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Do You Like Pineapple Pizza?

Camelot Unchained Columns - By Tim Eisen on September 09, 2015

Do You Like Pineapple Pizza?

I hope my MURKAN readers had a nice Labor Day weekend. I used the time to try out a new diet. It’s easy too! First you go out for a nice meal, then you spend the next 4 days sitting proudly atop a porcelain throne...you learn a lot while losing the weight. Firstly, never underestimate the benefit of a safely prepared home cooked meal. Sure it might not taste nearly as good, but you don’t get food poisoning. Second, I finally understand the weird thing dogs do when they drag their bottom across carpet (to any dogs that might be reading this, I get it, I truly-deeply do). Lastly you learn that while the smartphone has revolutionized the lavatorial experience, even the internet can run out of things to entertain you…

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In hindsight perhaps my plague was a good thing because I had a TON of CU news to get through! It seems like every other day something new comes out of the CUniverse, the trick is finding it! It has become a sort of mini game for me. It is on their Twitter? Facebook? Maybe Vine? Maybe Andrew’s Twitter? Newsletters? Updates? Twitch stream! Emails! Forums! Oh my!

After putting all the news bits in a sock, shaking them up and pulling one out I got “newsletter” so that is what I’ll focus on today. I don’t think it’s possible for me to cover the entire thing (it’s packed) so I’ll just hand pick a few of the tasty bits. Firstly is the Melee Combat Demo. That demo is exactly what I hoped it would be. Real, physical, tactically visual and VERY exciting. He was even using a polearm (which this MMOer happens to have a soft spot for). I don’t have much to say about it other than I freaken loved it and everything about it from the movements to the look of the armor to how he held the weapons! It had a certain realness that I haven’t seen in a MMO in a long time…maybe ever?

Speaking of “long” and polearms (relating transitional sentence BAM) as long as I can remember I’ve dreamed of a MMORPG with a proper forest. Why? Because forests are made for PVP! Think of the potential for ambush! Imagine trying to haul some goods through a thickly wooded area! Lumberjacks and pyromaniacs are probably salivating! It’s extremely early but if this young screen shot is an indication I might finally get to see some proper MMO forests within my lifetime (or not if I don’t start cooking my own meals).

The last part of the CU newsletter that I want to chew on is a lot like pineapple pizza, people either love it or hate it with few in-between. I’m talking about the use of a random number generator also notoriously known as RNG! My personal theory is everyone loves RNG when it works for them and hates it when it works against them (search your feelings, you know it to be true).

“But Timothy, what is RNG?” Simply put its random occurrences that happen whilst playing MMOs. When people fight…I mean talk about it they are generally talking about how it impacts combat. A simple example of RNG is resources that move from time to time (pours libations for SWG). A more complex example is casting a fireball that randomly fails or worse, maybe it randomly backfires and burns you! On the other hand maybe it lands and randomly “explodes” hitting for double the normal damage! As you can imagine it has great potential to create rage, but in my humble opinion even greater potential to create MMO memories. And that is why many of us have come to CU right? To find those “ZOMGWTF” memories that came from the accidentally broken MMOs of old, but in the shiny planned RNG of new. That, and to burn people’s castles down...

While I hate pineapple on my pizza (especially now) I LOVE LOVE LOVE (yes that’s 3 whole loves) RNG and I love what CSE Ben had to say about it in the newsletter. In fact it was the promise of “random chaos” that first got me to raise my eyebrow to CU. When embraced the creative potential is limitless but with great power comes great responsibility. My mage self-exploding once in a great while might make me lol, if it happens every few minutes it won’t be so funny!

Thusly I have some requirements to keep RNG from getting out of control.

#1. Keep it rare. CSE has said they plan to do just that. In fact they plan for it to be lower than low in the best possible way. When RNG happens they want it to be so memorable we rush to our friends to tell them about it! (Note to self, acquire a friend when CU launches so I have someone to rush to.)

#2. See #1

#3. Make it a factor, but not the factor in determining the outcome of a fight. “You have McSneakins down to 5% health, he gets a RNG crit and you die instantly” That scenario is not fun for anyone other than McSneakins. Fortunately it’s also against the very fabric of CU. In Camelot Unchained even RNG banes and boons as it should. RNG might give you a gift, but your enemy will have a chance to counter it.

#4. Have a wide range of RNG. From big to small, serious to funny, happy to sad, top to bottom etc. I hope to see RNG all over CU. From a swallow that randomly flies by carrying a coconut to kicking a wall causing it to topple over onto you I hope RNG in CU can be a MMO memory machine.

Based on what Ben said in the newsletter it appears that CSE plans on meeting all of my qualifications. Now they just need to translate those essential words into deliberate numbers when they design their random generations.

Tim Eisen / In my columns I walk the line between fan and critic as I document the development of Camelot Unchained, Crowfall, and Chronicles of Elyria.