DAOC Origins: 6 Months of Silence
A long time ago old Dark Age of Camelot fans were rejoicing when Mythic announced that they were going to be releasing their "Origins" server. Many of the game's original fans had become disenchanted with DAOC after the release of some controversial expansion packs, and fans had been longing to relive that original DAOC experience.
On June 2nd, 2008, Mythic announced on the Camelot Herald the Origins project and revealed their plan:
"This server is designed to return DAOC to the great game experience it was in 2001/2002, while also applying wisdom from the lessons we have learned since then. DAOC is still a great game, but this server has its own appeal that we ‘old school’ players really enjoyed, and our goal is to get back to that while also continuing to support the other rulesets. Origins will not exactly replicate the game as it was is 2001; we are keeping as a part of server the ‘best features’ we have put into the game since launch, such as housing, horses, the market explorer, UI changes (to name only a few) and many of the improved systems introduced over the years."
The announcement also goes on to lay out their timeframe for the project:
"The most common question continues to be, “Is this really going to happen?”
Origins has been in development for a couple of months now. We have been working with our Team Leads (as part of the Team Lead program) to work through the various gameplay details, ideas, and issues, while also collecting and reading your feedback. Our schedule requires around four to five months of development. This means that since the server has been in development for two months already, we still have another two to three months before it’s ready for primetime. Right now, launch is slated for the August/September timeframe."
On July 29th, 2008, Mythic amended their stance regarding their plans for origins by releasing another announcement:
"Initially, we had an aggressive timetable we wanted to meet in order to get this into the players hands as soon as possible. Now, looking at all the feedback and re-examining our own internal goals and objectives for this server, we realize that it’s better to take a step back and take our time with Origins. What this means in practical terms is that you won’t be seeing Origins in the original Aug.-Sept. timeframe. When we are happier with the overall design and functionality, we will begin talking about a launch date. Until then, we thank everyone for participating during this phase of the Origins project."
It has been almost 6 months, and DAOC fans are left scratching their heads wondering, "Is this really going to happen?" Mythic has yet to give their fans any official updates on the status of the project since then, and now it appears that Mythic has been hit by personnel cuts EA has made due to economic concerns. Mythic no doubt has their hands full with Warhammer Online, which has been wrestling with its own issues. Mark Jacobs made this comment on the Warhammer Alliance regarding the layoffs in regards to Warhammer support:
"It isn't any more complicated than that other than to say that we have a very large studio and pretty much every person there has been and will continue to work on WAR for quite a while (meaning we haven't started work on another game yet)," he continued. "When we launched, we had over 400 people working on the game in one capacity or another so it's not like we had a small team at launch or even a small team now."
There definitely seems to be a demand for Origins, and you would think that given that demand, Mythic would recognize the opportunity to generate some more revenue from their DAOC brand. I find it amazing that there hasn't been much of an update on the official site in almost 6 months, and one has to wonder if the revenue opportunity is getting smaller the longer they remain silent.
Hopefully the economic turmoil and layoffs have not derailed Mythic's original plans to give their old fans a taste of DAOC's original glory. Perhaps Jacobs is telling the truth about "pretty much everyone" working on Warhammer, but you owe the DAOC customers who made your company successful at least some form of an update on if and when this project will see the light of day, or if it has been canceled.
Co-Leader of Inquisition