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the Lonely Altar

I don't play "games", I play MMORPGs! This is where I talk about them!

Author: Tierless

#101 Camelot Unchained, too crazy for us?

Posted by Tierless Sunday July 27 2014 at 2:39PM
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When is a map no longer a map? When it’s a puzzle! That is what was racing through my mind as I watched the “BSC” Camelot Unchained map presentation by Mark Jacobs. I came in like an idea noob thinking it would match the ideal in my head (even though that is impossible) and within a minute changed to...Why would you do this to the game world! This is the single most important part of an MMO! Why would you do this to MY map! We know what works, why are you breaking it! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!!!...

Much like my expectations what lie before my eyes was not the image of a giant open world to live in, it was a broken, shattered, mass of islands to fight on! Islands that remind me of...of...of INSTANCES! Small, zoned, isolated, pvp, INSTANCES! Yes, thats what they look like even if they aren’t! (See how quickly fear makes you jump to MORE fear no matter how illogical?) How could this be? Where did I go wrong? What was I thinking? What were THEY thinking!? Is he trolling us? How can this work?!?! Fear, worry, terror! My gut reaction was to jump in my wambulance and grab the can of gasoline I was saving for just such an occasion and burn this house down!!! Tierless ANGRY! Tierless ROARRRRR!!!!...

...But I didn’t. I didn’t do it because I’ve jumped the gun with a keyboard enough times to know typing while emotional is a dangerous thing. I didn’t because I knew I wasn’t yet grasping what was being said. I forced calm because I know for a fact that the map is MY baby! It’s my precious! And because it is I knew I would be more susceptible to a freak the F out during this presentation than any of the others! Above all else that is why I needed to take a step back, breath, listen, give it some time, then come back at this concept. That...and the fact that I was about 30 seconds into the part where he pulls the map apart! Yes, all of that happened quickly because fear is faster than a snake in a burning cane field! A very illogical snake.

I’m letting you into the depths (ok shallows) of my mind on this because I’m guessing many Camelot Unchained followers (both backers and not) felt the exact same way at some point during the “BSC Days”. During those 4 crazy days CSE hit us with an absolute barrage of ideas so far outside the box they were in a circle! I’m letting you know that as soon as it landed on my doormat I was terrified of the change I always knew was coming. The change I was even asking for! I’m describing my mental struggle to you so you don’t feel alone, so you know it’s only natural to fear that burning bag of change on your doormat!

Humans are a fickle lot. No matter how badly we ask for change we never REALLY expect it to come into OUR homes. Change you say? Sure, change everything in an mmo....except MY thing...leave MY thing alone, k thanks! But it doesn’t work that way. You can’t add a new ingredient without changing the recipe and you darn sure can’t expect that new recipe to taste like the old one. You can’t listen to Jacobs say (paraphrasing) “don’t back this unless you want crazy ideas, don’t back this if you fear change, we expect to piss some people off” then act out in fear and anger when it happens, or rather, in my opinion you shouldn’t because at this point it just doesn’t make sense. Constructively question, sure. Fear, no.

Killing ideas out of fear is what has led this genre down this sad and uninspired path over the last 10 years. Having the stones to try things that WILL upset a few people is what will save it. I’ll keep writing down my questions, I’ll keep thinking about the hows and the whys but I’m keeping my Roundup in the shed. I’ll let uncomfortable MMO ideas grow a bit before I decide if I need to spray them (or trim them depending) and I hope other MMOers are willing to do the same. The fans need to ask more of the developers, but in turn the developers need to ask more of the fans. Are you fan enough to sacrifice something you love for the benefit of the entire genre? Are you willing to allow change and progress even if it means adapting to something you're not comfortable with? Do you agree that Megatron is cooler than Cy-Kill? I hope that most of us answered yes to those three questions because the genre depends on it!

It’s not just about Camelot Unchained, it’s about the entire genre. It’s about all of the devs knowing they can bring out their inner crazy and it WONT send fans running for their pitchforks and gasoline. (FYI there's a time for that, it’s called open Beta still broken) It’s about accepting your afraid of change, but being brave enough to allow it inspite of it compromising your precious X,Y, or even Z!

Stage set, wambulance parked, mask on, the next few blogs will cover some of those ideas that CSE is planning for Camelot Unchained. I plan to look at the good, the bad, and the ugly and I’ll even do all of it without running around screaming that the sky is falling (well, I’ll TRY not to). Do they sound crazy good, crazy bad, or just huh, crazy! Tune in “soon” as I go deep into the cave of Bat S*** Crazy! Same BSC blogger, same BSC blog! Watch the skies for the Tier symbol...or the “newest posts” section under blogs.

Special thanks to someone that helped me get over a touch of blogger block and take these BSC blogs to the maximum amount of crazy! Sometimes you gotta walk away to walk forward. Thanks again!

BSC Map presentation link available here, note my panic started at about 6 mins in.

More map info here


#100 CSE is Bat **** Crazy about it's Fans

Posted by Tierless Friday July 11 2014 at 5:01AM
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The big 100! You didn’t think I’d still be doing this did you? Whelp what better game to talk about for the big 1-O-O than the one that got me blogging in the first place (yes blame CU) and MY OH MY what a time to talk about it, some might say it’s a bat **** crazy time...see below.

If there is one thing that defines Camelot Unchained, CSE, and Mark Jacobs as bat **** crazy it has to be doing something like that link above outlines. They don’t have to do that. They don’t need to do that. They probably never had the time to do that. But somehow they did it and they did it for their fans.

I’ll admit it’s been a long 1.5ish years in waiting for game mechanics to be outlined in greater detail. Hopefully after BSC days more mechanics will be set in stone or at least close to it. Without further ado lets look at some of the things this blogger is excited about CSE pulling back the veil on.

“Who is our latest partner?” Partner? Interesting. This scares me as much as it excites me. In my experience quality in partners can greatly vary. Will it be a legend like “Robin” or a PITA like “D-Man”? We will have to tune in to find out.

“Player Stats!” Oh my, this one is sure to send a few people into a frenzy for both good and bad reasons. From what we know about CU I don’t think anyone that wants more complexity from their MMO will be disappointed. I can’t wait to see if I my prediction is accurate.

“It’s BSC Magic Time” Did I say stats might send some people into a frenzy...if so I guess this one might send them into a frenzy-times two! Thats right, X2 baby! Bam! The magic system, the very fabric of the game, the power source, the anticipation! One could argue that in an MMO like CU nearly every mechanic will relate to magic one way or another. I simply cannot wait to see how this magic system will function. I can’t say I have a prediction other than minds will be blown and wambulances may be called because; decisions.

“Combat System - DIY?” You had my interest with “combat system” but you earned by full attention with “DIY”. I can only imagine what this might mean, and it is very very exciting. I don’t know how one would accomplish such a thing, but I’ll be watching to find out.

Ok lets do some shotgun rounds here to cram in the stuff I didn’t mention and don’t have room for! Tea, Oops, Yearly Recap, QNA QNA QNA galore, interviews galore, We Have A Store, Races, Live Streams Galore, A Map or a Trap, CRAFTING MAGIC and MAGIC CRAFTING and much much more including surprises (who doesn’t like those?)....oh and did I say LIVE GAMEPLAY! Yes, at long last, GAMEPLAY and it’s LIVE! Given it’s like...pre pre pre pre pre pre pre Alpha gameplay, it’s gameplay! The one thing people have been asking for since day one, and it will be seen every night during the BSC days, live!

Did you notice I’m pretty darn excited, like waited 1.5 years excited, but I’m also cautiously excited. As much as all of us long for this sort of info the reality is it will be upsetting to many because any time a game wide decision is made someone gets upset. It’s part of the genre, heck it’s part of being human. Let us hope cooler heads prevail and the amount of freaking out is limited and the responses constructive. Just remember, CSE has always been very clear. Camelot Unchained is old school new, it’s BSC, and it’s not for everyone but in my opinion even though change is often unsettling at first when it’s being directed by the right people, it will not disappoint.

“Uh, aren’t you forgetting a little something Tierless?”

Oh yeah, contests and PRIZES, watch CSE talk about the game, maybe get into a contest or snag a prize or something, pretty sweet deal. WARNING: “Some contests will be tied to social sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), but other contests will take place on our Forums (and are thus limited to our Backers) and elsewhere.”

“Tierless must you always be so difficult?”

What? I saved the craziest for last because; anticipation...LADIES AND GENTLEMMOERS I give you “The Most BSC Idea Yet - Progression” Since this was saved for the last day, even coming after Magic and DIY Combat I think we can assume this truly is the most BSC idea for CU to this point. I don’t know what this means, I’m not sure how it works, I don’t know who this Mark Jacobs thinks he is taking liberties with something as timed tested and familiar as progress in an MMORPG...but BY GAWD I am waiting with flame baited breath to find out!

The man’s got stones folks, flint stones because if you can control fire you don’t fear the flames. Has he once again fed the rulebook to his dragon and dared to go where few devs have gone before by challenging us to brave a totally new form of MMO progression?!?! Knowing him I think so, but like I keep saying I CAN NOT WAIT to find out! I’ll be watching this from inside my wambulance with a can of gasoline and a fire extinguisher strapped in behind me because you never know which you might need to reach for and until BSC ends days neither will I, but I can’t wait to find out. ;)

#99 Console Crowd Saves the MMORPG

Posted by Tierless Tuesday July 8 2014 at 9:57AM
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Destiny is not an MMORPG.

Grand Theft Auto is not an MMORPG.

Disney Infinity is not an MMORPG.

And yet the things that those games do great, or look like they will do great were taken directly from MMORPGs. People love those games, even the one that isn’t out yet because, reasons. Specifically the console crowd loves those games. As an MMOer, I love those games. Heck I want to buy a darned console just to play them! Yes, a PCer wanting to jump ship because those games appear to do MMO better than MMOs even in the limited capacity that they do them!

I love them because games like them, games that are made for the non MMOer but have many MMO features are subtly introducing that crowd to the MMORPG concept. It’s hard to imagine that it will be the non MMO that revives the MMO but as I type the console crowd is about to come of age, develop finer tastes, ask for more, and go out looking for it. For every kid that loves Destiny you will have one that says “what if we had 25 player co-op or 50, or 500, what if we have 1000 player VS mode!”. It’s only natural for that generation to want more.

Had WOW not sent the genre down the wrong direction for 8 years we might have something to offer them right now. Instead we have to wait for games like EQN and CU that raise the bar for what living in a game can be. I hope that by the time the console crowd realizes they are excited about features that MMOs had 20 years ago and ask themselves a definitive “W-T-F” that we have something better to offer. The first company that does will have something like a WOW on their hands.

I’m not proud of how little this genre has advanced. 20 years ago developers were making virtual worlds and now they make virtually limited games. Kickstarter has helped get MMOs back on track but it will be the mature console gamer that helps MMOs advance in leaps and bounds again because the console crowd is a vast and mighty one. That can translate into big dollars if you can retain them.

Unfortunately they are as fickle as they are numerous but let us again hope that when offered something above and beyond games with MMO touches they reach out and touch upon a MMO to live in and decide to stay for a while. Before the obvious happens I beg you developers! Do not make games FOR the console crowd, make MMORPGs that give console games an ideal to strive toward. These co-op sandboxes are taking what MMOs used to do great and making it work in their limited capacity, take from them what makes their games great then apply it to a true MMO, not the WOW kind, the original kind, the virtual world.

The console crowd is ready, now it’s up to this genre to stop making games that are watered down versions of theirs and start giving them a reason to buy a PC.