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Watch the Skies

Tim Eisen Posted:
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Summer weather, holidays and plagues have left us with a skeletal City State Entertainment (CSE) but that didn’t stop them from getting us our weekly update featuring steamy streams, community management and a vile villain for me to opine over. It was a bit shorter than usual but it had pretty pictures in it so I didn’t mind. Here’s one below showing what testers are doing with the ever more impressive C.U.B.E.

The dog days of summer seem to be lean times for the MMORPG fan. As we know the “dev” animal is most acclimated to a fair climate and despite all inclinations, sunlight. That is a foreign concept to me but I’m guessing its why news has been a bit thin across the industry as of late. People that work on these games like to do people things that make them feel human for a bit before they settle back into the pillories that we call chairs. Unlike us they seem to take reprieve from their games once in a while. While the weekly updates have been thin the video updates have been streamy!

CSE’s "Hot Streamy Summer" kicked off this month. So far we’ve had a variety of streams ranging from the odd and charming to artsy and perplexing-as in I saw codey things and coedy things are beyond the capabilities of the processing unit I’m stuck with (I hope to upgrade someday). Resident CSE wordsmith and lore master Max has taken over hosting duties for former community manager Jen to be our guide on this streamy journey. I’ll conveniently link them for you right here, yes I’m too kind. In fact, I’m so kind I might have to get myself a caramel macchiato later, I’ve earned it. They are off to a slow start but hopefully as they progress we will start to see some meat and potatoes aka glorious gameplay!

As I mentioned CSE has lost another community manager. While not as rare and elusive as the wily “programmer” a “CM” is certainly a unique beast. MMORPG players were part of overly opinionated social media BEFORE it was a thing. We’ve been hiding behind the Teflon bliss of anonymity and pushing the boundaries of what a “customer” is since Meridian 59! It takes a special kind of person with a very particular set of skills, skills that…(no, that tired Taken line has been used and abused for long enough I won’t do it…again).

Let’s just say they have to…to like helping people and by people I don’t even mean themselves, other people! Strangers really. It’s certainly a foreign concept to me but I’m told it’s a real thing. They also need patience, another thing I hear people have but I just can’t quite believe is real, or maybe it once was, long before social media killed it 140 characters at a time. Maybe someday it will be rehabilitated…

Speaking of re-abilitation (blatant transition is blatant) work continues to progress on fixing the vilest villain in the history of Camelot Unchained the ability builder! Why is such a genre changing mechanic so reviled?  For reasons and stuff of course! What more do people need? Ok fine, little things like Beta being delayed. I’ve heard whispers in the wind begging, pleading for a “normal” system. Not the one we need but the one we can have right now. Thousands cry out for a simpler system that would allow them to get into Beta yesterday! CSE looks down at them and whispers back a definitive…no.

Dramatization aside the rebuild is going well. I’ve always considered this one of the “blown away” mechanics that will make every command on your hot bar feel like it was made for you by you and exactly how you wanted it. We’ve all been waiting a long time to experience Camelot Unchained, I’d think much of that wait would be wasted if the game moved ahead without the players holding the ability system to the coals before it gets a yay or nay.

As seems to be the new update format CSE dropped user story bullet points on us again this week. Progress continues on the ability to join a group in game.

Our new engineers continue to lay down code to get us towards seamless server transitions when crossing vast land masses, as well as getting us closer to multiple islands in a zone.

First Pass improved C.U.B.E. UI, thanks to the generous talents of the Mod Squad. This should be showing up in our next push. Auditing of new biome art to reduce rendering costs to further support large battles in dense forests.

After years of Camelot Unchained being deep tech it looks like, based on those bullets from the CSE update, the “world” is starting to be a world and the “tech” is becoming a game. Then again I feel like I’ve said that before, a few times, like even 2 weeks ago or something…Grouping, crossing vast land masses and improved UI thanks to the crowd sourced efforts of the legends that are the Mod Squad! Trimming some fat to further support large forest battles! All of it sounds like good progress. I, and I’m guessing most of you can’t wait to actually start seeing that progress in the game. I feel like I’ve been saying that for a long time now too. (sips his macchiato and puts on his serious mask)

They say you can tell a storm is coming by watching birds. Most backers of Camelot Unchained have been understanding but I feel like there are a lot of birds watching the skies and shuffling in their nests. Fortunately, we are at another development crux thanks to the addition of CSE West. Things should be moving faster now. Progress, the kind average backers understand, should be coming into sight. Gandalf said look to the East for salvation, many of us are looking to the west and hoping the clouds clear.


Tim Eisen

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