For me, Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC) is my favorite MMO of all time, and back in 2017, then-editor Bill Murphy all but named it as being the best PvP MMO of all time. When I started playing MMOs, I ventured into Everquest for a few months and was awestruck at how complex an MMO was compared to other RPG games out at the time like Might and Magic and Shadowgate. There was something new and fresh about an online world full of thousands of people playing together.
Over the course of a couple of months, I got comfortable with Everquest and started to branch out looking more MMORPG’s to play. A couple friends at my work were playing DAoC and were always telling me about giant battles over castle keeps killing other players. Just learning about MMOs in 2002, I was fascinated to understand what PvP and Realm verse Realm (RvR) was. In August of 2002, I fell in love with MMOs forever thanks to DAoC.
DAoC was released in October of 2001, and it is still going strong as a subscription-based MMORPG. When I say going strong, I am not talking about sheer numbers of concurrent users, or how much cash the game rakes in monthly through subscriptions, I am, talking about a dedicated fanbase that quietly plays their 18-year-old MMO in the corner of the internet. That is all about to change with their new Free to Play model called Endless Conquest.
The main thing that is changing is, I am playing Dark Age of Camelot again after taking a 15-year break. Over the years, I’ve bounced from MMOs to MMOs trying to find the glory days I had in DAoC, but no matter how much fun I was having with the new MMOs, I always thought about my first love DAoC. DAoC has always had an elegant balance between PvE content like Trials of Atlantis, Catacombs, and Darkness Rising and the exciting RvR focused expansions like New Frontiers and New New Frontiers (it was patch, but a huge change in RvR). That balance was very hard to chase in other MMOs that were focusing mainly on PvE content or trying to rebuild RvR in other games like Warhammer Online. DAoC was not for everyone, but the formula they had and still have works great and keeps the players playing.
I do not foresee a huge exodus of MMO players jumping into DAoC and its new free to play model, but I do hope some people give it a chance even though the game is almost 20 years old. The great thing about the Endless Conquest is, it is free, and you get all the content subscribers get except a few minor restrictions that would not impact a new player in the least. The only thing I can think of that would impact me is not being able to play the Bonedancer class. I was the best Bonedancer! Here are the differences you can expect if you give the game a try, and you should give it a try:
Classes and Race Limitations
Midgard Classes (best realm ever!!)
- Runemaster (With no Bonedancer this is what I am playing)
- Albion Classes
The list of what you can use to get familiar with the game is very large compared to other games, let alone all the races and classes you could play with the subscription. The only other notable limitation to the Endless Conquest model is not being able to use the housing. In 2002-2005 when I was playing DAoC, the housing was amazing, and to this day I have not played an MMORPG with the features and customization DAoC has in their housing. I think Wildstar came close, but the housing in Wildstar was lonely because you felt secluded up in the clouds on your tiny square plot. DAoC’s housing is more like Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO), but DAoC came out first, so LotRO is not as good, according to me.
If you have time over the holidays, it would be best spent giving Dark Age Camelot I try. It might have dated graphics and be a bit hard compared to the popular MMORPGs, but I still consider it as having the greatest PVP of all time. You can check out the FAQ to get familiar with what a free account gets before you decide to grab the subscription.