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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at www.spouseaggro.com, write for www.ablegamers.com, run www.mmovoices.ning.com and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

Dark Age of Camelot: Take Two

Posted by beauturkey Wednesday December 16 2009 at 8:20PM
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I'll be honest, I wrote a first draft of this blog post that was not much more than pointing out that many of the flaws in DAoC and other "pre-WoW" games are responsible for the current environment that many of those "old-school" players gripe about that exists now.

You know the stuff: "Games are too easy  now!" "WoW has ruined the market!" "It's all easy mode vanilla land!"

Note that most of these constant gripings are coming from WoW players, or players that played WoW pretty much religiously for YEARS. They had their fun with it, or are still having their fun with it, but it's as though a NEW gaming sub-hobby has come out of the WoW community: constantly hating your hobby.

But, I decided that that old point was detracting from the fun I have been having in DAoC, namely because of the difficulties that the game has. I don't mean difficult as in hard to do, I mean difficult as in trying to figure out how the hell to do something really basic. Hiding information from your players, just for the record, is not a learning curve. But something about having to manually type out a location to cast your spell on is kind of fun. And although the Immersion Rules forbid me from using world chats, the help channel is not off-limits. (As long as the help requested is not like "Someone help me kill this mob?")

I've been enjoying the community, and enjoying (I can't believe I am saying this) stumbling through bad fonts, horrible descriptions and basic controls.

The flight path, for example. You buy the "ticket." Fine, did that. NOW what? Turns out you have to drag and drop it back onto the NPC you bought it from, then you get to fly. Now, that doesn't seem so complicated, but when you are brand new to the game and used to any and all flight paths being, you know, explained better, then you can see how mind-boggling it is to have to try and figure out "Oh! I buy the ticket, and then give it back to the guy!" There is no hint whatsoever that tells you "drag it to the guy." Same with casting a spell. Well, certain kind of spells. The community, again, was the only source of information.

Still, I've been enjoying these...puzzles...in the game. I haven't stepped too far out of the newbie experience, and already I am puzzled as to where all these guides or clues might be. But, being puzzled doesn't mean that I am not enjoying being puzzled!

I died for the first time today, and had no idea what to do. I couldn't get the help chat back (for some reason) and could not find a button for "resurrect" or "release." All that I saw was a "time until release" countdown. So, I just typed /release (I guessed) and off I went without knowing what the punishment for dying was.

Again, this is kind of fun, but I am weird like that. I like having to stumble around until you can figure out how to do things. I like having to figure out basic things like "Open the item, then go to info, THEN drag the items ability to your bar, THEN you can use it." It makes for a strangely organic experience.

Graphically, the game holds up very well. I think they did a graphics update in '05, soon after I stopped playing. I do NOT remember the game looking like it does. It looks actually quite nice, especially at night. (Why do all games look better at night? Different shaders?) The character selection and customization is robust and fun, and this was the first time I got to play a tree-dude! I was, to say the least, pleasantly surprised when I logged in.

So, is it a bad thing that these games that we used to play actually created the perfect need for a game like WoW? Not at all. You have to have "mainstream" games like WoW to have smaller, independent or unusual games. Same with music or movies. And that's not saying that a "mainstream" product can't be a blast. It's just saying that everything has it's place, and a game like DAoC sure feels nice all of a sudden. Granted, I haven't jumped into high level this or extreme that. I probably never will, instead going off for a while to explore, to die and to try to figure things out. But the game has surprised me, and has fired off an idea to re-examine a lot of the "old" (like 10 years ago was that long ago hehe) games that I played but barely remember.

Like a lot of my tastes, I'll bet my gaming has changed to more fully appreciate a game with a steeper "learning curve."

Beau

LodenDSG writes:

I agree completly, I have found that I truly enjoy having to figuer it out I suppose thats why I enjoyed EVE, Darkfall and games of the sort. They arn't really dead on with the idea of what I like but thouse games requiered that I think a bit to play EVE especaly I still dont have it mastered and keep going back even though I prefer my MMOs in the fantasy variaty and am not typicaly a big PvP basicly the opposit of what you would expect of an EVE player.

Thu Dec 17 2009 9:21AM Report
Vinterkrig writes:

First of all, if you started at level 1, you would have been sent to the training island, where just about every basic thing is explained.

So your little drag a scroll onto a guy puzzle... I'm not getting it

Same thing with the dying, There is a panel you can open via the toolbar with the character and all that , that has a rezz button on it

and i'm pretty sure they put it on your toolbar when you start (newbie styles/spell stick/face/rez (though i could be wrong about the rez part)

 

all in all, this write up wouldn't of happened if you had actually started a new char/payed attention to the tutorial island or just used common sense

and this is still the best overall mmo out there imo, too bad its a sinking ship

Fri Dec 18 2009 12:20AM Report
Vinterkrig writes:

oh

and setting up a ground target , doesn't have to be manually typed in

do you not look at key configurations? do you not keybind? do you not make macros?

good god, this is why DAOC got dumbed down the way it is today .. and its still too much for most people heh

Fri Dec 18 2009 12:22AM Report
beauturkey writes:

Yes, it is a brand  new character and  account.

 I'm glad that your screen had all these buttons and shortcuts on them, and the new player tutorials had these additional explanations in it for you, but they did not for me. (Yet, possibly?)

 I must be stupid. I should have KNOWN that, in order to cast a spell, you had to first get a little target by typing /groundset and then a distance. After all, that's common sense! Like, duh! After all, nothing mentioned this little phrase I had to type, and nothing "popped up" to show me this little phrase, but I should have known that! 

 I can't believe I actually met a player that considers hidden information to be part of a learning curve instead of just a result of stupid design. You might consider that the changes to the game might have actually made the game smarter, not dumber.

  

 Beau

Fri Dec 18 2009 2:17AM Report
Vinterkrig writes:

Well my accounts aren't new and whenever I made a new character, I got sent to the stupid training island.

Though nothing for a groundset spell would of pop'd up you don't actually have to type anything out, there is a groundset key, if you look at your keyboard setup.

And what hidden information? ... and stupid design?  LOL, guess I've played DAOC for so many years I can't see it that way, I've actually never heard it complained about once.

You must really hate interupted spell casts....and if all the changes they've made over the year were a + , rather then the - most people saw it for, there would still be a lot more players around

Fri Dec 18 2009 9:11AM Report
beauturkey writes:

 "guess I've played DAOC for so many years I can't see it that way, I've actually never heard it complained about once."

 You just hit the nail on the head. 

 Understand that I AM on a newbie island, with barely an explanation for many things. Go back and read where I say that this is a bad thing. I am saying that it is one of the reasons that WoW came along, but where did I say that it is a bad thing OR that any of  this hidden information makes the game "complicated" or "hard"?

 Quit knee-jerking. I am not saying I do not understand the game or that it sucks. 

 

 Beau

 

Fri Dec 18 2009 10:22AM Report
Vinterkrig writes:

is that picture a screen shot you took?

Fri Dec 18 2009 6:13PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 No, I found that. Thus the "MMOHUT" watermark. I didn't have Photoshop on this PC, so I just nabbed one off the internet. 

Fri Dec 18 2009 6:38PM Report
Vinterkrig writes:

well on the first tab of the menu, it'll say commands or something, it'll pop open that menu, it'll give you most of the things you need as a noobie as far as not having to make your own macros or type shit out

Fri Dec 18 2009 6:50PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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