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Camelot Unchained Revealed

Follow my journey in Camelot Unchained.

Author: gylnne

Foundational Principle #6 – Rock, paper, scissors? ‘Natch!

Posted by gylnne Friday March 28 2014 at 7:13PM
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Up next is Foundational Principle #6.


"One of the things that set Dark Age of Camelot apart from its competitors was the number of races and classes that the game had at launch as well as the ongoing expansion that led to the massive number of race and class combination that it possesses now.

Originally, the reasoning behind that choice was that I knew that we could not compete with the budgets and backing of the three big MMORPGs of the era, UO, EQ and AC and that our best chance of success relied our having a number of differentiating features/gameplay that would set us apart from them.

Part of my plan was to use the number of classes and races as two of the major differentiators at launch (“Look Ma, more races!”) along with the RvR system (inspired by Kesmai’s Air Warrior). Moreover, I believed that by creating races and classes that were different from realm to realm, we would also increase re-playability of our game (okay, so sometimes I do have to think like a business guy as well as a design guy) and therefore increase its “staying power” over time. We will follow a similar, but not identical approach with this game but for different reasons.

Two of the unique things about a Kickstarter-funded game are that we will have a large core player base (our backers) waiting for us when the game launches in addition to the public as well. Additionally, we will also have well in excess a year of hardcore testing with our backers at every major stage of the game.

That freedom allows us to set off on a course that is slightly askew to we did back in 1999 when Mythic Entertainment set off to create Dark Age of Camelot. Now before you hit the “kill MJ switch”, hear me out, please.

One of the reasons I chose to use the mirrored mechanic for WAR (yep, blame me if you hated it) was to make balancing of the game easier (I think I used the phrase “Because balancing DAoC’s classes was a f******* nightmare” with the team). Another reason back then was that I believed that because of WoW’s success, that if we went down the RPS path, the large number of players we needed to hit our projected subs would be less tolerant and forgiving and wouldn’t stick around for very long.

Fortunately for this game, we don’t need to worry about big numbers and since I’m aiming this game right at core RvR-fans, I can choose the mechanic based on how much fun it is to have different races/classes for each realm. Thus, each realm can now be populated by race/class combinations that the players have to deal with in battle knowing that certain combinations will be more of a nightmare matchup while others will not be; in other words, the purity of RPS mechanic.

This lends an element of unpredictability and it gives us so much more freedom to explore different classes/abilities without worrying about having everything equally balanced 100% all the time. We can experiment, take some chances and yes, every so often I will once again be a target of tar and feathers because we tried something that didn’t work out so well but that’s okay and frankly, how it should be because the core RvR-players would not want us to pursue the safer path."

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