you'll have long time player who will be bored of almost no evolution of their character.

I'm guessing that Mark and his team will come up with a great idea to this point, but until I see it, it'll be my biggest and only concern about this game.

Other than that, I haven't been this excited with a game since Daoc came out. No other game, MMO or any genre has captured the essence of RvR/PvP like Daoc did. The Tri-Realm battles are what EVERY game is missing. Having battle 1 realm vs another is ok, but having always in the back of your mind the fact that a 3rd one could drop in any time and mess up the whole fight is exhilarating.

I've played Daoc from 1month after release until December 2011. I've spent so much time on all of my char that they almost seems like my babies. I'll always remember some of the epic fight I've had with my Shadowblade in old Emain, or the run in Passage of Conflict with my pbaoe team, or the 8man run of Mordred trying to destroy a Master Level raid in TOA. Oh and not to forget this one fight 4 vs 20 we won so brilliantly and laughed about for 2 weeks. Those memories will stick forever and hopefully Camelot Unchained will bring even more memories like those. No other game as stuck to me this way in my head where I can remember every little detail of a fight. This is how truly immersive Daoc was and hopefully Camelot Unchained will be.

Mon Feb 11 2013 3:17PM Report
Nihilist writes:

As another DAOC vet I share a lot of your interest and optimism.

I do depart on one point which is combat. Action based mehanics are hardly a fad, and in fact essential for MMOs that try to rely less on gear and more on skill.

This is where I think GW2 shines. The lack of a mana or endurance mechanic to prevent spamming and the over the top particle effects bog it down, but otherwise the freedom of movement, skill shots, dodging and other innovations make the actual gameplay a lot more interesting than most MMOs.

I would be very weary of older style systems, especially with the prevalence of macros that allow entire skill chains to be mapped to a single key.

 

Mon Feb 11 2013 5:49PM Report
Darrgen writes: While you are right about some things about GW2(I played quite a bit of Paid tpvp) the combat gets very bland and there is little room for innovation once you have played at a higher level. This is mainly due to the way GW2 classes work though and less on the action combat.  GW2 at the highest level will soon be swapping classes and specs based on each map in the tpvp rotation. Problem is, there isn't enough high level teams playing. You have PZ, PTC and Zyzxz(AIM i think?) team atm and that's it(atleast last i played). Overall I feel like DaoC was a lot more FUN to play combat wise and Group combat wise. Mon Feb 11 2013 7:50PM Report
CyborWolfTK writes:

I agree with much of what has been said here, and echo the sentiments of all, Indeed DaoC left a mark on me that no other game has, with the possible exception of UO's early days.

  One improvement that has been mentioned was the collision detection, and I agree I hated run through, both as a melee and a caster, as both exploited it.

 I also did not like the jumping bean mentality. You could not run and cast, so why could you jump in the air and do it? I hated that.

  If you've watched any current game action from the last year or two, you will see alot of this going on, almost to the point where i feel nausea watching the video of it.

  I do want to throw my hat into the ring in reguards to the more action conversation. I'd love to see and feel a more Vindictus feel but with Daoc's mechanics If that's even possible. Just something to think about.

  On my Radar(not to bring up a sore subject!)i have

1. Camelot Unchained

2. Black Desert

3/4. Arche Age, and Bless.

 

  I want CU to make me forget those other titles!

Good Luck MJ, make us proud!

P.S. And take it easy man, we don't want you dying for it! :P

Tue Feb 12 2013 1:54AM Report

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