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Reading Between the Lines

Tim Eisen Posted:
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Things in the Camelot Unchained Universe (CU) have been unsarcastically quiet over the last couple of weeks. This is City State Entertainment (CSE) so of course they are interacting with backers on forums and Mark Jacobs has been spotted prowling a comments section or two but things have been just a pinch low key over the past couple of weeks. Maybe it’s the fair summer weather out there in sunny Fairfax, VA? Maybe they are recovering from beta crunch mode? Or maybe they are lulling us in before they hit us with some exciting news? Whatever the reason we did get a Friday the 13th (for you superstitious folks) update, but it wasn’t exactly the kind of stuff that makes MMORPGers swoon, but maybe it should.

Are you ready? Here goes, the news is, they reduced the memory footprint of the client! Inconceivable! “Uh, ok, so that is good, I guess?” I admit it’s not milking dragons or castles burning or cow tipping but it’s the kind of update that says a lot about the studio and the game they are forging. Reading between the lines two main stories emerged. Number one, they were probably too busy working on something for a full scale “exciting newsy” update coming soon™, or they are just enjoying the beginning of summer while decompressing after beta crunch! Number two, that they are proud of making sure this cow can produce milk (FYI the first person to figure out that humans could drink cow milk was probably a creeper)! You see, while on the surface this “techy” update might make the less savvy of us shrug (don’t feel bad I’m with you /shrugs see) it’s the kind of thing we SHOULD be excited about.

It shows us that the sins of the past shall not be repeated! If CU only does one thing well, then “BY GAWD” it will be stable during large battles because the udder on this cow is looking plump, solid and tight! Memory footprint reduction helps open the doors for those of us running vintage (old) computers while also improving overall performance. CSE is obviously proud of their “foundation first” strategy, and this MMOer is relieved. PVP is a cruel mistress. She doesn’t just gank us when we participate, but she has turned on many studios that thought they could trust her (pours libations for GW2 PVP, WOW PVP and WAR PVP).

I always find it kind of entertaining. Developers used to seem so confident about PVP. “Yeah we tack that on near the end, gonna have MASSIVE battles no problem. It’s gonna be huuuuuuuuuuuuuge, you’re gonna love it, seriously it’s gonna be great, I mean that!” (not an official Developer quote) But they all forgot the single most important rule of MMORPGs. Rule #187-EVE Online. It is a rule that, when interpreted by those that speak PVP, means you can NEVER EVER truly predict what PVPers will do in PVP. Offer a PVE MMORPG players a .001% bonus and they will GRIND for it.

I mean sleepless, hardcore, non-top serious time sink grinding for that advantage. Offer that to a PVP MMORPG player and they will do all of that WHILE killing every other player within 100MMOmile radius of where said thing is RUMORED to be. Kill on sight patrols, they happen, because in PVE that % means the raid boss is a tiny bit easier, but in PVP it means you have a better chance to defeat another player, and PVPers stop at near nothing to do that…I…I mean SOME of them. Surely not ALL of us err them. Some of us, I mean them, would but they can’t because they got old and don’t have the time anymore so instead they sneak around shooting arrows into near dead targets then running away at the first sign of a fair fight…at least I know a guy, a friend, more of an acquaintance really, that does that sort of cowardly PVP. Some people will do anything for an easy win! Not me though, nope, not this guy…

This little update also snuck in a line of fairly big news, CSE has moved onto multiplayer C.U.B.E. testing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have combat but it’s another step closer to just that. This will allow them to see how much they can push their engine when its supporting piles of players and millions of blocks. First comes friends, then comes fighting, next comes fire and castles burning! I think that was the nursery rhyme I used to sing myself to sleep with…

The last bit of news in the CU update was that over the last couple of weeks CSE had 22 old cards with 94 completes and 2 new cards with 7 completes in their User Stories. For those that are unaware of what a user story is, I conveniently included a link for you, because I’m thoughtful like. A little secret between us, it’s often the case where the pasture with the greenest grass is hidden within those user stories. It’s sort of like a mini game at this point. Maybe something for CSE to entertain themselves with? Maybe something for us to entertain ourselves with? Either way someone is getting entertained. What does that even mean? Is this what playing a MMORPG has become? Maybe I’m really just a news junkie that thinks he is a MMORPGer? Sigh, I better end this before another tangent unstealths! Until next time, how does one milk a dragon? Wait I can’t end on a question can I? Probably not, let me try that again. (clears throat) Until next time, keep one eye on the pasture and one eye on the sky!


Tim Eisen

I roleplay a wordsmith that writes about the technological and social evolution within the game industry