Do you have a new game you just cannot wait to sink your teeth into? How about voting for it?
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Do you have a new game you just cannot wait to sink your teeth into? How about voting for it?
Go here to vote for your most anticipated game for 2015 and beyond!
Mark over at CSE released information today on Camelot Unchained's Viking Warrior Class.
Very exciting update you don't want to miss!
Check it out here:
One of the very unique races in Camelot Unchained is the Hamadryad. Here is their story.
"One of the strangest-looking hybrid races in the world of Camelot Unchained, this matriarchal race of the Tuatha Dé Danann are well-suited to any career. While they might not be the strongest fighters, or the most magically gifted of their Realm, their special abilities and their multi-function tail, make them a versatile companion on the field of battle or at the forge."
It has been said that “great storms announce themselves with a single breeze” and so it was with the piercing of the Veil. At first, the Veilstorms did not savage the world of Camelot Unchained but rather, the earliest whispers of power from them brought about slight alterations and changes to a very limited range of the world’s flora and fauna. Some people interpreted these changes as evil signs and portents of destruction while others simply ignored them.
However, eventually these changes became so widespread and conspicuous that even the most skeptical and/or oblivious of human beings recognized that indeed, something they were indeed a harbinger of a coming apocalypse. In response, humanity reacted, as it always tends to do, in widely divergent ways. Some people panicked, new religions popped up, some people went to hide in mountains, others held parties, etc. One group, the subjects of this tale, left their homeland and set out to find the deepest, darkest and, they thought, safest part of a great forest and build a new life therein.
While this family had always been close and respectful of nature before the Veilstorms, they now took that to an entirely different level. They chose a spot near an old and majestic oak tree for their new home, carefully using only the wood from dead trees to build it. Their food came from what they could grow, gather and scavenge and they took a vow never to harm another living entity unless in self-defense or for survival (such as growing plants for food). As the world changed around them, their enclave remained virtually unchanged.
Attributing their safety to their piety, devotion to nature and gratitude that they also believed that the great oak tree was also protecting them. Other people, hearing stories of this enclave, made the difficult journey to visit this family, seeking their advice, support and blessing. Of those that reached them, many stayed on to help build a settlement while others, who found their devotion to preserving life to be a bit too restrictive and harsh, went out into the forest to form their own enclaves. While the forest did offer some protection from the storms, unfortunately, the safety was only transitory.
As the intensity of the Veilstorms increased, even the family’s enclave began to suffer from their effects. Whether it was from the energy of the accompanying winds or the mutative powers of the storms, the great forest was eventually reduced to a mere grove of trees and then to the one great oak tree. With their forest being laid bare around them, the family and many of their followers held strong to their beliefs. And when the first of the “Malevolences” (a mutative, destructive storm that is accompanied by a “light show” of dark energies) hit, they didn’t hide within their buildings, instead they used their own bodies to shield the base of that one remaining oak tree.
As the storm reached its zenith, they took the full brunt of its fury. As the storm surged around them, they sang, chanted and begged to be given the strength to protect this one last tree. Sadly though, their devotion was no match for the power of the Veilstorm. When the storm finally abated, all that was left was the trunk of a dead oak tree and no trace of the tree’s valiant defenders. That is at least, until one year later."
Continue reading here: http://camelotunchained.com/en/races-2/hamadryad/
Andrew continues the Foundational Principles with #13 Chaos Goes Boing!
"One of the things I remember about the earliest days of MMORPGs was that any time you got a bunch of UO or EQ players together in a room, the conversation would inevitably take a turn towards, “Oh really? Well let me tell you about this crazy thing that happened to MY character…”
Every player’s character had their own story, and that’s something we’ve largely lost in the most recent crop of MMOs. Don’t get me wrong; the last MMO I spent much time playing had a great storyline. It had a meaningful plot. It had villains and heroes. It had moving characters with their own histories and lives, and I cared about them. But that story wasn’t really my story. It was the story the designers were telling me, and they were telling the same story to every character of my class/race/tribe/whatever. I loved their story, but once I got to the end of it I drifted away from the game the same way you’d put a book or movie back on the shelf after finishing it.
When I talk to other people who’ve played that same game, the conversation is more like, “Hey, you should go back and try this other class; it’s got some cool things in it.” There’s not much more to say, other than maybe, “Hey, remember that thing that we all saw? That was pretty cool. Yeah…cool.”
If there’s one overarching goal that I hope we achieve with this game, guiding all the other principles we’ve talked about, it’s to move very firmly back to a place where every character has their own story. For me that’s the appeal of RvR and a player-driven economy — your interactions with other players aren’t going to be the same as everyone else’s.
It’s the motivation for the way we’re designing our crafting system — we want players to be able to craft items that we didn’t exactly and precisely plan out in advance, that aren’t exactly what someone else would make. It’s one of the motivations for player housing — given a chance to make your own home, you won’t express yourself the way anyone else would.
That’s the high concept stuff. But there’s another side to this philosophy that happens at a smaller level, in your minute-to-minute interactions with the world. Mark’s talked about randomness in his Foundational Principle #8, and that’s a big part of this, but you can only take that randomness so far before you risk giving players the feeling that they were beaten by invisible dice rather than their opponent. You never want someone to feel like, because of blind luck, they’re playing a harder game than someone else. And that’s where other systems have to take over — systems that are chaotic, but still completely deterministic. Systems that interact with each other in interesting ways to produce results you couldn’t have predicted, even though they’re following strict, consistent, and predictable and rules. It’s Conway’s Game of Life. It’s the aggregate intelligence of a colony of mindless ants. It’s getting saved from a giant by a really angry mudcrab."
Continue reading here: http://camelotunchained.com/en/foundational-principle-13-chaos-goes-boing/
"Arthur’s Stormriders may boast of their sacrifice but they do not hold a candle to that which is made by the Silverhands. These Tuatha De Danann literally and figuratively give up their right arm as a sign of their dedication to their race and to their Realm. When they come of age they undergo a procedure which results in them emerging with a silver arm instead of one of the two arms of flesh they had before the procedure began.
Whether their arm is replaced by the silver arm, transformed by it or covered, none can say since nobody has ever seen one of these arms separated from a Silverhand. They truly have a love/hate relationship with The Depths. Every Silverhand lives for the day that they can either destroy that place utterly or find the final resting place of Nuada. Silverhands make great melee type players but their silver arm does also allow them to be great miners. BTW, don’t ever ask a Silverhand if they “need a hand” in jest, you won’t like the reaction."
“Your early trials have gone well young one,” said the grizzled instructor to the male Silverhand, “Your training has been the best that I’ve seen in many decades. Be proud of yourself.” At this hard-won praise the trainee smiled broadly, for such a compliment was rarely given. “But not too proud,” cautioned the instructor, “For an excess of pride is what led whom we honor to a terrible, yet profound, destiny.
Recite for me the tale as you have been taught.” With that, the old instructor lowered himself to the ground, his back now resting comfortably against the base of an ancient oak. The trainee, looking more nervous than he had during his trials, began to sing.
Once of a time there was a young warrior named Nuada who thought himself invincible on the field of battle. His sire had gifted him a rather unique magical sword. Nuada practiced from the barest inkling of dawn’s light until it was so dark that moonlight reflected off his blade. He relished any opportunity to test his prowess. He sought out and challenged the greatest warriors in the known lands.
The blood and occasional destruction that accompanied such trials were but a minor nuisance to him. For decades, Nuada defended his people against all enemies, no matter their origin. He made no exception for those within our realm. Even after he was crowned King, Nuada always took the lead in battle, never relinquishing his place at the head of his army. Sadly his victories fed his ego, and as our lands swelled so too did his pride.
Late one summer’s day word came to Nuada that an old enemy had returned to once again threaten the Tuatha Dé Danann. He had defeated this enemy once and it angered him that they should return to waste his time; for he would surely defeat them again. He scoffed at their threats, shirking the advice of the leaders of the High Courts who had urged caution. The Courts warned Nuada that the enemy must have found a new ally or weapon for they wouldn’t otherwise be so brazen.
Stories had reached their ears of a place called “The Depths” and the strange and powerful creatures therein. The leaders believed that their enemies had visited that place and returned strangely empowered. Nuada was unimpressed by such rumors; he vowed to cleanse that place once his foes relinquished their lives to his blade. He had ever kept his lands clear of abominations; he thought to himself, these so-called “Depths” would be no exception.
As the days passed, the Tuatha Dé Danann prepared for the invasion. As the first frosts settled upon their nights, an off shore invasion force was spotted by the Realm’s scouts. Summoning the Wild Hunt, Nuada vowed to descend upon the invaders and defeat their leader in single combat. He would then mercifully send the entire force back to their own lands, with a warning. The Courts hadn’t a chance to reconvene before Nuada and the Hunt rode out. They raced to the shore, the fire-wreathed hooves of their steeds never seeming to touch the ground. After a few days and nights of hard riding, they reached a towering overlook from where they could watch the invaders come ashore under cover of night.
Never before had the Tuatha Dé Danann faced such a sizeable force, even Nuada was surprised and troubled by their numbers. Nuada’s unease increased when, from within the camp of invaders, he sensed a traitor. A Tuatha Dé Danann man was down there, he was sure of it. Then he knew, it was Bres, a former friend of his. Bres had left the Tuatha Dé Danann to seek power elsewhere and now he was standing on the shore with the enemy! Nuada’s swollen ego was hurt by this realization and he grew furious. He vowed to slay Bres for this betrayal of his people. Standing tall beside Bres in the invader’s camp was a strange, one-eyed statue. Nuada had heard rumors of this statue; it was called Balor.
Flying down from the cliff with the Hunt at his back, Nuada called out a challenge, daring their leader to come out and face him in single combat. Much to his surprise, Bres bravely answered his challenge. Striding out of the ranks of the enemy, Bres seemed greatly changed from the Tuatha Dé Danann youth Nuada had once called friend. His body, while still belonging to his race, was changed subtly. His aura which was once bright and true, appeared dark, misshapen and it radiated a cold, evil light. In his right hand, Bres bore a black obsidian blade. Seemingly alive, its shape shifted slightly in the moonlight.
At first Nuada attributed this to the flickering light thrown by torches, yet he could feel the sword’s aura, it was shifting and dark. It was alive. Bres, seeing that Nuada had noticed his sword, informed him that this was just one of the surprises he held for Nuada. Bres bragged about how he had gone far into The Depths and had emerged more powerful. His sword was but one of the treasures he had earned. Bres boasted that these treasures were more than a match for those pitiful trinkets held by the Tuatha Dé Danann, including Nuada’s sword. Without the customary bow and honorifics, Bres charged Nuada and the battle began.
Taken aback by Bres’ claims as well as his lack of honor and respect, Nuada began the fight at a disadvantage, yet his years of hard training afforded him time enough to regain his composure. Slowly and surely, Nuada got the upper hand on Bres, driving him ever backward toward the sea. With each sound blow delivered, Nuada’s confidence grew; he knew the battle was over yet Bres seemingly did not. As each blow landed and forced Bres to retreat, he simply smiled. The smile turned to boisterous laughter as Bres felt the foam from waves lap his sandaled feet. Their duel continued for hours, Bres taking each blow from Nuada but not yielding any further land to him. Bres was as one of the stout Ironwood trees that ringed Tír na nÓg, unphased and unyielding even during the storm of Nuada’s most furious attacks.
As dawn broke the two warriors still battled ferociously, yet Nuada felt fatigued. After landing another particularly strong blow, Nuada slipped, he was indeed weakening. As if Bres had been waiting for this signal, his laughter became maniacal and he taunted Nuada. Bres dared him to try harder, telling him that he wasn’t even sweating yet. He laughed at Nuada’s weariness. As Bres’ taunts grew harsher, Nuada fought fiercer but could not find an opening to strike a truly punishing blow. As the sun rose over the towering cliffs, Nuada’s fatigue became more evident. Bres took the offensive then, driving Nuada back to the cliffs, his blows passing through Nuada’s defenses and finally, through armor. With each strike, Nuada felt a cold chill surge through his body at the point of impact.
Continue reading here: http://camelotunchained.com/en/races-2/silverhands/
Andrew Meggs continues the foundational principles CU is being created with.
Foundational Principle #12 Speed Matters
Today I want to talk about graphics, and gameplay, and performance. They’re all connected, so it’s hard to talk about any one of them in isolation — and if you do, you’ll end up rendering yourself into a corner. Everyone wants all three, all the time, but what happens when you have to choose?
It all starts with gameplay, but what does “gameplay” really mean? For some games, the graphics are the core of the gameplay. For those games, the thrill is exploring a gorgeously rendered, immersive new world. You may compromise on performance to create that, but for some people, tuning their system for the best possible experience becomes its own meta-game.
You may compromise on certain aspects of gameplay — precomputing the world’s lighting gives you a prettier world and better performance, but to lock down the world’s lighting you have to lock down all the objects in the world. But if the main hook of a game is how pretty it looks, that’s all fine. I’ve played games for how beautiful they were, and I’ve enjoyed every perfect hand-crafted scene around every new corner. There’s not a tradeoff between graphics and gameplay when the graphics are the gameplay.
On the other hand, for technology purposes Camelot Unchained’s gameplay pitch is simple: a whole lot of player-controlled characters, interacting together in a world that they affect dynamically. Performance is the primary pillar supporting that — but rather than going for the highest frame rate, our benchmark is the number of players on-screen while running smoothly at our target frame rate. Gameplay and Performance are the two top-level goals of the engineering team, and if we achieve them, we’re good.
But unlike a Big-Publisher game, we don’t have pressure to look good in order to be good. It’s the other way around. That’s not to say we want to look bad! We’ve got a great art team here at City State, and triangle for triangle they can pack more style and personality into a model than just about anyone.
But when it comes down to the sheer number of those triangles, any time we have to choose between that and delivering on our core gameplay, we’re going to choose the gameplay. That requires certain sacrifices. Every scene has to support the possibility that a few hundred of your friends might show up there, even if they usually won’t. We know that we’re building a world for characters to live in, not a theme park for tourists to visit.
Continue reading here: http://camelotunchained.com/en/foundational-principle-12-speed-matters/
"While nobody would ever confuse these creature with the cats of our world, they do in fact share a common ancestry. The Veilstorms not only increased their intelligence, they also made the Cait Sith far more powerful then their generally lithe bodies might indicate. They are also blessed with incredibly good memories; making them adept historians. Cait Sith are fiercely unforgiving to those that seek to harm them or their kin. They distrust most of the other races, even humans, yet Arthur holds a special place in their hearts. Any Cait Sith would happily lay down its life for Arthur and those dear to him."
Cait Sith Lore
"Younglings of Clan Kellas, gather around me to hear another tale of our people; there will be plenty of time to play furball afterwards, before the setting of the yellow orb. Today’s tale centers on how we evolved, aided by the Great Storms, from pets and helpers of the Furless ones to the perfection of our current form. As future leaders of our clan, always remember that those who do not know their own past will never be able to truly understand the future, so sit patiently and learn from this tale.
When the storms first lashed through this world, our ancestors were barely as large as our newlings and they walked upon four paws in the manner of food. Many of us lived in the wild, though others of us lived amongst the Furless, assisting them, comforting them and sadly, taking our food from their hands. It is for this reason that we will never take food from another’s hand, even if offered in friendship, for doing so implies subservience.
As the power of the Great Storms changed our land, so too did they change us. Over turnings of the world too numerous to count, we slowly grew in stature and intellect. Our minds were the first to exhibit the change and we awakened to things beyond the world of sights, smells and simple thoughts. Sadly though, as we gained intelligence, the Furless became ever more suspicious of us and of our ultimate intentions. Long-told stories of us as evil beings, stealers of souls and other such lies became accepted as truth.
With their world crumbling around them, the Furless needed someone to blame for the disaster and as we had also grown in stature, many of the Furless vented their rage on us. We were driven even from the rubble of their homes, and hunted for sport. As a sign of their so-called superiority, they wore our beautiful fur and skin stripped from our slain.
Faced with our own extinction we did what any rational beings would do, we fled deeper into the Changing Lands (where the storms were strongest). Many of us died on this pilgrimage and to this day and till the end of all seasons, we will honor those that died on that journey. We still hold our Midnight Lament on the anniversary of our journey’s end.
When we reached the heart of the storms, we saw that we were mostly alone in a land that we could not recognize by sight or smell and we deemed it a good place to stop and lick our wounds. Fueled by the power of the storms within this area, our ancestors’ alterations accelerated and we soon became upright and gained the claw of clutching (referred to by the Furless as an opposable thumb) and even greater intelligence.
Within but a few seasons we became the most feared predator in these lands. We hunted and killed what we needed for food and put the suffering out of their misery, yet we never hunted for sport, for that is the way of the Furless and we abhor it.
As the fury of the storms abated, our kind began to disseminate into what remained of the world. Without the power of the storms, the Changing Lands were no longer suited for hunters such as us. Unfortunately, when we did so we began to encroach upon the territory of our former subjugators. Observing the changes wrought upon us by the storms served to reinforce their fear and hatred of us. We quickly fell to them as we lacked their armor, weapons and strange magic.
Once again we were forced to flee and we did so, back into the Changing Lands. Devoid of a home, our males were furious at what they perceived as cowardice and they argued for fighting to the very last. By this time though, the males were greatly outnumbered by the females of our kind. It was then that Moireach, whose bloodline was pure, took charge of our clan and our race. She used her cleverness, not just her claws, to lead us down a new path over the coming turnings.
Life was hard for a time yet over the many seasons, through guile and cleverness, we learned much about the Furless; their magic and technologies. Our society evolved and soon we were strong again. Moireach told us of a dream she once had before the coming of the storms, of a Furless who was lost in the world. In that dream she saw that he was both a victim and a leader, both weak and strong and that his life was going to be in our paws. During the dream there was a great storm and as his life hung in the balance, she woke up. She told us to wait for that day and so we did, patiently, quietly, forever watching the Furless, stalking them without the hunt, awaiting that sign.
And so it came to pass that many seasons later one of Moireach’s female younglings, was out hunting what the Furless call Abominations; our kind calls them the Suffering. This young one had not properly scouted the area and as a result, a simple hunt turned into an ambush. She’d disabled a handful of them when she heard a shout from the nearby woods and a young Furless emerged from the trees and ran as straight as a hunter toward its prey. Thinking that she was the target, she turned her attention to the oncoming Furless and swung her Clawsword at him.
As the youngling tells it, the Furless let out a shout of surprise, ducked the swing, rolled, and ended the suffering of one of the youngling’s attackers. He then bravely engaged the remaining attackers but he found himself quickly overwhelmed and near death. Our youngling then shook her head in consternation and leapt back into the fray to save the Furless’ life. Together they dispatched the other attackers and sat down to clean their wounds, (the Furless didn’t have the decency to offer to clean her wounds as custom dictates) and they eyed each other warily. The Furless identified himself as Arthur and he told her that he had come to this land to hunt abominations and to see if the rumors of “cat people” were true.
Yes, my younglings, he called us “cat people”, a vial phrase that insults both our ancestors and ourselves. Rather than immediately ending Arthur’s life, our youngling was gracious enough to simply stand up, grab a rock and hit him, gently, over his head. She then tied him to his mount and sent him back to his lands. She also left him with a very special scratch as a reminder of his visit. Upon her return home, she shared the story with the rest of the clan and much respect was shown her."
Continue reading here: http://camelotunchained.com/en/races-2/cait-sith/
This is the story of the end of the world and its rebirth.
Some worlds are destined to die in fire, some in ice. A few worlds last until their sun or their resources are exhausted. This world’s end was caused by something quite different.
Although the source of destruction was unusual in the grand scheme of things, the outcome was clear: near extinction for the creatures living on the surface. The Piercing of the Veil (a living barrier that separates our dimension from others) caused massive amounts of raw power and strange entities to flood into this world. Veilstorms, seismic upheaval, death, and ruin followed.
Most of the world’s flora and fauna was either changed by this initial surge of power or simply wiped out. The ice caps melted, the seas rose and fell and rose again, as dramatic changes took place on the ocean floor. Great fissures opened up, and the oceans drained to somewhere deep within the world. Massive volcanoes erupted in the water, forming new islands as their magma, dust, and ash spewed upward.
The continents, where living things had walked and crawled upon the world for eons, changed forever. Mountains collapsed into great sinkholes, and the land tore itself to pieces. Even the mighty heavens above were changed, as the moon suddenly found itself with a companion; a new moon that crashed cataclysmically into it, sending both moons in new orbits around the planet. Month after month, year after year, this world was swept by an ever-changing flood of new disasters.
As the power poured into the world, many strange creatures made their appearance. Creatures that had never been seen upon this world now walked, crawled, or even soared above it. Things that had long ago passed into legend made a triumphal return, whether they were welcomed or not by the world’s beleaguered inhabitants.
Just when it seemed that all was completely lost, the first sign of amazing changes yet to come was seen in the skies. On a small island, which floated in an ocean whose name no longer mattered, a few survivors watched a new comet appear. To those standing in the open air that night, it seemed no different from any of the other comets that now seemed drawn to this world. However, the people with the sharpest eyes could discern that the comet was shaped more like a disc, cloaked in a whirlwind of three colors all spinning together furiously.
Continue reading here: http://camelotunchained.com/en/bsc/#lore-coming-emissaries-part-1
"Watching the snowflakes descend slowly from the soft gray clouds filled Arthur with a serenity greatly at odds with the destruction of his beloved city all around him. Looking through the window of the last remaining Stormwatch Tower, he could almost forget for a moment that he was Arthur, Sword Brother and King of the Britons. Instead, he was just a small boy again, looking on as the snowflakes gently fell.
The memory was one reason he always looked forward to serving as a Storm Watcher, just as all citizens of his Realm were required to serve, by his own edict. His subjects might have been dismayed to learn that he kept a mental countdown of the days until it was his turn to stand watch for signs of the dreaded Veilstorms.
As his mind drifted along with the snowflakes, his thoughts became dark, turning to his people’s misery. The Second Breaking of the earth was upon them, and the ruin of his beloved Camelot, the One True City in the world, was almost complete.
By now, his companions would be making their final rounds of the burning city, looking for any stragglers. Once they were sure that the city was indeed empty, they would remove the final stabilizers, and the destruction of the One True City would begin in earnest. At least his brothers had left him the dubious honor of removing the very last stabilizer from this city and loosening the continent on which it rested.
“Damn them all to Hel, or whichever misbegotten power they now worship!” he muttered. It was his city, and he wouldn’t let this happen. He was Arthur, after all. He called out, “Where are you now, my mentor? I need your aid again, as when I was a youth,” but he knew that Myrddin was long gone. The prophecy had been fulfilled, and Arthur knew that there was nothing that he could do about it.
He remembered how difficult it had been, in the beginning. How heartbreakingly hard it was to convince his brothers to build something new, to come together for once, united by their belief in the One True City. To put their stabilizers and their power to use, and raise new land from the bottom of the sea. It had taken everything he ever had, every ounce of his belief and Gwen’s ingenuity, to make them realize he was not mad. That they could work together, could build together, to bring the vision of Camelot to life. For a brief, bright moment, all that was left of creation had been united in one place, in the shining City.
Arthur sighed; he could hear footsteps behind him, and recognized the sound of his companions. Breaking away from his thoughts, Arthur forced his eyes to leave the window and turn to face the two people he loved most in the world. One was a Stormrider, the Storm-captain of The Land, and the other was his Gwen. He knew that they were filled with the same sorrow that sought to break him down, but were too proud to show it. He smiled unhappily, knowing why they had come.
“It is time,” said Arthur, “Isn’t it?”
“Yes, my lord, it is time,” said the Stormrider, “The city is clear, and we are the last who remain within its walls. Even the rats have abandoned us.”
“I can think of a few ‘rats’ that I wish had remained within the city,” added Gwen, her mouth a bitter line. “We should have never let them leave alive, Arthur!”
“We had no choice, Gwen,” said Arthur, shaking his head. “I did what was necessary to save lives.”
“But it was your city, my love,” said Gwen, twisting her whiskered face into a grimace. “It was your dream they tore apart.”
“No, it was not my city,” said Arthur, shouting now. “That is the thinking that allowed this to happen. Don’t you see that? Damn it Gwen, it was our city! It belonged not just to me, or my brothers! It belonged to you, to all of the Realms, and all of their people! Why couldn’t they see that? Why couldn’t they see that Myrddin was right, in the end?”
“Because in the end, the Changed are not perfect, Arthur,” said the Stormrider, a slight grin crossing his face. “Not even me.”
Continue reading here: http://camelotunchained.com/en/bsc/#lore-one-true-city-part-1
Finishing out the Bat Shit Crazy days are the map and progression system.