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Dark Age of Camelot Previews: New Expansion: Darkness Rising

By Reed Hubbard on May 20, 2005

Destin Bales, Content Lead for DAoC, smiles for the camera
Title screen for Dark Age of Camelot: Darkness Rising
Personal Mounts...Finally!
Live from E3 – Thursday, May 19

E3 is full of new things and flashy announcements, but it’s also the place to see new twists on old, proven games. A perfect example may be seen in the Mythic booth where the upcoming Imperator and the hubbub over the announcement of Warhammer Online have taken most of the spotlight, but Dark Age of Camelot, the venerable older sibling to those games is present, too, and Destin Bales was pleased to show off the changes in the next expansion for the game, Darkness Rising.

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The story concerns the demons from the multi-realm dungeon Darkness Falls rising up and threatening the realms. The kings from each of the realms appear and players may gain an audience with their king. Through this players will embark upon the champion quests, which consist of five levels and grant players some extra abilities. Upon achieving each champion level, a player gains a champion point that he may spend at a base trainer for a mid-level skill. A 50 hero, for example, may visit a caster trainer and gain a level 15-20 spell. Champion points are achieved through regular combat, so level 50 players have a new incentive to engage in PvE combat. RvR combat will increase champion experience as well.

Players who successfully complete the five champion levels will have access to the champion epic weapon. These weapons are tailored to each class and are more powerful than the artifact weapons from Trials of Atlantis for that reason. Another advantage they have is that they will be fully repairable. Each will have a distinct special effect that will be noticeable on the RvR battlefield. Bales showed a warrior wielding a large glowing sword. When the similarity between it and the trademark blade for Imperator were pointed out, Bales grinned at the notion that it might be a bit of subliminal advertising for Mythic’s upcoming Roman-themed game. Regardless, the champion epics look great and will surely be highly sought after.

Another big addition is that of personal mounts. The players of Camelot have long desired their own mounts, and Darkness Rising will include them. Players will have to complete a task and spend a bit of money, but then they will have the ability to customize their steed with barding, armor, and other adornments. The mount may also have a saddlebag, giving players an addition inventory space for carrying siege gear into RvR battle or just toting around additional loot. Horses will not be killable, but players will be able to knock other players off their mounts. This begs the obvious question: Will there be in-game jousts? Bales laughed and said, “not in this release.” However, in true Mythic fashion, the door to this and other options is ever open.

Finally, as the expansion’s story takes place in Darkness Falls, the dungeon will be getting a facelift. All new graphics will adorn the halls of DF, and Legion, the big baddie of the dungeon, looks even more menacing.

The expansion is planned for release by the end of 2005. A press release is planned for the first of next week, so keep your eyes here for more information. To learn more about Dark Age of Camelot, visit the official site at http://www.darkageofcamelot.com.

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